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9 Best OWB (Outside Waistband) Holsters [Concealed & Open Carry]

Outside the waistband, or OWB is an old-school means of carry that has come in and out of favor over the years.

It often takes a backseat in the concealed carry realm in favor of IWB.

But outside of concealed carry, OWB is the king of duty and tactical carry

OWB Holster Bravo concealment Blazer
Jacki sporting a Bravo Concealment OWB.

OWB holsters serve police and military members daily for good reason.

So today, we’re taking a closer look at OWB and, specifically, the holsters that make it successful.

We’ll break down some finer points of the OWB process as well as discuss my recommendations for the best OWB holsters.

success kid question meme
You got questions, we have answers.

By the end, you’ll have a much better grasp on OWB and, hopefully, a good holster on order.

Let’s do it!

Table of Contents

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What is OWB?

As I mentioned, OWB stands for outside the waistband — meaning, the holster sits on the outside of the pants.

This method offers a comfortable means of carrying while also keeping the gun accessible in all situations to the user. I love OWB because it blends both well.

OWB Holster Bravo concealment
OWB Holster Bravo concealment

OWB prevents poking and prodding, making it easy to access your gun from a standing, seated, kneeling, or prone position. 

Admittedly, for concealed carry, the concealment part can be tricky and it does take a little practice. But, if you’re a big guy like me, this issue is greatly minimized.

IWB, AIWB, pocket carry, ankle, and belly band carry are all easier to conceal than OWB. 

Concealment Express G19 AIWB, Front
IWB or AIWB works a bit better for tighter fitting shirts.

(Want to see how IWB stacks up against OWB? Check out our in-depth look here.)

The best way to successfully CCW OWB?

Get a good holster. 

OWB Holsters
OWB holsters

It doesn’t matter if you need a holster for duty, concealed carry, or hiking in the woods; a good holster is a must-have. 

Lucky for you, I rounded some of the best OWB holsters the market has to offer. So, let’s take a look.

Best OWB Holsters

1. Safariland 7377 7TS 

I give Safariland five stars for making holsters and one star for naming conventions.

Can we move away from random numbers? Especially random four-digit numbers with a three-digit follow-up made of numbers and letters? 

call of duty black ops what do the numbers mean
How Safariland names their holsters?

Naming conventions aside, when it comes to the Safariland 7377 7TS its random assortment of alphabet soup is my biggest complaint.

This OWB rig is a duty-built but concealment-driven design. Safariland takes cues from its duty rigs to make one excellent OWB for concealment. 

Safariland 7377 7TS draw
Drawing from the Safariland 7377 7TS

Admittedly, this holster seems rather large.

However, Safariland does a decent job of keeping the holster tight to the body to make concealment as easy as possible.

A Glock 34 is still a Glock 34, and this isn’t a wardrobe to Narnia. 

9mm glock 34
Glock 34

The Safariland 7377 7TS comes with belt loops but will fit a paddle as well.

Safariland’s ALS system locks your gun in place with excellent retention. Releasing it requires nothing more than a straight upward draw.

Made from SafariSeven, this rig boasts an ultra-tough design that won’t ruin a finish or harm your firearm. 

Assorted Safariland Holsters
Assorted Safariland Holsters we also like!

Good things come in simple packages, and this defines simple.

It’s incredibly easy to wear, use, and you can rely on it in harsh conditions.

Safariland is the #1 supplier of police and military holsters for a reason. Its holsters kick ass, and the company makes them for damn near every gun on the market. 

34
at LAPG

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

2. PHLster Floodlight OWB 

I’ve been a member of a few cults now, some involving Kevin Smith movies, others involve hating IPA beers, and the latest is PHLster products.

I didn’t expect to be a cultish snob over a holster, but here we are.

cult
Wait…is that Kit Badger?

I’ve used the PHLster Floodlight IWB for a few months now and utterly loved it. 

As a fan of OWB, the PHLster Floodlight OWB was a natural next purchase.

Phlster Floodlight OWB (Breach Bang Clear)
Phlster Floodlight OWB (Breach Bang Clear)

The Floodlight OWB sports a quasi-universal holster that bases its retention around the presence of a weapon light.

