If you are a person, who carries around a gun through the whole day, you know the feeling all too well – the need to continually pull up your pants because the weight of your firearm on your hip is just too much for your ordinary waistband to take. Not only can it be annoying and uncomfortable, but also very unsafe.
Even worse, you may choose not to bring your firearm with you every day because of how uncomfortable it is, and the day you do that may be the one you need it the most. And comfortability is only the beginning; there are plenty of reasons you must wear a tactical gun belt if you are carrying a gun. In today’s article, we will show you the top competitors on the market today and help you choose the best one for you.
1. Vedder Holsters – Cobra
The first offering on our list is the leather waistband from Vedder Holsters, utilizing a unique and stylish design that will look good not only during a hunt but also in your workspace.
While it has a very good sizing chart, you should know that you need to order it a couple of sizes larger to accommodate the extra features that make it so good for CCW. The Step-down Cobra buckle lets you set your precise belt size and then take it on and off with ease. This Vedder product is made with premium layered nylon webbing and comes with a lifetime warranty.
- This one is so stylish and has such enough design that you can use it no matter what the situation is
- The Cobra quick-release gives it a whole another level of usability, allowing you to remove it in a matter of seconds and use your firearm faster than on most of the others
- While it is not true to size, there is a nice enough sizing table that is choosing the model that is best for you will be as easy as choosing a normal one
- If you prefer OWB carrying, this will be more than pain with the design
- While the waistband itself looks very beautiful and has a nice overall design, the buckle has ugly engravings for dummies on the front and feels much cheaper
2. Relentless Ultimate Concealed
While at first glance, the Relentless Ultimate looks as basic as it gets, almost the same as a normal fashion item, it is durable and rigid enough to carry not only a firearm but two additional magazines on the side.
The item is much slimmer than the other waistbands here, giving it a whole new level of comfort on top of its good looks. Sizing is taken care of with a great drop-down menu that makes choosing a model easy as pie.
While it doesn’t have the usability of the Cobra buckle, this is one of the best belts that can be used both for work and for thrills. This option is made from premium full-grain US leather and is the best-reviewed buckle on Amazon.
- Relentless has a traditional and stylish look to it, giving it more flare than usual while still retaining the rigidity and strength of its brethren, making it a perfect multipurpose waistband
- It is much thinner than other models, so carrying it for a long time will be a lot more comfortable than that of bigger and bulkier models
- The belt has a huge level of pedigree behind it, with some of the highest reviews not only on amazons but on critics’ sites as well
- While the leather is of pretty high quality, the whole item is dyed in one color, so if you sweat a lot and you have light-colored pants, expect some awful results
- The leather itself is very, very sturdy, but the lack of a middle layer between the leather sandwich robs it of some much-needed rigidity
3. Hanks Extreme Concealed
Another genuine leather waistband is the Hanks Extreme, an excellent and popular choice. Made from Amish artisans in the USA, that product offers an amazing level of craftsmanship. What gives its well-known quality and strength is that the whole thing is made out of a single solid piece of full-grain vegetable leather, with no gluing together or compression of scraps.
And it has very standard dimensions, so fitting it on your tactical pants will be effortless. This concealed carry item has enough weight because of the quality leather, giving you a quick and uninterrupted draw. The traditional buckle that is used has Chicago screws, so staying tight during a long day is a given. It is so strong that it won’t sag even if you add an additional ammo bag to it. With their 100-year warranty and the huge variety of colors and designs, all neutral and perfect for any occasion, you’ve got a great product on your hands.
- Hanks Extreme has an amazing level of craftsmanship and is made by Amish artisans, only in the USA, utilizing traditional methods to give it a quality that can hardly be matched
- Unlike other gun waistbands, it is made from a single piece of full-grain genuine leather, so it is even more durable and rigid than some of the models that have a steel core
- It has a standard dimension that will fit almost any tactical or standard pants, and the buckle, while traditional, is enhanced in such a way that it will be better than some Cobra ones
- The outer side of the girdle looks astonishing, but the inner one is neglected and is only an afterthought with its lack of any lining
- For smaller weapons, or for ones that you carry without additional ammo, this will do a good enough job, but for bigger ones, it still lacks additional middle-core reinforcement
4. Blade-Tech Ultimate
The Blade-Tech Ultimate Carry choice is crafted with brown leather that has been treated with a high level of craftsmanship. And not to mention the easy-to-learn adjustment level that will allow for effortless changes on the fly, combined with a ratcheting mechanism for even finer adjustments. When it comes to buckles, this is one of if not the best ones.
