Belly Band holsters have been a favorite carry style of mine for some time now and I find that I use this method of carrying about 90% of the time. The primary reason for my choosing to carry in the belly band holster style is because of its increased level of comfort during my daily activities combined with its supreme concealment characteristics.
For full disclosure, I have used one type of belly band for most of the time I have carried in this method and I am admittedly a bit biased towards what I have been using the longest but today I’m going to compare 4 different types of belly bands that I have extensively tested to hopefully give some of you out there a good idea of what each brand offers in regards to your particular situation. As a baseline example for all of these holsters, I’ll be using a Glock 48 Silver Slimline pistol as an example. Let the round up begin!
Belly Band Bonanza: The TFB Belly Band Holster Review Roundup
1. Crossbreed Holsters Modular Belly Band
This Belly Band Holster by Crossbreed Holsters is one of the more “secure” options on the list. The holster features a somewhat hybrid design where the actual belly band only serves as a soft belt that attaches to a hybrid polymer holster via a hook and loop design.
This design diverges as far as you can get from a belly band holster design without actually departing from the method but it offers one massive and significant advantage that the remaining three options on this list do not offer – the part that retains the weapon. While other belly bands use an elastic method of retaining the firearm, the crossbreed modular belly band uses a polymer holster that is designed specifically for the firearm you’re carrying.
This is both a limiting option and one that I think eliminates a major concern for many people who are looking for deeper concealment that doesn’t require a traditional holster – trigger coverages. The rigid outer shell of this attachment allows you to position the holster at several points around your body but also protects the trigger with a hard plastic shell. While I personally don’t fancy this feature I can see how it would help alleviate fears one might have about something inadvertently entering the trigger guard and setting off the gun.
The Crossbreed Holsters Modular Belly Band retails for $69.95 and has a variety of options as far as colors, materials, and extra options like magazine carriers which you can have all shipped together.
2. ComfortTac Ultimate Belly Band Gun Holster
Second on our list also happens to be my second favorite holster out of the four and also the second most expensive option on the list. The ComfortTac Ultimate Belly Band Gun Holster is made from a breathable neoprene material that allows your skin to breathe a bit better than with straight-up elastic. The ComfortTac holster is by far the thickest option on this shortlist which gives it a few negative points in the concealability department but it more than makes up for it with its namesake – comfort. Not only is the material soft but the hook and loop sections are in a 1:1 ratio throughout the attachment portion of the belly band which can’t be said for the above option.
The thickness of the holster also has the added benefit of giving the holster a bit of extra resistance to trigger guard intrusions. However, despite the breathable neoprene material used, I still found myself sweating profusely under the holster due to the amount of material used in its construction. This was not so much of a big deal during days I wasn’t doing much physical activity but for daily use, it became a bit of a nuisance because of the amount of sweat it helped generate.
One more additional point I’ll add here is that I didn’t like the fact that I couldn’t remove the retention strap. For my particular uses, I do not like retention straps as I feel they add unnecessary extra bulk and can lead to printing when wearing lighter clothing. The ComfortTac Belly Band holster is available on Amazon in a variety of sizes and can fit everything from a full-size handgun down to the newest sub-compact pistols available on the market. The ComfortTac holster retails for $21.97 on Amazon.com.
3. Falco Breathable Belly Band Holster
The Falco option addresses one of the biggest complaints I have about the last option on my list – the fact that the hook and loop sections mate up throughout the entire width of the belly band. This keeps the hook portion of the holster from tearing up your clothing as the holster begins to wear and I found this to be a significant problem with both the Active Pro Gear and Crossbreed holsters.
The Falco Belly Band has not only great breathability but the elastic material they used seems to hold up much better than any other belly band holster on this list. After washing the holster several times, the material has held up quite well and shows no signs of fraying or losing elasticity.
Even if the holster does begin to wear, I can take comfort in knowing that Falco offers a 5-year limited warranty for the holster. The one big negative I’ll attribute to the Falco design is the fact that it is both extra-wide and also doesn’t include any options to remove the retention straps provided. Because the holster is so wide I find that it tends to snag your shirt a bit more than the other options on this list and the retention straps have no way of being removed short of cutting them off. Either way, this is a great option for any handgun size and is easily one of the more “sweat friendly” options on the list. The retail price on the Falco Belly Band is $32.95.
4. Active Pro Gear “Defender” Belly Band Holster
Finally, we come to my absolute favorite on this list. The Active Pro Gear Defender used to be manufactured by a company called Action Direct but at some point, during the 2000s the manufacturing process was taken over by Active Pro Gear which now produces this versatile holster. Not only is this holster the least expensive holster on the list (coming in at just under $20) but it is also the most utilitarian of all the belly band holsters I’ve come into contact with.
James Reeves initially turned me on to the belly band holster concept many years ago and since then I have been converted to the brotherhood of the belly band and for good reason. James wholeheartedly recommends the Active Pro Gear holster and I think over the years I have understood more and more why. The holster lends itself very well to being adaptable to just about any situation you can throw at it. The holster will hold a full-sized 1911 pistol or a tiny Ruger LCP II. In addition, the holster itself is made in a minimalist fashion in that it uses very little material and doesn’t have a bunch of extra bells and whistles.
The holster has a carrying room for one handgun and one spare magazine. Personally, I think this is how it should be as if you’re intending on carrying your whole kitchen sink with you into battle you’re better off skipping from a belly band into a fully kitted out plate carrier or chest rig. The point of the belly band is for deep concealment and I think the Active Pro Gear Defender has that concept nailed down pat.
One complaint I do have with the Active Pro gear Defender is that its hook and loop design only covers the full width of the band at the extreme ends. So if you’re any smaller than the exact length of the belly band, you’ll be dealing with the hooks tearing up the holster itself as well as the inside of your shirts after the holster breaks in and starts to curl up at the ends where the velcro material is. I can honestly say that If the hook and loop material were to cover perhaps 5 to 6 inches more length on the band, I probably would have never sought out another belly band but in the end, this is only a small complaint.
Carrying in the belly band fashion is not for everyone but for those that choose to do so I hope that this short roundup of a few options out there that I have experience with has helped you decide what is best for you. As a final comment, I would like to point out that if you plan on using a belly band as your daily method of carrying then you should expect a lot of wear and tear out of these mostly elastic bands and I think that this partially drives my preference towards the Active Pro Gear option as it is so inexpensive that it’s almost like replacing socks or underwear. Anyway, let me know your thoughts and comments down below, thanks for reading!
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