Hand-Picked Daily GUN DEALS, and Exclusive Coupons Codes >>>
We review products independently. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission to help support our testing. Learn more.

10 Best CCW Spare Magazine Holsters: Two Is One

Hidden Hybrid Holsters, Mag Carriers
Many of us have a CCW and carry daily. But do you carry an extra mag? If so we've rounded up the best spare magazine holsters out there.
We review products independently. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission to help support our testing. Learn more.
JUMP TO SECTION Jump To:

    Let’s be realistic:

    We’ve all seen the movies, watched world news, and fantasized the age-old question: “What would I do in that situation?”

    Sure, the likelihood of anyone needing to rapidly reload a handgun in a high-octane life-or-death situation is pretty slim to none—unless you’ve joined the military or are living a very interesting (Fortunate? Unfortunate?) lifestyle.

    Dreams Die

    But just because you typically don’t need a spare magazine, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t add one to your concealed carry lineup.

    Some argue that spare magazines are difficult and even uncomfortable to conceal, while others question the diversity, reliability, and overall convenience factor of mag holsters.

    I wholeheartedly disagree with every single one of these arguments.

    Carrying a spare mag can be easy, comfortable, and convenient with the right holster—and they do exist! They aren’t even expensive.

    With a little research, you can determine what type of holster works best for your budget and daily routine.

    It all comes down to one simple and irrefutable fact: A spare magazine can save your life.

    So, why not take the extra step?

    Today, I’m going to examine why you should carry a spare magazine and review ten unique and reliable CCW mag holsters that may give you the tactical advantage in a tight spot.

    THE QUICK LIST

    Table of Contents

    Loading…

    Do I Need to Carry a Spare Magazine?

    Most people will never need to fire a concealed carry weapon (CCW) in a defensive situation, let alone reload it to survive an extensive gunfight.

    It’s just a fact.

    But we holster concealed carry weapons for worst-case scenarios, not because we’re actively in danger 24/7 (at least, I hope you’re not).

    A spare magazine is no different.

    Why should you carry a spare magazine? I can think of three reasons right off the top of my head.

    For one, just because something is improbable doesn’t make it impossible. If a dangerous situation necessitates additional rounds, you definitely don’t want to be caught unprepared.

    Jim Carrey
    The internal spasm of the unprepared.

    Second, we all know magazines can malfunction. Even the most reliable mags aren’t infallible, so it’s a good idea to have a spare or two holstered in case of jams.

    For example, what happens if you experience a complicated malfunction like a double feed?

    In the heat of the moment, it’s quicker to drop the mag, clear the malfunction, and reload with a spare.

    Plus, now you have more rounds on tap!

    Win Win

    Finally, human error is a thing that happens, especially in high-stress situations involving self-defense.

    Let’s say you’re being cornered by an aggressive assailant, and all that stands between you and a bad ending is your CCW.

    Eyes locked on the target and anxiety crawling up your spine, you unholster your pistol with speed—but maybe not dexterity—and accidentally press the mag release.

    Huge Tiny Mistake

    This visual might sound comedic, but a real-life bad guy isn’t going to chuckle and wait for you to chase after the magazine skittering across the floor.

    No, he is going to take advantage of your momentary confusion and fumbling.

    But you can turn the situation around if you have a second magazine holstered in your waistband or pocket.

    After all, it’s much faster to load a replacement magazine than to bend down, grab, and try to reload a dropped mag, and all while keeping your eyes trained on the violent threat.

    Cat Gif

    IWB Mag Holsters

    When it comes to concealability, you can’t go wrong with an “Inside the Waist Band” (IWB) holster.

    Attach the holster to your waistband, throw your shirt over it, and you’re good to go. It’s a perfect complement to an IWB gun holster.

    Because this is one of the most popular mag holster options, you really have your pick when it comes to manufacturer, design, materials, and construction.

    Too Many Choices

    It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when there are so many choices to make and features to consider.

    Have no fear, dear reader. I’ve compiled a list of some pretty stellar IWB options to help you get started on your quest for the perfect holster.

    1. MultiHolsters Elite Magazine Holder

    MultiHolsters Elite Magazine Holsters are some of the most versatile CCW magazine holsters on the market.

    In a brilliant move, the manufacturer decided to offer custom sizes for specific magazine models, including double and single stacks, to ensure that your spare is both secure and concealed.

    Of course, there is a downside to this: If they don’t make a model that fits your magazine, you’ll have to find a different holster.

    But MultiHolsters makes versions for the most popular magazines, so you’re probably in luck.

    Makes Sense

    The two adjustable retention screws allow you to make the hold tighter or looser as you see fit, and you can choose to store your magazine with the bullets facing forward or backward.

    In addition, the Elite Magazine Holster has a FOMI clip that slips over your belt for IWB or OWB carry, and it’s easy to draw from with either hand.

    It’s constructed from durable plastic, which keeps the holster lightweight and durable.

    Best Value
    $28
    at Amazon

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    2. Tulster Universal Echo Mag Carrier

    The Universal Echo Mag Carrier is similar to the MultiHolsters Elite Magazine Holster with one key exception: It’s designed to vacuum-form for a universal fit, regardless of your magazine model.

    The Universal Mag Carrier is a bit more expensive than the Elite Magazine Holster, but the versatility and extra features make it worthwhile for everyday carry.

    I recommend this holster for people who don’t always carry the same CCW, or for anyone who likes the Elite Magazine Holster but doesn’t have a magazine that fits the available models.

    That said, the Universal Echo Mag Carrier does have some limitations when it comes to versatility.

    It comes in distinct double and single stack versions but is only made for 9mm and .40 caliber magazines.

    Universal Echo Mag Carrier

    The Universal Echo Mag Carrier has a minimalistic design that accommodates right- and left-handed shooters.

    It’s also outfitted with a Mag Retention Device and an adjustable clip that allows for IWB or OWB carry.

    This holster also features an adjustable cant and is available in multiple colors for both carbon fiber and plastic.

    $50
    at Amazon

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    3. Sticky Holsters Super Mag Pouch

    If you’re familiar with Sticky Holsters, then you probably already have an idea of what makes their mag pouches so unique.

    “Sticky” Holsters gets its name from the adhesive they use on the outside of their holsters.

    Because they don’t rely on clips or loops to secure the holster in place, the Super Mag Pouch achieves an impressive level of concealability and comfort.

    The Super Mag Pouch is ideal for IWB or pocket carry because it adheres to your waistband, undergarments, or skin.

    For the record, we don’t recommend sticking anything to your skin, but the company is proud enough about this feature that we may as well mention it.

    Good Idea

    The inside of the Super Mag Pouch is lined with nylon, and the seams have reinforced stitching to maintain the holster’s durability and shape.

    Another simple but remarkable design feature that deserves a bit of discussion is the flap.

    For example, you can OWB carry the holster by fitting it behind your belt.

    Super Mag Pouch

    You can also leave the flap outside your waistband during IWB carry to encourage maximum contact between your pants and the sticky surface area of the holster, giving you an extra level of security.

    But if you want a more discreet carry, you can always tuck it inside your waistband along with the holster.

    Regardless of your preference, the flap has a handy pocket that is perfectly sized for carrying cards, including concealed carry permits, IDs, range membership cards, or bank cards.

    $16
    at Brownells

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Sticky Holsters also makes a Mag Sleeve, which is more or less the same as the Super Mag Pouch, but without the flap that goes over the belt.

    They also sell “mini” versions of both holsters to accommodate smaller magazines.

    $16
    at Brownells

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Warning: The sticky exterior tends to attract dust and lint, which could be bad news for your magazine.

    4. Houston Gun Holsters Eco Leather Magazine Holster

    The last of our IWB holsters is a simple black leather option.

    Houston Gun Holsters’ Eco Leather Magazine Holder is manufactured with a soft leather that protects your magazine from scuffs and scratches.

    This holster is also very comfortable to wear as a concealed carry option.

    It boasts reinforced nylon stitching that ensures the durability and shape of your holster.

    Not only is the Eco Leather Magazine Holder one of the most affordable holsters on the list, it’s also made from recycled materials, so it’s an eco-friendly choice as well.

    Pocahontas
    Pocahontas thanks you for your service.

    The only downside is that this holster is not particularly water-resistant.

    You might want to use something else on a really hot day or if you plan to be in wet weather, like rain or snow.

    Otherwise, the Eco Leather Magazine Holder is a great choice for all-day wear…so long as you’re in comfortable, dry conditions, that is.

    Eco Leather Magazine Holder
    The double mag holster has a belt clip for each mag pocket, so it holds nice and secure.

    A black metal clip attaches the holster securely to your belt for IWB or OWB carry.

    The holster is ambidextrous and can be worn anywhere along your waistline.

    It’s available for single and double stack mags that are .45 caliber, 40mm, or .380/.22/.25.

    Even if you plan to carry a single magazine, the double model is great for holding your EDC flashlight, knife, or multitool alongside your spare mag.

    Best Leather Option
    $14
    at Amazon

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Pocket Magazine Holsters

    Some people are happy to shove a spare magazine in their pocket and call it a day.

    While it’s certainly a cost-effective option, I can’t recommend it for a few reasons.

    First, it’s not a secure method of holstering your spare magazine.

    As you move throughout the day, the mag may shift around and get wedged in place or even pop out of your pocket entirely (beware tight pants, guys and gals).

    Pocket Sand

    Second, pockets tend to collect dirt, lint, and other contaminants. Debris can affect the functionality of your magazine and possibly jam your gun.

    Third, the primary goal of concealed carry is to hide your weapon and gear from passersby.

    That’s thrown out the window if you’re wearing pants that outline the shape of your spare mag.

    Fortunately, you can avoid all three issues by using a dedicated pocket mag holster.

    5. Tulster Magnetic NeoMag Pocket Magazine Holster

    The Magnetic NeoMag is another unique mag holster from Tulster.

    It’s about as minimalist as a holster can get and adds virtually no bulk thanks to its magnet-based retention system.

    That’s right, instead of placing your magazine in a pocket or through a loop, this mag holster uses a magnet and two small tabs to hold your magazine in position.

    NeoMag for Pocket Magazine Holder

    The NeoMag has a titanium clip that attaches to your pocket. This clip is great because it’s small for the sake of concealability.

    It also holds the magazine low, so it looks like the clip of a pen or pocket knife to anyone who happens to spot it.

    There is another benefit to the design of this slim little number: It’s easy to draw your mag because you only have to pull it away from the holster instead of directly up and out.

    Neo Mag

    The NeoMag is available in three different sizes for magazines of various calibers.

    You can use the same holster for single and double stack magazines.

    Obviously, you’ll want to test your loaded magazine to make sure it’s magnetic before going with this holster, but the magnet is strong enough to hold some plastic mags, including factory Glock magazines.

    Best Pocket Mag Carrier
    $40
    at Amazon

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    6. DeSantis Mag-Packer

    The Desantis Mag-Packer is a pretty simple and straightforward pocket magazine holster.

    Pocket-shaped and sized, the Desantis Mag-Packer holds the magazine in position without so much as a pocket clip to hint that you’re carrying a spare.

    The design also prevents the telltale bulge that ruins your look and makes it obvious you’re packing a concealed magazine.

    In that regard, this holster is a great option for work and formal events.

    The Mag-Packer is ambidextrous and can be stored in either front pocket.

    It’s manufactured with a nice synthetic material that is textured to keep the holster in place while you draw the magazine.

    Because the holster stations the mag in a nicely canted position, it’s easy to pull out of your front pocket in an emergency.

    $40
    at Amazon

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Speed Strip Holsters For Revolvers

    The options we’ve discussed so far are all great for pistols, but I want to give revolvers some love, too.

    Revolvers aren’t as easy to reload, but speed strips are one way to hasten the process.

    You can keep the speed strip loose in your pocket if you’d like, but a holster ensures that your rounds are protected and ready to load.

