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Best Concealed Carry Holsters 2017

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Choosing a holster can be difficult for experienced shooters, much less those who are new to Concealed Carry. Although we already covered choosing a holster 101, we know that once you figured out the basics, you’re still left with a dizzying array of concealed carry holsters to sort through. For example:

Some holsters are incredibly cheap, inferior quality holsters that are little more than nylon bags to hold your firearm, and some are hand-made custom-crafted works of art that might cost as much as the weapon for which they are designed. Between those two extremes, however, are scores of great, serviceable holsters, that are affordable, yet capable of giving the owner years of good use, but remember: it’s all about Choosing the Right Holster for the Right Situation

The following is a list of the most popular categories of concealed carry holsters, with an impartial discussion of each, from the point of view of people with years of concealed carry experience. In addition, I’ll include my pick for “Editor’s Choice” in each category. NOTE: This list is by no means complete, nor are we saying that these are the best holsters in each category. They are simply the ones that you are most likely to run across in your quest for a new concealed carry holster, and therefore, the ones most in need of a closer look…

IWB Concealed Carry Holsters

Galco Triton

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Galco Triton Kydex Holster

Though I love Kydex as a holster material, that doesn’t apply for IWB holsters. Kydex has no give to it, and when worn for extended periods, can be very uncomfortable. That being said, the Triton, as is the norm for Galco, is an excellent holster, and if the Kydex construction poses no problem for you, then you could do far worse. (MSRP—$60)

Comp-Tac Infidel

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Comp-Tac Infidel Holster

While the Infidel is virtually identical to the Triton in construction, with all the inherent drawbacks associated with Kydex, the Comp-Tac holster does have a few key differences in the mounting hardware that gives it an edge over the Galco offering. Chief among these are the option of snap belt loops instead of a clip, allowing the holster to be easily removed and replaced when necessary. As was discussed in “Carrying a Firearm 301: Choosing a Holster,” that’s an option that I consider very desirable. (MSRP—$70)

Outbags leather Holster

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Outbags Leather holster

One of the newer holsters on the market, the Outbags Leather IWB holster is a very good entry-level holster and an extremely good value for the money. Constructed of leather, unlike most holsters at this price point, which are usually nylon, this is a good choice for those new to CCW.  (MSRP—$30)

Desantis Cozy Partner – (EDITOR’S CHOICE)

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Desantis Cozy Partner

While I own holsters made of various materials—Kydex, ABS plastic, nylon—I’ve always been partial to leather for its quality, durability, and attractiveness, and few large holster-makers do leather as well as DeSantis. Their Cozy Partner IWB holster is just about perfect for the purpose, and is at the top of my shopping list next time I’m in the market for a holster. (MSRP—$60)

Tuckable IWB Concealed Carry Holsters

Galco Tuck N Go

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Galco Tuck N Go

The Tuck-N-Go is an excellent expression of a simple, no-nonsense holster design, similar to the DeSantis Sof-Tuck (see below), but with a non-adjustable clip attached by two rivets. A comfortable, very concealable holster, it’s hard to beat if you favor a small-frame revolver or autopistol. (MSRP—$37)

Desantis Sof-Tuck

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Desantis Sof-Tuck

The Sof-Tuck is a nice holster, constructed of good quality suede leather, which is comfortable to carry for extended periods. However, the clip, with a single attachment point, is a weakness on this holster. I carried my S&W Mdl. 642 in a DeSantis Sof-Tuck for more than a year, hardly ever as an IWB holster, however. I simply removed the clip and used it as a pocket holster. (MSRP—$30)

Galco King Tuk

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Galco King Tuk

The King-Tuk is one of a new breed of hybrid holsters that are becoming very popular, and with good reason. Combining a large leather backing pad with a Kydex shell, these holsters are the best of both worlds, providing both comfort and toughness. I regularly carry a Glock 22 in a very similar holster (a DeSantis Intruder), and it is by far the most comfortable IWB holster I’ve ever used. (MSRP—$75)

Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.0 – (EDITOR’S CHOICE)

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Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.0

Similar in style to the King-Tuk and Intruder holsters mentioned above, the Cloak Tuck 3.0 wins out over both based on three key factors. The first is price—a fraction of the King Tuk. Second is the construction—a neoprene backing pad, softer than leather, and better able to conform to the user’s body. And third are the interchangeable shells—no need to own two holsters if you have two pistols you alternately carry. All in all, that’s a hard combination to beat. (MSRP—$49)

OWB Holsters

Barsony OWB Concealment Holster

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Barsony OWB Concealment Holster

Constructed of Nylon-covered foam, the Barsony Belt holster is a good, entry-level holster, perfect for first time buyers or those on tight budgets. Holsters of this type are neither very comfortable nor very concealable, but for those new to CCW, they will serve the purpose until better holsters are acquired. (MSRP—$20)

Blade Tech OWB Holster

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Blade Tech OWB Gun Holster

The most significant innovation in holster technology over the last twenty years has been the use of Kydex in their construction. Kydex is cheaper than leather, easier to form, far more durable, and doesn’t stretch or wear out. Blade-Tech is a newer manufacturer, but they’ve quickly become one of the top names in the business. Their OWB belt holster is professional grade, affordable, and comes with a wide variety of mounting options. (MSRP–$65)

Blackhawk SERPA CQC Holster – (EDITOR’S CHOICE)

