Best Hiking Belt for Outdoor Adventures in 2021

What makes one belt more trail-worthy than another? And which of the countless options are best for your type of outdoor adventure? In this post, we’ll answer both of these questions with a straight-talkin’, BS-free guide to the best hiking belts out there in 2021.

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Editor’s Pick

Mountain Khakis Webbing Belt

Mountain Khakis Webbing Belt (Khaki, One Size)

Combining durability and comfort with a friendly price tag, the Mountain Khakis Webbing Belt wins our vote as the best belt for hikers out there in 2021.

The MK uses a tongue buckle made from stainless in tandem with rugged nylon fabric. Together, these materials make it weather- and corrosion-resistant, and also about as durable as they come. 

It is always best when a piece of gear fulfills more than one purpose, and this band offers that by doubling as a bottle opener. Handy, right? It also weighs a mere 6.4 ounces and measures a whopping 53 inches, meaning it can be snipped down to fit any waist size.

Bottom Line: The Mountain Khakis Webbing Belt ticks every box that needs ticking!

The Best Hiking Belt for Pants-High-and-Head-Down Treks

Looking for an awesome hiking belt for your days on the trails?

You’re in the right place! In this guide, we will be covering the following:

    • Belt types, features, and designs explained
    • What to look for in a high-quality belt for outdoor activities
    • The 9 best hiking belts on the market in 2021

Spending the duration of your hiking hauling your pants up because of an ill-performing belt is no fun at all. Nor is enduring hour after hour of chafing, digging in, and general discomfort that can be caused by wearing a belt that’s better suited to a day in the office than a day on the trails. 

To help you keep your hips happy and hands free during your trail time, read on to discover the best belts for hiking out there for adventurers of all shapes and sizes. 

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Features to Look For in a Hiking Belt

Although hiking belts are relatively straightforward accessories, there are some features to consider before you make the purchase. Below, we’ve included the most important: 

Buckle Style

There are two parts to each hiking belt, the fabric of the band and the buckle. There are multiple buckle styles, some of which work better than others. If you are looking for specific functionality, your focus should be on the buckle.

Tongue Buckles

Tongue buckles are the most common kind of closure for casual and luxury belts. 

This buckle type is attached by threading the fabric through the frame and poking the “tongue” or bar through a grommet in the fabric. Tongue buckles are easy to adjust but often lack durability owing to the inclusion of that moving—and, hence, breakable—part, the tongue. 

Hooked Buckles

Hooked buckles, as the name suggests, use a hook that attaches to set holes or webbing loops. 

These have started appearing on more and more hiking belts in recent years but, in our experience, don’t offer as secure fastening as other styles. Having a (potentially) loose hook dangling around your midriff/groin/genitalia also feels like a risk that’s better avoided.

Clamping Buckles

Clamping buckles, or clamp closure buckles, work by threading the fabric through the clamp and then locking the latch in place over the material to provide a reliable hold.

Clamp closure buckles are excellent for hiking belts because they are both durable and secure. Because they don’t chew on the fabric with prongs or teeth, they cause less damage to the cloth each time you use them, meaning they’re also less likely to fray over time.

Flip Closure Buckle

Flip closure buckles are similar to clamp closures. Instead of clamping down onto the fabric, though, they use teeth to bite into the material and provide a secure hold. While these are also a good choice for hiking belts, the serrated teeth on the underside cause additional wear and tear on the canvas with repeated use.

Sliding Latch Buckles

Sliding latch buckles work similarly to a ratchet strap. They have a larger buckle on the front and allow you to “slide” the fabric through as you ratchet it tighter and tighter. While durable, this buckle style is usually a touch heavier and a fraction trickier to get on and off. 

Clip-on / Quick-release Buckles

If ease of use is your primary concern, this buckle style might just be your bag. 

Clip-on or quick-release buckles work in the same way as a seatbelt. Each end has a piece of the buckle, with one end snapping into the other. The two ends click together to create a reliable hold but are quickly undone by either pushing a button or pinching the sides of the closure, allowing it to snap open quickly.

These belts are marvels of convenience but need to be made from more durable materials to deal with the wear and tear caused by repeated pressure and release. If opting for this style, look for a model made with acetal homopolymer plastic or polycarbonate, both of which have a high tensile strength. 

Materials

As with all hiking gear, long-term durability in belts requires high-quality materials. In this case, the webbing fabric and buckle materials are most consequential as regards long-term performance.

Fabric

Outdoor belts are generally made from nylon or polyester, but you can also find them made from leather, carbon fiber, or even canvas.

Leather belts provide outstanding longevity and ruggedness. However, they’re also usually far heavier than synthetic alternatives and take an age to dry when wet. Flexibility and mobility are also key concerns for most hikers, so some leathers might be just a little too stiff to allow the freedom of movement you desire. 

