U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- Finding a great gun belt that does a good job of keeping the weight of a pistol and holster off of your pants that doesn't cost an arm and a leg isn't the easiest task. When Magpul introduced the Tejas El Original Gun Belt at SHOT Show 2016, I took close notice because the Tejas El Original might be exactly the belt that I have been looking for thanks to its unique construction and very palatable price point.
Disclaimer: All photos are from when I originally bought the belt. I have bee using the Tejas El Original daily for over a year and a half now.
I didn't need something that was going to support the weight of a full-size gun since I normally carry my Glock 43 in an older Stealthgear USA Ventcore holster but sure so appreciate a stiff gunbelt that I don't need to cinch down to keep the gun where I want it.
The magic of the Magpul Tejas El Original is that they have combined top grade bull hide leather with a reinforced polymer interior. I went with the Chocolate color since most of my leather goods are a darker brown than the light brown color and I detest black leather for some reason. The color is a nice, dark brown with a nice sheen to it and has worn rather well over the last year and a half. The leather is still in very good even with holsters being out on and taken off over the course of the last 18 months or so and the reinforced polymer looks like the day it was new even with 18 months of sweat and wear attacking it.
One feature that I really appreciated that was included on the Tejas El Original is the tool-free fasteners. While I don't reconfigure my belt often, depending on the pair of pants, I may have a need to remove the belt loop in order to get the buckle in the right place to accommodate my Old Style Designs holster. The tool-free fasteners appear to be MIM parts, but since they are just holding the belt together, they aren't exactly a high-stress part.
The chrome plated buckle is stylish and functional in my opinion. I found that my acid sweat would eat some of the finish off over the 18 months I have been wearing the belt, but it still remains corrosion free and functional even though some of the finish has been removed.
Even though I didn't take a photo of the holes, Magpul uses an 8 hole system where the holes are placed at 3/4″ apart so that the wearer can get as close to a perfect fit as possible with a traditional style belt.
What belt was I replacing? A Crossbreed Holsters belt that had seen better days. Less than a year into using the belt in the Texas heat, the leather had broken down quite a lot and no longer gave the gun and holster the support that it needed. The once very usable gun belt now was nothing more than a wet noodle made from cracked leather.
I firmly believe that a good gun belt should support the weight of the gun and holster without the need to tighten it down a ton. After some real wear, the Crossbreed belt was slightly better than a department store belt, but nowhere near where it should be in terms of rigidity.
I couldn't be happier than I am with the Magpul belt, especially since it came in at under $100! I fully expected to get no more than a season out of the belt given how destructive the large amounts of sweat that soak my belts in the middle of the hot Texas summers, but the El Original holds strong.
The Magpul Tejas El Original carries an MSRP of $84.95 and is well worth it, especially if you can find them on sale somewhere. If you want to learn more about the Tejas El Original, check out the Magpul website.
About Patrick R.
Patrick is a firearms enthusiast that values the quest for not only the best possible gear setup, but also pragmatic ways to improve his shooting skills across a wide range of disciplines. He values truthful, honest information above all else and had committed to cutting through marketing fluff to deliver the truth. You can find the rest of his work on FirearmRack.com as well as on the YouTube channel Firearm Rack or Instagram at @thepatrickroberts.