I know this is an old discussion, and it's not even what I was originally searching for, but I thought I'd throw in my two cents... I just took over radios for my department, and am starting to see a rise in the use of radio straps. Radios are assigned to specific rigs, which means all three shifts use the same radios. Those that use straps will remove the belt clips and external speaker connector cover, and all too often, will not replace the covers or belt clips for those of us who opt not to sling a purse... (I kid, I kid!). For me, this is a pet peeve, and a huge problem, as the radios are infinitely harder to carry without a belt clip, requiring you to either keep them in your hand, or stuff them in a pocket. I also have inherited a box full of broken lapel mics, so there's an added cost to the use of radio straps for the department.
For my own personal solution, specifically on turnouts (For EMS, I just use a belt clip to my pocket, nothing fancy), I have been using a "Gear Keeper" strap on the front of my jacket for nearly 10 years now. It keeps my radio near my ear, with the antenna pointed out/away from my body, and with the button/knobs handy and the mic near my external SCBA mask speaker (on both the Scott I used to use, and the MSA I use now). I swear by it, and although I try to spread the love, I've yet to see a single other firefighter adopt it... I highly recommend it for those of you who don't like keeping the radio shoved in a front pocket, or dealing with straps. the radio pocket has been a most convenient place to keep a hose strap, since I don't have to hear the strap talking to me! =) The Gear Keeper is just a velcro strap that slides through the belt clip and over the speaker, but I've never had issues with hearing the radio, and never had the radio become displaced or accidentally key up on me (at least not because of the strap...)
I am on the channel befor exiting the rig....what if there is a RIT activation and the operating units have to change to clear the air for the rescue??? What if we have to change to a "talk around" frequency becuase the building interferes with radio traffic?? All impossible in the pocket and not hard at all in the strap configuration under the coat.
As for the pocket being to small....I have no control over the gear specs thats handled at a higher level and within an R and D work group.....there is about a 10 year waiting list to get on this group. I cant just go and replace my pocket cuase that would be damaging county property and adding an unapproved change to county property both of which are fireable actions.
Fairfax County Report on radio straps should well-arm you for this.