The Original Instructor Belt was developed in 1983 and has been refined ever since. It is a very strong belt with a specially designed carbon steel V-ring buckle with a tough, non-glare black nitrided finish which is highly corrosion-resistant and will not chip like painted coatings. The belt was originally designed to clip into a secure system while “instructing” others in high places during mountain rescue training, although they can be used for emergency rappelling with proper training. Our belts have also proven to be a fantastic everyday pants belt for casual or outdoor use, as well as concealed-carry.
Although not intended to replace a rappelling harness or to absorb a fall, the Instructor Belt provides peace of mind over the alternative — no protection at all. We strongly recommend it for anyone involved in law enforcement, special warfare, or rescue operations where there is a risk of falling out of a helicopter. It has been standard operating procedure for decades within the Phoenix Special Assignments Unit (SWAT) to clip into a Wilderness Original Instructor Belt during airborne or skid-riding ops. It has also been used by many professionals who like the safety of being clipped in when working in cherry pickers (the belt’s first “save”) or other tall structures.
This belt is not intended to replace a standard rappelling harness with leg straps in normal operations. It is intended as an emergency option to clip into when there is a risk of falling, or for emergency rappelling when no other option is available. It will be very uncomfortable to rappel with, but it may save your life — which is what we intended. The Instructor Belt must be used in conjunction with a harness or rope seat during any non-emergency situation or rappel training. These are inherently dangerous operations which can result in death or serious injury; proper training in these skills is absolutely required.
The Original Instructor Belt is designed to be a serious piece of rescue/safety equipment that you may have to bet your life on. In lab testing, our Original Instructor Belt has withstood a minimum of 5,900 lbs. of static stress without failing, to more than 8,000 lbs. of static stress without failing. Results vary with model. See testing data. Ask those who try to copy us if they continually refine the construction and materials they use? Or do they use inferior materials and designs, like heat-sealing or flimsy metal tabs on the end that tear off and shred your belt within a year or two? Our proprietary polymer treatment on the belt tab actually soaks into the core of our nylon and bonds with it, providing permanent protection from fraying. With proper use, your Original Instructor Belt should give you literally years of faithful service.
You don’t have to ask us if our gear is top quality; we stand behind our products and include documentation of these results with every Original Instructor Belt, and we post them here on our website.