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Thread: Product Review: Boston Leather APX7000XE Radio Holder - Fit Issues

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    Default Product Review: Boston Leather APX7000XE Radio Holder - Fit Issues

    After buying of the Motorola leather holders (which are nice), I was frustrated with how the leather belt loop or the metal swivel D-connection would "snag" on jackets, pockets, belts, etc. With the leather belt loop unit, an option would be to "cut" the leather loop off... but that's "destructive" and non-reversible.

    So I decided to buy one of the Boston Leather 5612 units. What appealed to me on this holder was it didn't have any loop on the back... meaning, it's only meant to be used with a radio strap as opposed to the Motorola units (which have D-rings) can be used for either a strap or on your belt. Well, I only wanted one for my radio strap. Another factor that was appealing was that it was advertised as not requiring the belt clip (for Model 1.5 7000XE's) to be remove prior to inserting the radio into the holder. Removing the clip usually requires a screwdriver or long sharp object to pry up the clip locking mechanism.

    Upon receiving the Boston Leather 5612 (which I ordered for $28 from an online authorized reseller site called "The Fire Store", I was upset to find many issues with the fit on this holder.
    Many issues with this Boston Leather product (their straps are top-notch, but this holder was not). I've summarized below and then provided detailed photos and description on the issues.

    I even contacted Boston Leather and have been in communication with someone over there who I send a video depicting all the issues outlined below in the photos. He indicated that they might get back to me on whether or not they would redesign the case and was willing to send me a prototype for review. I never heard anything back and when I pinged him again, he said that they have many other satisfied customers who haven't complained and would probably not redesign the case.

    To quickly summarize the issues:
    • When they say "removal of belt clip not required", that's a true statement, but you need to use the XE Model 1.5 belt clip...not the standard NTN8266B belt clip. The XE clip is larger and protrudes further out.
    • The leather on this holder is "hard" and not very malleable. As such, it doesn't "confirm" easily and feels quite "bulky". Don't get me wrong, the leather is nice, but it seems like it's "dry" and has "sharp" corners/edges.
    • The D-rings are nice and large, but easily rub against the side of the XE control top...and can literally "scuff it up" and chew away at the plastic.


    Detailed fit issues below. Sorry for the 17 photos, but I'm hoping those of you who also own this holder and are not happy with it will reach out to Boston Leather and voice your concerns as well. Maybe if they hear more from other people, they might reconsider.

    Front and back of holder
    1.JPG2.JPG

    Here's the two clips... XE clip on left. Standard NTN8266B clip on right.
    4.JPG

    For starters, when the radio is inserted, the XE control top will sit rather flush against the top of the holder rim. A generally good fit here...contoured well.
    5.JPG

    However, on the side, the leather "bridge" covers the top portion of the PTT button. This wasn't a big issue, really...as the XE RSM PTT will primarily be used when the radio is in the holder.
    Also note the speaker grill slots on the holder doesn't line up with the speaker grill. Again, not an issue.. the XE RSM speaker will be used.
    6.JPG7.JPG

    If you take the radio out and "face it" to the holder and line up where the top of the holder "rim" will fit just under the XE control top, you'll clearly see a large gap that would remain under the radio batter. It's bout 3/4 of an inch.
    8.JPG


    If you move the radio down to where it would rest against the bottom of the holder (taking into account the thickness of the bottom leather base), you can see where the top rim of the holder then extends beyond (and around) the XE control top.
    9.JPG


    Unbuckling the snap and "shoving" the radio further down into the holder (which is a snug fit), you can see the holder going "around" the XE control top. This may often require additionally pulling the back "corners" out and away from the radio to facilitate the radio going further down into the holder.
    Here lies the largest problem with this holder... when you seat the radio ALL the way down in the holder and it protrudes over and around the edge of the XE control top, the retaining snap will NOT BUCKLE. It simply will not reach around. The only way for it to buckle is to pull the radio out of the holder by about 3/4 inch. This then leads back to the original issue of the "gap" at the bottom, poor fit around the PTT button and speaker grill (both not big issues, but it just looks odd and doesn't give you a sense of quality "fit and finish" on this product.
    11.JPG10.JPG

    In shoving the radio further down if you have the XE belt clip on the radio, you'll also have to pull the back of the holder away from the radio top guide it into the "slot" of the XE belt clip (see the third photo above).
    14.JPG

    Meanwhile on the accessory port side, all is good as there's plenty of room...no leather bridge.
    13.JPG

    With the radio shoved all the way down into the holder, the leather bridge on the PTT side still doesn't have a good fit. Again, not an issue as the XE RSM will be utilized for this. But access to the top side button may be partially obstructed.
    12.JPG

    And with the Model 1.5 XE clip on, it pulls the case away from the radio... a good thing... here's why...if you have a Model 3.5 radio, the two "rivets" on the inside will easily rest against, scratch, and gouge, the display! Basically, don't use the Mode 3.5 if you don't want to mangle your display.
    15.JPG3.JPG16.JPG 17.JPG



    If any of you want to voice the same concern to Boston Leather, please email them at info@bostonleather.com.


  2. #2
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    Wow, you really went all out on this review. Thanks for taking the time to be so thorough. We will be evaluating leather holsters for out 6000XEs soon, and this information helps.

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    Great write up!

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    The part that surprised me was that Boston Leather indicated they have sold many of these holders (thousands) and nobody has complained. I'm finding that hard to believe. Do agencies just not care about the fit issues of the new radios that cost several thousand dollars? It's like covering a Ferrari with a tarp for a car cover.

  5. #5
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    Many radio holsters are designed to work WITHOUT a belt clip of any kind attached to the radio; this is true of many manufacturers and applied to both leather and nylon holsters. This make a certain amount of sense, as if they allowed the extra room (especially on larger/bulkier clips), the radio fit would be sloppy when used with no clip attached. That said, the overall cut of the case in relation to the PTT cut out etc. is very poor. I am surprised to see this come out of Boston Leather, as they usually do a bang up job. I think that part of the problem on this particular radio model is the shape of the radio?? It looks quite challenging, as most radios are pretty straight line. I would think that of enough people with these radios were to complain, Boston would most likely address the issue further. My former partner (who is also a retried police officer) does custom leather holsters for firearms. His business is booming, as many of the larger commercial manufacturers simply will not product holster for a lot of guns, especially when you get into laser sights and other options mounted on some of the weapons. He does everything by hand, one-by-one, and hasn't come across anything that he can't holster. If you (or anyone) is interested, please PM me and I will give you his contact info. The way he does things is once he has a 'new' item to design a leather holster for, he takes the item, designs the holster, and retains the pattern so he can fire them off for anyone else looking for the same thing. So, he would probably need a radio from someone for a day or two for the initial design, then after that would have the pattern. Hope this helps!