About this project
We have a history of success. You get to be part of our next innovation.
Simplicity is important to us. We are belt makers - how complex can it get? Is it even possible for a belt maker to stray from simplicity? Well, not long ago that was very true. But the line between technology and apparel is quickly diminishing. Simplicity is important when it comes to wearable tech. Many companies are getting excited about wearables and jumping head first into production, without remembering the two most important features of any worthwhile product: SIMPLICITY and USEFULNESS.
We already make a very unique product called a SlideBelt. The product has received rave reviews, and although we appreciate simplicity we also know that INNOVATION is vital to success -- and it is exciting, for customers and for manufacturers! We've worked hard to develop prototypes of belts similar to what you've seen in the video above. Basically, we're integrating our evolved holeless belt buckle into a ridiculously tough new kind of belt.
Currently, we have finalized production for the U.S. Made rugged strap, and we have the redesigned U.S. Made prototypes of the four different buckles. All versions are based off the simplest buckle of the four: this is what we call the Base Buckle. It comes in two material options: stainless steel for high resilience and industrial strength protection, or a sleek matte black version made from a proprietary hybrid polymer mix.
From that survival Base Buckle, we have developed prototypes of 3 different buckle types: one with a fire starter, one with a multi-tool + fire starter, and one with a fire starter, multi-tool, and GPS. Bringing these prototypes to market is exactly why we're here on Kickstarter. At the bottom of this page is a section called SLIDE WITH US, where we detail the logistics and R&D tasks required to bring our products to mass-production, without sacrificing our iron-clad design priorities.
Our team is unique, in that we don't sacrifice simplicity and style, for the sake of shareholders --- we loathe cheaply made products, or anything created purely for the sake of making a profit. Yes, part of it is about making money. But we love what we do because we love what we make, and the challenges that come with it. Our iron-clad design priorities for this project are very straightforward:
Simplicity > Durability > Made in U.S. > Style > Features
If adding features impedes the durability or simplicity of a product, we don't do it. We are happy to say that the Survival SlideBelt has successfully met our criteria, in all variations.
As the campaign grows to each goal, "THE HUNTER" and "THE EXPLORER" buckles will become available as upgrades -- the backer paying the pledge difference. Additional rewards will be created, identical as the current ones, except it will be specifically for that new buckle option. The backer can then choose to upgrade or stay with "THE SURVIVOR" buckle option.
But before going anywhere, you should understand how the Base Buckle works. A small tab in the buckle engages with "teeth" on the bottom of the strap, similar to how a zip tie functions. That allows for 30 distinct size positions at 1/4" intervals. No holes means no wear & tear on an innocent piece of leather.
To loosen or release the belt, just lift up on the lever and pull the strap out.
The concept of a belt without holes has been around for longer than you might think. In many countries in Eastern Europe and Asia, holeless belts are somewhat common. They've also been gaining traction in various military outfits all over the world since the eighties. However, their popularity in North America as a fashion accessory is a somewhat new development.
As one of the front-runners establishing these belts in North America, we were very excited to get started. However, we think it's lazy and dishonest to rely solely on novelty to sell a product. We wanted to make something that was our own uniquely improved design. The prevalent version of the ratchet belt had a few issues, including:
a) An unreliable mechanism that jammed and/or slipped
b) A heavy and bulky buckle
c) An obtrusive release lever poked into your stomach
We've been continuously improving our SlideBelts buckle mechanism for the 6 years that we've been in business. We never want to fall into the trap of "good enough." The Survival SlideBelt is simply a larger step towards a better belt.
Our current generation of belt is a great design, but we wanted to adapt both the buckle and strap into an entirely new model specifically built to face extreme conditions.
The material that we are using for this new belt strap is manufactured by an excellent company in the United States. They have a great deal of experience making products where reliability and durability are critical. We have worked closely with them to develop our current prototypes, and we have successfully tested & improved the material to meet our own expectations. Imagine a webbing material, coated in Superman's sweat:
Since this belt is meant to endure punishment, we wanted to make sure that the strap would be up to the task.
We've worked hard to drastically improve the manufacturing process of our strap, without losing the option to produce it in long rolls. Once the Kickstarter project is complete, we plan to offer additional lengths of the strap for utility purposes. If you need twenty feet of a nearly indestructible strap, we want you to be covered.
If standard, then we laser cut it to the proper length, and then fit it to the buckle. Buckles and straps are interchangeable. If buying by the roll, the options are endless: keep them in your truck storage, pull them out in an emergency and use it with your own belt buckle.
It's tough, versatile, and very light. It almost seems a shame to use it only for belts.
