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9 Best OWB (Outside Waistband) Holsters of 2023

Ready for the comfort and access only an OWB holster brings? Come see our recs for the best OWB holsters for concealed and open carry.

Outside the waistband, or OWB, is a 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


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. 

at OpticsPlanet

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

2. PHLster Floodlight OWB 

I’ve been a member of a few cults now, some involving Kevin Smith movies, others involving 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.

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 CZ P09
PHLster Floodlight OWB CZ P09

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. 

at GunMag Warehouse

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

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, on a thigh rig, 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.

PHLster Floodlight OWB
PHLster Floodlight OWB Draw

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 innovation only a small shop can manage. 

at GunMag Warehouse

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

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. 

at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

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.


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. 

at OpticsPlanet

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

5. Rounded Gear OWB Belt Loop 

Rounded Gear (formerly Concealment Express) is well known for its modern AIWB rigs but recently tossed out the 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 OWB Belt Loop holster, as are suppressor height sights. 

Modern holsters should accommodate modern accouterments, and the 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.  

at Rounded Gear

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

How do you like your Rounded Gear? Give it a rating below!

Readers' Ratings

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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. 

at Bravo Concealment

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

7. 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 steer hide 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. 

at OpticsPlanet

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

8. 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.

at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

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. 

at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

9. 1791 Gunleather OWB

Let’s finish it out with one more leather holster…and this one is a purrrty one from 1791 Gunleather.

1791 Gunleather OWB Leather Holster
1791 Gunleather OWB Leather Holster

I love their “vintage” color and only wish I got their belt in vintage as well!

This specific OWB holster is multi-fit, and I got it nice and snug with my Sig P320.

1791 OWB Leather Holster with P320, Front
1791 OWB Leather Holster with P320, Front

I liked their instructions on how to every-so-slightly loosen the fit since it did come in pretty tight. The wonders of leather, right?

It now slips in with minimal effort and has a nice draw…all without feeling like it will fall off if I start running.

The belt attachment is also great, with a nice curve that really felt right on my hip.

1791 OWB Leather Holster with P320, Back
1791 OWB Leather Holster with P320, Back

Plus…it’s not too expensive for what you get! It was around $57 for my specs.

at 1791 Gunleather

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

If you’re going for a distressed leather look…you can’t go wrong with the 1791 Gunleather holsters.

Final Thoughts

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 has led me to dozens of different holsters over the 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. 

What’s your favorite OWB holster? 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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13 Leave a Reply

  • Commenter Avatar

    I know everyone has their pet favorite brands, but I just have to put in a word for Milt Sparks. I carried a full size .45, even in TX summers when you routinely get triple-digit temps, and like a certain pop song it never let me down.

    June 6, 2023 6:13 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    arrowhead survival

    I completely agree that having a high-quality holster is essential for any survivalist, and Arrowhead Survival definitely offers some of the best holsters on the market. A good holster can mean the difference between life and death in a survival situation, as it ensures that your weapon is always within reach and ready to use.

    May 8, 2023 6:04 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      Arrowhead Survival has holsters? I can't find a handgun holster on their web site.

      June 7, 2023 3:34 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    "concealment" for the Blackhawk L2C is, well, relative. If you wear a coat or really baggy shirt over it then yes in that sense its concealed from view and maybe not as noticeable. But if you were expecting something being drawn in close to the body in a 'pancake holster' flater and closer to the body way that you can get away with by a baggy t-shirt kinda way then the L2C is not going to do it for you.

    Oh, by the way...the belt loop is made to rotate the grip back closer to the body but it also rotates the front of the holster away from the body to do that...so in terms of printing the effect is still a more printed gun but instead of the grip its the front of the holster and the pointed up back of the slide.

    So 'concealment' is relatively with this holster.

    January 17, 2023 7:57 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    I strongly disagree with your recommendation of any "multi-fit" holster. In fact, your photographs of the 1791 Gunleather version covering only SOME of the P320 trigger guard prove my point. Anyone who doesn't understand the safety problem should Google "Idiot Police Chief Shoots Himself In Gun Shop" and watch the video. Everyone should carry with one in the chamber, but that means nobody should tolerate a holster that doesn't cover your ENTIRE trigger guard. Your life is worth the cost of a holster made for your specific gun!

    July 27, 2022 3:09 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Brian Beard

      Was that the guy that the drawstring on his jacket got into his holster and the drawsting when reholstering caused the negligent discharge?
      If so your point really doesnt address the issue you raised.

      October 6, 2022 6:58 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Shane Osowski

        I can't believe we are debating this. OK, so that video wasn't enough to convince you, because his drawstring got tangled in the trigger area WHILE REHOLSTERING, rather than afterward? I need to find you a better video where something (drawstring, zipper pull, keys, leather folded over, fingers, etc.) got into an unprotected trigger area at some OTHER time before you will agree it's dangerous to carry without a holster covering the entire trigger guard ? You're entitled to your opinion and carry how you want, but please stay away from me and my loved ones in case you have an "accidental" discharge (btw, I believe those don't exist).

        October 7, 2022 3:07 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    As is usually the case, this is yet another article on the “best holster” you can buy that can be ignored. I’d say 90-95% of these articles completely ignore high quality holster manufacturers such as TT Gunleather, Del Fatti, Milt Sparks, and the like in exchange for mass-produced holsters. If you want to say the best “mass-produced” or “readily-available”, then that’s one thing, but stop acting like a Desantis is better than the guys listed above.

    June 6, 2022 3:25 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    I have a 9mm S&W Ez and was wondering what’s the best owb holster that conforms to you’re hip for this gun and is comfortable for CCW for driving and walking around with? Thank you in advance.

    March 16, 2022 7:22 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    I'm a fan of 'minimalist' style holsters like leather belt slides and open bottom pancakes that snug up close. Really liked the Blackhawk 'Compact Askins' style holsters but they don't make anymore. Looking for a replacement.

    August 1, 2021 5:53 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

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

    May 3, 2021 7:21 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    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
    • Commenter Avatar
      Alika Lincoln

      I’m also looking for a good holster for my Glock 22 with Streamlight TLR-4. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
      Thank you

      December 30, 2021 12:02 am
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