Said buckle is silver and very low profile, giving it a very simple and sleek look. We also shouldn’t forget about the Allen wrench and two additional screws to secure the buckle even more if you need them. Tough the wrench is a little bit too small, you probably have some more around your house. Overall, all of these great features are combined into a very reasonably priced package decorated with a beautiful lifetime warranty bow.
- Made out of only the highest quality brown leather, treated with an astonishing level of craftsmanship, not seen very often in its competitors
- There is a bag in the package with two additional screws that allow you to make your buckle even more secure
- It combines all of the features mentioned above into a very reasonably priced package, combined with a very welcomed lifetime warranty
- There are a number of sizing issues, not only with its thickness but also length and wideness
- The additional screws are a great addition on paper, but they are of such low quality that it isn’t even worth it
5. Relentless Ultimate Steel Core
Тhis Relentless option is as simple as it gets. Still, it manages to combine its great customer service with a lifetime warranty, plus an amazing performance out of the surface budget product and a real width of 1.5 inches, not like some other companies.
The heavy-duty build of the product is awesomely combined with its stylish yet simple leather design to make it both a fashion and a CCW waistband. It’s truly multipurpose, as all holster belts should be. This Relentless Steel Core item will help elevate your preparedness to a new level!
- It uses its simple and minimalistic design to its advantage to give it a classic yet modern and stylish look
- Its performance-to-price ratio is greater than that of any other belt, and it is from a well-known USA company on top of that
- It is actually 1.5 inches wide, so being pretty wide, it is big enough for almost any pants and wide and strong enough to support most commonly found guns
- Being very susceptible to body heat, it will stretch more than 1″ inch after only an hour of usage, sagging down the whole holster
- It lacks the quality of its much pricier competitors, and while not present at the start, it will show this with the time
How to choose the best gun belt?
This type of buckle is almost like a normal one… except it isn’t. Some do look like normal ones, but under the surface, you have many different factors that make up the whole picture. To make an informed decision, there are a few factors you need to consider. They are the following:
What are the gun belt basics?
The best gun belt is the one that is strong enough to support not only your concealed carry holster and a firearm but also extra magazines and equipment. It should also be well-centered enough to distribute the weight properly and thus prevent your holster from sagging while still looking good for your daily attire.
While a quality gun holster is an important part of carrying a CCW, a belt that perfectly complements it might be even more essential.
What is sturdiness?
While department store items are made from genuine leather, they are more like particleboard, being constructed from pressed-together leather scraps. This makes them susceptible to breaking down and sagging under more extreme weight for your everyday carry.
While in the old cowboy movies, it may have looked pretty cool for your heavy and powerful pistol to sag down from your belt, indicating that you are a threat. If you want to do concealed carry, this is the last thing that you may want.
With a regular belt, our holster may change its position constantly, messing up your draw procedure, and not to mention that it will point through your clothes, instantly giving away your holster and putting you in even more danger if someone else with a gun notices it first and decides to attack.
Does comfort mean everything?
A high-quality option can distribute its weight pretty well. Thus, it will not only do the things mentioned above, like keeping it from sagging and shifting but also it won’t put pressure on just one spot, preventing any unnecessary back pains and aches.
You should also think about how wide and long the waistband is because while bigger means are more durable and overall better, you should always try to cater to the shape of your own body, not just try to go for the biggest model.
How to match the belt to your gun?
Size is very important regarding the specific gun you will be carrying because some will be made for smaller guns and some for larger ones. If you get the biggest model and try to carry a Measly 380 with it, it will be a little bit overkill for such a small gun.
Your holster clip is made to fit over the belt so that a smaller clip won’t fit on an inch-and-half belt, and an inch-a-half clip will constantly shift if the waistband is smaller.
Nylon or leather?
Like most other types of wearable gear, you typically get to choose between nylon and leather material for your holster.
Leather belts are significantly thicker because they are made from two thick leather outer layers and a middle Kydex or nylon core. Nylon gets its strong nature from the tight weave of its many strings, and some have even been reinforced. If you are carrying a smaller holster, you should choose a lighter and smaller choice, most commonly found on nylon models.
What style should I choose?
While typically, when you are carrying a concealed gun, people won’t be able to see your belt, everyone wants to look good, no matter if only they can see it.
Down in the list, you will find different styles, and you can even buy more than one model, as this is a very subjective thing. Remember that only you can decide which model can look and work best for you. From different colors, buckles, and patterns, you will have a lot to think about. However, design and looks are where your personal preference matters the most!
