Be prepared with tactical belts for men

If you love the outdoors, need to carry gear around your waist, or just simply love military style clothing, then tactical belts are a must-have men’s accessory.

What are tactical belts?

Tactical belts were once reserved for military personnel or law enforcement officers. Now, however, the term refers to any kind of belt made from nylon webbing. There are usually three different types of tactical belts:

  • Duty belts: These are less common, particularly in Australia. They’re about two inches wide and is specifically designed to carry gear such as firearms, batons, flashlights and other items reserved mostly for military or law personnel in Australia.
  • Rigger’s belts: Often used by riggers or rock climbers, this style isn’t as wide as a duty belt, but nor is it as strong. It often has features like D-clips as an anchor point for rigging and climbing activities. These belts aren’t usually designed to carry much gear.
  • Tactical EDC belts: This style is even less wide than duty and riggers belts, but they are actually quite strong. Often double layered, they’re made to hold quite a bit of gear, either in pouches or holsters you attach to the belt, or clipped onto the belt itself.
  • Fashion tactical belts: Perhaps ‘fashion’ isn’t the right term, however there are plenty of belts classed as tactical these days that aren’t necessarily meant for carrying items. They won’t be as strong as purpose-built tactical belts, but they often come in military colours and feature a quick release buckle.

What do you use a tactical belt for?

Some tactical belts are made with very specific purposes in mind, such as military or law enforcement use. However, general everyday tactical belts are most commonly used in Australia for outdoor use. Activities such as camping, fishing, hiking often require you to carry a lot of gear, and the tactical belt makes this possible.

Rock climbers also use tactical belts with anchor points or D-rings. Basically, if you want to carry some weight on your belt, tactical is the way to go.

Features to look for when choosing a tactical belt

Tactical belts aren’t really made with fashion in mind, even though you’ll often find more basic ‘tactical belts’ that are more about style than functionality. If you need a tactical belt for practical purposes such as being outdoors, climbing, or survival situations, there are a few key things you should consider before making a purchase.

  • Strength: Naturally a tactical belt needs to be strong and durable. They’re used for carrying a number of items, often quite heavy ones. So, there’s a lot of strain on them that requires hard-wearing, strong material. In addition, you may need to take the belt off and use it for an emergency, either as a tie-down or carry strap. As they could be supporting a lot of weight, tactical belts first and foremost need to be strong.

The strongest tactical belts feature dual layers of webbing which are stitched together, not glued.

  • Quick-release buckles: Sometimes known as ‘rigger buckles’, these are designed for a quick release as the name suggests. Often used by riggers or climbers, these buckles have various compositions but the purpose is the same – to allow for a quick release rather than having to fumble with more difficult traditional belt buckles.
  • Extra loops: Some tactical belts have additional loops, known as Molle-compatible loops. Molle pouches or loops are designed for holding certain items like flashlights, tools and self-defence items. If your belt has the capability of adding these pouches, you’ll be able to carry more.
  • The right size: If you choose a tactical belt that’s too loose, it can make everything you’re carrying feel a lot heavier. This is because the weight tends to pull the belt down, rather than holding firm around your waist. While most tactical belts are adjustable without long pieces of excess material like normal belts, be sure that the belt isn’t too big. By the same token, a belt that’s too tight may put extra strain on the buckles and cause them to break.
  • Price: While you always want to save money where you can, if you’re going to be relying on your tactical belt in a survival or outdoors situation, you probably want to spend a little extra to get one that’s great quality. You might be carrying a lot of items or even using the belt as a tie-down in an emergency, so this is one item where a higher price tag might really be worth it.