As a shooter and someone who carries a concealed handgun, it seems that my belts become thicker and more rigid with each new belt. Thick, rigid belts work great when you are carrying a gun on your belt all day but there are times when a low profile belt is really what you need. You would be hard pressed to find a more low profile belt than the Khyber Belt from Advanced Outfitters (AO).
The Khyber Belt is hand made by Kevin at Advanced Outfitters and there are a ton of options. The two main options are 1″ and 1.5″ widths. The belt can also be had in single and double thicknesses. Even the double thickness belts are very low profile. There are additional hardware options (more on that later) and other options like a concealed spot that adds no thickness to the belt to carry cash. I chose the double thickness 1.5″ width since I would occasionally be using this belt with a holster and that is the belt that is the subject of this review.
What’s the Point?
This belt was designed to be low profile. Kevin’s innovative use of an ITW G-Hook as a buckle is the key to how low profile this belt is. The G-Hook is barely thicker than the webbing from which the belt is made. The 1.5 inch versions of the Khyber Belt use a custom made titanium version of the G-Hook which also keeps the belt very light.
There are times when a belt must be able to ride beneath something like the padded hip belt of a backpack. The belt must be capable of holding up your pants but low profile enough to prevent hotspots from a heavy pack bearing down on it. The Khyber Belt excels at these situations. I purchased one to use specifically for hiking and for use under a padded MOLLE belt. It is perfect for both uses.
The Khyber belt is no one trick pony. The 1.5″ version with double thickness webbing is extremely thin and flexible but still substantial enough to carry the weight of gun though it isn’t the best choice for carrying all day. The belt features some additional stitching that helps to stiffen it enough for some additional comfort when carrying a handgun. I have been wearing this belt frequently over the last several months. Kevin is up front about saying this isn’t a gun belt but it does an admirable job of bearing the weight of a gun for such a slim, flexible belt.
It is perfect for wearing under a load bearing belt like a MOLLE belt rig. This is how I use it most often. I am able to wear my concealed handgun to the range on the Khyber belt and then switch the gun to the belt rig that I use in training. This belt is more than sufficient for traveling to and from the range. In fact, it is low profile enough to wear with a Velcro inner belt. They both fit under the belt loops.
If you aren’t carrying a handgun, you will appreciate how light and flexible this belt is. It is probably as close as you can get to not wearing a belt at all. It won’t look quite right in an office, but it is probably the perfect belt for just about any outdoor activity.
Now that I have spent a lot of time with this belt, there is something that I would do differently if I were buying one all over again. The belt uses a triglide to adjust the length. Kevin makes this with a plastic version of the triglide(less expensive) and a titanium version (more expensive). The titanium version is considerably thinner than the plastic triglide. If I was starting over, I would definitely spring for the Ti version. The plastic slider is by far the thickest part of the belt and the Ti version fits better with the overall purpose or the belt.
I thought that this belt would fill a niche for me. I didn’t expect that I would find it so comfortable and useful as a general use belt. It is easily the most comfortable belt that I have used under a padded hip belt or padded gun belt. It is also a great weekend belt for outdoor pursuits. The icing on the cake is that it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, even with the custom Ti hardware.
If you want to order your own Khyber Belt, you should contact Kevin. There are some nuances to fitting that he can talk you through (it isn’t complicated). The double layer belts like the one reviewed have a smaller adjustment range than the single layer versions. You can contact Advanced Outfitters through their website, on Twitter, or on the Usual Suspect Network.
That is a really neat design. I have been using the same belt for years – it’s a miracle it still fits. Maybe it’s time for an upgrade, I love how these are hand made in America.
I finally ordered one of these belts, I don’t know why I waited. Great belt and service from Kevin.