Surefire X300U and Streamlight TLR 1 users see accommodation here, with everyone else biting the dust for now. 

114
at GunMag Warehouse

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

No concealment holster, this is suited more for range wear, open carry, and tactical use.

PHLster made the Floodlight OWB compatible with Safariland, G-Code, and Blade-Tech attachments. It runs as a standard strongside OWB holster, or on a thigh rig, or connected to a vest, or wherever else you want it. 

Comfort is top-notch, and the end-user has tons of ability to adjust how the holster rides and carries.

Tested Pistol Red Dots
Oh yeah, it works with these bad boys.

Compatibility with red dots, muzzle devices, and high sights makes it even more universal. You can go full Roland special should you so choose. 

PHLster is a small shop that plays big with its holsters. These are professional-grade holsters built with the innovation only a small shop can manage. 

3. Blackhawk T-Series L2C

Blackhawk gets lots of hate for the SERPA, and it’s deserved. Sorry, not sorry.

But the T-Series is different. No, not the YouTube channel that beat Pew Die Pie, but a line of Professional grade holsters made to outfit duty guns. 

PewDiePie T Series
Let the flame war begin. (Photo: SocialBook)

Like the SERPA, the T-series L2C features an active retention button. However, unlike the SERPA, that button rests in an easy-to-access and safe place.

Thumb driven describes it best. The active retention button’s placement behind the gun, where the thumb naturally falls when you attempt to draw your firearm, feels like a much better spot.  

Blackhawk T-Series L2C (GunsWeek)
Blackhawk T-Series L2C (GunsWeek)

Press the release, draw the gun, and you’re golden.

The L2C is smaller than the L3D and a bit more concealed-carry friendly. If open carry is your thing, then the L2C’s active retention is certainly comforting. 

Users can choose between a few different belt mounting solutions. Blackhawk tosses in a quick dual-release belt loop as well as a traditional two-slot loop.  

Blackhawk T-Series L2C (Tactical Life)
Blackhawk T-Series L2C (Tactical Life)

If you like the clicky noise of most retention holsters, then this bad boy isn’t for you.

Blackhawk emphasizes a somewhat silent draw and reholstering ideal in the L2C. A sound-dampening lining ensures you have a smooth but somewhat silent draw. 

The company reduced bulk on the rig, which makes me a fan! Plus, it’s rare to see a holster that could be used for concealment with an active retention device.

The company did an excellent job designing the T-Series and should get some serious credit for it. 

83
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

4. Desantis Speed Scabbard 

Leather is never out of style! At least not with OWB holsters.

A good leather holster does require some masterful work to be safe and effective, though. 

Desantis Speed Scabbard
Perfect for the Grill Dad in your life!

Desantis has been working with leather long enough to know what works. They’ve long been a reputable manufacturer of holsters, working with leather, nylon, and even modern polymer blends.

So, it’s no surprise the Speed Scabbard continues that trend with an all-leather design.

Initially manufactured for plainclothes police officers, the design also works perfectly for the modern concealed carrier.

The Speed Scabbard offers a pancake OWB style. Pancakes are both a delicious breakfast food and a wonderful way to design a holster.

Pancakes

Pancake holsters are named as such because of the flat manner in which they carry the gun. It clings tight to the body, making it easy to conceal under simple garments. 

Leather pancake rigs are some of the most concealable OWB rigs out there, and the Speed Scabbard outshines most. The retention is passive, and the Speed Scabbard lacks a thumb break.

Desantis Mini Speed Scabbard
Desantis Mini Speed Scabbard

An uninterrupted draw is a quick draw, and that’s what the Speed Scabbard offers. 

Simple, fast, good-looking, efficient, and safe are good ways to describe the Speed Scabbard, but old school works too. 

65
at OpticsPlanet

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

5. Concealment Express OWB Belt Loop 

Concealment Express is well known for its modern AIWB rigs but recently tossed out the Concealment Express OWB Belt Loop holster.

