March 13, 2012
The finest holster in the world isn't going to work very well at all if you hang it on a twisting, saggy belt. The belt probably counts for one third of the total package when carrying a gun. Worn belts don't support holsters as well as new belts, and you don't want your holster and/or mag pouch shifting or flopping around on you.
I carry a full-size gun every day, and even though I don't have a big gut stretching out my belts, they get stretched out anyway. As Sir Isaac Newton said, gravity sucks.
I prefer leather (or leather looking) belts, as opposed to the nylon "Instructor"-type belts, usually in a 1 ½" width. In decades past I have used leather belts from Milt Sparks, first a single thickness, then a double thickness when the first one got stretched out and a bit tired-looking. Eventually, even the double-thickness belt got abused to the point of needing to be replaced (which admittedly took four or five years).
I am not the only person who saw the need for a sturdy, concealment-type belt, and now modern synthetic holster technology is finding its way into belts as well.
For the last two years or so my daily wear/concealed carry belt has been a Blade-Tech Looper Gun Belt. This appears to be a simple leather belt, and comes in brown or black, with a smooth or patterned appearance. What makes it different is the layer of Kydex in the center in-between the layers of leather. This Kydex stiffens and reinforces the belt enough that, even after two years of daily carry of either a Glock 34 or SIG P226, with a spare magazine on the offside, mine hasn't been stretched out at all. Suggested retail is $54.99. www.blade-tech.com I HIGHLY recommend it.
After two years, however, the leather surface of the Blade-Tech belt has gotten a little scratched up by my holster and mag pouches, and I started looking around for something to replace the plain brown belt, maybe something a little more upscale. Surfing the Blackhawk website I saw they have a line of Concealment CQC pistol belts. These belts were advertised as having a reinforced spine, and were available in a number of finishes—carbon fiber, lizardskin, and gator.
I ordered a black gator-finish 1.5 inch belt, and have been wearing it for about a month now. While it looks like a very nice leather belt, it is much stiffer. I don't know what it is reinforced with, but it works. At a suggested retail of only $29.99, I give this belt three thumbs up.