Top critical review
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Think of this as a Money Belt KIT rather than a finished product…
on May 29, 2015
I bought one of these about 9 years ago and it LOOKS almost identical to the one being sold now, but mine didn't fall apart or have any problem with the zippers. So, I don't know, maybe it is more cheaply made now. To be sure, the zippers are the fragile cheap nylon variety that come on most pants, so you DO have to be gentle on them. But so do you with pants zippers so I don't see that as a problem.
What I DO see as a problem is the two cheap-ass buckles that come with it. I had two problems with them:
1. The smaller quick-release buckle, attached to the pouch, comes undone all by itself. Excuse me?! I have to trust my precious valuables to a cheap plastic buckle that comes undone? I actually had the buckle come undone while I was walking, and the whole money belt came flying out of one of my pantlegs. Fortunately I was wearing shorts, in a store, so it was obvious. If I had been wearing long pants, especially in a crowd, it would not have been as obvious. Strike one!
2. The GD larger 'buckle', the one that slides to adjust the waist size, DOES NOT STAY PUT. If you bend down, the buckle slides and the belt is now too loose. I actually had the whole belt slide down until it was stopped by the crotch of my pants. I had to waddle to the rest room to re-adjust the belt size. How embarrassing. How ridiculous!
So this is what I had to do to make this belt usable:
1. I inserted TWO cable ties into the smaller belt buckle so it could not come undone. What this does is make it more difficult now to put the belt on. I have to pull it over my head like a shirt or step into it like pants to put it on. But it has never again come undone, in years of use.
2. I had to adjust the belt to size and then insert a cable tie at one end of the larger buckle, around the belt itself, to lock everything in place. It was not necessary to add a second tie but you could for maximum strength.
These modifications--hence the 'kit' designation--have served me well for years now. The belt stays put and it is not that difficult to put on or take off.
I also agree with everyone who complained that the pouch against your abdomen DOES make you sweat underneath. It IS uncomfortable but that's the price you pay for security against the low-life SOBs that you're up against. Also, it IS a bit undignified to have to raise your shirt and pull out a pouch from your groin area when you need to access it. I do get startled, amused looks from people when I have to get out my passport or credit card. But they are friendly enough, so not a real bother, like some reviewers seem to think. I otherwise keep enough cash for the day in a wallet. The extra hassle is well worth the peace-of-mind that the belt offers, especially when it comes to securing something as vital, and attractive to thieves, as a passport or credit card. I've never had any problems with airport security with the steel cables in the belt (the model I got has two thin steel cables inside the belt) or the metal zipper pulls. If it sets off the alarm, I just pull out the pouch and show them and they wave me along.
The thing that bothers me most is that there are really no other options when it comes to a pouch style money belt. Believe me, I've looked. And this company is the main supplier of travel security devices. You'd think they would have gone out of their way to use the latest and best quality fasteners to insure that the very serious problems I had could not occur. But they didn't. Seriously, even velcro is MUCH more secure.