The Wilderness Tactical Instructor Belt & Safepacker


Zak Smith
December 31, 2002, 11:22 AM
Here's a report I wrote when I first got my Instructor belt, 28-Aug-2001. In the interest of populating THR with information:

I received today my Wilderness Tactical belt. It's the 36" long, 1.5" wide 5-stich version. The belt consists of two layers of nylon webbing, sewed together 5 stiches that goes lengthwise down the belt. Each layer is 0.09" thick, making the body of the belt about 0.175" thick. The buckle operates like a cinch strap in that you pull the belt through a U shape and it tightens on itself. The part of the belt that goes through the buckle is only one layer.

The belt can be worn either way, but assuming that buckle is on the left "half" at 12 o'clock: the buckle is affixed to the left side of the belt by the loop of webbing that makes up the end of the two halves folded together. It is "open" (not sewed together) for about 2". At around 11 o'clock, they are sewed together with the square-X pattern seat belts use. From there around the back to around 3 o'clock is just the two layers sewed together. At 3 o'clock to 12oc is a layer of "loop" velcro. At about 12:30oc, the two layers merge down to one. At the size of the belt (e.g. 36"), the single layer enters the buckle immediately. The last 3" of the belt has "hook" velcro. Once the single layer is threaded through the buckle, the vecro affixes the extra end back onto the belt.

The 36" belt can probably fit up to 3" with full vecro contact, and probably another 1-2" if all the velcro is not in contact.

This belt seems comfortable for everyday wear. Within the range, it is "inifinitely" adjustable. It is a tight fit through some 1.5" belt loops and holster loops, but provides a very comfortable platform for an OWB or IWB holster. The adjustability lets you get the tension just right, making it much better than my 1.5" thick leather gunbelt. The belt is designed so that an carabiner can be connected to the buckle to "rope up". It has a tensile strength of 8075 lbs.

Price is $35 for the model I got. The 3-stich version is a bit less stiff vertically, $30. They also have a 1.75" wide version, but I think that is too wide for most pants.

So far, I highly recommend this belt. If my experience in the next couple weeks changes my impression, I will send an update.

And my first impressions of the "Safepacker" holster:

The other thing I got was a "Safepacker" from the same company. It is designed to be a backcountry holster. It fully encloses the pistol, but is easy to open. It has a belt loop that will accomodate up to about a 2.5" belt. It also has two plastic D-rings so it can be slung, and a top adjustable hand-strap. It is made of several layers of cordura with padding enclosed. The outside dimensions of the "Officers Model" (fits a Glock 19/23/32) are 7.5" high by 7" wide. The front edge has heavy duty velcro from the top down to about 1.5" above the bottom edge. The top is a flap that goes down to about 1" above the bottom edge. It is held shut by a fastex buckle. The inside of the holster is stiched together in the center from the bottom up about 1". This is to keep the muzle of the pistol in the forward position. Parallel to the slide in the rear, undernear the grip, can fit a spare magazine. To draw, you simply undo the fastex squeeze buckle with your right hand and reach in. The forward strip of velcro comes undone as you draw and the pistol is free as you pull up.

Even if the velcro on the front edge becomes undone, as long as the top is closed, the pistol cannot fall out, since the pistol's muzzle is held in place by the corner (no velcro on the bottom 1.5"), and the pistol would have rotate to fall out. The grip is held in place from doing this by the top flap.

This seems like a really good way to carry a pistol in the backcountry. The pistol is protected, it is concealed, it is accessible. It could easily be attached to a pack in a useful way.

It is also a way to do off-body carry in a non-wilderness environment (eg: car?). It is a proper holster in the sense that it protects the trigger. It is safe to carry a loaded-chamber Glock in this pack.

The safepacker is $50.

Update 12-31-2002: I've worn the belt every day since then - 'nuff said. It's great for CCW, shooting matches, or just keepin' your pants up. 5-stiches is not too stiff. Some of the finish of the buckle has come off where the two pieces contact, and also were I've scratched it on cement (woops). There is some abrasion on the lower edge of the belt where it comes out of the buckle and onto the velcro, but it's still 100% functional. The velcro is still going strong, though the hooks are filled with misc. fuzz and string.

The Safepacker does duty holding my "nightstand gun", and also doubles as a pistol case for taking them to the range.


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January 1, 2003, 11:39 AM
Thanks for posting this information. I have been considering a safepacker for a while and found your post helpful. Does anyone have any experience using a safepacker with Wilderness's runner's pack?


January 17, 2003, 10:00 AM
Excellent holster/pack. I've had three, now two, as I sold my smaller 1911.

This is great for traveling, backpacking, storing, and most of all, concealing that you have a pistol without revealing exactly what you have. It looks like a ballistic carry bag for a PDA or small computer, daytimer, etc.

The Safepacker is built tough and most of all, it's one heck of useful holster if you are in the woods or backcountry. I wouldn't think of carrying my HK USPc 9mm in anything else in the mountains or backcountry. While traveling, it's on the seat next to me. The Safepacker also fits well in a backpack, on the pack or in a small travel duffle bag. I can't say enough good things about the Safepacker.

I'm looking for a belt and might consider the Instructor's belt in five stitch and 1.5 inch width. Good luck.

January 21, 2003, 12:45 AM
I just ordered one the other day, I'm anxious to see if I can adapt it to my Camelbak while mtn biking. I ordered the Officers model, to fit my Sig 239. I'll report my feelings about it when I've had it for a while.

Zak Smith
January 21, 2003, 12:52 AM
One nice thing about the Safepacker is that it can be adapted to fix on a pack and still allow quick access. Try running the bottom of one of your shoulder straps through it, or the pack's belt. You can also rig up the D-rings with some para cord to another point on your pack.


December 24, 2006, 01:17 AM
I have had a Safepacker for a couple of years now and love mine. It does work well as a case for going to the range; but if you can CCW, why bother? If you open it up, the top flap can go between the mattress and the box spring creating a holster for your bed. I have the shoulder strap also and when it is shorts and t-shirt weather I wear the thing like a purse. Why should I care what people think? If they knew what was in it, they wouldn't laugh. I attach it to my rucksack when I go backpacking (although it is not waterproof). I also tuck the sling back through the velcro flap making a loop on either side, then I put my arms through the loops so I can wear the thing on my back when I go running. The top flap has a pocket in it with enough room for keys and cards (including your concealed carry license). It even has a carrying handle on top so you can tote it like a little attache case. These things are crazy versatile. It can't be your only holster, a good leather paddle holster should be your bread-and-butter carry option, but the Safepacker will cover every other carry scenario and then some.

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