Reviews You Can Rely On

Best Belts for Men of 2022

We tested men's belts from Main Street Forge, Mountain Khakis, Arcade, Arc'teryx, and more to find the best models out there
Best Belts for Men of 2022
We hope we can help you find the right option to meet your needs.
Credit: Nick Bruckbauer

Our Top Picks

By Nick Bruckbauer ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 22, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more

After scouring the market, we bought and hands-on tested 9 of today's best belts to bring you a side-by-side analysis. While many models look similar at first glance, materials and construction quality can greatly differ, and it can be challenging to guess which products should truly last and which will likely peel, crack, or fade over time. We've done our research, stretched, rubbed, and even smelled each model to determine the highest quality, and wore them throughout our daily life to confirm their style, versatility, and ease of use and help you find the best option for your needs.

Need some new threads to go with your new belt? We've tested men's jeans and pants to find the best options. If you're working from home and living the sweatpants life, we can help you find a cozy pair — and perhaps some slippers to go with them.


Best Overall

Main Street Forge The Bootlegger

Width: 1 1/2" | Material: Full-grain leather
Rich, full-grain leather material
Simple and durable one-piece construction
Removable buckle
Rustic leather finish shows scuffs
Thick leather is somewhat bulky

The Main Street Forge Bootlegger is a handsome full-grain leather belt with impressive construction quality, style, and durability. The luxurious material has a rich leather smell and a naturally rustic appearance. It is thick and durable while remaining soft and pliable, becoming even softer and more supple after a couple weeks of breaking in. The Bootlegger has seven holes for adjustability, and the basic metal buckle is held in place by a doubled-back leather loop with removable screws. Don't let words like "basic" turn you off to this model. In this case, "basic" means simple, robust, and effective.

Perhaps the only notable downsides to the Main Street Forge Bootlegger are the typical tradeoffs that you might expect with high-quality natural materials. The rustic full-grain leather can show scuffs and scratches pretty easily, and it's also bulkier than other materials like nylon, canvas, or lower-grade leathers. While the Bootlegger's natural material may pick up character marks through normal use, it will also mold to your body as you wear it and likely last much longer than its synthetic competition. It also offers a rich leather smell instead of the chemical odors found on other artificial materials with cheap, plastic finishes. Whether you're working in the office or out in the yard, you won't be disappointed with the quality and style of the Bootlegger.

belt - best overall
This tester favorite is easily at home in the office as it is out on the range thanks to its elegant and durable full-grain leather.
Credit: Matt Bento


Best Nylon Option

Mountain Khakis Webbing Belt

Width: 1 1/2" | Material: Nylon
Heavy-duty nylon construction
Simple slide-through metal buckle
Buckle doubles as a bottle opener
Material at the buckle is bulky
Cut to size design is inconvenient

The Mountain Khakis Webbing Belt is a basic 1.5-inch webbing design with a simple slide-through metal buckle. It does a good job balancing heavy-duty nylon construction with a straightforward buckle design and a low overall weight. Ideal for both casual use or active use in the outdoors, this is a simple yet effective belt, and one of the strongest nylon models that we tested. As a quirky bonus, the buckle doubles as a bottle opener for those impromptu beverage sessions.

The Mountain Khakis design has a few minor downsides. First, the nylon material is a bit stiff initially and can feel bulky and protruding where it passes through the buckle. While this is partially due to the buckle design and how many times the webbing must pass through, it should improve with use as the material naturally softens and becomes more pliable. Second, this product comes in one 50-inch length and is meant to be cut to size and heat-sealed to prevent fraying. We were able to cut it to our size and seal the trimmed edge without too much effort, but this is an extra step that some consumers may not be experienced with. Overall, we're pleased with this belt's quality and simplicity, and we found ourselves choosing it more often than the others for informal affairs.

belt - best nylon option
The Mountain Khakis Webbing is our favorite nylon belt. We appreciate its versatility for active use and for everyday wear.
Credit: Nick Bruckbauer


