A few months ago I was attending the two-day training class needed to quality for my state’s concealed-carry permit, and then came time to demonstrate range proficiency. While I was aware there would be a live-fire segment and was confident that I would qualify, I did not know that we would be drawing from a holster. It made total sense, of course, since it was a CCW class, but it hadn’t occurred to me to come equipped with a belt. When the instructor was sharing the rundown for the class, she was also taking inventory on who was appropriately attired—specifically, who was wearing a belt. I suddenly was overcome with the faint sheepish feeling I had during junior high school when I forgot my No. 2 pencil right before an exam.
Fortunately my range time was scheduled for after our lunch break, so I had just enough time to drive home and grab the webbed belt that I purchased from the Gunsite Pro Shop a few years ago. It was actually the only belt I owned, not having worn a belt on a regular basis since high school (with my high-school physique). The Gunsite range belt, designed and sized for men, was ideal for being able to withstand the weight of a both holster and gun, and worked out just fine for my class. However, with its considerable length overlap and at least 6 inches of Velcro contained on the front of the belt to keep the excess from flopping around, it certainly isn’t something I consider practical, attractive or well-fitting enough for my everyday carry attire.
These days I have a propensity to only purchase clothing and accessories when I need them (usually under emergency status), so in keeping with this habit, I was recently forced to rely on a one-day delivery of a women’s leather belt that seemed would be ideal for CCW. It was only $20, but was made by a popular national brand known for its high-quality work gear (a brand I often trust). The picture indicated a substantial leather, and featured a minimalistic but attractive buckle. When it arrived, I realized immediately it would be less than ample enough to support my JM4 Tactical magnetic holster and the Glock 43 I’d planned to carry out of town with me later that week. Ugh. No time to find something else, but I made a note that the first agenda upon my return would be to find the ideal EDC belt.
Fast forward a week, and I have made good on my promise. One of the first places I turned to was The Well Armed Woman website. Carrie Lightfoot has done an amazing job of offering information and solutions to every aspect of concealed carry, and even features a section on holsters and accessories—like belts. She did not disappoint.
What she calls “your secret weapon when it comes to concealed carry” is the Precise Fit Rachet Belt from NexBelt which is offered in both nylon and leather. Both are sturdy enough to accommodate a holster and CCW firearm. No doubt many of you discovered this belt some years ago, as it’s no longer a new item, nor is ratchet technology. But it’s new to me. Because there are no holes in this belt, the ability to ratchet offers a truly custom fit, adjusting to my waistline whether it grows or shrinks day to day, with the ability to adjust size in as little as ¼” increments at a time (as opposed to the 1” increments of traditional belts). This translates to no muffin top and all-day comfort. It's quite an incredible product.
To make this belt work for you, all you have to do is flip the belt over, and notice where the inch marks are measured and printed. Just grab a pair of scissors and cut away the excess, leaving a few inches for any fluctuation in weight or holster size. Attach the buckle into the belt through the buckle with the two provided screws. Apparently this provides more than 1,000 lbs. of pull. There is a great video with Carrie demonstrating this belt on the TWAW site, and I encourage you to watch it.
While I ordered the grey nylon version (the tan and black were sold out), I plan to order more when they are back in stock, and will probably add a leather one for more “formal” occasions. Confession: I am not a shopper. So discovering products online from a very trusted source like The Well Armed Woman makes my life (at least my concealed-carry life) so much easier.
To learn more, visit TheWellArmedWoman.com or go directly to NexBelt for an expanded selection of EDC belts.