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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.