Gun Belts for Holsters – It Matters More than you Think

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When it comes to concealed carry we all like to, and rightly so, over scrutinize the firearm we select as well as the holster that houses it. A firearm that you can confidently and accurately command is just as important as the bucket that allows you to carry it on your person all day long. Then, after those more paramount decisions you need to start diving into the minutia. Its sexy to have a dope carry pistol and matching ANR holster to go with it (I’m guilty as charged), but we don’t want to be wearing some JNCO pants from the ‘90s and a crappy belt to go along with it. Then, in a hair-raising situation deploying your sidearm becomes only dangerous to you, and not your assailant. So, let’s dive into why it is important to have a well-designed and reliable belt for our holsters when we are carrying. 

Durability of a Gun Belt

We all want our firearms to be able to clear endurance and durability tests, and so, too, should our belt. Durability is one of the metrics we should use to measure our belts (pun intended). A sturdy belt not only ensures you keep your trousers up all day long, but it also guarantees your pistol isn’t sagging out of its holster, being exposed/brandished, or falling out completely. Cheap and flimsy belts can allow for this sagging, shifting, dropping, drooping, and unsafe behavior that we want to avoid.

If you want to be able to clear the “durability hurdle” in your future gun belt purchases, you will need to assess the materials they’re made of. Both durable leather, reinforced nylon, or hybrid combinations of both are great launching points. All these varying types have their own pros and cons, but what you are essentially looking for so they go the extra mile in their longevity is sound stitching, a width that matches most of your holsters, and a clean finish (no fraying).

Adjustability of Gun Belts

Next to durability in importance should be adjustability. This isn’t a knock on all our growing waistlines either. On any given day, I might be carrying one of three primary firearm and holster combinations. Sometimes I open carry while farming, do Appendix Inside-the-Waistband (AIWB) while running errands, or Hip Outside-the-Waistband (OWB) if I am training at the range. How you carry on a given day can greatly influence how tight or loose your belt might be (weight gain aside). A belt with a high degree of adjustability to accommodate various body types, holsters, and carrying situations is important.

Also, being able to surgically fine-tune your belt for comfort is imperative. If you are uncomfortable due to sagging pants, drooping holster, or shifting of your clothes, you are unlikely to be motivated to continue to carry for your own safety. Adjustable belts – Velcro ones or those with a high-degree of micro-click adjustment – are important because then you are not limited in how you utilize your belt. Your belt should be snug yet pliable and comfortable. It might feel like threading a needle, but these properties are needed.

Back to the mechanism of adjustment, Velcro belts are nice (when crafted well) because they afford you an infinite amount of adjustment. A close 2nd place for adjustability is those that ratchet or have that micro-click adjustment we talked about. Depending on their aesthetic appearance or attractiveness, you could use either or both for everything from casual to formal wear.

Gun Belts Offer the User Security

We all carry firearms for our own security as well as our loved ones around us. Additionally, we need to secure our firearm for our own security; if that makes sense. If you have a loosey-goosey firearm flopping around on your hip that is a danger to you and those around, you. So, achieving security via your choice in a gun belt is a real thing. A secure gun belt can also ensure that your firearm doesn’t accidentally become exposed – brandished as the lawyers like to say – or accessed by undesired rapscallions – as they say in the streets.

Moreover, a strong and secure gun belt should have a reinforced core or lining so it is not prone to “rolling” or bending over on you. This type of rigidity prevents sagging, more evenly distributes the weight of your holster/firearm combo, and equally helps in a comfortable ride – Yee haw!

Style

I am always one to say that “nobody wants a sports car that’s ugly” when I am typically referring to it being OK for people to have rad firearms that shoot well, too. This carries over to even your belts. Let’s say you just checked all the aforementioned boxes for quality, comfort, and security as we have discussed them. Your final box to check is curb appeal. Maybe you need an entirely black gun belt to match a dress code for work. Maybe it is for your own personal desires and you’re playing on the “tactical rainbow” of colors like the rest of us (FDE, OD Green, Urban Grey, etc). One thing is for certain, you may not want an actual rainbow color palette because that draws too much attention – unwanted attention – and can lead to you losing your element of surprise when carrying.

An easy rule of thumb for your gun belt curb appeal is to look for soft, subtle, and muted colors. Nothing that is “loud” or screams “look at me.” Your belt is an accessory, not the star of the show. Make sure it does its job in quiet silence.

Conclusion

In conclusion, remember everything that we discussed the next time you are looking at purchasing a gun belt for everyday carry in combination with your holsters. It should be durable enough to withstand the rigors of body sweat and 12+ hour, all-day long carry. It needs to be adjustable to varying EDC scenarios, your waistline, and rotating clothing combinations as well. Your gun belt should also secure your firearm and afford you security as well. The firearm you’re carrying for protection should never become a liability because you skimped on a belt. Finally, style does come into the equation. Buy something that matches the types of clothing you already own that can blend in in plain sight. As always, watch for future content on all our socials and check ANR Design out for all your thermoplastic holsters and solutions.

Adam Scepaniak

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