LAST UPDATED: December 19, 2019
Best Tactical Belts: Conveniently Carry All the Gear You Need
These tactical belts make it extremely easy to carry around your gear
The Review Team
How We Decided
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PUBLISHED ON December 19, 2019
Whether you’re a police officer, first responder, or an EDC proponent, chances are you have more equipment than you have places to put it. These tactical belts can help solve that problem, as they’re capable of supporting firearms, batons, spare ammunition, and nearly anything else you could possibly need when in a hostile environment. Plus, they look great while holding your pants up—what more could you ask for?
Made of fade- and fray-resistant nylon webbing, this versatile option can double as a tie-down or carry strap if needed.
The quadruple-stitched reinforcements allow it to safely support quite a bit of gear without ripping or tearing. A lack of metal components enables users to pass through metal detectors quickly and without any hassle.
It’s difficult to tighten, so you may feel as if your pants are slipping while wearing it. It may also be too flimsy to support larger-caliber firearms.
A quick-release metal buckle lets you take it off in a flash. Its incredibly stiff construction ensures it won’t flop around, even when loaded to the gills.
This option is a bit more stylish than other tactical models, making it a smart choice for users who want to make a fashion statement. It has two tabs that need to be engaged for the buckle to release, reducing the possibility of it coming loose accidentally.
Putting it on is a bit of a chore, as you have to remove the buckle every time you want to use it on a new pair of pants. It’s also too wide for some belt loops.
Two built-in pouches give you a handy place to store spare magazines or other equipment, and the adjustable loops allow you to make customizations or modifications.
An inner lining holds the belt in its proper orientation, so it won’t slide around on you if you need to sprint unexpectedly. It’s only semi-rigid, making it more comfortable for extended use than some of its competitors.
The sideways orientation of the pouches makes it easy for things to fall out if they’re not securely fastened. It has four belt keepers, but they’re purely ornamental, as they do nothing to hold the belt upright.
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Benefits of Tactical Belts
- Hold essential items. If you're a member of the military, a law enforcement officer, or part of a search and rescue team, you need a tactical belt that provides instant access to important gear, including flashlights, knives, a radio, and other tools.
- Vital for survival. These belts hold items that are necessary for survival, either for yourself or other individuals. Depending on your profession, the belt stashes tools that ensure you and those around you are protected.
- Durable. The great thing about tactical belts for outdoor enthusiasts, EMTs, and police officers is that they are rugged and last a long time. They have just the right amount of flexibility and support to hold a lot of supplies. They also outlast casual, everyday belts.
Types of Tactical Belts
Instructor belts feature some type of clipping mechanism and have heavy-duty seams and buckles capable of supporting weights of at least 500 pounds and as much as several thousand pounds. There is no such thing as overkill when it comes to the best tactical instructor belts. They also have several rows of stitching for added strength.
A rigger belt is designed for rappelling and is more suitable for rock climbing, fast-roping, or ziplining than walking on patrol. This type of belt has an anchor point and holds up your pants during strenuous activities. The downside to these belts is that they are not designed to hold any gear.
The best gun belts are designed to be thick and rigid enough to support a firearm, making them ideal for police or military use. They are also known as duty belts and are often made of nylon or leather. Tactical gun belts feature many pouches that are easily accessible and allow the user to keep his or her hands free.
A mountain climber launched 5.11 Tactical in the late 1960s. Based in Irvine, California, the company produces clothing and tactical gear for military, law enforcement, and public safety personnel. One top product is the 5.11 Tactical Multi-Functional Patrol Belt.
Condor Outdoor Products
Condor, based in Irwindale, California, got its start manufacturing camping gear 25 years ago. One of its top tactical products is the three-day assault pack, but it also produces tactical vests and other equipment, such as the Condor Tactical Belt, for the military, law enforcement, first-responders, and hunters.
Hanks Belts, based in Endicott, New York, has been designing and manufacturing belts since 1949. It produces leather, casual, and gun belts that are made of full-grain leather. One of its popular products is the Hanks Stitch Gunner Belt.
Tactical Belt Pricing
- Under $20: You can purchase a wide variety of tactical belts for a reasonable price. Those in this price range are fairly durable and get the job done effectively.
- Over $20: More expensive tactical belts typically feature extra reinforcements in the stitching and are made of ultra-strong material to ensure durability. They are designed to be rip-resistant and may be a little more robust overall than their cheaper counterparts.
The best tactical belts for military and law enforcement are nice and wide. This is essential because you need a belt that can evenly distribute the weight of the gear affixed to it. Most military tactical belts are between 1.25 and 2 inches thick. Don't purchase anything thinner because it won't be as effective at holding your equipment.
The best tactical belts are made of strong, thick materials. This can make them challenging to loop through pants, and that's why some feature removable buckles to make the process easier. Tactical belts are much more effective than cheap and flimsy belts and are usually made of nylon or leather. They are solidly built and are very robust in their construction.