    7. Bianchi Speed Strip Holder

    Bianchi is one of the biggest names in law enforcement gear and speed strips.

    While “Speed Strip” technically refers to the Bianchi brand, it has evolved into an umbrella term for all strip-style quick revolver loaders—kind of like “Frisbee” for flying discs or “Kleenex” for facial tissue.

    $10
    at OpticsPlanet

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    I highly recommend Bianchi’s Speed Strip Holder.

    It’s a simple, black leather pouch with a hook and loop closure that holds a single speed strip.

    And it doesn’t have to be a Bianchi speed strip; most models will fit.

    Because the Speed Strip Holder loops onto your belt, it’s not as covert as an IWB option.

    But it looks more like a sleek and old-fashioned cell phone holster, and not a pouch designed to carry ammunition. So, that’s a plus.

    Best Speed Strip Holder
    $20
    at Optics Planet

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    If that’s not your jam, you can always pocket the pouch to keep your speed strip orderly and accessible.

    8. Tuff Products QuickStrip Pouch

    Tuff QuickStrips are Bianchi’s main competitor in the strip-style quick revolver loader game.

    So, it’s not surprising that their Tuff Tactical QuickStrip Pouch is another great option for carrying your ammo.

    The Tuff Tactical QuickStrip Pouch vaunts a simple design with a Velcro, envelope-style closure.

    Unlike its rival, the Bianchi Speed Strip Holder, the Tuff Tactical QuickStrip Pouch doesn’t have a belt or waistband attachment of any kind, but it would certainly be easy for some crafty folks to add one.

    Otherwise, you can just store the pouch in your pocket.

    Tuff Tactical QuickStrip Pouch

    As you can see, Tuff Tactical QuickStrip Pouches are made from nylon and have a more “tactical” look, so you may want to keep this holster away from the discerning eye.

    Don’t take that to mean the Bianchi Speed Strip Holders are better, though.

    Tuff Tacticalk QuickStrip Pouches have a few key advantages over the Bianchi’s Speed Strip Holder.

    For example, the pouches are available in three sizes for different calibers. Each size holds up to two QuickStrips of compatible ammunition (as opposed to Bianchi’s one) and come in black or coyote brown.

    $13
    at Amazon

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    You can also buy the pouches in sets with two QuickStrips if you don’t already own a strip or just want to add a couple more to your inventory.

    Speed Holsters For Revolvers

    There’s a reason speed loaders are so popular with revolver lovers.

    With this nifty little device, you can reload multiple cartridges at once with a simple twist of the loader knob.

    But faster and better are not mutually exclusive concepts.

    Speed loaders might be quick, efficient, and easy to use, but some models are also bulky, difficult to conceal, and uncomfortable to carry.

    struggle bus

    Unfortunately, it’s a necessary trade-off because revolver speed loaders are round instead of flat, which is technically the point.

    These speed loaders would be borderline pointless and inefficient otherwise.

    $9
    at Brownells

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    9. HKS Double Speed Loader Case

    HKS is famous for their awesome revolver speed loaders.

    The good news is that the company puts an equal amount of TLC into their Double Speed Loader Case.

    As the name suggests, the HKS Double Speed Loader Case allows you to carry two speed loaders at a time, each in their own snap-closure pocket.

    The case itself is made from black, weather-resistant vinyl, which is styled to look like leather for a simple and elegant design.

    Warning: The snaps on the pockets are made with nickel, so those with allergies may want to rethink this holster.

    Don't take any chances!
    Don’t take any chances!

    There is a slot on the back of the case that fits belts up to 2 3/4” wide. But you can also just throw it in your pocket.

    This case comes in two sizes, medium and large.

    The medium size fits HKS speed loaders for .38, .38 spec., .357, .22 LR, .22 MRF, .44 spec., and .32 H&R mag calibers.

    Alternatively, the large size fits HKS speed loaders for .38, .357, .44 mag., .44 spec., .45, .45 LC, and .41 mag calibers.

