Best Hiking Belts of 2020

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Experienced outdoorsmen know that for best results on the trail, they need a set of fully matching clothes and accessories. And while some consider the hiking belt as a not-so-important part of the gear i.e. just one of the accessories, it can play a significant role in having a safe and enjoyable outdoor experience. It’s because a good hiking belt is more than an accompanying item as it can do so much more than keeping one’s pants up. Actually, we recommend that you consider it an essential item or at least try not to neglect its importance.

This post is about the best hiking belts of 2020. We hope that by highlighting our top 12 hiking belt models and explaining the main designs, materials, features, and characteristics of belts, we’d help you choose the best hiking belt for your needs.

For more of our top gear recommendations that are closely-related to belts, check out the Best Men’s and Women’s Hiking Shorts. If you need a pair of more substantial pants for warm or changing weather, you may wish to have a look at the corresponding posts – Best Hiking Pants for Hot Weather and Best Zip-Off Pants.

Two hiking belts
Whether getting a more solid all-leather or lightweight nylon belt for your next hiking adventure – you choose

Quick answer: BEST HIKING BELTS 2020

1. Arc’teryx Conveyor Belt                                   View on Amazon               View on REI

2. GRIP6 Horizon Granite Belt                           View on Amazon

3. Fjallraven Singi Belt 4cm                                   View on Amazon              View on Moosejaw

4. Patagonia Tech Web Belt                                 View on Patagonia        View on REI

5. Mountain Khakis Webbing Belt                   View on Amazon               View on Moosejaw

6. Arcade Ranger Belt                                             View on Amazon               View on REI

7. Fjallraven Keb Trekking Belt                          View on Amazon               View on CampSaver

8. KUHL Raid Belt                                                      View on KUHL                        View on REI

9. Arcade Midnighter Adventure Slim           View on Amazon              View on REI

10. Thomas Bates Hiker Belt                               View on Amazon

11. Helly Hansen HH Webbing Belt                View on Amazon

12. Sitka Gear Stealth Belt                                    View on Amazon

 

Best overall

#1 Arc’teryx Conveyor Belt

Arcteryx Conveyor Belt

Length: 109 cm (small), 116 cm (medium), 126 cm (large) (or 43″, 45.5″, 49.5″ respectively)

Weight: 95 g (3.4 oz)

Width: 3.75 cm (1.5″)

Price (MSRP): $39

Materials: Nylon

Unisex: Yes

Notable features:

  • Self-locking metal buckle with the Arc’teryx logo
  • Highly abrasion-resistant nylon webbing
  • Contrasting stitching

Pros:

  • Strong and heavy-duty belt with sturdy and abrasion-resistant nylon webbing engineered to provide simplicity and security
  • Great functionality: dries quickly, doesn’t stretch, fits well under a harness, does not slip, rigid to easily hold any accessories with loops
  • Versatile as it works great on the trail and around town: for any outdoor sport and activity (hiking, climbing, mountain sports) as well as daily use at work
  • High-quality, lightweight, and easy to use

Cons:

  • A bit tough to tighten up initially (it takes time until the belt loosens from its initial stiffness + adjustment takes a bit of practice)
  • Buckle might be too large for some people

Best for: Versatility (in the outdoors)

Find the latest price:

Amazon | REI | Moosejaw

 

Best lightweight

#2 GRIP6 Horizon Granite Belt

GRIP6 Horizon Granite Belt

Length: 71.1, 76.2, 81.3, 86.4, 91.4, 96.5, 101.6, 106.7, 111.8, 116.8, 121.9, 127 cm (28″, 30″, 32″, 34″, 36″, 38″, 40″, 42″, 44″, 46″, 48″, 50″ respectively)

Weight: 68 g (2.4 oz)

Width: 3.8 cm (1.5″)

Price (MSRP): $39

Materials: Nylon

Unisex: Yes

Notable features:

  • The ultralight metal buckle is made from brushed 6061 T6 Aluminum
  • High-tensile nylon 6.6 fiber weave has a breaking strength of over 900 kg (2000 lbs)
  • Made in the USA

Pros:

  • Hardly noticeable due to the ultralightweight design: small buckle and lightweight yet hardwearing nylon webbing
  • Plenty of color and sizing options to get the right fit for you: six colors and 12 sizes (or 72 different combinations)
  • No holes or excess bulk as the tail of the belt tucks behind the buckle; thanks to the patented friction lock, it doesn’t need constant readjustments as it doesn’t slip
  • Stylish and comfortable with a clean classy look

Cons:

  • A bit hard getting used to compared to most traditional designs (may wish to watch the short videos on grip6.com to see how use the belt and how to cut the webbing to size or change buckles)
  • Make sure you use your pants size when ordering the belt as it comes in 12 different lengths

Best for: Ultralighters and minimalists

Find the latest price:

Amazon

 

Best leather hiking belt

#3 Fjallraven Singi Belt 4 cm

Fjallraven Singi Belt 4cm

Length: 75, 85, 95, 110, 120 cm (30″, 33″, 37″, 43″, 47″)

Weight: 120 g (4.2 oz)

Width: 4 cm (1.58″)

Price (MSRP): $80

Materials: 100% Leather

Unisex: Yes

Notable features:

  • Clean and rustic design with metal buckle
  • Vegetable-tanned leather is sleek and flexible
  • Made in Sweden

Pros:

  • A well-made belt crafted from premium leather: gets softer as worn and ages beautifully
  • Hard-wearing construction with solid silver-toned buckle; robust workmanship
  • Versatile: suitable for a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities: hiking, trekking, work, travel as well as casual hanging out
  • Many options (lots of combinations) to get the right fit as this belt comes in five different lengths and three different colors)

Cons:

  • The thickness of the belt is a bit less than the thickness of most all-leather belts
  • Pricey

Best for: Trekking

Find the latest price:

Amazon | Moosejaw

 

Best for performance

#4 Patagonia Tech Web Belt

Patagonia Tech Web Belt

Length: 118 cm (46.5″)

Weight: 128 g (4.5 oz)

Width: 3.8 cm (1.5″)

Price (MSRP): $29

Materials: Polyester

Unisex: Yes

Notable features:

  • The strong polyester webbing doubles as a survival lash strap
  • With a lightweight, forged aluminum buckle
  • The buckle can be used as a bottle opener

Pros:

  • Multifunctional belt: can be used (to keep your pants up) as a belt, as a bottle opener, as a pack strap, etc.
  • Perfectly designed and well-made
  • Strong and flexible polyester material dries quickly
  • Great sturdy buckle works just as expected: holds perfectly during an active day on the trail

Cons:

  • A bit long (you’ll have to cut it to length with a heated knife/pair of scissors or any other hot cutting tool you’ll be comfortable to do the job with)
  • Some might find it a bit hard to tighten

Best for: Active use

Find the latest price:

Patagonia | REI

 

Best of the rest

#5 Mountain Khakis Webbing Belt

Mountain Khakis Webbing Belt

Length: 127 cm (50″)

Weight: 181 g (6.4 oz)

Width: 3.75 cm (1.5″)

Price (MSRP): $ 27.95

Materials: 100% Nylon

Unisex: Yes

Notable features:

  • Stainless steel buckle with über-strong teeth that grip the webbing for a non-slip experience
  • Quick-dry & stain resistant webbing material
  • Buckle doubles as a bottle opener

Pros:

  • Solid construction with thick, strong webbing
  • Stays tight and secure without slipping and doesn’t need constant re-tightening
  • Flexible and comfortable to wear on and off the trail; functional
  • A rich color palette, interesting color options

Cons:

  • One size fits most but does not fit all so you’ll have to cut it to length and heat-seal it to fit and what’s more, sometimes the belt frays even after flaming its ends
  • Stiff material does not lie flat through the buckle when fastened and bulges a bit
  • Heavy buckle

Best for: Outdoor

Find the latest price:

