One of the most overlooked areas of concealed carry can be the gun belt. Even a thick belt from a department store just won't do the same job that a belt built to hold a firearm can. Do yourself a favor, get a quality gun belt made for concealed carry...you will thank me later!
When I Started Carrying
Ok, I'll admit it. When I first started carrying a firearm I went to Walmart and found a solid, somewhat thick, Dickies' belt. After putting it on I thought "this is not too bad".
I carried that way for a few months. I thought my cheap belt was working because I didn't know what a real gun belt can do. I was always adjusting due to my belt sagging or my holster shifting.
It wasn't until I started buying actual gun belts that I really felt comfortable carrying. I just about kicked myself for waiting so long.
A Good Gun Belt Checklist
Just like our Best Concealed Carry Holsters article, we will start with a checklist. This checklist will help you know what to look for when buying a gun belt. I used this to decide on what belts I would add to our 'best belts' list below.
Here is what I looked for:
This is what sets good gun belts apart from your regular belts. While the rest of this checklist can really be applied to any type of belts, rigidity is why you buy a gun belt.
Rigidity in your belt does two things for concealed carry:
- It helps keep everything from sagging. Firearms can be heavy, and a regular belt will sag. Over time it will start sagging a lot.
- It holds the holster firmly in place, not allowing it to move. You don't want to have to adjust the location of your holster in public, and you definitely want it firmly in place when you draw.
There are two areas of quality to focus on...materials and stitching. It doesn't matter if you have a leather belt or one made out of nylon scuba webbing, you want it to be made with the higher end materials.
The stitching is where some budget gun belts skimp. Good stitching takes time in manufacturing, and time is money. Find a good double stitched belt.
If you have never used a gun belt designed for concealed carrying, you will be surprised at how comfortable you can be.
Comfort comes with a combination of all of the other items on this checklist. However, comfort for each individual depends on what works well for them.
I enjoy a good scuba webbing belt with a slide buckle, while others may prefer a leather belt with a traditional buckle. No matter what you choose, if it meets the checklist requirements, and is an actual gun belt, you will be good to go.
Typically while concealed carrying, no one will see your belt. However, there are some tuck holsters that will still allow you to show your belt. Plus, who doesn't want something that looks good when you have to fork out money for a good belt.
Style can be subjective, so find what works for you. This list below will feature belts that come in all types of materials, colors, and buckles. You don't have to limit yourself here either. If you like more than one type, or will be wearing your firearm with different style outfits, buy yourself a few different belts.
But What About Price?
The good news is that any of the belts listed below can be purchased for about what a decent dress belt would cost. Some may run a little more than others due to materials used, but all are similar in price.
I would never spend less than $40 on a gun belt, unless it was a Black Friday sale. The most I have spent was $115. Try to keep it between $40-$115.
Types of Belts
Concealed carry gun belts come in a variety of styles. In order to find the one that is right for you, some decisions are going to have to be made in three key areas...Materials, Buckles, and Enhancements.
Below I will show you options in each of these areas. Then, down below you can shorten our 'Best Belts' list down to only the types that match what you are looking for.
There are two main materials you will be looking at when deciding on a gun belt.
Types of Belt Materials:
- Nylon (Scuba Webbing)
Now, there are various types of leather, as well as different types of nylon. However, when looking for your next belt, you need to decide which of these two materials you are wanting. But don't limit yourself...on your second gun belt purchase, why not pick up the other type and try it out.
There are many types of belt buckles. I'll focus on the 4 that can be found in our belts listed below. They are some of the most common.
Types of Belt Buckles:
- Slide (Tension)
The traditional belt buckle is the most common (especially on leather belts). You have a set of eyelets that the prong goes through to hold it in place. The advantage this has is that you don't have to worry about the belt loosening.
On the slide buckle, as seen in the Aegis Enhanced belt, tension is used to keep it snug. The advantage to this is it can be easily adjusted on the fly. This is one of my favorite features, it keeps me comfortable and my belt in place.
The track belt is similar to the slide belt, however, it has a track on the back side of the belt to lock it into place.
The cobra buckle is the most common in most tactical belts. It locks the belt into place and doesn't release until you want it to release. The downfall of a cobra buckle can be trying to fit it inside belt loops, however the Blue Alpha Hybrid version listed below doesn't have that issue. It is made to fit inside normal sized belt loops.
