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'Performance' Belts For Outdoor Pursuits

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Thin, durable, stretchy, and snapped shut with a unique low-profile buckle, Arcade Belts are made for active and outdoorsy people. I’ve been wearing one for a few months and love the simple, smart design.

The company, based in Olympic Valley, Calif., has an easy tag line of “belts that stretch.” Indeed, the nylon is elasticized and it feels much like a suspenders strap.

They do the basic job of keeping your pants up and cinched tight, though because of the stretch the belts offer adequate give when you reach, bend over, bike, climb, or hike.

For use in casual and technical environments

My Arcade belt has lived mainly on a pair of casual biking shorts that are a smidge too large in the waist. I keep the belt in place on the shorts, including when they go through the wash.

The company lists “washer/dryer friendly” as one of its sales points, in addition to calling the belts “more comfortable and more durable” than the common leather strap.

Starting at $24, the belts are a fair deal. Arcade offers a couple dozen designs, from flamboyant to subdued. I wear a matte-black belt on the bike shorts that doesn’t draw attention.

In addition to the stretch, the custom plastic clasp is comfortable and never comes undone. You adjust the belt by moving the strapping through the buckle for a precise fit.

Beyond casual or everyday wear, you can use these belts while backpacking, hiking, skiing, and climbing. They work on shorts, jeans, or snowpants.

Belts come from spool of stretchy, suspenders-like strapping

A downside is that the thin strapping will not support knife sheaths or other add-ons like a traditional leather belt can.

Arcade sells its belts at ski shops and outdoor retailers, as well as online at Arcadebelts.com.

Try one of the stretchy belts on if you’re looking for something different from the old-school fit. —Stephen Regenold

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