Today, we will be looking at the Harbinger 4 Inch Padded Leather Lifting Belt.
I’ll give you the low down on all of its pros and cons and help you decide whether this is the weightlifting belt for you.
Let’s get started!
About the Manufacturer – Harbinger
Founded in 1988 by entrepreneur and fitness enthusiast David McCrane, Harbinger is a company based in San Francisco, California, specializing in fitness equipment.
The company began life as a skateboarding brand.
It pioneered an innovative wrist-stabilizing glove to protect skateboarders from the injuries most common in their sport. However, it quickly became clear how valuable that product (and similar products) could be in the world of bodybuilding and weightlifting.
Upon this realization, McCrane teamed up with legendary bodybuilder Lee Haney, the record-holding 8-time Mr. Olympia champion. Haney had both the understanding of the sport as well as the name recognition within the industry to make Harbinger a reputable source for high quality, carefully-engineered weightlifting products.
In 2015, Harbinger merged with Implus Footcare, LLC, a wholesale specialist from Durham, North Carolina. This merger allowed the brand to expand its scale and reach, not only to the entire U.S but also internationally to over 70 countries worldwide.
As the scale of the company has increased, so has the number of different products they make. At present, their company is producing:
- Weightlifting Belts
- Lifting Straps and Hooks
- Wrist and Knee Wraps
- Weight Vests
- Padded Mats
- Squat Pads
- Head Harnesses
- Cable Attachments
- Skipping Ropes
- Branded Apparel
- Hand Grips
- Consumables (such as chalk, bag deodorizers, etc.)
What is the Harbinger 4 In Padded Leather Lifting Belt?
The Harbinger 4 In Padded Leather Lifting Belt is a piece of fitness equipment designed to help keep the user safe while performing heavy lifts and enable them to push their bodies to greater lengths than they naturally could without.
Made from a leather and suede composite and secured with a heavy-duty, double-prong metal roller buckle, it is a relatively strong product, with the ability to be fastened quickly and tightly.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, considering 8-time Mr. Olympia Lee Haney is involved, it is designed primarily with bodybuilders in mind.
It provides a great deal of support and should provide enough intra-abdominal pressure to keep the user safe, as well as improving their strength, for the majority of bodybuilders.
The thickness and tapering, as well as the choice of material, mean the belt probably won’t hold up as well as some others for serious strength athletes, unfortunately.
Due to how effective belts are at protecting the user’s personal health and safety, their use is widely accepted at the majority of weightlifting competitions around the world. It is very important then that the specifics of this belt make it legal to use in competition.
So there are no concerns about not being able to replicate your form in the gym on the big stage.
However, some customers have reported their belts breaking and becoming damaged through regular use very quickly, some in as little as a month.
Belt Details & Features
The belt is made from a combination of two of the three materials I previously listed: Leather and suede. Filled with interior foam cushioning, this belt is designed for both strength and comfort.
While being the traditional 4 inches wide around the back, the belt is contoured in a very ergonomic manner.
As such, it tapers in around the front, which further adds to its comfortable fit. So you don’t have to worry about the leather digging into your ribs or hips every time you do a deadlift or a clean.
It also has a very understated style.
This belt has split leather, the company name embossed on the rear, and white stitching around the edges. This combo gives the belt more of a rugged (or classic belt) look while still earning you some respect when you’re in the squat rack.
The fastener of choice on this belt is a traditional, heavy-duty metal buckle. In this instance, they have opted to go with the two-prong roller variety.
This makes it fully adjustable at any point during its use with minimal effort. The double-prong design will keep the belt absolutely secure, and you don’t have to risk inconsistent support if you lose some pressure, and your gut pokes out.
This belt is available in 5 sizes, with a tiered pricing structure to match. The available sizes are:
- Small (23-29 inch waist)
- Medium (29-33 inch Waist)
- Large (33-37 inch Waist)
- Extra Large (37-42 inch Waist)
- Extra Extra Large (42-48 inch Waist)
The generous range makes the product available to people of a wide variety of shapes and sizes.
5 Important Benefits of the Harbinger Lifting Belt
The fact that it is filled with interior foam cushioning makes it much more comfortable to wear than otherwise. This is amplified further by the suede lining and the size tapering in at the front.
Often, users complain that belts made entirely from leather can be quite uncomfortable to wear until they have been completely broken in, especially when they are of a consistent size.
