Sometimes you can’t wear a typical IWB or OWB holster, usually because you don’t have a belt on. It’s one of the only drawbacks to conventional holsters. So how do you carry a gun and be ready to protect yourself? One solution is a belly band. Just like most IWB and OWB holsters are basically the same design and function, so are most belly bands. But that doesn’t mean they are identical. Far from it. Some are better than others. Raw Dog Tactical’s Breathable Belly Band is one of those.
Made from stretchy neoprene mesh, the Raw Dog Tactical Breathable Belly Band comes in two sizes—small (35-50 inches) and large (40-55 inches)—to accommodate pretty much any body type and size. The breathable material works really well. I threw my sample on under shorts and an athletic tech tee and went on my 3-mile walk on a warm day. Despite the heat, the mesh panels let the air flow through with ease, keeping me just as cool as if I weren’t wearing it.
The 5-inch-wide elastic band is extremely comfortable, with no pinching, binding, or side rubbing sometimes associated with other belly bands. I was able to move and bend freely with no issues. Granted, I wasn’t exactly doing gymnastics, but I doubt I would have a gun on if I did, so I wasn’t too worried about that. Aside from the weight of my Shield 9 mm and spare magazine, I hardly noticed I was wearing a gun. For my walk up and down hills and through the woods, it was very comfortable and held firmly in place, not sliding around or twisting. The gun was in the same place at the end as it was in the beginning.
Speaking of holding things in place, this belly band offers options for lefties and right, to hold both your gun and a spare magazine on either side. With dual universal pouches on left and right, you can either put your gun and magazine on the same side or, if you’re like me and prefer the magazine by your support hand, you can put them on opposite sides.
Both left and right holsters have a hook-and-loop closure with strap to secure the gun, but there is no strap on the magazine pouch. I would like to see straps there, too, since a mag can fly out just as easily as the gun. A hard shell Kydex holster would also be a significant improvement to better protect the trigger--this is a common issue with most belly band-type holsters. Be extremely careful about anything that might come in contact with the pistol in such a situation.
Other than those two gripes, the Raw Dog Tactical Breathable Belly Band is a solid beltless option that fits a range of guns, breathes as advertised, and is reasonably priced at $39.95.