Best Survival Belt | 2023 Reviews & Buying Guide

Whether you’re an outdoorsman, a prepper, or simply someone who values preparedness, a reliable survival belt can be an essential tool in your everyday arsenal. Designed to offer functionality beyond a typical belt, the best survival belts combine durability, versatility, and innovative features to assist you in various survival scenarios. There are thousands of belts on the market with different strengths, features, and limitations.

This is where we come in. We’ve researched the best survival belts, put them to the test, and now the results are in: the overall best, a concealed carry option, and a tactical upgrade option. If you need a belt geared for survival, one of our picks will hold up their end of the deal.

Contents (Jump to a Section)

5.11 Tactical Nylon TDU Belt

The Best Survival Belt

5.11 TDU Belt

Simple, Effective, and Versatile

A basic webbing belt, when well executed, can be the best survival option for most people.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

In the military, we’re all familiar with web belts. This one is a slight upgrade over the standard issue belts with higher tensile strength (vs 4,000-pound) and the molded buckle tab.

While there isn’t anything going on fancy with this belt from 5.11, that’s exactly why we like it. It is strong, versatile, and low-profile- making it ideal for wearing every day.

Here is how it measures up:

  • 100% Nylon Webbing
  • 5,100-pound tensile strength
  • 1.5″ Wide
  • Sizes XS – 4XL (order one size up)
  • 4.1 ounces

With a great price and great durability- it’s easy to see why the 5.11 TDU Belt is the best.

Relentless Tactical Concealed Carry CCW Gun Belt

Best Concealed Carry Belt

Relentless Tactical CCW Belt

Practical, Heavy Duty, and Premium Full Grain US Leather

A practical incognito concealed carry belt with strength and durability to match its timeless American leather finish.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

There are many varieties of concealed carry belts, and some use the web belts that we’ve suggested as well. But a solid leather belt that can hold any size handgun is perfect for everything from outdoor survival to the gray man concept. This full-leather belt is much more comfortable than a metal banded belt and is about as strong.

Relentless Tactical doesn’t beat around the bush when it comes to quality. They specialize in leather gun belts and holsters and their commitment to their craft really shines through in their products. Their customer service department is top-notch too, so if you end up with the wrong size, a swap is easy.

Here is how the belt measures up:

  • 100% Premium Full Grain US Leather (solid, not glue layered)
  • 1.5″ Wide
  • Sizes 28-48 (order one size up)
  • 14 ounces

If you are looking for a discrete solution that will hold everything you throw at it, the Relentless Tactical Ultimate CCW Belt is what you need.

5.11 Maverick Assaulters Belt

Upgrade Tactical Survival Belt

5.11 Maverick Assaulters Belt

Comfortable, Secure, and Strong

Whether rappelling from a building or just holding your pants up- this is the ultimate EDC belt for survival.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

If you are looking for an everyday battle belt, this masterpiece from 5.11 is the best option. With a ridiculous tensile strength and the integrated belaying loop, to the quick-release AustriAlpin buckle- this belt is top-notch all around.

Because of the belay loop, you thread this belt through your loops opposite so that may take some getting used to. Other than that, having a battle belt small enough to loop through your pants makes it the top survival option for everyday use.

Here are the full details:

  • 100% Nylon Webbing
  • AustriAlpin buckle assembly
  • 7,000-pound tensile strength
  • 1.75″ Wide
  • Sizes XS – 4XL (order one size up)
  • 4.9 ounces

If you are looking for the best of the best, get the 5.11 Maverick Assaulters Belt.

Everything We Recommend

5.11 Tactical Nylon TDU Belt

5.11 TDU Belt

A basic webbing belt, when well executed, can be the best survival option for most people.

Where to Buy

$17* at 5.11

$17* at Amazon

*at time of reviewing

Relentless Tactical Concealed Carry CCW Gun Belt

Relentless Tactical CCW Belt

A practical incognito concealed carry belt with strength and durability to match its timeless American leather finish.

