All-purpose, high-quality belt


June 3, 2013, 10:04 AM
It seems like there are more belt-makers out there than you can shake a stick at, and they come in all shades of quality and price. I try to consult google as much as possible before I post questions here, but I'm looking for advice on a new belt. Basically I want something that most of the time will just be a pants belt, but will be stout and sturdy enough to carry a full sized gun OWB on a hip holster.

The trouble I run into with belts is that I'm all gut and no hips, and I wear my belt just under my gut so I have to wear it tight. Most belts I've tried so far end up warping badly over time - cupping outward at the top and bottom all the way around, and the small-of-back section bows downward - but then again I've never really invested in a true, high-quality belt. The carhartt belt I have now lasted 6 months or so before it started to warp and sag; I still wear it, but when I strap a holster on it I have to keep tugging the waist of my pants upward.

This belt from comp-tac seems like it might be what I need, but any experienced OC'ers might be able to offer additional insight:

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June 3, 2013, 10:10 AM
A lot of people have this problem. The old line, "Be wary of the man who wears suspenders with a belt," comes to mind. I think that the belt in the link you posted is going to be as good as it gets (though surely there are other belts that would fit the bill). I think suspenders are the answer to your question. I've always thought they compliment a big gut quite well :D

June 3, 2013, 11:21 AM
I'm pretty fond of the Wilderness Tactical Instructor belt. Not dressy at all, but I don't know if you need that. Very stiff and it's nylon, so it won't warp. I use it for everyday as well as OC'ing.

June 3, 2013, 12:17 PM
I have one almost exactly like the Wilderness made by Uncle Mike's. I wear it often. Holds a holster up sturdy as it is plenty stiff and won't sag. Also velcros after you tighten it so it'll keep any pants up easily.

June 3, 2013, 12:52 PM
Most holster makers will make you a belt, so if you have a favorite holster maker, you could try them. You would get the best fit with their belt and holster together.

Some of the better know belt makers on the "net" are

A&G Custom Leather

The Beltman

Armour Belts

June 3, 2013, 01:22 PM
Snap-On tools makes 1/4 inch thick and 1 1/4 wide leather belt with a Velcro attachment apparatus. You can bend, move, run and do squats and the Velcro won't matter the gut size. Since it's Velcro (or hook and loop if you prefer) you can micro adjust for weird sizes.

June 3, 2013, 03:52 PM
Best belt I've used to date, is an Ares Ranger....

June 3, 2013, 06:57 PM
I love my mitch rosen express line belt. I have had it almost 8 years and NO signs of wear. I used to OC an HK USP full size while wearing this belt and never felt it sag or droop.

June 3, 2013, 08:43 PM
I have 6 Liger belts sold by Maxpedition . They are 1.5" wide with a forged aluminum buckle of various hues. My oldest is 7 years old. With daily wear none have worn out yet. They support any weight pistol and a speed loader and flashlight with out rolling. With a proper fitting Kydex holster they are IMHO the best rig there is on the planet.

June 3, 2013, 09:16 PM
I have these in black and brown--they work very well and might outlive me. Be aware that they will not fit through some belt loops and will be tight in even some jeans loops. That's part of the reason why they work so well.

June 6, 2013, 04:28 PM
I just picked up a Bullhide Belt for my daily carry. I wear Docker's type pants, and the holster/mag pouch dragging on them wore hell out of belts until I got this one.

Only issue I have had is the overlapping "tail" of the belt makes it too think for the mag pouch to sit where I am used to it, so you might have to change your carry style if you go to a thicker, heavy-duty belt.

June 6, 2013, 04:51 PM
I use the Beltman Belts for both dress and carry needs. I get the 7 holes on 3/4" centers rather than the 5 hole on 1" centers as they adjust better when carrying IWB holsters as well as OWB holsters. They also look as good as any dress belt and I've had about 5 of them for about 20 years now.

June 6, 2013, 05:20 PM
I agree with JTQ that AG Custom Gun Leather is a fine first choice.
Al Childress is very cordial, and really knows his business. I bought two belts (brown and black) made of horsehide. I'm wearing one of them now and use them exclusively for CC. I bought 1-1/2" wide; a 1-1/4" (from another source) did not provide as good support. Horsehide is stiff, and is probably the best choice of materials.

