Original Instructor Belt

Original Instructor Belt
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Price: $49.95
Product ID : OIB
Manufacturer: The Wilderness
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Made in the USA!

"Endorsed by Gunsite...
the belt of choice of Gunsite staff."

Owen "Buz" Mills, President,
Gunsite Academy, Inc.

*We strongly recommend using a measuring tape to check your correct size. Your pants size is not your correct belt size and is usually off by at least 2", and we have found that the markings on other belts are not always accurate. Please read and use our belt sizing guide.

If your measured belt size is over 50" we strongly encourage you to check out the Easy-Fit Instructor Belt and Frequent Flyer Sport Belt. Their simplified sizing offers extra range of adjustment which makes correct sizing easier. This is important both to the belt doing its job for you and because the higher size ranges are custom and non-returnable.


The Original Instructor Belt was developed in 1983 and has been refined ever since. It is a very strong belt with a specially designed carbon steel V-ring buckle with a tough, non-glare black nitrided finish which is highly corrosion-resistant and will not chip like painted coatings. The belt was originally designed to clip into a secure system while "instructing" others in high places during mountain rescue training, although they can be used for emergency rappelling with proper training. Our belts have also proven to be a fantastic everyday pants belt for casual or outdoor use, as well as concealed-carry.

Although not intended to replace a rappelling harness or to absorb a fall, the Instructor Belt provides peace of mind over the alternative -- no protection at all. We strongly recommend it for anyone involved in law enforcement, special warfare, or rescue operations where there is a risk of falling out of a helicopter. It has been standard operating procedure for decades within the Phoenix Special Assignments Unit (SWAT) to clip into a Wilderness Original Instructor Belt during airborne or skid-riding ops. It has also been used by many professionals who like the safety of being clipped in when working in cherry pickers (the belt's first "save") or other tall structures.

This belt is not intended to replace a standard rappelling harness with leg straps in normal operations. It is intended as an emergency option to clip into when there is a risk of falling, or for emergency rappelling when no other option is available. It will be very uncomfortable to rappel with, but it may save your life -- which is what we intended. The Instructor Belt must be used in conjunction with a harness or rope seat during any non-emergency situation or rappel training. These are inherently dangerous operations which can result in death or serious injury; proper training in these skills is absolutely required.

The Original Instructor Belt is designed to be a serious piece of rescue/safety equipment that you may have to bet your life on. In lab testing, our Original Instructor Belt has withstood a minimum of 5,900 lbs. of static stress without failing, to more than 8,000 lbs. of static stress without failing. Results vary with model. See testing data. Ask those who try to copy us if they continually refine the construction and materials they use? Or do they use inferior materials and designs, like heat-sealing or flimsy metal tabs on the end that tear off and shred your belt within a year or two? Our proprietary polymer treatment on the belt tab actually soaks into the core of our nylon and bonds with it, providing permanent protection from fraying. With proper use, your Original Instructor Belt should give you literally years of faithful service.

You don't have to ask us if our gear is top quality; we stand behind our products and include documentation of these results with every Original Instructor Belt, and we post them here on our website.

If it's not a Wilderness Original Instructor Belt, it's just a copy. We have never, and will never, produce our belts under any name but our own. We have on rare occasion done signature-line belts for our industry partners, like Gunsite and EOTAC, but always with our label as well as theirs. This way you can be guaranteed you are getting our quality, not a cheap substitute.


The standard 3-stitch model offers very good load-bearing and comfort with inside-the-pants holster carry. The 5-stitch model is our favorite and most popular. It offers two additional stitch lines along the length of the belt which significantly stiffen it and enhance load bearing. It's vertical rigidity is similar to a high-quality leather gunbelt, yet it is horizontally and rotationally flexible for comfort. We think this is the best one for most gun-carrying operations, both inside-the-pants and belt holsters. The Combat Shooters Model (C.S.M.) adds a polyethylene insert which adds even more vertical rigidity. This model is slightly thicker than the 3- or 5-stitch models. We recommend it for action shooters and security work where numerous items such as duty holsters will be worn on the belt.