The buckles on tactical belts vary widely. The most important thing is that the buckle can support the weight of everything that you're carrying. Some belts even allow you to repel from a wall or cliff side. Keep in mind that some buckles are bulkier than others and may be more difficult to adjust. Some are also plastic, so you don’t need to remove the belt when you go through a metal detector at a security checkpoint.
- Rigidity: The rigidity of a tactical belt refers to how stiff it is. You want a belt that is nice and rigid but still comfortable. You need good rigidity because that will enable you to cleanly draw your firearm, flashlight, or other tool. If a belt is too loose or gets floppy over time, it will be less effective at holding your gear properly.
- Comfort: If you wear a tactical belt for extended periods of time, it needs to be comfortable. Some of the most comfortable tactical belts are leather, but they may take a little while to break in. Nylon is also comfortable as long as you wear the correct size.
Best Tactical Belt Reviews & Recommendations 2020
This belt is made of 100 percent fade- and fray-resistant nylon webbing. It's very versatile and can also be used as a tie-down or carry strap, if required. The ergonomic belt is one inch wide and evenly distributes weight for optimum functionality. It's designed for both men and women.
The belt is lightweight yet rugged. It's very comfortable whether you wear it with tactical shorts or casual everyday pants. The quadruple-stitched reinforcements make it strong enough to support quite a bit of gear without ripping or tearing. Also, a lack of metal components enables you to pass through metal detectors quickly and without any hassle.
One problem with the belt is that it's difficult to tighten, so you may feel as if your pants are slipping while you're wearing it. It may also be too flimsy to support larger-caliber firearms. There have also been some complaints that the buckle is bulky.
This belt features a quick-release, heavy-duty metal buckle, which lets you take it off fast. Its incredibly stiff construction ensures it won’t flop around, even when fully loaded. It has a maximum bearing weight of 1,100 pounds and is ideal for military training and camping.
The Fairwin belt is comfortable, breathable, and slightly more stylish than other tactical models, making it a smart choice if you want to make a fashion statement. It has two tabs that need to be engaged for the buckle to release, reducing the odds of it coming loose accidentally. It also comes with a two-year warranty.
The biggest complaint about this belt is that putting it on is a bit of a hassle because you must remove the buckle every time you want to use it on a new pair of pants. It’s also too wide for some belt loops. In addition, it may occasionally pop open when you bend over.
The Condor 2-inch tactical belt features two built-in pouches for storing spare magazines or other equipment. The adjustable loops allow you to make modifications, and it fits people with waists up to 44 inches. The belt is very durable and has a heavy-duty, quick-release buckle.
This tactical belt is sturdy, tough, and rugged. It holds your gear tightly and securely. An inner lining holds the belt in its proper orientation, so it won’t slide around if you need to sprint unexpectedly. It’s only semi-rigid, so it's more comfortable for extended use than some of its rivals.
One issue with the belt is that the sideways orientation of the pouches makes it easy for items to fall out if they’re not securely fastened. While it has four belt keepers, they’re ornamental and do nothing to hold the belt upright. Also, over time it may lose its form and stiffness and get floppy.
This 1.5-inch tactical military trainer belt is made of strong nylon mesh and is designed with fade- and rip-resistant components. It's available in numerous colors, including black, charcoal, and sandstone, and comes in sizes small to 4XL. The belt has a stainless steel buckle with a tensile strength of up to 5.11 pounds.
The belt has stitched reinforcements for added durability. It is very versatile and can also be used as a tie down, carry strap, or emergency harness. It's thick and solidly constructed, and you can hike or run with heavy loads while wearing it and not have to worry about slippage or movement. It also has a good amount of flexibility, so you can tighten and loosen it in small increments, which makes it fit comfortably.
However, when you're sitting, the buckle may dig into your stomach a little. It may also be difficult to find a size that fits perfectly, i.e., the large may be too small and the XL too big. The Velcro is also not the best quality.
This tactical web belt is made of breathable, eco-friendly nylon and features a quick-release buckle. It is 1.5-inches wide, is available in sizes small to 3XL, and comes in black, brown, and green. Its V-ring is designed to hold a variety of gear and accessories with a maximum bearing weight of 1,100 pounds.
This belt is heavy-duty, sturdy, and flexible. The buckle is well-constructed. The elastic loop holds the slack well and the Velcro holds the ring nicely in place. It's very adjustable and doesn't slip. It's also easy to clean with a damp cloth, and the company provides a two-year warranty, including free returns within 60 days.
The biggest complaint about this belt is that you have to remove the buckle to take it off of your pants. It's also a little bulky and heavy, which some users may not like. In addition, the loop that holds the extra length of the belt after you adjust the size feels cheap.
BLACKHAWK's military belt features parachute-grade buckles and adapters. It has a 1.75-inch webbing and comes in black, coyote tan, desert tan, and olive drab. It's available in sizes small, medium, and large, and fits waists up to 51 inches. A hook and loop secures the end.
This is a great range and duty belt. It has a heavy-duty buckle as well as Velcro on the end for a secure fit. It features a good amount of Velcro, so no matter how much slack you have, you can secure it to get a tight fit. Overall, the components are good-quality, the metal buckle and triangle clip are hefty, and it's built to last a long time.
