Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Miscellany: Wilderness Frequent Flyer Belt review

I've been using the Wilderness Original Instructor Belt as my go-to CCW belt for the past five years, and I have nothing but good things to say about it. It's durable, low-maintenance, much more adjustable than the typical leather belt, and stiff enough for most gun-carrying duties.

Unfortunately, the Instructor Belt is 1.5" wide with a heavy steel buckle, making it almost completely incompatible with dress slacks. That big steel buckle also lights up metal detectors like Christmas trees, which can be annoying if you move in and about government buildings on a day-to-day basis.

The Wilderness Frequent Flyer Belt was designed to address both of those problems:

The belt uses polymer rings to stay secured. While they aren't as stable as the old rigger's buckle, they work pretty well, and they're extremely light. The rest of the belt is made of the same high-quality stitched nylon used in other Wilderness products; I've found it to be pretty bombproof in everyday use, though the Velcro does lose its stickiness after awhile (Wilderness will re-Velcro a belt for a nominal charge).

The Frequent Flyer isn't just a courthouse or airport belt, though - it's actually sturdy enough for light CCW use (say, carrying a holstered single-stack 9mm or J-Frame revolver and extra ammo). To illustrate, here's a typical dress belt:

Now here's the Wilderness Frequent Flyer with the same load. The added stiffness makes a huge difference in overall comfort and concealability:

Wider and stiffer is better in the gun belt world; I wouldn't recommend the Wilderness if you need to tote a full-size steel-frame 1911 and three or four extra mags. Overall, though, the Frequent Flyer is a great choice for its particular niche.


At 10:07 AM, Blogger Sevesteen said...

Unless something has changed, the Frequent Flyer is available with the same belt options as the Instructor. I've got a 5 stitch 1 1/2 inch that works as well as any other belt for carry.

At 10:57 AM, Blogger Mulliga said...

You're right - the Frequent Flyer is offered with 1.5" rings now. I still find that the rings are less stable than a buckle, though.


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