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How to choose pants size and good belt for CCW?

Discussion in 'Carry Issues' started by NkySpike, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. NkySpike


    May 1, 2011
    Right now I am working getting my CCW permit in a couple of weeks...

    But 90% of my pants/shorts that I wear are not fitted... I wear a lot of the Starter, and adidas brand athletic pants and shorts that have an elastic waist and drawstring to them.

    So now I will be needing to get myself a new ward robe, plus a good belt for my Galco King Tuk iwb holster that I got for my Glock G19...

    As I said I will be needing to get some new pants and shorts that will fit me, without and with my iwb holster... But how do I really determine the correct size to get? One size up, two sizes up?

    I just tried on an old leather belt I have, it list the size on the back as 42... The belt can be fastened with still one hole from the end left open, at that point my pants will stay in place and I can still breath normally.. lol

    Should I size all my pants/shorts with the ideal that the iwb holster is now part of my body... And really not plan on wearing them without the holster, unless I plan on "sucking up" one to two pants sizes up with my belt?

    Would the military style pants/shorts that have the adjustable sizing straps on each side be a better ideal, or pants with elastic in the waist?

    What about a good leather carry belt?
    I have been looking on the web and found a lot of nice looking one that will support a holster, like Bianchi B26 Professional Belt 1-1/2, Galco SB3 Belt 1-1/2" Nickel Plated Brass Buckle Leather, and the 5.11 Casual Holster Belt 1-1/2" Leather...

    Last edited: Jul 6, 2011
  2. CookeMonster


    Mar 23, 2011
    I wear athletic shorts/pants all the time and have done well with a Blackhawk leather with the thumb break worn on a double D ring web belt slung low under the shorts. I tie the strings on the shorts to hold the grip tight and nobody has ever mentioned it in the hangar, on campus, grocery store etc. A belly band works when it's not too hot to wear an undershirt and is slightly more comfy, but not as secure as the thumb break leather. Not to say that a good holster, belt and fitted clothes don't have their place, but I don't feel the need to sacrifice a lot of comfort and closet space for the sake of carrying every day.

  3. BailRecoveryAgent

    BailRecoveryAgent Rude Member

    Aug 2, 2010
    If your britches are one size bigger than you would normally wear, that should be sufficient for iwb carry.

    As far as belts, buy quality once, or buy cheap several times. I would avoid the 5.11 belt, the others I don't know about. The Beltman is a popular choice, I have a CompTac gun belt and have no complaints at all. Well worth the $80.

    I have some cargo shorts that have elastic in the waistband at the 3 and 9 oclock positions. That allows me to use them for iwb(which I rarely carry iwb) and owb without having the extra material get bunched up.

    When you get your carry permit, take your gear with you and try on pants/shorts with your gun and holster, that way you will be sure to get a comfortable size.
  4. Goldstar225

    Goldstar225 NRA member

    May 24, 2005
    Central Arkansas
    For IWB buy your pants 2" over your normal size or be prepared to be uncomfortable, same for the belt. Buy a quality, stiff belt designed to carry the weight of a gun. Beltman has a good reputation. I've been happy with my Crossbreed belt.

    To determine your needed belt size, lay your current belt out and measure from the buckle to the hole you normally use and add two inches for IWB carry.
  5. dregotglock

    dregotglock CHL Instructor

    May 23, 2009
    DFW TX
    Do yourself a favor and listen to the advice about a good gunbelt. A good gunbelt does not have to cost you an arm and a leg if you are on a budget. i.e. Cabelas double duty belt and also wilderness instructor belts are two inexpensive options that I have experience with. If you are ordering online please follow belt measuring instructions.

    pants are going to be a "must try on" type of thing. If I decide to go iwb I wear pants the next size up.

    Summers here are pretty dang hot - shorts and t-shirts are possible but you need a good belt to hold up the extra weight with sagging.
  6. sciolist


    Nov 11, 2009
    My experience is that you have to look at the gun, holster, belt and pants as a collective system.

    Do not make a quick decision on pants size and stock up. Get one or two pairs and experiment for a while. You may find +0 better than +2 for pants. Or you may settle on +1. Different types of pants may dictate different sizes. You may go +0 in dress pants and +2 in jeans...

    You may not want your pants to ride the same way IWB as they do sans pistol. This will probably depend on your size/shape. I wear my pants a little low when not carrying, but tend to pull them up to my natural waist when IWB'ing. If you're lean, up = smaller diameter. If you're fat, up = larger diameter. Moving the gun up on a lean frame probably tilts the butt in, probably tilts it out on fatter frame.

    It is not necessarily more comfortable to have a larger waistband for IWB. Depending on size, you may just want to pull your pants up a bit. Not talking about gangster/hippie fit here, just the difference between having belt break right above pelvis vs. slightly down over pelvis.

    If it works for your lifestyle, I recommend to start out with an instructor belt, so you can micro-adjust. Leather belts with holes are more restrictive, and you have to have the whole thing more dialed in before selecting a size.

    Also, be aware that fixed size differences affect you as a % of waist size - they are not absolutes. So going +2 on a 30" waist is a lot different than going +2 on a 50" waist. Size of the gun/holster stays the same, but is a much greater % of smaller waist.
  7. BailRecoveryAgent

    BailRecoveryAgent Rude Member

    Aug 2, 2010
    Forgot to mention the Cabelas Double Duty belt. It would make a fine choice for someone who only carries IWB, or that carries OWB with a smaller gun.