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Posted: 12/14/2010 4:30:24 AM EDT
I bought my Crossbreed belt a year ago when I bought my Supertuck.  I have been wearing it every day for the past year, and have been overall quite happy with it.  Over the past year, I have lost 30 pounds, and have 15 more to go.  That means that right now, my Crossbreed belt is at it's smallest hole with my weapon on.  I decided to give a Wilderness 5 stitch a shot as an interim belt.  I bought the Wilderness in a size that is really in the middle of the range.  Meaning I should be able to wear it when I drop those last 15 pounds.  But, it is still well within the manufacturer's recommended sizing.  So yes, I did read the directions before I bought it.

So, in the spirit of the Crossbreed vs. Pit Bull holster thread...

Crossbreed Pros:

1:  It is stiff.  One year of daily use into it's life and it still is just as stiff as the day I got it.  When I toss it on the bed, it naturally returns to an oval shape.  It does not have a great deal of puckering at the rear where most leather belts pucker from being twisted in the middle of your back.  It will comfortably support my weapon (a Glock 23) in it's holster in jeans, khakis, or shorts.  Just for giggles, I even tried on the belt with the holster and no pants, and the holster still sits comfortably in the correct location.  That's a stiff belt.

2:  It looks good.  I have worn the belt with a suit, and no one but my gun buddies have noticed that it's a gun belt.  It looks like any other leather belt with an ordinary steel buckle.  

3:  It's cheap.  When many arfcom users will have no problem dropping $1K on a rifle and $600 on a carry gun, a $60 belt is not bad at all.  *but*- see the cons below...

4: It's tough.  The only appreciable wear on my belt is to the top edge where the metal holster clips ride.  In this area, the edges of the leather have been abraded.  It is obviously due to a metal holster clip being on this spot every day for a year.  No other wear, scuffs, or scratches are present.  Keep in mind that my vocation is a home inspector.  I crawl in crawl spaces and attics on a regular basis, and I work on old cars for fun.  I can be pretty tough on my clothes.  Since my boots look like they've been beaten to death after a year, I'm impressed that my belt has no appreciable damage from regular use.  The damage to the sides are to be expected.  If I carried a Comp-tac or other holster with kydex clips, I doubt there would be any wear at all on the belt.

5:  A leather belt will always look classic and classy.

Crossbreed Cons:

1: It is thick.  Let's face it, the belt is made from two thick pieces of leather.  It does not easily feed through the belt loops of some of my pants.  Notably, my two favorite pairs of Carhartt pants.

2:  It's not cheap.  Sure it's only $60, but the Wilderness is $40.  

3:  I can't buy one locally.  I have to order a replacement.  Not a huge deal, but it did take a while to get here when I first bought it.

Wilderness 5 Stitch pros:

1:  It's cheaper than most other gun belts.  Except for the 5.11 and a few others, the Wilderness is a bargain at $40.  Plus, I bought mine at Palmetto State Armory, which is my local gun shop.  So I didn't pay shipping.

2:  It looks tacticool.  For the fashionistas it is important to look tacticool.  The Wilderness does the job.

3:  It's not too tacticool.  The hiking-climbing set will think you are just wearing another nylon belt designed to be used by climbers and outdoorsy types.  So it blends in while it stands out.

4:  It is stiff enough to hold up your holster...

Wilderness 5 Stitch cons:

1:  It is JUST BARELY stiff enough to hold up your holster.  To be totally honest and blunt, the Wilderness belt is not nearly as stiff as the Crossbreed.  I have been wearing the belt for several weeks, and I do not feel that the belt keeps my holster and weapon nearly as secure as my Crossbreed.  I find myself adjusting it frequently WITHOUT the holster.   Keep in mind that the Wilderness is sized appropriately for me,  I did measure and buy accordingly.  

