Some people love belly bands; other people hate them. Many heavier guys who want to carry concealed end up looking at belly bands to see if there’s a more comfortable option in the product line for them. The answer? A solid “maybe.”
The hard truth is that a lot of it is subjective, and a lot more depends on your body type, how big you are, and what clothes you wear during the times you want to carry.
Overall, I found the Bravobelt to be the most versatile and applicable across all situations, so if you’re a heavier guy looking for a belly band, I’d advise you to start your search with the Bravobelt Belly Band. I’ve got all my picks categorized by feature, so let’s hop into it.
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As I mentioned, the Bravobelt takes the #1 spot for me by having several important strengths and fewer weaknesses, at least when compared with other belly bands. Their size choices go up to a 55” belly, and the pouches are separated so that you can (theoretically) turn the belt around your body to get the gun where you want it to sit.
Depending on how big you are and how the weight is distributed on your body, you may be able to carry at 2 o’clock with this band. Still, if you do, I wouldn’t expect to be able to put a spare magazine in the opposite pouch because it would most likely print pretty noticeably.
The velcro that holds the band closed is good quality and will last longer than many other belly bands, but don’t be surprised if you have to sew on some new velcro after a while, especially if you wear it every day. The Bravobelt uses a snap to hold the firearm in place, which also puts an extra layer of stiffness over the trigger guard, which is a big win, in my opinion.
- Snap also covers the trigger guard
- Long-lasting velcro
- Fits up to 55” bellies
- Three spare pouches
- Can’t use opposite-side pouch if carrying upfront
- Adds a lot of width to your waistline if you wear it low
The price of “Bravobelt Belly Band Holster for Men” varies, so check the latest price at
ComfortTac only added one additional pouch, making the band less bulky and awkward overall.
They use a similar strap and cover for the trigger guard as the Bravobelt, so you don’t have to worry as much about bumping your trigger. The velcro isn’t likely to last as long as the Bravobelt, but it’s decent and easy to sew your own on if you want to extend its useful life.
ComfortTac offers two sizes: large and XL. The XL goes up to 54,” and the large goes up to 44”. The neoprene is reasonably thick, and the stretchy fabric of the pouches does precisely what it is intended to do. The retention is fine for what it is, and overall this should be a good, comfortable option for bigger guys looking for a belly band.
- Two size choices
- Slim, not bulky
- Extra cover guard
- Velcro won’t last as long as Bravobelt
- Only one spare mag pouch
The price of “ComfortTac Ultimate Belly Band Gun Holster” varies, so check the latest price at
They only offer one size that goes from 40” to 54.” I like that because it shows that they designed this band specifically for bigger guys. I also like that the pouches’ stretchy fabric appears double-thick.
I think it’s also nice to have a strap to go over the spare magazine pouch. This makes the whole band a lot more versatile, in my opinion. Some overweight guys carry their weight down low and want to wear the band higher up on the ribcage, almost like where a shoulder holster would keep the gun. The Ghost Concealment works well for that.
Like all other belly bands, it uses velcro to keep the band in place, and the snaps are similar to other snaps. There’s no additional cover on the trigger guard, so I would caution you against carrying with one in the chamber, but that is certainly up to you.
- Snap-on spare mag pouch
- Double-thick stretch fabric for holster
- Velcro is fine
- No cover on the outside for the trigger guard
The price of “Ghost Concealment L Belly Band” varies, so check the latest price at
Most belly bands can work passably well with larger handguns, and the most frequent issue is the gun itself printing too badly on your shirt, but Aomago has made their band specifically to work well with full-size handguns. The holster portion and the snap-and-strap are heavy-duty, and the magazine pouch is also designed for larger mags.
It has a third pouch that you could use for an extra magazine or something else like a phone, but it doesn’t have a strap at the top to help hold whatever you put in there in place.
It’s a fairly straightforward belly band. The differences between the different bands can be subtle, that’s for sure. Aomago offers four different sizes, with the smallest fitting up to 38 inches and the largest fitting up to 56 inches.
- Two extra pouches
- Will fit full-size handguns
- Goes up to 56 inches
- Bigger spare pouch doesn’t have snap
- Nothing about the design stands out
The price of “Aomago Belly Band Holster” varies, so check the latest price at
There are a few differences between this band from Concealed Carrier and some of the other ones available that may make it your cup of tea or not. First, they use “surgical grade” elastic for the holster, which seems to hold the gun more tightly than some other bands.
In addition, they use a wide strip of velcro for the spare mag pouch, which is wide enough to accommodate two spare magazines. Whether you like the velcro or not depends on personal preference, but what it allows Concealed Carrier to do is not need the strap to be quite so stretchy and still be able to grip objects of different sizes.
Nothing great or terrible about the velcro keeps the band closed, and it will work comparably well to all the other bands on this list.
