A good place to start your search is with those firms that market quality concealment holsters, as they have a keen understanding of what works. Over the years I have had very good luck with belts from Milt Sparks, Mitch Rosen and Pocket Concealment Systems. I recently expanded my horizons and evaluated some offerings from other manufacturers. Let’s see how they stacked up.
BlackHawk Instructors Gun Belt
In my opinion, gun belts fall into one of two categories. The first consists of tactical or sport-type belts normally associated with firearms or other outdoor activities. The second consists of more classic designs that look just right in business or social settings, ones where you don’t want to look like someone who’s carrying a gun.
The BlackHawk Instructors Gun Belt neatly fits into our first category. The Instructors Gun Belt is crafted from 1.75-inch-wide webbing that has a 7,000-pound tensile-strength rating. A Kydex stiffener is sandwiched inside the belt to help support the pistol and other equipment. To keep things secure, BlackHawk uses a parachute-grade buckle and adapter plus a hook-and-loop fastener on the running end. True, the black Instructors Gun Belt looks a bit “gunny” and may not be the best choice for everyday, around-town wear—when someone asks, I just tell them I’m into rock climbing. But, on the range or under a covering garment, the Instructors Gun Belt will support all your gear in fine style.
For more information on the BlackHawk Instructors Gun Belt and other products from BlackHawk, please visit BlackHawk.com.
A couple of years ago, I became acquainted with the BlackHawk CQC line of belts. Designed for wear when discretion is important, CQC belts don’t shout “gun” and are appropriate for a wide range of social settings. These belts have sufficient stability to support your holstered pistol and are available in black or brown and in a variety of finishes such as plain, lizard, gator or carbon fiber. The CQC line of belts is crafted from premium synthetic materials and is priced significantly less than comparable quality leather belts.
For more information on the BlackHawk CQC line and other products from BlackHawk, please visit BlackHawk.com.
DeSantis Plain Lined Belt
Gene DeSantis has been offerings quality concealment holsters at a very reasonable price, and his company’s line of belts are a continuation of this tradition. The DeSantis 1.5-inch-wide Plain Lined Belt I tested was tan in color and sported a brass buckle. (This same design is also available in black with a nickel buckle.) Variations can be had in 1.25- or 1.75-inch-wide models and with decorative stitching.
I used the DeSantis Plain Lined Belt with a Glock 19 pistol, and as expected, all went well. The inner suede lining keeps the belt from moving about on the pants, which speeds up draw times. A lined DeSantis Econobelt model crafted from bonded leather is also available—and it, too, hit the spot.
For more information on the DeSantis Plain Lined Belt and other products from DeSantis, please visit DeSantisHolster.com.
CrossBreed Instructor Belt
CrossBreed is perhaps best known for its very comfortable SuperTuck holster, but they also turn out some topnotch belts. For something a little different, I took a look at their new Instructor Belt. The CrossBreed Instructor Belt is a buckleless design made of two layers of top-grain cowhide. The layers are stitched together, cross-grain from each other, using recessed stitching for protection against surface abrasions. My finished belt was 1.5 inches wide and just under 0.25 inches thick. The brown basket-weave finish looks very sharp, and this belt has quickly become a favorite. It is also the perfect companion for my SuperTuck holster and Kahr K9. For users who prefer total concealment, CrossBreed sells a Velcro-Kit to better camouflage your pistol under a tucked shirt.
For more information on the CrossBreed Instructor Belt and other products from CrossBreed, please visit CrossBreedHolsters.com.
Galco Concealable Contour Belt
Galco’s Concealable Contour Belt is just the ticket for going armed in polite society. This 1.5-inch-wide belt tapers in the front, down to 1 inch. To the casual observer, it looks very much like a high-end dress belt. This belt is rendered from premium saddle leather, and the nickel-plated solid-brass buckle is another classy touch. Without question, the rounded contour of this belt enhances user comfort over the course of a long day. Throughout my evaluation, both gun and magazine pouch stayed put, and draw times were very fast.
For more information on the Galco Concealable Contour Belt and other products from Galco, please visit GalcoGunLeather.com.
Galco Sport Belt
For consumers who prefer a wider belt there’s the Galco Sport Belt, also crafted from premium saddle leather. My copy is 1.75 inches wide and includes a solid-brass buckle. The Galco Sport Belt is also available in a 1.5-inch-wide version or with decorative stitching. My 1.75-inch copy proved to be the ideal mate for my heavy 4-inch N-Frame revolvers.
For more information on the Galco Sport Belt and other products from Galco, please visit GalcoGunLeather.com.
Galco Instructors Belt
Although retired from active service, I still work as a law enforcement trainer a few days every week, and just about all of it’s on the range. A service-size handgun, spare magazines and flashlight are all part of my everyday gear, and I need a heavy-duty belt to accommodate it.
Of late, I have been utilizing a Galco Instructors Belt Reinforced with a 1.75-inch width. This belt is made of Type B nylon webbing and has an internal polyurethane reinforcement insert for maximum rigidity. It also includes a drop-forged parachute-spec buckle finished in Robar’s corrosion-resistant Roguard.
For more information on the Galco Instructors Belt and other products from Galco, please visit GalcoGunLeather.com.