2:  It is a pain in the neck to loosen.  When you need to *ahem* drop the kids at the pool, it is much more difficult to get the Wilderness loose, and then get it readjusted back tight.  I find that the best way to wear the belt is backwards, so the loose end is on my left.  That has helped a lot.  But if you wear the belt normally with the loose end on the right, you will have a dickens of a time getting the holster in place and the belt tight and the tag velcro'd shut.  

3:  It does look tacticool.  Let's face it, any riggers belt will stand out more than a plain old leather belt.  

4: This one is minor.  When I loose more weight, I can always punch a new hole in my leather belts.  It is much more difficult to alter the velcro locations on the Wilderness, so it is not forgiving to weight loss.

So overall, both belts have their purpose.  Both will do an adequate job of holding your weapon in place.  But for me, the Crossbreed is superior.  Just as every person needs to make his own choice about what holster and weapon is best for him, the choice of belt is also personal.  But if you want to pick between these two belts, the Crossbreed is much more stiff and will secure your weapon better.  It is more expensive, and it is thicker, but it is much more stable.  That's not to say that the Wilderness is junk.  For a day at the range I would wear the Wilderness instead of the Crossbreed.   In fact, I have a handgun course tomorrow, and I plan to wear the Wilderness with my Supertuck holster and a Blade Tech mag pouch.  But for every day wear, when I want my weapon secure at my side and I want to blend in, I wear the Crossbreed.  I was told over the weekend by a gun buddy that he has been watching me to see if he can tell when I'm wearing the holstered weapon.  He said that he frequently cannot see the weapon, but that sometimes he thought that I was not carrying it.  I told him that if I am not at home, I have my weapon on.  I carry every day, everywhere I can legally carry.  He was surprised because he frequently could not tell if I had it on or not.

So does this make me a Crossbreed fanboy?  I don't know, buy I do want to try both the Galco and the Comp-tac belts.  We'll see if that happens.
Link Posted: 12/14/2010 4:59:18 AM EDT
I haven't experienced any trouble adjusting or tightening my Wilderness Tactical 5 stitch and it's plenty support for my XD45c. However, I agree the WT is a bad choice if you plan on losing weight because the design really limits its range. I dropped 30 lbs and I have another 5 or 10 to go, so now I have to buy another belt.
Link Posted: 12/14/2010 6:39:50 PM EDT
I have had my Crossbreed belt for the past 8 months and couldn't be happier with my first gun belt. I holds my G23 or P226 very well in a Supertuck. When I am not carrying I still wear it with my multi-tool, flashlight, and cellphone just because I like the way that it supports everything better and doesn't bend. Like the OP said, it looks good with no matter what I wear, and the extra holes give adjustment for carrying or not and if you lose or gain weight.

That being said, I recently ordered a Wilderness CSM. Partly because I wanted to use my CB for just going out on the town and use the Wilderness for work and daily wear around the house and running errands. I have been looking at them for a while and have never heard anything negative as far as quality. I went with the CSM because I have a decent amount of weight to still lose ( I am 6' 3" and 235 slowly trying to get down to 210-200lb ). I think that my CB might have lost some of it's stiffness on the front and sides due to my weight, but I might just be imagining that.

As far as adjusting any riggers belt ( I have used Spec-ops, TAG, Mil Issue riggers belt, and currently 5.11 operators) I think that you have adjust / tighten any of them from time to time, especially after using the facilities. The single layer ones ( Spec-ops, mil Issue ) seem to need more adjusting either because of the type of buckle or the single layer material.

Can't wait to get my Wilderness belt in and put it through it's paces!
Link Posted: 12/14/2010 7:52:23 PM EDT
So, in the spirit of the Crossbreed vs. Pit Bull holster thread...

Great review and thanks for the shout out.

I can't comment on the Crossbreed belt but I do have a custom leather gun belt that sounds very much like how you described your Crossbreed. I love the leather belt for going out to dinner with friends and/or family, going to work, shopping or running errands, anything that involves me being indoors or in my car. My tactical belt I use when I'm outdoors so that I can sweat all over it and not worry about it. Which doesn't mean that I couldn't wear the leather belt at all times. In different situations I use a different belt.
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