5 Best Gun Belts for Concealed Carry [2021 Guide] Home / Pistol 101 / Gun Belts for Concealed Carry

5 Best Gun Belts for Concealed Carry [2021 Guide]

Image of Bryan Hill, Founder of Pistol Wizard Bryan Hill / July 09 2021

A concealed carrier lifting up their shirt with one hand, the other hand on their pistol. The belt holds firm as they lift the pistol from its holster.

We'll cover why gun belts are worth it, how to tell good belts from bad, and address common questions about gun belts, using info from the best belt makers. We also have a test you can do yourself to see if a gun belt is up to task, and a tool to help you choose the right belt for you.

On this Page:

  1. Why Gun Belts?
  2. Concealed Carry (CCW) Belts
  3. 1.5" vs. 1.75" Gun Belts
  4. Gun Belts for Women
  5. 5 Best Concealed Carry Belts

Why Gun Belts?

If you use your run of the mill belt to carry a pistol, you'll be in a world of pain. Your hips and back will hate you.
An old man in incredible agony, after a lifetime of carrying a pistol without a gun belt.

Then there's the anxiety.
Your holster won't stay secure. It'll flop around, especially when you jog, run, or bend over. Dread will descend as you sweat on how long it takes someone to see you're concealing a pistol.

The solution?

Gun belts are made stiffer and stronger, to ease the weight of the pistol, and keep it from flopping around when you move. To carry a compact or full-size pistol all day, you need a gun belt.


Concealed Carry (CCW) Belts

CCW belts look a lot like normal belts, but they can take the load of a pistol. There are a lot of crappy CCW belts, and only a few good ones. How do you tell which is which?

Looks

It looks like a normal belt and doesn't draw attention to itself. A belt that stands out vs. a belt that looks great but blends in.
Why?
When people look at your belt, they may see your holster clips and start wondering what those are. Choose a belt that matches your outfits and doesn't scream, "I'm a concealed carrier".

If you must wear an eye-catching belt or belt buckle, a pocket pistol may be a better choice.

Stiffness

A stiff belt eases the load of a pistol evenly across your waist and prevents the holster from flopping.
A demonstration of a properly stiff belt. The belt doesn't lose its shape when held up by itself with a gun and tourniquet on it.

There's a problem though: Any comfortable belt stretches with use. Too much makes the belt ineffective. What do you do?

Find a balance of stretch and stiffness.
Too stiff: Pinching and chafing.
Too stretchy: Must wear it too tight.
Too stiff AND too stretchy: Hip/back pain.

How do you control a belt's stiffness?

  • Dual-layer (double-ply) belts stretch much less than single-layer.
  • Double stitching adds stiffness and durability. Look for 4 rows of stitching on the belt:
    Double stitching on a belt. You can see the four rows of stitching on the belt: two sets on the top and bottom of the belt.
  • An internal stiffener (Nylon 6/6 or good Kydex) extends your belt's lifespan and adds stiffness.
  • Wider belts are stiffer. 1.5" is the standard.
  • Shorter belts (size 40 or less) are stiffer.
With that in mind, look for dual-layer, double-stitched belts.

Get an internal stiffener when:
  • You want max long-term value.
  • Your belt is 1.25" wide.
  • Your waist is over 40".

Take the Gun Belt Challenge

Is your belt stiff and strong enough? Do this:
  1. Take your belt in your hands and, off of your body, loop and fasten it to your usual belt tightness.
  2. Now hold it from the side opposite the buckle. Does it support its own weight?
    Demonstration of part 1 of the belt test. The belt is held out in one's hand, buckle facing away, and it can't support its own weight.
    If it flops at all, it's not stiff enough. Get a better belt.
  3. If your belt passed, put your pistol in your carry holster and then mount both on your belt at 3:00 or 9:00 (buckle is 12:00). Hold the belt in your hand. If it flops, get a better belt.
    Demonstration of part 2 of the belt test. The belt is held out in one's hand, buckle facing away, and it can't support its own weight.


1.5" vs. 1.75" Gun Belts

You may wonder if a 1.75" gun belt is for you. It'll be wider (and stiffer), but won't work with nearly as many pants. 1.75" is the right choice when you:
  • Wear only tactical pants, cargo pants, heavy-duty jeans, and the like.
  • Are looking for a Duty belt.

