Best Concealed Carry Holsters [2019 Hands-On Tested]

What’s the best holster for the money?

After buying your gun…deciding on which holster you’re going to buy is one of the most important decisions you can make.

There are a lot of different kinds and styles of holsters on the market right now.  Sadly, many of them are not ideal for concealed carry. 

Lots of Holsters, Boondock Saints
Lots of Holsters, Boondock Saints

But no worries…we’ll clear up what makes a good holster, the types of carrying (inside waistband, ankle, etc), and personal recommendations for each type.

Best Concealed Carry Holsters

  1. Best OWB: Alien Gear Cloak Mod
  2. Best IWB: Crossbreed Supertuck
  3. Best IWB (Value): Concealment Express
  4. Best IWB (Unique): Urban Carry G2
  5. Best Bellyband: Crossbreed Belly Band
  6. Best Ankle: Sticky Holster
  7. Best Shoulder: Galco
  8. Best Gun Belt: Relentless CCW

*UPDATED* 2019: More holsters and personal experiences.

Table of Contents

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Why Is It So Necessary to Have a Good Holster?

Let’s think about some of the things the holster is supposed to do:

  • Protect and hold the firearm.
  • Prevent discharge.
  • Provide quick access.
  • Prevent theft or loss.

So, maybe instead of the original question, we should ask things like: What goes into a great concealed carry holster?

First and foremost is the concept of safety.  You’ve likely heard the safety rules by now, but in case you haven’t, here they are:

  1. Treat every weapon like it’s loaded.
  2. Don’t point your gun at anything you’re not willing to destroy.
  3. Keep your finger straight and off the trigger until you intend to fire.
  4. Know your target and what’s beyond it.

They’re all particularly important but for right now, let’s concentrate solely on number three…keep your finger straight and off the trigger until you intend to fire.

Good Trigger Discipline Glock 17
Good Trigger Discipline Glock 17

I want to expand on it even more and say that nothing should touch the trigger, to include clothing or any part of the holster itself.  Your trigger could get caught, pulled, and cause a discharge.

That’s a bad oopsie…

Trust me when I say the last thing you’re ever going to want is for your gun to go off unintentionally.  And, guns have gone off when being holstered because something got caught and pulled the trigger.

Therefore, it is super important that you learn how to safely re-holster your handgun to make certain you know how to do it.   And take your time…believe it or not…nobody has ever won a gunfight by speed-holstering.

The bottom line is to always make sure your gun’s path is clear of any foreign objects (including your own finger) before you put your gun in its holster.

Before we move on, let’s recap:

  • Choosing the right holster is important.
  • A good holster protects the firearm, prevents discharge, provides quick access, and prevents theft.
  • When you holster your gun, you need to pay special attention to what is by the trigger, to make sure nothing snags on it causing a discharge.
  • Learn how to, and practice, holstering your gun so you get good at it.

Now let’s move onto some holster details.

What Makes a Great Concealed Carry Holster

As I stated earlier, there are a lot of different kinds and styles on the market.  But a lot of them are not ideal for concealed carry because they are dangerous.

When you pick out a holster, make sure it has the following:

  • Total trigger coverage
  • Sturdy material
  • Good retention
  • Good concealability
  • Handgun protection
  • Skin/body protection
  • Positive grip

Let’s take a closer look at these requirements…

Trigger and Material

There are a lot of holsters on the market where the trigger is not covered or is covered by a flimsy material.

So that you’re as safe as possible, it’s best to have a holster that is made of a sturdy material that covers the trigger.  You want to do all you can to prevent the possibility of a discharge.

A good example of a sturdy material could be Kydex or leather.  Both do an excellent job of protecting the trigger.  

Kydex Sheets
Kydex Sheets

Kydex is basically nothing more than a polymer composite material formed to the shape of your gun with a bunch of properties that help it do its job.

Some holsters will have both materials in the form of a Kydex shell on top of a leather backing.  

Crossbreed Super Tuck with XDs
Crossbreed Super Tuck with XDs

There are countless companies making good-quality holsters out of this material.  You can’t go wrong here.

Good Retention

Another way of saying retention is that your gun needs to “stay put.”

A good test…if you stick your gun in your holster, and turn it upside down, will it fall out?

If it comes out, the retention of it needs to be adjusted (usually via a screw) or you need a different method of carrying.

It needs to be strong enough that it keeps your firearm in place until you tug it out on purpose.

Concealability

Unless you’re carrying openly, you’ll want your firearm in a discreet position where it cannot be seen.

IWB, or Inside the WaistBand, holsters offer a better level of concealment than does OWB, otherwise known as Outside the WaistBand (more on this in a minute).

And, as far as IWB holsters are concerned, generally speaking, appendix IWB offers the most concealment.