Our original 1¾" belts fit most jeans and BDUs very well (please measure belt loops to be sure! We have found many off-brands have odd sizes that may not be correct). Due to overwhelming demand we also produce 1½" Original Instructor Belts that will fit a wider variety of pants and shorts.

Why did it take so long to make the smaller one? Because our proprietary 1½" buckles, just like our 1¾" versions, were put through rigorous laboratory testing to prove their merit.

Click here for Original Instructor Belt lab test ratings

Comparison of our standard 1¾" buckle with our 1½" buckle, which is proprietary to Wilderness Tactical Products, LLC

Instructor Belts are available in Black, Coyote Brown, and Foliage Green, 1½" or 1¾". We offer standard stiffness 3-stitch, stiffer 5-stitch, and a Combat Shooter's Model (C.S.M.) with a more rigid polymer insert. They have corrosion-resistant buckles with a black nitrided finish (which will not chip like painted coatings found on many Instructor Belt copies), and all the quality you expect from a Wilderness product. Remember, if it's not a Wilderness Original Instructor Belt, it's just a copy.

NOTE: 46"-49" add $5.00, 50"-59" add $10.00, 60"-69" add $15.00, 70"-79" add $20.00 on all belts (please call for 60"+ orders for advice on belt style); 46" and larger, or 32" and smaller, are custom made and non-returnable.

Correct usage of the Original Instructor Belt 2.8mb

*Our Original Instructor Belt buckles are carbon steel for extreme strength, and thermochemically surface-treated to reduce metal fatigue, increase wear-resistance, and resist corrosion from moisture. However, after maritime use or if you have a high volume of salty or acidic sweat, we strongly recommend rinsing your Instructor Belt buckle with fresh, hot water. Long-term exposure to sweat or seawater without cleaning can result in minor surface rust.

Product Reviews

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Reviewed by wchin
08/04/2020 - 03:09:19 PM
Top notch product.
The 1 3/4" wide, 5 row stitching, original instructor is as good as the company touts. It is an excellent gun belt that hold the gun and accessories tightly in place while doing rigorous activity. I would highly recommend this product. My only gripe was that it took over 3 weeks for me to get the belt from the time that I placed my order.
After getting the belt, and seeing the quality, I have to admit the product was worth the wait.
Reviewed by wchin
08/04/2020 - 03:09:09 PM
Top notch product.
The 1 3/4" wide, 5 row stitching, original instructor is as good as the company touts. It is an excellent gun belt that hold the gun and accessories tightly in place while doing rigorous activity. I would highly recommend this product. My only gripe was that it took over 3 weeks for me to get the belt from the time that I placed my order.
After getting the belt, and seeing the quality, I have to admit the product was worth the wait.
Reviewed by Chainlink
Chainlink bought "Original Instructor Belt" on our website
07/29/2020 - 08:51:22 AM
Best. Hands down
Best belt I have ever owned, after a decade of everyday use. I decided i needed more than one color. Whether cc or just keeping your pants on, its the best.
Reviewed by lonestar
lonestar bought "Original Instructor Belt" on our website
02/23/2016 - 05:25:47 PM
Get one, or two!
I looked at this belt for months, read reviews, asked about it, researched. Why did I wait so long? If you carry a weapon, or anything for that matter on your belt, this is the one you seek. The price, quality, and service are unbeatable for a product that performs this well. I just placed my order for two more as gifts.
Reviewed by Breshi541
02/14/2016 - 02:56:36 PM
Buy this belt!
I have went through many different belts in my life and have finally found one that will last! "The original instructor belt" is the best belt I've ever owned hands down and will be the only belt I ever buy again. Exactly what they said it's going to be, no surprises here. Just be sure to follow their measuring video and you'll love it too. Great product with the right price. You can't go wrong here!

Reviewed by ranthony@airite.com
ranthony@airite.com bought "Original Instructor Belt" on our website
12/14/2015 - 01:00:52 PM
WOW!!! Wish I had tried this belt sooner.
Let me start by saying, I don't write reviews. I've been carrying IWB CCW almost everyday for the last two years. I've had two previous belts, a similar Crosstac 1-1/4" with the poly insert (EDC), and a beltman 1-1/4" with the poly insert (dressier occasions).