- Surgical grade elastic holster
- Mag pouch can take two magazines
- Comparable longevity
- Velcro strap for mag pouch won’t last as long as snap
- Band is much larger than needed for subcompact handguns
The price of “Concealed Carrier Belly Band Holster” varies, so check the latest price at
As I’ve mentioned throughout the article, the velcro on the belly bands is probably the weakest point, which may lead you to ask the question: why hasn’t any manufacturer addressed that problem yet?
Well, Kaylle is at least trying to do so. They use a new-fangled “high tech” velcro that supposedly lasts longer and is quieter than normal velcro. Your mileage may vary on just how effective the special velcro compares to the standard, but it’s an interesting angle.
Kaylle also went in a different direction with the retention straps on both the holster and magazine pouch. Instead of snaps, they utilize magnets. I’m not sure how I feel about this switch, and I would worry that the magnet would either be not strong enough to truly hold the gun in place when I want it to or too strong to quickly release and draw.
- Special velcro that should last longer
- Quieter draw with magnetic retention instead of snaps
- Magnets may either be too strong or not strong enough
- Only one spare pouch
The price of “Kaylle Belly Band Holster” varies, so check the latest price at
The Velcro Problem
The biggest reason belly bands stop being useful is because the velcro stops working. This is universally true for belly bands. It doesn’t mean they’re not good products! If you have access to a sewing machine, it’s a very quick fix to sew on some replacement velcro on the side that needs it.
One of the reasons belly bands are so cheap is that they tend not to last very long. If you’re carrying them every day, they may only last for a few months before the velcro starts to slip. You can decide if you feel like that’s long enough to justify the purchase or whether you feel comfortable replacing the velcro on your own.
The Printing Problem
Belly bands tend to print in a lot of situations. Many people buy belly bands and then try to wear them with tight clothing. This simply doesn’t work. No matter where on your torso you wear the band, if you have a tight shirt, the gun is going to print, and the magazine probably will too.
To make a belly band work, you simply have to have a little bit of looseness in your shirts. Most big guys wear larger shirts anyway, so this may not be a big problem for you. You can always get creative about how you position the band to print as little as possible.
The Sweat Problem
There’s no point in dancing around the fact that belly bands can get hot and sweaty. That’s a natural consequence of having a thick strip of fabric wrapped around your body. Most bands are designed to breathe as much as possible, but at the end of the day, neoprene isn’t particularly breathable.
Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes for this type of issue, either, but you may be able to get creative and find a way to deal with it or at least mitigate it on your own.
The Retention Problem
Somewhat out of necessity, most belly bands use some form of stretchy fabric to hold the firearm in place and combine it with a snap-and-strap that goes over the back of the grip to keep it all together. While functional, it’s also destined to start getting worn and torn the more you use it.
A fabric holster is going to start getting rubbed away much sooner than a Kydex or leather holster, so if you get in the habit of replacing the velcro every few months, you may end up needing to replace the band anyway.
Pouches vs. Concealability
There’s a tradeoff with belly bands that each person needs to find their own happy medium between. The more pouches that your band has, even if you’re not using them, the harder it is to prevent the band from printing. If you are using the pouches for magazines or anything else, it gets that much harder to conceal.
A good rule of thumb here is to just buy a band with the amount of pouches you know you’ll need, and don’t buy one with any extra.
The Belly Band’s Role
The belly band is somewhat misnamed, especially for fat guys. Depending on your build, you may have much better luck having the belly band situated beneath or above your belly bulge. This can make the band more comfortable and help it last longer.
Above the belly, it would be similar to a shoulder holster, and your stomach should prevent the band from sliding down. Beneath the stomach, it would act a lot like an IWB holster but with extra features, and your hips would stop the band from sliding down.
Comparing with IWB
Belly bands are a different way of addressing the same situation as an IWB holster. A lot of big guys move away from IWB because they want to appendix carry, but the truth is that appendix carry isn’t realistic for most big guys, especially if you want to be able to sit down while carrying.
Back or side carry is a good option, especially since most big guys stick out furthest in the front.
Neoprene is soft, a little bit stretchy, and cheap to turn into a belly band. It has a clear place in the pantheon of holster materials, but I wouldn’t consider it a viable option for anything other than a bellyband or ankle holster. There are some IWB holsters that are neoprene, but there are enough other options out there that I would go with something a little tougher.
Not really. It does depend on how overweight the person is, but the larger you are the less likely you are to be able to carry concealed in your appendix area. A lot of bigger guys have luck just moving just a little to the right side, though, as there can be a natural pocket created between your stomach and your hip that can conceal a handgun well.
For the most part, yes. Deciding whether to carry with one in the chamber is something I would approach cautiously, especially if the band you buy does not have an additional cover for the trigger guard on the outside of the holster.
Sometimes, but it’s very difficult to do without printing. Tucking your shirt in also significantly delays your ability to draw your firearm, so I wouldn’t recommend getting in the habit of carrying with a belly band when your shirt is tucked in.
My pick for best overall is the Bravobelt Belly Band because it strikes the right balance of features, comfort, and security. Have you used any of the holsters on this list? Which ones have you liked the best? Let me know in the comments.