The Lenwood Belt and Wraith Holster Combo Review
I get a little static now and then, from readers who are quick to point out that most of my holster reviews are done with a nylon belt. If you read “our holster review bias” section I explain that while I carry with a leather belt, I use a nylon one for the photographs. That’s because the belt color contrasts with the holsters allowing the viewer to see it better. But, the readers are correct in pointing out that there is no substitute for a quality leather belt with the proper stiffness to support your gun. No holster will fulfill its potential without a sturdy belt backing it. In this review, we look at just such a belt and pair it with a holster from the same manufacturer.
In 2015, Jason Davis at Lenwood Enterprises contacted us to see if we would be interested in reviewing a couple of their products. I normally only review holsters that I already own, since I’ve had them long enough to do a proper assessment. However, after asking around on a few forums and then looking at Jason’s products, I was convinced that these would be products worth trying. I requested a belt AND a holster from Jason and have been using them since May of 2016. I now feel I’ve had a long enough run with them to do a proper review.
I ordered Lenwood’s “Hybrid” model with stainless steel hardware.
According to the Lenwood site: “It is built by hand using a premium 10oz full grail leather belt slab and a synthetic belt slab (PVC coated polyester). They are glued and then stitched together using industrial nylon thread. The edges are hand finished and the belt is completed with your choice of chrome plated steel or stainless steel buckle. The Lenwood Hybrid is only available in 1.5″ width.”
Here’s a shot of the bag with order info:
The Lenwood holster I picked for review was a molded Kydex OWB model called the Wraith. The Wraith is available in a number of colors and patterns, but I prefer basic black, to better hide it in the shadows of my cover garment.
I tend to carry my medium to large pistols OWB, so I ordered one up for my Ruger SR9c. Generally considered a compact (hence the “c” in the name), the svelte Ruger is closer to medium-sized, once you put the extended magazine in. I prefer to use have all the rounds I can carry, when the weather allows for an OWB holster.
If you are of a certain generation, you may have found yourself on the receiving end of some good ol’ “belt discipline” as a child. When you did something REALLY stupid, Dad would administer a little leather justice. I’m now of the opinion that there are better ways to punish a misguided kid, but I can’t say that I didn’t deserve it at times. Thank God dad didn’t have one of these belts!
The Lenwood Hybrid Belt is STURDY, weighing in at about 14oz with buckle. It is nicely finished and the black color does not rub off on your hands or clothes. The buckle looks like it will easily outlive me and the stainless hardware is well finished (meaning it won’t snag your dress pants). The stitching looks near indestructible. That must be quite the sewing machine to push the thick nylon stitching through this leather! The top layer is a very nice looking leather, which can pass as a “dress” belt. The back layer is PVC coated polyester, which is where the Hybrid name comes from.
The title of this review says Lenwood “Belt” rather than “Gun Belt” because that’s the way Jason markets them. These are great gun belts, but they can also be used to hold tools, or to just hold your pants up. Those of you working in the trades could use Lenwood’s belt on the job, even if you can’t carry at work. You could also carry your work tools OWB and your other tool IWB–this belt can carry the load. If you ever need an improvised weapon in a restricted carry zone, this belt could seriously F up a bad guy.
Oh and that picture on the Lenwood web site that shows a guy standing on the belt. All true, even for my 245 lb frame.
My first impression of the holster was very favorable as well. The Wraith is perfectly curved to fit on my hip and is likewise built like the proverbial sh**house (to the under 40 crowd: that’s a good thing).
Note the molding in the pictures. The Wraith is as well-molded a Kydex Holster as I’ve encountered. Even the slide serrations are accounted for.
All edges are smoothed and/or rounded and folded over. You can roll around naked with this holster on and never scratch your significant other. What? You mean you take YOUR gun OFF??
Concealability and Carry:
It’s hard to conceal a belt and luckily, you don’t have to. No, what we’re talking about here is how the belt and holster work in combination to support the gun and pull it tight to the body.
At the beginning of this holster review, you can see the Lenwood Hybrid Belt and Wraith holding my Ruger snug against my spare tire. Wait, don’t scroll back….here it is again:
From the Front…
…and from (sorry, this is in the interest of science) the rear:
Notice how the belt and holster combo work together to hold the pistol up against my side. That’s how it’s supposed to work, but I’ve had many holsters (and a couple of belts) that just don’t do it properly. Maybe it’s because these were designed and built by the same company that they work so well together. I think that it’s the combination of the belt’s resistance to “rolling out” combined with the stiff belt loops on the holster. Check out these close-ups.
The backside layer of the Lenwood Hybrid is made from PVC coated polyester, which reduces moisture (sweat) absorption. It’s tough, stiff, yet comfortable.
