Wilderness Belts

This is a discussion on Wilderness Belts within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have a very serviceable belt now (made by Carl Collins) which I like very much but I have been considering a wilderness instructor belt. ...

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    VIP Member Array Rollo's Avatar
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    Wilderness Belts

    I have a very serviceable belt now (made by Carl Collins) which I like very much but I have been considering a wilderness instructor belt. I really like the idea of being able to set the size exactly to where I want it. So 1st, who has one and how do you like like it? 2nd, They offer 3 stiffness options, 3x stitch, 5x stitch and polymer lined. Do you think I should just go with the stiffest option?
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    Ex Member Array azchevy's Avatar
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    I have an original I got circa 95-96. I am still wearing it every day. It was an original not extra stiff... I only think there was one option back then. It has carried a 1911, a BHP, a bunch of glocks, revolvers, and other miscellaneous weapons over the years. The only sign of wear is the velcro on the belt fraying just a bit, but after 16 years of almost daily wear that is to be expected. I can't say enough good things about the belt.

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    cj
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    I've had a few variants, and just recently got a pair of Wilderness (Eotac branded) belts from New York Ironworks (who is closing them out). Sizing is a little different than most belts, but the Wilderness website is dead on from what I saw. Really, all of the similar models I've worn are decent, and I'm very happy with the Wilderness 5 stitch...plenty of stiffness for me, looks good, and the 1.5" is very comfortable.

    I did also get a 1.75" from an individual who makes a very similar belt and find the extra width to be a little less comfortable as it, for some reason, comes over the top of the areas between belt loops on me at times and it a little rough.

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    A few years ago I got a 5-stitch Wilderness Instructor's belt, because everyone seemed to like them. It's a great belt, it'll last a long time and it's plenty stiff, but: Fastening it is a pain. You loop the end of the belt through the buckle and fold it back on itself (that part's fine), but then you've got this long tail that has to velcro down against the belt. It's so long that it always extends past the first belt loop. Then it becomes a question of do I let it go over the belt loop, which sometimes doesn't leave enough velcro past the belt loop to keep the end of the belt fastened down, or do I rotate the belt left, velcro down the end, then rotate the belt right again to pass the end of the belt under the belt loop.

    If I were going to do this only once a the beginning of every day, and never have to take it off until the end of the day, it would probably be OK. But my lifestyle requires me often to have to change pants a couple of times a day and I find this process to be too inconvenient. I Never need to be able to clip a climbing rope to the buckle, and I have not found in practice the "infinite adjustability" to be that much better than simply having enough holes in a conventional belt, so next time I go looking for a rugged outdoors belt I'll look for one with a more conventional buckle.
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    I love my 5-stitch "Instructor"!

    I highly recommend them. I would suggest you get the one with velcro on the "inside" as well. It works great with my CBST's "velcro" clips. I can easily & COMPLTELY "conceal" in shorts & beach shirt.

    I wear size 44 (my waist size). Yes, it can be a little difficult to slide the extra length under a "tight" belt loop. But, it's really is NO big deal; as long as you buy the correct size belt.

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    I have two in different sizes and colors to wear with differing height waistbands. I agree with the tail getting in the way sometimes, sizing them is sort of tricky, I tried them on at a store and bought them there rather than ordering.

    The only down side to them in my mind is 1) they are pretty identifiable as a cc belt, with a unique buckle design and 2) they really CLONK hard and loud on the floor if you lay/drop/put your pants down in anything but a gingerly fashion. I have a few dents in my wood floor from them.

    The infinite adjustability is really a neat thing for me, I love it and this is the whole discriminator for this belt imho.

    I've wanted to order one of the round buckle ones to take care of 1) above and who doesn't need another color anyways.

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    I have four Wilderness Instructor belts...the 5 stitch is probably the most common. I wear them with all my levi jeans, and they hold the holsters very tight against the body.
    Two of my belts are over 4 years old, and still work very well.
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    VIP Member Array maclean3's Avatar
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    I've had my 1.5" 5-stitch (no insert) for four or five years now. Yes, the tag end can be a bit of a nuisance at times but after two lumbar surgeries, anytime the weather changes my back starts screaming. The adjustabilty means I can increase or decrease tension in small increments when I need to and give my back some relief. I've worn mine with: A S&W 642, S&W/Walther ppk, Glock 19, Commander and fullsize 1911s - never once felt like the belt wasn't supporting my full rig like it should including reloads, cell phone, flashlight, etc.. I doubt anything short of a full LEO duty rig would require the added insert.

    The only real downside I've found is that they basically look like seatbelts with a tacticool buckle. I'm retired (disabled) now so jeans and an untucked button up over a wife beater or t-shirt is about all I wear and looks don't much matter. For folks who dress in business or business casual attire I think it might draw unwanted attention.

    Overall I'm pretty well satisfied with what the belt is, does and costs. I'm debating trying out one of their Frequent Flyer belts as well, they seem a bit less tactical come in 1.25" and 1.5".
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    Last edited by maclean3; March 21st, 2011 at 11:53 AM. Reason: grammatical errors.

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    VIP Member Array wmhawth's Avatar
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    The Wilderness Instructor is a great belt with the right holsters. It works very well with paddle holsters or holsters with clips or loops as in IWB. With an OWB pancake type holster I find it near impossible to thread the velcro portion of the belt through the slots. That being said, the quality of the belt is great and I like the easy adjustment.

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    I've got the Frequent Flyer and agree with everything said about all the excess that needs threaded through the first belt loop, which requires a little finagling with all that velcro. I even posted something about that when I first got the belt. However, on the plus side, all that excess belt hides the holster clip if I am wearing appendix or thereabouts. It actually performs a function. And I've just gotten used to it by now. I'd get another. I love the adjustability of it, too.

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    VIP Member Array JDE101's Avatar
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    I've got the 1.5", 5 stitch, Instructor belt and love it. The comments about the free end and getting it thru a belt loop are right on, but with a little practice it can be done. I don't have to change pants several times a day, so it really isn't a problem to me. It works great with Levis and 5.11s, which is what I primarily wear now that I am retired. I highly recommend the Wilderness belts.
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    OD*
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    I have one (5x stitch, I don't need it any stiffer), love it, wear it everyday.
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    2 five stitch belts, love them. I have lost weight and dropped a few pants sizes and the tail is getting to be a hassle, I will but a several inch shorter version and that should fix the issue.
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    Senior Member Array royal barnes's Avatar
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    I have a couple of 1.5", 5 stitch. One in black and one tan. I have nothing bad to say and would buy again if these ever showed any signs of wearing out!

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    I know that the 5-stitch is stiffer than the 3-stitch, but what is the difference in construction - what does the stitch number refer to?
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