Think of appendix carry as starting directly in front of your belly button and ending on your pelvic bone.

Appendix Carry Example
Appendix Carry Example

Keep in mind, it depends on body type, and my body is different than yours.  What conceals better for me, may not be a good option for you.

The best thing to do is to play around with it a bit, to find a balance between comfort and concealment.

Protection

Your holster needs to protect you and your gun.

Some of the harder materials can cause rub marks on its finish over time, so keep that in mind too.

Total Coverage from JM4
Total Coverage from JM4

At the same time, some of the stiffer holsters may rub your skin the wrong way.  While not generally that big of a deal… if it isn’t comfortable, would you carry it every day?

As a bonus while on this topic, holsters can also damage clothing if you choose the wrong type.  

Holster Wear
Holster Wear, Hidden Defense

I’ve used metal clips on holsters before that eventually wore holes into my shirts.  Plastic clips, while not as strong, do their job quite well and are gentler on clothing than their metal counterparts.

Grip

This is very important.  

If your holster doesn’t afford you the ability to have a FULL combat grip on your gun when it is drawn, you need a different holster.  Meaning you’ve got a high grip, can deactivate safeties and can shoot one-handed.

You should be able to draw and fire, from any position, to include directly off-body if an attacker is on top of you.  I’d even suggest a holster/position where you can reach with your weak hand as well.

Again, because it bears repeating…if your holster doesn’t allow a full combat grip, get a new one.

Different Types of Holsters

There are a few different types of holsters out there for men and women:

  • IWB
  • OWB
  • Belly Band
  • Ankle
  • Shoulder
  • Those designed specifically for women, which I know nothing about…but good thing one of our writers does.

Let’s tackle each of these, along with their benefits.

IWB

Aliengear Cloak Tuck 3.0 with XD Mod 2
Aliengear Cloak Tuck 3.0 with XD Mod 2

Otherwise known as Inside the Waist Band, these holsters are great for concealing a gun.

They go in between your pants and your underwear and they are excellent because they keep the gun so very close to your body.

Aliengear Holster, High Grip
Alien Gear Holster

Because it is so close to you, people won’t notice it as much as some of the other options on this list.  They also don’t “print” as much as some of the others do.

Printing is when the outline of the firearm/holster can be seen on the shirt.  

This is bad because the point of carrying a concealed gun is to hide the fact that it’s there.

Seated with Aliengear
Seated with Alien Gear

One of the drawbacks to carrying like this is that it’s harder to get that positive combat grip from the draw. It’s possible, but you’ll have to practice that much more to get it right.

OWB

OWB Paddle Style by Blackhawk
OWB Paddle Style by Blackhawk

OWB, or Outside the Waist Band is when the gun/holster rests on the outside of your pants.  

It is usually anchored to you by the belt, though some of them may attach differently.

This method of carrying is less concealable and tends to print more often than IWB.  It is also a very comfortable method of carrying because there generally isn’t anything poking you in the side.

Bravo Concealment, Hands at Side
OWB Holster

Finally, it affords a better grip on the draw because it sits further off the skin allowing you to get your entire hand on it in the right position.

But you will have to wear a decently large shirt or even jacket to conceal your gun.

Belly Band Holsters

These are pretty self-explanatory…it’s a band that goes around your belly.  For those times when you’re not wearing a belt…

Brave Response Holster
Brave Response Holster

Make sure to choose one that completely covers the trigger and remember that you might get a little sweaty under there.

Shoulder

Shoulder holsters generally wrap around the shoulder.  The part that actually holds the gun usually sits on your support side’s rib cage.  

007 Shoulder Holster
007 Shoulder Holster

The support side is the hand that you don’t squeeze the trigger with.  It helps to stabilize, or support, the strong hand. The strong hand is the one you do squeeze the trigger with.

This method of carrying a concealed gun is great for people who wear a jacket and is also commonly employed by undercover and off-duty police officers.

But it’s not all looking cool…

  • The guns tend to fall out much more likely than other holsters
  • You’re muzzling the person behind you
  • When you unholster it’s easy to sweep a couple people in front of you too
  • Your shirts will get gross sweat marks from the holster
  • When you take off your jacket the gun is no longer concealed

Ankle

This method of carrying a concealed gun is great for deep concealment, or for times when a backup gun is needed.

In this case, there is no printing unless you’re wearing tight pants.

Nobody will know you’ve got a gun on you unless you pull your pant leg up and show them.

Ankle Holster from Uncle Mike
Ankle Holster from Uncle Mike

The drawbacks to this method, are that your gun can be hard to get to, and it can be uncomfortable to the point that it can pull your leg hair out and rub your skin unless you wrap it around a boot.

Without any further ado, let’s get to some specific examples!

