Top 5 Gun Belt (Manufacturers)

Gun belts just might be one of the most overlooked and neglected pieces of gear among gun owners. There’s no shortage of guys holstering up with low-quality, droopy cloth belts or skinny dress belts and there is also a multitude of women showing off their supposed EDC on social media, clipped onto their shorts with no belt whatsoever. The end result is predictable: the weight of the gun drags the wearer’s waistband down. Oddly enough it seems the wearer is oblivious to the issue. It is a problem, though. The use of a proper gun belt is vital. A good belt keeps your holstered gun close to your body without allowing it to slip, shift, fall or otherwise fail. Isn’t keeping your gun secure your responsibility?

So, which gun belts are the current frontrunners – and why? Read on to find out which manufacturers are leading the pack and what belts they make that might best fit your needs.

Know what to look for in a quality gun belt. (Photo courtesy of Galco Gunleather)

Features

No, you can’t just go to the store and grab a random belt. Belts created for heavy-duty use outside the gun world are rarely going to handle a gun. Belts designed specifically for carrying tend to have stiffeners such as ABS, steel, or Kydex; belts made for not-a-gun use are often just thick, not properly reinforced. Stiffeners do it all including stopping the belt from twisting or sagging while also distributing the weight of your holstered gun and spare mags evenly. That leather Walmart belt is going to collapse around your gun at increasingly worse levels (and it can happen fast, even immediately).

Thickness is something to consider with gun belts. Those designed for heavier loads – think competition or LE – are wider, thicker, and reinforced. Remember, they are not one-size-fits-all. The loops on your holster will fit certain belts but not necessarily every belt. That doesn’t mean you can’t wear narrow belts ever again; companies like Galco Gunleather offer well-made dress-style gun belts that work well.

Material is something the gun industry loves to argue about amongst themselves. Leather-versus-nylon gun belt debates are never-ending. Here’s the thing: each has its uses and can work well. Personally, I prefer quality leather but I do have nylon belts in my collection. Leather often helps you blend in a bit more; wearing leather doesn’t scream “gun” it simply says “belt.” Nylon gun belts tend to have a more tactical look. That is not to say you cannot or should not wear them but only to be aware the design might call more attention to you. The Gray Man concept might seem cliched but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

Things to look for in a leather belt include internal stiffeners or double-thickness designs, rugged stitching or reinforced stitching, and full-grain or top-grain leather. In nylon, check out belts that are rigid, double-layered, and have stiffeners. Stitching for nylon should be like stitching in leather: uniform with zero fraying and, ideally, double-stitching. The belt should be stiff enough to keep its shape.

A word on hardware: yes, it matters. Buckles and fasteners aren’t all created equally. The metal used for your belt’s hardware must be tough enough it can’t be bent by hand – yes, I’ve seen a few metal buckles and prongs I could bend with minimal effort. It’s rare, but it does happen. As for the different buckle styles, there are a lot of them out there and one isn’t necessarily better than the other. Prong-style buckles should be long enough to stay in place; cobra-style or similar buckles shouldn’t be too easy to open. Your buckle shouldn’t pop open at the tiniest bit of pressure or twisting. It would be great if your belt stayed in place during force-on-force, grappling, and a fight for control of a gun, wouldn’t it?

Adjustability. Leather belts should have a minimum of half a dozen holes; nylon should be adjustable at significant length beyond just an inch or two. Nylon belts are made ratchet-style and with Velcro. Both options work, although, for me, ratchet-style has proven more secure. Necessary length is going to depend on how you carry, too. For IWB carry you need a longer belt than you do for just walking around with no gun tucked in your waistband. Galco Gunleather advises you measure a belt you already have from the end of its buckle to the hole you use then round up to the closest even size. Oh, and you need a little more length if you carry not only your gun but a magazine holster IWB.

The Galco Gunleather Heavy Duty Instructors Belt. (Photo courtesy of Galco Gunleather)

Galco Gunleather

This is a two-fer. Galco Gunleather is often seen as the purveyor of all things leather – it’s even in the company’s name – but they do make good quality Kydex and nylon products. Their Heavy Duty Instructors Belt is one such option. It’s 1 ½-inches thick and constructed from SCUBA webbing with a drop-forged parachute-spec buckle with a Robar Roguard finish. You could say it’s made to last. It maintains its shape and rigidity well and is offered for up to a 49-inch waist. 