    $17
    at Amazon

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    If you want something that’s a bit more visually interesting, HKS also offers a Double Speed Loader Case with a basketweave design.

    Or, if you’d prefer a more tactical look (or just like nylon better), the HKS Cordura Double Speedloader Case is pretty much the same holster, but made from nylon rather than vinyl.

    10. Galco Belt Speed Loader Carrier

    Our last holster is from Galco, a company famous for manufacturing high-quality leather holsters, including the Galco Belt Speed Loader Carrier.

    The Galco Belt Speed Loader Carrier only carries a single speed loader, but you could easily double- or even triple-up on the same belt.

    And it’s small, so you can always shove it into your pocket. Whatever floats your speed loader boat.

    It’s available in brown or black premium steerhide saddle leather. If you’re already familiar with Galco holsters, you know it’s high-quality leather that both looks and feels great.

    Princess

    Other than that, the design is very similar to the HKS Double Speedloader Case, with a snap closure on the front and a loop on the back that accommodates belts up to 1 ¾”.

    Unlike the HKS case, which is specifically designed to fit the company’s speed loaders, the Galco Speed Loader Carrier comes in various sizes to fit speed loaders made by different gun manufacturers.

    Not a bad deal!

    Best Speedloader Pouch
    $42
    at Brownells

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    11. Snagmag

    We’ve saved our current favorite for last…the Snagmag.

    Snagmag
    Snagmag

    It doesn’t look like much there…but take a look at that hook. It keeps the carrier in your pocket as you draw.

    Snagmag Clip
    Snagmag Clip

    And the clip…it’s made to look like a regular pocket knife.

    Snagmag in Pants
    Snagmag in Pants

    Upon first (or second) glance you won’t be able to tell you have an extra 12 rounds in your pocket!

    So…how does it work?

    It works great…provided you practice your draw each time you change the material of your pants. With thicker stuff like jeans the hook catches pretty easily.

    I wear thinner things most of the time and have to tilt the mag downwards to make sure it “snags.”

    However once you get it down…it simply works.

    $34
    at 1791 Gunleather

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    What’s your take on the Snag Mag?

    Readers’ Ratings

    5.00/5 (1089)

    Your Rating?

    Parting Shots

    A spare magazine holster is a perfect addition to your concealed carry line up.

    Carrying extra ammo can be easy, comfortable, and convenient, especially with the mag, speed strip, and speed loader holsters we reviewed today.

    Rows of cartridges
    Is this the real life~? Is it just fantasy~? Remember when we could buy extra ammo? Thanks, 2020.

    True, you’re probably never going to need a spare magazine or an extra round for your revolver in a defensive situation.

    But it’s always better to be safe than sorry—especially when you’re facing a violent threat.

    safety-is-sexy

    And remember, this is a thriving and accessible market! We have some great holsters on this list, but don’t be afraid to try another option if it catches your eye.

    My only word of warning is that you purchase a holster for its features and overall quality, not just its low price tag.

    There are plenty of affordable and high-quality options out there, so make sure to do your research and let us know if you find a winner!

    Do you carry a spare magazine or extra rounds? Why or why not? If you do, how do you carry it? Do you have a favorite holster I didn’t list here?

    Tell me everything in the comments!

    If you want to learn more about CCW, take a gander at our hands-on list of Best Concealed Carry Holsters 2020 or our Definitive CCW Guide, which covers reviews, techniques, and even potential legal issues you may come across.

    The Best Gun Deals, Coupons and Finds

    Subscribe to Pew Pew Tactical's sales and deals email.

    12 Leave a Reply

    • Commenter Avatar
      Ed

      First two amazon links give 404

      May 5, 2024 9:24 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Rick

      I carry a kimber custom II 1911 in 10mm and I really want to find a single or double mag carrier like the safariland 77 that has the standard police style snap closure over the top of the mags, but i want it with a belt clip so I don't have to thread the belt through. Does anyone make a clip style mounted carrier with the snap top cover? Bonus points for leather.

