Stop the Search fellow patriot, you’ve found it: The Ultimate list of the Best Concealed Carry Holsters.
Carrying a firearm is one of the most responsible yet powerful things you can do.
We’ve taken a hard look at all the different brands and options of concealed carry (IWB) holsters and we’re impressed at how diverse the market has become. (If you’re looking for bellyband, shoulder, or ankle holsters we’ve ranked those as well)
Our list of the top 13 concealed carry holsters brings together the best brands available. If you don’t see one you like (highly unlikely) we have the buyer’s guide below to help narrow down which holster will work best for you.
The Best Concealed Carry Holsters
Springfield Armory XDS
Springfield armory is a huge name in firearms, arguably the oldest in the country (In 1777 George Washington ordered the creation of Springfield Armory to store revolutionary ammunition) so it’s no wonder that their XDS concealed carry holster easily made our list. This holster marries simplicity ruggedness better than any other holster. Springfield left no waste on this holster, building it with the fewest possible parts without sacrificing quality and functionality. We love this holster because while it is so minimal, it still has features only beefier holsters typically advertise. Such as am audible retention snap, letting you know your gun has been fully holstered, as well as CANT adjustability allowing you to set your gun between 0-15 degrees, giving you the fastest draw for you. You’ll be surprised with all these features that this IWB holster doesn’t dig into your leg or hip. Made in the USA.
The Defender by Relentless Tactical brings the perfect blend of craftsmanship and functionality in their concealed carry holster. You’ll know right as you open the box that this IWB holster is quality made. Where some holsters are made from cheap synthetic materials, The Defender is made for complete concealment by American Craftsman from genuine American Bulllhide leather. Even though It’s made from a thicker material that doesn’t make this holster bulky or cumbersome at all. Fits most XD style handguns perfectly, and comes in black or brown leather so you can conceal with different outfits easily. Relentless tactical knows that you can’t afford a flimsy or cheaply made holster, so they also back The Defender with a lifetime money back guarantee.
RT: Suede Leather IWB
You’re seeing Relentless Tactical on this list for the second time, and that’s no accident. Their Suede style holster is another excellent choice for a concealed IWB holster. The quality leather suede is a great material to use as it not only provides excellent concealment, quality comfort, and stays coolers against your leg; making it a great choice for long term use. Concealed carriers will have no problem wearing this around their waist as fits comfortably at all the normal concealed positions (4-6 O’clock, 10:30 and 1:30). Like the Defender mentioned above, this holster doesn’t go cheap, so you can be sure that this holster will last you as long as you own your pistol. This fits most XD sized handguns, and is cut to provide the shooter with a quick draw action, because every second counts.
Desantis Scabbard Holster
When you think of concealed carry holsters the Scabbard Holster style from Desantis is probably what comes to mind. This holster is crafted from high-quality leather and molded to wrap securely around your handgun. We love leather not only for the comfort it provides as it rubs against your skin, but for the protection is provides as it rubs the barrel of your weapon. This holster was engineered to the optimum angle of the shooters hand for a faster draw because every second counts. The holster itself also comes with a tension screw and thumb break to make sure the gun is securely fastened to the holster when not in use. The holster linked is for hand handers, but don’t worry lefties Desantis didn’t forget about you, here is the link to the left hand version. Fits most handguns.
CYA is a Veteran owned tactical holster company that produces high quality holsters for all different types of hand guns. What we love about this holster is that it not only is provides versatility for your weapon, but it also provides versatility for the carrier. They do this by building their holsters with adjustable cants, meaning you can adjust the degree at which you carry between 0-15 degrees. The holster also features an adjustable hex screw at the bottom of the holster to allow for varying degrees of gun sizes to slide down fully. The CYA is made from a material called boltaron, which allows for less temperature transference between the holster and the skin, making it an awesome choice for all day carriers. This holster comes in 3 different colors, black, carbon fiber, and flat dark earth. If your gun doesn’t fit this model, there are different custom styles available from CYA.
Alien Gear Cloak
Alien Gear Holsters hit the mark with their Cloak Tuck concealed carry holster. This IWB holster has become popular because of its thoughtful design as well as its stainless spring-steel band that acts as a rigid yet flexible backbone to the holster itself. This extra material provides added durability to the holster thus giving you extra protection for your gun. The Alien Gear concealed holster derives its name from the alien texture on the outer layer providing an extra “grip” feeling to your firearm. The cloak tuck 3.0 is much improved over its predecessor in that they found a way to cover the bolts that rubbed against your skin with the neoprene coating, thus reducing irritation significantly. We love that Alien Gear stands by their holster and offers a “Forever Warranty” meaning if anything breaks on your holster for any reason they’ll replace it for free. Made in the US of A.
