Our Top Pick for 2018: Dark Iron Fitness Genuine Leather Pro Weight Lifting Belt
Read our full review.
Whether it is in preparation for summertime beach activities, to improve your appearance for a big event like a wedding, or just a desire to get in shape, you have probably seen that more people are going to your gym than in times past. And, interestingly, fewer people are using a stationary bike, running on the treadmill, or doing some aerobic class and more people are picking up the weights. This is because nutritionists and dietary experts realize that in addition to cardio, the best way for you to lose weight is to put on muscle. You probably have seen that a lot of these weightlifters are using a weight belt to support their back and prevent injury. With that in mind, we have reviewed three of the best weight lifting belts available for sale online. We have divided them into a gold, silver, and bronze category. At the end of our list, we will also review a budget option that still provides features you will enjoy.
Quick View of Our Selected Best Weight Lifting Belt:
#1. Dark Iron Fitness Genuine Leather Pro Weight Lifting Belt
Our gold product is the Dark Iron Fitness Genuine Leather Pro Weight Lifting Belt. There are a lot of things about this product that we liked, starting with the company that produces it. Dark Iron Fitness is a respected name in the fitness and weight lifting industry. It is a company that is ran by a small group of friends and that has the goal of providing their clients with products that produce a higher quality and provide a better experience than what is found with big chains. In addition to providing a high quality product, Dark Iron Fitness prides themselves on having good customer support and developing a personal connection with their clients. This leads to a higher standard of quality in everything they produce.
This attention to detail and focus on quality is seen very clearly in the their leather pro weight lifting belt. The belt will not break down, and it does not develop wear and tear like cheaper models that are on the market. This is because it’s made from real leather and not from Velcro, nylon, or fake leather.
When you put the belt on, it just feels comfortable. It’s not bulky and does not dig into your sides and cut your hips. It simply provides you with the support that you need in order to help you as you are putting up heavyweights. Something else that is nice about the product is that it has a large heavy-duty metal buckle. This, with the additional adjustment holes, means that you can get this belt to fit just right regardless of how large or how small you are.
Obviously, when you’re lifting weights, you do not want to have a lot of extra bulk on you. This is one of the reasons why they have made this weightlifting belt compact and lightweight. It only weighs 1 ½ pounds. So as you’re wearing it, it basically feels weightless. Another nice thing about it is that you can roll it up, throw it in your gym bag, and it does not take up a lot of space and does not weigh your bag down.
The belt is designed to provide you with all of the support you need while you are at the gym. It is four inches across, so you know that your back, your abs, and your entire core are stabilized in an even way that gives you the additional power, support, and strength that you need as you are putting up heavier weights. The belt has a solid thickness of around 5 mm.
When we review a product, one of the very first things we look at is the warranty that the company offers. If a company does not warranty their products, it means that they don’t have faith in the product. If they do not have faith in the product, neither should we. Dark Iron Fitness offers a lifetime replacement on their belt. This means that if their belt ever fails, they will give you a new one free of charge. That is a serious vote of confidence.
The belt is designed with an adjustable non-slip fit. This feature is essential in giving you the confidence that you can do whatever CrossFit, bodybuilding, powerlifting, or weightlifting routine you want without worrying about the belt coming loose in the middle of your routine. This allows you to focus on what’s important, your weightlifting session.
The belt comes in multiple sizes. It is available in a small for a 31 inch waist, medium for 32 to 40 inch waist, and large for 41 to 49 inch waist. To determine what belt is right for you, you should measure from your bellybutton around to your lower back. There are three extra holes so that you can continue to use the belt if you gain some muscle mass or if you lose fat.
The reviews on Amazon are just about as perfect as reviews can get. More than 450 individuals gave this product 4.9 out of 5 stars. Almost 90 percent of reviewers gave the product 5 out of 5 stars. Many reviewers commented how they appreciated the fact that the belt was made out of high quality leather, which made it soft to touch, yet strong enough to support their back. Another reviewer said that they felt that they needed to brag about Dark Iron Fitness. In addition to the quality of the product, they said they’ve never had anyone treat them so kindly when purchasing a product as the cofounder of the company, Alexis, did. When the reviewer had a question, Alexis responded and communicated with the reviewer, which made the reviewer feel like a valued customer.
