The strip of leather that has been holding my pants up for the last 30-plus years finally delaminated. It wasn’t surprising: a half century prior to encircling my body that strip of leather was studded with wires and, driven by machinery, it carded wool in the textile mills of Vermont. Replacing that belt turned out to be more difficult than anticipated.
Almost all belts being sold today are made from thin strips of leather that have been glued together. The best of these have also been stitched along the edges to help prevent the layers from separating. They work fine for holding up a pair of jeans or dress pants—at least until I start clipping knives, multi-tools, and tape measures to them. Unfortunately they all proved inadequate for holding up my heavy leather riding pants: I destroyed three new belts in the last two years.
Fortunately I discovered the Duluth Trading Company and ordered a couple of their heavy-duty belts.
The Lifetime Belt is made of two layers of bridle leather stitched together and is ¼-inch thick and 1¼-inches wide. It’s fitted with a solid brass cast buckle. The other style is simply called the “Beefiest Belt we’ve ever sold” and is a single, solid ¼-inch thick strip of steer hide that’s 1½-inches wide. Philips-head machine bolts with a threaded grommet secure the nickel-plated, cast brass buckle. There’s nothing wimpy about either belt. Better yet, both are made in the USA.
I no longer have to deal with my belt twisting when placing a 20 oz. hammer in its holster or having tool clips cutting through laminated layers of paper-thin leather. More to the point, I don’t have to keep pulling up my heavy leather riding pants every time I get out of the saddle.
The Lifetime Belt is available in brown or black, waist sizes 32-52 inches. $59.50
The Beefiest Belt is only available in natural tan, waist sizes 32-52 inches. $64.50
Duluth Trading Co., PO Box 409, Belleville, WI 53508 (800) 505-8888 www.duluthtrading.com