Best Bang for Your Buck

Lavemi Leather Ratchet Dress Belt

Width: 1 3/8" | Material: Genuine Leather
Heavy-duty buckle with ratcheting system
Soft leather construction
Classy and sleek style
Huge variety of colors and styles
Low price
Trim-to-fit design is inconvenient
Leather connection to buckle can weaken over time
Spring buckle mechanism has uncertain durability

One of the most unique and innovative models we tested is the Lavemi Leather Ratchet Dress Belt. Available in a variety of leathers and a huge assortment of buckle colors and styles, the Lavemi has a sleek and modern style with a slightly thinner width and a square buckle. The pass-through buckle has a spring-loaded clip that engages with a strip of small teeth embedded into the end of the leather to create a ratcheting closure system. The system makes it very easy to dial in a snug fit across a wide size range and is easy to engage and remove. This is one of our favorite buckle designs that we appreciated for dressier occasions.

Although we really liked wearing the Lavemi, there were a couple of notable downsides. For starters, the solid rectangular buckle is bulky and heavy, which can sometimes feel awkward. It should also be noted that this buckle relies on a spring mechanism, and moving parts are susceptible to breaking, which could threaten this product's long-term durability. Also, this belt comes in a wide size range and is meant to be trimmed to fit. After trimming to the correct size, the leather reconnects to the buckle by a lever that sinks a small row of metal teeth into the material. We were able to get a snug connection on our first try, but there is a slight movement of the teeth in the leather, and we fear that this could become a weak point with extended use. We recommend leaving a little extra length when you trim to your size, so there is some extra slack to re-trim in case the connection weakens later on. Overall, we were surprised how much we liked this model during testing, especially considering its low price tag.

belt - best bang for your buck
The Lavemi has a unique ratcheting buckle that connects to a strip of teeth built into the tail end of the leather.
Credit: Nick Bruckbauer


Best for Comfortable Travel

Arcade Ranger

Width: 1 1/2" | Material: Stretchy Nylon
Lightweight and stretchy material
Plastic buckle is airport friendly
Machine washable
Stylish colors and designs
Plastic buckle could be a weak point
Difficult to adjust the circumference

With a very lightweight design, soft and stretchy material, and a convenient plastic buckle that is airport friendly, the Arcade Ranger is our favorite pick for comfortable travel. It's also available in a wide range of fun and stylish colors and prints. The Ranger is made from stretchy nylon that is some of the softest and most comfortable material that we tested, and it sits very flat against your body to maintain comfort while sitting or lying down. With no metal parts, this model is travel-friendly, and the plastic quick-release buckle is easy to use. You can even leave the whole thing on your pants through the washer and dryer for easy cleaning on the go.

We appreciate the convenience of the plastic quick-release buckle, but the Ranger is one of the only models we've seen without a metal buckle, which raises some concern about long-term durability. While we didn't have any problems during our testing, the plastic is thin and light and could potentially be broken if accidentally mishandled or torqued. Also, the webbing is comfortably stretchy, but adjusting the overall fit by threading the webbing through the plastic buckle is very challenging. The buckle's tiny pass-through opening and the thick, stretchy material are a difficult combination. Overall, once you dial in your correct size, no further adjustment is needed, and the quick-release buckle makes this a comfortable and convenient option.

belt - best for comfortable travel
The Ranger has some of the softest and stretchiest material of any product we tested, and a flat plastic buckle, making it comfortable and convenient for travel.
Credit: Nick Bruckbauer


Best Tactical Style Model

Fairwin Tactical Rigger Nylon Webbing

Width: 1 1/2" | Material: Nylon
Strong nylon material
Heavy-duty metal quick-release buckle
Large adjustment range
Tactical style limits versatility

The Fairwin Tactical Rigger is a heavy-duty, military-style model made from durable nylon webbing and one of the strongest rated buckles in our lineup. Made for military or tactical situations, the Fairwin's buckle has a high strength rating and can be released in less than one second via its quick-release buttons. The heavy-duty nylon webbing is ideal for attaching tools or equipment for easy access while on the move.