Dark Iron Fitness is a company that is in a league of its own. They produce products that are unmatched in the fitness world. They have a reputation for customer service that attracts people to their product. They love fitness, and they work hard to help their customers develop the same love.
#2. Harbinger 285 6-Inch Padded Leather Lifting Belt
Our silver product is produced by another company that is well known in the fitness world, Harbinger. Since 1988, Harbinger, led by David McCrane, has been producing fitness related products that people love. With more than 70 percent market share in fitness products, Harbinger has built a reputation for creating performance products designed for athletes and fitness enthusiasts. It is the brand of choice for any athlete who is serious about reaching their personal fitness goals.
Harbinger’s 6 inch patent leather belt is designed to provide your back and your abdominal area with the support it needs while you’re lifting weights. It keeps your core tight, so you have the extra push of strength you need while at the same time being designed to prevent abdominal herniations. It has a unique contoured hip and rib design. This provides a tight fit around your waist. Thanks to the layer of foam on the interior of the belt as well as its suede lining, the belt is comfortable to wear. It’s not digging into your skin or poking into your rib cage. Additionally, the mixture of foam and suede help to keep your muscles warm. This is another step in preventing injuries.
The buckle on the belt is designed from heavy duty steel. It has a dual prong system and can be customized to fit just about any size individual. The unique design of the Harbinger weight belt, including its six inch width, is an essential part of providing the support you need during heavy lifting. It is able to increase intra-abdominal pressure, while at the same time giving your midsection the support it needs to relieve some of the stress on your lower back while you are lifting in a standing position.
If you are doing squats or a dead lift, you are challenging your core strength. The Harbinger weight belt supports you by stabilizing your obliques and your abdomen. If your weightlifting routine requires you to do a lot of over head lifts, the Harbinger weight belt helps you by making a solid wall around the torso, effectively making a connection between your rib cage and your hip. This helps to prevent back hyperextension. At the same time, the thickness of the belt limits how much your back moves as you lift weights, and it prevents you from bending sideways or making twisting motions as you lift.
The Harbinger weightlifting belt keeps your body in the right position while you lift weights. It helps you have the maximum amount of power you need, while at the same time giving you feedback, which prevents you from using improper form as you lift.
On Amazon.com, this product has been reviewed by 250 plus customers. They have given it a combined review of 4.3 out of 5 stars, with more than 60 percent giving the product a perfect score. Both men and women enjoy this product. One reviewer, who refers to herself as a female who lifts heavy, says that it is the only comfortable and sturdy belt with a cushion that she has found for this price. She says that at 5’4” 136 pounds, this belt provides her with the support she needs when she’s doing squats in excess of 300 pounds.
Another reviewer referred to this product as a top-of-the-line weightlifting belt. They said that they had no complaints, they appreciated how well-padded it was, and how comfortable it was to wear.
There were a few reviews by customers who were dissatisfied with the product, but most of the dissatisfied customers ordered a belt that was too large or too small for them and needed to return it to get one that fit properly. Overall, the Harbinger 6 inch padded leather weightlifting belt is a good quality product. It will provide you with the support you need, it is durable, and it is attractive.
#3. Valeo 4-Inch Padded Leather Belt
Valeo is another trusted name in the fitness industry. Their four inch padded leather belt proves why so many people love their products. The first thing that you will notice when you put this weight belt on is that it is durable. This is thanks to the quarter inch thick leather that is used in its construction. As you look along the edge of the belt, you will see that it is double stitched, which adds even more to the belt’s stability.
This is a weightlifting belt that is designed to stand up to any level of abuse you throw at it as you are going through the most strenuous weightlifting or CrossFit routines. It has a very comfortable cushion and suede lining that helps to prevent the belt from irritating your back as you work out.
The primary thing that you’re looking for in a weightlifting belt is security. You will find this security thanks to the double pronged roller buckle and double loops. These two features work together to keep the belt snug up against your core, and they prevent the belt from slipping even during the most intense workout sessions.
