Concealed Carry

Hard to Beat Holsters

IWB holster female shooters

If you’ve bought a handgun and decided you want to carry it, you’re likely going to need a holster. You can carry a firearm in other ways of course, but let’s assume you want to keep it on your body. This way, it gives you quick access to your gun while keeping it safe and secure.

Your holster is one of the most important pieces of gear you will buy — after your gun. The holster is not something you want to skimp on. You want to make sure the holster is made to fit your specific gun, holds the pistol securely, and is comfortable enough for you to not mind wearing it.

Galco N3 IWB holster
Galco offers a wide range of inside-the-waistband holsters. The N3 with a rear belt loop may be among the best choices.

When I hear people say they don’t like carrying their pistol, the reason they most often give is that it’s uncomfortable. If you find the right holster and holster position, comfort will not be a problem. In fact, with a bit of getting used to, you’ll forget you are wearing a sidearm most of the time.

Holsters to Make you Happy

It’s hard to recommend the perfect holster since everyone’s needs are different, but here are several companies that are building quality holsters for a wide variety of setups. Even though I’ll mention specific holster models from each company, be sure to check out their other styles and models to find one that best suits your needs.

Alien Gear

Alien Gear is best known for its hybrid “Cloak Tuck” line, which is available for nearly 600 handgun configurations. The Cloak Tuck was my first hybrid holster. As a matter of fact, I still have it today. It’s soft and breathable thanks to the neoprene backing, which also acts as a sweat guard.

You can adjust everything from the cant to the retention to the ride height — all without tools. If for some reason you don’t wind up finding it comfortable, which I highly doubt, Alien Gear offers a “30-Day Test Drive.” This gives you ample time to decide to keep the holster or send it back for a refund.

Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.5 holster
The Cloak Tuck 3.5 is the newest iteration of Alien Gear’s flagship hybrid holster. It’s one of the most comfortable holsters the author has worn, thanks to the soft and breathable neoprene backing.

Blade-Tech

If you can’t decide whether you want to carry inside the waistband (IWB) or outside the waistband (OWB), Blade-Tech has you covered with its Total Eclipse 2.0. Without tools, you can easily swap the clip orientation to accommodate either an IWB or OWB setup. It also features an ambidextrous design to help with training both strong and weak side, along with adjustable cant. While the Total Eclipse 2.0 doesn’t current have light-bearing configurations, its affordable price and versatility makes it a great option.

Blade-Tech Total Eclipse 2.0 holster
The Blade-Tech Total Eclipse 2.0 gives you the ability to carry either IWB or OWB. With no tools needed, you can swap the clip orientation to best suit your carry preference of the day.

Bravo Concealment

Bravo Concealment makes sturdy, no frills holsters at a great price. The Torsion IWB holster is one of its most popular holsters, and it is offered at an affordable price. While the Torsion does not offer adjustable cant (it comes standard at 10 degrees inward), the Kydex holster was designed with a pre-molded curve in the Kydex to hug your waistline and adjustable retention. If cost is one of the more important factors in your holster search, but you don’t want to worry about reliability, Bravo is a nice option to consider. As a bonus, Bravo Concealment offers an unlimited lifetime warranty.

Bravo Concealment Torsion IWB holster
The Torsion IWB holster from Bravo Concealment incorporates a slight curve to better hug your waistline. The curve helps to improve concealability and reduce printing

C&G

Holster systems or “appendix rigs” have become increasingly popular. They give you the ability to carry an extra magazine side-by-side with your gun. This gives you quick and easy access for reloading. The MOD1 IWB Kydex holster system from C&G is one of my favorites. It features a proprietary locking hinge system, which can be locked and unlocked to suit your flexibility preferences.

The hinge serves as the connection point between the main firearm holster and the spare magazine holster. When you unlock that hinge, it allows for both sides to move with your body. If you’re active while carrying, this feature can make it much more comfortable. Keeping comfort in mind, it also has adjustable ride height and pivot mount clips that move with your body. If you’re in the market for a holster system, I highly suggest checking out C&G.

