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In this review, we compiled the list of the top 5 concealed carry holsters and the qualities that make them ideal.

ProductFeatureFeature
Alien Gear Cloak Mod OWB Paddle HolsterOWB concealed carry holsterKydex material
Belly Band Holster for Concealed CarryIWB concealed carry holsterEveryday concealed carry holster
Montana Concealed Carry Women's Universal Purse HolsterPurse concealed carry holsterElastic Velcro straps
Ghost Ankle Holster with Magazine PouchAnkle concealed carry holsterAmbidextrous
Comforttac Ultimate Belly Band HolsterCheap concealed carry holster Discreet concealment

IWB vs OWB - Which one is better?

There are a lot of concealed handgun holsters on the market. Choosing a holster that fits your lifestyle is essential to carrying comfortably every day.

When deciding whether to carry IWB or OWB there are a few things to consider. They include the following:

Concealed carry vs Open Carry

First off, what is your stance on concealed carry vs open carry? In a hostile situation, many people believe that open carrying with an OWB is better than carrying concealed.

The thought is that open carrying will deter an attack altogether because the aggressor can see that you are carrying and will not want to attack. Supporters of IWB carry believe that carrying concealed gives you the upper hand.

If an aggressor does not know you are carrying, chances are he will not target you specifically. Allowing you the opportunity to defend yourself if an attack occurs.

Both sides address valid points. However, it is important to note that if you choose to carry OWB you are not always limited to open carry.

Some OWB holsters are designed with a slimmer low profile design perfect for both concealed carry and open carry. It is up to you to decide what you feel most comfortable with.

Comfort

Outside of the decision to open carry vs concealed, comfort is another important element to consider. You want a holster that is comfortable enough to wear every day.

If your holster is not comfortable, you won’t wear it. When carrying OWB, there is naturally a gap between your handgun and your body, some people find this more comfortable.

A good OWB holster, paired up with a good gun belt will make you forget you are even carrying.

That being said, a quality IWB holster made from flexible, durable materials will allow you to comfortably carry as well. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. What works well for one person may not work at all for another.

Concealment

Concealment is extremely important to consider when deciding between carrying IWB or OWB. IWB holsters that have wings on either side disperse the weight of the handgun better and contour to your side more easily than the OWB option, this offers deeper concealment.

IWB holsters are generally worn at the 4:30 position. The benefit of this placement is that the majority of the holster is inside the pants following the body’s natural contour, which aids in concealment. OWBs on the other hand tend to be worn directly off the hip. This causes the holster to protrude from your side.

Keep in mind that if you decide to carry an OWB holster concealed vs open. This protrusion would require you to wear loose-fitting clothing over the OWB to conceal your sidearm.

Unlike OWB holsters, many IWB holsters have also been designed to be tuckable. This means the holster has been made to allow the wearer to tuck his or her shirt into their pants, over the gun.

Tuckable IWB holsters eliminate the need for additional articles of clothing and offer the highest level of concealment. When carrying an IWB it is important to purchase pants slightly larger than your normal size.

The increase in pant size allows for adequate space for your holster ensuring the perfect amount of comfort and concealment.

Confidence

Confidence is the deciding factor when it comes to carrying concealed. It does not matter what system you use, if you are not confident using it, it could be disastrous or prevent you from protecting yourself in a defensive situation.

There are a lot of people who feel that an OWB holster is easier to draw from and also easier to reholster. Others swear by IWB holsters, stating that the comfort and concealability are hard to beat.

Regardless of which holster type you chose to carry, remember that it’s important to become familiar with every aspect of your holster, from its draw stroke to your ability to re-holster your firearm.

Through consistent training and practice, both OWB and IWB holsters can be an efficient way to carry. If you are considering an OWB for concealed carry, look for a slimmed-down, low-profile holster that will meet your concealability needs.

Alien Gear Cloak Mod OWB Paddle Holster

Alien Gear holsters Cloak Mod OWB Paddle Holster S&W Bodyguard .380 Auto (Right Handed)
  • Custom fit to your specific pistol to ensure for proper fitment and retention. Custom Fit for: S&W Bodyguard .380 Auto
  • Fully Adjustable Retention: simply tighten the screws to increase the retention or loosen the screws for less retention!
  • Carry in Comfort: Soft neoprene backing that is flexible to move and form to your body while retaining shape for reholstering! The material is sweat-whicking while being breathable to reduce irritation when wearing the holster for extended periods of time!
  • Simplicity at its Finest: Very simple design where it counts without sacrificing the quality of the materials or the comfort in all of our products!
  • Made right here in the USA, insuring the use of high quality materials and hardworking American craftsmanship where we stand behind our Iron Clad program to insure you have a holster for life after a 30 day test drive!