Amazon | Moosejaw

 

#6 Arcade Ranger Belt

Arcade Ranger Belt

Length: 101.6 cm (40″)

Weight: 74 g (2.6 oz)

Width: 3.81 cm (1.5″)

Price (MSRP): $30

Materials: 90% Nylon, 10% rubber

Unisex: Yes

Notable features:

  • With micro-adjust belt buckle, no holes
  • Machine-washable design
  • Durable water repellent (DWR) coating

Pros:

  • Lightweight, flexible (without loosening and stretching over time), and very comfortable, this belt won’t interfere with your mobility during hiking, working, or even climbing
  • Keeps the pants of the wearer up and holds firm during all sorts of indoor and outdoor activities; stays put and doesn’t bind up
  • The fit can be adjusted to the right length thanks to the elastic webbing and the micro-adjustable belt buckle
  • Travel-friendly as the metal-free construction allows easier passage through airport security

Cons:

  • Hard to adjust especially if not used to the way this belt works
  • Not for every pant design as the Ranger belt can be difficult to thread through belt loops

Best for: Travel

Find the latest price:

Amazon | REI

 

#7 Fjallraven Keb Trekking Belt

Fjallraven Keb Trekking Belt

Length: 120 cm (47″)

Weight: 80 g (2.8 oz)

Width: 3.8 cm (1.5″)

Price (MSRP): $30

Materials: 78% Polyester, 12% viscose, 10% elastodiene

Unisex: Yes

Notable features:

  • Plastic buckle with a flat profile
  • Elastic webbing
  • Machine wash

Pros:

  • Excellent quality (as usual from Fjallraven); versatile: for hiking pants, jeans, shorts, etc. + suitable for all sorts of activities – hiking, biking, etc.
  • Lightweight construction that holds up well in most situations
  • Easy to adjust low-profile plastic buckle is comfortable to wear under a backpack’s hip belt
  • The elastic stretch allows for a better fit, comfort, and ease of movement

Cons:

  • One size only meaning that while it’s the perfect fit for some, it will be a bit too long/short for others
  • Relatively expensive for a belt with a plastic buckle as it’s a part of the high-end Keb series of Fjallraven
  • Takes it a bit more time to dry (than other synthetic hiking belts)

Best for: Summer hiking

Find the latest price:

Amazon | CampSaver

 

#8 KUHL Raid Belt

KUHL Raid Belt

Length: 117 cm (small), 127 cm (medium), 137 cm (large) (46″, 50″, 54″)

Weight: N/A

Width: 3.8 cm (1.5″)

Price (MSRP): $39

Materials: Polyester

Unisex: No

Notable features:

  • Quick-release buckle
  • Curved webbing for a 3D, anatomical fit
  • Polyester woven webbing with color on both sides

Pros:

  • Rugged belt with a distinctive quick-release metal buckle
  • Well-built: high-quality materials and excellent craftmanship
  • Looks classy and feels good: combines the looks and comfort
  • Can be adjusted to fit perfectly to the size you want

Cons:

  • A bit too heavy and bulky buckle (design/construction) takes from the functionality required for active pursuits
  • Easily clips/unclips so it might come loose while staying active throughout the day (probably because of the stiffness of the webbing and the not very aggressive teeth)

Best for: Everyday use

Find the latest price:

KUHL | REI

 

#9 Arcade Midnighter Adventure Slim Belt

Arcade Midnighter Adventure Slim Belt

Length: 101.6 cm (40″)

Weight: 80 g (2.8 oz)

Width: 3.17 cm (1.25″)

Price (MSRP): $30

Materials: 90% Nylon, 10% natural rubber

Unisex: Yes

Notable features:

  • Slimmed-down elastic stretch webbing
  • Minimal, micro-adjust buckle (metal-free)
  • Quick-drying materials are used to make it suitable for active pursuits

Pros:

  • Super slim, it’s easy to fit through narrower belt loops
  • Low-profile, light, stretchy, and very comfortable
  • Good for active use during various sports and activities
  • It’s a packable alternative to a solid leather belt

