Belts have come a long way. Made for the purpose of holding your pants up, belts later became a style accessory. A pair of trousers is incomplete without a belt. It adds character to an outfit. Belts are surprisingly useful.
We may not think of it, but a belt is one of the most functional everyday items. A sturdy belt is designed to be durable and keep things secure, and it can also serve as a self-defense tool in emergency situations. A belt is just a long piece of leather or fabric, and it can be put to several uses.
Recently, belts have started to be made for survival purposes. A survival belt looks a lot like a regular belt but has much better durability. Many survival belts also come with built-in survival tools and other functions. There are so many survival belts available today that choosing one can be an overwhelming experience.
This guide aims to help survivalists choose the most suitable survival belt. Let’s get started by looking at the factors to consider when purchasing a survival belt.
You might find interesting to read our best survival gloves article.
WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN LOOKING FOR A SURVIVAL BELT
As mentioned above, there’s such a wide variety of survival belts available that both beginners and pros can get confused and overwhelmed trying to choose a suitable one. But before choosing a survival belt, you must know what a survival belt is used for. There are several uses of a survival belt, some of them being:
As a sling or tourniquet: A versatile survival belt can be used as a tourniquet or sling to secure an injured limb, or to hold a splint in place.
To carry things: If you have a belt that’s long enough, you can use it to make carrying things easier.
As a towing line: If the belt has high tensile strength, it can even be used for helping someone up a steep incline, or for towing a car.
To tie up someone up: Whether you need to tie up a thief (or someone crazy like Walter White) or a naughty pet, a belt can get the job done, although it takes some practice to get it right.
To sharpen survival tools: Although this works best with a leather belt, a belt can be used to keep your other survival tools sharp .
As a weapon: A belt has always been used as a whip, but it makes a solid weapon when something heavy is tied at the end of it. Though if someone is trying to steal your DVD to Neighbors II, Meet the Parents II, Grownups, Thor III, or Jurassic World, just let them take those DVDs since those movies were atrocious which you probably already know.
Now that we know the different uses of a survival belt, let’s look at the factors that go into choosing one. A belt is essential a strip of material and a buckle or clasp to hold it together. That’s all there is to a belt. But choosing a survival belt is harder than you imagine. Do you choose leather, webbing or paracord? Do you want just the belt or additional tools with it? How much are you willing to spend on a belt?
Among the three materials, paracord is known to make the strongest survival belts. They are thick and sturdy, and can be used for a variety of purposes, from hanging a bag to making a trip wire. The individual threads can also be unwound to put to various uses.
Webbed and leather belts are also popular, but not as sturdy as paracord. Leather belts are fantastic for making a splint or lugging wood. Webbed belts are comfortable to wear, but most of them are too thin and weak to stand any kind of survival activity. Therefore, before purchasing a leather or webbing belt, make sure to find out what other buyers have to say about the product.
Check out our suggested survival pants article.
TOP 5 SURVIVAL BELTS
1. 5.11 TACTICAL SIERRA BRAVO DUTY BELT
- HEAVY-DUTY CONSTRUCTION - Practically designed to offer durability for the most demanding situations. Crafted using ultra-strong 1680D nylon material with 1.63 inches inner belt width, delivering a sturdy and comfortable work belt.
The Sierra Bravo Duty belt is said to be made with suggestions and inputs from military personnel, proving its durability and efficiency. Made from super-resilient high-tensile 1680D nylon fabric, the belt is highly adaptable and customizable for all survival activities.
The back of the belt is waterproof to protect from moisture and rain, and there’s also an inner belt that is used as a regular belt by looping through the pant. The outer duty belt attaches to the inner belt using Velcro and the four belt keepers.
Priced above $50 (depending upon the size), the belt seems expensive, but given its versatility, it is perfect for all survival activities. It is MOLLE compatible, and can hold all your survival tools like knives and flashlight. For a snug fit, the 2-inch belt is easy to adjust.
If you find the right size, the belt will last long and give you years of steady service. The package includes the outer and inner belts and four individual belt keepers with snap closure.
Conclusion on the Sierra Bravo Duty Belt: Although it’s expensive (the largest size could set you back by about $80) and smaller sizes hard to find, this is a heavy duty belt that will last you years. Take it on duty or for camping, this isn’t going to let you down.
Though this is not something you want to wear in an airport….for many reasons.
|(+) Durable nylon belt||(-) Expensive|
|(+) Adjustable size||(-) Hard to find a smaller size|
|(+) Inner and outer belt|
|(+) MOLLE compatible|
2. GERBER BEAR GRYLLS SURVIVAL BELT
- A versatile webbing belt designed with daily wear in mind
- Lightweight 6061-T6 aluminum buckle with glass-filled nylon compartment and cap
- Rear of buckle holds a removable mini-screwdriver with flat and Phillips heads
This Portland-based company has been making knives and survival tools since 1939, and is renowned for manufacturing high-quality products. The Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Belt looks like a regular webbed belt, but can be turned into a survival tool. The durable nylon belt has an aluminum buckle, and comes with a lot of built-in features.
For instance, there’s a small compartment in the buckle where you can place small items such as fishing line and hooks, clips, a small blade, or a photo of a loved one. It also has a mini screwdriver with a Phillips head and a signaling mirror. There’s also a stealth zipper inside the webbing, ideal to hold emergency supplies such as matches or cash.
