Gear Review: Kore Essentials Trakline Gun Belt

A normal belt has about six holes and adjusts in one-inch increments. Unfortunately, I don’t. Whether it’s the difference between a Beretta Nano, GLOCK 19, or crushing a chicken fried steak at Dahlia’s, it’s easy to find oneself “between holes.” Kore Essential’s Trakline belt has no holes, instead adjusting in 1/4-inch increments on a ratchet-like track . . .

Kore sells three swappable gun belt buckles and leather gun belts in brown or black, plus slick little hangers that the buckle ratchet latches right onto for hanging the belt(s) vertically in your closet.

The belt comes really long — 54+ inches.

And you simply trim it to size — the general rule is adding 4 inches to your pant size. Obviously I’d recommend erring on the “too long” side at first, as you can always trim off more but can’t add length back on.

Inside Kore’s gun belt, sandwiched between two layers of leather, is a poly-core. Basically, it’s a plastic strip that adds stiffness and torsion resistance to the belt, helping it better stand up to the weight of a pistol and other EDC gear.

Once cut to length, it’s a simple matter to add one of Kore’s buckles. The buckle in this review is the X3 style. Flip the lever down to drive seven sharp teeth into the belt, locking it very securely in place. The back side of the buckle is actually designed to work as a bottle opener, too.

The real trick, of course, is the track system. Instead of holes, the spring-loaded buckle “tooth” ratchets into the Trakline track at quarter-inch increments. There are 40 steps, giving you a good six times more adjustment options than a typical belt. Not only that, but there’s about 10 inches of adjustment between loosest and tightest, which is a lot more than a holey belt, too.

To loosen the belt, simply squeeze the tab on the bottom of the buckle. This lifts the tooth and allows the belt to slip right out or, if you’ve just had that Texas-sized breakfast, loosen up by a notch or two. It’s really easy and fast.

The end result is a great belt for everyday concealed carry purposes. Or, heck, for nicer occasions — gun or no gun — as it’s very nice looking rather than giving off that more gruff and tough tactical or utilitarian feel of most gun belts.

The Kore Gun Belt also works great for OWB carry and competition use. It’s more than stiff enough both vertically (doesn’t sag) and torsionally to hold the weight of a gun plus a bunch of spare magazines without having to wear it uncomfortably tight.

After seven months of use, the two biggest standouts with the Kore Essentials Trakline Gun Belt are the granular adjustability and the surprising stiffness and load carrying ability given the “dress belt” look. I’ve very much appreciated the quarter-inch adjustments. So much so, in fact, that I punched an extra hole in one of my other belts between the two factory holes that I used to bounce back and forth between, having never found that Goldilocks zone in either.

If I could change anything about this belt, it would be additional flexibility in the “wrap-around” direction. This isn’t unique to the Kore Gun Belt, but when carrying IWB with a comfortable amount of snugness, there’s a gap in front of and behind the holster. That is, a gap between the belt and me. A floppier belt does a better job of conforming around the shape of the holster, which I find comfortable and even more “concealy,” but then again a floppier belt usually necessitates a tighter fit to support the weight of a gun.

On balance, I find that running a stiff belt like this one, adjusted looser, is more comfortable. The exception is with a relatively lightweight gun and a well-broken-in, floppier belt that has molded itself to the gun lump.

At $59.95 for a belt plus buckle and $25 for an additional belt, I’d definitely recommend the Kore Gun Belt here to anyone in need of an everyday carry belt that doesn’t scream “tactical.”

Heck, it’s at home from casual wear to business suit, yet despite the Kore’s refined looks it does the job as well as most of the significantly thicker, heavier gun belts. All while providing far more adjustment options, swappable buckles and belts, and size-it-yourself convenience that alleviates concerns of mail ordering the wrong size.

Specifications: Kore Essentials Trakline Gun Belt

Material: Genuine leather with polymer core for additional stiffness. High-grade zinc nickel alloy buckle.
Width: 1.5 inches
Thickness: 5.5 mm
Size: Trim to size; fits waists from 24 inches to 54 inches
Adjustment: 40 adjustment points in 1/4-inch increments
Warranty: 1-year warranty and 30-day money back guarantee
Origin: Designed and headquartered in San Diego. Manufactured in Asia (belt in China, buckle not specified).
MSRP: $59.95 for a belt plus buckle package. $25 for an additional belt. $29.95 for additional buckles.