Cons:

  • Generic length a.k.a ‘one size fits most’ means that the belt won’t be able to accommodate a waist more than 40″-41″ (in this case)
  • Not very fashionable; it’s definitely not the best looking belt

Best for: Multisport

Find the latest price:

Amazon | REI

 

#10 Thomas Bates Hiker Belt

Thomas Bates Hiker Belt

Length: 122 cm (48″)

Weight: 57 g (2 oz)

Width: 3.3 cm (1.3″)

Price (MSRP): $17

Materials: Nylon

Unisex: Yes

Notable features:

  • Airport-friendly non-metallic construction with cam-locking buckle
  • Nylon-blend strong webbing
  • Made in the USA

Pros:

  • Lightweight yet rigid nylon webbing belt construction that holds very well
  • Has everything to be popular among avid outdoorsmen including hikers, campers, bikers, etc.: it’s comfortable, breathes well, and is easy to use and adjust
  • Easy to cut the belt to adjust the length
  • Several different colors

Cons:

  • The webbing is very thin and looks a bit flimsy
  • The quality is decent but far from the best
  • The quality of the buckle corresponds to the modest price of the belt

Best for: Minimalist hiking/travel

Find the latest price:

Amazon

 

#11 Helly Hansen HH Webbing Belt

Helly Hansen HH Webbing Belt

Length: 130, 140 cm (51″, 55″)

Weight: 115 g (4.1 oz)

Width: N/A

Price (MSRP): $25

Materials: Polyester

Unisex: Yes

Notable features:

  • Strong and secure aluminum buckle
  • Durable polyester webbing
  • Embossed HH logo

Pros:

  • Streamlined and effective design: easy to use
  • The solid aluminum buckle allows for excellent grip and retention
  • The weave is tight, the material is sturdy so the belt threads easily through belt loops
  • Nice colors to choose from

Cons:

  • Only two lengths and both size options are quite long
  • No loop or clasp to confine the length of the strap that extends beyond the buckle
  • Hard to make it fit tightly to your waist initially (it becomes easier with time)

Best for: Casual wear

Find the latest price:

Amazon

 

#12 Sitka Gear Stealth Belt

Sitka Gear Stealth Belt

Length: 76-91 cm (small), 91-107 cm (medium), 107-122 cm (large) (30″-36″, 36″-42″, 42″-48″ respectively)

Weight: 91 g (3.2 oz)

Width: 4.13 cm (1.625″)

Price (MSRP): $45

Materials: 100% Nylon

Unisex: Yes

Notable features:

  • Ultralight aluminum buckle
  • Silent hook-and-loop buckle closure
  • Low-profile

Pros:

  • A lightweight minimalist belt for those who’d like to move silently and/or stay unnoticed
  • Great comfort – once fitted (even under a backpack’s hip belt), you won’t even notice you have it on your waist
  • Versatile: works well for hunting, shooting, hiking, camping, work as well as for everyday
  • Strong and durable construction that you can rely on when things get tough

Cons:

  • Wider than usual so it won’t fit into many pant models
  • It might not be fully operational until you get to know it better
  • Can loosen slightly over time

Best for: Comfort/Casual

Find the latest price:

Amazon

 

 

Table 1: Best hiking belts – comparison table

PRODUCTDESCRIPTIONPROSCONS
Arcteryx Conveyor Belt
Arc’teryx Conveyor Belt

#1 Best hiking belt



Length -> 109 cm (small), 116 cm (medium), 126 cm (large) (or 43", 45.5", 49.5" respectively)
Weight -> 95 g (3.4 oz)
Width -> 3.75 cm (1.5")
Price -> $39
Material -> Nylon


-> Strong and heavy-duty belt
-> Great functionality
-> Versatile - works great on the trail and around town
-> High-quality, lightweight, and easy to use


-> A bit tough to tighten up initially
-> Buckle might be too large for some people