The Galco Gunleather Cobra Tactical Belt has, as the name suggests, a Cobra-style buckle. These buckles are both secure and tough enough to withstand heavy use. The Cobra Tactical Belt is made using Type 13 nylon webbing for durability, has five independent rows of stitching for superior rigidity, and is 1 ½-inches wide (so it fits most holster loops as well as the average belt loop on your pants). Galco makes it in the same sizes as the aforementioned Heavy Duty Instructors Belt.

The Galco Gunleather SB5 Sport Belt. (Photo courtesy of Galco Gunleather)

On the leather side, Galco Gunleather makes the SB5 Sport Belt, a belt I’ve used for years (it is possible I own several of them). The SB5 Sport Belt is made with fully-lined premium cowhide, is 1 ¾-inches wide, and features a solid-brass casual-style buckle. This belt has stood the test of time for me through a number of high-round-count classes, force-on-force work, and countless hunts. It’s well-made, sturdy, and has yet to fail. (If you want a dressier belt there’s always the Galco Gunleather CB3 Concealable Contour Belt. That one is also made using a fully-lined premium cowhide and has a nickel-plated solid brass buckle. It’s 1 ½ thick but tapers to one inch at the buckle for a dressier appearance.)

Website: www.galcogunleather.com

The Crossbreed Classic Gun Belt. (Photo courtesy of Crossbreed)

Crossbreed

Crossbreed makes the belt I favor for my Glock 48 (the gun I also carry in their Supertuck holster, among other Crossbreed designs). The Crossbreed Classic Gun Belt is the company’s basic-yet-tough leather belt featuring a woven nylon webbing strap stiffener. The core not only makes it sturdier, it prevents it from losing its shape over time. I can attest to its efficacy considering I’ve had one of my Crossbreed Classic Gun Belts for more than five years. The Classic Gun Belt is made using precisely-cut, premium seven-ounce leather with recessed 277-thread stitching. The belt is also available with double stitching as an add-on. It’s ¼-inches thick and made in either 1.25-inches or 1.5-inches (you choose). It features a prong-style buckle and has seven holes. And if you want something a bit different there’s the Crossbreed Quick Ship Founder’s Series Crossover Gun Belt. Rather than the prong buckle of the Classic, the Crossover has a slide buckle which eliminates the need for holes and makes it highly adjustable. It can be nice not to be forced to use a specific hole for sizing.

The Crossbreed Cobra Nylon Gun Belt. (Photo courtesy of Crossbreed)

Of course, there’s also nylon. Crossbreed’s Cobra Nylon Belt is another one that’s found its way into my regular rotation. It’s made from two layers of 1.5-inch nylon, making it crazy rigid, and it has a 1.5-inch slim-style cobra buckle. Slim is good for buckles because it reduces bulging beneath your shirt. In addition to the cobra buckle, it also has Velcro. It’s easily adjusted but firm; I’ve never had issues with this belt slipping.

There are a lot of good gun belts out there. These are just suggestions.

Website: www.crossbreedholsters.com

Simply Rugged Gun Belts. (Photo courtesy of Simply Rugged)

Simply Rugged Holsters

Simply Rugged is a company founded and owned by Rob Leahy, a gun guy I’ll forever associate with Gunsite Academy. Leahy lives near Gunsite in Arizona and is a boss so awesome that he takes his employees to the renowned academy for training on a regular basis. His leatherwork is both functional and beautiful. You’ll find Rob makes more traditional leather belts – and there are naysayers who claim they absolutely must be more firmly reinforced to function as gun belts – but his belts have stood the test of time and serious use. Leahy knows his way around belts and holsters. If you’re in the market for a custom belt, whether one made of the expected cowhide or a more exotic leather, you want Simply Rugged. His work is stellar.

Website: www.simplyrugged.com

Blackhawk! CQB Riggers Belt. (Photo courtesy of Blackhawk!)

Blackhawk!

For a heavy-duty tactical belt there’s the Blackhawk! CQB Riggers Belt. This belt is made to serve as a blend of superior security and easy use, and it does get the job done. It’s made from uber-tough web nylon and the hardware meets PIA-H-7195 standards. The hardware in question is a Cobra-style quick-detach buckle and adapter designed so your belt can be tightly secured but also easily unbuckled throughout the day. A hook-and-loop secures the long end of the belt. Solid-colored Blackhawk! CWB Riggers Belts are made from nylon with a 1.75-inch 7,000-pound tensile strength and MultiCam belts are 1.75-inches with a 5,000-pound tensile strength.