Don’t Tread on Me
If you already like the name, chances are you’ll love the holster. Don’t Tread on Me’s unique ambidextrous holster is an excellent choice for any concealed carrier, because it can basically conceal any gun. This holster is considered universal, or in other words, can house a wide array of firearms in any position (IWB) Inside the waist band or (OWB) outside the waist band. This minimalist style of holster isn’t for everyone but if you’re trying to keep a low profile, or have a wide array of guns you want to carry, this may be a great choice for you. The loop on this holster can fit up to a 1.5” width belt. If you’re more of a OWB carrier you’ll be please to know that the belt clip is also removable, so you can get a more secure fit against your leg.
If you’re looking for concealment, you might as well look for it in the name. Concealment Express brings to market their hand molded adjustable (IWB) KYDEX holster. The minimalist look and feel of this holster makes it a great choice for your everyday carry because they’re very easy to hide no matter how you’re dressed. This is a good holster for women, as their apparel tends to be tighter than men. The whole holster itself weights only 2.5 oz. and fits securely on belts up to 1.5” in thickness. Another great feature of this holster is the audible locking sound it makes when your firearm is secured. You can carry your firearm from 0-15 degrees and fit it comfortable at any position around your waist. Batman approved colors in black or carbon fiber.
The Pro Carry model LT IWB holster is made from super soft pliable leather and provides the carrier excellent comfort for all day carry. It’s perfectly designed to be compact and lightweight that you won’t have any issue sitting or walking naturally. The heavy-duty clip can be clipped virtually anywhere on your belt line without fear of it rising or becoming unhooked as you wear it. The overall size of this holster wraps around the barrel of your firearm snugly, but since the leather is so soft you never have to worry about it rubbing against it. Each holster is sold from the Holster Store comes with a user satisfaction lifetime warranty.
The Bianchi 77 is a truly beautiful concealed carry holster and an excellent choice for concealing your firearm. The holster is contour molded for a sleek look and feel, and has a lower cut front side which allows for a swifter draw stroke. This is incredibly important as every millisecond counts. A big selling point for this holster is the degree CANT capability touches 25 degrees, allowing for extremely versatile draw motions. The belt slot is also 16% wider than the average holster thus eliminating the need to change your wardrobe if you already own a large belt. The colors come in dark black and amber tan color.
The Inside the Waistband (IWB) holster from Monhinty does a great job marrying style and functionality beautifully. Like most quality concealed carry holsters, this is made from premium leather, yet with its softness, it’s rigid around the barrel so it never collapses. This is super important because the straighter the holster around the barrel, the quicker the draw. One thing you’ll notice right out of the box is the color of the leather, there isn’t another one like it. Monhinty calls it “Vegetable Tanned”, and it’s just shame most the time it will be inside the waist of your pants. This holster fits most of the popular handgun styles and the Monhinty offers a 12-month money back guarantee.
The Blackhawk’s biggest selling point is their patented SERPA technology, allowing for a smooth silky draw and an equally as easy re-holstering process. Cutting through the marketing speak, what the SERPA does at a high level is provide passive locking mechanism for keeping the firearm secured while mobile, but not locking it in when you need to draw to fire. We love this because if you’re ever put into the situation of drawing your weapon, keeping your eyes on the target is the most important part. If you’re not wanting to use leather, this rigid rugged concealed holster is an excellent option. This is considered a level 2 retention holster for conceal carrying. Comes in a sleek looking matte finish.
Ace Case Concealed
The 100% American made Ace Case holster is the most minimal concealed carry holster that made it on our list. While the Ace Case is minimalistic and easily concealed, it doesn’t skimp on functionality. The Ace Case keeps your gun very secure either way you want to carry be it IWB or OWB. The exterior of the holster is a rigid nylon composite material, while the inside is softer allowing for the perfect adjustable fit for your guns’ barrel. The holster surprisingly fits up to a 2” belt and is an ambidextrous fit at any position along your waistband. If you’ve never owned a concealed holster this may be a great one to start with to see where you like to carry and position your firearm.
