Stealth Belt or ComfortBelt? I get asked which belt is better about 22346145 times a day (more or less), so it’s time to finally put these heavyweights in the ring and see who comes out on top!

Video

https://youtu.be/Kf9hR8EabRE

Introduction

As someone who loves to wear my ostomy bag sideways, finding a support belt that works well is important.

I wear ostomy support belts pretty much 24/7 and have worn them doing everything from housework to hiking without fail. They offer me convenience, concealment, and support for my appliance.

Two of the most well-known brands of ostomy support belts are ComfortBelt and Stealth Belt. Each company offers their own take on this accessory, and each offers their own pros and cons.

I’m going to compare the ComfortBelt, Stealth Belt Pro, and Stealth Belt Quick Start belts to see which one comes out on top.

StealthBelt vs. ComfortBelt vs. Quick Start

Notice the slight differences in each belt?

Keep in mind that these are my opinions and this sort of comparison tends to be quite subjective. I encourage you to read my full reviews on each belt to learn more about how they work and what day-to-day use is like.

Let’s get started!

Sizing

Like with most accessories, it’s crucial that you get a size that’s right for you. Fortunately, all of these belts offer a few options for sizing.

ComfortBelt

The ComfortBelt is a one-size-fits-all product, so you don’t need to take any special measurements of your appliance.

This means that you can wear it with different brands or styles of ostomy systems (including both 1pc and 2pc appliances). But because it’s not custom sized, you may find that it doesn’t offer a perfect fit around the base of your appliance. This won’t change how the belt works, but it may cause it to slide around more.

You can specify your waist measurement when you place an order and the sizes range from 26″ to 55″.

There is no option to choose whether you have a stoma on the left or right side, nor is there an option to choose a double-stoma belt. However, the ComfortBelt is designed in a way that allows you to wear it regardless of whether you have a colostomy (left side) or ileostomy (right side), although it doesn’t hold the bag as nicely on the left side.

Stealth Belt Pro

The Stealth Belt Pro offers the most options as far as sizing goes.

You can select the stoma location (either left or right), as well as the flange size, and your waist size.

The options for waist size range from 26″ to 46″ and the flange size between 1 3/4″ and 3 3/4″. It’s important to note that if you tend to change appliances often, like going from a 1pc to a 2pc, or if you need to switch brands for any reason, then you may be stuck with the belt not fitting properly around the base of your appliance.

Because of that, I would suggest ordering a Stealth Belt Pro only after you’ve settled with an appliance that works for you and your weight is relatively stable (don’t order one right out of surgery if you’ve gone into surgery severely underweight).

Stealth Belt Quick Start

Like the ComfortBelt, the Stealth Belt Quick Start belt is meant to fit with nearly all types of appliances, since the hole on the back is one size only.

And just like the ComfortBelt, the large size of the hole may cause some sliding since it doesn’t fit snuggly around the base of your appliance.

You can order it to fit waist sizes between 24″ and 46″ and you can specify whether you have a right or left sided stoma.

Below, you can see how my Hollister 18183 bags (large size) fits each of these belts.

Styles

All three belts look very similar to each other, however, there are some slight differences.

ComfortBelt

The ComfortBelt offers you the option to shop for men or women, but it seems to only come in a single style and color (black) without any differences noted for each gender choice.

There are no options to choose a different color, no options to customize the bag, etc.

The Velcro closure is pretty standard and does what it’s supposed to do.

Stealth Belt Pro

While the base model of the Stealth Belt Pro comes in black, you can order custom colors (at an additional cost) to really spice things up!

Stealth Belt Pro colors small

Some of the custom colors available for the Stealth Belt Pro.

The Stealth Belt Pro has a double locking closure system, which means that rather than a single Velcro closure, it has another flap that comes over to secure it even further. While none of these belts are expected to fall off during normal use, if you swipe your side (against a person or object) on the other two belts, there’s a chance that the Velcro will unfasten; the double locking closure on the Stealth Belt Pro makes this impossible to happen.

StealthBelt Pro double closure open

This is the double closure when it is open.

As mentioned earlier, you also have an option of a left or right sided stoma configuration.  In addition to that, you can get a custom belt that has pockets for two stomas! This type of customization isn’t technically the Stealth Belt Pro anymore, but I consider it part of the same family.

Stealth Belt Quick Start

Very much like the ComfortBelt, there are no real style options with the Quick Start belt.

Comfort

All three belts are quite comfortable, even when worn 24/7.

They can all be adjusted to whatever tightness you want using the Velcro closure.  In most cases, you can tighten or loosen each belt several inches either way and for the most part, even a bit of weight loss/gain shouldn’t change how the belt works for you.

ComfortBelt sideview

All three belts are fully adjustable using the Velcro waistband. This photo shows the ComfortBelt.

While the materials differ slightly, they are all stretchy, smooth, and soft in the right places.

One concern that a few fellow ostomates brought up was whether these belts would work well on curvy or heavier individuals. The problem that some people might have is that the belt may not stay put around the waist.

I have no direct experience with this, but if this is a concern then you should contact the manufacturer directly to ask what kind of feedback their customers have given them.

As one of my forum members stated:

“…from my experiences as a curvaceous woman, I found that the Stealth Belt didn’t fit the shape of my hips and was more designed for someone who didn’t have hips.” ~ Link to comment

ComfortBelt

Materials used: 74% Polyamide and 26% Elastane.

Slightly softer than the Stealth Belts (in my opinion), the ComfortBelt is quite comfortable in most situations.

The waistband on the ComfortBelt isn’t as tall as the other two, which may or may not be desirable, but I don’t find that it makes much of a difference.

ComfortBelt worn front view

The ComfortBelt being worn normally.

It can help make the belt feel cooler in the summer and makes it feel less noticeable, but it may also have more of a tendency to slip (depending on your body shape).

The Velcro patch on the ComfortBelt is approx 14.5 cm, which is slightly smaller than the Quick Start belt but longer than the Stealth Belt pro. The Velcro hook section is a decent size of about 10 cm.

Stealth Belt Pro

Materials used: Nylon/Lycra blend

I find this belt to be the most comfortable of the three.

StealthBelt Pro wearing one

The Stealth Belt Pro (photo) and Stealth Belt Quick Start belts have taller bands.

The custom fit means that there’s no extra fabric being used for the pouch pocket compared to the Quick Start belt, but there’s a bit more fabric used for the pouch pocket compared to the ComfortBelt (see photos near the top of this article).

The Velcro patch is slightly smaller than that on the ComfortBelt (11 cm), but the Velcro hook part is the largest of the three (14.5 cm).  I find that the double locking closure on the Stealth Belt Pro does improve on the comfort overall, but not by much.

Stealth Belt Quick Start

Materials used: Nylon/Lycra blend

The Velcro hook area on this belt is much smaller than on the other two (a tiny 4cm), but the Velcro patch is the longest of the three at 17.5 cm). While the Velcro still grips on tightly, it doesn’t feel nearly as secure as the Stealth Belt Pro.

Support / Security

All three belts offer good support, and I’ve worn all of them during various activities.

I feel that they all offer some protection against leaks caused by the bag being tugged on as it gets full. This may be important, especially if you’re moving around a lot.

There are subtle differences, however, as I explain below.

ComfortBelt

Because of the shorter waistband height, the ComfortBelt may not feel as secure as the other two belts.

That’s not to say that it’s not secure – it is – but it has more of a tendency to shift, especially because the flange hole isn’t snug around the base of the appliance.

With that said, I’ve had my bag fill up on me and the ComfortBelt handles the extra weight with ease.

This belt even passes my roller coaster test with flying colors ;)

Stealth Belt Pro

The Stealth Belt Pro offers the best support of the bunch.

Thanks to the double locking closure system, the custom fit around the flange, and the taller waistband, this is the belt that you’ll want to use if you do a lot of sports, running, etc.

Even as my appliance fills, I always feel that the weight of the bag is being well supported when I’m using the Stealth Belt Pro (more so over the other two).

Stealth Belt Quick Start

Very much like the ComfortBelt, the Quick Start belt may slide around during a lot of activity because it’s often larger than the flange base.  But like the ComfortBelt (and Stealth Belt Pro), it’s perfectly fine for regular, everyday wear.

I wouldn’t recommend the Quick Start belt if you do sports or activities that involve you brushing up against things. The fact that the Velcro hook section on the Quick Start belt is so small compared to the other two belts, means that it’s more likely accidentally unhook.

Daily Use (Putting on/Taking off/Emptying Your bag)

All three belts are worn the same way:

  1. You place the belt around your waist and fasten the Velcro closures to your comfort.
  2. You feed the ostomy bag through the hole in the back of the belt.
  3. You adjust the ostomy bag while it’s in the belt either by unzipping the bottom or manually adjusting with your hands.

Here’s a video showing the process:

Taking off any of these belts is the same as putting it on but in reverse.

The Stealth Belt Pro, because of its custom fit, requires that you put more attention onto getting a snug fit around the base of your flange.

And because the Stealth Belt Pro has a double locking closure, it takes an extra half-second to tighten the waistband (a non-issue, really).

Emptying your bag is also going to be similar to all three belts, and despite the zipper being much shorter on the ComfortBelt, you still have easy access your bag.

StealthBelt Pro with bag out

The bottom of the bag can still hang down to empty from a horizontal position.

You can also rotate your 2-piece bag while wearing any of these belts so that it points downwards for easy emptying. Bags that don’t do this easily can be “hacked” using this trick.

None of these belts require you to remove them in order to empty your bag, so it’s a pretty quick process.

Durability

Ostomy Belt Quality Comparison

Click for a full resolution photo, then right-click and “Save as…” to save it onto your device to view and zoom in using a photo app.(Large file!)

