Back in May of 2017, while attending the American Tactical Shooting Instruction “Integrated Combatives” class with Bill Rapier (AAR here), I got to meet a gentleman who goes by the online moniker “VoodooMan”. VoodooMan is a police officer in one of the larger municipal police departments in the United States, a training junkie, blogger (see here) and the chief developer for a company called V Development Group.
In July of 2017, V Development Group announced the release of their latest product, the Megingjörð-AIWB Specific-Conceal Carry Belt (I have at times since its introduction seen this belt referred to as the “IKEA belt”, for what I hope are obvious reasons). A full description of the belt can be found here. The short version is that the belt is designed specifically for appendix carry and for comfort. The basic design of the belt features a reinforced portion that is positioned in the area where one would wear an AIWB holster. The rest of the belt is similar to basically any other non-reinforced webbed belt, allowing for maximum comfort. There is no large belt buckle. Instead, the tail of the belt is reversed through a simple, thin steel loop and then velcroed back on itself. This last feature has the added benefit of securely locking down any gear worn on the support side such as a clipped on spare magazine carrier or a fixed-blade knife. Having met VoodooMan and knowing what, where, and how he carries, this would seem to be an ideal belt.
The belt retails for $41.50. In late August I was going to order one, but saw that my size was out of stock. In an ongoing thread about this belt on one of the “gun forums”, I remarked that I planned to purchase one as soon as my size was back in stock. A few days later, VoodooMan emailed me and told me he had one in my size and that I was welcome to it, free of charge, to give it some testing and evaluation. He made me promise that I would not wear it for a week and then review it; he wanted me to really run it through its paces for at least a couple of months before giving a fair assessment. Three months later, here we are!
The belt arrived in a simple large envelope without any additional paperwork (given the manner in which I obtained mine, I am unsure if any paperwork is typically included). Upon careful examination, it was readily apparent that the belt is very well-made. Stitching appeared, to my non-seamstress-trained eyes, to be excellent, and no loose thread ends were noted. I would describe the level of workmanship to be at least on par with the Wilderness Instructor Belt, a belt I with which I have several years-worth of experience.
The design of the belt is exactly as described on the V Development Group website. The section of belt adjacent to the “buckle” (more a flat double-steel loop rather than a buckle), and extending about 8 inches from the buckle, is reinforced webbing and quite stiff. It is not as thick or stiff as the Ares Gear Enhanced Aegis Belt, but is plenty rigid to support a full-sized handgun (Note: though I like the Ares belt, I sometimes find it too thick and rigid). Where this thicker reinforced section of the belt ends, the belt continues on as a “standard”, non-reinforced web belt, similar to some 5.11 belts that I own. This, longer portion of the belt is quite “floppy” (technical term) and therefore quite comfortable around the waist. The floppy end is then pulled though the buckle/loop, folded back over itself, and secured with Velcro. The result is that, for someone right-handed like me, the reinforced portion of the belt will be to the right-front of the body (from about 12 o’clock to 2:30 or so), and the tail folded back from 12 o’clock back toward 10 or 9 o’clock. Any items worn on the belt in the latter area will be anchored down by the Velcro and the belt tail. In short, the tail goes the opposite way from a Wilderness Instructor belt, and indeed must even be threaded through the pant loops in the opposite direction (something that has taken some getting used to!).
I have worn this belt virtually every day since I received it. The only exceptions have been IDPA matches (IDPA foolishly, in my opinion, still does not allow AIWB carry), where I have continued to wear my Ares belt, and a couple of days when I wore my Wilderness Belt in order to compare/contrast with this belt.
In terms of comfort, this belt is awesome! This has become my every day belt EVEN WHEN I AM NOT CARRYING A PISTOL! I can wear this belt to work–where I cannot carry–and then when I get home I can immediately put on my holster when I go out to run errands. The reinforced portion of the belt is not a liability, in terms of comfort, when there is no pistol there to support.
When a pistol is worn, the reinforced section of the belt definitely does its job. I have worn the belt with a Glock 43, a Glock 26, and a Glock 19 (NOT all at once!), and it does everything it is supposed to in supporting the pistol, not bending/bowing/rolling over, and allowing any wedges or claws attached to the holster to do their work.
In terms of sizing, it works well. My waist size is about a 31 (I typically wear size 32 just because 31 is so hard to find), and I ordered the “small” sized belt. I do find I need to offset the buckle towards the 11 o’clock position in order to have enough “tail” to secure the sheath of my HeadHunter Blades “Rat Knife” at around 10 o’clock on my belt. When I have tried centering the buckle like a traditional belt, the “tail” is only just long enough to cover the clip on the knife sheath.
In terms of construction, I have no complaints about this belt. As noted above, construction of the belt seems excellent, and after a few months of very steady use, no issues with durability have developed. It is as solid now as the day I received it.
In terms of performance, in my opinion this belt accomplishes exactly what its designers set out to do. It is very functional in supporting a pistol worn AIWB while at the same time achieving what I would assume to be the maximum possible level of comfort. The added benefit of being able to “lock down” additional gear with the tail should not be overlooked.
There is one added benefit of this belt for me. Because I am a teacher, I cannot carry a firearm at work. As noted earlier in this review, this belt is comfortable enough for me to wear all day even without a holstered handgun. I can come home and then, without changing my belt to something designed for carry, immediately put on a holstered handgun and go about any errands. Essentially, it gives me the best of both worlds (comfort and the ability to support a holstered handgun).
My only issue with the belt is not really with the belt itself, but more of a difference in philosophy. Several of my holsters utilize belt clips, the Raven Concealment Systems Eidolon being the most glaring example. The clips on the Eidolon are the best plastic clips I have seen, being very low-profile but very secure. Nevertheless, I have always been hesitant to trust belt clips, and so have always preferred to run the velcroed tail of my Wilderness belt over the holster clips, helping to further secure the holster to my belt. Likewise, when using a holster equipped with pull-the-dot loops, I like that same tail to be positioned over the holster in order to help flatten down the loops while adding extra security. Also, as I typically use an outside the waistband magazine carrier from Raven Concealment, having a tail that goes in that direction (my support side) in order to lock down a magazine carrier is not as important to me. Likewise, I have never had an issue with my knife sheath (whether the aforementioned Rat or my Shivworks Clinch Pick, whose sheath utilizes a pull-the-dot loop) come loose from my belt. All of this, however, is more of a philosophical issue rather than an issue with the belt itself. In discussing this with VoodooMan, he wears an AIWB holster by V Development Group with what he regards as a more robust clip than most holsters, and therefore is more concerned with “locking down” a knife and spare magazine rather than the handgun in its holster.
If you typically carry your handgun in the appendix position and are looking for a reasonably-priced belt that offers excellent support of your handgun while at the same time maximizing your comfort, this might be the belt for you. If you also like to carry a blade and spare magazine opposite your pistol and would prefer them to be secured down with a Velcro-equipped belt tail, then this is DEFINITELY the belt for you. I think V Development Group knocked one out of the park here by thinking outside the box and going away from the “thicker is always better” mentality that seems to be permeating the current gun-belt industry.
As always, thanks for reading. If you have any questions or comments, please post them below or on our Facebook page, as we always welcome civil discourse.