Thursday, October 9, 2014

Gear Review: Ares Gear Aegis Enhanced Belt

Ares Gear Logo
It became clear after taking Shivworks ECQC that some new gear was in order.  My belt and Supertuck had been sufficient up to that point.  However, I found that the leather on both the belt and on the holster had given up their shape over repeated use.  The belt in particular had formed a bit of a "V" where the back belt loops normally contacted.  A stiffer belt provides better stability of the holster.  Any give provides a "mushy" feel on the draw.  This was evident during my class.

I had read and heard good things about Ares Gear's Aegis Enhanced Belt.  What drew me to this particular belt were the materials that were used to construct it.  Ares Gear uses proprietary scuba webbing to achieve the stiffness in their product.  I decided to take a chance on it.  I have been wearing it for about 3 months since the day it arrived.

Patch did not come with belt.  However, I'm a patch whore, so I ordered one.

I immediately noticed how much more stiff the Aegis Enhanced Belt was than my previous gun belt in brand new condition.  I also noted that the thickness of the belt was fairly beefy.  This is a plus considering that not only does it contribute to the stiffness of the belt, but that it gives more of a "ledge" for a holster's retention clips or loops to gain purchase.  The stiffness has not lessened since the day I removed it from the packaging.  I cannot say the same for my leather belt.

The belt buckle uses friction to hold the belt tight by sliding the end of the belt through the buckle and then running the steel bar tight against the material.  I will say that sometimes the bar does come slightly loose.  It has not been a problem with regards to holding my pants up even with my holster and pistol.  It also has not affected my draw when this has happened.  The material and the bar are grippy enough that it holds well even when it is not completely tight.

Bar shown creates friction against end of belt looped through.  This fastens the belt.

The belts extra length is held fast by an elastic loop.  Ares Gear provides two.  The belt is stiff enough that I find that instead of looping the extra length through another belt loop that it is just easier to lay it over and use the elastic band to keep it from flopping around.  Another item worth mentioning is that sometimes I forget about the loop when taking off my belt for the night.  The loop will fall to the ground without me noticing until the next day.  I suspect that is why Ares Gear provides a second.

Two of these loops are provided.

A couple of practical points to note.  If you're, ahem, heeding Nature's Call, then you may find that the extra length of belt can get in the way, especially if you are a male and taking care of Number 1.  Another item is that the belt can have a tendency to cut into a person's side if they are overweight (damn love handles) or if they lean in one direction for long periods of time.  Both minor gripes are due to the belt's stiffness.  They aren't really critiques of the Aegis Enhanced Belt, but they are things that I have not experienced with other belts.

Did I mention the look of the belt?  Generally, I try to steer clear of anything looking "tactical".  And while Ranger belts are great, they scream "tactical" to folks who are "in the know".  The Aegis Enhanced Belt helps alleviate that look without sacrificing the stiff webbing material used and having a fairly normal looking buckle.  It has become one of my favorite belts.  The solid piece buckle looks sharp and the belt has a casual look to it that goes well with all but the dressiest of clothing.  Ares Gear does offer a substantial selection to choose from when it comes to the color of the belt.

I would not hesitate to recommend this belt after the 3 months of use thus far.  It has been a solid performer and does its primary function of holding my pants up with no problems to report.  The belt does this while toting a M&P9c in a Raven Concealment holster and I have noticed no sagging that some other belts are prone to.  If you are looking for a gun belt, then look no further than the Ares Gear Aegis Enhanced Belt.

2 comments:

  1. Awesome,
    I like wilderness tactical belts (with the 5-stitch option) as they're smaller and I like the infinite flexibility of not having prepunched holes. However, it's not dressy at all, which may be an issue depending on what you're looking for. Daltech Force have a wide variety of gun belts.
    I prefer the polymer ring frequent flyer belts. I tried the Original Instructor belt, but it wasn't for me.


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    1. Yeah, you *might* get away with a black webbing/matte black buckle for the Aegis, but I'd only do it with business casual. A leather gun belt would have to suffice for business attire.

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