Synthetics like nylon and polyester belts make up the majority in the niche of hiking pant-holders. This is because they’re quick-drying, lightweight, flexible, and, for most, much more comfortable. On the downside, these belts occasionally lack longevity and can dig in at the hips if the material is too rigid or the webbing too thin. 

Buckle

Belt buckles are typically made from either some kind of metal or plastic. Metals such as titanium, stainless steel, and aluminum are strong and the most durable options. Steel models, however, are often a little on the heavy side and not ideal for those who don’t like feeling at all encumbered by their clothing. Plastics, of course, weigh less and won’t set off the metal detectors at the airport, but are far easier to break.

Length & Weight

Weight is the most significant difference between casual or luxury belts and those meant for outdoor use. Ideally, your belt should weigh less than 10 ounces. Most outdoor adventurers agree, however, that the lighter the belt, the better—as long as it doesn’t compromise on durability and ruggedness.

Ideally, hiking belts should also have a low profile, especially if you anticipate wearing them under a mountaineering harness. Also, compact and flat buckles won’t be felt under your backpack’s hip strap and are less likely to get caught in your shirt or straps.

Belt length is another important consideration, and this essentially comes down to ensuring your pick is fully adjustable or can be cut to size. To do the latter, you simply remove the buckle, cut the fabric to the desired length, heat seal the fabric with a lighter to prevent fraying, and then replace the buckle.

Durability

The best belt for hiking needs to be able to deal with the rough and tumble of the trail. While hard to gauge when buying online, we recommend reading user reviews from months down the line to get a handle on how any model performs in the longer term. 

Other tell-tale signs of durability include high-denier fabrics and one-piece buckles that don’t have any easily breakable components. Finally, machine washable fabrics are also never a bad thing. Even if you don’t plan on washing your belt all too often, this capacity usually indicates the ability to deal with repeated soaking and rough treatment in the wash. 

Hiking Belt Reviews: Out Top 9 Picks

Mountain Khakis Webbing Buckle Belt

Best Belt Overall

Mountain Khakis Webbing Belt (Khaki, One Size)

The Mountain Khakis Nylon Webbing Belt is a great choice for those looking for a highly durable piece of outdoor gear. It has a metal tongue buckle made from steel, and the fabric is made from 100% nylon. Both of these materials are rugged, highly durable, and impressively immune to tearing and breakage given the belt’s ultralight weight. 

The nylon webbing on the MK is quick-drying and resistant to stains, and the buckle also functions as a convenient bottle opener.

The waistband is sold in a one-size-fits-all format (53 inches long), and can easily be cut down to fit your measurements. 

And the downsides? Well, the 100% nylon fabric on this one is a little on the stiff side and lacks the stretch of models that include a small amount of spandex or polyester. 

  • Material: 100% Nylon; Stainless steel
  • Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • PROs

    • Durable metal buckle
    • Quick-drying nylon fabric
    • Bottle-opener buckle
    • Lightweight
  • CONs

    • Somewhat stiff fabric

Bottom-Line: The Mountain Khakis Webbing Belt is a true all-rounder that combines durability, comfort, ease of use, and ruggedness in one lightweight, trail-optimized package.

Arc’teryx Conveyor Belt

Best Belt for Ultralight Adventurers

Arc'teryx Conveyor Belt | Heavy duty webbing belt with metal buckle. | Black/Black, Small

Weighing just 3.4 ounces, The Arc’teryx Conveyor wins our vote as the best belt for backpacking and gram-counting minimalists. 

Despite its light weight, the Conveyor is both incredibly versatile and durable. And although this one can’t be cut down, it does come in three sizes. These are small (43 inches), medium (45.5 inches), and large (49.5 inches). This belt also uses a durable, self-locking tongue buckle engraved with the Arc’teryx logo, which adds a nice little aesthetic touch to its functionality. 

The nylon materials used in the Conveyor do require a little breaking in to reduce stiffness and the buckle is a fraction on the large side for use under a climbing harness. These minor flaws, however, seem a small price to pay for such a durable and well-made product.

  • Material: Nylon; Metal
  • Weight: 3.4 ounces
  • PROs

    • Very lightweight
    • Durable metal buckle
    • Abrasion-resistant fabric
  • CONs

    • Starts stiff
    • Buckle will be too bulky for some

Bottom-Line: Lightweight, durable, and tough enough to last a lifetime, the Arc’teryx Conveyor is the best backpacking belt out there for those who light to travel light and fast without compromising on quality and comfort. 

