Applied Gear Hybrid EDC Belt Review
Disclaimer: Applied Gear sent me this belt for free for the review. They were easy to work with and seemed like a good crew of folks. I am not being paid for this review, but the product has been provided at no cost to me. The belt can be found here: https://www.appliedgear.com/products/hybrid-edc-belt
A belt is one of the most important items for a concealed carrier, yet it is often one of the last purchases someone will make. Things like knives, holsters, and flashlights are seen as sexier pieces of gear to strap to yourself on a daily basis. They certainly bring the likes when sharing on Instagram or gun boards. Each of these things have a varying utility.
However, something that will ensure that you carry your gun is comfort. Thus, the belt becomes rather paramount to making sure that you’re going to comply with your carry program. The first rule of a gunfight is to have a gun. The proper clothing and retention items that make carrying easier will help you lug that firearm when you need it.
At least, that’s what I’ve always been told. I’ve had a couple of good belts, but none specifically designed for EDC in mind. I did already carry a gun everywhere. So the question became, “will this make a difference?”
A quick overview of this belt: It is a 1.5” belt of a double nylon webbed construction. The buckles are 1” Cobra buckles, which you’ve seen before on similar belts from Blue Force Gear, HSGI, or Condor. The buckle itself is 1”, which allows for easier feeding through your belt loops.
Applied Gear offers this belt in a few colors. I got mine in Black, but you can also choose Coyote, Wolf Gray, or Tan 499 (The lighter sand color that fits with most military uniforms today).
Between the double layer of nylon is a plastic insert. This is for lateral rigidity, ensuring that your belt won’t sag when you start clipping your items on. Off the buckle, the excess can be secured with a velcro section. This also allows for a more tailored fit, as opposed to notches in your old leather belt.
I wore two main types of belts before getting this one. Leather, and a thick Riggers Belt that is still made today. The leather belts were just something I had always purchased. If you’re going to have a belt, why not have a nice looking one that will last?
The Riggers Belt was purchased during my early days in the Army. I had a little drag strap I kept clipped to it while I was in Iraq in case I had to drag somebody and keep my rifle up simultaneously. I never had to, and in retrospect that was a bit mall-ninja, but I paid $55 for it and it’s still a very sturdy belt over a decade later. We’ll call it a happy little accident.
Both of these belts did the job in keeping my pants up. However, when winter hits I do find myself abandoning the leather belt in favor of the stiffer rigger’s belt to hold up heavier guns. My current CCW for short sleeves is a Sig P365, but with heavier jackets, rotating between my Beretta 96 and HK USP is a more common occurrence. Especially with the heavier Beretta, the department store leather just couldn’t deal with the weight.
The rigger’s is a 1.75” belt, which meant that I had pants that just weren’t going to work well with it. I had some military pants and a pair of jeans that would do well, but carrying in my work-appropriate pants with a heavier gun just wasn’t going to be an option, as the buckle simply wouldn’t fit through the loops.
Enter the Hybrid EDC Belt. Sturdy and thick, but with the Cobra buckle and 1.5” width, still able to fit through all my belt loops just fine on any pair of pants I own.
Wear and Comfort:
I’ve been using this belt daily for just over a month now. Every day it’s handled an AIWB holster and the little Sig at the least. In addition I always have a spare mag in a belt-mounted HSGI Pistol Taco.
Additionally, it’s been the belt I’ve used for a few range days, in which I slapped on a Dual Flex from 5.11 for a pair of mags, a Safariland ALS holster, a Milspec Monkey Tourniquet holster, and an LBT 9022 IFAK. Fully loaded with rounds and medical gear. It isn’t a load that I would want to put on a belt not meant for gun guys.
In both ventures I experienced no sag whatsoever. My holsters and gear were firmly in the place I wanted them to be without the slump that weaker belts subject the wearer to. My daily life involves me crawling in and under cars regularly, so there was plenty of opportunity for me to feel the ill-effects of a stiff belt raking my back or becoming uncomfortable pressed against fenders and seat belt buckles. Luckily, none of these situations cropped up.
The buckle is mostly easy to work with. There were times where I felt like I was pressing the little wing-style buttons simultaneously, yet they wouldn’t disengage. This was pretty rare, and a quick second try was all it took to rectify the issue.
Overall, the belt worked exactly as advertised. It successfully keeps everything planted and supported. The weight heavy full-sized pistols didn’t phase it at all. The belt fed through my belt-loops well and I encountered no issues with comfort.
Sure, the buckle can be finicky once every dozen or so times you try it. May it be better on belts that can often cost $150 more? Sure, but is that little inconvenience worth $150 to you? For the $55.25 price of this belt, I’d be really surprised if someone could find me a better deal for an EDC gun belt with a Cobra buckle. The Applied Gear EDC Hybrid Belt delivers quite a lot for the easy price of admission.
Will it replace my leather belts? Honestly, for as light as my Sig P365 is, it may not. But it will absolutely be my new range and winter belt. In fact, the Riggers belt I was using before? Sold it. If you’ve got a heavy gun and mags, this belt works great. I know it’s meant as an EDC belt, and it will definitely work for that, but it found itself a spot in my range get-up.