Hiking Belts [What Options Are Available?]

When I was a boy scout I used to wear the boy scout uniform with a standard hiking belt. Hiking belts that I have used are usually made of polyester and are tough wearing and last a long time. Today there are many specialty hiking belts available in almost any style.

Hiking belts come in a wide variety of materials, styles, and buckle types. Most hiking pants come with a standard plastic buckle and polyester belt, but if you want to upgrade there are many styles of metal buckle hiking belts available. Here are some options available:

Belt Materials Options

  • Nylon
  • Polyester
  • Canvas
  • Leather

Belt Buckle Options

  • Easy Release
  • Snap
  • Slip Through
  • Ratchet
  • Tongue
  • D-Ring
  • Tensioner Bar

Hiking belts can help hikers to enjoy a bit more comfort and utility while hiking. We’ll talk about some good options of belts that hikers can choose from. With so many options for materials and buckle styles, you’re sure to find a great hiking belt by looking at the belt below and helpful information.

What Hiking Belts Are Good For Hikers?

Which Belt

Attributes Of Different Hiking Belts

  • Stretchy Belts – These belts are elastic and can expand and shrink to fit comfortably while you are hiking. These help hikers pants to move and adjust well while hiking.
    • I like these types of belts because they help my pants stay in place and are always comfortable.
  • Fabric Types – Most belts will come with polyester material for the belt. This is fairly tough and will be good for most hiking belts. Nylon belts are even stronger than polyester.
    • If you’re looking for a tough belt that can withstand a lot of punishment, try looking for a belt that is constructed with thicker material and tight knit fabric. If the fabric looks too loose it will likely fray sooner than later.
  • Cheap or Expensive – It may not matter whether your belt is cheap or expensive, but what will matter is the belt buckle. A plastic belt buckle can be fine short term, but if you are hiking outdoors for several days I wouldn’t want a plastic belt buckle because they break easily.
    • Find a belt that has a metal buckle or a thick well constructed plastic buckle if you really like plastic.

Why Some Belts Are Better Than Others When Hiking

While hiking you might like a belt that is easy to use and unbuckle when nature calls. That’s why many people enjoy belts with buckles that unlatch quickly.

I’ve been in situations where my belt buckle was difficult to unlatch and I really needed to use the restroom. The nice thing about a quick latch belt is you never have to worry about speed if you need to change your clothes or make adjustments to your belt.

Some belts are stretchy which helps with flexibility when hiking and some are tough so they help your belt last a long time even you abuse them.

The best belt may be the one with one that fits your individual needs. Which belt would you choose?

5 Great Hiking Belts Options

1. Jukmo Tactical Belt


This belt has a heavy-duty buckle that is made of aluminum alloy. This belt is strong because the nylon fabric and metal buckle can bear heavier loads. The buckle is a quick-release buckle that helps you take off your belt quickly if needed.

You can adjust the length of the belt easily so it fits perfectly without the belt hanging out at the end ackwardly.


  • Nylon Material
  • Aluminum Alloy Buckle
  • Quick Release

2. Fairwin Men’s Ratchet Web Belt


This belt is an easy belt to adjust and stays tight with its ratchet buckle system. It has a nylon fabric belt for long-lasting tough endurance.

These types of belts can work well for hiking and everyday use. I have a ratchet belt that I use each week and I appreciate the unique and easy stay-tight design.


  • Nylon Material
  • Strong Metal Buckle
  • Rachets System
  • Locks Belt In Place

3. Columbia Men’s Military Belt


This is a classic type of belt that I used when I was a scout and is a military-style belt. To tighten the belt you slip the end through the belt buckle and slide the tensioner bar to lock the belt in place.

When I used this belt in scouting it was an easy belt to put on and take off. A simple belt like this can make your hiking pants easy to adjust on the fly.


  • Cotton Material
  • Metal Buckle
  • Sliding Tensioner Bar System
  • Locks Belt In Place

4. Fairwin Tactical Rigger Belt


This belt is a heavy-duty belt that military, police, or firefighter might be interested in because of its strength. The main feature that many hikers can appreciate is the belt’s ability to bear over 1000lbs of weight.

I like this belt style because it has a quick-release buckle and looks cool with whatever you are wearing.


  • Nylon Material
  • Metal Buckle
  • Can Bearing Up Tp 1100lb/500kg. 
  • Quick Release System
  • Adjustable Belt End

5. Jasgood Nylon Canvas Military Belt


This belt is made from nylon webbing and has a quick-release buckle that is made of plastic. The belt is thin so it is very breathable yet remains strong because of the long-wearing nylon material.