Website: www.blackhawk.com

The 1791 Gunleather Gun Belt. (Photo courtesy of 1791 Gunleather)

1791 Gunleather

The 1791 Gunleather gun belt is, unsurprisingly, leather. Their Gun Belt 01 is crafted using high-quality leather and heavily reinforced. 100% American full-grain, a 14-ounce cowhide is used for durability along with a steel prong buckle and Chicago screws. The belt measures 1.5-inches wide and sizes range from 32/36 to 48/52. 1791 produces this belt in Stealth Black and Classic Brown. If you want a basic-yet-sturdy leather belt from a reputable company, take a look. 1791 Gunleather manufactures quite a few great holsters, too. If you’re unfamiliar with this manufacturer you definitely want to check out their site.

Website: www.1791gunleather.com

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{ 36 comments… add one }
  • Aleric April 22, 2020, 11:57 am

    Fox Creek Leather is my choice, I have been wearing their deerskin gloves for over a decade and tried one of their belts and I wont but them any place else now.

  • Roy McClain April 22, 2020, 9:23 am

    I’ve worn them all… Hanks makes the best Gun Belt on the market today.

  • Mario Laiosa April 22, 2020, 8:18 am

    American Made, ‘ALIEN’ Shocked This Did Not Come In #1. BEST GUN BELT CURRENTLY AVAILABLE, OWN & WEAR.

  • Thomas Bergschneider April 20, 2020, 7:54 pm

    HANKS belts has the largest supply of quality leather belts that are perfect for carry. Not only do they have multiple styles and widths, but they also have lengths to over 56”. They are not a holster maker but all their belts have a lifetime guarantee.

  • ROB April 20, 2020, 3:45 pm

    I can’t believe nobody mentioned Hanks belts. I have tried several other brands listed in the article but for my hard earned buck, I’ll stick with Hanks. Thanks.

  • Will Edwards April 20, 2020, 3:29 pm

    I don’t have a lot of experience with different gun belts, but my wife and I have been very happy with “A Better Belt USA” Made in Texas.
    http://abetterbeltusa.com/

  • mrpski April 20, 2020, 2:18 pm

    Used to have only half the belts for the number of holsters I got but agree on the Daltechs. They are just good belts at a good price. Good 1/4″ leather that flexes & you do not have to ask-they give ya all the holes you might need and then some & spaced just right.

  • bison1913 April 20, 2020, 1:55 pm

    I’ll stay with my “Best” leather belt and holster company… DeSantis. Made in the U.S.A. and they outperform belts and holsters costing twice as much. I have yet to find a belt that outperforms the DeSantis E25.

    I’m very surprised that they were not mentioned. Quality, USA made, excellent customer service, and hundreds of different styles. A specific holster for just about every gun ever made.

  • Mel Kym April 20, 2020, 1:18 pm

    Great expose on functional and fashionable belts. Will we see a review on single and double Belt magazine Pouches?

  • Ken April 20, 2020, 12:16 pm

    Perry Suspenders hook on to your belt so there is no carry droop or need to constantly adjust.

  • Derol F. Briscoe April 20, 2020, 11:56 am

    You need to check out Midway USA’s gun belt. Sturdy yet supple leather and the belt buckle, available in either brass or chrome, has a roller. I have them in both black and brown. A better belt than some that cost almost twice as much.

  • Pantexan April 20, 2020, 11:49 am

    Tucker Gunleather make excellent leather belts. Ranger and tapered belts as well.
    The Wilderness for synthetic belts, I still wear mine that is over 10 years old. It is holding up well with no signs of excessive wear. These can be customized with extra stitching reinforcement or an insert.

  • Hank April 20, 2020, 11:46 am

    ‘Pears like you have not tried one of the gunbelts made by Bullhide Belts, or their sister company, Amish Made Belts. They have great choices, not only of “plain leather” belts like you picture in your article, but also exotic materials, reinforced cores, money belts…. Their belts are very durable, well made, and look nice too. Their Ranger belts look great, and are, in my experience, very tough and durable.
    Check them out.

  • Jeff Bishop April 20, 2020, 10:31 am

    Another great company is Occidental Leather they also make some of the best contributing bags in the market. They have been in leather for a long time and are made right in in the fools old USA

    • Jeff Bishop April 20, 2020, 10:32 am

      That was supposed to be construction bags. Darn smart phones.

