The Wilderness Instructor Belt

The Wilderness – Original Instructor Belt
Retail Price: From $39.95
Reviewed by: Dan Krenitsky

The Wilderness was one of the first companies to bring out an “Instructor” belt, specifically designed with firearms training in mind. In many instances, products are improved as more competitors enter the market and designs involve. This time however I think the folks at The Wilderness got it right the first time….in my opinion “the original instructor belt” is still the best. I’ve looked at the competition and tried a few, but while there may be some that come close, I haven’t found any better.

The Wilderness Instructor belt is nylon in construction, has a metal buckle and Velcro at the end to keep the loose end secure. There are several variations which allow you to choose color, stiffness, width and buckle material. I prefer the 1.5” width, “5 stitch” model as it gives plenty of stiffness and support for carrying a full size firearm all day long. They make a “3 stitch” version which is slightly less stiff (but for me too soft for regular carry of a firearm) and a heavier model with a plastic insert (which is too stiff and becomes uncomfortable). “3 stitch” and “5 stitch” refer to the additional rows of stitching that run the length of the belt. This additional stitching adds stiffness to the belt.

I have found that while the wider 1.75” belt is also a quality product and works well with BDU’s, it is too wide for many belt loops, including those on most jeans, so I stick with the 1.5” as it seems to fit most pants I have.

Another interesting option, which has been made available in recent years, is an titanium buckle. The original powder coated, black steel buckle is robust as heck, with no real issues, but the titanium is lighter…though you pay a price for that weight reduction…the titanium version retails at $89.95. The one interesting thing I learned however is that the titanium buckle very rarely sets off airport metal detectors (while the steel one always does). For a person like me who travels a lot, it’s nice not to have to take your belt off for every metal detector. I have a titanium version for travel, but for day to day wear, I stick with the original steel buckle.

The belt is an extremely important part of your firearms “carrying system”. If you carry your firearm at your waistline, then a high quality gun belt is absolutely essential. No matter what kind of holster you have, if you are hanging it off of a thin flimsy belt, then it will constantly flop around, sag and move out of position…generally making carrying a handgun an uncomfortable and miserable experience. Conversely, a high quality belt can make even a marginal holster carry fairly well.

With the exception of days where I must wear a suit with a leather belt, I have found that I wear mine nearly every day. In addition to serving duty on the range, I have found that it goes well with most casual clothes, though most times it’s covered anyway by my concealment garment.

The Original Instructor Belt by The Wilderness is an extremely high quality piece of gear. It is comfortable, carries my handgun securely, is priced reasonably and is built to last a long, long time.

Dan Krenitsky

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MztzOjY0OiJodHRwOi8vdGFjZmlyZS5tdHNoZXJtYW4uY29tL3dwLWNvbnRlbnQvd29vX3VwbG9hZHMvNS1oZWFkZXIucG5nIjtpOjQ7czo3NjoiaHR0cDovL3RhY2ZpcmUubXRzaGVybWFuLmNvbS93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzQtNC1HR0JBaGVhZGVyLXRyYW5zLnBuZyI7aTo1O3M6NzE6Imh0dHA6Ly90YWNmaXJlLm10c2hlcm1hbi5jb20vd3AtY29udGVudC93b29fdXBsb2Fkcy8zLWt1YnJpY2toZWFkZXIuanBnIjt9PC9saT48L3VsPg==