Fifteen-plus year review – Bison Designs belt

About fifteen years ago, my good buddy D-low and I did some trail work at the Devils Head Lookout Tower in Rampart Range outside of Denver.

A well-known, and still working, fire tower lookout with long-time volunteers we both knew from thru-hiking circles.

How many people get their image on a beer??? From Pinterest.

We received a Bison Designs belt as a thank-you for the trail work. This Longmont, CO-based company has manufactured belts and other items, showing its climbing roots since the late 1980s.

This simple belt is not one I thought about much over the years, but I wore it constantly, whether hiking, doing trail work, or even for daily wear. 

There is no photo of me wearing the belt. Instead, here’s me at the last mile of the SEUG Circuit wearing one of the belts—a photo from Joan.

Without realizing it, it became one of my most used and oldest pieces of active gear.

It’s simple, well-made, and sturdy, and the basic models cost under ~$ $20-$30.

I purchased a thinner one, which I’ve worn for several years, as a second one. Recently, I picked up a third one after misplacing the first one (I found it!).

The blue one is from ~15 years ago, the one in the middle is from ~2018, and the bottom is from this past month. It is this model in black.

You could theoretically sew your own belt from a cam strap and accessories. But perhaps without the color choice, material choice, and designs, if you prefer something to solid colors. And you’ll need some sewing skills.  

I also find the belt easier to take on and off than similar buckle-style ones.

I am satisfied with the price-to-performance ratio of my belt purchases over the years.

It’s simple gear that’s reasonably priced, durable, lasts many years, and functions well. Bonus The belts are made in the USA.

Not too much more to add. It just works.

Where to get it? You can buy it directly from Bison Designs, the 800-lb online retail gorilla, or many outdoor stores.

Disclosure – I received the first one for volunteer work and purchased the other two.

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14 days ago

I picked up a Bison web belt as a souvenir on a trip to Asheville NC maybe 15 years ago. It has a metal buckle. Over the years, the “grip” of the buckle has decreased enough that the belt doesn’t function well. A workaround (suggested after I complained to Bison) is to thread the belt’s tail through the buckle a second time. That change allows the belt to support even heavy trousers once again.