Best OWB Holsters

Alien Gear

30
at Alien Gear

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

The Alien Gear Cloak Slide is my personal pick for an outside the waistband holster.  Reason being…it is very versatile and affordable.

Alien Gear Cloak Slide
Alien Gear Cloak Slide

Plus, the 30-day “Test Drive” offer and lifetime warranty is great.  It attaches to a belt by way of two belt loops but has a slightly larger profile due to its leather backer when compared to pure Kydex holsters.

Alien Gear Cloak Slide, Back
Alien Gear Cloak Slide, Back

A newer paddle version is the Alien Gear Cloak Mod ($50) where you can easily switch out your holster from pants to dashboard to a table without taking off your belt.

50
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Tagua

Best Retention (OWB)
40
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

This is a leather constructed holster ($40) that adds the thumb break for added firearm retention.  This draw is a bit different from other holsters because there is an extra step.

Tagua Holster
Tagua Holster

It’s a good option, just make sure you practice with it.

Tagua Holster, Note the Thumb Break
Tagua Holster, Note the Thumb Break

Safariland

Editor's Pick (OWB)
40
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Eric’s favorite no-nonsense OWB holster brand ($40).  Great for carrying or for competition use.  Tons of models so you’ll be sure to find your pistol, hand, and flashlight combination.

Backing allows the use of a paddle or other belt attachment systems (Tek-Lok, etc).

Best IWB Holsters

Crossbreed Holsters

68
at Crossbreed

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

The Crossbreed Supertuck Deluxe is currently Eric’s favorite (review coming soon) since it’s super comfy with the leather backing (don’t worry it comes in black too) and allows for a full grip.

The combat cut is slightly less comfy since the grip is more exposed, but it’s what I prefer since I get a nice “high” draw where the web of my hand perfectly meets the beavertail of the pistol.

And for smaller guns that you plan on appendix carrying…yea they have those too.

Crossbreed Appendix Carry Holster
Crossbreed Appendix Carry Holster

Alien Gear

Best Value (IWB)
51
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

The Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.0 ($45) is a great IWB holster.

Again, the lifetime warranty plus 30-day no questions asked trial period can’t be beaten.  Plus, they are comfortable with the neoprene backing.

Aliengear Cloak Tuck 3.0 with XD Mod 2
Aliengear Cloak Tuck 3.0 with XD Mod 2

Check out our full review where the holster survived months of use and a multi-day CCW course.

ITTS Tactical CCW Course with Alien Gear
ITTS Tactical CCW Course with Alien Gear

Readers' Ratings

4.96/5 (423)

Your Rating?

Comptac Holsters

81
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Another perennial favorite online and also in CCW courses is the Comptac MTAC Holster ($80).  My buddy swears by these and he used it to great success in our latest course.

Concealment Express

Gets It Done (IWB)
35
at Concealment Express

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Looking for something AIWB that’s super light (less than 3 oz) yet effective and still comfortable.  Check out Concealment Express.  We also did a full review on them and all their styles and attachment options.

Concealment Express Attachment Options
Concealment Express Attachment Options

Urban Carry G2

Most Unique (IWB)
80
at Urban Carry

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

A fairly new holster that almost deserves to be in its own category since it melds IWB & OWB…the Urban Carry G2 ($65) offers some distinct advantages over other holsters.

Urban Carry G2
Urban Carry G2

It allows for carrying with your shirt tucked in…plus even if it prints a little it shows up as something in your pocket.  However, one negative include having to have your belt a little looser since your gun sits underneath.

Mine just came in so full review coming soon!

Best Belly Band Holster

Brave Response Holster

Best Belly Band Holster
70
at Concealed Carry

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

My top choice for a belly band holster is the Brave Response Holster ($70) which is universal for most guns since there’s no hard Kydex shell.  This makes it very comfy too.

Brave Response Holster
Brave Response Holster

Plus it has the added benefit of having three mag pouches already sewn in.  It might be a little hard to reach them since it is on your strong side, but it’s good to know they are there with you.

Crossbreed Holsters

Crossbreed Belly Band
Crossbreed Belly Band

The Crossbreed Belly Band ($70) adds some extra safety with a Kydex gun-specific shell that covers the trigger.  They also have a sewn in magazine/phone/flashlight pouch plus the ability to add in magazine holsters.

Best Ankle Holster

Sticky

For that extra deep concealment ($33).  You can even fit an extra mag or knife next to your gun.

37
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Sticky Ankle Holster
Sticky Ankle Holster

Best Shoulder Holster

Galco

184
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

For those times ($184) when you’re wearing a suit and tie, but also feel like being prepared.

Being like James Bond ain’t cheap though…

Best Gun Belt

With most of the holsters, you’ll likely get…you’ll need a great gun belt.