I like this belt style because it has a quick-release buckle and looks cool with whatever you are wearing. Water-resistant and lightweight.


  • Nylon Material
  • Plastic Buckle
  • Quick Release System
  • Water-Resistant
  • Lightweight

What Materials Are Best For A Hiking Belt?

belt Materials

Most hiking belts use polyester, nylon, or cotton for the belt material. These types of belts are lightweight and fairly durable. Let’s look at the attributes of each type of hiking belt material and what are the benefits of each.

Most belts are constructed by being woven in a way that they remain strong and resist wear and tear.

  • Nylon – Nylon belts are very durable. They can withstand all sorts of torture, from scraps and scratches and possibly some cuts and punchures as well.
  • Polyester – This material is strong and durable. It’s not as strong as nylon but can work very well in belts that are woven effectively.
  • Canvas – This type of belt can be made from cotton or linen. You might see the label all natural because linen is made from flax and other plants like jute. Modern canvas usually has polyvinyl chloride which is a resin that is similar to nylon. (canvasdiscount.com)
  • Leather – While you won’t find many leather hiking belts, these can be very effective when hiking as well. They are durable, flexible, but don’t do well with water.
  • Cotton – This material is less durable than most others, but can be quite effective if it is woven well. Cotton is all natural and lightweight.

Should I Get A Heavier Or Lighter Hiking Belt?

Heavy or Light belt

Heavy Belts


  • They are usually well constructed
  • They are durable
  • Can last a lifetime
  • Most metal buckles won’t break


  • A little heavier
  • Some metals may be prone to rust or are not as durable as others

Lightweight Belts


  • You can barely notice you’re wearing them
  • They breathe well and dry off quickly
  • May be easier to put on because they are thinner and narrower.


  • May not be as durable
  • Most have plastic buckle that are not very durable over time

Which Belt Buckles Are Best For Hikers?

There are so many types of belts you can choose when you go hiking, mainly because there are so many types of belt buckles. You’ll need to choose one that works best for your hiking needs.

Here are some of the different types of belts you might want to consider.

Easy Release Buckles – Also called quick-release buckles, these types of buckles have latches that you press to unhook the belt buckles on two sides. Most of these kinds of buckles are easy to use and allow you to unbuckle your belt with one hand.

  • This belt is good for hikers because hikers may only have access to one hand when needing to unbuckle their belt.

Metal Buckles – These are great for durability. They can last a lifetime if they are made of the right kind of metal and constructed well.

  • These are good for hikers because they stand up to heavy wear and the element when out hiking. They can take a beating as often occurs when hikers go on long distance hikes.

Snap Closures – Also called clap closure buckles, these buckles usually snap together. They are usually easy to put on with two hands and can usually open with one hand.

  • These are good for hikers because like the easy release buckles they have a latch to push that opens the belt. You’ll also be able to unlatch your buckle with one hand if your other hand is occupied.

Slip Through – Also called flip closure buckles, these usually have metal teeth that clamp down on the belt after you pass it through the buckle.

  • These are good for hikers because they are durable and lightweight.

Tongue Buckles – These are the traditional belts that most people wear on a daily basis. These have holes in the belt and the buckle uses a prong that inserts into one of the holes to lock the belt in place.

  • These are good for hiking because most people have a leather belt. That means you don’t have to buy a hiking belt and can use the belt you wear every day. If it’s a leather belt, these can last a long time and are water resistant as long as you condition them regularly.

D-Ring Buckle – Also called flip closure buckles, these usually have two metal rings or a divider that you pull the belt through to lock the belt in place.

  • These are good for hikers because they are durable and lightweight.

Ratchet Buckle – These have a mechanism in the buckle that holds the belt tight as you pass it through the buckle.

  • These can be very effective at holding the belt tight throughout your hiking day and most are quick release buckles that you can unlatch with one hand.

Classic Military Buckle – These are the belts that I used as a scout. You pass the belt through the buckle and use a tensioner bar to hold the belt tight.

  • These can hold your belt tight but tend to loosen over time. These are quick release buckles that you can unlatch them with one hand.

Final Thoughts

Of all the hiking belts available which one would you choose? I like the quick-release buckles mainly because they look cool and seem to be fairly durable.

So, if I had to choose a hiking belt, I would choose a nylon belt with a quick-release buckle. Although, most of the time when I day hike, the plastic belt buckle that came with my hiking pants works just fine.

Thanks for visiting Helpshoe.com




I enjoy many types of outdoor activities including running, hiking, and walking. I was a former elementary school teacher for 17 years and now enjoy writing and sharing my love of the outdoors.

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