Durability is going to play an important factor if you wear your belt 24/7 like I do – even more so if you frequently wear it during exercise, sports, sex, and other activities that require a lot of movement.

To keep these belts looking their best, it is highly recommended that you hand wash and hang them to dry. That’s how I’ve done it with my belts, and I own an older Stealth Belt that’s at least three years old and still looks fantastic.

Stealth Belt does say on their website that their belts can be machine washed, but you do have to exercise some caution as the Velcro hooks may damage other fabric (it’s recommended that you fasten them before washing in a machine).

Something that I’ve noticed about the Stealth Belts is that look pristine after extended use.  Everything from the stitching, to the zipper and Velcro all look great on the Stealth Belts that I own.

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about the ComfortBelt, which looks worn, including a few oddities around the zipper ends. I don’t know if this has anything to do with the fabric used (which is different from the Stealth Belt products), but it is noticeable when comparing them.

StealthBelt Pro vs. ComfortBelt vs. Stealth Belt Quick Start Zipper comparison small

The sewing on the ends of the zippers look best on the Stealth Belts.

Keep in mind that both the newer Stealth Belt Pro and Stealth Belt Quick Start belt I own are only several months old at the time of this writing (May 2017), where the ComfortBelt I own is over a year old. Having said that, my original Stealth Belt Pro is over three years old and still looks new!

My biggest complaint about the ComfortBelt’s durability is that many of the Velcro hooks have broken off, which gives it a patchy look. I don’t notice the same happening on any of the Stealth Belts, so I suspect that the quality of the Velcro used is better on the Stealth Belts.

StealthBelt vs. ComfortBelt vs. Quick Start velcro comparison small

Left to Right: Stealth Belt Quick Start, Stealth Belt Pro, ComfortBelt (notice the “balding” on the Comfort Belt’s Velcro hooks).

When I take a closer look at the fabric portion of the Velcro patch on the ComfortBelt, I do notice the little plastic hooks embedded in it, so they are breaking off in the fabric.

ComfortBelt velcro hooks broken small

Only the ComfortBelt had the Velcro hooks break with regular use.

Because so many of these Velcro hooks are missing from my belt, I don’t get the same secure grip as I had in the past and I still have with the Stealth Belts.

Extra Features

ComfortBelt

The ComfortBelt claims to be anti-bacterial, which might be a good thing if you use it for sports or sweat a lot. I’m not able to test this claim, nor do I know how long this anti-bacterial properly lasts (many fabrics with this feature lose it over time).

Stealth Belt Pro

The Stealth Belt Pro has a double locking closure, which is really nice and keeps the belt from coming off during extreme activities.

Not specific to the Stealth Belt Pro, but you can order a custom belt (at an extra cost) that offers customization beyond the size of the hole for your bag or belt length.

Stealth Belt Quick Start

No extra features to speak of.

Price, Availability & Shipping

Note: Prices are current as of May 2017 and are listed in US $.

ComfortBelt

The ComfortBelt sells for US$102, but you can get free international shipping and orders are dispatched the next day. There is also a 25% discount off your second belt.

When I posted my review of the ComfortBelt, the company was kind enough to offer a further 10% discount by using the code “VeganOstomy” at the checkout (I get no money when you use this code).

The ComfortBelt ships from the UK, so if you are in North America then it may take a few weeks to arrive.

Stealth Belt Pro

The Stealth Belt Pro in black is US$99, but shipping and/or duty is extra. This could end up being another $30 or $50+ depending on where you live.

Stealth Belt often features promotions on their social media, including multi-buy discounts.

The Stealth Belt Pro does ship from the US, but because it’s custom made, shipping times are usually around the 2-4 week mark.

Stealth Belt Quick Start

Like the Pro model, the Quick Start belt is US$99 + shipping from the USA.

But unlike the Stealth Belt Pro, this belt can usually be shipped right away so you’ll get it faster.

Interestingly enough, Stealth Belt says that “many insurance companies will reimburse you for the partial or total cost of your Stealth Belts” and offers more information HERE. I know my private (Canadian) insurance doesn’t cover this, but I can use my ostomy grant money towards the purchase of any of these belts.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are subtle differences between these belts, and I believe that most people will be happy owning any of these.

But as you break down each category you’ll notice that the Stealth Belt Pro offers a bit more: You get a custom fit that works specifically for your appliance and stoma type (left, right, or double stoma), and you also get the option of ordering a custom belt with different patterns and specifications (at a cost, of course).

If overall quality and support are paramount, then go with the Stealth Belt Pro. If price and speed of delivery are more important, then the ComfortBelt will be a great option. Not only is the next day shipping wonderful, but the free international shipping can’t be beaten.

Product Links

If you’d like to get more information about these belts, please visit their official website.

ComfortBelt: www.comfortbelt.com

StealthBelt: http://stealthbelt.com (The Quick Start belt isn’t easy to find on their website, but it’s HERE.)

Question: Which belt do you own? Tell me what you love or hate about it.