Written by Greg Ellifritz
If you’ve spent any real time carrying a concealed handgun, you will understand the importance of mating your holster with a high quality belt made to carry a gun. In general, the double thickness leather gun belts or the ultra-stiff nylon belts make it both easier and more comfortable to carry a full-sized concealed pistol.
For the last eight years, I’ve carried my off-duty pistols in the appendix position. I’ve come to realize that for optimal comfort and concealment in the appendix position, the super stiff gun belts are less desirable.
When carrying appendix, I’ve found that having an infinitely adjustable belt is a better option than having a leather belt with holes at a set interval. Being able to tighten or loosen the belt to any degree really helps with both concealment and comfort. I’ve been using the Ares Gear belts for this purpose with some success.
The problem with belts like the Ares Gear is that their super stiff construction are a detriment to concealment when carrying appendix. A really stiff belt is a true asset when carrying on the sides of the body. When carrying at the three o’clock position, the stiff belt helps carry the weight of the gun and makes for better concealment. In the appendix position, however, the super stiff belts aren’t as useful. A more flexible belt contours around the pistol better and aids in concealment.
For appendix carry, a strong belt is useful. But the belt does not have to be quite as stiff as needed for carrying heavy pistols and magazine pouches on the side of the body.
Several of my friends have been recommending the Graith Specialist Belt for appendix carry. I decided to pick a couple of them up and give them a try.
According to Graith, their Specialist Belt has the following features:
“The Specialist is the original dedicated EDC belt devoted to the singular pursuit of being the lowest profile, most functional EDC belt in existence. The Specialist belt was created for those who want a belt with the most minimal of buckle suited for any EDC need. The Specialist is the go to choice for highly trained professionals and serious-use individuals who require equipment designed for their demanding needs. The Specialist is the one belt that can do it all.
The Specialist is built around its buckle, an extremely low-profile piece of hardware made of gunmetal finished solid brass. Thanks to the hook and loop closure the Specialist is micro-adjustable. The belt itself has the perfect blend of flexibility and stiffness and can handle any EDC load-out or situation and has the strength to support all the gear you carry. The Specialist is crafted out of the highest quality solution-dyed mil-spec nylon webbing with a scuba webbing core.”
The Specialist belt buckle is extremely low profile. It allows for infinite tension adjustment. The belt is stiff, but more flexible than the Ares Gear belt. I’ve had mine for a couple months now and love it. The Specialist is ideal for appendix carry and just stiff enough to be useful for side or behind the hip carry as well.
I ended up buying a second Specialist belt to wear on duty as well. Its slim profile makes for an ideal pants belt for wearing underneath a police duty gun belt.
I’ve carried mine daily now for two months and think it’s the best gun belt I’ve ever worn. Give it a try. I think you’ll be surprised how comfortable the belt feels and how well it helps you conceal your weapon.
FTC Disclosure: I purchased both of my Graith belts with my own money and am not affiliated with Graith USA. I am not being compensated in any way from Graith for writing this product review. I do not have any financial ties to the company. I do, however, receive a sales commission if you purchase the product through my Amazon.com link. I do not receive any advertising commissions if you purchase the belt through the Graith USA link provided.