Your First — and Maybe Last — Gun Belt

A proper concealed carry rig — whatever keeps your gun safely secured to your person — includes gear described as not only functional and safe but also long-lasting, robust and strong. However, we often fixate on the holster and forget the importance of the belt. Without question, most holstering systems require the firm foundation of a gun belt — a belt designed to bear the weight of a holstered gun, keeping it secure and stable for deployment.

If you carry a concealed handgun, you’ll probably want more than one gun belt, as some occasions call for variances in width, color and other factors. I have a couple 1.25-inch gun belts: one in brown leather and one in black (you know, to match whatever shoe leather I’m wearing). Those work when a 1.5-inch belt is too wide. But I have 1.5-inch gun belts too, which are good for more casual dress.

Then again, maybe you can get away with having only one gun belt. If you want to maximize value, you can’t do better than the $28.99 Econobelt from DeSantis. If you’re new to carrying concealed, the Econobelt should be your first and maybe your last gun belt.

When it comes to functionality, the DeSantis Econobelt sets the standard. Measuring 1.5 inches wide, a typical belt width, this available-in-black-only gun belt offers a super stable platform for just about any holster and gun. Made from a combination of bonded leather and synthetic materials, mine has lasted through years of service, carrying a variety of holsters and handguns. Its 3.5mm thickness makes it feel like armor when you strap it on. It is firm, unforgiving, strong and solid.

The buckle is black powder-coated and unflinching. It’s not surprising to learn this belt was originally designed as an under-belt for NYPD police officers. As such, it could take the weight of an over-belt carrying a duty handgun, spare magazines, handcuffs, radio and more. It handles my slim nine and a backup magazine with ease.

You’ve heard me and others at the USCCA encourage the use of an excellent gun belt for the best concealed carry of a handgun. And, thankfully, there are dozens of excellent gun belt choices out there. If you’re new to concealed carry and are not sure which gun belt to start with, consider the DeSantis Econobelt. It’s low-key and low-cost but highly functional and built to last — so much so that it could be your first, and last, gun belt.