Review: Magpul Tejas “El Original” Gun Belt

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There is nothing quite like carrying your gun with a great gun belt and nothing more annoying than a floppy belt. The last gun belt I bought, a Crossbreed belt, turned out to be less than ideal and started breaking down after about a year of use. Then Nathan posted about the upcoming Tejas belt from Magpul and I decided it was time to shop for a new belt. After dragging my feet I finally added a chocolate brown Tejas belt to my cart and hit the checkout button.

The new Tejas belt is made of premium bull hide and Magpul’s own reinforced polymer covered webbing right here in my home state of Texas. The El Paso plant turns out handmade belts that promise to offer a service life that we haven’t seen in a leather belt previously thanks to the polymer’s resistance to cracking, sweat and other factors that would kill lesser materials. The question remains, is the belt as good as I think it might be? After all, Magpul isn’t known to produce things that don’t work, surely this will be more of the same.

Looking at the features from Magpul’s site you can see some of the reasons that made me choose the El Original.

FEATURES

  • Top grade bullhide leather exterior layer and supportive but flexible reinforced polymer interior
  • Gun belt rigidity with dress belt comfort offers stretch and sag free performance
  • Removable chrome plated buckle with branded “tool-free” fasteners
  • Standard 1-1/2″ wide and 1/4″ thick to fit most belt loops and holsters
  • Eight holes with 3/4″ spacing for a wide yet precise adjustment range
  • Multiple lengths available from 32-44 inches

 

The branding on the inside of the belts looks really tasteful, I even really like the Glock-wielding skeleton wearing the sombrero. The polymer-covered webbing that Magpul uses as the interior layer of the two layer belt is kind of a oliveish tan color and is stitched to the exterior bull hide with some pretty serious looking thread. IMG_3324IMG_3319

I bought my belt two inches bigger than I needed because my current belt measures about 37 inches from the hole used when carrying a gun to the fold over. Instead of buying a belt that wouldn’t accommodate a gun thicker than my Glock 43 I opted for the larger 38″ belt.

The tool-free fasteners are a pretty trick addition allowing you to use one belt for a variety of functions with a simple buckle switch. In reality, most of us will just buy a second belt for dressier occasions. In true Magpul fashion, they included their branding on the tool-free fasteners. IMG_3331 IMG_3334

Magpul also offers kits to change the color of the hardware to what they call “anti-brass” and dark pewter, I kind of like the bright chrome though and plan to keep it for now. You can really see how the tool-free fasteners are put together here.  IMG_3339 IMG_3341

The only thing that I saw on the belt that made me think that it might fail at some point was the loop that secures the overlapping portion of the belt. I think I would have preferred to see this stitched together or something more secure looking than some thin metal. It may not be an issue with long term use but only time and hard use will tell. IMG_3343 IMG_3344

As far as stiffness of the El Original gun belt? It is nothing short of spectacular. As soon as I got done taking this photo I put the belt and gun on and went out for an afternoon on the town with my wife, for the first time in a long while I felt like my belt was doing its job by supporting the weight of the gun and holster. IMG_3350IMG_3352

So what do I think after a few weeks of wearing the El Original? I am in love with it, my only real complaint is that it might be a touch too stiff if that is a thing. Sitting with the belt on left the back of my pants puffing out as if I wasn’t wearing a belt at all, but the El Original still does a wonderful job as a gun belt.

Magpul really came through with a solid belt at a reasonable price. The MSRP of $84.95 is only a hair under what other gun belt companies are charging, but the street price I found on the El Original was closer to $70 plus tax. If you are shipping for a great gun belt take a look at the Tejas line from Magpul, the El Original is far better than any of the other belts that I have tested or handled.

You can learn more about the El Original on Magpul’s site by clicking here.



Patrick R

Patrick is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and works in the shooting sports industry. He is an avid recreational shooter and a verified gun nerd. With a lifelong passion for shooting, he has a love for all types of firearms, especially handguns and the AR-15 platform. Patrick may be contacted at tfbpatrick@gmail.com.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • TangledThorns

    I have the El Burro and its polymer instead of leather. Its soft feeling but tougher than it looks. Speaking of looks, it looks cool as its not leather nor fabric.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      I have the Original coming, I need something dressier than my Ares Agies. Thought about trying the Burro but it looked hard. I’ll have to consider it if you say it’s soft feeling though.

    • Davis

      Is the Burro stiff like a gun belt or just a comfortable everyday belt?

  • JumpIf NotZero

    That holster… is massive. After a year of carrying with a Raven VG2 and Eidlon… I can’t even imagine wanting something that big.

    • somethingclever

      Yes. The VG2 is awesome. And comfortable. Wish they would expand their offerings for it.

  • Synchronizor

    Seems nice, but I think I still prefer the gun belts from Bigfoot Gun Belts. Double-layered full-grain bridle leather (black or brown), stitched together back-to-back with very heavy-duty polyester thread and seamlessly blended into each other at the edges with a bevel-burnish-paint process; so that you have well-finished leather on all sides. Then there’s the optional (but recommended) strip of stainless steel sandwiched between the two layers. The resulting belt is very stiff edge-ways, to resist sag, twisting, and folding, but flexible and comfortable the other way. Carries my full-sized Glock 31 IWB or OWB – plus all the other crap riding on my belt – without any problem, but also feels natural and comfortable with nothing on it. I will admit I didn’t like the roller buckle that came on it, but as with the Magpul belt here, it’s easy to switch buckles. I think it’s one of the best gun belts out there, and MSRP is only $55 – $65 depending on the version (14-oz, 14-oz with steel strip, 18-oz with steel strip).

  • gunsandrockets

    Nice, but since I’m so poor I will just have to make do with a cheap $15 Walmart belt which is a stiff nylon web faced with leather.

  • Aklover

    I’ve been carrying with one since the belt was released, absolutely no problems to speak of.

  • Hinermad

    That loop thing that restrains the loose end of the belt is called a keeper. I have several leather gun belts with similarly constructed keepers and they haven’t failed yet in the 4 years I’ve had them. The keeper doesn’t get a lot of strain. It’s mostly just a suggestion to the end of the belt that it shouldn’t stick out.

  • Michael.g

    I met the owner of the company that manufactures this belt, by chance through mutual acquaintances on a quail hunt in Van Horn. As luck would have it he lives about a mile away from me in El Paso. He is a very nice and humble person.

  • DaveP.

    Let me put in a good word for Bullhide Belts (dot com). I bought a double-thickness 2″ belt form them four years ago and it’s still going strong. Folks, a good belt is like a good holster: you can either buy quality ONCE, or go cheap over and over again.

  • 68Whiskey

    You could have spent that money on a lead sled…

    • Patrick R. – Staff Writer

      Could have, but I needed a belt more. You could always donate one.

    • cosmoline_covered_Ferret

      Cost of a good Lead Sled: 250-ish.
      Belt: 75-ish.
      Cost of making know everything comments as a medic online: Cheap.

      So you gonna donate a lead sled?

  • nova3930

    I’ve had an EO for about a month now. I like it other than the fact my dumb@$$ bought it a size too big. Had to add another couple holes with a leather punch. A black one in the appropriate size should be here soon.

  • Hyasuma

    I like my Aegis Belt

  • Kafir1911

    This looks like a great belt. I bought a similar belt thru Amazon by Relentless Tactical. Sold by Hyperion Enterprises. Called the Ultimate Concealed Carry belt. I believe it is. Handles a full size pistol and associated gear very well and wells good. Just as with this belt time will tell. The one I bought was $59.95 on Amazon. Worth looking at if you need a good quality, good looking belt.