This, ladies and gentlepeople, is what happens to a 5.11 Stitched Leather Casual Belt after two years’ worth of every-other-day wearing:
As you can hopefully see, despite the difficulty in photographing it, the Permastiff insert inside the belt broke in two places, and has moved around inside the belt… The breaking was due to my using those two belt holes exclusively (one for IWB, one for OWB), and the repeated bend-out involved in fastening and unfastening the belt weakened the material to the point where it finally fractured. Likewise, the shifting of the insert was due to its separation, and then the un-reinforced leather stretching over time.
Do not misunderstand – I am not complaining; in fact, far from it. For a $35 belt, it lasted two years of wearing it at least every other day, supported two different firearms in three different holsters, and will continue to serve as a non-carry belt for the foreseeable future; and, even better, its twin is already wrapped around my waist breaking in my spiffy new holster (which should be a relatively good indicator of my satisfaction). But, complaining or not, it is always interesting to see how things fail, if only to know what to look for in the future.
Still, this strikes me as a fairly common potential failure point for “stiffened” belts, especially if you put them on like “normal” belts (a habit I am trying to break myself of, but it is hard to pay attention to that at 0-dark-ohmygod in the morning), and I am considering purchasing this “Ranger Belt” in the future, mostly because it is made out of webbing and thus incessant bending will not eventually break it and because it has a quick-release buckle (which only further minimizes bending)… but also because it would piss off self-righteous jerks (specifically the commenter “Wally”) in the process, and Lord knows I love multitasking.