Rattlerstrap Paracord Wilderness Belt

Most Versatile Belt

RattlerStrap Survival Belt - 80+ Feet of Paracord - Titanium Buckle - S, M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL

The Rattlerstrap Paracord Wilderness is the best-suited belt on our list for survivalist adventurers. While functioning as a lightweight, comfortable, and easy-to-use belt in its core capacity, the Rattlerstrap also converts into a whopping 80 feet worth of paracord in emergency situations. 

The material in this one is a bit heavier than most of the other belts on our list, but it is also heavier-duty, infinitely adjustable, and better equipped to deal with rough treatment on the trail. 

This paracord belt is one of the most expensive belts on the list. However, if you ever have to deploy it in a survival situation, you can get another one for free courtesy of makers’ Rattlerstrap. 

  • Material: Paracord; Titanium buckle
  • Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • PROs

    • Converts into 80 feet of paracord
    • Replaceable if deployed
    • Infinitely adjustable
  • CONs

    • Slightly heavier than most competitors

Bottom-Line: The Rattlerstrap Paracord Wilderness is a tough and highly versatile option that’s absolutely ideal in survival situations.

Propper Tactical Duty Belt

Best for Budget Buyers

Propper Tactical Duty Belt, 36-38, Black

The Propper Tactical is a steal for those needing a cheap yet durable solution to their outdoor pant-supporting needs. 

The Propper is made with an all-nylon fabric strap and a non-metallic tongue buckle. While this buckle is a little less durable than metallic options, its light weight and airport-friendliness make it a good option for world travelers and gram-counters alike. 

What we like most about this one is its simplicity and lack of breakable parts. The one-piece molded belt buckle is easy to thread and adjusts with just one hand, but holds even heavily loaded pants in place even when you’re removing fast and jostling around on the trail.

The Propper comes in many sizes with multiple color options. And if you don’t get your size just right, you can easily trim the length to suit. 

  • Material: Nylon; Plastic buckle
  • Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • PROs

    • Budget-friendly price
    • Multiple sizes
    • Travel-friendly
  • CONs

    • Plastic buckle is not as durable

Bottom-Line: This highly affordable belt for hiking pants isn’t the most durable, but its light weight, comfort, and convenience make is a solid choice nonetheless. 

Klik Belts Tactical Belt

Best Closure

Klik Belts Tactical Belt –2 PLY 1.5' Nylon Heavy Duty Belt Quick Release Cobra Buckle - Unisex

The Klik Belts Tactical is ideal for those looking for a product they can open and close with the minimum of fuss and one hand only. It uses a quick-release buckle design attached to 2-ply nylon fabric. If you need to get it on or off quickly, just pinch the sides of the 7075 aluminum alloy, corrosion-resistant buckle, and it will spring open.

The product design is not only convenient and durable but also multipurpose. The inner layer of the fabric band is triple-stitched nylon webbing that provides added strength. The outer ply is more flexible, high-grade, heavy-duty nylon. Together, these layers make it a fraction heavier, but also strong enough to carry equipment like knives, flashlights, and even radios at your hips. 

The downsides to this hiking utility belt are that it is not very adjustable. However, though you can’t trim it to size, it is sold in inch integrals to maximize accuracy. 

  • Material: 100% Nylon; Aluminum alloy
  • Weight: 8 ounces
  • PROs

    • Multipurpose
    • Heavy-duty
    • Quick-release aluminum buckle for safety and convenience
  • CONs

    • Not adjustable

Bottom-Line: A tough, multitasker that is a great choice for buyers who prioritize robustness and like to keep other accessories close to hand by stashing them on their belt as opposed to inside their backpack.

Hoanan Tactical Hiking Belt 2-Pack

Best for Quantity

Hoanan 2-Pack Elastic Stretch Belt, Men’s All Size No Metal Nylon Tactical Hiking Belt (Fit up to 50', Blackdarkgrey)

If more than one person you know needs a waist belt, or you need more than one belt for yourself, the Hoanan Tactical Hiking 2-Pack is an excellent, money-saving option. 

Although they are not made with the highest-quality fabrics, the Hoanan are still reasonably durable and well worth buying for those who prefer fuss-free functionality.

The buckle on the Hoanan is a flip-closure YKK plastic that is robust, airport-friendly, and easy to operate even with only one hand, while the webbing is a burly, 1.5-inch wide nylon. Although this extra width may make it tricky to feed the hip belt through the loops on some pairs of pants, it does make it very comfortable and less prone to digging in.

This hiking belt has more stretch to it than many of the others. While this does mean it scores highly in the comfort stakes, it also means it might lose its ability to keep your pants up in the longer-term or if you tend to stuff your pockets with bits and bobs likely to weigh your pants down. 

This belt comes in four sizes, each of which can be trimmed down to the desired length.