Coupon Code: Enter “TTAG”‘ for 10% off; no expiration.

Disclaimer: Neither TTAG nor any of its writers receive any compensation whatsoever based on orders or anything else related to these belts. Knowing the review was pending, Kore asked if I’d like to include a coupon code for our readers. I almost said “no,” but figured I’d just add this sort of disclaimer as an assurance that there’s no conflict here and go ahead and take the offer to save any armed intelligentsia belt buyers a few bucks.

Ratings (out of five stars):

Comfort * * * * *
Quarter-inch adjustments are just awesome. The belt is also stiff enough that it can carry weight on its own, alleviating the need to hold your gun and gear up via the tight squeeze method.

Utility * * * *
Designed to support up to four pounds of guns, mags, and gear. Which it does. And it looks classy and unassuming while doing so. Plus, the belt buckle — easily swappable, mind you, for other buckles or onto other belts — is a bottle opener. And again, quarter-inch adjustments allow it to fit properly around all of the guns and holsters in your collection, both before and after Thanksgiving dinner.

Quality * * * *
The finish quality and materials quality of the buckle is very nice. It feels solid and operates smoothly, has no burrs or finishing marks, no mold lines, etc., and it has the appearance of quality as well. It’s a nice piece. The belt is also very nice but maybe not quite as nice. Fit and [very even] finish, edge detail, stitching, and quality of the “track” are all way up there. The leather is real leather, which is excellent, but it’s of average quality.

Overall * * * *
The Core Essentials Trakline Gun Belt is a really great belt and, at under $60, is also a strong value. I’ve heard advertisements for this style of track-adjustable belt on the radio for many years but basically blew it off as a gimmick. It isn’t. The adjustment is extremely fast and easy, highly secure, and the comfort difference between quarter-inch and one-inch adjustments is very easy to appreciate in practice.

comments

  1. avatar John Boch says:

    Ahem. Iron broken?

    1. avatar ZenGun says:

      Ha!
      B U S T E D !!
      My first thought also.
      As JS is about the age of my oldest, I grinned and grimaced at the same time.
      Nothin’n but love J !!

      BTW- the last photo looks like it belongs with a resume going with a porn application.

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        Oh, man, you are right!

        Geeze, Jeremy, are you ‘advertising’? You might wanna re-crop that last pic…

        (And is there such a thing as “High-grade zinc nickel alloy”?)

        1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

          LOL!

          1) it’s hot and humid here in TX and those bad wrinkles under my right bosom came from the seatbelt. I spilled water from my YETI on myself (and my computer) while getting into the car and it dried under a seatbelt haha

          2) I don’t have an iron anyway so…

          3) the style of the shirt isn’t exactly seersucker but it’s mostly linen and is supposed to have some light wrinkly character to it

          4) I’m just happy to see you. I wanted that to be the lead photo but it’s portrait rather than landscape and that’s an issue. Saved the best for last instead 😛

          5) no dang clue. But it isn’t like other cast zinc stuff I’ve seen. It’s seems very dense and non-porous with a fine, smooth, hard surface finish.

        2. avatar DJ Saul Teanuts says:

          Wow. Not sure about that last pic. I’ve never seen a dude from that angle before. I didn’t much care for it.

          Other than that, good review.

    2. avatar Frank in VA says:

      That shirt was perfectly pressed just before the photo shoot began. But it’s linen. See the sequence of photos here for explanation:

      http://magnificentbastard.com/features/linen-it-sucks

  2. avatar Rich Gun Guy says:

    At least iron the placket

  3. avatar Alan Esworthy says:

    The belt is stamped Genuine Reinforced Leather. That says to me that the reinforcing is genuine. Shouldn’t it be Reinforced Genuine Leather?

    /smartassgrammarnazi

  4. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    i once went canoeing for a week and forgot to bring a belt. we had some clothes line and i wound up sporting a daisy may klampett thing for the duration. solid. infinite adjustability. and i could use it to line dry my unmentionables.

    1. avatar Ardent says:

      I can empathize; after any significant time in the bush or or a very different and challenging environment my gear develops more string, tape, etc and my clothing undergoes a metamorphosis from semi-casual rural/street wear to apocalypse survivor in a matter of days. I guess I admire function over form, or perhaps I just enjoy striking a dramatic figure.

    2. avatar Frank in VA says:

      You just mentioned your unmentionables.