One that doesn’t scream “look at me” but is sturdy enough to not flex under the weight of a fully loaded gun and even extra mags.

My favorite is the Relentless CCW belt ($60) which meets all the requirements and hasn’t failed me yet in one year of standard use.

60
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Or check out my full review of 3 of the top belt brands out there.

Best CCW Gun Belts, Thickness
Best CCW Gun Belts, Thickness

Conclusion

No matter which method of concealed carry you choose, you need to practice your draw and re-holster often to make sure you master it.  

As for holsters?  Sometimes it takes trying out a couple to see which one fits and feels the best.

Not yet a concealed carry pro?  Check out 7 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Concealed Carry.

And how that you’ve gotten the perfect holster and gun…what happens if you have to use it in a defensive shooting?

Check out my review of USCCA’s CCW Insurance which will help you and your family with legal fees and more.  It’s really one of those things you’ll wish you had if things get hairy.

So…what holster did you end up getting?

69 Leave a Reply

  • John B

    Holsters are so personal agreement is rare. For any belt holster i want a “sweat guard”. It allows me to index reholster not against my skin and best path back into holster. For IWB I am a big fan of hybrid holsters but for me Thiess holsters is the best. The neoprene on Alien just adds thickness I don’t need, rough out leather is fine. Crossbreed are nice but you have to pay extra for a cut in leather backing for improved access to grip Theiss does on all his. I don’t like all kydex for IWB, I have some Blade Tech which I consider best of the best but the side against my body is very uncomfortable. I’m not an appendix fan. You can tell me all day about improved accessibility. But I have a gut and also don’t like the gun pointing at major arteries. For OWB I like pancake style, synthetic or leather. Nothing else I have founds holds the gun as close. In synthetic the Blade Tech Total Eclipse is great, lots of adjustments and can deal with optics on guns like many of mine have. Regardless of cost (except for lack of sweat shield) the cheap Glock factory holsters are crazy good. I also for some occasions like ankle carry, specifically G26. Lighter guns work in more options but for this one nothing came close for me to Galco Ankle Glove with calf strap. I know it has a thumb break but if you practice not a big deal. I really wanted to like belly bands. I had a few. Maybe it’s just me but the outer surface is so slippery I could not keep my pants from slipping down. Just my $0.02. JB

    1 second ago
  • John

    One of my favorite manufacturers for holsters is wethepeopleholsters. Check out all the collection which are super comfortable. They also have caps and other accessories. Made in USA, and great customer service.

    1 week ago
  • marc f.

    I first bought a bravo concealment but I now rock a vedders light tuck way more concealable and very comfortable

    1 month ago
  • James

    the total lack of light bearing holsters is very disappointing.

    2 months ago
  • Mario

    All I have to say about wearing as many guns and holsters as the guy in the picture in the black trench coat, is beware. Im sure he missed seeing "Theres never enough" scene in, Im gonna git you sucka. https://youtu.be/zhe58xORWG0

    2 months ago
  • Jon m

    Sorry,but the bravobelt bellyband is superior to the ones listed. I carry a full size 1911 in mine and its perfect. Even when jogging. Im going to get another just for the 43 i get soon i think. I like when even the biggest guns Feel like they disappear.

    3 months ago
  • William Libby

    Why did you not cover the pocket holster? Just not a fan? I love mine for my .40 Shield. I can put my hand on my gun with out anyone taking notice. I live in the city and if an argument brakes out between two people in a store I like being prepared if it gets physical. If someone sees me reaching under my shirt or in the back of my paints I’m now involved and my have just escalated the situation. On the other hand standing with my hands in my pockets is fairly non-Threatening. Just a thought. I love the article as a whole though.

    4 months ago
  • Derek

    My personal favorite is the Nate Squared brand (N2). One of the most comfortable IWB holsters I've ever carried with and they have models specifically created for just about every common type of handgun. If you've never tried one, do yourself a favor and check one out. You won't be disappointed!!

    5 months ago
    • Dave

      Nate Squared is THE BEST! Makes Crossbreed look and feel like bargain bin holsters from a gun show. I've owned many of the holsters above, and none of them come close to Nate Squared. I mean, who else is putting memory foam in their holsters? Has anyone ever (comfortably) fallen asleep wearing an IWB Alien Gear or Crossbreed? I do this fairly often with my N2, as I forget to take it off before I lay on the couch (because it really is that comfortable!) Only company I'll go to for IWB options now.

      4 months ago
  • Mark

    Have you ever tried or reviewed Blackarch holsters? Protos-M in particular. Wou

    5 months ago
  • Drew

    Why didn't you include pocket holsters?