Where to Buy

$64* at Amazon

*at time of reviewing

5.11 Maverick Assaulters Belt

5.11 Maverick Assaulters Belt

Whether rappelling from a building or just holding your pants up- this is the ultimate EDC belt for survival.

Where to Buy

$80* at 5.11

$80* at Amazon

*at time of reviewing

The Belts We Compared

Our research narrowed the field down to several types and brands of belts that we compared: 5.11, Propper, Relentless Tactical, Tacticon, Condor, CQR, Wolf Tactical, and more.

You can see our full list of review criteria below in the What to Look For section, with an explanation for each.

We considered a wide range of belts with survival in mind. Web belts, leather CCW, battle belts, and paracord belts were all considered. For everyday use, many of the load-bearing equipment (LBE) belts were impractical. We found the paracord belts (typical paracord stretches over 30%) to be underwhelming in holding pants in place, despite giving us yards of paracord if needed.

We’re always looking for new and better gear, so if you have a belt that you swear by, let us know in the comments. We review most of our tested gear annually so we can try to get it in the next roundup round and see if it will beat out our top picks.

What to Look For

The best survival belts have several important features to look for:

  1. Value
  2. Strength
  3. Versatility
  4. Durability
  5. Quality

When you get the right blend of these, you can find a belt that you can rely on in any survival situation and every day. Below, we break down what each of these features means for the belts that truly set themselves apart.

Value: Cost vs. Benefit

The amount of money you spend on something like a belt shouldn’t blow out your entire budget. There are some great but high-priced belts out there that may not be a great choice if you. Follow your budget and get what makes the most sense for you.

You never want to spend too much money on one thing when it comes to gear. It’s better to diversify your EDC gear and survival clothes to make sure you are covered for a wide range of scenarios.


Most belts are strong, but some belts are a step above. Paracord itself typically has a 550-lb test (with class IV coming in at 750-pound tensile strength), and then braided belts increase that by the multiple of the strands used.

Webbing boasts very high tensile strengths, ranging from 4,000 to 7,000-pound tensile in belt widths. This makes it a popular pick for tactical belts, as well as safety harnesses and rescue equipment.

Leather strength can vary by a lot of factors- even on the same model of belts. High-quality leather resists tearing and can provide good tensile strength, but not at the level of a web belt. Still, leather belts are preferred by weight lifters for a reason- they are supportive, strong, and comfortable all at the same time.


The versatility of belts is all over the map. Much of the versatility has been put into the belt buckle over the years, but those can be disappointing with practical use. Using a bottle opener attached to your belt buckle is not exactly ideal.

We’ve historically not been fans when reviewing gimmicky ‘combine stuff because we can’ products and look for gear that performs well. While hidden compartments, paracord weave, and multi-tool belt buckles all add versatility- we found the trade-off of making the belt worse too high.


Durability is related to strength, but there are other factors to include too. The buckle, stitch points, rivets, and screws are all places where a belt is more likely to fail than the textile it uses.

This is where products that have been used for years can prove themselves out and stand above newer import products or gear using cheaper materials. When done right, a survival belt isn’t something you will need to replace.


Quality affects durability, functionality, and comfort- plenty of the points we’ve covered already and more. Consistency from the manufacturer is key, as well as support if there is anything wrong on arrival, like a wrong size.

Brands that cut costs by sacrificing quality aren’t in the survival mindset and aren’t making products you’ll want to come to rely on.

How to Use a Belt for Survival

When we considered all of the different belts out there for survival, we found that they all have their strengths and weaknesses.

Paracord survival belts have a huge variety of uses that align with paracord since you can unbraid them for huge lengths of paracord (up to 100 feet!) The downside is that paracord has inherent stretch, making these not very good belts. Which, is important if you’re using it as a belt. I’ll stick to having paracord hanks handy and pass on the belts.