Most gun belts come with no enhancements...and that is fine. However, some people like a belt with a little more rigidity. This can be helpful with more full size firearms or with someone with a few extra pounds.
Types of Enhancements:
- No Enhancements
- Kydex Inserts
- Steel Core
Like I said, no enhancement is really needed. You will get by fine without one. However, if you want an extra firm belt, the options are there.
A few of the belts listed below have these options. I will list it under the descriptions of each item if kydex or steel core options are available or standard to the belt.
Best Belts List
While there are some great belts that didn't make this list, you can not go wrong with the ones that did make it.
I used the checklist listed at the beginning of this article (as well as experience) to build this list. Now you can use the choices you made in the 'Types of Belts' section to narrow your search.
Here Are The Best Gun Belts For Concealed Carry
- Ares Gear Aegis Enhanced Belt
- Hanks Leather Gun Belt
- Kore Essentials Tactical Belt
- CrossBreed Crossover Gun Belt
- CrossBreed Executive Gun Belt
- Bigfoot Leather Gun Belt
- Blue Alpha Gear Hybrid Cobra Belt
- Relentless Tactical Ultimate Gun Belt
There you have it...5 leather belts and 3 nylon (scuba webbing) options. Below I break each belt down and give a little bit of detail.
This is my every day belt. I love it...which makes me a little biased. I love it for many reasons. Most of those reasons can be found in the review I did on this belt.
To summarize, I love the comfort, support, and most of all...the easily adjustable buckle. Letting a little out, or taking a little in whenever I need it is easy.
The one downfall is that this is one of the most expensive belts on the list, but in my opinion it is worth every penny.
Ok, these are very popular...and for good reason. Hanks makes some of the best belts in the business. They offer a large amount of variations on this belt as well.
Just to list a few of the Hanks Belts that you can find:
- Black Out Leather Gun Belt: All black...even the buckle
- Old World Harness Belt: Very stylish
- Kydex Belt: Reinforced with Kydex
- Steel Core: Reinforced with Steel...billed as the thickest, heaviest gun belt on the market.
Choose any belt from Hanks and you will be happy!
This is another belt that has many options. You can choose different buckles as well as nylon or leather. This is a track line style belt as seen in the image right below here. Just make sure you get the gun belt and not the regular belt as they look very similar.
CrossBreed makes great holsters...AND great belts. We have recommended their holsters in the past, and now we get to recommend their belts.
Using the slide style buckle, these are very stylish. However, they are not just for looks. It will hold about any firearm you can carry.
Need a top of the line gun belt...and dress up? This is the belt you need. These will work perfectly with any tuck style holster as it will allow you to show off your stylish belt while carrying.
If I still had to dress up for work, then I would buy this belt in a heartbeat. It is another home run by CrossBreed holsters!
While I don't own a Bigfoot belt, I have had friends rave about their great customer service and fast delivery time.
You will get a great belt at an affordable price with Bigfoot. Be sure to check out all their options when you visit them. They offer regular, slim, dress, and steel core models of their belts. I would choose the steel core version myself.
More modern and tactical, these belts feature the upgraded model of cobra buckle. The cobra HYBRID buckle allows you to thread this through regular belt loops, which was the main complaint people have had about regular cobra buckled belts.
Once this belt is buckled, it is not coming off until you decide to take it off. This belt also comes in three colors that are shown, Black, Gray, and Brown.
This belt comes in as the most affordable on the list. But don't let the lower price fool you. It still meets all the requirements from the checklist from the beginning.
Like most of the other belts on the list, this is made in the USA with high quality leather and stitching. It has a lifetime warranty as well, so you can buy with confidence. This belt will be able to handle any firearm you will be carrying.
One of the most common reasons for people to stop carrying their firearm is because it can get uncomfortable. Make it easy on yourself and get a good belt and holster. Every belt that I have listed here is 5 Star quality, and I would be happy to carry with any of them.
If you are in need of a good holster to go with your belt, make sure you check out our Best Concealed Carry Holsters article.
If you are looking for other concealed carry gear, you will find many of the items we love and use on our Recommended Gear page.
One thing I ask of you is that you share this knowledge. If you have a friend who is currently carrying with a Wal-Mart special like I did when I first started carrying...share this article with them.
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