    5 months ago
  • Jan

    Josh I have beat. I got my first .22 when I was four. Trained by the best ( my Dad and Grand Father). I was taught to wear and use my pistols and revolvers in the cross-draw holster. Even did so during the twenty-three years of military service. After looking at the holsters above, I didn't see any of them that I liked. None looked like it would work as a cross-draw holster

    6 months ago
  • Randy

    I have been wearing an Urban Carry IWB holster for my new SIG 365 for the past 2 months. Very comfortable holster! I wear it with my regular 501's and there's no problem. You don't have to go to a larger pants size at all.

    7 months ago
    • joseph krone

      Try drawing your firearm while sitting down.

      2 months ago
  • Clifffalling

    One of my favorite manufacturers for holsters is Foxx upholstery. Check out the little foxx. Super comfortable. They also have belts and other accessories. Made in USA, and great customer service.

    8 months ago
    • Raymond Watson

      That should say Foxx Holsters

      8 months ago
  • Lorenzo

    I use a CYA Glock 19 Holster. That holster is so comfortable. The company that makes it is veteran owned.

    8 months ago
  • Edmond Stanley

    I'm another one who can't believe that Alien Gear is considered a "best" holster. I have a few of them and they are adequate. The Cloak Slide is a real pain because no matter how you tighten the belt loops it moves too much. There are much better holsters on the market. Although I have some kydex, my preference is for leather. The author didn't even give consideration to some of the better leather makers (not all of them custom). For OWB, Desantis makes a good holster.

    8 months ago
  • 1776 or Bust

    There are an incredible amount of options...my go to is Black Arch Holsters though.

    8 months ago
    • Lucas Bridges

      Yes, black arch are my go to, I recommend them to every one. Best holster I've used hands down.

      6 months ago
  • Jax

    I agree that there are so much better holsters than Alien Gear. Not knocking them but I don't like the material they use for the backer. I much prefer a natural leather. I've been carrying the Shield for a few years now (since it came out). I have friends with crossbreeds and I thought that's what I wanted, but I recently got an Exarchy Holster Patriarch IWB hybrid holster with a horsehide backer. I'm not sure why I waited so long. SO Comfortable. Best Holster I've ever owned. Easy to conceal and tuckable. The standard clips are similar to crossbreed but without the cross on them. Some people don't like the advertisement. I actually use the ulticlip on my holster. Another awesome product for concealed carry. Lifetime warranty too. Check em out.

    9 months ago
  • justin Otis

    Alien Gear also does great IWB in my opinion. They are comfortable for all day carry as well as easily customize-able for a perfect fit. As for the best gun belt hands down is Bigfoot Gun Belts. They make awesome steel-core belts that are also stylish enough to wear for dress up functions. Both are made in Post Falls, Idaho, which means USA made.

    10 months ago
  • PSF

    I purchased the JM4 Relic along with the JM4 Belt. So far I am pleased.

    10 months ago
  • Rocky Lemons

    Ty for ur time and opinons

    11 months ago
  • Big D

    Wow. I'm surprised by this list. Alien Gear as the number one pick? Are you kidding me?! There are so many better holsters on the market that are far better quality with superior fit & finish. G-Code and Bravo Concealment are two that come to mind, just off the top of my head. There are many more, though. I don't know if I can trust a list that has Alien Gear, holsters known for their hardware breaking, as the top pick. Glad I have more sense than to follow this feeble list blindly. Some of the companies listed are ok but the best? I don't think so. I disagree with with all the picks on this list.

    11 months ago
    • Tim Damron

      I enjoy different opinions on any type of list. If no replies from average users of a product, makes me question the supplied information. A site that would edit any replies because of a difference in the outcome is one I don't care to read. The outcome of gun/holster type/shooter body type/position of where worn is a variable that leads to a high number of outcomes. Thanks for the article, & thanks for the reply that makes a person rethink the information given.

      11 months ago
  • Kyle

    I exclusively use Huckleberry Tactical holsters. Billy Hux can meet all your custom kydex needs. He is a great guy who stands behind his products. He has great lead times, and a great selection of products and options. I would recommend Huckleberry over any other. Give them a try and you will see.

    1 year ago
  • Albert L

    Anyone have experience with Clinger holsters? I'm looking at the V3 No Print IWB for my M&P Shield 2.0. Looks like a lot less material than, say, Aliengear, but I'd appreciate some 1st hand opinions.

    1 year ago
    • Frank Miller

      It is WAY LESS material. It is hands down the best holster I've ever used. And I've tried them all. Hybrids suck. They are so SWEATY inside the waistband. I only carry full kydex holsters after trying every holster style you can imagine. There are a couple of dozen decent kydex holster companies out there but only 3 or 4 really good ones. Clinger's V3 No Print Wonder is the best of them all. It has dual belt clips just like the hybrids do but it is SO MUCH SMALLER. Plus it conceals better than anything I've ever seen before. I don't usually endorse any product so much unless it really really deserves it. I won't carry anything else ever again. I love this holster more than my pistol. It makes concealed carry easy.

