Choosing to carry a concealed firearm is a major decision and one that may just save your life or another’s life. Whether you have been carrying for years or just starting out, choosing to carry is only part of the equation. Once you have decided to concealed carry, you must choose your firearm, train, and select a holster. However, an often-overlooked aspect of concealed carry is what type of belt to wear.
Why a Concealed Carry Belt is Important
Do you really need a belt specifically designed for concealed carry? You probably have several dress or work belts already that you would consider perfectly fine. Why do you need another one? Because those belts you own just – and excuse the turn of phrase – ain’t gonna cut it.
Dress and work belts do not offer the same stiffness that a tactical belt provides. This means that with the added weight of the holster and firearm, your dress belt won’t stand a chance of keeping your pants up and your firearm secure.
Important Features for a Concealed Carry Belt
Regular work or dress belts are designed to keep your pants or shorts from falling, and perhaps do so stylishly. Conversely, the belt you use for concealed carry should be a tactical belt with specific features designed for the purpose of carrying your EDC items and your firearm. The first feature to consider is the belt’s stiffness.
A concealed carry belt should be constructed out of nylon mesh, leather, or a combination of the two. Look for heavy-duty tension strength with reinforced stitching. This helps ensure your belt does not sag with the extra weight when you attach the holster and firearm to it. You want a CCW belt that offers proper tension for your holster, and won’t twist, fold, or shift while you’re moving.
Because you’re carrying extra weight than you would with a normal belt, you want a durable buckle that will fasten easily and help support the added load. Many prefer a tactical belt and belt buckle that is low-key. That is, you don’t want too much flash which can let others know that you are carrying.
Ideally, your concealed carry belt must hold your firearm securely in place and allow you to draw your weapon quickly and easily should you need to. Therefore, your belt should offer a blend of comfort and toughness. Because of the added weight your belt must carry, it may be wise to opt for a smaller size than you normally wear. This will allow you to fasten your belt securely. Also, make sure the size of the belt you purchase will easily fit the belt loops of the pants you plan to wear.
5.11 Tactical Belts for Concealed Carry
Our collection of tactical belts for concealed carry features an enviable combination of high-quality craftsmanship, comfort, toughness, and versatility. These are three of our favorites.
Ticking all the boxes, this belt is durable, yet lightweight and flexible. The ELAS-TAC is constructed of 100% nylon and features hook-and-loop adjustability, as well as a set-it and forget-it, low-profile G-hook buckle. You’ll look sharp, but most importantly, your firearm will remain safe and secure on your person.
SI Web Belt
The SI Web belt offers unparalleled comfort and duty-ready support. It features a no-sew construction with an aluminum buckle with anodized finish. Trim-to-fit sizing means this belt is perfect for any body shape, size, and type.
TDU® Low Pro Belt
Old faithful. That could be the nickname for this tried-and-trusted staple in the 5.11 tactical belt collection. But we have upgraded the no-sew construction for an even more secure fit. The lower inset tension bar also offers a flatter profile, perfect for concealed carry. And the updated custom buckle provides a tighter fit, so no need to worry about sagging.
CCW Resources from 5.11 Tactical
If you decide that concealed carry is the right choice for you, be sure to check out our Concealed Carry Basics guide where we cover all things concealed carry including how to get a CCW permit, dos and don’ts of concealed carry, and must-have accessories.