When we plan for our hiking trips, it’s easy to remember the significant items of clothing, such as your base layers, waterproofs, boots, and hiking hat. One accessory that is often overlooked is a hiking belt.
Whilst the primary function of the best hiking belt is to keep your pants up, it can be much more utilitarian than that.
Hiking belt manufacturers understand that a belt can have more than one purpose, they can also increase mobility, remain comfortable throughout hours of strenuous activity, act as a heavy-duty strap and safety device, or simply a bottle opener (you don’t want to forget that!).
Hiking belts or ‘tactical belts’ are critical pieces of clothing for the military, firefighters, police, and people who want to be best prepared for the outdoors.
We are going to explore the different features and aspects that make hiking belts durable, functional, and suitable for the outdoors. As well as this, we have compiled a list of our top picks for the best hiking belts and why they are a great purchase.
Jump to the best hiking belt:
Key features of a Hiking Belt
Probably the most important feature of any belt, let alone the best hiking belt, is the material. It’s largely responsible for the belt’s overall performance, comfort, and durability.
100% Nylon Webbing: Most top of the line hiking belts are made from 100% nylon webbing due to the strength, durability, and comfort the material offers. Nylon webbing is not only exceptionally strong (many belts can double-up as a heavy-duty strap), but it’s also lightweight, so you’ll hardly even notice you are wearing it.
Other synthetic materials are also commonly used to create a stretchy, elastic, and strong hiking belt.
Leather: Leather hiking belts are also a very popular choice amongst hikers. Leather doesn’t offer the elasticity and ‘give’ of nylon or synthetic belt, but it is remarkably strong and comfortable. If leather is treated properly, it can long outlast a synthetic belt and be your go-to choice or many years to come.
Quick, adjustable, and detachable buckles are preferred over a traditional metal pin with a hole buckle. This is mainly because they offer more adjustability, convenience, and comfort for the user. The belt can also be purchased in one-size and cut to the perfect length.
Another main consideration is the buckle material. You’ll see two-main options; polymer (plastic), or metal. Plastic buckles seem to be the most popular choice nowadays, they can be manufactured to be high strength, they don’t corrode and they don’t trip airport scanners if you are traveling.
Metal buckles are strong and can last many years, however, if they aren’t treated or an appropriate grade of Aluminum or Steel it will corrode throughout outdoor use.
You are looking for the best hiking belts, for a comfortable, functional, and high-performance belt, over the one you might wear with your jeans at the weekend. Therefore weight is an important factor. The lighter the belt, typically the better. You don’t want a clunky, heavy belt that reminds you you’re wearing it every 5-minutes.
The durability of your hiking belt is key. You want it to last you as long as possible, and survive any harsh conditions you throw at it. Nylon mesh is a very durable and abrasion-resistant material that will last you many years. That’s why it’s the most common hiking and tactical belt material.
Best Hiking Belts - Top Picks
This hiking belt is made from thick Nylon which is both lightweight, and durable. You can precisely adjust the belt to your perfect fit and trim the strap to your size. The buckle is automatic and removable, and therefore requires no holes in the belt.
The nylon material evaporates sweat away from you, to make your long hikes on hot days more comfortable. The buckle is nickel-free and produced from strong plastic. This gives quick clearance at airport security checkpoints and makes the buckle suitable for metal allergies.
Overall, this is a great hiking belt, which is strong durable, and lightweight. It has all of the key features that you would want in the best hiking belt.
- Strap Width is 1.5 Inch/3.8 cm
- Buckle Width is 1.8 Inch/4.5cm
- 4-different color options; black, grey, coffee, and khaki
- Thick nylon strap
- Strong, plastic buckle
- Can cut to your own size
The GRIP6 canvas belt has no holes in the strap for a buckle, or a complicated ratchet belt system. It is comprised of a belt buckle and a military belt strap that can pull over 2,000 pounds without breaking!
You simply slide the strap through the buckle for an infinitely adjustable fit, you can also cut the strap to your own desired size. The strap stays in place via a patented ‘badger bite’ design which creates a friction lock.
You can be sure that this hiking belt will last you a long time as Grip6 offers a 100% lifetime guarantee on all of their belt products.
There is a wide range of buckle and strap colors to select from, and all are interchangeable so you can customize the style as you want.