This product is designed with a specific use in mind, but its versatility is limited because of its distinct tactical styling. Most people probably wouldn't wear this model every day or during casual or more dressy occasions unless the style speaks to them. Although the buckle is marketed with a strength rating, we did not do any force tests and cannot speak to the accuracy of the ratings. We recommend proper safety training and equipment for any tactical situations.

belt - best tactical style model
The Fairwin Tactical has heavy-duty nylon construction and a durable metal quick-release buckle.
Credit: Nick Bruckbauer


An Easy-Threading Nylon Option

Arc'teryx Conveyor Belt

Width: 1 1/2" | Material: Nylon
Durable and elegant buckle
Plastic end piece for easy threading
Thick, corded webbing
More difficult to cinch down than other webbing-style belts
Buckle may seem bulky to some

For those familiar with the Arc'teryx brand, the combination of luxury styling and materials with durable and pragmatic design found in its Conveyor Belt should come as no surprise. For the uninitiated, such an elegant-looking belt may seem out of place coming from an "outdoor" company, but be assured that this model holds its own on the links as easily as it does in the mountains. It is constructed from thick, corded nylon with a solid anodized aluminum buckle. Our favorite unique feature from this model is the plastic end sheath on the end of the belt that makes threading pant loops an easy, one-handed operation. The sheath also prevents fraying, a wear and tear issue common to nylon models.

Our only complaint with the Conveyor is that the buckle is somewhat difficult to cinch down tight compared to other nylon-style models. In our testing, it never slipped once in place, but getting the last few centimeters through the buckle for a snug fit proved difficult. Style is subjective, and some testers considered the look of this model a bit distracting with the little Arc'teryx logo (a dinosaur skeleton) front and center on the buckle, while other brand enthusiasts considered it cool. Either way, should you choose this model, you'll have a slick-looking, durable option that indeed holds your pants up.

we found the plastic sheath on the end of this belt helpful when...
We found the plastic sheath on the end of this belt helpful when threading belt loops, but the buckle is challenging to cinch down tightly.
Credit: Matt Bento


A Simple, Reversible Nylon Model

Under Armour Webbing 2.0

Width: 1 1/2" | Material: Nylon
Simple and strong reversing mechanism
Easy pass-through buckle
Not as thick as other nylon models
Trim-to-fit is inconvenient

The Under Armour Webbing 2.0 is a basic reversible nylon design available in a few classic color schemes. The nylon webbing passes through a simple square buckle that is easy to close for a snug and secure fit. The webbing is attached to the buckle with a spring mechanism that is easy to use and provides a more reliable fit than most other adjustable models. The classic lightweight design is part of Under Armour's golf equipment but would be equally useful for hiking, general outdoor use, or everyday casual wear.

This Under Armour model doesn't have any major flaws, but it doesn't stand out in any particular metric, either. The most notable downside is that it comes in one size and then must be trimmed to fit. Fortunately, the nylon webbing is thinner than most other trim-to-fit materials, which makes it easier to cut and effectively heat seal. The spring connection mechanism that connects the webbing to the buckle is also one of the most effective designs we've seen in an adjustable or trim-to-fit model. Overall, this is a simple and classy design.

the under armour webbing 2.0 is a lightweight, sporty model with a...
The Under Armour Webbing 2.0 is a lightweight, sporty model with a classic style.
Credit: Nick Bruckbauer


Canvas Material with a Unique Buckle

Grip6 Gunmetal 32-Inch Web

Width: 1 1/2" | Material: Canvas
Strong and light material
Low profile buckle
Clean and sleek aesthetics
Buckle connection takes some getting used to
Webbing pass-through can feel bulky

The Grip6 Gunmetal Web is a simple yet strong canvas model with a unique slide-through buckle system. The material is strong and lightweight, and the overall product has a very clean and sleek aesthetic. The unique pass-through buckle design is a simple single piece of metal with a slot on each side. One end of the webbing stays stationary against the buckle, while the loose end of the webbing passes through behind the buckle for a very clean finished look. The buckle system works differently than most other products and takes some getting used to, but it's pretty simple to use once you get the hang of it.

