Way back when, when I was a young buck who just starting to carrying a gun, I gave them all a shot. I tried every type of holster possible…or close to it. Belly bands were a brief experiment. The cheap one I had offered crappy retention, and even just wearing it around the house revealed major retention, concealment, and comfort issues.
After that, I moved on and never looked back. The STRAPT-TAC belly band is the first time I’ve come back to belly band carry.
Clip & Carry sent me the STRAPT-TAC to try, and it’s been my EDC carry option for about ten days now. During that time, I attended the Gathering hosted by Palmetto State Armory, which required an 8-hour road trip one way. I wore the holster almost the entire time until I left for beers with my lovely wife after a long day. I’ve worn it everywhere I’m legally allowed to carry a gun.
With that said, this isn’t your typical belly band. Heck, it’s not even technically a holster.
The STRAPT-TAC Design
So if it’s not a holster, what is it? It’s more akin to especially designed belt. The STRAPT-TAC wraps around your body like a belly band, but you then use your own Kydex IWB holster with it.
The STRAPT-TAC has a pocket held in place with a firm belt. The belt is 1.5 inches wide, and your IWB holster fits into the pocket with the clip attaching over the belt. The pocket acts like your pants worn with a belt.
You will need to provide your own Kydex holster with the STRAPT-TAC. I used my SIG P365 and my Tulster Oath holster with the STRAPT-TAC for my carry adventures. The Oath has a mod wing or “claw”, but I didn’t have to remove it to effectively use the holster.
Benefits of the STRAPT-TAC
Most belly bands don’t offer great passive retention. Most use some form of active retention involving a thong with a button if they have anything at all. This design allows you to use the proven passive retention of your favorite holster, which is nice. The layout allows you to customize the placement of your gun, and you can make the same cant and ride height adjustments you can when you carry traditional IWB.
You can go from IWB to belly hand without much of a leap in training. You know what to expect from your holster, and it remains pretty standard when you switch to belly band carry. The main difference will be ride height.
A good kydex holster allows you to ensure complete and total safety when carrying. Your trigger is completely protected, and the holster is specifically molded to your gun.
The benefits above all only apply if you use a quality holster for concealed carry. The STRAPT-TAC can’t turn a turd of a holster into anything great. A floppy soft nylon holster won’t grant you these benefits.
The STRAPT-TAC is ambidextrous and easy to wear in a multitude of positions and heights. It can be worn strongside or appendix position in a semi-appendix position. Hell, you can wear it high under your shoulder for a quasi-shoulder carry position.
It’s not a traditional belly band with a lot of excess bulk either. I’m warm-natured and live in Florida. Belly bands often become big sweaty messes with me. While the main portion gets a little warm, the minimalist design keeps it breezy compared to most options.
Wearing The Rig
The STRAPT-TAC comes in several sizes, and a large fits my gorilla-like self. You can tighten it down, and it really doesn’t move. It’s comfortable against the skin as well. It doesn’t get super hot, and generally, I found it fine for long-term daily wear. I wore in an appendix style position and strong side and never found it uncomfortable.
Admittedly, it’s not as comfortable to me as carrying standard IWB, but that’s because it’s larger and tight to the body. It’s not as bad as most at creating another layer of sweat as other belly bands, but it’ll still warm you up.
The main belt that goes around your body secures with hook and loop, and the main body is designed to prevent folding and does so well—the hook and loop clips on tight and never failed me during carry.
The STRAPT-TAC makes small guns disappear without issue. With larger guns, your concealment is somewhat compromised if you carry any higher than traditional belt height. If you use the STRAPT-TAC to carry low and in your pants, then you won’t have an issue with concealment, or if you wear a bulky cover garment, you might get away with it.
I practiced drawing quite a bit with the rig. I wore it fairly low in both a strong side and appendix position. It sits higher than your belt by design, so you have to get used to pulling your cover garment up loud and proud and reaching higher.
Your draw isn’t compromised in any other way that I can tell. The inner belt and pocket doesn’t fail or twist when you draw. Your holster will also determine how easy and intuitive your draw is. If it’s intuitive and ergonomic on the belt, it will be intuitive and ergonomic on the STRAPT-TAC.
The real question is would I choose to wear the STRAPT-TAC with my Tulster Oath holster instead of just the Tulster? In most situations, no, I wouldn’t. The Tulster is smaller, lighter, less burdensome, and won’t force you to sweat.
The main purpose of the STRAPT-TAC seems to be useful for carrying when you can’t wear a belt. Suppose you’re in gym clothes, sweats, or something similar. It’s a deep carry option as well that works under formal clothes where you might not want a clip showing.
It’s not an EDC item for me but a niche tool for specific situations.
Specifications: Clip and Carry STRAPT-TAC Belly Band Holster
Sizes: S to M 23 to 30-inch waist, L to XL 30 to 36-inch waist, 2XL to 3XL 36 to 48-inch waist
Ratings (out of five stars):
Concealment * * * ½
With a small gun, you’ll have enough concealment to effectively hide your pistol. With anything larger than, say, a compact weapon, you’ll find it tough to fully conceal without noticeable bulges. It doesn’t conceal as good as just a regular holster, but it works.
Comfort * * * ½
It’s much more comfortable than your typical belly band but not as comfortable as a holster by itself. It still gets a little warm in the widest part of the body.
Overall * * * ½
Typically I’d toss in retention and safety, but those are more on the holster you have to add than the STRAPT-TAC. It’s a useful little device for niche situations. Like the Phlster Enigma, it works well with clothes that are less carry-friendly. While cheaper than the Enigma, it isn’t as comfortable or concealable.