GRIP6 Horizon Granite Belt
GRIP6 Horizon Granite Belt

#2 Best lightweight



Length -> 71.1, 76.2, 81.3, 86.4, 91.4, 96.5, 101.6, 106.7, 111.8, 116.8, 121.9, 127 cm (28", 30", 32", 34", 36", 38", 40", 42", 44", 46", 48", 50" respectively)
Weight -> 68 g (2.4 oz)
Width -> 3.8 cm (1.5")
Price -> $39
Material -> Nylon


-> Hardly noticeable due to the ultralightweight design
-> Plenty of color and sizing options
-> Doesn't need constant readjustments as it doesn't slip
-> Stylish and comfortable with a clean classy look


-> A bit hard getting used to
-> Make sure you use your pants size when ordering the belt

Fjallraven Singi Belt 4cm
Fjallraven Singi Belt 4cm

#3 Best leather hiking belt



Length -> 75, 85, 95, 110, 120 cm (30", 33", 37", 43", 47")
Weight -> 120 g (4.2 oz)
Width -> 4 cm (1.58")
Price -> $80
Material -> 100% Leather


-> A well-made belt crafted from premium leather
-> Hard-wearing construction with solid silver-toned buckle
-> Versatile
-> Lots of combinations help to get the right fit


-> The thickness of the belt is a bit less than the usual thickness of most all-leather belts
-> Expensive

Patagonia Tech Web Belt
Patagonia Tech Web Belt

#4 Best for performance



Length -> 118 cm (46.5")
Weight -> 128 g (4.5 oz)
Width -> 3.8 cm (1.5")
Price -> $29
Material -> Polyester


-> Multifunctional belt
-> Perfectly designed and well-made
-> Strong and flexible polyester material dries quickly
-> Great sturdy buckle works just as expected


-> A bit long
-> Some might find it a bit hard to tighten

Mountain Khakis Webbing Belt
Mountain Khakis Webbing Belt

#5



Length -> 127 cm (50")
Weight -> 181 g (6.4 oz)
Width -> 3.75 cm (1.5")
Price -> $27.95
Material -> 100% Nylon


-> Solid construction with thick, strong webbing
-> Stays tight and secure without slipping
-> Flexible and comfortable to wear anywhere
-> Interesting color options


-> One size fits most but not all
-> Stiff material could bulge a bit
-> Heavy buckle

Arcade Ranger Belt
Arcade Ranger Belt

#6



Length -> 101.6 cm (40″)
Weight -> 74 g (2.6 oz)
Width -> 3.81 cm (1.5″)
Price -> $30
Material -> 90% Nylon, 10% rubber


-> Lightweight, flexible, and very comfortable
-> Stays put and doesn't bind up
-> The fit can be adjusted to the right length
-> Travel-friendly


-> Hard to adjust especially if not used to the way this belt works
-> Can be difficult to thread through belt loops

Fjallraven Keb Trekking Belt
Fjallraven Keb Trekking Belt

#7



Length -> 120 cm (47")
Weight -> 80 g (2.8 oz)
Width -> 3.8 cm (1.5")
Price -> $30
Material -> 78% Polyester, 12% viscose, 10% elastodiene


-> Versatile
-> Lightweight construction that holds up well in most situations
-> Easy to adjust low-profile plastic buckle
-> The elastic stretch allows for a better fit, comfort, and ease of movement


-> One size only meaning that while it's the perfect fit for some, it will be a bit too long/short for others
-> Relatively expensive
-> Takes it a bit more time to dry

KUHL Raid Belt
KUHL Raid Belt

#8



Length -> 117 cm (small), 127 cm (medium), 137 cm (large) (46", 50", 54")
Weight -> N/A
Width -> 3.8 cm (1.5")
Price -> $39
Material -> Polyester


->Rugged belt with a distinctive quick-release metal buckle
-> Well-built: high-quality materials and excellent craftmanship
-> Looks classy and feels good
-> Can be adjusted to fit perfectly to the size you want


-> A bit too heavy and bulky buckle takes from the functionality
-> Might come loose while staying active throughout the day

