Kydex or plastic stiffened belts


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blusteel7
March 27, 2010, 11:06 AM
It seems that from reviews, the 2-ply leather belts without sandwiched stiffeners are preferred. I wonder if the cheaper kydex stiffened belts such as those from Looper or 511 have problems with the inner stiffener breaking from flexing at the point of contact with buckle tongue and frame. I would be interested to see members' experience with plastic stiffened belts. It seems that constant bending to fasten the belts might eventually break the stiffener.

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Jim Watson
March 27, 2010, 11:12 AM
The stiffener in the (few) belts I have seen did not extend into the end section engaged by the buckle.

average_shooter
March 27, 2010, 11:15 AM
I may be wrong, but I believe that the stiffener is only sewn into part of the belt and not where the buckle or holes are punched. Also, in belts like the "Wilderness Belt" I would think having full-length plastic stiffener would not allow for the webbing to be doubled over as is required to fasten the belt.

blusteel7
March 27, 2010, 02:07 PM
Thanks for the responses. I have not seen any of these belts other than in photos but it's probably logical to stop the stiffener short of the punched section. From the photos of the 511 belt, it looks like the leather passes pretty straight through the channel in the front of the buckle without much deflection.

230therapy
March 27, 2010, 02:23 PM
I really like my Comp-Tac kydex reinforced belt. The kydex assists in holding up heavier guns...my back appreciates this.

David E
March 28, 2010, 09:48 PM
Looper extends their kydex thru the belt holes. I've advised them not to do this, as it does break the kydex at that point. They tell me it doesn't really create a problem and that cutting the kydex short of the holes does create a problem. I can't recall what it allegedly is, tho.

I like the belts from www.concealedcarry.com They are double thick where the gear is, but tapers to a single thickness up front. This allows it to lay flat and you don't feel like you're wearing a weight lifters belt.

Tell them code "DE-04" and they'll ship it free. Check out their CCW vests, too. I like their tropic weight, myself.

Mikhail Weiss
March 29, 2010, 05:31 PM
I wonder if the cheaper kydex stiffened belts such as those from Looper or 511 have problems with the inner stiffener breaking from flexing at the point of contact with buckle tongue and frame.

I don't have a Looper or 511 belt of this kind, but I do have one from Bulman Gunleather, the UGBS, that I've had for a handful of years. As Jim Watson pointed out, the stiffener does not extend into the end where the buckle is attached, stopping about in therefrom, but it certainly otherwise extends the length of the belt, has holes punched in it, and seems every bit as stiff as the first day I put it on. Excellent belt. Excellent workmanship.

I imagine the same basic scheme of construction is used in similar belts by Looper and others, and if that's the case, I can't imagine it presenting a problem.

Link: http://www.bulmangunleather.com/belts.html

Mikhail Weiss
March 29, 2010, 05:39 PM
P.S.

I missed David E's post, above, about kydex breaking where punctured. Now I'm curious about his experience with such breakage. How long till the kydex breaks? What happens when it does?

hankdatank1362
March 29, 2010, 05:44 PM
I have a 5.11 belt with the kydex stiffener, and yes, it does extend through all of the holes, and yes, it is broken at the hole I wear it most frequently at. While it is very floppy at that one point, it doesn't affect the carry of a holster or the rigidity of the belt at all one it is fastened and on my person.

blusteel7
March 29, 2010, 06:03 PM
Interesting. I have only used single ply 1.5" belts but they are stiff and work well for me. I would guess any dual ply belt wheather 2 layers of leather or with plastic sandwiched between layers, would last longer if never bent past 90 degrees. The dual layers might bend at different arcs and somehow separate but maybe it's not an issue.

jonboynumba1
March 29, 2010, 06:21 PM
I wear a wilderness frequent flyer with the stiffener (CSM option) it stops a couple inches if that from the buckle/rings area and just after the female side of velcro on the other end so there is no fold-over/stressing of the stiffener from that. There are a LOT of great belts out there...for the money and way they last wilderness is the original and best of the instructor type belts...I buy from them because they are the best and great to deal with (and my fat arse now needs a custom size anyway and they usually have one ready for me when I need it or make it so fast it seems like it) Midway sells a cheap uncle mikes copy for like $25-30 with a CSM that is actually pretty decent on a budget. I have a bud who's worn my old one for like 5 years now (is getting new velcro sewn on again! right now!) My wife has one because I wasn't sure if she'd like that style...now that she knows what she wants we'll order her the real deal next time. I believe in buying quallity when possible and trying to buy from innovators rather than immitators...plus like I said...they have always been great to deal with! You can get a HUMAN on the phone and ask questions if you need to.

atomd
March 29, 2010, 06:58 PM
I have a regular one from The Wilderness that has the insert in it. It stops before the buckle area so there's no issues there. Mine is pretty new but so far it appears to be much better than the 5.11 instructor belt that I had. My 5.11 instructor belt frayed at the end. This one is dipped in a resin to prevent that. We'll see how it holds up. It's stiffer than the 5.11 but not uncomfortable at all. Based on my experience so far I would highly recommend it. The 5.11 is a 5 stitch design but I prefer the stiffness of the Wilderness CSM model over it.

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