      • Isaac A Ward April 20, 2020, 11:58 am

        Lol don’t forget the fools old USA

  • mark fischer April 20, 2020, 10:15 am

    my vote goes to Black Beard Battle Belts! Made in the USA & great quality. https://blackbeardbelts.com

  • RUSS ''COLT 45'' LOSINSKI losinski April 20, 2020, 10:12 am

    LOOKING FOR A USA MADE RANGER STYLE BELT 1.5” LEATHER

  • Brian Cembor April 20, 2020, 9:28 am

    In typical Guns America fuddiness you completely ignored the best belt manufacturer out there right now. Blue Alpha Gear. Veteran owned, made in the U.S.A. in Georgia and widely regarded by those in position to have the knowledge base to be the best non-leather belts being made at extremely reasonable price for the quality and workmanship.

    http://www.blueaplhagear.com

  • William April 20, 2020, 9:17 am

    Y’all are missing out if you’re not looking at High Noon Holsters for your belts and holster needs. Made in the USA in Florida, great warranty and customer service that’s too good to be true. Check out their web site. They’re running a 30-50% off sale right now too.

  • Randy Lewis April 20, 2020, 9:17 am

    I have been wearing a Bigfoot Gunbelts for a couple of years. It handles my OWB 1911 easily ! MADE IN IDAHO

    • Tony P April 20, 2020, 10:02 am

      I’ll second that opinion!

    • Adam April 22, 2020, 11:26 am

      I love my Bigfoot belt. I’ve had it for about 3 years & wear it every day. Steel reinforced leather is the way to go for me!

  • Mad Mac April 20, 2020, 9:07 am

    A belt buckle with a roller like the one seen on the The Crossbreed Classic Gun Belt and The 1791 Gunleather Gun Belt above is very helpful for cinching up a gun belt.

  • Russ April 20, 2020, 9:01 am

    Big Foot Gun Belts should be in this report. They are awesome.

  • Dave April 20, 2020, 8:44 am

    For a belt that doesn’t shout “gun belt” I really like the Kore product line. Looks like a dress belt but their stiffener and leather combo is impressive. The internal spine of the belt is a click track that allows the belt to adjust at 1/4 inch increments. Very comfortable.

  • Tim April 20, 2020, 7:56 am

    I have a farm and everyday I wear a gun. I am constantly working and crawling over and under equipment. I also do a little logging in the winter months. My belts never last more than a year or two. That is until I started buy Simply Rugged belts and holsters. I bought their heavy duty 1-3/4″ belt a few years ago when I was ordering a holster. It is hands down the best belt I have ever owned. I am a big guy and my belts always curl but not my Simply Rugged belt. I won’t buy another brand of belt or holster.

  • Jeff True April 20, 2020, 7:53 am

    Which belts are made in the USA?

    Which belts are made in China??

  • RonK1 April 20, 2020, 7:50 am

    I have Galco SB2 Dark Brown over 6 years. Fits great, no wear spots. Easy care. I wipe with leather conditioner one in a while to keep it clean. Wears very well and sturdy for any holster- Kydex, Nylon or leather. Wear it daily and still looks like new.

  • David Barnes April 20, 2020, 7:47 am

    My wife & I have several Hanks Belts that perform very well- they look good and are very durable. The “money belt” one is quite versatile.

  • Tim April 20, 2020, 7:28 am

    You left out the Best gun belt maker in the market! Milt Sparks leather!! Come on now!

    • Saff April 20, 2020, 12:36 pm

      Took the text right off my keyboard. In a word, MILT SPARKS stuff is “Excellent”

    • John Gillette April 20, 2020, 12:53 pm

      Hanks is my favorite. They last forever and look good. Hold up my 1911 no problen.

  • Dallas H April 20, 2020, 7:18 am

    I wear a Magpul “el Original”. Reinforced chromed leather belt, 1.75″ wide, and I replaced the standard buckle with an RMEF Oval buckle. Supports a 4″ 1911 IWB all day long with no droop, holds the gun (and a separate mag carrier) tight to me with no discomfort. Looks dressy enough for work wear, and its tough enough for ranch wear.

  • Michael Larsen April 20, 2020, 4:21 am

    Daltech Force SuperBIO. It’s a synthetic belt with steel reinforcement. I use these even when I’m not carrying. I’ve had my black one for six years, and my brown one for 4.5 years. Neither shows any wear at all, not even that dent you get on most belts from the buckle. They’re excellent.

    • william sheese April 20, 2020, 7:03 am

      Daltech force superbio belt has been my daily belt for 10 years. I have lost so much weight that I sent it back in to have it shortened. Best belt I have ever owned

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