Arcade Midnighter Adventure Slim Belt
Arcade Midnighter Adventure Slim

#9



Length -> 101.6 cm (40″)
Weight -> 80 g (2.8 oz)
Width -> 3.17 cm (1.25")
Price -> $30
Material -> 90% Nylon, 10% natural rubber


-> Easy to fit through narrower belt loops
-> Low-profile, light, stretchy, and very comfortable
-> Good for active use during various sports and activities
-> It's a packable alternative to a solid leather belt


-> The belt won't be able to accommodate a waist more than 40"-41" (in this case)
-> Definitely not the best looking belt

Thomas Bates Hiker Belt
Thomas Bates Hiker Belt

#10



Length -> 122 cm (48")
Weight -> 57 g (2 oz)
Width -> 3.3 cm (1.3")
Price -> $17
Material -> Nylon


-> Lightweight yet rigid nylon webbing belt
-> Has everything to be popular among avid outdoorsmen
-> Easy to cut the belt to adjust the length
-> Several different colors


-> The webbing is very thin and looks a bit flimsy
-> The quality is decent but far from the best
-> The buckle is of poor quality

Helly Hansen HH Webbing Belt
Helly Hansen HH Webbing Belt

#11



Length -> 130, 140 cm (51", 55")
Weight -> 115 g (4.1 oz)
Width -> N/A
Price -> $25
Material -> Polyester


-> Streamlined and effective design
-> Excellent grip and retention
-> The belt threads easily through belt loops
-> Nice colors to choose from


-> Only two lengths and both size options are quite long
-> No loop or clasp to confine the length of the strap that extends beyond the buckle
-> Hard to make it fit tightly initially

Sitka Gear Stealth Belt
Sitka Gear Stealth Belt

#12



Length -> 76-91 cm (small), 91-107 cm (medium), 107-122 cm (large) (30"-36", 36"-42", 42"-48" respectively)
Weight -> 91 g (3.2 oz)
Width -> 4.13 cm (1.625")
Price -> $45
Material -> 100% Nylon


-> A lightweight minimalist belt
-> Great comfort - once fitted, you won't even notice you have it on your waist
-> Versatile: works well for hunting, shooting, hiking, work as well as for everyday
-> Strong, durable, and reliable


-> Won't fit into many pant models
-> Not fully operational until you get to know it better
-> Can loosen slightly over time

 

Hiking belts buying advice or what to consider

Materials

There are some basic requirements regarding hiking belts – durability, flexibility, functionality, and comfort. Each of these is more or less dependent on the material. Thus the material a belt’s made of is one of the most important factors to consider. There are lots of materials suitable for making belts for the outdoors but we’ll focus on three of them:

Nylon and polyester

The two most popular synthetic fibers for outdoor clothing and gear, polyester and nylon are among the top 3 leading fibers in the hiking belt market (together with leather). Each of them has its advantages and disadvantages. They’re lightweight (nylon is lighter than polyester), strong, durable, and abrasion-resistant. Moreover, such synthetics can be (much) cheaper than leather, for instance. Both nylon and polyester are sometimes blended with spandex, rubber (Arcade Midnighter), elastodiene (Fjallraven Keb Trekking Belt ) or other elastomers in order to form an elastic stretch webbing. Such a webbing allows for a comfortable individual fit. Nylon has better elastic recovery properties than polyester but it also absorbs more water. That’s why some nylon belts are treated with a durable water repellent (Arcade Ranger).

Leather

It’s a traditional belt material for hiking, backpacking, hunting, and all sorts of outdoor pursuits. What makes leather a preferred material for the belt-making industry is a whole set of features and characteristics typical for this natural material. Among them, we should mention its ability to stretch and retain the stretched shape as well as its durability, abrasion-resistance, flexibility, and comfort. Note that while there’s only one leather belt in our review (Fjallraven Singi 4 cm), it doesn’t mean that leather isn’t suitable for hiking belts. It is. However, a leather strap is usually thicker and heavier than an all-synthetic strap. Moreover, it needs a more solid buckle, hence the typical metal buckle associated with a leather strap. Leather belts are very popular choice because a genuine leather belt can last for years and years if properly treated.

Belt buckles

Each belt has a mechanism called ‘buckle’ that’s used for fastening the two ends of the belt. Classical designs usually utilize buckles while modern designs often rely on devices that allow for micro-adjustability. Don’t be surprised if finding designs with different buckles as there are several types of belt buckles with different widths and looks and crafted from different metals (stainless steel, brass, aluminum) and non-metallic materials (polymers).

  • The conventional belt buckle (or tongue buckle) has a frame, bar, and prong. It’s easy to use and a very reliable mechanism used by many traditional models like the Fjallraven Singi. It should be no surprise that the conventional belt buckle is the most widespread type of buckle.
  • The quick-release buckle is a very typical feature of military and tactical belts. However, some hiking belts such as the KUHL Raid also use quick-release buckles allowing rapid fasten and release. Non-metallic quick-release buckles seem to be more popular among outdoor lovers.
  • The flip closure buckle or flip-top belt doesn’t have any holes but uses a flip flop mechanism with teeth on the underside of the belt instead. These are usually worn with casual clothing.
  • Webbing buckles are another popular type with simple and effective design. They have a simple loop at one end (Helly Hansen HH Webbing BeltMountain Khakis Webbing Belt). Belts with webbing buckles are suitable for general outdoor use as well as for casual wear.

Durability

One of those factors that can hardly be measured quantitatively, durability depends mostly on the material used. Note that both webbing and buckle are very important for the overall durability of the belt construction. Manufacturers usually use man-made fibers such as nylon and polyester for improved durability. Leather is another belt material known for being durable, and abrasion and puncture-resistant. Hard-wearing plastic and metal buckles are no less important. Durability issues related to the buckle are among the most widespread problems with belts and especially cheap belts.

Sturdy leather belt
Durable belts work well for many different activities

Photo by Pexels

Durable designs are often more expensive yet there are relatively cheap belts that hold up well. Yes, cheap doesn’t always mean garbage. We know for sure that there are many popular and not-so-popular companies that make belts that hold up fairly well. The problem is that finding a cheap robust model that can last at least a couple of years can be difficult. You can try getting a cheap and sturdy hiking belt but we think it’s a shot in the dark.

Length and width

Belt length and width are important factors for functionality and (especially for) convenience.

Length

Belt length varies widely – from 71 cm (28″) and below for some of the shortest women’s and unisex designs to 140 cm and above for some men’s belts. The belt should always be the length that allows it to fit well without being too long. Buying a belt that is too long isn’t the smartest thing in the world. Do it only if it’s crafted from a trimmable material (nylon, polyester, etc.) that can be cut to length with a heated cutting tool such as a knife/pair of scissors.

You may also wish to look for a belt with a micro-adjustable belt buckle like the Arcade Ranger because such models allow for flexibility to fit better in many situations as you can use them even if you put on/lose weight. Generally, wearing a too-long belt is neither very comfortable nor very aesthetical. Wondering what’s the right length for a belt? As a rule, look for one with a length of around 15-20 cm more than the waistband.

Width

The range of the width is much narrower than the range of the length available. The two graphs below show the width in cm and inches of the twelve models discussed here. Only two belts have a width of at least 4 cm (1.58″) – Fjallraven Singi 4cm and the widest design – the Stealth Belt by Sitka Gear with its 4.13 cm (1.625″). Generally, wider belts cannot be used with as many different models of pants and shorts as the narrower options. However, they fit better and are more comfortable when wearing trousers with wider belt loops. Narrower belts such as the Arcade Midnight Adventure Slim are recommended for models with narrower belt loops. The width of the majority of belts is 3.75-3.8 cm (1.5″) – a more universal width allowing the belt to fit a range of trousers and shorts for various activities.