This simple and sleek model doesn't have any major flaws once you get used to the unique buckle design. Because the loose end of the webbing connects by passing behind the buckle, it can be a little more challenging to achieve a snug fit. Also, the interface between the webbing and the buckle can feel a little awkward or bulky at first, but we expect this to lessen as the material softens and becomes more supple over time. Overall, this is a very light, simple, and sleek design that would be suitable for both casual wear and active use.

the unique buckle of the grip6 leaves a sleek and clean aesthetic.
The unique buckle of the Grip6 leaves a sleek and clean aesthetic.
Credit: Nick Bruckbauer


A Dressier Leather Design

Marino's Genuine Leather Dress Belt

Width: 1 1/8" | Material: Genuine Leather
Classic leather construction
Stylish metal buckle
Dressier slim profile
Lower-grade leather
Limited adjustment range

The Marino's Genuine Leather Dress Belt is a classic leather model with a slightly thinner width that gives it a sleeker look for dressier occasions. With its thin profile, soft and flexible material, and sleek and stylish metal buckle, the Marino looks the part and is ready to complete your stylish outfit. The classic design is lightweight, comfortable, and unobtrusive.

This Marino model doesn't have any major downsides, but it's simply made from a lower-grade material than some of the highest-rated products that we tested. While others are made from thicker full-grain leather, the Marino is made from genuine leather, which includes only a smaller portion of the leather hide. The material looks nice initially and will hold up against general wear and tear, but you shouldn't expect the durability or longevity of higher-grade leather materials.

the marino's model has a thinner width for dressier occasions.
The Marino's model has a thinner width for dressier occasions.
Credit: Nick Bruckbauer

Why You Should Trust Us

This review is brought to you by Nick Bruckbauer. With over a decade of experience as a professional engineer, Nick brings an analytical and scientific approach to his reviews and is an expert across a wide variety of consumer and outdoor products. His close attention to detail helps him evaluate and explain small nuances that may have a great impact on the comfort or performance of a product, and he takes pride in helping readers determine the performance features that are most relevant to their needs. Nick wears a belt daily, from more formal attire at his office job to lightweight models for weekend backcountry excursions.

The Arcade Ranger has a wide range of different colors and styles...
The Arcade Ranger has a wide range of different colors and styles with some fun prints.
The Main Street Forge Bootlegger is tough enough for work or play.
The Main Street Forge Bootlegger is tough enough for work or play.
The Under Armor Webbing 2.0 is a great accessory on the golf course.
The Under Armor Webbing 2.0 is a great accessory on the golf course.

In this review, we bought some of the highest-rated and best-selling options available to compare them side-by-side. With each model in hand, we paid close attention to the thickness, rigidity, texture, and feel of the materials, along with the weight and density of each buckle. We put each model on and took it off several times, weaving it through our pant loops, buckling and unbuckling it, and practicing finer tightening and loosening. We cut the trim-to-fit models to our preferred size and wore each model with a variety of outfits on various occasions. Finally, we rated each product across five different performance metrics to help you identify the best option for your needs.

Analysis and Test Results

We put our lineup to the test and rated each model to determine the best materials and construction, buckle hardware quality, ease of use, adjustability, and style and versatility. We think these performance metrics are the most important qualities to look for when searching for a new belt, and we will try to point out the most suitable options for your needs and priorities.

a slew of belts prepped for the rigors of our hands-on testing...
A slew of belts prepped for the rigors of our hands-on testing process.
Credit: Nick Bruckbauer

Material and Construction Quality

Sometimes it's hard to parse out the difference between products, as many belts can look alike at first glance with similar colors, styles, and general material types. For a simple product meant to help hold up your pants, quality might not seem like a high priority, but we've found that better quality materials and construction techniques can be the difference between a product that loses its luster after a few months and one that lasts several years, or even decades. By spending a little more upfront for higher quality materials, you get to enjoy a well-built product that won't crack, peel, warp, sag, or fade as you wear it through the years.

