Clothing > Accessories

8 Best Men’s Ratchet Belts: Ditch the Holes for a Better Fit

By Andrew Peloquin  |  Updated April 12, 2024

8 Best Men’s Ratchet Belts: Ditch the Holes for a Better Fit

The year I lost 50 pounds (2021) was one of the proudest years of my life.

Also one of the most inconvenient, it turned out, because I had to replace my entire wardrobe.

Yes, all new pants, shirts, jackets, sweaters, even underwear.

But you know what I didn’t have to replace? My belt, because I had a ratchet belt.

I’d gotten lucky the year before and found this amazing style of belt to use for work and casual outfits, for those days when I’m switching between carrying a heavy tool belt and wearing comfy jeans.

Thanks to the unique ratcheting design, I was able to keep wearing the same belt even though I’d dropped three pants sizes (true story), and still wear the same belt to this day.


WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
  • It’s all about the teeth. Ratchet belts feature teeth placed along the strap, and a ratcheting mechanism that locks onto those teeth. To tighten the belt, you simply work the mechanism integrated into the buckle and it automatically tightens (just like ratchet straps or my snowboard bindings). To loosen, just trigger the release lever and slide the belt off.
  • No more fumbling with buckles. With the ratchet belt, you simply slide the free end into the ratcheting mechanism and it automatically hooks on. After that, you can just work the buckle a couple of times, and you’re locked into place. Loosening the belt is just as easy and painless. No more fumbling with buckles and trying to find the right hole.
  • Minute adjustments made easy. One problem I often find is that standard leather belts are either too loose or too tight (of course I’d be that guy with a waist between sizes). If I want a hole that fits just right, I typically have to punch it into the leather myself, and that’s a huge hassle. Rather than holes set 1 inch apart, ratchet belts feature teeth roughly ¼ inch apart. That makes minute adjustments for the perfect fit easy.

I’ve gone hard looking for more ratchet belts. I’ve personally tested a dozen, researched many more, and combed through hundreds of product reviews.

After everything I’ve learned, it’s clear that there’s just no matching the versatility and reliability of a ratchet belt.

Best Overall

SlideBelts Ratchet Belt

Why did I choose it?

Handsome, versatile, and tough: what’s not to love? Made from real or vegan leather with an easy-use and tough-as-nails buckle, it’s the ideal belt for your everyday use.



Best Overall

SlideBelts Ratchet Belt


$39-69
 

Sized to fit up to 48-inch waists and belt loops up to 1 ¼”, this belt is the ideal addition to your casual outfits.

It looks and wears like your favorite leather belt, complete with an eye-catching gunmetal-finish buckle, but it still gives you that precise adjustment feature that makes sure “in-between” guys like me find the ideal fit for your waist size.






Carhartt Nylon Webbing Ratchet Belt


$34
 

Like every good Canadian working man and tradie, I’ve got a special place in my heart for anything Carhartt. This belt is an exemplar of the clothing brand: reliable, affordable, and ultra-sturdy.

The integrated ladder lock doubles down on the belt’s security so it’ll never slip or loosen even after long hours on my feet. I’ve worn this belt since 2020 and don’t have a single complaint.






NexBelt Titan


$59
 

For those long, hard work days, the Titan is your best pick. Made from an ultra-durable, stretch-resistant high-density nylon strap and stainless steel, granite black powder-coated hardware, it’s more than capable of withstanding hours on any job site or factory floor.

It’s compatible with holsters for those who want concealed carry, and the sweat-resistant backing keeps your waist dry even if you’re a heavy sweater (like me).






Wolverine Ratchet Belt


$35
 

Pair this belt with your favorite Wolverine steel toed work boots for the perfect tradesman combo.

At 1.5 inches wide, I find it’s the ideal belt to support a tool pouch (or three), and the ratcheting system ensures it stays snug around my waist.

The matte black buckle is subtle but stylish, and the integrated mechanism is one of the most reliable of any I’ve tested.






JUKMO Tactical Belt


$20
 

This belt looks as tactical as it feels. Thanks to the hyper-durable nylon strap, eye-catching and uniquely shaped aluminum alloy buckle, and high load-bearing capacity, it’s a popular choice among my first responder friends (RCMP and paramedics).

The fact that the nylon has just the slightest amount of elasticity makes it more comfortable to wear all day long—it flexes nicely after a heavy meal and won’t constrict your waist.






Fairwin Ratchet Belt


$12
 

This belt strikes just the right balance between budget-friendly and reliable. While not quite tough enough for work use, it’s a great everyday belt that looks great paired with everything from black jeans to cargo shorts to chino pants.

It’s also available in an impressive wide range of colorways (from black to blue to brown to beige) and buckle styles, so versatile enough for any outfit.






Marino Avenue Ratchet Belt


$22
 

For guys who need a classy-looking leather belt to pair with nice pants, this is my top pick.

The genuine leather pairs perfectly with formal, business, and casual wear, and you’ll have no trouble finding the right colors of leather and metal (from brass to steel to carbon fiber) to match your shoes and other accessories. Best of all, it’s one of the most affordable options I’ve tested.






Dickies Perfect Fit Adjustable Belt


$19
 

Dickies is one of my go-to brands for workwear, but this belt manages to look great both on the job and on my days off.

The ratcheting mechanism is cleverly concealed so it looks like a standard buckle belt, complete with shiny silver-tone stainless steel hardware. Wear it with your work pants, technical pants, or a classy pair of chinos—it’ll hold up and look great no matter how you use it.





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