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Author Topic: Kore Essentials Gun Belts Review - Comfortable and Convenient CCW Belts  (Read 5133 times)

Offline GunLink

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If you watch much TV at all, you have probably seen the commercials for those ratcheting quick-adjust belts. Instead of just a few holes for a post to go through, it has a track made up of closely-spaced teeth that an anchor on the buckle engages. The anchor rides over the angle of the track teeth, dropping in behind them - to tighten the belt, just push the tail in further; to loosen it, press the lever to allow the anchor back over the face of the tooth. This not only makes the belt look cleaner, but it allows the belt to be much more adjustable.



Sometimes I carry different pistols; for instance, a single stack Smith & Wesson Shield vs a double stack Glock 19. Usually I carry strong-side IWB, but occasionally I carry AIWB. If it's jacket season, I may go to OWB carry. Depending on where I'm going, I might have to switch to pocket carry or (*gasp*) not even carry a firearm. All of these things can, of course, cause wide variations in the amount of space I do (or don't) have in my trousers' waistband, so every time I saw those commercials I thought it would be a great idea for a concealed carry belt.

Those who have been carrying a pistol for some time can probably appreciate the notion that five or six evenly spaced holes an inch or so apart do not allow for very fine adjustment necessary to cover those types of needs. They probably also know that, most of the time, a regular flimsy "fashion" belt from the department store just doesn't cut it for securely supporting a pistol and holster, especially if you carry OWB. So, despite how convenient the clicky-belts on TV looked, the chances of them making for a viable gun belt for concealed carry were slim and we never tried them out.

Therefore, the GunLink team was interested when Shawn from Kore Essentials reached out to us and offered to send us one of their Tactical Gun Belts to review. The idea is similar to the "As Seen On TV" clicky-belts with the exception that the Kore Essentials belts have a reinforced insert between the layers of material that help to stiffen and strengthen the belt to help it support carrying the load of concealed carry gear.

When our package from Kore Essentials arrived, we found that it not only contained their tan Tactical Gun Belt, but also one of their Leather Gun Belts.



The Tactical belt that they sent was the full length (belt size 54), which gave me plenty of room to cut some off some of the tail and perform a little surgery to see what this thing was made of. The inside of the belt is smooth material bonded to some sort of spongy black material while the outside appears to be regular ballistic nylon (leather, on the other version, of course). Sandwiched between them and, apparently secured with glue, is a nylon/delrin-type rib that provides the stability. The whole thing is double stitched along each edge with two more wide-spaced stitches. It's a pretty strudily constructed belt.



The presentation and execution was great. Each belt was sent with a buckle well suited to the belt's design (as the company offers a variety of buckle styles) and each included a little drawstring clot storage bag in which the coiled belt could be stored. The package also included a 2-belt hanger - to which the belts attach by the ratcheting buckle mechanism - to store the belts in your closet. Lastly, the package also included the tools needed to attach the buckle to the belt. Yes... there are tools and some assembly required.



Kore Essentials also offers fashion belts like those on the TV commercials, without the reinforced core. From what I gather, those buckles simply attach to the belt using an aggressively-toothed cam lock. On the Gun Belts, in addition to the cam lock, there are also a pair of set screws that help to further ensure that the belt is NOT coming out of the buckle.



One of my first thoughts when Shawn first contacted us, before we even opted to do a review, was how strong can this ratchet track be? He described them as "almost indestructible and takes about 250 lbs pull pressure to break. We NEVER hear of that happening and we've been making and selling these track belts for 6 years." The first thing I did once they arrived (after installing the buckle) was to close up the belt, step on one side of it, and pull up on the other side of it and try to pull it apart. No dice, this thing is solid. Definitely more than strong enough to support your CCW gun, holster, spare mags, and whatever else you have on your Batman belt. However, despite the Tactical model's likeness to a rigger's belt, I don't know that I would trust it quite that far.



After my "stretch test" of trying to pull the belt apart, I noticed some stress marks on the teeth of the polymer track - thankfully I did it on the first couple of teeth on the track, which would, in theory, never be used in normal wear of the belt. However, by the time I got around to taking photos of the belt, the track's teeth had apparently rebounded back to their unstressed state and I couldn't even identify which ones I had stressed in my test.

I happened to be working in the gun shop the day the belts arrived, so my belt wrestling antics got a few odd looks. After I explained what was going on, I showed the Kore Essentials belts to the customers and employees and they were pretty impressed too. To be sure, they looked pretty nice. The specific belts that they sent were a Tan Tactical Gun Belt with what they call the "X5" buckle (making the whole thing resemble a rigger's web belt) and a black leather gun belt with the "X3" buckle that looks like a regular belt buckle. But coming in a nice box, not being able to be pulled apart, and looking nice isn't all there is to being a good gun belt.