we've come to believe that simple is better when it comes to belt...
We've come to believe that simple is better when it comes to belt construction. The Bootlegger is one piece of full-grain buffalo leather, two rivets, a tail holder, and a two-piece buckle. Fewer parts mean that there is less to break.
Credit: Matt Bento

The most impressive option that we tested is the Main Street Forge Bootlegger, which is made from a single piece of full-grain buffalo leather that is nearly a quarter-inch thick and noticeably burlier than most other leather models. The thick leather is fairly rigid to hold its shape well and becomes softer and more supple over time with use. It also sports a weathered and rustic finish that's perfectly at home in rugged outdoor settings. The beauty of this product is in the simplicity. Constructed with high-quality materials, we would expect the Bootlegger to last multiple years of use.

All leather is not the same. In general, full-grain leather is the thickest and most durable variety and has not been sanded or altered from the original hide. Top grain leather is similar to full-grain leather, except the top layer has been sanded or polished to remove any imperfections or unevenness. Genuine leather typically consists of the middle layer of a hide after the outer layers have been removed and often has an artificial texture added to it. Bonded leather is like particle board, whereby tiny scrap pieces of hide are bonded together with chemical agents.

we never had to worry about the bootlegger's ability to survive our...
We never had to worry about the Bootlegger's ability to survive our daily activities and chores due to its simple design and quality materials.
Credit: Matt Bento

Full-grain leather models have materials and construction and could make a great choice that should last a very long time. We expect the models we tested with inferior leather materials to wear out quicker in the punch holes, making the fit less precise over time.

the bootlegger also is made from full-grain leather and is a bit...
The Bootlegger also is made from full-grain leather and is a bit softer with a rustic finish.
Credit: Nick Bruckbauer

Several of the nylon options in our lineup are well-made with high-quality materials and simple and strong construction. The Fairwin Tactical Rigger has a high strength quick-release buckle and is ideal for military or tactical use, while the Mountain Khakis Webbing, Under Armour Webbing 2.0, Arc'teryx Conveyor, and Grip6 are a little bit lighter and would be ideal for active outdoor use or casual wear.

The Mountain Khakis Webbing is our favorite nylon model.
The Mountain Khakis Webbing is our favorite nylon model.
The Arc'teryx Conveyor belt is constructed from thick and durable...
The Arc'teryx Conveyor belt is constructed from thick and durable nylon that feels less flexible than other nylon models.
The Grip6 is made from light yet durable canvas.
The Grip6 is made from light yet durable canvas.

Buckle Hardware Quality

Today's marketplace includes some intriguing buckle designs in addition to the classic prong style. Our lineup also includes models with plastic and metal quick-release clips, metal slide-through buckles, clamp-style buckles, and a pass-through ratcheting design. We evaluated which styles were the easiest to use, the most reliable, and the least intrusive. The Fairwin Tactical Rigger has one of the most impressive buckles, with a metal quick-release design and a very high strength rating designed for military or tactical scenarios. Its design is certainly impressive but note that we didn't perform any force tests to confirm the Fairwin's strength ratings and recommend having proper training and protective equipment for any tactical scenarios.

tactical scenarios with heavy gear, tools, and equipment call for a...
Tactical scenarios with heavy gear, tools, and equipment call for a heavy-duty option.
Credit: Nick Bruckbauer

The full-grain leather option that we tested also has a high-quality buckle connection. The Main Street Forge Bootlegger buckle is attached with a double-backed leather loop and removable screws. This construction method seems very durable and versatile and allows you to remove and replace the buckle, those you'll need to take care not to damage the finish on the rivets when unscrewing them.

the bootlegger is a little bulky out of the box, but lays flatter...
The Bootlegger is a little bulky out of the box, but lays flatter and becomes more supple over time.
Credit: Matt Bento

One of the unique buckle designs is the ratcheting style on the Lavemi model. This buckle has a spring-loaded bar that connects to a row of teeth embedded within the end of the leather. As the tail passes through the buckle, the bar engages the teeth and grabs the leather for a snug and secure fit. This design is also easily adjustable and can be tightened by pushing more of the tail through the buckle or loosened with a simple flick of the spring-loaded lever. The buckle itself is a dense metal with a good heft to it. However, the reliance on a spring mechanism makes us hesitant to call it a favorite for the long haul.

