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What Size Of Concealed Carry Belt Should I Get?
You’ve probably noticed that concealed carry belts come in multiple widths, with 1.25-, 1.5- and 1.75-inch belts being the most popular. There are also 2-inch belts, but those are really more duty belts and a whole other ball game.
Which should I get, you wonder?
The quick version goes like this:
1.75-inch belts of good construction are certainly the strongest, and 1.25-inch belts are the sleekest. However, the ideal blend of support and ease of use is with 1.5-inch belts…for the most part.
With that said, plenty of people have no problem using a concealed carry belt every day that’s a 1.25-inch or 1.75-inch belt, so it’s also the case that it typically doesn’t matter all that much and you should get the belt that you want or need first and foremost.
A 1.75-Inch Concealed Carry Belt: When Nothing But The Utmost Of Support Will Do
Some people aren’t interested in anything less than the biggest, strongest concealed carry belt they can get their hands on and darn the torpedoes and anything else for that matter.
The potential downside with a 1.75-inch belt is that some pants don’t work too well with them. Some brands of jeans can be a crapshoot, and dress pants are right out.
Some people also find that most 1.75-inch tactical belts are a bit too obvious, a bit too brash, preferring the understated strength of leather. There’s some truth to that; a rigger’s belt is very obvious and technical, whereas a quality leather belt just looks good.
You also have to be cautious with a holster. Not all of them are made to accommodate a 1.75-inch belt, though many are. You may need to find a different holster or get some replacement belt clips for yours to work with this size of belt.
But what are the upsides?
A lot stronger belt, for one. A well-made 1.75-inch tactical belt is more than strong enough for most full-size guns, let alone the typical carry pistol. Quality examples, such as those with dual spring steel cores, can easily handle an N-frame revolver plus any other belt gear.
You can take the belt off and use it as a competition rig or possibly as a work belt.
A quality 1.75-inch belt gives you the strongest level of support from a gun belt that you can get short of a duty belt, which is why a lot of people have come to prefer them.
However, there is the compatibility issue with holsters and belt loops on many pants. Granted, your mileage may vary.
A 1.25-Inch Concealed Carry Belt: Sleeker, But With Narrower Capabilities
You won’t have issues with pretty much any belt loops nor with holsters if you use a 1.25-inch concealed carry belt. They’re also sleeker, so you don’t quite feel the belt’s presence as much around the waist.
They are lower-profile, to be sure…but that doesn’t mean that you lose much in the way of support, or at least don’t up to a point.
A good concealed carry belt of 1.25-inch width, which is really for use with dress pants and slacks that can’t accommodate a larger belt in the belt loops, will still be made of dual-sided leather. Ideally, it will include a reinforcing material like a spring steel core for extra support.
While still strong enough for use as a gun belt, the loss of some real estate does mean a bit less vertical real estate that the belt is holding on to. As a result, these belts are better-suited to carrying with a compact pistol or smaller for best results.
Not the utmost in strength for bigger guns, but plenty strong enough for a compact or subcompact.
The upshot there is that most people who carry every day tend to carry a compact or subcompact. There are some folks who don’t of course, but if you wanted a lower-profile belt and had a more typical carry gun for the modern concealed carrier…it’s all the belt you really need.
And darned if some of them don’t look good doing it.
The 1.5-Inch Concealed Carry Belt: The Best Of All Worlds
The reason most people use a 1.5-inch concealed carry belt is that it’s pretty much the Goldilocks belt size. Not too big, not too small; it’s juuuuuuust right.
Standard pants, slacks and trousers all work with this belt width except for dress pants. Whereas a 1.75-inch belt may be too large for some on a case-by-case basis, a 1.5-inch belt always works because it’s the standard belt width.
A 1.5-inch leather concealed carry belt, either a 14-oz or 18.5-oz, is strong enough to handle any pistol that you might carry on a regular basis, especially if reinforced with a spring steel core.
A 1.5-inch tactical belt gives you the same strength in a sleeker package, but without the compatibility issues that 1.75-inch belts sometimes have with holsters and belt loops.
Regardless of what material you prefer, select the right belt and you won’t lack, at all, for support or strength as long as you have it.
To sum up, the 1.5-inch concealed carry belt width – provided you select the right make and model from the right company, because not all of them are created equal! – is the best all ’rounder, capable of concealed carry with a discreet holster and compact pistol, or carrying a big ‘ol OWB and a big ‘ol hogleg.
A 1.75-inch belt does ramp up the support a bit, and you won’t have a problem wearing it…for the most part. The belt loops of some pants won’t take one and not all holsters work with them.
A 1.25-inch belt works with any belt loop, but isn’t really the best choice of carry belt for larger-than-compact carry guns.
A gun belt is merely a tool. Get the right gun belt for what you’re going to use it for.