- All belts are 100% made in the USA
- The belt strap can pull over 2,000 pounds
- No limit on adjustability
- A friction lock creates a tight fit between strap and buckle for no movement
The crafted heavy-duty buckle, made of aluminum alloy, has a very strong load-bearing capacity, which can meet your different wearing requirements, allowing you to hang a lot of load from the belt.
The strap is produced from Nylon and has a good amount of stretch, which gives you a tight fit around your waist and makes for a more comfortable wearing experience.
The strap length can be easily adjusted via lifting the belt buckle and sliding the strap through, it is then locked into place when closed. Two pins either side of the buckle make connecting and disconnecting the belt very quick and simple.
- Suits the military, police, fire fighters, work, sport, and other tactical users
- Comes in 3 different color options
- Easy open/close belt buckle
- Cut to own length
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
This next best-hiking belt is exceptional value for money. You are getting 2 high-quality belts, for the same price as most other hiking belts. You can mix and match colors, as well as choosing a plastic buckle and a metal buckle that is interchangeable.
The strap is made from stretchy Nylon to provide the wearer with more comfort, and the belt buckle is made from strong and durable YKK plastic. The strap tail has also been leather treated to make passing the strap through the buckle easier.
The belt goes perfectly with any casual clothing, as well as tactical and hikign outfits.
- 2 hiking belts for a very competitive price
- Can mix and match colors, as well as buckle material
- Nylon stretch fabric is comfortable over prolonged periods of use
- Leather coated strap tail makes adjusting the size easier
This belt has been designed with comfort, function, and movability in mind. Arcade Adventure belts are produced from heavy-duty, elastic Nylon which has a good amount of stretch for a tight but comfortable fit.
The buckles are non-metal, to avoid any metal allergy, airport checkpoint, and corrosion issues that can arise with a metal buckle.
- Wide variety of colors, styles, and patterns
- Lightweight and low-profile design
- Stretchy, heavy-duty Nylon
- Plastic Buckle
- Quick and easy buckle connection
One thing that makes this hiking belt slightly different from the others on the list, is the magnetic buckle. The crafted heavy-duty buckle, made of zinc alloy, can auto close as long as they close to each other. To then release the buckles, you simply push the center. We like this feature as it makes adjusting the belt super easy, especially when you might be wearing hiking gloves.
The strap is produced from high stretch Nylon, which gives a tight, but comfortable fit around your waist. The overall quality of this hiking belt is very high, so much so, that JUKMO has given a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
- Magnetic buckle closure
- 8 different color options & styles to choose from
- The strap is made from comfortable stretch Nylon
- Competetive price
If you are looking for a touch of color whilst out on the hiking trail, then the Southwestern hiking belt by Thomas Bates is a great option for you. There are 4 different traditional south western patterns to choose from.
All belts are made from a Nylon blend which is strong but remains soft and supple to prevent the belt from digging into your sides.
The buckle is made from polycarbonate plastic, which is hard-wearing, strong, and durable.
- Available in 4 different patterns & colors
- Produced 100% in the USA
- Polycarbonate belt buckle
- Nylon fabric belt strap
- 1.25″ in width
The Best Belt For Hiking: Conclusion
Once you have chosen the best hiking belt, you will soon realize how important this piece of kit is. It’s more than just a clothing accessory that keeps your pants up. It can be used as a spare cinch strap, or to support extra items you can carry on your waist.
We know how difficult it can be to sift through the hundreds of options available on the internet and try to come to a conclusion. That’s exactly why we create these guides, so people like you can spend less time at home and more time outdoors on the trail, doing what you love the most. We truly hope that this post has informed you about the different hiking belt features and our top picks for the best belt for hiking.
All of the hiking belts on our list are a great choice for any hiker. We personally prefer the synthetic, Nylon belts over leather, as they are softer and more comfortable around your waist. However, we can completely understand why someone would choose a classic leather belt which if treated properly, can last much longer.
The argument between metal and plastic buckles ultimately comes down to personal preference. Most metal buckles are Aluminum or Stainless Steel, so they are unlikely to corrode over time, however, if you plan to wear your belt whilst at the airport, you will need to remove it for the security checkpoints.
Plastic buckles are also a great choice as modern polymer technology has created durable and anti-wear plastics for tactical and outdoor applications.
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