Gun Belts for Women

Women's clothing presents some problems for gun belts. There are two approaches:
  1. 1.25" belts for versatility. If a belt can go with your outfit, a 1.25" wide one is sure to fit.
  2. Ratchet belts for comfort. These belts are 1.5" wide, and adjust in 1/4" increments instead of the typical 1" belt holes. Find your waistline changing from month to month? A ratchet belt has you covered.
Still unsure? We have the tool for you.

5 Best Concealed Carry Belts

  1. Concealed Carry Belt Selector
  2. Best Gun Belts for Concealed Carry

Concealed Carry Belt Selector

The best concealed carry belt depends on your needs. Use our Belt Selector to find which one is right for you:

My Clothing



Best Gun Belts for Concealed Carry

  1. Best Concealed Carry Belt
  2. Best Trakline Gun Belt (1.5")
  3. Best Concealed Carry Belt for Dress Wear (1.25")

Best Concealed Carry Belt

The Beltman 1.5" belt is the benchmark to measure all other belts against. It has excellent stiffness, and an effortless attractiveness that doesn't scream for attention. They fit most men's jeans, cargo pants, and similar pants. They'll fit some, but not all dress pants or women's pants.

Beltman 1.50" Belt
$80 @ BeltMan
  • Top stiffness and durability (double-ply, double-stitched).
  • Most customization (belt's color, buckle, taper, etc.).
  • Choose the "Internal stiffener" option for max stiffness.
  • Sizing: See instructions on the Beltman site.
  • Shipping takes an extra 2 weeks.
  • Not as adjustable as a Trakline/Ratchet belt.


Best Trakline Gun Belt (1.5")

Ever find yourself adjusting your belt throughout the day? Normal belts adjust in 1" increments, but trakline belts adjust in 1/4", and they're faster and easier to adjust, too. They fit most men's jeans, cargo pants, and similar pants. They'll fit some, but not all dress pants or women's pants. If you haven't tried a trakline belt before, give it a shot and see if they're right for you.


Nexbelt Rogue EDC Black
Check price @ Amazon

Nexbelt Rogue EDC Espresso
Check price @ Amazon
  • Ratchet system gives 4x more precise adjustments than traditional belts.
  • Easy sizing: One belt fits many (up to 50", but recommended up to 38" for stiffness).
  • Single-ply (less stiff/durable).
  • Single stitching (less stiff/durable).
  • Ratchet system gives 4x more precise adjustments than traditional belts.
  • Easy sizing: One belt fits many (up to 50", but recommended up to 38" for stiffness).
  • Single-ply (less stiff/durable).
  • Single stitching (less stiff/durable).


Best Concealed Carry Belt for Dress Wear (1.25")

Suit pants, dress pants, and some women's pants have belt loops that are too small for a standard 1.5" gun belt. Fortunately, the Beltman 1.25" belt fits just right with the size and style of such attire.

However, most holsters are made to fit 1.5" belts, so you may need to get 1.25" belt clips for your holster for a good fit. Or, ensure your holster has at least two mounting clips to reduce the effects of play between the clips and belt. Otherwise, your holster will tilt around in place, and a tilting holster gives a slow draw.


Beltman 1.25" Double-stitched Bullhide Belt
$85 @ BeltMan

Beltman 1.25" Horsehide Belt
$95 @ BeltMan
  • Great stiffness and durability (double-ply, double-stitched).
  • Most customization (belt's color, buckle, taper, etc.).
  • Select "Internal Stiffener (+ $10)" option for max stiffness.
  • Sizing: See instructions on the Beltman site.
  • Shipping takes an extra 2 weeks.
  • Horsehide is stiffer and more durable than cowhide.
  • Double-ply for more stiffness and durability.
  • Most customization (belt's color, buckle, taper, etc.).
  • Select "Internal Stiffener (+ $10)" and "Double Stitching (+ $5)" options for max stiffness and durability.
  • Sizing: See instructions on the Beltman site.
  • Shipping takes an extra 2 weeks.

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, at no extra cost to you.


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References

  1. Why Belts Matter for Concealed Carry (2017)
  2. About Beltman Gun Belts (2017)
  3. Things To Know About Gun Belts (2012)



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