C&G’s MOD1 IWB Holster System
C&G’s MOD1 IWB Holster System features a locking hinge that allows you to change the holster’s flexibility quickly. The MOD1 also has pivot clip mounts that move with your body for additional comfort.

CrossBreed

What do you get when you incorporate a leather backing on your holster system? Owners would respond, “A damn comfortable holster!” The Reckoning holster system does just that — place the consumer’s comfort at the forefront. You also get adjustable cant, ride height, and retention. Another great aspect of this holster is that you can convert it to IWB or OWB by simply switching the clips. I love the versatility of this holster and think you will too.

CrossBreed Reckoning holster
The CrossBreed Reckoning holster system features a leather backer that offers high comfortability. You can also purchase the magazine carrier with a leather backing to furthermore increase comfort.

DeSantis

DeSantis is known for making leather holsters that provide plenty of quality and affordability. DeSantis gets high marks when it comes to Kydex holsters too. The Slim-Tuk IWB holster has quickly become one of DeSantis’ best sellers. It’s minimalistic while remaining versatile. You can easily reverse the hardware to change from right- to left hand and adjust the retention and ride height. The best part is the price. It’s likely to be one of the most affordable holsters on this list.

DeSantis Slim-Tuk holster
The Slim-Tuk by DeSantis is a minimalist IWB holster that has the added feature of being ambidextrous. You can also use it with most red dots, thanks to its partial slide coverage cut.

Galco

The Galco Combat Master Belt holster has one of the highest quality feels of any leather holsters I have tested. It’s made from premium steerhide and has double-stitched seams. The retention is surprisingly strong without any “sticking” issues — thanks to the smooth leather. It offers full slide coverage, so it won’t work with a red dot, but otherwise is a nice safety feature. It will accommodate up to a 1.75-inch belt, so you should be set with any of your current gun belts. While on the expensive side, you are buying quality and comfort in a holster you’ll pass down to the next generation.

Galco Combat Master Belt holster
Galco’s Combat Master Belt holster is made from premium steerhide. Since it offers full slide coverage, optics are not compatible with it, but it’s an extremely comfortable and reliable holster.

Safariland

Safariland’s Model 17T is great for people who want minimal holster visibility. The J-Clip that comes standard with the holster is small but maintains strong retention on your belt. The 17T is constructed out of Boltaron as opposed to Kydex. Boltaron is typically slightly thinner, which adds to the concealability of this holster. There are arguments for and against Boltaron, but many feel it’s stronger than Kydex, especially in colder environments where Kydex can become brittle. The holster also has an adjustable cant to increase carry position possibilities. At a surprisingly low price, this holster is worth checking out.

Safariland’s Model 17T tuckable IWB holster
Safariland’s Model 17T tuckable IWB is constructed from Boltaron as opposed to traditional Kydex. This gives the holster increased strength in colder conditions where Kydex would possibly become brittle.

Versacarry

The Versacarry Comfort Flex Deluxe takes comfort to the next level. First, Versacarry wraps the polymer mold in buffalo leather. Then, there is a foam padded backing stitched to the leather. This not only increases the comfort but acts a sweat barrier as well. It features adjustable retention and easy on/off clips. If you’re looking for something slim and comfortable, this is a great option.

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Versacarry Comfort Flex Deluxe IWB holster
Versacarry’s Comfort Flex Deluxe IWB holster pairs strength and comfort by wrapping the molded polymer in leather. It also features a closed cell foam padding on the back to increase comfort even more.

My Recommendation

There are too many options on this list, let alone the entire market, to recommend only one model of holster to fit all shooters’ needs. What works well for me, may not be right for you. I can, however, say my personal preference goes to full Kydex IWB holsters. I recommend making a list of your “must have features” and starting there. There are plenty of holster manufacturers and offerings, so there is no need to settle.

Do you prefer to carry inside or outside of the waistband? Let us know what style and brand you like most in the comment section.