Graph 1: Hiking belt width comparison  (in cm)

Hiking belts width comparison

Graph 2: Hiking belt width comparison  (in inches)

Hiking belts width in inches - comparison

Weight

Not the most important thing to consider before buying a hiking belt, weight is still important to those who aim to travel lighter.

Graph 3 and 4 below show the weight comparison (in grams and ounces) between 11 of the 12 designs. They show that the weight of the belts ranges from less than 60 g for the Thomas Bates Hiker to triple of that for the Mountain Khakis Webbing. More solid belts such as the Arc’teryx Conveyor and Patagonia Tech Web weigh close to 100 g or more (3.5 oz). These are fantastic options for outdoor enthusiasts who need a good balance between functionality and weight. We recommend the lighter GRIP6 Horizon Granite for those who are ready to sacrifice some functionality for less weight.

Belt weight depends mostly on the material used (type, thickness, etc.) and the specifics of the model (length, width, buckle, etc.). Nearly all models in our review have a synthetic webbing (with the exception of the all-leather Fjallraven Singi). So where does the difference in weight come from? There are two main reasons:

  • Some belts such as the Thomas Bates Hiker Belt and GRIP6 Horizon Granite have a less dense webbing whereas others like the Patagonia Tech Web and the heaviest Mountain Khakis Webbing Belt have a much thicker webbing.
  • The weight differences observed are due to the buckle and its size, material, and most importantly – weight. Heavy metal buckles can add a lot of grams to the overall weight of a particular design. Take the KUHL Raid, for example. Its solid metal buckle is heavy and bulky and makes the whole belt look heavier in comparison to other belts with similar webbings.

Graph 3: Weight comparison between hiking belt designs (in grams)

Hiking belts weight comparison

Graph 4: Weight comparison between hiking belt designs (in ounces) 

Hiking belts weight in ounces - comparison

Price

The price range of hiking belts is very wide – from as low as $5 for cheap, generic synthetic belts to $100 and above for high-quality all-leather belts embossed with the logo/name of a premium brand. Let’s get back to the data from our review.

The cheapest belt is the Thomas Bates Hiker, whose official price (MSRP) of $17 is a small fraction of the price of the most expensive design – the Fjallraven Singi 4cm Belt. It will cost you exactly $80 or less if on a sale. The price is not low by any means but we consider it a fair price for a good, versatile belt crafted from 100% premium leather. If not familiar with the brand Fjallraven (it’s rather Fjällräven), it comes from Sweden. The manufacturer (with the same name as the brand) is a Swedish outdoor clothing and equipment company famous for making functional and eco-friendly outdoor gear. They use premium materials and make no compromise with the quality, hence the higher price.

The average price is a bit less than $36, while the median price is $30. Of course, there’s a sound reason behind the disparity between the average and median prices as the former is inflated by the $80 the Fjallraven Singi costs. Without this outlier, the average would be approximately $32, which is very close to the median price of the twelve belts discussed. Two-thirds of the belts cost between $28 and $39 including the top-rated Arc’teryx Conveyor ($39), the best lightweight GRIP6 Horizon Granite ($39), and our top choice for functionality – Patagonia Tech Web ($29).

Graph 5: Hiking belts price comparison (US dollars)

Hiking belts price - comparison

Conclusion

When looking for a hiking belt, look for a belt that fits well and is comfortable, functional, and fairly durable. Finding such a belt for the outdoors should be your top priority.

In our minds, the Arc’teryx Conveyor is the best overall hiking belt as it provides a great combination of durability, functionality, and comfort in addition to the incredible versatility it offers. Fjallraven Singi is a great all-leather option. GRIP6 Horizon Granite is a good low-profile and lightweight option with a clean look, whereas Patagonia Tech Web is our recommendation for those wanting a belt that can perform significantly above the average.

We hope that you enjoyed reading this guide to (the best) hiking belts. Here you have all the information about how to make an informed choice and find the right belt for your outings.

What’s your favorite choice for a hiking belt and why? Drop us a line in the comments section below. We would welcome any advice, suggestions, comments or questions.

 

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