A proper belt is the most overlooked aspect of an EDC (everyday carry) concealed carry rig. When we say rig, we’re referring to the gun, holster, and belt, along with any other accessories you’re carrying like a spare mag holder. The gun takes top billing, followed by the holster, usually because we need to buy these things to begin carrying. But a belt? Everyone’s got a belt. “What’s wrong with my belt?” you might say.
A good EDC Belt brings your entire carrying system together. With a regular belt, your holster may move and twist making it hard to draw. An EDC belt is designed for fit, rigidity, and utility, holding your firearm in place and not just holding up your pants.
Belts may not be as exciting as a sleek custom Kydex holster or as prized as a shiny new blaster, but they play an equally important role in safely and successfully carrying your gun. Yes, we said EQUAL. Why? Because even the best holster in the world—and by extension, you—will suffer if you hang it off of a floppy, ill-fitting belt.
The few holes in most belts leave you with a fit that’s either too loose or too small. Most are only an inch or so thick, and they lack the rigidity necessary to hold the grip of your pistol up tight to your side the way you need it to.
In short, if you don’t have a dedicated EDC belt you use when you carry, you’re missing a leg from a three-legged stool. An EDC belt will bring your whole setup together and keep it together.
Why an EDC Belt Matters
Why isn’t a regular belt ok? One word: stiffness. If you want another word, it would be fit. A regular leather belt is great at what it’s designed for – holding up your pants. They’re not designed for carrying upwards of two pounds; they bend outward, don’t fit as well as they should, and make your rig sag and flop around. This is why they don’t work well.
You don’t use a screwdriver to hammer a nail, do you? No, you get the right tool for the job.
Your regular belt probably has a series of holes spaced roughly 1” apart to adjust the fit. This is fine for regular use, but again, hanging a pistol on this belt quickly reveals that this crude adjustment method is far from ideal.
When carrying a gun, you need to be able to cinch your belt down more precisely. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be excruciatingly tight, it just means that you’ll crank it down until the gun stays where you want it. Many EDC belts have a beefy precision-adjust buckle to make this happen.
When your gun is riding properly in an outside-the-waistband holster, it’ll be snugly up against your body with the grip tucked in close. An inside-the-waistband holster will be much the same.
As you sit, walk, stand, and generally go about your day, the holster should remain in more or less in the same position and not need much adjustment. That’s how you know your EDC system is working properly. It’ll be comfortable AND comforting knowing you have a properly fitted and adjusted rig that’s conveniently out of sight but ready to deploy at a moment’s notice.
Let’s see how specialized EDC belts make this magic happen.
What makes an EDC Belt?
An important question to address is what is an EDC Belt, and what makes a good one? If you haven’t had any experience in this area of every-day-carry yet, it’s time to learn.
Buckle & Fit
Again, stiffness and fit are paramount to ensuring that your gun and holster stay put. The third piece to this puzzle is the buckle.
The buckle on an EDC belt must be, above all, strong. An all-steel or tough polymer construction and simple designs are ideal so there are fewer parts that can fail. A minimalist loop buckle is ideal for a subtle look that doesn’t scream TACTICAL GUN GUY.
The Low Profile EDC belt has a loop made of high-strength polymer that allows easy donning and adjustment. Some companies use triglides like the ones found on rifle slings, or V-rings, which work fine as well.
However, if you want a quick-buckling option, you want a belt with the proven Cobra buckle. The Hybrid EDC Belt combines the battle-tested buckle with the strength of our sewn ballistic nylon to deliver all-day comfort with the easy-to-buckle performance of a Cobra buckle. Another thing that makes the Hybrid EDC Belt special is the smaller 1” female buckle end that fits through your belt loops unlike other belts that have a Cobra buckle with 1.5” female buckles.
Buckles like the classic loop and Cobra permit the micro-adjustments you’ll need to ensure that your rig doesn’t move once you get it into place. Once you get your belt, add your holster and gun, and give it a jiggle. It should have very little play. If there is some, let out the tiniest bit of slack and try again.
After you wear your belt for a few hours you’ll have a better idea of what the correct tension feels like. This is why it’s necessary to have a buckle that permits tiny adjustments. Otherwise, it’s going to be way too tight or way too loose.
The stiffness or rigidity in an EDC belt can come from a variety of places. Some companies sew Kydex or polymer between layers of ballistic nylon, while others use thick leather in between. However, none of these are essential when you are using quality materials with a proven design.
You will want a belt that’s 1.5” thick. Some EDC belts are up to 1.75”, but not all pants have 2” belt loops and most holster clips are designed for 1.5” belts. Some duty belts are 2” or more, but those are for a different use altogether.
Stitching is a huge factor in a belt’s strength and stiffness. Using your floppy leather belt as a starting point, if it’s a solid piece of leather it doesn’t have any stitching. If it has two layers of leather sewn together, you’ll notice that it’s stronger than one that does not.
Stitching is found along the top and bottom of a belt, and this provides greater strength than a single strand of material, even heavy duty nylon. Blue Alpha belts use three rows of stitching and a resin impregnated nylon webbing to negate the need for a reinforcing material, which can make the belt unnecessarily bulky.
For example, on the Low Profile EDC belt, you can see a third row of stitching right down the middle of the belt. Each row of stitching reduces the amount of play the two halves of the belt have between them.
In other words, the more rows of stitching the less the material can shift and move. However, when you add the bulk of an inner material sandwiched between nylon, things can start to get uncomfortable. The added thickness also makes them harder to weave through holster loops.
The sturdiest belts can be some of the most uncomfortable, but that’s not saying they’re flat-out uncomfortable. They may dig into you more when you bend over, but this should by no means keep you from using the belt you need. Extra stitching also ensures that the belt will last. The tighter the belt’s construction is, the more durable and less susceptible to wear and tear it will be.
We provide EDC belts with no inner material and three rows of stitching, and our belts are worn every day by customers carrying a multitude of guns and even all-out duty gear worn by police and law enforcement. There’s plenty of strength built right into every Blue Alpha EDC belt.
Everyone has different tastes and desires, so our EDC belts are available in a variety of colors and patterns. A simple black Low Profile is great for blending in, but if you want to stand out at the range and on the town, we’ve got you covered with the limited-edition Wrapped Hybrid EDC belt. Our coyote brown and OD green and wolf gray are a perfect match for the rest of your kit if you have a plate carrier and mag pouches.
If you are looking for something a little more tactical and battle/duty ready, the Low Profile/Inner EDC Belt is ideal as an inner belt that goes inside a full-on battle belt with MOLLE loops. It provides the strength to carry extra mags, a med kit, and a dump pouch cinches tight in a flash, and has a Velcro outer that keeps your battle belt and all your gear right where it needs to be in every situation.
If your mind is right and you’re confident in your ability to safely carry a gun and effectively use it, toting actually isn’t that big of a deal. Provided you have a reliable, proven gun with a holster that completely covers the trigger and holds the pistol snugly, all that’s left is a rugged, comfortable, expertly fitted belt to complete the perfect carry rig.
If you have gone ahead and made the investment in a personal protection firearm, don’t stop short. Use the right tools to do the job correctly. Get a good belt that will keep your holster secure and make drawing and holstering easy and smooth.