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I had been searching for a good all-around belt for a while. I wanted something I could wear every day, where when I’m slightly dressed up, and I wanted it to be good for concealed carry. I also didn’t want it to look too “tactical” like many concealed carry-specific belts do. I wanted something more subtle for everyday use. I found this belt in the Groove Belt.
Yes, the Groove Belt is good for concealed carry for two reasons. First, the belt is stiff when applying pressure making it work well for use with heavier guns/holster combos as the belt will not fold or bend top to bottom. Second, the belt has a slight stretch when pulled allowing it to create a snug fit between you and the holster while not prohibiting any movement.
Concealed Carrying With a Groove Belt
I have used the Groove Belt to conceal carry several guns. I always carry IWB appendix so the gun sits on the front side of my person, not the back. One of the things I have found most useful with this belt is the way it is adjusted.
Since this belt does not need to be adjusted each time you wear it, you set the tension you want once and leave it. Then you simply click the belt on and off with no further adjustment required.
Since the belt has a slight stretch, it allows me to get a relaxed fit when I’m not carrying that is tight enough to hold my pants in place, but is not overly tight. When I am carrying, the stretch accommodates the extra width caused by the addition of a holster and securely hugs the holster against my body.
The three different guns/holster combinations I carry with are:
Ruger LCP .380 with kydex holster
The Ruger LCP is a .380 that I originally purchased for my wife to conceal. Long story short, she rarely uses it and I have found it to be a great gun for random walks to the mail box, or any time I’m wearing clothing that would not work well with a larger gun.
I have a taco style kydex holster for it and I can barely feel it when it’s on me. The belt is the perfect width for the holster to latch onto and holds it snugly in place.
Taurus PT111 G2 9mm with N82 holster
The second gun I carry using this belt is a small sub-compact 9 mm that I’ve owned for years. I carry it with a N82 holster which is by far the most comfortable holster I own and features a leather back pad with a plastic molded front. It lacks in concealability in my opinion as it is thicker than most holsters and does not have a “claw” to bring the grip back towards the body.
Regardless, this holster/gun combination also works great with the Groove Belt and without any adjustment holds the gun securely in place without sag. This setup used to be my main daily carry before I purchased the setup listed below.
Shadow Systems MR920 with Tier 1 Concealed Axis Slim
My current daily carry setup with the Groove Belt is the Shadow Systems MR920 War Poet addition pistol. This is a 9 mm handgun with near-identical proportions to the Glock 19. I have a Holosun 507c red dot sight and a Streamlight TLR-7a light on the gun at all times (even when carrying). See my full review on this pistol here.
The Axis Slim holster by Tier 1 is my new all-time favorite holster. I had it custom-made to fit my MR920 with the optics cut and Streamlight. In addition, it is in the side-car configuration meaning it has an extra magazine slot.
This setup is not at all the lightest setup, but you would be amazed at how comfortable it is and how well it conceals (in part to the Groove Belt).
The “claw” on the holster brings the handle of the gun closer to the body to prevent printing and the foam pad at the lower rear portion of the holster cants the whole firearm back into the body to further prevent printing. The stretchiness of the Groove Belt securely pushes the gun and holster against my body without being over bearing or limiting movement. There is virtually no sag and two clips on either side of the holster fit perfectly around the buckle on the belt.
Pros and Cons of Concealed Carry with Groove Belt
Here is a list of the biggest pros and cons I’ve experience in the past 8 months concealed carrying with the Groove Life Belt.
- Stiffness up and down while remaining slightly stretchy when pulled
- Ease of use. The magnetic snap system is genius and you always get a consistent fit
- Looks. The belt just looks good. It works for dressing up or dressing down which is not something most concealed carry belts can say.
- Quality. The belt is made well and you can tell buy the look and feel. High quality aluminum buckle doesn’t cratch easy and the almost “webbing” like material of the belt is extremely durable.
- It is not easy to adjust. If you like to adjust your belt throughout the day, this is not the belt for you. This is a “set and forget” belt. When it comes time to adjust it, you normally need to remove the belt and mess with it for a moment to get it adjusted properly.
- The above is really the only con I can think of. This belt is great in every other way.
Are Groove Belts good?
Yes, Groove belts are good because they are American made, high quality, durable, and fashionable all while remaining extremely functional.
How do I adjust a Groove Belt
Step 1 – Hold the belt in your hands
I’ve found the Groove belt to be much easier to adjust by taking it off and holding it instead of attempting to adjust the belt while it’s on you.
Grab the belt and flip it over so you can see the underside of the buckle.
Step 2 – Slide down band and push
Next, you’ll want to slide down the little band that keeps the excess belt material tucked in. This will make it easier to work with. If you are trying to make the belt larger, you will want to hold the excess material close to the buckle and push it back into the belt.
This will be difficult if you have a new belt because of the stiff material. Once you get it, it will make a small loop of extra material by the buckle. Simply pull this excess material back under the buckle to expand the belt.
Simply reverse this process to make the belt smaller. Grab the belt material itself, not the excess material, and push it back into the belt buckle then pull on the excess material to shrink the size.
Step 3 – Re-adjust
One of the downsides of the Groove Belt is getting it adjusted just right at first use. It may take you several times of taking it on and off with adjustments in between to find the perfect fit for you. The good news is that the belt holds it size extremely well. It will not loosen much at all over time making it really a belt you can adjust once and forget.
How much does a Groove Belt Cost? Is it worth it?
Compared to the average Walmart belt, the Groove Belt might seem expensive coming in at around $59. Compared to other popular concealed carry belts, like the The Safe Life Defense Tactical Belt coming in at $129, the Groove Belt seems to be a great value for the investment.
I was extremely impressed when I got the Groove Belt and it exceeded my expectations so I wouldn’t gladly purchase it again if needed. I may even purchase a different style of the Groove belt in the near future to have some variety.
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