Finding the Perfect Fit: A Comprehensive Guide to Lineman Belt Sizing and Types


Lineman belts have come a long way in terms of both design and functionality, from simple leather belts with D-rings to the contemporary, padded versions we see today. In this post, we will look at the history of lineman belts, their several varieties, how they are measured, and some helpful tips on selecting the correct size. So, if you're interested in learning more about lineman belts, keep reading!

The Evolution of Lineman Belts

For nearly a century, lineman belts have been a vital piece of equipment used for enhancing job safety and efficiency. Initially, they were created with simple leather and D-rings, offering minimal features and functionality. In the 1940s, however, they began to incorporate extra padding and new features to improve user comfort and safety. Lineman belts have evolved from simple tools to sophisticated equipment capable of meeting the demanding needs of linemen in utility industries.


Modern Lineman Belt Design

Most lineman belts today are sleek and cushioned, reflecting the needs of linemen who spend long hours working at heights. Manufacturers are particularly concerned with two crucial aspects: comfort and safety support. The modern lineman belt is often made of high-quality leather with a neoprene backing. This combination not only ensures longevity, but it also provides cushioning for increased comfort during extended use.

Modern belts come with D-rings for different purposes, such as positioning oneself onto a pole. This allows linemen to have their hands free for tasks while maintaining stability and balance. There are two types of the D-rings:

First set of D-rings is for the WPFD (Wood Pole Fall Restriction Device), which the lineman uses to climb the pole. Such as The Patriot from Bashlin, Pole Choker from Jelco, or Super Squeeze from Buckingham.

Second set of D-rings is for the Secondary or Adjustable Positioning Lanyard (APL) which the lineman uses to climb over obstructions on the pole.  This achieves 100% tie off on the pole.

Product Featured: Bashlin Linemans Belt D-Ring Tool Belt w/Leather Comfort Cushion- 1515PX4DCC

Elimination of Tool Holders

Lineman belts used to hold tools on the back of the belt. However, as safety concerns developed, manufacturers took precautions to prevent possible hazards. In the 1960s, they took an important decision to remove the tool holding at the back of the belt. This change was introduced in order to reduce the likelihood of linemen falling and damaging their backs in the case of an accident. By removing the tool holder, manufacturers prioritized linemen's safety and helped prevent accidents with long-term implications.

Types of Lineman's Belts

Lineman belts fall into two types: in-line and stacked. The decision between in-line and stacked lineman belts is ultimately determined by the lineman's necessities and preferences.

Product Featured: Bashlin Linemans Belt Floridian 4D In-Line Tool Belt - 884D


In-line belts have the primary and secondary sets of D-rings arranged in a straight line. When mounting tools and equipment, this design allows for a more streamlined approach. 

Product featured: Jelco Linemans Belt 551 Series 4 D-Ring Tradition Belt w/Tongue Buckle - 867  


Stacked lineman belts, on the other hand, have the secondary set of D-rings above the primary set. This design is versatile since it allows lineman to connect additional equipment or accessories as needed. 


Measuring Lineman's Belts

The proper size of a lineman belt is critical for a safe and comfortable fitting. Lineman belts are measured by the distance between the D-rings, as opposed to usual size methods such as waist measurements or standardized small, medium, and large options. This one-of-a-kind method assures a flawless fit for maximum effectiveness and safety.

There are two standard methods for precisely measuring a lineman belt size:

The first approach includes wrapping a measuring tape around your back and measuring from one hip bone to the other. This measurement gives the hip bone to hip bone distance, which can help figure out the correct lineman belt size. 

The second approach involves taking 10 inches off your waist measurement. If you have a 34-inch waist, your lineman's belt should be 24 inches. When a tape measure is not readily available, this rule of thumb comes in handy.

Size Range of Lineman Belts

Lineman belts are available in a variety of sizes to meet various body types and preferences. Lineman belts are sized particularly based on D-rings, instead of conventional sizing categories such as small, medium, or large. The size range normally begins at 19 and extends to 32, with odd sizes being available. This wide selection ensures that linemans can choose a belt that fits them comfortably and securely, regardless of their waist size.

Lineman belts have evolved significantly over time to focus user safety, comfort, and maximum usefulness. They have grown from basic leather belts with D-rings to padded, feature-rich tools for linemen and other utility professionals. To ensure durability, comfort, and functionality, the modern lineman belt design integrates high-quality materials and intelligent positioning of D-rings. To obtain the right fit, examine the style of belt, measuring techniques, and size range offered when purchasing a lineman belt.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: How do I determine my lineman belt size accurately?

A: To measure your belt size accurately measure from one hip bone to the other with a measuring tape wrapped around your back. This measurement will give you the hip bone to hip bone distance, which can be used to determine the proper lineman belt size.

Q: Can I attach tools to the secondary set of D-rings on a stacked lineman belt?

A: No, 2nd set of D-ring is for the Secondary or Adjustable Positioning Lanyard (APL) which the lineman uses to climb over obstructions on the pole.  This achieves 100% tie off on the pole.

Q: Are lineman belts only used by professional linemen only?

A: Lineman belts are widely used by professionals in the field, but they can also be useful for anyone working at heights and needs to organize tools within reach along with safety support.

Q: How do I maintain and clean my lineman belt?

A: Inspect your lineman belt on a regular basis for signs of wear and tear. Wipe it down with a moist towel and mild soap to clean it. Use gentle chemicals that will not harm the materials.

Q: Can I use lineman belts for other purposes, such as rock climbing?

A: Lineman belts are developed primarily for lineman work and may not be suited for other activities such as rock climbing. It is critical to utilize the proper equipment for each operation.

Q: How can I clean my Lineman Belt?

A: Suggest using Leather Maintenance Products such as Saddle soap to clean. Once dry, use a light Neatsfoot oil, Mink oil or other leather preservatives. Make sure to wipe off any excess oil as it will attract dirt and grit and act like sandpaper, which could cause it to possibly cut and damage the leather belt.


At JL Matthews Store, all of our staff is educated on how to size lineman's belts. If you have any questions or need assistance, give us a call at 1-800-421-3360. We will be happy to talk to you about lineman's belts and walk you through the sizing process. Along with lineman belts, we also carry a wide range of products such as Lineman Tools, Arborist Tools, Lineman Climbing Gear and so much more. Our knowledgeable team is ready to help you find the right equipment for your needs.

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