The belts were put into immediate use with the GunLink team for daily carry, mainly IWB, but also OWB for testing. As far as comfort and adjustability go, they performed exactly as advertised - easy to put on, easy to take off, and easy to adjust for different sizes of pistols, seating positions, and the aftermath of big summer cookout meals.

As far as standing up to the rigors of a carry belt, they also performed very well. We have reviewed carry-specific belts in the past, and my EDC belt is a 2-layer 14oz leather belt with a spring steel reinforcement that makes it a very thick belt. In a few weeks of testing, in once instance, I did have an IWB holster clip fail to lock on to the belt causing the holster to partially come free when I gave it an upward tug later that day. I suspect that I neglected to push the holster down far enough for the clip to get a good bite underneath of the belt - something I may have got lazy about since the very thick belt causes a faint audible "click" once the clip manages to get over it.

Aside from that user-induced incident, the belts have done a great job of carrying the load of IWB hosters, spare magazines, and OWB holsters without sagging or any other issues that regular belts can be susceptible to.

Another big thing that I like about this design versus my usual carry belt is that the reinforcement is nylon instead of metal. I travel around and get to some interesting places a fair amount and, with the number of metal detectors and body scanners that I go through, I find myself taking a regular belt that doesn't perform as well instead of dealing with explaining why I have three feet of metal band strapped around my waist.

Given that they perform well, look good, are comfortable, and avoid some of the issues with other belts, I think that the Kore Essential belts will be my go-to belts not just for every day use but also for travelling, which will let me winnow down my belt collection to just these two instead of having to keep several handy based on what I'm wearing/carrying and where I'm going.

You can find out more at https://www.koreessentials.com/
« Last Edit: July 23, 2019, 03:46:15 PM by GunLink »

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Offline JamesCollins

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Re: Kore Essentials Gun Belts Review - Comfortable and Convenient CCW Belts
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2019, 01:37:35 PM »
I have had a Kore tactical gun belt for a over a year now and it's awesome. It fits like a glove and its so comfortable. I can carry my glock 19 and 2 mags 4-5 days a week and this belt supports no problem. As a matter of fact I loaded it up once with 2 guns and 4 mags and it never sags. Great belt. 

Offline masfonos

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Re: Kore Essentials Gun Belts Review - Comfortable and Convenient CCW Belts
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2019, 05:36:47 PM »
Other than just holding up the gear, how is it wearing? In another thread, someone mentioned this:
Biggest issues I have seen is going through cheaper belts, a nice heavy duty gun belt is almost a must for a large firearm OWB.
I've had cheap leather belts stretch and sag but never worn out a carry belt. How is the ratchet buckle?


I have had a Kore tactical gun belt for a over a year now and it's awesome. It fits like a glove and its so comfortable. I can carry my glock 19 and 2 mags 4-5 days a week and this belt supports no problem. As a matter of fact I loaded it up once with 2 guns and 4 mags and it never sags. Great belt.


Offline JamesCollins

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Re: Kore Essentials Gun Belts Review - Comfortable and Convenient CCW Belts
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2019, 11:21:15 PM »
Other than just holding up the gear, how is it wearing? In another thread, someone mentioned this:
Biggest issues I have seen is going through cheaper belts, a nice heavy duty gun belt is almost a must for a large firearm OWB.
I've had cheap leather belts stretch and sag but never worn out a carry belt. How is the ratchet buckle?


I have had a Kore tactical gun belt for a over a year now and it's awesome. It fits like a glove and its so comfortable. I can carry my glock 19 and 2 mags 4-5 days a week and this belt supports no problem. As a matter of fact I loaded it up once with 2 guns and 4 mags and it never sags. Great belt.


Honestly I had my doubts because I never had a Ratchet system. So I gave it a shot and itís seriously more durable than I thought. Off and on use for over a year and itís like brand new. Iíve seen other ratchet systems that are not as tough from reviews but having tried this itís legit

Offline masfonos

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Re: Kore Essentials Gun Belts Review - Comfortable and Convenient CCW Belts
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2019, 10:10:26 AM »
Honestly I had my doubts because I never had a Ratchet system. So I gave it a shot and itís seriously more durable than I thought. Off and on use for over a year and itís like brand new. Iíve seen other ratchet systems that are not as tough from reviews but having tried this itís legit

Thanks. I may give one a try. I was thinking about these again yesterday because I saw the "AS SEEN ON TV" ones in the checkout line at a store.

Offline JamesCollins

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Re: Kore Essentials Gun Belts Review - Comfortable and Convenient CCW Belts
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2019, 02:47:05 PM »
Honestly I had my doubts because I never had a Ratchet system. So I gave it a shot and itís seriously more durable than I thought. Off and on use for over a year and itís like brand new. Iíve seen other ratchet systems that are not as tough from reviews but having tried this itís legit

Thanks. I may give one a try. I was thinking about these again yesterday because I saw the "AS SEEN ON TV" ones in the checkout line at a store.

Those are junk. This is different.