I upgraded to the Original Instructor's belt, 1-1/2" 5 stitch, for my EDC. The difference is night and day. The Crosstac belt would sag under the guns weight (30oz). I was constantly having to hike my pants up. The Beltman belt is a very nice quality belt, and will still be my dressier belt, but is so rigid it cuts into my non gun side hip. It sags a bit as well, but is better than the Crosstac.

I've had the Original Instructor's belt for almost a week now, and I can say the weight of the gun feels better distributed on my waste. The weight of the gun feels like it has been significantly reduced. I almost can't feel the gun on me, and haven't had to hike my pants up once. No cutting into the waste, no over tightening.

The belt is VERY rigid vertically, you can't crush it. The belt will stand up straight horizontally if you loop the belt thought the buckle and hold it up. The belt itself is very light and comfortable. The only thing I would change is I would give another buckle option. I would like to see a black billet aluminum buckle without the rigging loop. Just a plain square (I didn't like the look of the buckle on the Traveler version).

I'm considering buying another as a xmas gift for another CCW owner.
Reviewed by johnwestphal
05/14/2015 - 08:39:23 PM
Not just a belt, but gear!
20 years ago I went to several Gunsite courses and was turned on to these by my instructors who wore them as gun belts. We also came to adopt them on our agency tactical team for emergency rappelling or safety working on top of buildings at the MOUT site.

I've had several of these belts and use them for concealed carry both IWB and OWB. I use the 1.5" belt for IWB or for 9mm guns but do have the 1.75' to stabilize heavier double stack .45 pistols/magazines OWB.

It was no surprise that when I went to premier holster maker Milt Sparks site to place an order, your instructor belts are also sold there. I can't think of a better concealed carry set-up than a Milt Sparks IWB holster/mag carrier paired with a 5 stitch wilderness belt. As a matter of fact, that's why I'm on the site now! Love your products.
Reviewed by UncleShooter
04/17/2015 - 10:51:12 PM
Miss Arizona, love my belt
Back 13 years ago I visited the store on Hatcher, if I remember right there was a paintball place just down the street. I bought an instructors belt in black which has been my daily belt which I wear with jeans, BDU and even cargo pants.

My Sobus holster works well with it and is a solid mount for my firearm. I also have a Galco IWB holster that works very well. My wife and sons have tried to buy me "Instructor belts" for presents and they have become my "Ties" which never get worn.

Wore this belt when I lived in Arizona and had plenty of tactical training up at the Ben Avery range, I miss that place. After 13 years I've dropped 40 lb's and my size 42" belt isn't fitting as well. Imagine that. Look like I will have to buy another one confident that it will stand the test of time.

Reviewed by gunrun45
03/20/2015 - 02:47:15 PM
Amazing belt!
I purchased one of these belts back in 2003 or 2004 from a local dealer here in CA long before these were part of mainstream fashion. I was a little skeptical at first. I paid almost twice what they cost today. It was worth EVERY PENNY! I've worn this belt almost every day for 10+ years.

It's original main purpose was as an under belt for uniform use. It fed so well through pant belt loops and quieted the squeak from a leather duty belt. It offers plenty of supoort and the buckle is as dourable as a hammer. Then it became my off duty "go to" belt as well. Yes, that means I liked it so much that I'd even wear it on my days off work. I've worn it every day except when I was in a suite and it's held up amazingly well. The stitch quality is amazing and it has reinforcements where you need them. Bottom line, It's stupid durable. Its the perfect balance for supporting a holster yet low key enough to go anywhere.

The back side of my duty belt buckle has finally frayed the face of the belt enough that I've decided to retire it to "off duty" wear with jeans and a t-shirt. I wouldn't dream of replacing it with anything other than simply a newer version. 10 years is a long time.
Reviewed by benq
08/25/2013 - 01:07:35 AM
Well made belt. No regrets.

Until I purchased this belt, I used my casual dress leather belt along with my IWB holster. Once I got it on and holstered my gun, I could feel my gun snug up against my side. I wore it around town running errands and even while changing the oil in my truck which required me to crawl under it. I purchase the 5 stitched version and am glad I did. It had just enough stiffness to hold my holstered gun in place but not feel so binding at the same time.