Wayward Worn: Battle of the Arcade Belts

Words by Cody Howard
Photos by Cody Howard


Midnighter Belt

I’m not going to lie, the Midnighter belt takes some time to get used to. At first, you will put it on, cinch it, and it will feel like it is going to squeeze you in half. You will then loosen it too much and be pulling up your pants after another hour of wearing them. This cycle repeated for nearly 2 days and then, just like that, I found the sweet spot.

From then on it was extremely comfortable and that didn’t change whether I was on a plane, out on a short hike, or doing photo editing at a desk for hours on end. The beauty of the Midnighter belt is that once you have it set, you never have to adjust it again. I have had it loosen up a few times when switching the belt from pant to pant, but nothing that wasn’t easy to fix.

Guide Belt

Arcade’s Guide Belt feels like any other belt until you realize that it moves and stretches with you, unlike any other belt you have owned. As opposed to the Midnighter belt, it is adjusted at first use and it is comfortable. More comfortable than the leather belt you’re currently wearing and just as durable, but we will get into that next.


Midnighter Belt

In terms of everyday use, I did not have any durability issues with the Midnighter belt. However, there were a few things that I wasn’t a big fan of. 1. If you wear a box cutter, knife, or cellphone on your waist the Midnighter belt will start to slip. The first time this happened I thought that it was me not being used to it, but after the 3rd time, I realized that this belt wasn’t meant to hold the weight of a leatherman. 2. Don’t get black if you have pets that shed. During the time of testing, I visited my sister who has dogs and I have been unable to get the dog hair out since. The stretch style webbing seems to trap the fur in and never let it go. I’ve tried washing it, lint rollers, and scotch tape, but to no avail.

Outside of those two minor annoyances, this belt holds up extremely well.

Guide Belt

There is a reason why this is Jimmy Chin’s (director of Free Solo) belt of choice. Whether you are hanging off the side of El Cap or running around the city, the guide belt stays locked in. I was pleasantly surprised that the guide belt could not only take a beating, but it didn’t slip throughout a day of wear. To be honest, I assumed that the stretch material used to create such a comfortable belt would slip over time in a classic belt buckle. I was wrong. The guide belt stays put and feels like your old belt in the closet, just upgraded.

Which One is Right For You

If you have the budget, I’d say get both. For the minimalists out there I would think about your top priorities. If you are looking for a convenient belt and are in and out of airports often, go with the Midnighter belt. If the thought of losing a traditional belt feel makes you queasy and you’d rather spend your time working outside I would say that the guide belt is the one for you.

I hope you found this review useful and enjoy your soon to be ordered Arcade Belt! If you have any questions or want to see more feel free to find me at @codydhoward on Instagram.

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