  • Material: 100% nylon; Plastic buckle
  • Weight: 8.1 ounces each
  • PROs

    • Two belts included
    • Airport-friendly, non-metallic design
    • Highly adjustable
  • CONs

    • Extra-wide band might not fit through all belt loops

Bottom-Line: A frill-free but highly functional option that combines classy looks with above-average performance and comfort. 

Under Armour Men’s Webbed Belt 2.0

Best for Dynamic Outdoor Sports

Under Armour Men's Webbing Belt 2.0 , Academy Blue (408)/City Khaki , One Size Fits All

The Under Armour Men’s Webbed Belt 2.0 is an excellent choice for all types of outdoor adventure. 

The polyester material makes this belt much more flexible than nylon belts, which means it affords more freedom of movement and provides better overall comfort. 

This is a winning quality at any time, of course. However, it’s particularly good to have if you’re on longer backpacking trips when you’ll be wearing the belt for several hours each day or if you plan on doing some climbing, scrambling, or anything else that requires more dynamic movements. 

This product has a detachable, clamp-closure buckle and can be trimmed to your desired length. It’s also machine-washable and also comes in a variety of different colors.

  • Material: 100% polyester; Metal buckle
  • Weight: 8 ounces
  • PROs

    • Nicely flexible fabric
    • Detachable clip-on buckle
    • Machine-washable
  • CONs

    • Polyester is slightly less durable than nylon

Bottom-Line: A flexible, easily adjustable, and incredibly comfortable option that’s especially well-suited for longer duration hikes, climbing, or scrambling. 

Columbia Men’s Military-Style Web Belt

Best for All Occasions

Columbia Men's Standard Military Web Belt-Adjustable One Size Cotton Strap and Metal Plaque Buckle, Dark Black

Over the years, Columbia has earned a rep for producing high-quality, reasonably priced outdoor garments, and this belt is no exception.

The 100% cotton construction on this one is sure to raise a few eyebrows, we know. Yes, it doesn’t dry quickly, ain’t the most durable, and is about as breathable as shrink wrap. It is also, however, incredibly comfortable. So, if softness and suppleness are more of a priority than toughness and technical performance, this one’s well worth considering. 

The strap on this belt measures a meaty 1.5 inches thick and it uses a reassuringly burly metal buckle with a clamp closure and a neatly engraved Columbia logo to add a touch of style. Bling it ain’t, but in terms of comfort and support for your pants, it’s hard to beat. 

  • Material: 100% cotton; Metal plaque buckle
  • Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • PROs

    • Metal clamp closure buckle
    • Buckle isn’t bulky
    • Cotton allows for flexible and comfortable movement
  • CONs

    • Made from cotton and not very durable or quick-drying

Bottom-Line: The ideal pick for hikers who are happy to forego a little in the way of performance and weight savings in return for oodles of comfort.

JASGOOD Military & Tactical Nylon Web Belt

Best for Air Travel

JASGOOD Tactical Heavy Duty Reinforced Nylon Belt for Men Adjustable Military Webbing Belt Strap with Metal Buckle (Pants Size Below 42 Inches, 2-Black)

The JASGOOD is a great choice for hikers who tend to do a little bit of air travel on the way to their trails. 

The belt material on this one is a burly but lightweight nylon and the removable, clip-on buckle is made with tough-as-nails YKK polymer plastic. There are also multiple color options available and the length can be trimmed down to find the ideal fit for your waist. 

The 1.5-inch strap on the JASGOOD is also breathable and quick-drying, and the non-metallic design means you can breeze through airport security without having to disrobe. 

  • Material: Nylon; Polymer buckle
  • Weight: 5.3 ounces
  • PROs

    • Airport-friendly
    • Lightweight
    • Highly adjustable
  • CONs

    • Plastic is less durable than metal

Bottom-Line: The JASGOOD Military and Tactical Nylon belt is highly adjustable, as convenient as they come, and uses a metal-free design that makes it ideal for the traveling hiker.

Last update on 2021-09-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Amanda Williams is a hiker, climber, writer, and forager. No matter where she is, she never stops longing for the Colorado Rockies, feeling the Muir-esque call of the mountains. 

Amanda lives to explore and has done incredible hikes and adventures in Asia, Central America, the European continent, and all across America. She believes that there is nothing better for the soul than spending nights out in the wilderness. In between adventuring, Amanda found time to obtain a Bachelor's degree in horticulture with a focus on sustainability. She has used this education to learn how to forage safely on her backpacking adventures and the ways that outdoor enthusiasts can protect our planet.

Amanda uses her writing and outdoor skills to help teach those with whom she adventures and a larger online audience. Currently living in the UK has given her the opportunity to learn a new plant-scape and discover magical new trails and mountains. She now works with a local university to teach others how to grow and thrive in the outdoors in between writing while continuing her never-ending quest of learning.

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