If you’re looking for a new belt to integrate into your Every Day Carry, or EDC, system, chances are you’ve come across the classic 5.11 Causal Leather Belt. Having worn this belt for over a year as part of my own EDC, I wanted to share some pro’s and con’s to aid you in your search.

The 5.11 Causal Leather Belt is a full grain, 1.5” wide leather belt that comes in black with nickel brushed nickel hardware or brown with brass hardware. The belt is reinforced with a plastic insert that 5.11 dubbed their “Permastiff” insert. This insert makes the belt rigid and allows it to support the weight of a full size duty handgun and/or other duty or EDC gear.

The belt has a hidden cuff key pocket centered in the middle of the belt on the inside, such that when it’s worn this pocket rests in the small of the back area. I haven’t used this pocket at all, but I could see it being useful for it’s intended purpose in certain situations, and it would also hold a folded up dollar bill of whatever denomination for emergencies. It could also be used to hold things such as a SIM card, a sheet of paper with emergency contact info, or other very small, flat item.

The belt is designed for undercover and plain clothes assignments, making it a perfect fit for EDC roles. It has an innocuous appearance, and does not lend itself to a “tactical” look. At 1.5 inches wide, it is slightly wider than most standard dress belts but a quick glance would not raise suspicion. Worn with jeans, shorts, khakis, etc it looks like a nice leather belt and nothing more.

Something to note is that unlike regular leather belts, this belt will not stretch or conform or contour due to the Permastiff insert. These belts tend to run a bit small and so it is important to follow 5.11’s sizing guidelines when purchasing. The belt will not stretch out over time like a regular leather belt will.

My only complaint with this belt is with the durability of the dye or finish. Out of the box it looks great, but the dye wore quickly, and is noticeably rubbed away in the areas the see a lot of friction, ie the tip from going in and out of the buckle, and some on the side from holster wear.

Some wear and tear is to be expected however this dye wore off rather quickly, much quicker than I expected it to. Personally, this doesn’t bother me as a well worn leather belt tends to blend even more into an EDC role and stands out less than a new one. But, I can see it being an issue for those that would be wearing it to work, or who wear the belt with business or business casual clothes. It appears as though the leather would take polish just fine, and so if need be you could throw a little polish on it and clean it right up.

The hardware has been sturdy and held fast. Nothing has loosened up with use, the belt has always buckled securely and nothing has opened, broken, or cracked on the hardware. The holes in the belt have not stretched out or torn. All in all, it has done everything I have expected it to do.

The 5.11 belt retails for $39.99 at the time of this writing, but can be found cheaper with a little searching online. I believe this to be a very good price for a dedicated, purpose built EDC belt that is head and shoulders above an off the rack leather belt from the department store.  If you are in the market and desire to not portray an overtly tactical appearance, the 5.11 Casual Leather Belt is one worth taking a look at.


Built to support plainclothes duty or covert operations, the 1.5” Leather Casual Belt was engineered with direct input from undercover officers in the field.


  • Smooth and ergonomic design
  • Permastiff™ insert supports your sidearm
  • Hidden cuff key keeper


  • Full grain leather
  • Nickel/Brass finished buckle
  • Reinforced stitching
  • Subtle 5.11® logo stamp
  • Sizes run small; we recommend that you order 1 size up
  • Imported

5.11 Tactical

Material Disclosure

I received this product as a courtesy from the manufacturer via Spotter Up so I could test it and give my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based off my personal experience with the product.

*The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Spotter Up Magazine, the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.


By Frank H

Frank H. is a current law enforcement officer in the southeastern US serving on patrol and the department Special Response Team. Frank has served 12 years in the US Army, 7 of those years in Special Operations and has combat experience in Iraq and the Horn of Africa. He holds multiple certifications through FEMA and DHS, in active shooter response, and other tactical disciplines. When he finds time off he enjoys being with his family, enjoying the outdoors, and a good drink.

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