As mentioned above, the Speed Scabbard is a pancake design. Leather holsters fit squarely in the realm of pancake designs. 

Concealment Express OWB Paddle, High
Concealment Express OWB Paddle, High

The OWB Belt Loop holster is as close to a pancake design as a polymer can get.

This sucker clings tight to the body and gives an excellent level of concealment. This is an OWB rig designed from the ground up to be concealed. 

I’ve found it to be very modular. You can swap the holster from left to right-handed configurations. Users can adjust height and cant at will for better concealment and an easier draw. 

Concealment Express Belt Loop Holsters
Concealment Express Belt Loop Holsters

Passive retention is the name of the game here. A loud click signifies that the holster is locked in place and ready to go.

Red dots and threaded barrels are accommodated with the Concealment Express OWB Belt Loop holster, as are suppressor height sights. 

Modern holsters should accommodate modern accouterments, and the Concealment Express OWB Belt Loop holster does so.

It also provides a comfortable, easily concealable, and affordable option that works with a wide variety of popular weapons.  

6. Bravo Concealment BCA 3.0 

For the budget-conscious, Bravo Concealment provides one of the better options for OWB holsters.

This is especially true if you are looking for a light-bearing holster. These all Kydex holsters are American-made, often retailing for less than $50.

OWB Holster Bravo concealment
BCA looking fierce.

Bravo Concealment’s latest model is the BCA 3.0, which comes in standard and light-bearing designs.

As the company’s name implies, these holsters are designed for concealed carry rather than duty use. And features clearly reflect a holster designed to be hidden. 

OWB Holster Bravo concealment Blazer
There’s a Bravo in there.

This includes a tight-to-body design, smooth angles, and minimal bulk.

The BCA 3.0 is an open-top design that allows for a seamless draw without having to fight a retention device. Retention is passive but adjustable via a single screw. 

Users can also implement 10-degrees of cant should they choose.

Bravo Concealment BCA 3.0
Bravo Concealment BCA 3.0

The BCA 3.0 will accommodate threaded barrels, suppressor height sights, and red dots. Modern pistols need modern holsters, and Bravo Concealment answers the call. 

The holsters are precision molded designs that are fitted for each and every gun. This ensures safety, as well as proper retention.

A loud click signifies when the gun is holstered and locked in place — a comforting noise for many. 

OWB Holster Bravo concealment Blazer

I’ve used lots of BCA 3.0 holsters and found them to be very robust and easy to conceal.

Making a Glock 17 equipped with a TLR 1 isn’t easy, but the Bravo Concealment rigs find a way. Oh yeah, and if you wanna switch to IWB carry, you can with just a change of clips. 

44
at Bravo Concealment

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Tried the Bravo Concealment BCA 3.0? If so, rate it below!

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7. Raven Concealment Perun 

Let’s hug that body, and I don’t mean in a self-love kind of way. Unless carrying a gun tight to the body is all about self-love, then heck, we are back where we started.

The Raven Concealment Perun is all about hugging that body. 

Raven Concealment Perun
Raven Concealment Perun (Soldier Systems Daily)

Designed to hold on tight, the Perun is a concealed carry-focused OWB holster from our good friends at Raven Concealment.

It’s a mix of the Eidolon and the Phantom holsters, and one of the lowest profile concealed carry OWB holsters on the market. 

The Perun sports an ambidextrous design that comes with a variety of different belt loops. Standard straight loops provide an ambidextrous fit, and optional left and right-hand cant loops give users 10-degrees of cant.

Raven Concealment Perun
The loops on the Raven Concealment Perun

We all love curves, and the Perun’s ability to fit tight to the body and curve naturally is due to the innovative belt loop design. 

Retention is passive but adjustable. Instead of a traditional screw-type design, the Perun uses a tool-free slider. It’s easy to set and forget for the end-user. 

Most red dots are accommodated, including the fan-favorite Trijicon RMR and similarly designed optics, as are suppressor height sights and threaded barrels. Unfortunately, the Perun is only available for Glock, SIG, and S&W pistols, so Walthers and CZs get a back seat. 

