I’ve used a belly-band-style holster system off and on for many years. Belly bands are elastic concealment holsters that wrap around the midsection and hold handguns above the belt line under a covering garment. They haven’t changed much in the last 40 years. For example, my belly band holster from a major manufacturer follows the classic design, with two simple mirror image holsters to fit a limited variety of guns and a slot for a spare magazine.
While at the USCCA Concealed Carry Expo this year, I ran into what I consider a major upgrade in the belly band carry method: the aptly named BodyGuard Belt.
Fillable and Flexible: A Unique Concealed Carry Belt
What makes the BodyGuard Belt unique is that it isn’t just for carrying handguns, though that is its primary function. With the BodyGuard Belt, you can carry a much wider variety of EDC and non-EDC gear that might normally clutter your pockets or purse.
The BodyGuard Belt is constructed of 3mm-thick Neoprene that accommodates waist sizes from 26 inches to 56 inches. It allows individual trim-to-fit customization. I have a 34-inch waist, and my sample fit fine without modification.
The BodyGuard Belt is also unique because its compartments can accommodate a total of three pistols, four magazines, money, wallet and keys — all at the same time! Though not all of that may be necessary, understanding the total capacity is important in understanding just how flexible the BodyGuard belt is.
What Can You Carry in the BodyGuard Belt?
The holster “pockets” — open on the bottom — allow you to carry automatics like 1911s and full-sized Glocks as well as medium-framed, small-framed and slim-framed single-stack designs. You could also carry Smith & Wesson J-Frame-sized revolvers.
There are two vertical full-sized holster pockets for right- or left-side carry and a pouch for ambidextrous horizontal carry. The horizontal pouch has Velcro retention straps to secure a gun in place. The vertical carry pouches do not have retention straps. According to Russel Cuberson, owner of BodyGuard Belt, the Neoprene construction retains the vertically holstered pistols. Cuberson vigorously tested various pistols to ensure that vertically holstered handguns would not pop out if the wearer were exerting himself or herself or fighting on the ground.
In addition to all the gun and magazine pouches the BodyGuard Belt offers, there is also an 8-inch-long zippered pouch that provides extra utility as a money belt or place to store valuables. The zippered pocket is great for discreetly carrying cash.
Testing the BodyGuard Concealed Carry Belt
I initially tested the BodyGuard Belt with my Remington R1 Ultralight Executive .45 in one of the vertical pockets along with two spare magazines in the other. The R1 rode comfortably all day and did not slide below the beltline. Larger handguns print less when carried under the armpit. Of late, I have been carrying my S&W .380 Bodyguard in the horizontal pouch. This has proven to be the summertime “sweet spot” for me in terms of light weight, easy access and deep concealment.
I’ve found that the holster pouches are ideal for carrying a canister of Mace Brand Police Pepper Spray. The narrow diameter canister fits the holster pouch perfectly, and the pocket clip keeps the canister secure. An ultralight knife such as the Kershaw Launch-8 Automatic that I am testing also fits easily in the mag pouches.
Final Notes on the BodyGuard Holster Belt
In hot weather, sweat obviously develops on the inside of the belt. I recommend wearing a light T-shirt underneath the BodyGuard Belt to absorb excess moisture. Remember that stainless-steel guns can rust, so applying a coating of product, such as Birchwood Casey Barricade, is important. And while modern guns have protective finishes such as Nitride, certain aftermarket steel sights do not, so protect them as well.
I wore my BodyGuard Belt all day in 86-degree temperatures with high humidity. Once I got home, I did what I do with my police body armor: hang it in front of a fan to dry quickly. You can also easily wash the BodyGuard Belt with warm soapy water.
One final benefit to carrying with the BodyGuard Belt instead of a regular holster? If you have minor back issues, it provides the same back support as any Neoprene brace.
The BodyGuard Belt was designed by engineers, and it shows. It would have been a great carry system during my undercover narcotics enforcement days. The price of the BodyGuard Belt is $59, and it is worth every penny.
About Scott W. Wagner
Scott W. Wagner has been a law enforcement officer since 1980, working undercover in liquor and narcotics investigations and as a member, sniper and assistant team leader of a SWAT team. He currently works as a patrol sergeant. He is a police firearms instructor, certified to train revolver, semi-automatic pistol, shotgun, semi- and fully automatic patrol rifle, and submachine gun. Scott also works as a criminal justice professor and police academy commander.