When you’re a huge fan of spending your time outside, your outfits have to be able to keep up with you.
And yes, that includes your belt, too.
That’s why today I want to talk to you about some of the best ratchet belts currently available on the market. You’ll read all about ratchet belts in general, and as a bonus, I’ll include my favorite models, too!
- Quick Look: TOP 4 Ratchet Belts
- What Is A Ratchet Belt?
- The Best Ratchet Belts In 2018: My Recommendations
- 1. Mission Belt Men's Leather Ratchet Belt – Buy A Belt, Feed A Family
- 2. KORE Men’s Track Belt | “Express” Gunmetal Fashion Buckle & Top-Grain Leather Belt – Look Sharp Wherever You Go
- 3. Dante Men's Leather Ratchet Dress Belt with Automatic Buckle – The Budget-Friendly Option
- 4. SlideBelts Men's Premium Top Grain Signature Leather Ratchet Belt – The Upgrade Option
- Why Choose Ratchet Belts? Benefits Of Owning One
- How To Choose The Best Ratchet Belt: A Simple Buying Guide
- Trakline vs. Mission Belt vs. Slide Belt: Brands In Side-By-Side Comparison
Quick Look: TOP 4 Ratchet Belts
What Is A Ratchet Belt?
I imagine you already know what ratchet belts are. Otherwise, you wouldn't be here reading my ratchet belt reviews, but let's take a moment to talk about their design, nonetheless.
Ratchet belts, otherwise known as "hole-less" or "no-hole," are a relatively new trend and a step in the right direction from the traditional model.
They feature a specifically designed buckle and a set of notches located on the inner side of the belt. As you slide the buckle, the small, spring-loaded tab in it „clicks" along the hidden track, and stops at the desired notch.
The Best Ratchet Belts In 2018: My Recommendations
1. Mission Belt Men's Leather Ratchet Belt – Buy A Belt, Feed A Family
They used smooth, genuine leather for the belt, and even if turns out to be too long, it's easily fixable – just cut off the excess length.
The metal buckle, which is entirely removable, has proven to be quite sturdy; pair it with the leather strap, and you get a belt that will serve you for years to come.
My favorite thing about this model has to be the "Buy A Belt, Feed A Family" charity. When you purchase a belt, one dollar goes to fighting global hunger.
So, buying a belt means you're donating money to a noble cause, too.
The only "disadvantage" I've noticed – and I assure you, it's a minor one – is that the buckle is way heavier than what you might be used to ("standard" belt buckles, for example). You'll probably get used to it fast, though.
2. KORE Men’s Track Belt | “Express” Gunmetal Fashion Buckle & Top-Grain Leather Belt – Look Sharp Wherever You Go
As I said previously, you should focus on leather, such as top-grain leather used by Trakline for all their belts.
Don't worry about the size, either – it promises a perfect fit by offering you 40 size positions to choose from; amazing, right?
Oh, and one more thing:
The buckle acts as a hidden bottle opener!
While it's not crazy expensive, it's not the most affordable belt, either. So, before you fall in love with it, make sure you're willing to spend $50 on a belt.
Another one – and this is the one that concerns me the most – is durability. No-stitch design is a great idea until you find your relatively new-ish belt is falling apart because the bonded leather didn't hold very well.
3. Dante Men's Leather Ratchet Dress Belt with Automatic Buckle – The Budget-Friendly Option
Dante is a brand I hadn't mentioned before when I was making the side-by-side comparison, but I wanted to include one of their models in my round-up, merely because they offer some of the most affordable ratchet belts on the market.
It comes with all the standard features found in the more expensive models, too: the utterly removable buckle, a leather strap, and a vast range of size positions.
If you're here looking for a perfect gift for a male family member, I'd like to mention that this belt comes with an adorable gift box. They'll be pleasantly surprised.
The only thing I didn't like about the belt is its lack of an instruction manual.
I know that ratchet belts aren't that complicated, but if you're new to the concept, a manual, even a short one, would be a helpful thing to have.
4. SlideBelts Men's Premium Top Grain Signature Leather Ratchet Belt – The Upgrade Option
Out of the four models on the list, this SlideBelts is, by far, the most expensive one, which is why I named it the "upgrade" option – if you want a high-end product, you have to be willing to spend some money on it, right?
Made of top-grain leather, the belt, paired with a removable, nice-looking buckle, will make you the center of attention.
It offers more than 30 size positions, too, so don't worry about the fit – I'm sure it will be perfect.
The buckle has some extremely sharp edges, though, and one of them comes in contact with the belt's surface.
Even though the leather is top-grain, I'm afraid it won't be able to stand up to the constant scraping and scratching of the buckle. Worst-case scenario: it might end up severely damaged.
