The Best Buckle Materials for the Outdoors

Since the beginning of time, belts have been fastened with metal buckles. Literally since the beginning of time. Tracing back to the 7th century, metal buckles were used as a form of decorative fashion. They were often carved with elaborate designs before evolving into the standard issue buckle of today. Though tradition dictates metal buckles, they can be problematic for men with metal allergies, and they can be unfashionable. Not to mention, they can be a real source of pain at the airport. Luckily, new buckle materials are relieving some of the headaches associated with metal buckles.

The Best Buckle Materials for the Outdoors


Polycarbonate belt buckles are the perfect solution to all of metal’s problems. They’re 100% metal free, meaning you can coast through security at the airport without having to remove your belt. Polycarbonate buckles are lightweight and resistant to impact. For guys who do a lot of outdoor work on boats or around delicate automobiles, you don’t have to worry about this belt scratching the paint.

But the most important quality of polycarbonate buckles is that they’re skin-safe. Folks with metal allergies can experience rashes, irritation and discomfort just from wearing a belt with a metal buckle. Pants or an undershirt serving as a barrier between the skin and the buckle isn’t enough. There can’t be any contact. Belts like our Highliner Metal Free Leather Belt offer style and comfort without any irritation.

As a bonus, metal-free belts like the Reversible Metal Free Leather Belt and Trekker Money Belt offer more precise sizing than typical belts. There’s no need to worry about forcing your belt to the next best hole. You can get the size right each and every time.


Though aluminum may not be a metal-free alternative, it makes for a stylish accessory. Think about riding in any car or plane. Your seat belt buckle is almost always made of aluminum. This sturdy, durable metal is strong enough to protect you at high speeds on the road and 30,000 feet in the air. It’s almost overqualified to hold up your pants.

Our Dakota Web Belt comes fashioned with an aluminum buckle. The slide buckle is lightweight and cut in a unique design that’s effective and edgy. This is a belt that offers superior size flexibility and helps you look great. It’s ideal for outdoor activity. Better yet, you can customize your own pattern or choose from one of 10 fashion-forward designs.

Standard belts with basic metal buckles still exist but they don’t fit seamlessly into your lifestyle. They don’t function well in outdoor activity, they slow down your security check-in and they can irritate your skin. And quite often, when you’re looking for function, you must sacrifice style. Polycarbonate belts are the perfect solution for people who travel frequently or have sensitive skin. Aluminum belts are great for active folks who still want to incorporate some style in their looks. Regardless of what category you fall into, it’s time to change up your belt.

Category: News