That’s not a concern with this belt, though, and it can be worn comfortably from the first time you put it on. So no bruising, uncomfortable training sessions, or taking it easy for a few weeks.
Strong and Supportive
Being largely made from leather and having the industry-standard 4-inch support around the belt’s back provides a good level of support to the spine.
This is absolutely essential when it comes to weightlifting belts, as it is their core purpose. A belt that doesn’t provide adequate support is about as good as wearing no belt at all.
The choice of material also makes it stronger than belts made from materials such as suede or neoprene. Considering these belts aren’t cheap, being confident that your purchase is going to stand up to wear and tear can be a deal-breaker when choosing the right one for you.
You can be sure that this belt can handle intermediate level lifts.
Quick and Easy
Having a two-prong, heavy-duty roller buckle allows for quick and easy adjustment at any point in a workout. This is a great benefit if you like a different degree of tightness on different exercises as you can simply change the setting in between sets.
It also makes it simple if sharing with another user, as the belt can be used on multiple sizes without making any alterations.
This is a much smoother process than if it were to have a lever, as they require both tools and a reasonable amount of time to adjust, which is simply impractical during a workout.
Variety of Sizes
The belt being available in 5 different sizes and covering a 26-inch range (from a 23-inch waist all the way up to a 48-inch waist) makes it very accessible to a wide range of users.
It’s also a very important quality in sports such as bodybuilding and powerlifting, where changes to your body shape and size occur frequently.
This provides you with the confidence that, if you become comfortable with a particular product, you will still be able to use it as your fitness journey progresses by purchasing it again in a different size.
It may seem shallow, but everyone likes to look good when they’re out in public, no matter where they’re going. This can be even more important in weightlifting as confidence in your appearance can translate to confidence in your lifts, without you even realizing it.
Most gym gear companies know this and try to make their products as attractive as possible because of it. At Harbinger, though, they have an even better ace up their sleeve, guaranteed to give you the confidence boost you’re looking for.
I mean, what better way to achieve that assuredness in your appearance than to roll up sporting a belt designed by one of the most successful bodybuilders of all time?
Anyone who’s anyone in a weightlifting gym will know exactly who Lee Haney is, and will more than likely know his company, Harbinger, too. That should be all it takes to get the heads turning when you’re strapped up and ready to lift.
4 Negatives of this Belt
Composite Materials Are Weaker
The fact that it is made from a number of materials, as opposed to one continuous piece, means it is weaker and more likely to break.
This is due to two things.
First is the fact that stitching always makes an item weaker, as seams are much more likely to come apart than the material itself is to tear.
Secondly, suede is weaker than solid leather, so it is much more likely to be damaged or broken from the get-go.
The double-prong buckle limits the maximum tightness that is available, as opposed to single-prong buckles or levers.
It is also harder to adjust than a single-prong buckle, although it does fasten a little more securely.
Best described as a middle-ground fastener that tries to combine the positives of the other two, it does everything reasonably well, but it has no elite qualities that the other two provide.
So you’re spending more on the double-prong without much extra benefit.
Lack of Warranty
The fact that it doesn’t come with any kind of warranty is a major red flag.
A lot of the best belts on the market come with lifetime warranties, and some even come with money-back guarantees simply for not being satisfied with the product.
The fact that this particular belt comes with neither suggests they are not as confident in the quality of their product or its durability as many of their rival brands are in theirs.
Wrapping Up This Harbinger 4 In Padded Leather Lifting Belt Review
Overall, this seems to be a fairly average belt that is elevating its price above its quality, based on the name recognition of Lee Haney in the bodybuilding world.
- Available in a variety of sizes
- Easily adjustable
- Sufficient back support
- Composite, weakened, material
- Average fastener
- No warranty
There are good things about the Harbinger 4 Inch Padded Leather Lifting Belt, but you might find that the negatives are strong. Some of them are admittedly minor issues, though, so they may not be a problem for some people.
It’s definitely not a bad belt by any means, and it may seem worse than it is, as often occurs when you put a product under the microscope as we have done here.
That being said, the negative reviews regarding breakages are quite telling and hard to dismiss.
All in all, this is a middle of the road product that, while it may do a sufficient job for some, I wouldn’t personally recommend it as the best weightlifting gear. This is because there are better, cheaper options on the market.
Honestly, you would expect better from a company that has an 8-time Mr. Olympia at its core.
But this belt would be a good choice for beginners or intermediates who’ve never worn a belt before or don’t need much support.
Overall Rating: 7.5 out of 10