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Blackhawk! Serpa CQC Holster

 

One of the most popular brands of holsters currently on the market, the Blackhawk SERPA CQC for the Glock 21 is one of the best holsters I own, and is one of the best values for the money a price-conscious shooter could hope for. (MSRP—$50-60)

Concealed Carry Shoulder Holsters

Desantis C.E.O. Shoulder Rig

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Desantis C.E.O. Shoulder Rig

Though not as popular as they once were, shoulder holsters still can be a viable option for many shooters. They aren’t for everyone—they’re pricey, difficult to conceal unless one wears a jacket, and the draw isn’t as instinctive as it is with the strong side hip carry. But if the shoulder carry option is for you, it’s hard to go wrong with this rig from DeSantis. (MSRP—$130)

Galco Jackass Shoulder Rig

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Galco Jackasss Shoulder Rig

This holster dates back to 1970, when it was introduced by the Famous Jackass Leather Company, forerunner of the Galco Gunleather Company. Wisely, Galco has taken a “not-broke-don’t-fix-it” approach to the holster, retaining its legendary design factors. Unfortunately, it has a legendary price tag. Short of a winning lottery ticket, I don’t see myself laying out this much for any holster, especially one that would spend at the very least half the year in the locker. But if you want the best and price isn’t an object, this is the one for you. (MSRP—$175)

Universal Shoulder Holster

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Universal Shoulder Holster

This is another holster that I personally owned and carried … however briefly. I don’t consider shoulder carry to be the best mode for entry-level shooters, or entry-level holsters, and my experience with this rig only confirmed that opinion. Compared to better-quality leather rigs I’ve owned, the UTG is almost impossible to adjust properly, uncomfortable for extended wear, and not secure enough for rough use. If you’re on a tight budget, and simply must have a shoulder rig, then I suggest you save up for a better one. (MSRP—$20)

Safariland 1051 ALS Shoulder Holster – (Editor’s Choice)

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Safariland 1051 ALS Shoulder Holster

While it is one of the pricier holsters on this list, Safariland is by far my favorite provider of holsters and duty gear. All my ‘work’ holsters are Safariland products, and there are a number of reasons for that. The quality of their construction, their overall fit and finish, and the ease of use are all factors in that choice. The main selling point for me, however, is their proprietary ALS (Automatic Locking System) retention device. The fact that this holster embodies all of these features makes it my choice, and worth the expense. (MSRP—$100-160)

Small of Back Concealed Carry Holsters

Pro-Tech SOB Holster

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Pro-Tech SOB Holster

Not a true Small-of-the-Back holster as much as a versatile IWB, the Pro-Tech is a good choice for an entry-level SOB holster. It’s not a style of carry that I’m personally fond of; my size and some range of motion issues argue against it. But if it works for you, or if you’d like to see if it does, then this is a good place to start. (MSRP—$22)

Galco SOB Holster

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Galco SOB Holster

One of the best arguments for Small-of-the-Back carry is the fact that it is a very good location for concealment, especially when the weapon is carried in a good quality holster designed specifically for the purpose. Though the Galco SOB isn’t cheap, if you choose to carry in this manner, a quality holster is important. (MSRP—$110)

Desantis Sky Cop SOB Holster

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Desantis SOB Holster

If you spend a lot of time seated (as does a US Air Marshal, hence this holster’s name), then cross-draw carry might be your best option. It’s comfortable, concealable, and, with a well-designed and engineered holster, which makes it a very easy platform from which to engage targets. The Sky Cop is a value for the price. (MSRP—$82)

D.M. Bullard Crossdraw Holster – (Editor’s Choice)

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I’ve always liked crossdraw carry for its comfort and ease of draw, even though it isn’t a very concealable mode of carry. Where I live, however, open carry is legal, so that’s less of an issue. I’ve seen examples of Bullard’s work, and really like the look and form of his crossdraw holsters. And for genuine handmade Gunleather, it’s a real value at the price. (MSRP—$90

Concealed Carry Belly Bands

For deep concealment, carrying a weapon in circumstances that work against a normal mode of carry, the belly band is a great way to go, and the Galco Underwraps is top of the line. Dual holsters and multiple pockets allow for ambidextrous carry and spare magazines, flashlights, etc. I have too much belly to make use of the Belly Band, but it is a great choice.

Desantis Belly Band

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Desantis Belly Band Holster

Under Tech Belly Band

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Under Tech Belly Band Holster

Galco Belly Band – (Editor’s Choice)

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Galco Belly Band Holster

Specialty Holsters

Concealed Carry Purse for Women

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Concealed Carry Purse by Women’s Holsters

Corset Holster

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Corset Holster by Femme Fatale

Zero Carry Universal IWB Holster (fits all models and calibers .32 ACP and up)

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Zero Carry 2.0 Universal, Adjustable IWB Holster

If you’re not sure which type of holster is best for you, check this infographic: Choosing the Right Holster for the Right Situation

And this is why choosing the right holster matters:

In this quick video, we see why choosing the proper holster (and training with it zealously) is so important. This off-duty police officer had little-to-no time to stealthily draw his firearm. One slight hiccup, hesitation, or malfunction of equipment could have very quickly translated into a trip to the morgue.

Keep this in mind when choosing yours, and until next time:

Stay safe.

Stay free.

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