There are five different styles of strap to choose from:
1. The full length of the strap without the buckle is 50 inches for individual belts.
2. Additional lengths are available depending on the reward level.
1. All straps are 1.25 inches wide.
We are uniquely suited to achieve this wearable tech feat.
We have a history of success, YOU get to be part of our next innovation.
The graph above speaks for itself, but we are fans of clarity. If anything still isn't clear, or you have additional questions not covered on this page, please do not hesitate to contact us. We've tried to give everyone the product they want, without making the options process too complex or overwhelming the average backer with too many details about the product. As this Kickstarter campaign progresses, we will keep adding to our FAQ at the bottom of this page -- so if you are looking for more info about the technology used or materials sourced, you will likely find it in the FAQ in due time.
Originally, we thought of simply upgrading the buckle as goals were hit --- but we decided that having different buckles to choose from was the best scenario. Why? Because some people want a rugged belt without a mult-tool or a fire starter. Or some don't like the idea of a GPS on their buckle. So consequently, we will have 4 buckle choices. We want survival to be as customized and comfortable for you as possible.
We need your backing to help fund production. We have worked hard on bringing our vision to reality, but we need funds to follow through properly with this project. We're not looking for "good enough." We're looking for "the best it can be."
Specifically, your money will go towards:
1. R&D. We want to research, source, and test our materials rigorously.
2. Production. Purchasing high quality raw proprietary materials from U.S. factories isn't cheap, but we're determined to do so.
3. Logistics. Distribution and other associated costs.
Wearers will rely on this belt to hold up under a wide variety of harsh conditions. That requires unwavering attention to quality, with no afterthoughts or cut corners. We want to build something that you can be proud to fund and we can be proud to provide.
If you're interested in our products and want to see more of what we're all about, please feel free to hit us up on any of our social media outlets.
Risks and challenges
With any new endeavor, there's always a degree of uncertainty. This is the first time that we've tackled a product in the "tactical/outdoors" category. In order to do so, we'll need to work with new partners, materials, and manufacturing processes. It would be irresponsible to say that we've foreseen every problem that could arise. However, we've done our homework and are confident that we can meet this challenge. We're not uncomfortable or unfamiliar with the difficulties that come with cutting into a new niche. With your support, we will persevere and see this project through.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
LOVE IT! I can't wait to wear one. Is the 2015 delivery date a typo? Did you mean Nov. 2014? I don't mind the longer wait, I am just curious.
Great question on the timetable. No, it is not a typo --- it is indeed set at 2015. As we came to that date, we did our best to factor in every task ahead of us, in addition to any possible problems or delays that we could experience during the testing & production phases --- and Nov 2015 was the latest possible date we calculated. It is safe. Will it arrive earlier? Most likely. Will it arrive a year early? No, unfortunately not. There are still hurdles, as outlined in the project description. But I'm with you -- I want one in hand just as bad! We are working as fast and efficiently as possible, while still running a regular business, and will deliver these products without cutting any corners. Great to see some awesome supporters and backers this early in the campaign. THANK YOU!
I love "THE HUNTER" buckle! Great idea. Quick question, why is does the multi-tool look a little different in the video compared to some of the pictures?
Our kickstarter video was a decent sized project --- which is a testament to our devotion to quality and details. Because the video did take some time to plan, film, and produce, once our kickstarter launched we had already made improvements to various designs and prototypes. In this specific example, the older designs of "The Hunter" weren't as survival-oriented as we wanted -- plus it could be labeled as too dangerous -- so the far superior multi-tool replaced our old design that you see in the video.
We move really fast at SlideBelts, and we are able to do that because of the small size of the company -- we can be nimble and make improvements without tons of corporate red tape. The drawback is that sometimes digital media can't keep up with us and reflect where we're really at. TL;DR - we improved the design during the project and we didn't want to re-film.
Emergency tracking is key to a survival device. True, a GPS navigational screen would be cool on a buckle, but it just isn't something we'd like to tackle right now. What we want to tackle is simple, last resort, emergency tracking -- with a long battery life, mobility, and 100% satellite technology. Ten years ago, that would have been hard to find a manufacturer to partner with us to integrate the technology into a buckle. But we found just the source for our satellite transmitter from a company who shares our ideals and can give us: global coverage, low power consumption, and reliability through multiple transmissions.
The size of the transmitter on the buckle is 28.70mm x 20.57mm, with an overall thickness of 4.13mm. There are ACTIVE, SLEEP, and STANDBY modes. Since this will allow transmitting well beyond the reach of reliable cellular coverage around the globe, the satellite network that we will use will likely require a very small monthly fee (somewhere around $5-$9 a month). But that will include various tracking methods and alert modes, and most importantly: reliability. You can be certain that we won't be adding anything superfluous or add unnecessary charges. SIMPLE & USEFUL is the key here, and in order for something to be USEFUL, it must be rugged and reliable.