  • Galco Combat Master Belt holster
  • DeSantis Slim-Tuk holster
  • Safariland’s Model 17T tuckable IWB holster
  • CrossBreed Reckoning holster
  • C&G’s MOD1 IWB Holster System
  • Bravo Concealment Torsion IWB holster
  • Blade-Tech Total Eclipse 2.0 holster
  • Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.5 holster
  • Versacarry Comfort Flex Deluxe IWB holster

Bio: Ryan Domke is a freelance writer, photographer, and social media consultant with a passion for guns and tactical gear. He works with some of the largest manufacturers in the firearms industry, allowing him the opportunity to continuously learn from and knowledge share with the 2A community. 

When he’s not spending time with his family, you’ll likely find him at the range or starting a new DIY project. If you’d like to check out some of his other content, you can find him on Instagram at (@TheGuyGearReview).

About the Author:

Ryan Domke

Ryan Domke is a freelance writer, photographer and social media consultant with a passion for guns and tactical gear. He works with some of the largest manufacturers in the firearms industry, allowing him the opportunity to continuously learn from and knowledge share with the 2A community. When he’s not spending time with his family, you’ll likely find him at the range or starting a new DIY project. If you’d like to check out some of his other content, you can find him on Instagram at (@TheGuyGearReview).
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 (9)

  1. I’ve been using an Alien Gear 3.0 for several years now, and it has served me through three different firearms.
    With their “Free Shell Trades For Life”, it is comfortable, durable, and versatile.
    Would highly recommend checking one out.

  2. I’ve tried quite a few of those but my new fave is the SG Revolution from StealthGearUSA, do yourselves a favor n start looking at other manufacturers beside the same old run of the mill brand names that every reviewer that phones it in focuses on

  3. I have several holsters from a company in Western Ny called Just Holster It. Inside the waste band and outside the waste band paddle holsters to fit everything from my PPK to my XD and of course Glocks. Great customer service, fair prices and a large selection of custom holsters. I highly recommend them. I use Safari Land ALS too.

  4. The black cross shown emblazoned against the flaming orange background on the handle in one of the photos of this firearm reminds me of the saying, “Faith (belief in things for which there is no proof or evidence) and force are two of the most ominous stumbling blocks for humanity.
    Any symbol of Christianity – although every other religion is just as bad if not more so – should remind the viewer of the criminal insanity proudly promoted in the Bible:
    “If anyone, even your own family, suggests worshipping another God, kill them”
    (Deuteronomy 13: 6-10).
    “If you find out a city worships a different god, destroy the city and kill all of its inhabitants – – even the animals” (Deuteronomy 13: 12-15).

  5. For years my goto for IWB has been Foxx holsters.
    American company, very affordable, very well made. Excellent customer service and they stand behind their products.
    I use the ‘lil fox. (Single clip hybrid)
    I have like a dozen of them for my various pieces that i carry concealed.
    OWB, i like Galco PLE. I like the thumb break.

  6. Galco Advenger and Belt Slide have saved my little fanny more than once. On deployment though, it was their Shoulder Rig for all of us … it fit well over armor and had the option of carrying 4 magazines with it. Ask yourself, what price do you put on the ability to come home? Cheap doesn’t make the grade.

  7. About a year ago I purchased (don’t laugh) a small of the back holster from Amazon. It is an ALIS470 leather holster made by Koltster. I have really been pleased with it as an EDC holster. It is leather, it is soft, it is comfortable, and it was very easy to develop the muscle memory for drawing and aiming.

    It is a great fit for my Glock 19. I absolutely agree with your advice to take your time and be very thoughtful about this purchase. I have also enjoyed the Galco Miami Vice style shoulder holsters for Glocks and Berettas over the years, but in situations where a jacket for over shirt isn’t practical oh, I love my small of the back option. This is such a good forum, thanks to everyone for contributing.

  8. I carry outside the waistband. I use Galco holsters. Both are SOB style (small of the back). I have one for my Kimber and one for an S&W snub nose. They fit both my pistols like a glove. It’s good stuff but kinda pricy. I like the SOB holster style cause you can actually move it on your belt to just behind the hip and not have completely in the middle of your back. Gonna get a Galco for my Ruger Single Six cause they look good and fit the pistol so well.

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