Nexbelt and Bladetech (with the help of NexBelt) has brought to market two new dress belts for the gun owners: the NexBelt PreciseFit Gun Belt (PFGB) and the Blade-tech Ultimate Carry Belt (UCB). Holding the two belts side by side, you can tell that the belts were designed at least in style by the same team. Leather quality, belt mechanism, stitching, and the plastic ratcheting teeth are so similar and at a glance you’d think they might even be the same belt. However, the Blade-tech UCB is one sneaky son of a gun. Once you place the belts in your hands, you’ll notice a discernable weight difference and overall torsional stiffness immediately.
Some of the weight is Blade-Tech’s beefy buckle. The buckle was enlarged to fit bigger and more robust clamping equipment on the belt. As you can see from photos, the UCB has more (and larger in size) teeth, a larger clamp mechanism for extra pressure, larger set screws, and a deeper cavity for the belt to feed into. Imagine trying to clear a computer printer paper jam and you can only use three fingertips on ½” of exposed paper. Now, imagine you can use all five fingerpads on 2” of exposed paper and you’ve become Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson...that’s the difference in the hardware.
So the UCB looks good on paper and impresses on the size test, but how do they compare in use? Set up of both belts were similar. The buckle needed to be unlatched and set screws removed to get the unfinished end of the belt to trim to size. I was able to cut thru the PFGB with regular Scotch titanium office scissors, however I had to bust out sheers to cut thru the UCB stiffener. Closing the gate on the latch was also significantly more difficult on the Blade-tech’s stiffer belt liner.
While setting up the belt, I noticed that the number of plastic ratcheting teeth between the two belts differed and that the UCB had more range. An important factor not only considering the holiday weight differential but the usage of this belt could vary from IWB carry, OWB carry, no gun carry (for when you have to fly) and that large variance and adaptability is necessity and appreciated.
Both the NexBelt PFGB and the Blade-Tech UCB are stiff enough to not collapse on themselves vertically under normal belt wear, however as you can see in some of these photos, the UCB stayed true to form where the PFGB twisted slightly to the added weight. With an airweight revolver, I had no problems with either belt, it was only when I started to put my normal EDC Glock load onto my belt and in my pockets the true character of these belts revealed themselves.
I wore both belts with a variety of loads over the course of several days. The PFGB when loaded down with an extra mag and Glock 19 showed more movement from my waist. The UCB was sure footed regardless if I was carrying just a pistol at 3:30 or with two extra magazines on the support side. I went the range to test both with drawing drills and compared them with my other carry belts and found that they performed almost as good as my favorite bull-hide gun belt or nylon instructor style belt. With one thing to note that if wearing one of these smaller profile dress belts with a pair of lightweight slacks ensure your holster’s retention strength is not too tight. The lightweight and slick nature of formal attire can end up giving you a wedgie during a spirited draw. As always, practice and test your equipment before you have to use it.
In summary, both of the belts from NexBelt and Bladetech performed well. The differences between these two belts is not huge but noticeable when you start adding weight. The last significant difference between the two is the price, surprisingly you’ll find the more sturdy Blade-tech UCB at www.yourbuddystan.com for $51.99, which is less than the NexBelt’s pricing of the PFGB for $59.99.
Check out the video below of the crazy test the YBS guys did on the maximum load weights each of the belts.
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