      February 4, 2024 7:51 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Christopher Stefano

      The Neo mag is garbage. I used it in a CCW match and it failed , coming out completely and staying attached to the mag on a reload. I tried to reload and the neomag was still on the magazine . The little rubber tab the clip rests on that holds it in the pocket comes off. It's so common that if you contact them, they will send you replacements for free as it is a known issue. It could cost you your life. The screws you need to remove to replace it break so it becomes useless. I run carry gear in competition from every day concealment ( not a fishing vest) to test gear and that was a complete fail. JM custom kydex makes an angled mag holder that conceals well and hasn't failed in hundreds of draws. The Neo mag failed in under 100 draws. These lists must be sponsored as they push some of the worst products.

      November 18, 2023 12:07 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Jacki Billings

        Hey Christopher, our Best Of lists and articles are not sponsored by any company. We do earn an affiliate commission if you click our link and buy but other than that we do not get paid to list specific products or use specific companies. Products listed are ones that the writer and/or team prefers. We understand that preferences differ, though, and we do try to update these article regularly with new recommendations as we test things out. Thanks for reading!

        December 7, 2023 7:51 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      A. Mississippiensis

      Not much here for me. Bummer. Anyone have IWB suggestions for S&W SD9 magazines?

      July 6, 2022 7:27 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Ricky

      I think the one category you missed is horizontal magazine holders like Magholder.

      January 4, 2022 9:26 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      D90013

      Excellent review. You have included all of the best selections in a really wide variety of categories. I was trying to remember the names of magazines carriers I had seen only in a gun magzine. Bang!--you included them all, and with good, practical details. that didn't just repeat the manufacturer's claims. (Pun intended, no actual firearms discharge occurred :)) Pew Pew Tactical is becoming the primary source of reviews for gun gear. Thanks for your good work and writing.

      December 6, 2021 2:23 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Jeff Hudson

      I carry 2 extra mags, one for a reload and one to cover a malfunction. if you happen to catch the baseplate on something in a vehicle it can easily render that mag out of action. It's much easier to change a mag than try to field repair one.

      May 16, 2021 9:04 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Indrid Cole

      Good article but...why stop @ one extra mag when you can have a dozen...or two? I’m kidding, but if never having enough firepower(for unforeseen circumstances) is the argument, then it’s best to be prepared by going all the way, I guess.

      February 10, 2021 9:25 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      KD

      FYI The tulster is not $50 at this point. Go directly to their website and they have two versions one for 35 and the other 25. Thanks for the recommendation I will be ordering one!

      August 18, 2020 6:29 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      will

      Would have loved more discussion of some Tuckable IWB options.

      July 6, 2019 9:48 am
      • Commenter Avatar
        Tom

        That's what I'm looking for too, an IWB magazine holster with a tuckable clip (or at least one with holes in the proper locations to mount one). Maybe a guide to which IWB mag holsters can accept an UltiClip or other tuckable behind-the-belt style.

        Great stuff as usual otherwise!

        October 10, 2020 1:04 pm
    Join the community! Log in
    Please provide a valid email address.
    Password is required.
    or
    Register
    Please provide a valid display name.
    Please provide a valid email address.
    The password should contain at least 8 characters with at least one number or special character.
    Please accept in order to continue.
    By unsubscribing, you will not be able to access exclusive training courses in your profile. You will still be able to save and access your products and articles.
    or
    Trouble logging in?
    Type your email address and we’ll send you a link to reset your password.
    Please provide a valid email.
    Password
    Type your new password and hit button below to confirm it.
    Field is required.
    Account already exists
    We already have an account registered for email address () which is linked to your Facebook account.
    To log in type your Pew Pew Meter password below.
    Field is required.
    Account already exists
    We noticed that you have previously logged in with your Account which is linked to the same email address () - we can link both of your accounts together.
    In order to link your accounts, hit button below and log in to your Account with the same email as above.

    Account in Pew Pew Tactical means more.

    Login or create a free account to get the following
    Access and save hundreds of reviews, gun guides, and articles!
    Find the best daily deals on guns, gear, and ammo
    Manage your newsletter subscriptions and comments