One of the most common equipment mistakes that new concealed carry holders make is not investing in a good belt. Belts designed for CCW are typically made from thick leather or multiple layers of webbing in order to support the weight of a firearm. As a rule of thumb, I like to pair leather holsters with belts made from leather. With Kydex, I can go either way – leather or web belts will do. The Ares Gear Aegis Belt is what I wear most often with my Kydex holsters.
The Aegis, which was released last year, features 1.5″ double layered scuba webbing with a bead blasted stainless steel buckle. The design is a take on the classic military web belt. I like that it isn’t as tactical looking as most Ranger or Rigger belts.
The rollaway buckle is knurled to prevent slippage. My only real complaint is that Ares Gear sewed the belt to the buckle rather than attaching it via Velcro. It would have been nice to purchase the buckle and then have the option of investing in different colored belts for less than the cost of an entire belt.
If you’re considering the Aegis and wondering about size – I have a 38″ inch waist and opted for the XL. When I’m carrying while wearing my favorite pair of Levi’s, there is about 1.75 inches of excess webbing past my first belt loop.
There’s about three inches of excess webbing past the first belt loop when I’m not carrying. Ares Gear does include a couple of keepers with the belt. I’m glad they provided a spare because I lost one in short order.
According to Ares Gear’s website, every size increments by 2 inches. So, if you have a 36 waist then you should opt for a Large unless you want more of a tail than I have. A 34 waist would be a medium, etc, etc.
Overall, how did the Aegis perform? I’ve worn it since January and it does a great job supporting my M&P Shield 9mm in a Comptac Infidel Ultra holster along with a spare magazine in a Horizontal Magholder. Fully loaded, the entire rig weighs 36 ounces. If you plan on carrying a larger gun or one that weighs substantially more (like a 1911) then I’d suggest opting for the Aegis Enhanced model. It has another layer of webbing to reinforce the belt so that it can support more weight.
The Ares Gear Aegis Belt retails for $99 (add $10 more for the enhanced version) and is available direct from Ares Gear. It’s available in multiple colors including Black, Coyote, and Urban Grey. The Enhanced comes in those colors plus Desert Sand, Tan, Ranger Green, and a number of camo patterns. A black or bronze Melonite buckle is also an option.