Customers on Amazon.com have many positive things to say about the belt. Overall, they gave the belt 4.2 out of 5 stars, with 58 percent giving the belt 5 out of 5 stars. Reviews were left by a wide range of customers. For example, one reviewer who stands at 5’7” and weighs 180 pounds, said that for a man of his size, the belt was a perfect fit as it kept his back straight without putting too much strain on it. On the other side of the spectrum, there is a reviewer who is a former power lifter who is doing 400 pound squats. He says that the belt is very strong, it stands up to a lot of intra-abdominal pressure, and he was able to squat more than 400 pounds without having any soreness in his back.
Many reviewers commented on how they appreciated the way that the belt fit their back and how comfortable it was. There were some negative reviews as well, but the majority of them revolved around the reviewer not liking the quality of the leather used in the belt or the padding. However, the vast majority of reviews for this product were positive.
If you’re looking for a solid weight belt that is going to give you the protection that you need and that is produced by a well-known company, the Valeo 4 inch padded leather weightlifting belt will be a good product for you.
#4. Gabor Fitness Contoured Neoprene Back Support Weight Lifting Belt
Gabor Fitness has produced a neoprene weightlifting belt that is just right for a person who is looking for some support for their core, while at the same time wanting to have a little bit of mobility. One of the things we liked when looking at this belt was that it is light enough that it can be used not only while lifting weights and playing sports like tennis, but at the same time it is strong enough that it provides the support needed for heavy lifting. Unlike the other belts we reviewed, the Gabor Fitness model has Velcro straps. They are large and do a good job at staying in place while you are working out.
The belt is six inches wide, providing complete support for the core area. It is comfortable to wear, and it is smooth. Best of all, the belt comes with a one-year warranty. If you do not like it, you’re able to return it for a refund.
Reviewers on Amazon.com gave the product 4 out of 5 stars, with more than 84 percent giving the product a perfect 5 out of 5 review. Many commented on the support they received while doing exercises that create abdominal stress, such as deadlifts and squats. They appreciate how the belt is contoured. Some reviewers were quick to point out that for individuals who are accustomed to thick leather belts that limit mobility, this belt may seem less stable.
While there are many users who said that they have used it for heavy lifting, such as squatting in excess of 400 pounds, most recommend this belt for intermediate weightlifting or other exercise routines, including routines that require a level of flexibility, such as gymnastics. Overall, the Gabor Fitness belt is a quality product that provides exceptional support, especially for its price.
Traditional weightlifting belts are made from leather. This is because leather is a durable material that can handle a lot of stress. Most leather belts have a metal buckle with a one or two prong locking mechanism. The benefit of these belts is that they create a large amount of intra-abdominal pressure, which in addition to protecting your core gives you a boost in performance. On the downside, they limit your mobility and take a little while to break-in, so you may experience some bruising on your hips as you use it the first few times.
Belts made from synthetic materials are usually adhered with Velcro. There is only so much force that you can exert on Velcro before it pops open. So there is a limit to how much you can lift. The intra-abdominal pressure it generates is a lot less, and so while belts made from a synthetic material and secured with Velcro may protect you from injury, you won’t give the same performance boost you will get from a leather belt. On the positive side, they do allow for more mobility.
Good belts have the same with all way around. A good width for a weightlifting belt is one that sits between your rib cage in your hipbone. There should be enough width for the entire surface of your abdomen to push against it.
The thicker the belt, the stiffer it is. You want a belt that is thick enough that it stays in place throughout the entire exercise. Powerlifting federations put a maximum thickness of 13 mm on the belts competitors can use.
Single Prong Versus Double Prong
A double prong buckling system will keep your belt more secure. However, it can be a hassle to try to secure two prongs, especially when you have your belt on very tight. Some high-end belts have a lever that allows you to secure your belt with just one movement. A single prong belt provides a high level of security, while at the same time avoiding the hassle that comes with a double prong.
Conclusion (Wrapping it up)
Just buying a weight belt is not going to be enough to protect you during a strenuous workout. You need to make sure that you are using good form and that you are using the belt in the way that it was designed to be used. We encourage you to do more research on how to use a weightlifting belt and then select one that is right for your size and the workout that you are going to be doing.
Going to the gym, lifting weights, and doing CrossFit are enjoyable and rewarding ways to spend your time. Using the right weightlifting belt as you engage in these activities will help keep you safe, will boost your performance, and will speed the amount of time it takes to get your body in shape.