Top Tips For Using A Tactical Belt
Decided to leave leather behind and pick up a tactical belt instead? Not a bad idea! However, these belts are a little different than the typical belt you might be used to using, so there are a few tips, tricks and so on that you'll want to know. Granted, it's not rocket surgery; most people figure these things out on their own.
That said, if you want to get the best out of a tactical belt...here are some tips from Bigfoot Gun Belts. We would know, because we make them!
Make Sure You Get The Right Size Of Tactical Belt.
This seems totally obvious, but it's actually really important to get your sizing right when you order a tactical belt. It's just as important if you're ordering a leather belt. It's also important if you order a shirt, or shoes or whatever item of clothing it might be.
In fact, sizing errors are the cause of pretty much all of the product returns here at Bigfoot Gun Belts.
So here's what we recommend you do BEFORE you buy:
Get either a cloth measuring tape or a piece of string about 5 feet long. Run the measuring tape (or string) through your belt loops, and pull it a little tight. If you have to use string, mark it where it overlaps.
The measurement you get is your waist size, and that's what you want to use when ordering your belt. Don't order your pants size. If you're going to use an IWB holster, you want an extra inch or two of room, so make sure you factor that in. Get the right size, and your belt will work a whole lot better.
You Have More Wiggle Room If Losing Weight.
A concern some people have when buying a gun belt is what will happen if they lose weight.
Makes sense, right? Here you're spending a goodly sum on a belt, only for it to be useless to you later because there's less you, and you have to buy another one.
There's good news and bad news. The good news is that there's some wiggle room. The bad news is it's only there up to a point. Okay, so the good news: you can probably adjust your belt a bit and use it while losing weight.
Our tactical belts fit a size range of about 4 inches each. If your belt size is in the middle or upper end of that size range - say you have a 39-inch waist, and you order a Large, which fits a 37- to 40-inch waist - then you can just tighten it. If you use a leather belt, and fasten at the middle belt prong hole, you have about an inch on either side to let the belt out or tighten it. Therefore, you don't have to buy a whole new belt if you lose the 5 or 10 pounds some of us put on during the holidays. However, as you can also gather, that only goes far.
We get it. Having to buy another belt stings...but look at it like this: a new wardrobe is a reward for hard work. Diligence and discipline will help you keep it.
How To Actually Use A Quick Release Buckle On Your Tactical Belt.
One of the selling points of the typical tactical belt is a quick-release buckle. It's a great feature, but where some people make things harder on themselves is by not using it correctly.
Here's how it's done.
When you put your belt on, leave the buckle fastened. Take the tail out of the buckle entirely. What you want to do is thread the tail through the belt loops, and then through the buckle. Then, fasten the tail on the hook and loop fastener to fully fasten your belt.
Wait. If that's how you put the belt on, what's even the point of a quick release buckle? How are you supposed to use it? When you're going to take your pants off or down, but will put them back on.
If you wear the same pair of pants for a day or two before washing them, pop the buckle and then put it back on the next day. Or, if you have to answer the call of nature. It makes putting your pants back on that much easier.
Wear Your Tactical Belt Upside Down.
Another top tip on using a tactical belt?
If you're going to wear a pistol and holster with your belt, flip that thing upside down. Huh?! Has the smell of leather finally made them LOSE THEIR MIND?!
The tail of the typical tactical belt goes to the right, whereas the tail of the typical leather belt goes to the left. With a leather belt, the tail usually isn't too long; at the longest, it tends to reach almost to the front pants pocket. With a tactical belt, the tail tends to be longer with hook and loop fabric on the inside of the tail that fastens onto the rest of the belt. Now, the way the typical IWB holster is put on is by attaching the holster to the belt before you fasten it.
For a right-handed person...how the heck are you supposed to do that if the tail of the belt is on the right side?
Answer? Flip the belt over!
With the tail on the left side, exactly how you fasten the belt changes - meaning you use hook and loop fabric and a buckle rather than a typical prong fastener - but doesn't otherwise. So flip that thing over.
Buy Once, Cry Once.
Look, it's not that we don't know that there are a bunch of tactical belts on social media or Amazon that are cheap. We get it, okay? However, what we'd like to suggest is that a belt which is going to be used to support a pistol is supposed to be a durable item. Exactly how durable is a belt going to be if it only costs $10?
Obviously, we can't speak for all gun belt makers; we can only speak for ourselves. We put a lot of effort in terms of research and development to make sure a belt is as solid as we can make it. Other belt makers of good repute do likewise.
The materials and the work...don't come for free or really for cheap. The question for you is whether you want to trust an item you bought because it was a cheaper version of something else...when you could have bought the real deal. It's like buying cheap work boots or a cheap mattress. You could, but it's going to make you miserable. You might as well invest in something that you know is going to work.
As the saying goes...buy once, cry once. Get a good quality belt, and you'll get your money's worth. Don't, and it might work...sort of, or for a little while...but you're almost certainly going to wind up back at square one.
Get The Right Tactical Belt For Your Intended Use.
Make sure you get the right tactical belt for your intended use. As with anything else, getting the right tool for the task makes the job easier. Granted, it's not as if you can't use, say, a rigger's belt can't be used for EDC. It definitely can!
However, if you're looking for a slimmed-down, minimalist belt that can handle concealed carry and range days and just making things easier on yourself, a EDC belt that's a bit more streamlined may be a better choice.
You can make almost any tactical belt work so long as it isn't a duty belt, of course, but getting the one that suits your intended use and lifestyle will make you a lot happier with your purchase.