Why Choose Ratchet Belts? Benefits Of Owning One
As mentioned previously, ratchet belts employ a new mechanism, a combination of a spring-loaded tab, and a linear nylon track with notches (or "teeth") on the inner side of the strap.
What does this mean for you, though?
A perfect fit, durability, and, above all, convenience, which is super important for those of you that consider themselves outdoor enthusiasts.
By removing the holes out of the equation, not only do ratchet belts look better, but ensure a perfect fit with their small ¼-inch increments (and 30 to 40 notches available on average), as well.
While their nice-looking design and innovative mechanism are the main advantages of ratchet belts, the benefits don't end there – these belts are made to last.
Whether you choose leather or a polyester one, you're in for years of heavy use.
So, to sum it up:
If you do, in fact, opt to buy one of these after reading my ratchet belt reviews, it'll turn out to be one of the most convenient belts you've ever owned. Oh, one more thing:
If you’re wondering what to wear on a hiking first date, keep in mind that a ratchet belt would be an excellent accessory.
How To Choose The Best Ratchet Belt: A Simple Buying Guide
How can you be sure you're looking at some of the best ratchet belts on the market?
To answer that, I'll turn this section into a buying guide. So, instead of just jumping straight to the ratchet belt reviews, take a moment to read through the critical points of choosing the ideal belt for your needs.
All the features you need to pay attention to are perfectly summed up below:
The first, and most important, thing you have to consider when choosing the best ratchet belt is the material. While some are made using polyester, others use leather, which isn't only durable but looks great, too.
Now, if you're keen on getting the latter, you need to know how to spot high-quality leather.
But if you're not a fan of leather, or you're looking for a vegan ratchet belt, polyester is your best bet.
It might not be as stylish as leather, but it's way more lightweight, and relatively durable, which is precisely what you need out of a belt.
Lots of people avoid this material because they have their doubts - is polyester warm, is it durable - but I assure you, it’s a good choice, especially for a belt.
If you plan on wearing your belt while you're out camping, two things are a must: convenience and durability. How does that apply to your belt buckle, though?
Well, you need to make sure it has both of these qualities if you want a decent belt. For one, the buckle needs to look and feel sturdy; it goes without saying that metal is your best bet here.
Another thing to pay attention to is the ease of use, especially if you're new to the concept, and not quite sure how these buckles work.
Most manufacturers will give you the option of removing the buckle entirely, which is a pretty nice (and handy) addition.
As I previously mentioned, best ratchet belts are known for their adjustability. However, what about the length itself?
Since they usually feature a one-size-fits-all design, you may find that the strap is too long for you, but you can quickly fix that. Just trim it down to a desired length with a pair of scissors or a sharp knife, just trim it down to a desired length, and you're good to go.
Size-wise, a good rule of thumb is:
The belt should be at least a couple of inches longer than your waist.
Trakline vs. Mission Belt vs. Slide Belt: Brands In Side-By-Side Comparison
These are all relatively similar – after all, they're the three key brands when it comes to the best ratchet belts. However, there are some differences, and before you move on to the ratchet belt reviews, you should take the time to learn what they are.
- The belt comes in a separate pouch, which keeps it protected during shipping; it's an excellent way to store your belt, too.
- The buckle doesn’t come attached to the belt, so you’ll have to take care of that yourself.
- Trakline offers 14 different buckle styles to their fashion-forward customers.
- Their belts are made of top-grain leather, which is one of the highest quality options available.
- It employs a spring-loaded mechanism.
- The belt comes with a 1-year warranty.
- The inner side of the box contains a note that says „Thanks for being part of the Mission!“ as a reminder that you donated a dollar by purchasing their belt.
- The belt comes rolled up, with the buckle already attached.
- The Mission doesn’t offer a wide range of buckles; there’s only one model, although it comes in a variety of finishes.
- Their belts are made of bonded leather, so pay attention to that before making a purchase.
- The buckle uses a magnetic release system, which feels (and sounds) cheap.
- Slide Belts are famous for their very stylish packaging – the inside of the box has a velvety, black surface.
- The strap is rolled up, with the buckle resting in the middle.
- Pay attention to the product description, as it will tell you if they used real or fake leather for the strap.
- Their belts come with a 1-year warranty.
- The buckle employs a pull-lever release system.
If you’re interested in learning more, you should check out this informative video I found!
So, which one of these would I recommend to you?
It's a tough question since these are indeed some of the best ratchet belts in 2018, but I'm going to announce the winner, anyway:
The Mission Belt Men's Leather Ratchet Belt, without a doubt. It's pleasant-looking, reasonably priced, and every purchase means you're donating money to a good cause – how can I not recommend this?
Do you agree with my choice, though? Let me know in the comments below!