Blackbeard Belts: The Warfighter Gun Belt

In a market dominated by cobra buckles, hook-and-loop, nylon webbing and laser cuts the Warfighter Gun Belt from Blackbeard Belts stands out as unique. This is in large part to its innovative ratchet-style locking system that enables the wearer to customize size and comfort.

The Warfighter is a 1.5” wide, single-belt system that is made from a nylon band coated in a plastic polymer to an overall thickness of 5/32” and give its a near indestructible level of moisture and abrasion resistance. The band itself is rated to a tensile strength of 4500 pounds.

The ratchet system itself is adjustable in ¼” segments over an adjustable range of 9”. The ratchet system is removable and can be easily replaced if it ever becomes damaged. The hinge-style ratchet is crafted from a combination of high-grade aluminum and steel, while the ladder strap is made from Dupont Zytel (a high-density plastic) rated to a tensile strength of 500 pounds.

The Warfighter is only available in a Sand/Tan color, while the Peacekeeper is an all-Black variant of the same design. The Warfighter is available at a 30” belt length to 52” but special attention should be paid to the sizing instructions listed.

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • CostFair (2/5): With an MSRP of $109.99 (but currently marked down to $89.99 as of this writing) the Warfighter is at the high-end of the market for EDC belts. However, that is directly related to the fact most are leather or nylon, and thus cost less to manufacture. If you were to compare the Warfighter to other base-layer battle belts (typically a rigger belts with integrated MOLLE nylon or padding) then the Warfighter approaches a comparable cost. Undoubtedly the expense is directly related to development and patent, but the high cost for a singular base belt is difficult to place given other traditional systems on the market.
  • Comfort Excellent (5/5): The ability of the wearer to customize the fit and comfort at will was a welcome surprise. Most battle belts require continual fitting and adjusting to get the best sizing, but with the ratchet system I was able to quickly adjust the pressure and fit depending on what I wore, gear added, or stressors performed. I wore this belt for two weeks and it was very comfortable as a daily wear, EDC, or on the range.
  • Durability – Average (3/5): While the core nylon/polymer belt has a high rated tensile strength (stated on the manufacturer’s website as 4500 pounds), the ratchet/ladder strap itself did not (thus why it is likely replaceable). It’s unlikely that during daily, EDC, or competition wear you will ever exceed the strength of the materials involved. But because of limitations in functionality (discussed below), when passing my G19, 1911, or P226 holster with enclosed belt loops over the ladder strap (and specifically the mounting hardware), I was able to flatten/gouge the teeth of the ladder strap. Done more consistently, this will undoubtedly begin to damage the strap’s function. Other holster mounting hardware, such as clips, hook-and-loop, MALICE strips, etc did not have this issue.
  • Functionality Average (3/5): The Warfighter Gun Belt is a bit of an enigma.
    • If worn as a daily wear or EDC belt, the Warfighter was great. Looped through the belt loops it provides a solid platform for appendix or other holsters using a clip-style mounting hardware. However, because it is a single-belt system (meaning you have to wear it as a belt and as a gun platform) I had a great deal of difficulty sliding full-sized and concealment holsters with enclosed belt loops over the ladder strap unless I completely took the Warfighter off and then rammed the holster over the teeth and mounting hardware of the ladder strap. The work around was to completely disassemble the holster’s belt loops and reassemble it back on the belt in the position you want. Obviously this is impractical every time you need to remove the holster. As an EDC or competition belt, the Warfighter seems more designed for holsters with belt clip, hinge-style, or hook-and-loop mounting hardware that allowed me to mount the holster behind the belt while wearing it. Using holsters of those configurations, the Warfighter was great.
    • As an alternative to daily or EDC use, you could use the Warfighter as a separate stand-alone gun belt not looped to any of the belt loops of the pants, but then as a platform it was unsecured to the hip and with its 1.5” width, and I ran the risk of pulling the belt up when I went to draw (especially with appendix carry). If you are “heavyset”, this won’t be an issue.
    • You could also pair the Warfighter with a wider belt pad, such as First Spear’s AGB Sleeve or HSGI’s Slim Grip, which would give it a wider base and universal mounting surface for any holster. When combined with the Warfighter’s ratchet design the overall setup was a very comfortable battle belt. This adaptation appears on the page’s main image scroll with the Warfighter inside a belt pad on which multiple pouches and holster are mounted. The only concern would be many of these pads are designed for 1.75” wide belts, not the 1.5” Warfighter, so there may be some movement. In the end, the manufacture’s website describes the Warfighter Gun Belt as “…designed for CCW & EDC” and by itself that’s what I think it is best suited for.
  • Weight Good (4/5): The Warfighter Gun Belt weighs just 10 ounces thanks in large part to the durability of the core nylon and polymer belt. Most EDC belts weigh about this amount but gun belts often weigh more as they include additional materials for universal features like MOLLE or padding.

Overall Rating – Above Average (17/25)

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IMG_2889I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via STL Shooting Enthusiasts, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.

The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the author. The views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.