TSA-Friendly Belt

Ah, TSA.  How you’ve changed our lives.  How difficult you’ve made it to travel in normal, human, clothing.  For an upcoming trip, I am wearing a t-shirt tunic and leggings on the plane because that will get me through screening more expeditiously than anything else, and because, after surviving the horror that is the modern airport, I want to feel comfortable once I’m in that tin tube.

I’d rather be wearing pjs, but, hey, this is the closest I can get.  In a concession to not looking as if I’d just dressed for breakfast, I’ll be wearing a belt.  Not an interesting belt, and, heaven knows, not a belt with any metal — enemy of TSA — in it.  I’ll be wearing this belt:

It’s elastic, 1 1/2 inches wide, with what is called a “ladder buckle” connecting the ends.  Here are the components:

I sewed heavy-duty hook-and-loop tape, as wide as the elastic, to each end of the belt, making sure to leave a lot of room for adjustment.  Once actually on board I don’t want to end up bifurcated by a too-tight elastic band around my waist, so being able to readjust the size without depending on the elastic alone was a must.

It doesn’t bother me to wear the flat buckle in the back, so I can wear the belt as it is above on Miss Bedelia, or turned around so that it looks like a contrast waistband, or a plain elastic cincher.

You can buy ladder buckles at most (if not all) EMS stores (they’re behind the counter, ask to see the delrin or nylon buckles), at REI, and at  sporting goods/adventure stores that sell webbing.  They’re often on a rack by luggage or camping gear.

This entry was posted in Accessories, Tips. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to TSA-Friendly Belt

  1. lsaspacey says:

    But how does a ladder buckle work? Sorry, I just couldn’t figure it out from the picture.

    • Noile says:

      Hmm, lsaspacey, let me see if I can describe it in words. I think Miss Bedelia makes it difficult to see, now that I’m looking at it with your eyes. The ladder “buckle” isn’t really a buckle at all; it’s just a rectangle — that black delrin rectangle in the bottom photo. (It’s encircled by the black elastic that makes up the belt.) The elastic has hook and loop tape sewn to it. The hook (stiffer) part is sewn to the ends (3-4 inches of it, in this case), and then there’s a gap of about 1 2/2 to 2 inches, and then there’s a piece of the loop (softer) part sewn to the side of the elastic that goes next to the body. Each end of the elastic has both the hook and loop sewn to it, with a gap between the two kinds of hook and loop tape.

      To wear the belt, one end of the elastic is pushed through one side of the “buckle” and the hook and loop is pressed together. Then I put the belt around my waist, and thread the second end of the elastic through the (until this moment) unused part of the “buckle”, pressing this second set of hook and loop pieces together.

      If you look very carefully at Miss Bedelia’s waist, you can see that there’s just empty space in the middle of the “buckle” as it’s worn. On each side of that space, you can see where the ends of the elastic wrap around the sides of the “buckle”. It’s a little hard to spot, because Miss Bededlia is made of wire and air. You can just see a bit of pale blue where the background shows through that empty space in the middle of the “buckle”.

      I can’t figure out how to photograph this more clearly. Did this help? I hope so!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *