A good belt is the linchpin of a solid carrying system. No matter how good your holster, no matter how good your gun, if you have a weak (and usually cheap) belt, you’ll always fight to carry effectively. In the past, I’ve used a CompTac belt with great success. It’s a solid belt with a reinforced Kydex strip that makes it very stiff, the key to a good belt. Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to spend a few months wearing the Aegis Enhanced belt from Ares Gear, and I’m totally sold . . .


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The Aegis Enhanced is a brutally simple belt. It is a thick and very stiff strip of scuba webbing, held in place by a robust buckle that takes a tighter, stronger bite the tighter you pull. It came from the factory with two elastic bands to help retain excess belt material, but they broke off almost immediately. Otherwise, it has been robust, and spectacular at helping me carry around a fully loaded XD(m) 4.5.

My wife tells me that its not a particularly fashionable thing to wear, regularly referring to it as my “seat belt.” I explained that Chris Costa personally endorses the Aegis. He calls it his favorite belt. She remains unswayed, though she does agree that Costa has a solid beard. What Mr. Costa and I can agree on is that this is a simple, robust, and generally fine way to carry a gun. When your T Levels are through the roof, fashion matters not one bit. Or so I hear.

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Sizing ran true to form for me. I normally wear a size 34 pants, which correlates to a medium on the sizing page for Ares. Sure enough, a medium is just about perfect to include pants, an IWB holster, and the rest of my body. Carrying is where the Ares belt truly shines. It is so stiff that it forms an almost steel like band around your waist. OWB holsters simply cannot flex the belt outwards, and IWB holsters seem to be more comfortable with it in place. I used this belt daily for keeping my pants up, carrying a gun, flashlight, and extra magazine. I was unable to break it, or even harm it a little bit. Short of hooking it up to a winch and an anchored bolt, I don’t know how to break it.

*****Update 3/2017*****

Sometime in late 2016, the inner and outer layers of nylon started to separate creating a “bump” right where the tension bar in the buckle rides. The end result was that the belt was either a touch too tight or a touch too loose. I contacted Ares Gear who let me know that since I was not the original purchaser (belt was a gift), their warranty did not apply. Keep this policy in mind if you are going to gift the belt to someone as you’ll need to keep your receipt

Specifications: Ares Gear Aegis Enhanced Belt

  • Belt Color: Lots
  • Buckle Color: Stainless, Black, Bronze
  • Engraving: Four styles available (+$10)
  • Size: XS (30″ Waist)  – 4XL (44″ Waist)
  • Price: $120.99

Rating (out of five stars):

Overall Rating * * * *

I fully realize that $100+ is a lot to pay for a belt. I also realize that a nice belt can be the difference between a carrying experience that enhances your life and one that fights you the whole time. The Aegis belt is one of the nicest belts I’ve worn day in and day out for months. Other than the elastic band popping off within hours of it coming out of the bag, I have nothing but praise for it as a compliment to my EDC gear.

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21 Responses to Gear Review: Ares Gear Aegis Enhanced Belt

  1. I’ve had some negative experiences with that style of buckle, probably because they weren’t super expensive but still don’t like them. I personally like the cobra buckles for untucked or very casual tucked attire and a good, leather gun belt with standard buckle for tucked in dress shirts or polos with khaki or dress pants.

  2. I looked at the Aegis when I decided to get a better belt for carry. But the cost was prohibitive. I’m wearing a Snake Eater tactical belt instead, it’s been great so far.

    • I just bought a thick leather belt from Fox Creek Leather and I’ve had it for years. Looks like a plain leather belt, doesn’t scream “I’m packing!”

    • Not only that it does look like a seatbelt. So, it looks like you’re packing and holding it all up with a . . . seatbelt? You might as well tie a rope through your belt-loops and be done with it. Sorry, but it won’t replace my solid cowhide belt w/buckle.

  3. I’m sorry, but that belt belongs only on the range with a pair of cargo pants. Without a proper buckle, and obviously of ballistic nylon material, that belt wouldn’t pass for “business casual” at 100 yards. Moreover, the price. There are many purpose-designed leather gun belts from reputable makers for less than $100.
    No sale.

  4. look at suspenderstore.com and check out their airport security proof belts that are all leather, with a 7 inch strip of velcro for a closure, they cost 29 dollars, I have been wearing one for two years, holds up my pants, ccw, extra mag or speed strips and all the other crap in my pockets.
    belt is 1 1/2″ wide, 1/4″ inch thick, comes in brown and black. I have both colors and they still look like new after two years use. I think suspender store calls them buzz not or buzz proof belts. they also carry perry suspenders, and a lot of other brands and types. good people to deal with.

  5. Your wife is right. Get a leather belt. There are MANY great leather carry belts. I am pretty sure the Beltman does a kydex insert belt that is slim and far more formal. My Bull Belt by DaltechForce has worn very well, but isn’t quite as fancy. I personally, am not tacticool enough to wear a seat belt.

  6. I hate roller buckles. Never worked right for me when I had to wear them in my dress uniform. Could never get it to “cinch” correctly. And whenever I had to adjust my gig line, the thing would let out some more.

    Plus I echo the sentiments of others in reference to obvious tactical-ness of the belt. It just doesn’t work for everyday non-mall ninjas.

  7. Mean Gene Leather uses the same Ares buckle, but uses leather. About the same price depending on options. It’s my new go-to belt for OWB. It’s a little to bulky and stiff for IWB.

  8. I think most people miss the niche of this belt. It’s for casual dress and carry of a full size pistol. Hunting, ccw classes, IDPA, plain clothes security detail, descrete warrant serving, concealing for SHTF… that kind stuff where you need to carry a lot of stuff but look normal from 10 yards.

    Agreed for most of my carry uses, the belt is over the top. But I still wear mine casually and it looks less tacti-cool than my riggers style belt from Wilderness Tactical, and have a Galco and a Lenwood Leather (http://www.midwayusa.com/product/121246/lenwood-leather-hybrid-belt-15-steel-buckle-leather-and-pvc) for everything else non-casual.

  9. Nope, too much money, way too tactical looking, don’t like that style buckle and not large enough to fit me. Tyler, you might have a 34″ waist, but I have 30″ THIGHS. I’ll stick with my old but still good leather Safariland belt I got many years ago.

  10. My Ares ranger belts are used with coat & tie for security work every day for the last 3 years, off duty as well and No one has ever commented on them looking “tactical:. Damn good belts, excellent quality, good customer service. Just MHO.

  11. If you want to spend a little less, say $12, try the Work Belt at WalMart. Surprisingly good, lined and stiff enough for clip ons and looks good enough for most all wear.

  12. I’ll reiterate the positive responses and add, to those who say roller buckles don’t stay cinched up, this ain’t your granddad’s army army uniform belt nor is it an updated version of my old Boy Scout belt. Once cinched up, you couldn’t loosen this buckle with a D-8 Cat pulling on it.

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