One downside is that it's heavy and may be too big or bulky for some users. You have to undo the Velcro while using the restroom, and the Velcro can get caught when you're threading the belt through belt loops.
The KingMoore nylon tactical belt is available in three sizes and fits waists from 30 to 46 inches. It's available in black, army green, and khaki. The nylon braids have anti-tearing properties, and the buckle is made of aviation-class aluminum alloy. The internal structure includes copper components, and the belt is designed to withstand external forces.
This belt is strong and looks good. It latches well, and the buckle doesn't slip when you bend over. It holds its position all day and stands up well in a physically demanding environment. The texture of the belt doesn't bite your skin or damage your clothing, and it's quick and easy to use. The extra attachment is also convenient and can hold items such as keys on a carabiner for easy access.
One downside is that you must reset the strap and remove the locking end of the buckle every time you use it or to put the belt on a different pair of pants. The belt's material is also not as thick or heavy duty as some rival brands.
The Mission Elite two-ply, rip-resistant, 1.5-inch nylon tactical belt supports IWB and OWB holsters as well as magazines and pouches without bending or sagging. The high-strength polymer buckle allows you to go through airport security checkpoints without removing the belt. It's available in sizes small to 3XL and comes in black, coyote tan, and army green.
The plastic buckle holds just as securely as a metal one. The belt is well-built, comfortable, and stays tight on your waist. It's a duty and service belt that is also great for everyday use. It is stiff enough to provide good support when carrying accessories such as a two-way radio, flashlight, multi tool, etc., but it's not so stiff that it's uncomfortable. It's also convenient to wear when flying because you don't have to remove it for TSA screenings.
However, it may take a few times to perfect the tightening of the belt when you first put it on. Fortunately, there's a video on YouTube that is very helpful. It's also not as heavy-duty as some competitor web belts.
The Wolf Tactical belt fits 28- to 51-inch waists and comes in black and tan. The nylon, two-ply belt is 1.5-inches wide and doesn't bend or sag when carrying accessories such as holsters, magazines, and other accessories. It has a metal quick-release buckle, a Velcro hook and loop system, and is designed to be rip-resistant.
The belt has a slim profile and locks up nice and tight. It's durable and doesn't slip, bend out of shape, or stretch after a few weeks of wear. It is also easy to take off the buckle to feed the belt through your belt loops and just as simple to put the buckle back on and tighten it up.
However, the belt isn't as stiff as some higher-end options. Also, you may have to order one size larger than usual, and it can be difficult to thread through some standard belt loops. In addition, it can be hard to adjust to size when it’s fully looped through your pants.
- When shopping for a tactical belt, you should look at three main factors: rigidity, buckle strength, and whether it fits in the belt loops of your pants. A floppy belt is practically useless and downright dangerous, while a weak buckle can undermine the entire belt, especially if you find yourself in a struggle.
- If you want a belt for EDC, look for one that will make carrying a firearm easy. That means it needs to be versatile enough to hold your weapon and any other accessories, while also making it convenient for you to reach your gun in a hurry. Ideally, it should help conceal the fact that you’re carrying in order to avoid any misunderstandings. Finally, make sure it’s rugged enough to withstand the additional weight it’ll be expected to carry on a daily basis.
- While it’s important that your belt be able to lug around all your gear, don’t forget that you’re going to have to actually wear the thing, too. If it’s not comfortable, you’ll find yourself either leaving behind valuable equipment to lighten the load, constantly readjusting it when you should be focused on your surroundings, or—worst of all—you may even avoid wearing it at all.
Q: What is a tactical belt, and what makes one better than another?
A: A tactical belt is designed to hold the gear that cops, military personnel, or other first responders need to have handy at all times. As such, the best belts are durable, flexible, and able to support a wide assortment of supplies. They’re often made of materials like fine-grain leather, high-quality nylon, and cotton canvas.
Q: Are there different types of tactical belts?
A: There are three types of tactical belts you’re likely to encounter while shopping: instructor belts, rigger belts, and gun belts. Instructor belts feature some sort of clipping mechanism and have heavy-duty seams and buckles capable of supporting weights of at least 500 pounds. Rigger belts are designed for rappelling and are more suitable for rock climbing, fast-roping, or zip-lining than walking a patrol. Gun belts, on the other hand, have to be thick and rigid enough to support a firearm, making them ideal for police or military use.
Q: Can I wear a tactical belt on casual occasions?
A: Of course! While tactical belts are designed for functional uses like assisting search-and-rescue personnel, they’re perfectly suitable for everyday wear as well. Many tactical belts blend in with a wide assortment of pants and some are quite fashionable. The best tactical belt, after all, is the one that meets your needs while also looking great with your existing wardrobe.
The 5.11 Tactical Multi-Functional Patrol Belt is our favorite, as it is extremely durable and rigid, and the lack of metal components makes it extremely convenient for EDC.
If you want something a little more stylish, the Fairwin Military-Style Tactical Belt has a fashionable buckle that will dress up any outfit you pair it with, and you can take it off in a flash, thanks to its quick-release feature.