Raven Concealment knocked it out of the park with the Perun, and it’s easy to see why it’s become their flagship OWB option. 

50
at Raven Concealment

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

8. Galco Combat Master

Combat Master sounds like the name of a sweet G.I. Joe character, but alas, it’s a holster.

The guys and gals at Galco are masters of leather holsters and have long-designed fantastic pieces of steerhide to house your Mahaska.

As mentioned previously, you have to be picky about leather holsters, and with Galco, you know you are getting a high-quality leather rig. 

Galco Combat Master
Galco Combat Master

Galco’s Combat Master is a concealment rig with a pancake style for easy concealment.

A butt-forward design means you get a little cant for a more natural draw and enhanced concealment as well.

Wide loops accommodate belts up to 1.75-inches in size. 

Vegan-friendly this holster is not. Premium steer hide makes up the construction of the holster and provides a proven and durable holster material.

happy cows
Galco’s holsters on the hoof.

Galco hand molds each Combat Master to accommodate individual guns. 

This hand molding increases retention and ensures a solid fit for your firearm. Your gun just barely squeezes in and is rather tight.

This is a must for leather rigs and is completely normal. Trust me, a floppy leather holster is not a safe leather holster.

Galco Combat Master
It’ll be a conversation piece, for sure!

An open-top design allows for a rapid draw and makes getting the gun into action quite easy. The gun sits just far enough from the body to accommodate a good full grip for a safe and intuitive draw. 

The Combat Master is more than a cool name and good looks. 

83
at OpticsPlanet

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

9. Phalanx Defense Stealth Operator 

Of all the holsters on this list, I have the most experience with the Phalanx Defense Stealth Operator.

The Stealth Operator is a bit of an outdated 2010s name, but the holster itself is tough to beat.

Phalanx Defense Stealth Operator e Stealth Operator
Phalanx Defense Stealth Operator

This is a quasi-universal holster that uses trigger guard retention to accommodate over 150 different firearms

The Stealth Operator comes in full-sized and compact variants. The full-sized version covers the entire barrel and slide, while the compact model is cut for smaller guns.

35
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

I first stumbled onto one of these holsters in a gun shop in Gainesville and have been a fan ever since. 

Since then, I’ve purchased a multitude of these holsters, as well as some of the Phalanx Defense body armor options.

As a guy who reviews guns, the universal design of the Stealth Operator was instantly appealing. Beyond that, I’ve called on these holsters for concealed carry numerous times. 

Phalanx Defense Stealth Operator
Phalanx Defense Stealth Operator

The fit to the body is nice and tight, and it makes concealing firearms quite simple. Even firearms as large as my CZ P09 fit with ease and carry well.

An all-polymer design ensures the holster lasts forever and provides the modern safety we associate with polymer holsters. 

Best of all, this product is quite affordable and made in the United States. In fact, they are built-in Gainesville, right down the road from yours truly.

The full-sized and compact OWB models are both fantastic, and I’ve used them for years without issue. 

35
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Conclusion

Outside the Waistband holsters are largely underrated these days and it’s a shame. These holsters maximize both comfort and access.

I’ve been a big fan of OWB for quite some time, and it leads me to dozens of different holsters over my years carrying. 

OWB Holster Range
OWB Holster Range

There is no perfect holster for every scenario, but having a multitude of options allows you to have the perfect holster for an individual situation.

When OWB is an option, it’s one I encourage carriers to try. 

Are you a fan of OWB? If so, what’s your favorite holster? If not, how do you carry and why? Tell us all about it in the comments. Got a holster? Brush up on [How-To] Practice Drawing from a Holster. Also, learn about the Benefits of Strong Side Carry, too!

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2 Leave a Reply

  • matt

    My favourite kydex holster that I own is from Gunfighters, Inc.

    May 3, 2021 7:21 am
  • John

    I wish someone would design a good comfortable OWB holster for a glock model 22 with laser attached. Got a fobus paddle type holster for it out of desperation and it is the most uncomfortable holster I've ever used.

    April 30, 2021 10:55 am
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