You may be in the market for a gun belt. There are a lot of choices, but not all gun belts are created equal; a good leather belt may be all you need. So here are some quick tips for you to determine the type of belt you should consider buying.
Every Day Carry or EDC does not require much of a belt, it needs to be sturdy. Cheap laminated belts made from multiple layers of vinyl aren’t going to stand-up to the weight of your gun and the tension you will need to conceal it properly. They are going to droop and bend. Presenting your firearm in training or a live situation may also be dramatically impacted by a cheap belt. EDC belts must be tough. We recommend you do your homework before buying an EDC belt.
EDC belts are not really Gun Belts. And they certainly are not Tactical Belts. If you carry with a regular belt, and you buy quality products - I make my own belts - you don’t need to worry about an expensive EDC belt. But if you train, are active on the range, or like the feel of a side-arm securely strapped to your hip, we aren’t talking about EDC belts any longer, you need a Tactical Belt.
Tactical belts are not War belts. Typically, War belts are very wide, have an inner belt that feeds through a much larger sleeve with a lot of room for attachments and employed by the Military. But cops and soldiers also use Tactical belts. They are easier to wear in vehicles and in most situations, are far more effective.
Like you, we don’t have military advisors selecting gear for us. We have to make decisions based on the information we are provided. If you research Tactical Belts on the internet, there are hundreds of options, and most of them will do the job, but there are a lot of pitfalls. You can waste money on cheap crap, or even good equipment that doesn’t work as expected. The options appear endless. So let’s get into the basics of a Tactical Belt.
There are many brands we trust. But again, they are very different, and some in subtle ways. A $25 belt may seem cheap but actually is just fine. A $150 belt is probably excessive. Which one will fit your needs? Well for starters, there are two different kinds of Tactical Belts: Molle and non-Molle.
Molle - originally called PALS or Pouch Attachment Ladder System - is a system that prevents attachments from sliding around on your belt. It means your holster or mag pouches won’t move as you move, get in and out of a car, or just sit and stand. They are secured in place. Non-Molle belts don’t have the Molle feature, but there are ways of keeping your attachments stable without Molle.
If you are a range-carry guy, and don’t expect to be rolling around in the dirt, Molle is not really a requirement. If you train like me, and want to keep your attachments stable, Molle may be your only option. But Molle also comes with a price and in some cases a lot of disappointment. Belts without Molle are pretty affordable, Molle belts cost a little more. If you aren’t an Operator, you really don’t need an expensive Molle belt. Both Molle and non-Molle belts can be purchased for under $50. You don’t need a SpecOps belt for the range or basic training. Save your money for bullets.
And don’t be mislead by all the “military grade” marketing hype. Most belts are not even made to military spec. And many of our preferred products were no-names before they became popular. Do the research, get it right the first time, and save yourself from a lot of frustration and wasted money.