      10 months ago
  • FormerLApopo

    Sorry, maybe I am just old school, but I prefer leather rather than jumping on the Kydex bandwagon. I feel you short your readers by ignoring many quality holsters out there from trusted makers such as Safariland, Galco, (the one shoulder holster you mention as "vertical" when the pic posted is a horizontal) Milt Sparks and many other production and custom makers. A quality, fitted holster is generally more secure and comfortable to wear all day rather than plastic which digs in and also mars your gun. I do have a couple of Kydex holsters for a couple of Glocks that I have, but most of my guns ride in fine leather.

    1 year ago
  • Dunestock

    I’m glad I took advice from a LE buddy who highly recommended CrossBreed Supertuck. This was about 6 years ago and since then I’ve let 2 other friends try mine to see what it feels like and they both bought CrossBreed. Buy Quality the first time and save yourself money and more importantly you are more likely to carry it more often.

    1 year ago
  • Dave Smith

    I am a huge fan of Urban Carry Holsters. I started with them when a shooting pal suggested their IWB gun holster and this was it. Now, I am the proud owner of two IWBs and one OWB gun holster from Urban Carry Holsters.

    1 year ago
  • Pete

    Since you are a glock enthusiast. Check out the Raven Vanguard 2. People don't like it cause only covers the trigger but couple it with an equally dubious clipdraw/technaclip. It works quite well. Retention is very good and there is no "holster" to print. The vanguard has better retention i've found vs the other brands. I find the clip + lanyard works better than the belt loop combo ... especially for clearing before the trigger is exposed.

    1 year ago
  • Ursula

    Glad to see Concealment Express on your list! My first iwb holster was by Concealment Express, and it worked very nicely. I actually cheated and used it for owb (purchased iwb for opposite hand) before actually getting an owb. I recently got a new iwb by Garrett - it's leather-lined kydex. I carry a VP9, and this holster is a bit slimmer (smaller imprint) and my gun sits a bit higher so it's not digging into my thigh when I sit. The other great thing about this holster is that the leather makes it completely quiet when I draw. This was an anticipated advantage - I love this holster :)

    1 year ago
    • Eric Hung

      Glad to hear you like your concealment express!

      1 year ago
  • Dave

    I'm surprised that you don't mention any of the kydex holsters that are adjustable such as Harry's Holsters or Vedder Holsters, both of which are adjustable for ride height and cant. . Both I believe are adjustable for -30 to + 30 degrees of forward or backward cant, have adjustable tension and full trigger guard.. These holsters also are available with multiple mounting options to accommodate untucked and tuckable shirts. Having a holster that will sit where and how you want it to is half the battle to finding a comfortable holster that conceals well. Kydex holsters that are not adjustable are very limited as to where you can use them and still be comfortable. Many of the hybrid holsters that have huge leather backings such as the supertuck crossbreed can be very uncomfortable especially in warm or hot weather. If you sweat a lot you might want to avoid the hybrid holsters and opt for kydex, or a holster you can use somewhere other than the waistband. The right holster depends on many factors such as your body type, where you want to wear it and how you dress as well as the gun you want to carry. Just ask anyone who has a big box full of holsters!

    1 year ago
  • Dave

    You say that Relentless has the best belts (wrong!) but in your belt reviews you say Daltech are the best. Well......Check out Relentless gun belt customer service reviews! Better hope they don't send you a defective or even worse, a used belt because you'll be stuck with it. They do not respond to email. All those 5 star Amazon reviews are from paid reviewers. Read the one and 2 star reviews, not the 5 star. If you want a belt that will do what it was made for (and was made in the USA) look to Daltech. They stand behind their belts and will actually communicate with you if for some reason you need to return it, and if you shop around you can get one for half the price of a Relentless belt..

    1 year ago
  • Mark

    The big problem in carrying a concealed carry is bulkiness. Holsters are hard to hide, hard to wear and can be hard to get to. After spending hundreds of dollars on holsters, I don't and won't ever use one for concealed carry at the waist.