  5. avatar Dale from Kansas says:

    I’ve been wearing one of these consistently for close to a year now and love it. When I sit down I can loosen it a notch or two. When I stand up I can snug it up again to keep my right side from sagging. One caveat: I think I broke the buckle doing dry fire practice using a Alien Gear IWB holster that has fairly strong retention. Kore replaced the buckle for free and claimed the newer batches would be stronger.

  6. avatar Blake says:

    Love mine. I’ve always had an issue with belts due to a small waist (28″) and a general lack of body structure for a belt to ride on, no waist so to speak, so it sits on my hips. The adjustability of the belt is awesome. Does a good job of holding the weight as well.

  7. avatar RonnieB223 says:

    I love mine as well! It’s holding up nicely. Comfortable and strong. It’s border line life changing to adjust the belt for sitting and standing.

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      Obviously that can be done with a normal belt, too, but it’s WAY more discreet plus faster and easier with this belt. Just squeeze the release to let it out a notch or two, then push the non-buckle side farther into the buckle to tighten it up again. No pulling the tail out of the buckle or having to expose it to see the holes, etc etc. Can be done quickly even one-handed.

      1. avatar RonnieB223 says:

        I couldn’t agree more. This belt, a Vedder holster and my S&W shield are my everyday carry now. I don’t think it can get much better than that combination.

        You’ll notice poor reviews around the internet about this belt but take them with a grain of salt. This belt is the real deal. It even carried my 1911 securely. I believe that those reviews were either earlier versions or not the actual gun belt version.

        Might be worth while to mention in this article to be sure that you order the actual gun belt. Kore offers a lot of belts that aren’t meant to carry the extra weight from a firearm and some may find their website unclear with making that distinction. Ordering the wrong one would certainly bring unsatisfactory results.

        Great review Jeremy!

  8. avatar HK45 says:

    I bought one of these a couple years ago. Love the idea, but it didn’t function as well as I’d hoped. It was my EDC belt for a year and a half. The finish has worn off the buckle, the leather has cracked in several places and the buckle never really kept a solid bite on the belt. I loved having 1/4″ adjustments. I am considering buying another, though, for use as a dress belt. I personally don’t think it quite works for every day wear

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      Was it actually their “gun belt” version? Because this is beefed up vs the normal one, including the buckle (buckles between the two aren’t compatible). They’ve apparently improved all of the buckles though in the recent past.

      1. avatar HK45 says:

        It was indeed their gun belt version.

  9. avatar strych9 says:

    I roll with a Bison Last Chance belt. Adjustable to millimeters with no special gadgetry.

    $20 at REI.

    Or I use a Kuhl belt (forget the model) that’s set and forget with a climbing style buckle, also adjustable to millimeters with no special tech. Also available at REI… Like $25.

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      I wear an “Instructor Belt” sometimes as well, but it’s kind of a different animal from a leather business casual / dress belt looking affair like this Kore piece, eh?

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        I guess I hadn’t really consider the “look” because I offset my buckle on to my left hip and with a black belt the buckle kind of disappears if I’m in dress clothes and the black blends in.

        Of course, if I ever buy a light colored suit it would be kinda obvious…

  10. avatar Billy says:

    I’ve had one of these for a few months. Would only rate comfort 3 stars due to the rather sharp edges on the inside top of the buckle that dig into your skin, particularly when sitting. Might just be the buckle design I picked but it’s annoying.

  11. avatar CGinTX says:

    I’m going to give this a try; I am often pocket-carrying my XDS in a business suit all day, but would love to have the option to try an IWB or even OWB on the 2 weeks a year I can bear wearing a suitcoat outside here in Austin. With my current belts for the suit, a belt-clipped holster is just out of the question, and the “traditional” gun belts…well, they just don’t work in a suit 🙂 We’ll see if the width of the belt can work with the slacks. It’ll be close.

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      You coming to our meet up tonight at Casa de Montecristo on 360? 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM. I’ll bring the belt so you can check it out 🙂

  12. avatar Sian says:

    I wear one daily. It’s pretty good. It’s not a heavy-duty gun belt. Don’t hang a lot of equipment off of it, I’m not even sure how well it would work with a real brick of a handgun like a Gen3 smith, but for a glock it’s ezpz.

    The pivot pin on mine came apart after about 9 months, and they immediately sent me a replacement buckle.

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