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Overview: Short hunts; designed for those that don’t like straps!
Common Uses: Less cargo space, great for warm/hot weather
– Choose between Bird Bag or Utility Pocket
“Just a quick note to let you know that my first experience with your new Belt was very enjoyable. I am glad that I chose to try it out.” ~ Patrick
“2 or 3 years ago I was at Cabelas and saw a bird belt. I had not ever seen one before. i took a look at it and thought it was exactly what I needed for Shooting quail. The belt was very simple. A game pouch on the back that had rather small opening on each side (no top opening), 2 shell pockets on the front, which was all attached to a 1” web belt.
I found myself wearing the bird belt more and more and my Bird-n-lite strap vest less and less. I loved the freedom and comfort of “going light”. I felt like I shot better without any straps hindering my mount and pulling down on my shoulders. I liked My bird belt so much I bought a second one to lone to other guys (I am an advisor for a fraternity and try to take College guys hunting when I can). But the Cabelas Bird Belt was not all roses. The belt was only 1″ webbing when you would tighten it it would roll on itself and feel more like a rope than a belt. There was not a good place to carry water. I tried making up my own water bottle holders to attach to the belt, but I never had much success with it. The game pouch was great for quail. However I live in Kansas. Rarely do I shoot only quail. There is usually a mix of Pheasant and quail. One pheasant filled the pouch to the point that the head would stick out one side and the tail would stick out the other. My hunting buddies were not real impressed hauling my birds around so that i could “be more comfortable” with my bird belt.
I started dreaming of something better. I envisioned something with a belt like a good hiking pack, wide, strong and padded. Something that could be comfortable even with a good deal of weight on it. I wanted a bird belt that could carry at minimum 2 – 20 oz water bottles comfortably. I wanted to be able to carry 2 pheasant, plus a few quail. I got excited when Last year Q5 went on the UJ forum and asked for ideas about a bird belt
When I got my package it was obvious that Q5 is proud of their design and their product.
I thought it was a nice gesture to include the note and the Hide a key:
I was immediately impressed with the quality of the construction of the Bird Belt. There was not a loose string anywhere. The insides of the pockets looked as nice as the the outside of many outdoor products I have owned before. I flipped the pockets inside out so you could see what I mean.
One of the things that really makes the Bird belt unique is how customizable it is. The whole system is based off the belt.
The belt itself is a 1.75″ tall webbed belt with 3.5″ padded and structured support. There are numerous D rings attached to the belt so there are plenty of places to clip on whatever accessories you like. The belt has a heavy duty strip of Velcro going around the outside of the padded area as well as some webbing buckles.
These are used to attach the many different options. I ordered the standard Belt which comes with the rear game pouch. The pouch attaches by snapping onto the 2 small webbing clips and securing to the heavy duty velcro along its entire length. You might be asking “Velcro? is that really strong enough?” Well only time will tell, but I am very confident it will hold up and along with the mechanical fasteners will keep everything in its place during use.
Here is the game pouch:
The game pouch includes a smaller outer pocket made in Orange.
I am sure you could use it for many things. I thought it could be a great place to keep a small first aid kit, or store a rain jacket, or fleece vest.
(Mountain Hardware light rain jacket):
My XL Hooded Cotton sweatshirt was a bit too big for that pocket:
Inside the large flap of the game bag you will find three pockets up against the belt. I think they call these the wallet and phone pockets. The pockets would obviously work for that. However if I owned Q5 I would call them Water bottle pockets. One of the things I was most concerned about with the new belt was the ability to carry water. I loved to wear my old bird belt early in the year when its hot, because it allowed me to stay much cooler than a vest would. however I could never carry enough water for my dog and I. These 3 pockets in the game pouch go along way to alleviate that issue. That is a standard 16 oz water bottle on the left and a 32 oz contigo water bottle on the right.
Here is a 32 oz Nalgene in the large pocket.
The main game pouch is pretty big:
I think I will have no problem holding 2 pheasant in this pouch. I will say I do not understand the purpose the buckle system. It is impossible for me to unhook the buckle while wearing the bag. I think it would also be difficult to stuff a pheasant in the pouch with it buckled. To me it seems that the velcro would be sufficient here, or even better the magnet style latch. I also have no idea what this loop is for.
Q5 offers a few different styles of Shell pockets for the front side of the belt.
I chose the Q5 Shell Pocket/Water bottle holder combo. As I said I was very concerned about being able to carry enough water. After getting the whole system I dont think I would order the water bottle combo again. Its not that Combo is bad, Its not it works very well. It is simply that I can hold enough water in the game pouch pockets that the combo water bottle pockets seem like overkill. That being said some of you may still want to order them so here are some pics:
16 oz bottle:
32oz Nalgene – the Nalgene barely squeezes in the pocket
I forgot to take a picture of the Velcro shell loop. It is a heavy duty elastic shell loop that holds 6 shells and is backed by velcro. Which allows you to put the shell loops either inside the pocket, or on the outside of the pocket, or both. I tried both positions and I preferred inside the pocket, but that is probably just based on habit. The Shell pocket has a small orange zippered pocket on the outside. I have an Iphone 6 Plus (which is enormous), It does not fit in the zippered pocket, but I think most cell phones will fit nicely and safely in the small zippered pocket. A wallet would certainly fit as would a set of keys.
I loaded the shell loops up with some purple shells, then dumped the rest of the box in the pockets. There is plenty of space in these pockets. I could easily fit a box of shells in the pocket and I think I could have stacked 2 boxes but I did not try.
I know there have been some questions about the Q5 pockets sticking out too far in the original Bird Belt thread. I don’t think I will have a good feel for that situation until the season rolls around. I have worn the bird belt out on some nature trails, I have got some weird looks, I am sure carrying a SxS would get more than a look. I will say that just walking in the bird belt without a gun the pockets did not bother me unless I had the shell loops on the outside. Here are some photos of me wearing it so you can get a sense for its size.
Here are the Suspenders
The suspenders are well designed I think they will be useful if you are carrying a couple birds and the belt is getting heavy. I think it will take a few actual hunting trips to determine my thoughts on them.
As I mentioned before the customization available on this is great. One unique option is to not have the shell pockets at all. You can simply velcro the shell loops right to the belt. If you only need a few shells it could be a great option.
I loaded up the belt with a box of shells, 4 16 oz bottles of water, Astro and my ecollar transmitter. Then Ox, my 2 year old daughter, and I went out for walk. It was only 96 degrees out. We guzzled the water pretty quick.
The pack was really comfortable to wear even in the heat.
I hope that helps some of you who are contemplating buying one. I plan to do some more reviews of the belt after the season starts.” ~ Jakeismydog2
Q5 will warranty 2 years free of charge against manufacturer's defects and workmanship. Beyond that, we will repair or replace damaged goods/parts for a reasonable price, plus shipping.
Material: Tough, mid-weight 1000D Cordura Nylon fabric, YKK zippers and pulls.
- Soil may be removed with spray cleaner or detergent and water. Avoid chlorine or bleach based cleaners.
- Hand wash with mild detergent (ie: woolite, or even dawn dishwashing liquid) rinse well and air dry
- Can also be washed on gentle cycle in a washing machine...mild detergent and air dry
- Never put products in dryer as this will compromise the backing on the fabric
- The velcro can be easily cleaned using a dry toothbrush