    1 year ago
  • Chris

    So many great articles on this site! I'm curious, did you give Versacarry a look? I ask because I have one of their OWB Underground Premiums and love it

    1 year ago
  • Greg

    Alien Gear... Jack of all trades, master of none. If you want an oversize holster which is larger than necessary and gives you the opportunity to trade out plastic shells to fit any of 100 pistols, than this is your company. If you want a custom tailored, job specific, best of breed, and absolute top tier construction holster - than reach out to Tom at 2A holster. Just know in advance his website does not do his holsters any justice. If you can name a holster brand, I have probably owned it and sent it back to the company under their return policy. I take a holster seriously, and if it's not the best quality and design for my body type and intended purpose, back it goes to the manufacture! The ONLY holster I have not sent back to the manufacture is 2A (note: I have returned 8 different holsters in just the last 6 months to various other companies). Tom ask for your waist measurements prior to making your holster, and his design and kydex quality/hardware absolutely raises the bar on quality. You are only shorting yourself if you don't take a serious look at his holsters. Good luck, and I realize every pistol owners needs are different and we all have different body types. May your next holster purchase be as successful as my journey to find Tom at 2A in order to complete mine. Note: I have absolutely NO affiliation with 2A holster, but I am a damn happy customer! Edit: I just realized that their IS one other holster which met my expectations, and I did not send back to the manufacture. This was a Garrett Holster out of Texas, another VERY high quality holster. Also know that I have no issues spending a $100 on a holster. I have three different Kriss Sphinx pistols, a Sig Legion, and an HK P2000SK, among others. I buy what I believe is the best, so the price of a holster is immaterial to me.

    1 year ago
  • Paul

    I prefer a simple houston clip on for my Taurus PT709 Slim for IWB carry. I used a Mikes for awhile and though it worked ok just tucked into my waist it never felt very secure. I also use the Ruger supplied pocket holster for my Ruger LCP II when I pocket carry. For IWB with that pistol I use a #10 Mikes clip on. Both work well. I do have an Alien Gear IWB for the Taurus but don't use it as much. It is not as comfortable as the Houton.

    1 year ago
  • Michael

    Great article, good that you share what defines a good holster and then follow with a varied selection and your favorite, each with rational. I'm saving this.

    1 year ago
    • Eric Hung

      Glad we could help out!

      1 year ago
  • Anthony

    The problem is not all of these companies makes holsters for every gun out there. If you get an off brand or one that isn't as popular as say a Glock, you won't be able to have a kydex holster made.

    1 year ago
  • PHILIP ASHFORD

    I HAVE A WALTHER PPS 9MM& 40 CAL M2 I BELIEVE AM WANTING A GOOD IWB HOLSTER THAT IS COMFORTABLE & WILL HOLD THEM IN PLACE ESPECIALLY WHEN BENDING OVER OR BENDING DOWN . ANY SUGGESTIONS

    1 year ago
    • Lucas Bridges

      Black Arch brother IWB. Best I have owned and most comfortable of all I've tried.

      6 months ago
  • Harold Hildenbrand

    Stealth Gear works for me all day in the car walking around, I do have to wear an extra layer between it..

    1 year ago
    • David

      +1 Stealth Gear makes a very comfortable holster!

      1 year ago
  • Reddog-6

    Relentless Tactical belts are one of the best gun belts that I have ever used, and for the price.life time warranty and the best customer service in any business I order the wrong size they sent me another one and the return shipping label told me they didn't want me to be with out a proper belt

    1 year ago
  • Keithp3521

    Good stuff, Josh. Thanks. The one area I think IWB makers don't pay enough attention to is the clips. When my shirt is tucked in, they're the only visible part. This is why I would not choose the Crossbreed - the clips are large and have crosses on them. People would constantly be asking me what they're for. I wear the Alien Gear. The clips are relatively low key, but they're black. 90% of the time, I wear a brown belt. I wish these makers offered more choices that blend in better with everyday office wear. Thanks for the thoughtful reviews.

    1 year ago
    • Eric Hung

      Good point, Keith!

      1 year ago
  • Larry

    Good article, but one cautionary comment regarding belly band holsters. Most of the belly band holsters, even with the "universal" gun fit, will not fit a handgun with a light/laser attachment...I tried a few and they did not work. (note: Crossbreed belly band holsters can custom fit a kydex insert with a light/laser.)

    1 year ago
    • Eric Hung

      Good tip! Thanks Larry.

      1 year ago
  • Anthony M

    Stealthguard IWB S&W Shield can use 1 belt clip and adjus appendix carry for sitting. I need my belt tight so my pants won't fall down especially when carrying

    1 year ago
  • Matt

    Have you ever heard of Hidden Hybrid Holsters? They are the best concealed carry holsters I have ever used. They Have adjustable retention whether you carry IWB or OWB. Their double clip holster can be carried either way. I carry a full size pistol all day long comfortably.

    1 year ago
    • Ryan

      Yep hidden hybrid holsters are plain and simple the best holsters out there and this is coming from someone who has purchased 50 different types and brands of holsters! Another that is close is greenforce tactical

      11 months ago
    • Tom

      I always get J-hooks if they are an option,if not,I keep shopping The exception is my Desantis,two leather.straps that just straddle a belt loop.

      1 year ago
    • Eric Hung

      Hi Matt, I have not, but thanks for your input!