What is the optimal price range?
Your budget is a very important factor when choosing anything. Like most other products, some budget options offer the same functions as higher-end models and won’t make you spend a large chunk of cash.
Both nylon and leather can be found in cheaper and more expensive variants. Still, most of the time, the more luxurious models are made of leather, while the more budget side is overpopulated with nylon models of varying quality.
What are the main types of gun belts?
Concealed carry holster waistbands have not only many cosmetic styles but also many different functional styles, and they are determined by three major categories – material, buckles, and enchantments. And while we have already looked at the big debate between leather and nylon, down below, we will look at what kind of buckles and enchantments you can encounter when choosing a waistband.
What kind of buckles are there?
While there are many different-looking buckles on the gun and tactical belts, we can distill them into four categories: traditional, slide, track, and cobra.
- Traditional – most commonly found on leather models, is just a prong that goes into the hole on your waistband that suits you. You don’t have to worry about it loosening up, and overall it’s a simple but effective choice that does its job pretty well.
- Slide – there is also the slide buckle which uses tension to keep it closed. Its big advantage is that it can be adjusted on the fly, but that is for the price of secure tightening.
- Track – while they are using the same principle as the slide buckles, the track one has, obviously, a track on its end to give you on-the-fly adjustment while still keeping the belt as secure as on the traditional buckle.
- Cobra – all of these are very prominent, but for gun and tactical models, you can find cobra models the most often. It is definitely the most secure of the bunch. The only major problem is that most of the time, they are designed for tactical pants specifically, and there is a chance that they won’t fit into your pants’ belt loops. In the end, though, the cobra buckle is the best option, even with the sizing issue.
What are the main enhancements?
While the only major enhancement that you will find on a tactical waistband is that it is significantly reinforced compared to a normal one, a couple of models utilize even more features to help you with your concealed carry of a firearm.
Kydex and steel cores give better weight distribution and even more longevity to your purchase. If there is a model with these additional features, we highly recommend you stick to them.
Is warranty really that important?
While it may seem like an important factor you should always consider, most of the time, the manufacturers are so confident in their products that they offer a lifetime warranty, and even if something happens to your EDC holster belt, they will happily return or refund it without much resistance.
So to answer your question, yes, a guarantee is important as it will protect your investment, meaning you should definitely look for options that offer it.
Why should I consider a gun belt?
Now, most people may think: “Why should I buy another belt when I already own one that should do the same job?” and well, they don’t know how wrong they are. Not all products are made equal, and holster models are a special breed.
Specifically designed to support the weight of a handgun, they are made to strap on a holster and have your firearm safe right next to you, ready to be pulled out at any time.
Usually, when people start carrying concealed equipment, they focus too much on the firearm and very little on the gear that carries it. And that leads to people who invest quite a bit in a quality holster while ignoring the girdle. Overall, you should use a CCW holster product to keep your firearm secure and your pants in place.
What Mistakes To Avoid When Buying a Gun Belt?
If you don’t research enough, you are bound to buy an inferior item, and you can expect something to backfire. You will either waste a lot of money because you’ll buy a better one later, or the waistband will be so uncomfortable that you will stop carrying it.
So, let’s look at the three most common mistakes you will encounter as a novice and the best way to prevent them.
Miskate 1 –Buying a belt made out of poor-quality materials
The most common material used for these pieces of equipment is leather. Others are made out of polyester or durable nylon webbing, which are also an excellent choice if they are of high quality, of course.
Mistake 2 – Buying a belt with poor-quality hardware
In addition to buying a waistband with inferior quality materials, many people also make the critical mistake of buying an item with poor quality hardware, such as a buckle. Avoid soft metals at all costs! If the buckle is weak enough to be sent by your hand, it won’t be strong enough to survive daily abuse for a long time.
Mistake 3 – You buy a belt with limited stretchiness
Some choices can have limited stitching and still work well as a holster belt. For example, the web ones will often have limited stitching while still working just fine for the purpose. However, more stitching is always preferable. And not only should the belt have plenty of stitching. That stitching also needs to be very well made and reliable without any loose frays of any kind, so always check the item well before buying.
The belt is one of the main ingredients to successfully pulling off concealed carry of weapons because it is the foundation of having your most important tool as close to you as possible. And you shouldn’t even think about compromises. You want the best waistband you can get for your money.
And above, we’ve looked at some quality models, ones that have strong loops, ones that you can wear every day, but all of them have one thing in common – they will allow you to draw your firearms as quick as a flash when you need them the most, making self-defense an easily achievable goal.