The GPS setup would be accessed simply by heading to a specified URL, following onscreen instructions to enable/disable specific features of the tracker, including low-battery alerts, movement alerts, tracking, and dock mode. Notifications are sent via email and text, and tracking can be viewed from the specified URL or app.
As of now, the GPS is powered by 4 AAA batteries with a battery life of approximately 3 months. However, we are already considering alternative rechargeable methods, but it affects the water resistance of the buckle, which is important to us. If we solve that problem, and a couple others, then we won't cross off the rechargeable battery from our list.
More on the GPS as we approach that stretch goal. Thanks folks!
If the stretch goals are met, how much will it cost to upgrade my pledge to the stretch goals buckles (THE HUNTER or THE EXPLORER)?
THE HUNTER BUCKLE is now available! We have added new reward levels that include the pledge difference for upgrading to THE HUNTER Buckle. If necessary, please see update #6 for instructions about how to "Manage Your Pledge."
Once our Kickstarter project has ended and before we ship out the belts in 2015, SlideBelts will reach out to you confirming which buckle(s) (Stainless Steel or Matte Black) and which color strap(s) (Classic Brown, Desert Tan, Forest Green, Black, or Olive Drab) you want to receive. For the early backers, we will also discuss potential upgrade options. The full length of the strap without the buckle is 50 inches for individual belts. You will be able to trim the strap length (up to a 50 inch waist) to your size. A pair of heavier duty snips or shears are best for trimming the length of the strap. Detailed instructions for trimming one's belt will be included with your reward.
As we move closer to our stretch goals, we’ll evaluate if additional options can be integrated without sacrificing the simplicity and usefulness of the belt. Please continue to share in the comments or message us regarding additional features you’d like to see. I cannot promise they will be incorporated into the belt, but I value the feedback from our community of backers to help assess including other potential features!
I love how enthusiastic so many backers have been about receiving additional straps and buckles! We would love to tailor individual rewards to each backer, however realistically, to ensure we can deliver to all of our backers, we have to limit our rewards to the one’s described in each reward level.
Your Survival Belt is built for a lifetime of satisfaction. I proudly stand behind the design and the materials of our Survival Belts so we warranty each Survival Belt against defects in the materials and the workmanship for 100 years. If, for some reason, your belt does not live up to this standard, you can contact us and we will take care of you. Once the Kickstarter project ends and before we ship out the belts in 2015, we will communicate further details about returns and exchanges to our backers.
All you need to do is change your existing pledge amount to the amount that reflects multiple reward levels. For instance, if you wish to receive 2 belts, it would be best to increase your current pledge to the total (including shipping, if necessary) that reflects what reward levels you wish to receive.
e.g. You want a second SURVIVOR belt and you are an early backer. You would change your existing pledge from $79 to $158 if all rewards are being shipped to the same address within the U.S.
FIRE!!! That is really cool to have a fire starter on a buckle. Super useful! Can you provide any more info about it?
At the time we filmed the video, "THE SURVIVOR" prototype used a flint with metals like steel and soft iron. These metals can be used with hard non-porous types of rock to start a fire. That is what we were going for in the video. However, as we did more research, we found that a premium Ferrocerium fire starter rod was much easier to use in survival scenarios. This technology creates an intense shower of sparks, reaching temperatures over 2,500°F. Also, it can even function in wet conditions. The fire starter rod is rated for 1,000 strikes. We are planning on offering a replacement rod, at an affordable cost, for those who need it. The fire starter will not require stones or rocks to ignite as a striker will be integrated into the buckle.
My next adventure will require air travel on a commercial plane, will I need to check my Survival Belt?
Currently, the prototype has the multi-tool sliding out, using the buckle as the handle. But, we are exploring a redesign so that the multi-tool and the fire starter are removable. We honestly prefer the integrated version, but we are cautious for a few reasons. One of those main reasons are the laws that exist for buckles. In California, and a few other states, they have specific laws (SECTION 20410-20490) regarding how a tool like that is "integral" to the buckle itself. Our prototype does not breach those laws and we are mindful of offering a belt that complies with relevant laws including FAA regulations. To summarize, we are exploring the option of making the multi-tool and fire starter removable where one could place them inside their checked luggage, while still wearing the buckle and strap on a flight.
Any reward tier at or above the Nuclear Winter tier has the custom buckle engraving option.
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