Concealed Carry

7 Types of Gun Holsters You Should Consider

Holsters are important for whenever you want to carry your firearm out in public.


Because a holster securely holds your firearm, preventing discharge and theft while also giving you quick access.

But what differentiates between a good holster and a great one?

First, the holster must be made out of sturdy material that offers total trigger coverage. It also has to have good retention and allow you to hold it in a full combat grip when drawn. You can test the retention by putting your gun in the holster and turning it upside down. If it doesn’t fall out, it’s good.

Below we’ll cover the different types of holsters and which one you should own for each.

1. IWB (Inside-the-Waistband) Holsters

Like the name suggests, this holster goes in between your underwear and pants.

If you’re looking for concealed carry, IWB is the most ideal since it hugs the gun close to your body. This prevents the gun from printing too much, which is when you can see the outline of the firearm/holster on your clothing. A drawback is that it’s a little hard to get a positive grip on when drawing, but this just means you have to practice a bit more.

If you’re interested in this type of holster, consider the Alien Gear IWB Cloak Tuck Holster 3.5, which has won many awards. While the clips could be made stronger, you can adjust the retention. It’s also made with a neoprene backing to maximize your comfort and is pretty affordable.

Alien Gear IWB Holster

2. OWB (Outside-the-Waistband) Holsters

An OWB holster rests outside your pants, so I wouldn’t recommend it for concealment. But it does allow a better grip on the draw. And since nothing is poking you in the side, it offers the best comfort. Sweet, right?

Alien Gear also manufactures great OWB holsters, such as the Alien Gear ShapeShift OWB Slide Holster. With a neoprene backing, it’s also made from ballistic nylon and spring steel to offer you the best stability.

Alien Gear ShapeShift

3. Belly Band Holsters

There’s not too much to be said with this one. It simply wraps around your belly.

The Comforttac Belly Band Holster is ideal for small figures while also being comfortable, affordable and high quality. As a warning though, it does tend to ride up and does not include a trigger guard (besides the pocket).


Galco Belly Band Holster

4. Ankle Holsters

An ankle holster easily prevents printing unless you’re wearing really tight pants. However, it does make it hard to reach your gun, and it may sometimes be uncomfortable.

Sticky Holster offers the ideal ankle holster that forms from the body heat and pressure of normal use.

Sticky Holsters Ankle Holster

5. Shoulder Holsters

This type of holster wraps around your shoulder while the section that holds the actual firearm sits on the side of your rib cage. If you like wearing jackets, a shoulder holster is definitely for you.

Galco is the way to go with this one. Most of their holsters are made from leather for optimal comfort. Their narrow harness straps increase concealability as well.

Galco Miami Classic Shoulder Holster

6. Thigh Holsters

Ladies! These next two are designed specifically with your comfort in mind.

Thigh or garter holsters are common to use when you’re in a dress or a skirt because they don’t usually interfere with a form-fitting outfit. However, sometimes these holsters tend to slip down.

The Safariland Model 6354 is perfect if you want this type of holster. It combats against slipping with silicone gripper strips, which helps keep the elastic straps in place. Plus, it provides good retention with an Automatic Locking System.

Safariland Thigh Holster

7. Bra Holsters

This type of holster is ideal for its affordability and concealment. Keep in mind though to pay extra attention during the re-holstering process.

The most popular model is the Flashbang Original since the flashbang works with your bra to secure your firearm comfortably. The Kydex clamshell design is perfect for secure retention and trigger-guard protection.

Flashbang bra holster

Conclusion: Gun Holsters

All in all, each type of holster offers its own pros and cons. The above recommendations are to help you out when picking a holster, but don’t hesitate to test out different models. Only then can you find the best fit for you.

What type of holster do you use? Let us know in the comments below!

About the Author:

Richard Douglas

Richard Douglas is a firearms expert and educator. His work has appeared on large publications like The National Interest, Daily Caller, American Shooting Journal, and more. In his free time, he reviews optics on his Scopes Field blog.
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (14)

  1. Ronald hit it. Where are the Pocket holsters! In the south we wear shorts 11.9 months out of the year and the advent of the new generation 10 – 12 round 9mm micro pistols means pocket holsters have a new place in the lexicon. I carry a Sig P365 with a 12 round and Nothing beats a pocket locker in cargo shorts. Easier to draw than my IWB and print is less than zero.

    I love my JM4 leather IWB Quick click magnetic.. But I find myself only grabbing it when I wear very thin dress pants or shorts that cant hide or support the pocket. so less and less.

    they make em for all the most popular carry guns.. Glock 42 – Hellcat – P365 – Kimber micro or any other lil banger.
    Check out Vedder – Alabama – PJ Holster

  2. Folks, check into Vedder Holsters. Family operated out of Florida, USA.
    I give high praises for my IWB all kydex, that goes with me every day, all day. Two years now, securing my SW Shield and no problems!

  3. SOB or Mexican carry works well for standing situations and with proper adjustment and location can be comfortable when seated and is quite concealable. Tony Montana or Scarface, and Rio or Christopher in the series Good Girls used this method successfully as did countless characters in the series Pablo Escobar.

  4. Pocket holsters! Great for hot weather when you’re wearing shorts, T-shirt, and sandals! Also can be used inside a jacket pocket. Very comfortable to wear.

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