The Bianchi 7216 Duty Belt: Down in The Dirt

— Travis PikeCADRE Dispatch

Just how interesting can a duty belt be? That’s the million-dollar question. When I got the 7216, I had no intention of reviewing it. I saw it as a means to hold the holster that held the gun and I was planning to review both of those.

The belt was just an accessory, and I didn’t think much of it. Not until I went through two classes, a few thousand rounds of ammo, some dirt, grime, and more obstacles than I’d ever imagined.

Bianchi 7216 Nylon Web belt with holster and mag pouches
The 7216 Nylon duty Belt forms the foundation of my rig.

The Bianchi 7216, a two-inch-wide duty belt, is a tactical gear enthusiast’s dream. For those who prefer a slightly thicker option, there’s the 2.25-inch-wide 7215.

What sets this belt apart is its construction. Safariland crafts it from nylon ballistic weave fabric, incorporating a foam-layered stiffener for a rigid design that can handle all your gear. But the real game-changer is the internal hook lining, designed to connect to a Bianchi 7206 Liner Belt, ensuring the belt stays securely in place on your waist.

Setting Up the Bianchi 7216 Belt

I was introduced to the belt at a training event with Safariland and Full Spectrum Warriors. The first thing we did was set it up with a simple holster and mag pouch. I won’t lie. Setting the belt up was a hassle. I had to remove one of the buckles and very carefully get the gear in position.

setting up the 7216 duty belt
Setting up the belt takes some time, but it’s well worth it.

The stiff nature of the holster made every inch of movement a bit slow, with a QLS hook and dual magazine pouch. The work pays off, though. Once the kit is on the belt, I think I’d need a power tool to remove it. It stays stuck to the belt and doesn’t slide without a good push and some effort. Once it’s in place, it’s in place.

The Bianchi 7216 uses an Austri Alpin Cobra buckle to lock it down and secure it against your waist. If you are not familiar with this type of belt buckle, you should know it is one of the strongest, most durable designs ever created and ever to grace a belt buckle. It’s also subtle, so you boys from Texas might prefer something bigger and gaudier.

Safariland Bianchi 7216 nylon duty belt, cobra buckle
The Cobra buckles are as tough as they come.

Making adjustments to tighten the belt isn’t tough. You get a few inches to play with when it comes time to make those adjustments. I like my belt to fit a bit snug, and this one squeezed on just right. The belt itself is remarkably thin for how stiff it is. It doesn’t restrict movement or pinch when you bend over like other belts.

In The Dirt With The Boys

Over the last three months, I’ve attended two courses and fired over a thousand rounds with this belt on my waist. It’s been the victim of countless draw strokes, but that’s just a warm-up. It’s housed my belt and gun in various training environments, some more practical than others and some more intense.

Students wrestling for firearm at the 2024 Safariland Retention training event with Full Spectrum Warriors.
a dozen shooters wore the belt at the Safariland retention event at Full Spectrum Warrior training.

I crawled across the ground, through tunnels, and up and over walls with this belt around my waist. There were plenty of spots and opportunities for my belt to snag and get stuck here and there, yet it never did. The buckle never tapped out, and the gear stayed in place through it all.

I also wore the belt in and out of vehicles where there were plenty of chances for it to snag and come lose and play havoc with my belt. The 7216 held up and remained tight. Nothing snagged or got caught. In fact, no matter what I did, the belt never loosened. I had to pry the thing off of me at the end of each day.

My second class was all about handguns and red dots. I drew, holstered, drew, holstered, over and over. Again, the belt always kept the holster where I needed it to be. Even in the heat of Florida in June, sitting on a blacktop and sweating buckets, the belt was never the problem.

students on line
The belt kept the holster in place through so many draws. (@ashley_stone1911)

Between range trips, the belt lived in a gear bag, trunk, and closet. I never thought about cleaning it or giving it any maintenance whatsoever. It didn’t matter. The belt did its job with out a hint of failing in any way.

More Than Toughness

The Bianchi 7216 isn’t just tough and reliable. It’s supportive. I’ve been shooting shotguns a lot lately and tossed on the TP11 shotgun shell pouch and 12 rounds of buckshot in addition to all my other gear. It didn’t matter. I can set this up with whatever gun kit I want. The belt can handle it, support it, and keep it right where it needs to be.

It’s supportive of your gear, and — like a good spouse — it’s there to keep you held up.

Closed tp11
The TP11 fits well on the Bianchi belt.

It’s also comfortable. Have you ever removed a piece of gear after a long day of work or training and felt that relief flood over you? I never felt that with the Bianchi Nylon belt. It was never uncomfortable enough for me to want to remove it. I often forgot I was wearing it until I slammed into a wall, holster first.

In fact, in my last class, my leg strap was getting old and causing enough discomfort, so I loosened it up, but that was never a problem with the belt. Heat and friction weren’t a problem, and the Bianchi 7216 remained comfortable throughout the day.

holster on belt
With this belt, carrying a full-sized gun, two mags, holster, optic, and light is a breeze.

The Bianchi 7216 is a very simple duty rig without a whole lot of flair to it, but it doesn’t need flare. It’s supportive, rugged, reliable, and even comfortable. The belt delivers a rock-solid-duty belt for modern needs, and it won’t break the bank.

Strap it up, and you’re ready to hit the ground running. I plan to continue to torture the belt. I’ll let you know when, if ever, it taps out.

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