      1 year ago
  • marc seals

    Count me in the I don't like the 2 clip holsters camp. I have a White Hat and an Alien Gear 2 clip and really just do not like them at all. Gary B hit the nail on the head when saying they are a major pain to get situated. Not only that but neither of my IWB 2 clip holsters have any retention if you loosen or undo your belt. Also retention while belted up is wholly dependent on how tight your belt is. All of my single clip IWB's have screw type adjustable retention that work independently of how your belt is adjusted.

    1 year ago
  • Gary B

    I have at least 35 holsters, a few Nylon pocket holsters that are better than nothing....I guess. I have a Ankle holster by Crossbreed that seems to be well made, mine is a Medium and too small so it does not work for me. I have a number of Alien Gear Cloak Mod Paddle holsters and they seem to work fine except for my Ruger American Compact. With that gun inserted into the holster a slight twist of the grip will lock the gun in place. It will not come out! A simple twist back, and out it will come as pretty as you please. Some would call this a feature, I would not. Other OWB are various leather for revolvers, they all work. And Kydex, mostly Blade-Tech, and they work. IWB are Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 1.0. 2.0, and 3.0, and a Crossbreed Super Tuck. holsters with two outboard clips. I am not a fan of any as they a pain to get situated, hard to get your cloths on, Once done they are okay. Too much time for me to use regularly. I do have a leather OWB for a full size 1911 and it works well other than those two outboard clips, All my other IWB holsters are single clip Kydex. I have a few Blade-Tech Klipt holsters that work good and are inexpensive and the only way to change the retention would be a heat gun to reshape the Kydex. They have a pretty good retention from the factory though. I settled on Cook's as there clip seems superior to me. The wide clip seems to hold the position and cant better. Plus the bottom end of the clip has a full width ramp that glides over the belt when putting it on, and provides a way to slip your finger tips under to take the holster off, gun and all. Cook's also allows retention change via a screw. They cost more.

    1 year ago
  • Gregg Zane Bates

    Apples to apples would have shown the Crossbreed Supertuck against the STANDARD Aliengear which is $29.99. As far as one poster saying that their hardware is junk and breaks, I've bought four and use them all the time and never had anything break. I finally had to buy a Crossbreed for one gun that I carry quite a bit just to see what the fuss was about and to be able to see if my theory was correct and it is very nice but I don't see all the hype nor two and a half times the price of the Aliengear.

    1 year ago
  • Gregg Zane Bates

    Apples to apples would have shown the Crossbreed Supertuck against the STANDARD Aliengear which is $29.99. As far as one poster saying that their hardware is junk and breaks, I've bought four and use them all the time and never had anything break. I finally had to buy a Crossbreed for one gun that I carry quite a bit and it is very nice but I don't see all the hype nor two and a half times the price of the Aliengear.

    1 year ago
  • Dave

    Don't even get me started on the piece of junk Brave Response belly band. What garbage. Who carries with their mags on their strong side? No one who knows what they're doing does that. SMH.

    1 year ago
  • Dave

    Alien gear as your best pick?! Pathetic. Although your article was somewhat informative, you holster options are less than desirable. Alien Gear is known for its hardware that breaks, bad choice of materials on their part. So many better companies out there like G-Code, Bravo Concealment & Raven among many others that outshine AG by a long shot.

    1 year ago
  • Brian

    Don't overlook the IWB from Stealthgear, it's amazingly comfortable

    2 years ago
  • Patrick Cimo

    I WILL BUY (5) FIVE! - One for each of my 'carry' guns ... IWB holster that allows continuous 'Rotation' of angle 40+ degrees left AND right of vertical carry. This type holster would work on hip, appendix and cross-draw carry. It can be made to attach to a shoulder holster harness, Vertical & Horizontal, at desired angle. Now; IF I could just FIND such a holster! ... :(

    2 years ago
    • SmokeForce

      ShapeShift from Alien Gear. modular holster system that can be adapted to IWB, OWB, Paddle, Drop-Leg, and by the end of this year MOLLE, Ankle, Shoulder, and Forearm.

      1 year ago
  • Braidon

    Another great article, Eric. The only thing I felt was missing was *how* to appendix carry, and what to use. I usually carry a full-sized P226 IWB at 4:00. Once I needed to carry appedix style on a hiking trip, because my backpack's waist strap was in the way. I tried using my Alien Gear IWB holster by putting it at the 1:00-2:00 position. Long story short, I had a massive bruise on my leg, and figured I would never appendix carry again. Luckily, later I looked up what I did wrong. I think more people would also benefit from knowing just a bit more about appendix carry. Regardless, keep up the good work, man!

    2 years ago
    • ehung

      Good tip, Braidon, we'll be adding more CCW articles in the future and will be sure to add in how to carry appendix tips.

      2 years ago
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