Holy Utility Belt, Batman!
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the term, “utility belt?” What about a stealth utility belt?
The utility belt is a key tool of crime fighters both real and fictional, used to easily carry tools and equipment. However, a fully-outfitted utility belt tends to be bulky and, although convenient, a bit unsightly. It is not something you would wear to the office or on a date, for example.
Fortunately, not all useful items are as bulky as those that are attached to the typical utility belt. Items such as a spare key, a little emergency cash, or a flat multi-tool don’t take up a lot of space. Handy little things such as these are what Joe Bepko started to duct tape to the inside of his belt. Thus was born the first prototype of his stealth utility belt.
Duct tape works, but it can get messy as the glue residue builds up on the inside of the belt and subsequently transfers onto clothing. The glue can even transfer directly from the edge of the tape onto your clothes. So, Joe has been improving the utility belt concept over the years and has now made several versions with hook-and-loop fasteners (such as the ones made by Velcro).
Joe starts out with a handsome-looking leather belt and lines the inside surface of it with the loop side of the hook-and-loop fastener. Then, he places an item, such as a key, onto the inside of the belt and covers it with a strip of the hook side of the fastener so that it fully conceals the item. Et voilà, instant utility belt.
Repeat the process with other items and you can securely stash away quite a number of little things along the length of the belt. For slightly larger items, such as a small pocket knife, the loop material can be placed directly on the item so that it can attach itself to the inside of the belt.
It appears that the belt’s closure mechanism also makes use of a hook-and-loop fastener so that there is no need for a buckle to interrupt the sleek look of the stealth utility belt. Apparently, you can add a buckle, if you wish. It might be a good idea to put a buckle on it if you want the belt to be even stealthier by looking more ordinary.
I can imagine that the loop side of the hook-and-loop fastener was used to line the inside of the belt in order to avoid scratching or hooking the clothing that comes into contact with the belt. However, since the loop side tends to wear out from repeated use, reversing the design would make the belt more durable. Having loop-side covers on a hook-side belt lining would make it easy to replace the covers when they wear out.
The stealth utility belt is a neat idea and has already exceeded its funding goal by 50% with 24 days to go. If you want to get one for hiding your own super essentials, check out the project on Kickstarter or visit UtilityBelts.com.
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