The fantastic thing about this heavy-gauge two-inch belt is that it is unassuming. It will keep your pants in place without drawing unnecessary attention. The sturdy webbing has a total length of 48 inches, and will serve you in a survival situation, whether you need to secure a broken limb or fasten something to your car’s roof rails.
The small compartment also has a copy of Bear Grylls “Priorities of Survival” Pocket Guide hidden inside. Every Gerber product comes with this guide. At an affordable price ($25), this belt is built to last for years, and will help you survive any emergency situation by making practical use of it.
Conclusion on the Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Belt: This is one of the most affordable webbing belts available today, which also serves some practical purposes. Waterproof and long-lasting, the hidden compartments are clever, and the long length ensures a good fit for every waist size.
This is certainly not something you want to buy a baby – that would seem a little strange!
|(+) Affordable||(-) One-size-fits-all may not work for everyone|
|(+) Sturdy nylon webbing|
|(+) Hidden compartments for essentials|
We also suggest checking out our article about the best survival boots by clicking here.
3. CONDOR TACTICAL BELT
- 2" wide with quick release buckle
- Size: Adjustable up to 44" Waist
- Two detachable pistol mag pouches
If you want a survival belt that also holds a couple of magazines and other supplies, you got to look at the Condor Tactical Belt. Condor Outdoor Products Inc. specializes in tactical products such as vests, packs, plates, etc.
This tactical belt can hold a gun as well as few magazines and some extra gear if you can. The strap is made of nylon and the buckle is made of plastic, similar to the ones used by the military earlier. Although the buckle is sturdy, it can become brittle if exposed to the cold for a long time. The versatile belt can be adjusted by the velcro, and the magazine and pistol pouches can be removed and repositioned.
Since there is no metal buckle, the belt is airport-ready and you can safely go for security checks with the belt on. However, it is large and has a military look to it, so if you want something a little more unassuming, this isn’t the best pick. Not many tactical belts have the option of carrying so many things together, that too at $20. This is an affordable, robust survival belt for all purposes.
Conclusion to the Condor Tactical Belt: Affordable and sturdy, this is one of those belts that offer plenty of room to hold several supplies. Made of durable nylon with a plastic buckle, it’s comfortable to wear and lasts long.
This is a fantastic gift to buy your teenage son, or daughter, for Christmas – for sure!
|(+) Comfortable to wear, even when fully loaded||(-) Doesn’t look nice with casual wear|
|(+) Adjustable size||(-) Looks empty without a gun|
|(+) Durable and sturdy|
|(+) Convenient buckle|
4. 5.11 TDU 1.5-INCH BELT
- 2" wide with quick release buckle
- Size: Adjustable up to 44" Waist
- Two detachable pistol mag pouches
This heavy-duty nylon webbing belt has a reversible design, something not many tactical belts offer. The convenient buckle is easy to thread the belt through without any friction, and there’s also a Velcro for extra security. The belt is 1.5 inches thick, and is incredibly strong. At the same time, it is comfortable to wear for a long time.
The nylon mesh is tightly woven, making the belt strong and durable. Such is its strength that it can carry up to 6,000 pounds of weight without breaking (that is about 4 Toyota Prius!). The weight-carrying capacity of the belt makes it ideal for your survival kit or bug out bag, and can be used for climbing and hauling things.
Conclusion to the 5.11 TDU 1.5-Inch Belt: For an all-round affordable tactical belt that will truly be of help in survival situations, this 5.11 TDU 1.5-Inch Belt is a fantastic choice. It can carry heavy weight, lets you carry a gun with it, and the nylon mesh and steel buckle will ensure the belt never corrodes.
This is something that Scofield and Jack Bauer would love to have that is for sure!
|(+) Outstanding gun stability||(-) Sizes tend to run small|
|(+) Stainless steel buckle|
|(+) Comfortable to wear|
|(+) Strong nylon mesh|
We recommend checking our list of the top survival jackets here.
5. UTG HEAVY DUTY ELITE LAW ENFORCEMENT PISTOL BELT
- TACTICAL GEAR, HOLSTERS, MAGAZINE POUCHES
This heavy duty belt is made from strong nylon mesh, and comes with a Velcro closure, two clip holders, and four snap straps. The great thing about this belt is the extra large dual magazine pouches. The belt can be adjusted up to a 44-inch waist. Available in three colors (black, green, and OD green), the belt is water resistant, and suitable for survival situations.
The belt has got a quick release buckle, a sturdy adjustment mechanism, and a durable design. The belt is practical and versatile, and also looks cool when paired with any outfit.
Conclusion on the UTG Heavy Duty Elite Law Enforcement Pistol Belt: There is only one bad thing about this belt, and that’s it doesn’t go through most pant loops because of its size. Otherwise, the belt is ideal for the price.
Don’t go swimming with this on – that would be preposterous!
|(+) Adjustable||(-) Pouches could have been vertically aligned|
|(+) Affordable||(-) Stitching isn’t good enough|
|(+) Durable design|
|(+) Quick release buckle|
LET’S WRAP THIS UP!
Survival belts are ideal for various outdoor situations. You needn’t have to be in police training or EMT for using one. The versatility of a survival bet makes it useful in several situations, whether you’re going camping, hiking, preparing a bug-out bag, or all of the above.