Contact Al-- you won't regret it.

June 6, 2013, 05:34 PM
I've been wearing a Crossbreed 1 1/2" leather belt for a few years. Good belt.

I also have a couple Wilderness 5 stitch Instructors belts. They work pretty well too, but I prefer leather.


June 6, 2013, 05:41 PM
Galco cop belt. I think I paid about $60 back in 2007. Been wearing it everyday since.

June 6, 2013, 05:49 PM
I have two of the wilderness 5 stitch belts one is the regular anyone is the frequent flyer. I'm a big guy 6'0 260 and this belt doesn't bend at all, and I wear mine tight. I can't speak for the ones with the polymer layer I don't think it's worth it. Wilderness tactical 5 stitch in the color of your choice is my recommendation.

June 6, 2013, 10:15 PM
I bought a $32.00 belt at Kohls, it was a pretty thick belt, it looked like it would do the job. I thought "could there be that big of a difference between a 30 dollar belt and one of those expensive 100 dollar 'gun belts'?" And too - it wasn't like I was going to be carrying a Desert Eagle around...

Well I had it one week before the buckle broke - looking at the break, it looks like ZAMAK to me.

So I'm going to get a refund on the thing and put it toward a purchase of a real gun belt...

Lesson learned.

June 8, 2013, 12:53 PM
I have not found a gun belt that does not warp. But they all warp to my rotund shape so arguably they fit better after warping!

June 9, 2013, 02:07 PM
I've been perfectly happy with the 5.11 instructor belts. They aren't that thick but I've had no issues and they are very comfortable. I use a 1 3/4 inch belt for daily wear and carry. I also have another for a duty belt for work (corrections) and a 1 1/2 inch belt as my under belt for work. I've tried thicker belts but I find holster selection much more important than belt selection. A really good belt will make up for a less than ideal holster design but a good holster design takes care of most problems with your belt.

I carry my 3913 in a Theis hybrid holster and my M&P compact in a Peters Custom Hold Fast Holster.

June 11, 2013, 05:06 PM
One thing to consider is belt width...I took a course using a 1.5" belt (Wilderness style) so had a fair amount of weight on my hips, and ended up pretty sore with all the pressure it caused. I had thrown a small shop 1-3/4" belt (also a wilderness style) in my case at the last minute since it had shown up a day before I was leaving for the class, and I found it MUCH more comfortable. Been using 1-3/4" ever since with great success, especially when I'm carrying a heavier load on it, or in my pockets.

June 11, 2013, 05:16 PM
I wear a kirtpatric pistol belt that I found in the blackpowder section at Cabelas. Realwide but it fits all my holsters (so far) and its a quarter inch thick. It only cost me something like 20 bucks. The one I have is Tan but if I wanted black I have some leather dye. I have been wearing it on a daily basis for more than a year now with no issues at all. No cupping or cracking.

June 11, 2013, 07:20 PM
Another vote for 5.11. Many choices of width, thickness, stiffness and great prices (I think I paid $20). I don't remember which one I bought but I have been very happy with it so far after 6months.

June 12, 2013, 09:20 AM
Whatever you buy, I would lean towards getting one with 7 holes spaced 3/4" apart. It allows you the ability to finely adjust to compensate for gun weight. You will probably have to go to a custom maker for this.

June 12, 2013, 09:33 AM
Aker belts out of San Diego. Just got it a few weeks ago. Has the Kydex sewn between the layers of leather. $53 including shipping. Well made, holds the holster perfectly. Nothing but good things to say so far.

June 12, 2013, 11:04 AM
i use a blackhawk instructors belt. its been fantastic. The kydex in the sides really helps support the holster and makes iwb and owb carry much better/easier.

June 12, 2013, 11:14 AM
I've been wearing an Ariat belt for the last 3-4 years or so and also wear my OWB holsters with it. I don't see or feel any rolling or warping at all. They are available at almost any western wear store for around $50.00+-. Good belts in my opinion.

June 12, 2013, 09:39 PM
One good thing about the instructors belts is they are infinitely adjustable. There are no holes to line up so you never have a situation where one hole is too tight and the next one is too loose.

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