Tactical web belts are the preferred option by most, and offer a ton of uses:

  • Securing Gear: Use the web belt as a strap or tie-down to secure gear to your backpack or body. This can help distribute weight and keep essential items within reach.
  • Emergency Tourniquet: In the event of a severe injury with uncontrolled bleeding, a web belt can be used as an emergency tourniquet. Wrap the belt tightly around the limb above the wound, between the wound and the heart. Secure it with a sturdy knot or buckle, and seek medical help as soon as possible.
  • Improvised Sling: If you or someone in your group suffers from a broken arm or shoulder injury, a web belt can be used as an improvised sling. Wrap the belt around the injured arm and tie it securely at the neck to support the arm.
  • Shelter Building: A web belt can be used as a guy line for setting up a tarp or makeshift shelter. Attach one end of the belt to a sturdy anchor point, such as a tree, and use the other end to secure the shelter.
  • Emergency Strap: If a backpack strap or piece of equipment breaks, a web belt can serve as a temporary replacement strap. Thread the belt through the appropriate attachment points and fasten it securely.
  • Repelling or Ascending: In certain situations, a web belt can be used as part of a makeshift rope system for repelling down steep slopes or ascending difficult terrain. This should only be attempted if you have proper knowledge and experience in rope work and climbing techniques.

Leather belts are timeless, practical, and blend in. Sensible Prepper does a good job of breaking down the many uses for your traditional leather belt:

Who Needs a Survival Belt?

Most people wear belts. When you have a CCW, you need a strong belt to hold the holster in place. If you are just keeping your pants up, it doesn’t hurt to have one of the best belts on the market for survival versatility.

For this reason, we consider them a versatile piece of clothing that anyone could use every day.

Belts are essential for your:

If you’re not wearing pants with belt loops often, you may need a different solution- like an LBE battle belt or just a simple EDC bag.

How We Review Products: We research thoroughly before selecting the best products to review. We consult experts in the field for a better understanding of what makes the gear great. Hours on end are spent field testing gear in stressful conditions. We assign performance criteria and impartially rate each tested item. You can support us through our independently chosen links, which can earn us a commission at no extra cost to you. After our review process, some of the items reviewed end up in our giveaways.

Sources and References

All of our experience and the testing we do to determine the best belt for survival is useless without listing our research sources and references. We leaned on these for the book knowledge that we paired with our hands-on testing and practical survival experience:

Bequette, B., et al. (2017). Belts Evaluated as Limb Tourniquets: BELT Study Comparing Trouser Supporters Used as Medical Devices in a Manikin Model of Wound Bleeding. Wilderness & Environmental Medicine. Volume 28. Issue 2. Pages 84-93. (Source)

Maher, S., et al. (2020). Trunk Flexion/Extension Excursion, Forces at the Feet and Gait Timing in Tactical Belt and Gear Vest Load Carriage. California State University, Kinesiology. (Source)

Thomas, M., et al. (2018). Effect of Load Carriage on Tactical Performance in Special Weapons and Tactics Operators. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. Volume 32. Issue 2. Pages 554-564. (Source)

The Final Word

Survival belts can do much more than just hold your pants in place. A belt can be a versatile tool in emergencies and an important part of your EDC loadout. Since you’re wearing one anyways, why not make sure it is dependable and versatile?

Here are a few other reads our subscribers have also found helpful:

We presented quite a lot of information, but as always: if you have any questions let us know and we would be happy to help. Our research and testing found the 5.11 TDU Belt to be the best option given its value, strength, versatility, durability, and quality.

Keep exploring, stay prepared, and be safe.

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The Best Survival Belt

Rusty Collins

I am an engineer, Air Force veteran, emergency manager, husband, dad, and experienced prepper. I developed emergency and disaster plans around the globe and responded to many attacks and accidents as a HAZMAT technician. I have been exposed to deadly chemical agents, responded to biological incidents, and dealt with natural disasters. Check out my full story here: Rusty's Story

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