The Lavemi's ratcheting buckle makes it easy to dial in a snug fit.
The Lavemi's ratcheting buckle makes it easy to dial in a snug fit.
Micro-adjustments are easy with the ratcheting system.
Micro-adjustments are easy with the ratcheting system.
Flipping the release lever releases the tension in the ratcheting...
Flipping the release lever releases the tension in the ratcheting system.

The Arcade Ranger features a unique plastic quick-release buckle that is meant to be airport-friendly and washer and dryer safe. While we appreciate these benefits, the plastic is noticeably more fragile than the other metal buckles, and we are a little concerned about accidental breakage. Anecdotally, one of our testers has worn this product for two winters of skiing and snowboarding with no buckle problems.

Nylon options like the Mountain Khakis Webbing model and the Arc'teryx Conveyor have a simple double pass buckle, and the Arc'teryx option features a rigid plastic sheath on the running end to make threading through pant loops easier. Both have buckles that can be used as a bottle opener in a pinch.

the plastic buckle on the ranger makes it easy to release and is...
The plastic buckle on the Ranger makes it easy to release and is travel-friendly and safe in the washer and dryer.
Credit: Nick Bruckbauer

Ease of Use

None of these products are necessarily difficult to use, but a high-quality belt should be easy to thread through your pant loops, simple to buckle and unbuckle, and convenient to adjust on the go. Simple designs are usually better, and special features like reversible designs, trim-to-fit sizing, or tails that pass underneath the buckle seem to add to the difficulty. The simplest design seems to be the traditional prong design, where the tail of the belt threads through the pant loops, slides through the buckle, and the prong latches through one of the holes. The downside to this design is that the spacing or number of holes limits the adjustability. We still found this to be the easiest style to use, and it is found on the classic leather models in our lineup, including the Main Street Forge Bootlegger and Marino Leather.

with fewer moving parts to loosen or break, simple traditional prong...
With fewer moving parts to loosen or break, simple traditional prong buckles are some of the easiest designs to use.
Credit: Nick Bruckbauer

The Arc'teryx model is also easy to use with a corded nylon webbing material and a double pass-through metal buckle. This design is easy to adjust and tighten, and the plastic end piece makes threading your belt loops with one hand a cinch. The Lavemi Ratchet model has an intuitive ratcheting design that provides simple adjustability through a wide range of sizes. It is easy to tighten, loosen, or make minor adjustments on the go.

the double pass-through buckle on the mountain khakis model is a...
The double pass-through buckle on the Mountain Khakis model is a little bulky, but this should improve as the material softens with use.
Credit: Nick Bruckbauer

A few of the models in our lineup have trim-to-fit sizing, where the product comes in one standard size, and the belt can be detached from the buckle, cut to size, and reattached to the buckle. A potential problem with reversible styles or trim-to-fit sizing is that the connection to the buckle can be a weak point that might fail as the material undergoes wear and tear. Of the models in our lineup with detachable buckles, the Under Armour Webbing 2.0 had the most reliable connection that didn't allow the webbing material to slip.