That’s a serious loop right there. I think it’s made of of a BF Goodrich off road tire or something. Absolutely indestructible. The 1.5″ wide belt fits snugly, with little to no rock or slip.
That’s not to say such a stiff belt is uncomfortable. Quite the contrary. With a fabric or cheap gun belt, you have to tighten everything up to the point that you feel like you are smuggling an anaconda through Customs. But with a quality gun belt, it’s more like wearing a loop of aluminum. It doesn’t crush you, it just sits there on your hips and holds the gun up. Surprisingly comfy!
The holster is also adjustable for angle of draw, with this author preferring a forward cant.
Retention is very good, with the combination of well-molded Kydex and adjustment screws. Rest assured that your second most important tool will not go skidding across the restroom floor, when it’s time for a potty break. Likewise when that 300 lb ex-con knocks you on your back (right before he takes two in the chest). Notice the two screws closest together on the holster?
When you adjust them, you compress the tiny rubber o-rings (bushings?) down inside the holster, to give you a reassuring “click” when you draw or re-holster. Your gun will stay put under almost any condition or training scenario short of being dangled by your ankles. But if someone shakes you upside down hard enough to knock your pistol out of the Wraith, you will have already blacked out long before.
What We Liked:
These are Quality products and would still be worth it at twice the asking price. It’s just a bonus that they are so affordable. We particularly liked the Stiffness of the belt, the adjustable Holster Retention, the Comfort of both. Oh, and the exceptional molding on the Kydex. It’s functional, but looks really cool in person.
What We Didn’t Like:
I’m hesitant to put ANYTHING in this section, because the combo works so well. However, if I had one wish, it would be for a sliding bar buckle that is infinitely adjustable (think older military belts, or your boy scout brass buckle). I’m not sure if this was a conscious decision on the designer’s part and I can understand if it was. Unless done properly for the thickness of the belt, that type of buckle design CAN slip. However, they don’t if they are done right and can be pretty nice when you eat a little too much BBQ for dinner. If Al Bundy wore a gun, he’d have one of those buckles for TV watching. But again, the included buckle does the job and Jason puts enough holes in there that you are sure to find a good fit. Just follow Lenwood’s measuring directions when you order.
You NEED a good gun belt. In fact, you have no business buying a holster until you get the belt, since it won’t be a good test of that holster. If you are getting ready to buy your first carry firearm, I’d suggest getting a Lenwood belt AND one of their holsters. It would be hard to go wrong with the Wraith!
A big THANK YOU goes out to Jason at Lenwood Enterprises, for giving our readers a discount code good for 10% off anything on their website. If you are on our mailing list, the code was at the top of your email. If you are not a member yet, you can signup on this page and you will receive it along with other discount codes we’ve arranged. We will never sell or otherwise use your email to anyone else. You’ll also be entered automatically, in our giveaways!
We’ll be giving this belt away to the name drawn from everyone who emails me in the next 48 hours. Normally, we just pick the winner from all of our subscribers but since the belt will be too big for a lot of you, we’ll limit the field to make sure it goes to someone it will fit. So, if your waist size is between 41 and 47 inches (the range I think this will fit well) email me at:
We’ll post the winner here in a few days. Sorry but I love the holster SO much (and not everyone has an SR9c) that I’m keeping it for myself! Use your 10% off code if you want your own 😉
GunPorn (Reprinted from Shaggy AIWB Review):
We are not a gun review site, but I think that we should at least add a little info about each gun used in the reviews, because weight can have a lot to do with how the gun carries in each holster. Today’s review used my Ruger SR9c, in black. With 10+1 rounds of 9mm, I feel decently armed. It weighs in at 23 oz empty, so it is right in the middle range of similar pistols. The trigger break is crisp, but the reset is near the front, so there are faster follow up shots to be had with other pistols. That said, for me the follow up shot is more about recoil than it is about trigger reset. Maybe as my skills develop, it will be a more important factor. The SR9c has a nice blend of features. Adjustable rear sight, 17 round spare mag (unless you live in one of the police states) and a 10 round mag for carry. All in a nice plastic box. Plus, the aforementioned safety.
Say what you will about having one more thing to worry about, but a safety is a nice feature to have if you want to carry off body, or when inserting in your appendix holster. The SR9c was the first “modern” pistol that I purchased a few years back and it is still the best of its type, in my opinion. A good compromise (every pistol is) of comfort, weight, concealability, and capacity. Oh, and it can easily put em’ in a 2.5 inch circle at legal distances. Probably better, but that’s all I can do with it….If you are looking for your first carry piece, you can do worse than the SR9c. Disclaimer: my family owns Ruger stock. We bought it because they make kick ass products at an excellent price. I’m sure they will continue to do so.
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