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What to Look For in a Tactical Belt

What to Look For in a Tactical Belt



Contrary to popular belief, the tactical belt is not solely for law enforcement and military personnel. A tactical belt is an essential piece of equipment for any gun owner who regularly carries a handgun, whether civilian or not.

Whether you carry a concealed subcompact pistol or a full-size service pistol, your tactical belt must be up to the task, no matter the type and style of holster you use. 

Find out what makes a good tactical belt, what features you should look for, and how to choose the best model for your carrying style and holster.

The Right Tool for the Job

Experienced gun owners understand the importance of adapting their tools for the job. They carry the firearms and equipment that makes the most sense for the intended task, balancing effectiveness and performance with comfort and usability.

While there is a great deal of discussion regarding guns and ammunition you should use for different self-defense applications, equipment such as gun belts does not receive the same kind of attention. 

Tactical Gun Belts with Talon Buckle

Tactical Gun Belts like the Talon, offer strength, rigidity, and comfort

Think of the tactical belt as the foundation on which all your everyday carry (EDC) equipment rests. You may already know that carrying a handgun without a holster is unsafe, but without a gun belt, carrying a traditional holster (e.g., concealment IWB holster or a duty OWB holster) is effectively impossible.

In addition, the gun belt must support accessories such as your magazine carriers, a knife sheath, key rings, your mobile phone, and other essentials.

An unreliable gun belt is likely to be uncomfortable, sag, or twist. In the worst-case scenarios, they may even tear under your gear’s weight and fail. If your gun belt is unreliable, you cannot carry the rest of your equipment confidently. Therefore, it is vital to ensure your belt is sufficiently robust and adaptable for you to find the right balance between strength and comfort.

When shopping for gun belts, here are the three essential criteria to consider: The belt’s material, the buckle type & quality, and the rigidity.

Belt Materials

Typically, tactical belts employ nylon in their construction, making them stand out from the traditional leather gun belt. However, not all nylon belts are created equal. 

Quality tactical gun belts feature strong base materials such as scuba webbing, which consists of a blend of nylon and polypropylene. First employed in equipment suitable for extreme conditions such as diving belts, this blend is well-known for its resistance to abrasions, cuts, tears, and general abuse.

The belt’s webbing should feature extra reinforcing, preferably double-stitching or a loop-liner, and avoid models that feature glued reinforcing. Although gluing is the least expensive reinforcing method, it is also the least durable and the least suited for everyday carry.

  • Belt loop size

Although the belt’s width contributes to its rigidity, almost all tactical belts are designed to fit 1.5” belt loops.

Tactical gun belts should fit through standard belt loops

Tactical gun belts should fit through standard belt loops

  • What about leather tactical belts?

Although you may find leather belts advertised as tactical, avoid these products. Most are inexpensive and feature a genuine leather mention, making it seem like you’re buying a quality product.

However, they do not possess the strength and rigidity required from a gun belt. Genuine leather indicates the lowest possible grade of leather available. These belts are unlikely to last more than a few months with your EDC kit.

Belt Buckle

The role of your tactical belt’s buckle is not just to close your belt and hold your gear together. It must also let you adjust it as precisely as possible for the best fit. If you can’t adjust your belt until it’s just right, it won’t be comfortable to wear.

Avoid any tactical belt with traditional belt holes and a frame buckle. They simply do not have the adjustability you need to reach a perfect fit. Instead, opt for a belt with a high-quality micro-adjustable buckle.

The best tactical belt buckle materials are typically impact-resistant plastic or metal (usually steel or aluminum). Both can be suitable, as the buckle material is not as important as its features. Look for models featuring a quick-release system for ease of putting on and off, such as the Talon belt buckle.

Some concealed carrying tactical belts are buckleless, reducing the profile and increasing concealability. They feature an industrial-strength hook-and-loop system and are ideally paired with a concealment holster, allowing you to carry your firearm confidently and discreetly.

Belt Rigidity

As with traditional leather gun belts, rigidity is an essential factor of a high-quality tactical belt. Rigidity is what grants your belt the strength to hold all your equipment without twisting or tearing. However, if the belt is too rigid, it will be uncomfortable.

Ensure your belt has just the right amount of rigidity to hold the equipment you intend to carry comfortably.

A tactical belt intended for duty use (e.g., open carry) has the rigidity and strength required to carry a full-size pistol plus holster, extra magazines, and other equipment. They are an excellent fit for gun owners who prefer to carry handguns on the larger size of the spectrum.

If you only intend to install a compact or subcompact handgun on your belt (with, at most, one or two extra magazines), a slightly more flexible belt may give you just enough rigidity to avoid sacrificing comfort.

Carry Your EDC Equipment Securely With We The People Holsters

The best tactical belt has the materials, construction, and rigidity to withstand carrying relatively heavy gear every day. It must also possess a quality belt buckle that lets you adjust its fit and comfort. You can also match your belt’s profile and rigidity level with the equipment you carry, allowing you to reach maximum comfort levels.

At We The People Holsters, we want American citizens to equip themselves with the best EDC equipment. We offer a complete range of tactical gun belts (Talon, Falcon), IWB and OWB holsters, and magazine carriers, suitable for open and concealed carrying. For more information on our product lineup, browse our online catalog or visit our contact page and send us a message.