Carry Belts Explained

Carry Belts Explained

Belt Designs And Types


The Rigger’s belt, also known as a Rescue Belt, is commonly seen in law enforcement, military, and fire/EMS/rescue scenes. It is the BDU Belt of the US Marines. This standard 1.75” wide nylon webbing belt topped with a hard rubber clasp.

The Rigger’s or Rescue Belt is designed for bearing the weight of weapons, tools, and accessories without sagging. Most belts come in three different strengths- low (3 stitch), med (5 stitch), and high (poly lined). For carry belts, most choose 5 stitch belts.

The down side of the Rigger/Rescue belt is its iconic look. For those not wanting to look tactical or militaristic, these belts may not be what you are after. While there are several on the market with subdued colors that may be appealing, an Instructor belt may be more appropriate.

Ranger Belt

The Ranger belt is a leather belt modified from the elaborate Western gun belt. First seen around the 1840’s, the Ranger belt consists of a wide belt (typically 1.75”), with sewn attachment points of lesser width (commonly 1.25”). These timeless pieces of Western Americana are today commonly seen throughout the West, Mid West, and to an extent the South, and characteristic of Texas Rangers.  The Ranger belt can be decorated in conchs, tooling, or left plain. These belts may, or may not have bullet loops.


The instructor belt is a narrower version (1.5” width from 1.75”) of the Rigger or Rescue belt. Differences in design and materials are limited only to the makers.  The Instructor belt may be more appropriate for those not in military or rescue operations as the Rigger/Rescue’s 1.75” width can be challenging for ‘everyday’ clothing.


Leather Carry Belt

The leather carry belt commonly comes in 1.25” (dress belt) or 1.5” (common length) widths and is created by stitching two strips of leather together. Commonly 0.25” thick, these belts can be made of cow, bull, horse, or exotic leathers and may contain an additional stiffener (typically synthetic) sandwiched between the leather. These belts are commonly sealed to be waterproof and can last many years, if not decades. These are commonly a discrete way of carrying in comparison to the above measures, however some may remark on the exceptional quality and craftsmanship of the belt.

Measuring A Belt

Great attention should be paid to the manufacturer’s sizing of their products. As pants sizes can be inaccurate and vary, some makers resort to the customer measuring their waist with a measuring tape, or measuring their existing belt. Keep this in mind when ordering a belt.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Choose a Rating