You won't find any complicated ratcheting mechanisms, or a beefy bulky buckle that's all teeth and no bite. You also won't find any prongs, pins clamps or screws. What you will find is an elegant solution to an age old problem. Our buckles are designed to take full advantage of the material properties used in the construction of the belt. We've created a friction hold that holds so well we gave it the "Badgerbite" name. Once a GRIP6 belt is locked in place, it will hold over 250lbs of outward pressure. We've tested dozens of daily-wear belts and most don't just slip, they either deform or completely fail with as little as 50lbs of force applied.
So many products today are made with cheap metals that fail under all but the most ideal circumstances. Most belt manufacturers figure they can cover it up with a nice chrome finish and you'll never know. Well, we don't. Our buckles are manufactured with certified 6061 T6 aluminum and then either anodized or powder-coated for a durable hardened finish. When we say we want them to last for decades, we're not kidding. Being an educated consumer starts with buying products that will last long enough earn their value back. We design our buckles with materials and craftsmanship that will last several generations, not only earning it's value several times over, but earning your trust at the same time.
The primary purpose of a belt is to keep your pants up, the second is to look good. A good belt should be able to do both without excess bulk or unnecessary weight. Our base buckle model is 24 grams, or nearly a quarter of the weight of the top selling buckles on Amazon. (90 grams) In fact, our entire base model belt comes in at 79 grams, that's 12% lighter than our competitors buckle by itself! The best part, is our buckles have been tested to hold over 250lbs of outward force so you don't have to sacrifice performance by going light.
It may seem like a small detail, but our proprietary Fuselock Technology was developed from start to finish, right here at GRIP6. We wanted a load-bearing locking end that could achieve higher breaking strengths while maintaining our signature low-profile design. After a year of development and months of testing, we officially began production in the fall of 2017. The new Fuselock ends are rated to withstand over 250 lbs of outward pressure while improving the overall finish of our belts. While only available on our 1.5" models, we are beginning construction on a new injection machine to handle our narrow webbing. By fall of 2018, all GRIP6 belts will feature our Fuselock technology
WEAVE The weave of a webbing belt is critical to its function and durability. We are constantly testing our webbing designs to come up with solutions to common belt problems like deformation, warp, abrasion resistance, and stiffness. A good webbing will solve these problems within the weave rather than resorting to chemical stiffening agents. We have designed and constructed multiple testing machines in order to develop our 30 year wear standard for our belts.
Most nylon belts are made from Nylon 6. While Nylon 6 isn't a terrible product, it isn't the best either. Most companies choose Nylon 6 because it's around 30% cheaper than Nylon 6,6. But Nylon 6,6 is more rigid, has better tensile strength, has superior abrasion resistance, and can withstand higher temperatures before melting. For us, the choice was simple. We choose to use Nylon 6,6 because our goal is to build the best belt on the market, with the best materials available.
Most products make you choose between form and function but what if you didn’t have to choose? Our belts are not only fully functional but they are lightweight, attractive and comfortable. The carefully machined edges of the interchangeable aluminum buckles are smooth in your hand, yet substantial enough to provide a durable, low-profile design that will last for decades. From the warm tones of the Craftsman wood grains, to the modern brushed aluminum finishes, you’re able to select the style that suits your occasion, add a splash of color or keep it simple. The tightly woven nylon straps are strong yet flexible, and easy to handle. The lightweight, ergonomic design, is so comfortable you’ll forget you’re wearing a belt. With the attention to detail and quality American craftsmanship, you’ll never have to choose between form and function again.
Building things in the USA seems like a good idea. The reality of it is much more complicated. The American manufacturing landscape has changed dramatically since the 1960’s, leaving behind a country, that in that time, has managed to cut over 60% of its textile manufacturing jobs while increasing the overall gross domestic product.
To accomplish this, the U.S. has largely focused its growth objectives on service industries that don’t produce tangible goods, like financial institutions and investment firms. In other words, we’ve evolved from a country that builds things, to one that builds wealth.
In 1960, the average American spent 10% of their income on clothing (the equivalent of about $4,000 today) and 95% of it was made right here in America. Fast-forward to today and the contrast is staggering. Modern Americans, (despite purchasing an average of 70 clothing items a year per-person), spend far less on their clothing at just $1,800. Of that amount, only 2% of those items will bear the “Made in America” label. Most clothing today is cheaply made, only built to survive a single fashion cycle. The age old practice of passing down clothing to younger generations is continually growing less
This idea of building a product with a pre-determined life cycle is called “planned obsolescence.” While not a new concept, the amount of wear each garment is designed to handle has been getting shorter for the last 50 years. The rapidly changing fashion influence on todays clothing market has most garment makers manufacturing products that will hold together for less than a year, or just long enough for the next trend to take hold.
Manufactured goods are divided into two categories; Durable Goods and Consumer Goods. Durable goods are things like cars and furniture, where consumer goods are defined as anything that will be obsolete in 3 or less years. All apparel falls into the category of “consumer goods” and is therefore considered to be obsolete after three years.
GRIP6 is proud to be a part of a growing segment of US apparel manufacturers who are placing principle on the same plane as profit. While most apparel businesses are drawn overseas solely for better margins, with little thought to local economic impacts, we are committed to producing products that last for decades, with materials and labor sourced exclusively in North America. Our commitment regularly forces us to stretch our manufacturing capability in order to produce quality products that will not only stand the test of time, but exceed the quality and performance expectations set by our customers.
We’re choosing to double-down on our commitment to build things right here - in our own backyard.
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