It's important to keep your gun safe but accessible when it's being carried on your person. The type of belt you use to carry your gun is important, because it impacts what you can carry around, how you access it and even what kind of clothes you can wear. The decision to use a gun belt versus a tactical belt can be a tough one.
Ultimately, what you need to know about these two types of belts is which will best serve your needs. Knowing your goals and priorities in this case can help you choose the right option for you. Understanding the differences is important as well. In this article, we'll outline the differences between tactical EDC belts and standard gun belts, including their distinguishing features, materials and more.
What is a Tactical Belt?
A tactical belt is a belt that's commonly used by military personnel, police, security and law enforcement professionals. Tactical belts are made of durable, long-lasting nylon specifically for duty use (open carry). Tactical belts are used for open carry because they're virtually impossible to hide: they're large and bulky, and intended to keep your items accessible.
A tactical belt is designed for strength and sturdiness, to hold a gun and other equipment, such as a flashlight, knife, radio, money, change, identification, keys and so on.
Features of a Heavy Duty Tactical Belt
Practical attachments. Typically, tactical belts come with configurable attachments that can be swapped in and out based on the needs of the wearer. Choose the attachments that meet your needs.
Stiff, strong design. Tactical belts are made from stiff, tear-resistant material that's breathable and fast-drying. By necessity, they're capable of withstanding the weight of several pieces of equipment, including a utility pouch, radio, holster and more. Tactical belts also have reinforced stitching to keep the belt together even when subjected to stressors.
Rigidity. The hallmark of a tactical belt, because this is what allows the belt to support the weight of several pieces of heavy equipment. However, a good tactical belt will strike a balance, with a material that is neither too saggy nor too rigid. If the belt is too stiff, it won't fit comfortably. Achieving this balance can be tough, which is why it's important to choose a tactical belt from a company that makes quality products.
Width. A typical tactical belt will be between 1.75 and 2 inches wide. This means that most tactical belts can't be worn with dress pants, and can only be worn with certain everyday pants.
Purpose of a Tactical Belt
Tactical belts are designed to carry around tools, accessories and equipment related to the gun itself. This is why tactical belts are a preferred tool worn by security professionals, on the field when training, or at the gun range. Wearers are able to have everything they would need for their gun at all times.
What is a Traditional Gun Belt?
A traditional gun belt is a stiff, strong belt that can be used to hold a gun in a concealed carry situation. The gun belt supports the gun and keeps it in position for the safety and convenience of the wearer. Traditional gun belts can be made from both nylon or leather.
What is the Purpose of a Gun Belt?
The purpose of a gun belt is to carry a gun safely in a location where it can be easily reached. Gun belts make it easy to carry a gun subtly, without drawing attention to your firearm. They are designed to be stiff enough to keep a gun secure, but comfortable enough to wear close to your body. Really, the only difference between a standard dress belt and a gun belt is the stiffness and strength: a gun belt is strong enough to hold up your pants and your firearm at the same time. A standard belt can only hold up your pants.
Features of a Reinforced Gun Belt
Typical gun belts are made of leather or nylon, although they can be made from other materials. A reinforced gun belt is slightly thicker than a standard dress belt, and is slightly wider as well.
Standard gun belts are at least 1.5 inches thick, whereas standard dress belts are typically only 1.25 inches thick. Not all gun belts will fit through gun belt loopholes for this reason. Often, gun belts are made from more than just leather, and will include a core made of steel. Gun belts will also have reinforced stitching to ensure it will not break.
Ways to Carry a Gun in an ECD Belt?
There are multiple ways to carry a gun in a gun belt. Wearers can choose the style that's most comfortable for them, or may choose different methods for carrying their gun depending on the circumstances.
- In waistband (IWB) or outside waistband (OWB). Either way, you'll need to buy a holster to position inside your gun belt.
- Appendix carry. This is a position in the front of your body, near the appendix.
- Small of back. This position puts the gun at the small of your back.
When trying to decide which type of carry is right for you, consider your own comfort as well as how concealed your gun is.
Should I Buy a Tactical Belt or Gun Belt?
When trying to decide whether you should buy a tactical or gun belt, consider first which type serves your purposes. Do you need to carry extra items around in your belt, or simply a gun? Which is more comfortable for you? How long do you need to carry your gun? What kind of pants will you be wearing?
Take into consideration all these questions before choosing the right type of belt for you. Keep in mind that you may need more than one type of belt to meet your purposes. You can keep both types of belts on hand.