Concealed Carry (Hip) Holster Buying Guide
For something so conceptually simple, the item originally made just to conceal your weapon, the concealed carry holster now comes in all different types, shapes, sizes, and functions. After evaluating dozens of holsters, below are 7 factors that we feel are the most important.
Types of Concealed Carry Holsters
IWB – or Inside the Waistband, is typically the style that comes to mind when you think of a concealed carry holster. IWB’s are made to either clip onto your belt or waistband, or are made for a belt to loop through. If the concealed carry holster is something you’re going to be wearing daily it probably is a good idea to pick one with a softer material, like leather or nylon. If you’re only buying the holster for certain situations, you can get away with a more rigid material like KYDEX.
OWB – or Outside the Waistband, is another option available for concealed carry, but obviously looking at the name, being outside the waistband isn’t going to conceal as well as a IWB holster. Most people only pick an OWB concealed holster if their apparel, like a jacket, will cover it. A lot of the inside-the-waistband holsters do have OWB functionality which makes them great options if you want to make your concealed carry holster double as a regular holster when not needing concealment.
This arguably is one of the most important features when choosing your concealed holster as your whatever you choose will be pushed up against your leg for long periods of time. And taking comfort out of the equation, having too rigid of a holster can damage the barrel of your gun.
Picking the material of your next holster can be quite the conundrum, but we’ve developed a good rule of thumb. If you’re going to be holstering your gun towards the front (9-2 O’clock positions) it may be a good idea to get a holster that is made from a softer material like leather or nylon, and if holstering towards the rear (4-8 O’clock) softer material is great, but you can also get a more rigid type of material if you want.
Obviously, these are not hard and fast rules, but thinking about the typical mobility of the average human throughout the day, sitting, squatting, walking, and jogging, you’ll be better off sticking to those to start out with.
Just as every person is unique, it only makes sense that every holster needs to be unique as well. Think about it, how many people have the same hip to waist ratio as you? Having adjustability in your holster is vitally important not only for ensuring an accurate and swift draw, but also keeping you safe while carrying. After all you are carrying a firearm less than inches away from your body.
CANT Adjustability – No we’re not being negative, cant adjustability refers to the ability of the holster to stay stationary at different secured angles. This is important because everyone will draw their gun slightly different. Some people will draw it straight up, some will almost draw horizontally, and most will draw somewhere in-between. The last thing you want is to be stuck with a rigid holster when your draw type is more perpendicular. The best way to remedy this is to pick a concealed holster that has at least 15 degrees of play in it. That should help you find the right angle.
Retention – What retention is when it comes to holsters is just a way of gauging how “locked” your firearm barrel stays inside your holster. If you haven’t concealed carried before, or are unhappy with your current concealed carry holster, getting a holster with a good locking mechanism will not only put your mind at ease while carrying as you know your gun is secure, it also makes it easier to draw faster as you know it’s in the same position every single time
Height – This plays a lot into the style of the concealed holster you purchase, but it’s important to have an adjustable height setting. This becomes apparent when you start wanting to carry different types of guns for different situations you don’t have to buy a whole new holster. Typically, you’ll want the height of the holster to place the grip of your handgun just over the top of your belt line. This rule of thumb should be perfect for most people.
Care & Maintenace
Taking care of your concealed holster will not only prolong the life of the holster itself, but also can help keep your firearm in great condition as well. A lot of the care and maintenance required will be heavily dependent on the style of case you have. If you own a holster where the main material is leather, it’s a good idea to treat the inside and the outside skin with a leather conditioner about once every other month of constant carry. It may be a good idea to treat it more often if you are using a OWB concealed carry holster.
If your holster uses a clip instead of a belt loop it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the firmness in that clip as that seems to be the biggest single point of failure on holsters.
Concealed Holster Accessories
Leather Conditioner – If you pick a concealed carry handgun holster that is made predominantly of leather, then to keep it looking and functioning well, it’s a good idea to use a leather conditioner on it.
Heavy Duty Leather Belt – Many people who start conceal carrying for a while may notice that their belt is starting to wear out fast in the area the firearm sits. This usually is a sign of a cheaper leather belt, so if you want to have a dedicated option for your gun carrying, picking up a concealed carry specific heavy duty belt, like this one from Relentless Tactical, may be a great idea.
Last update on 2017-12-13 at 16:11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API