When shopping for a gun belt, there are a lot of choices. There are a lot of options, and it can be a bit confusing at first. Daunting, even. But if you buy from a reputable company, you usually come out with something workable. Kane and Sean happened to both buy the same belt, in different colors, from Alien Gear. But was it worth the price?
Sean up first. When you carry a gun, even a compact or a subcompact, the weight of the gun can drag your pants down. If you’re a big guy, like Kane and I are, you can have more complex issues. Like the belt warping and deforming, stretching and splitting. And that’s before you even add the gun. Gun belt and holster makers are beginning to address this issue more and more, but the normal response is to simply make the belt thicker or wider. Which can make actually wearing the belt a pain, and puts extra wear on the holster clips. The best solution I have found so far, is steel. Alien Gear’s spring steel reinforced gun belt, specifically.
But first, a little reassurance from Alien Gear.
We have a few dedicated Alien Gear fans here at NBO. A few months ago, I had a need for a couple of holsters. Naturally, Alien Gear was my first stop. They have great products at great prices, and I knew that. I also needed to get two good holsters and a good belt for under 100$. And that is difficult to manage elsewhere. I had heard about reinforced belts before, but never really considered them to be that much of an improvement. But the only ones I had handled, were polymer reinforced, and these were spring steel. And since I was on the internet unsupervised and had my debit card handy, I went ahead and added it to the cart.
This was a wonderful idea. Not only does the belt look good, it doesn’t look like a gun belt. It looks just like the belt my father kept on his dresser, just in case his son ever needed a little “adjustment”. There is no added bulk, but there is a touch of added weight. But surprisingly, not much added weight. Even with the spring steel core, it feels like a belt. It feels like leather. I half expected it to feel like a hula hoop to be quite honest.
So I wore the belt around the house for a few days. I wore it when I went into town. I wore it everywhere. Then, I got around to hanging a gun on it, and it was like there was no change at all. Well, other than a Glock 43 pressing against my side. No belt droop, no pants getting dragged down. It just felt the same, like the belt was there. But the Glock 43 is made to be extremely concealable. It weighs very little even fully loaded. So to up the test a bit, I swapped the shells on my holster, and carried the Glock 19 MOS. And it felt almost the same. When getting dressed or using the restroom, it was a noticeable difference, of course. But mowing the lawn, walking the dog, chasing my kids or just sitting at the computer writing, it was the same as with the G43.
Now, a couple months later, the Alien Gear belt has become my default belt. I wear it to the gun shop, the grocery store, everywhere. Even when not carrying a gun, I still pick up the gun belt, because it’s not just a gun belt. And I’m not the only one here at NBO who has switched. Kane has as well, so I’ll let him give his impression of it.
Kane here. As an Alien Gear fan from personal use prior to my writing and reviewing, I was interested in the belt when they first announced it. However, being someone who doesn’t have the budget to pick up every new thing on a whim, I was content with the belt I was using. It wasn’t until shot show this year that I was able to put hands on leather and I was also able to talk to the AG reps, who gave me a great rundown while we talked about that and a few of their other products. The belt was thick like a gun belt, but not as thick as I imagined when I imagined steel between the layers. The belt was also very easy to wrap around, something that was also contrary to my initial ideas of a belt with a steel insert. I have to say that I was impressed; so impressed that I went home, picked one up… as well as another holster.
Knowing that I needed to break in a new belt, I wore it exclusively. Around the house? Yup. Going out in jeans? Yup. Going out in slacks? Yup. How about in shorts? I sure did. And you know what? I’m sitting in my office in a building that bans firearms, and I’m still wearing it. It is simply a nice belt. It’s supple where it needs to be, and the spring steel insert ensures that the belt doesn’t twist or flex as I bend or twist. When I’m carrying, the holster and handgun stay where they need to be. As a 230 lb man, weaker belts will flex and twist. On a weaker belt, a holstered handgun may sit right when I get dressed, but after standing up and sitting, bending, or twisting, adjustments need to be made. I used to think that this was par for the course, but with my AG belt, this is not the case.
Sure, adjustments will need to happen, but now I tend to forget that I’m carrying. This is a good thing. I didn’t realize how often I adjusted until I didn’t have to. So right now I use my AG belt more than any other. It’s the belt I use for casual dress, and my go to carry belt when I an carrying my Para Expert Carry and HK VP9 IWB, and when I carry my HK45 OWB. Be it short, long, heavy, or light, the belt does what I need it to do, and it sometimes reminds me of what belts are supposed to do… hold things in place without you needing to think about it.
I’m looking forward to seeing how it holds up with more frequent attachment and detachment of my Cloak Mod OWB holster, now that AG has released the Cloak Dock, I’ll most likely be picking one up and mounting it in a couple of places at home (at least until they let me mount and use one in my office). That will allow me to move my Cloak Mod holster from my belt to my desk for an even more comfortable day.
Sean again. At the time of writing, Kane and I weighed roughly the same amount, with me being about 6-8 inches taller. So our body types are quite different, though we are both big guys. Since then, Kane has actually lost a significant amount of weight. I… ok, fine, I haven’t lost any. And our comfort levels and personal ratings for this belt are pretty much the same. If you’re curious about the holsters we use from Alien Gear, we’ll have more information about those up soon. At any rate, we both highly recommend this belt. I paid about a hundred for the belt and two holsters. Alien Gear is still running the same package, if interested. And it is absolutely worth the money.