In this product category, simpler is often better. Designs with fewer seams, connections, or moving parts are usually easier to use and will typically last longer.

showing the backside of the under armour buckle. the spring-loaded...
Showing the backside of the Under Armour buckle. The spring-loaded securement clip is one of the most effective we've seen for a reversible or trim-to-fit product.
Credit: Nick Bruckbauer


Traditional prong belts typically have a series of five to seven holes for sizing adjustments, but often a wearer can fall between sizes if there is a large enough gap between holes. Other models with slide-through buckles offer unlimited adjustments within their overall size range. The Mountain Khakis Webbing is one of the easiest models to adjust to a precise circumference with its double slide-through buckle. It's simple to tighten and loosen and make micro-adjustments while on the go. Similarly, the Under Armour Webbing 2.0 has a slide-through clamp style buckle, where any specific sizing can be achieved, and adjustments are likewise simple. The Grip6 sports a unique slide-through buckle where the tail-end of the webbing passes behind the buckle.

it's a little tricky getting used to the unique pass-through buckle...
It's a little tricky getting used to the unique pass-through buckle on the Grip6, but it becomes intuitive once you get used to it.
Credit: Nick Bruckbauer

The Lavemi Ratchet model is easy to adjust with its intuitive ratcheting buckle system. Simply push the tail through the buckle, and the ratchet automatically catches and maintains a snug fit. To release, move the spring-loaded lever, and the ratchet unlocks, loosening any tension. Micro-adjustments are achieved by gently pushing on or releasing the ratchet.

It's pretty easy to adjust most of the traditional leather models that we tested, but with a standard prong buckle, you run the risk of being stuck between sizes. While most of us hope to only jump between a couple of different belt sizes in our adult lifetime, having a wider range of adjustability is a nice feature.

Sizing can sometimes be confusing. Most manufacturers of traditional prong styles recommend ordering one or two sizes up from your pant size. For example, if your pant size is 34, then you should look for a size 36 or 38 for your belt. Ideally, when there is a series of five to seven prong holes, you will use one of the center holes rather than an end hole.

some nylon belts are cut-to-size, which is convenient if you're...
Some nylon belts are cut-to-size, which is convenient if you're unsure of someone's size and you'd like to gift them a belt. The Arc'teryx Conveyor Belt shown here requires you to order a specific size because of its plastic end piece.
Credit: Matt Bento

Style and Versatility

Although style is undeniably subjective, certain styles tend to be more versatile and can be worn on a wider variety of occasions. Traditional leather models are typically very versatile and look at home in both formal or casual occasions, as well as during travel or general daily use. Nylon models tend to be less formal and are usually lighter and softer, making them more comfortable and best suited for active use. However, they might not be as appropriate in the office or on for a business meeting. Simple designs with classic colors and materials can usually be worn in a variety of situations. One of our favorite versatile styles is the Arcade Ranger. It is available in dozens of different colors and prints, allowing you to pick the right color scheme for the right situation. It also has some of the softest and stretchiest material out of any model we tested, which makes it ideal for long travel days. The ability to be machine washed and dried without removing it from your pants is another plus.

the arcade ranger can go into the washer or dryer while still on...
The Arcade Ranger can go into the washer or dryer while still on your pants.
Credit: Nick Bruckbauer

Our go-to for more formal occasions when you're striving to look good is the Lavemi Ratchet. It has a sleek rectangular buckle and soft leather construction and is offered in a wide variety of leathers and buckle styles to match your wardrobe. During more casual scenarios or days spent on the trail, the Mountain Khakis Webbing is a versatile option that is lightweight and comfortable under a backpack but stylish enough to wear to your post-hike happy hour. Overall, our favorite leather option, the Main Street Forge model, offers a great combination of classy and hip styling, though it may not quite pass as formal wear.

ideal for more dressy occasions, the lavemi ratchet is a sleek and...
Ideal for more dressy occasions, the Lavemi Ratchet is a sleek and stylish option.
Credit: Nick Bruckbauer


Our testers closely examined a diverse lineup of belts and are happy to bring you our expert recommendations. While we tested some very intriguing and useful designs, we found that simple is often better, and the simplest designs with the highest quality materials seem to be the easiest to use and the most likely to last the longest. In this category, spending a little extra money upfront could mean years more lifespan. Whatever your style or budget, we hope that this guide helps you find the right product for your needs.

Nick Bruckbauer

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