This holster is perfect for both right-handed and left-handed shooters. Made from breathable high-quality neoprene, it is pretty comfortable for a holster that has other materials that make it tough and impervious to any kind of damage.

It is easy to adjust with its belt slide and paddle options. It is a comfortable holster and clings tight against the hip. It is a Kydex design, making it water-proof.

It can be worn as a belt slide or paddle holster, and it comes with a flexplate for added retention. It is very comfortable while sitting too.

However, there's no locking mechanism and it only has limited concealment.

Pros

  • Fits a wide range of pistols perfectly.
  • Tough and durable holster.
  • Extremely comfortable to wear without skin reaction.
  • Can work as belt and paddle holsters.
  • Kydex and waterproof.
  • Adjustable retention.
  • High-quality neoprene holster.
  • Good tactical holster.
  • Ambidextrous design.

Cons

  • Lack of discreet concealment.
  • No locking mechanism.
  • Holstering might be difficult.

Belly Band Holster for Concealed Carry

Sale
Belly Band Holster for Concealed Carry, Concealment Edition Waistband Gun Holsters for Men and Women, Fits Glock 19, 17, 42, 43, P238, P365, Taurus, S&W M&P Shield 9MM and Similar Pistol & Revolvers
  • ✔ UNIVERSAL DESIGN FITS ALL PISTOLS: Tactical-grade elastic holster accommodates nearly every small subcompact, compact, mid-size and even full size pistols and revolvers on the market. .380, 9mm, 40 Cal, 45 ACP, 38 special, 357, 10mm, etc.
  • ✔ NEW STRONG AND SMOOTH VELCRO: According to customer reviews of others' belly band holster velcro sticks clothes and scratches skin, or doesn't hold on after several months use. Because of this, We upgrade a new strong velcro with comfortable and smooth touching.
  • ✔ UPGRADTED STURDY SNAP BUTTON AND BUCKLE LEATHER: The buckle of others' belly band holster easily falls off after a period of time, to enhance its durability, We improved them and used top quality genuine leather and sturdy snap button.
  • ✔ COMFORTABLE CARRY, SAFE, QUICK & EASY GUN RELEASE: Our concealed bellyband holster is PERFECT for women and men runners, joggers, and everyday carry. Unlike clips or Velcro, our 2nd generation “Easy Snap” retention system gives you peace of mind knowing your firearm is safe, secure, and ready for quick and quiet release.
  • ✔ RIGHT OR LEFT HAND DRAW: ELVO Waistband Holster is available in right and left hand draw. Compatible with Glock 19, 23, 38, 25, 32, 26, 27, 29, 30, 39, 28, 33, 42, 43, 36, Smith and Wesson, Bodyguard, M&P Shield, Sig Sauer, Ruger, Kahr, Beretta, Springfield, Taurus PT111, Kimber, Rock Island, Bersa, Kel Tec, Walther, and more.

It provides excellent comfort while working with so many pistols that range from sub-compact to full-size pistols. Made from high-quality materials, this bad boy keeps tough and doesn't rip or fray when stretched, and it allows for quick drawing and re-holstering without snagging.

It offers great concealment, has a comfortable neoprene fabric, and an extra mag pouch that can fit two magazines.  It is the best IWB concealed carry holster for EDC, and its neoprene belly bag provides comfort. It can be worn at multiple positions and includes an extra pouch for accessories.

However, it is not a great choice for large guns, one size doesn't fit all, and it is only available for right-handed folks.

Pros

  • Swift drawing and re-holstering.
  • Extremely comfortable to wear without skin reaction.
  • Great EDC concealed carry holster.
  • Made from neoprene material.
  • Extra compartment pouch for additional accessories and
  • weapons that might come in handy.
  • Can be worn in multiple ways
  • Good tactical holster.

Cons

  • Only available for right-handed people.
  • One size does not fit all.
  • Not suitable for large guns.

Montana Concealed Carry Women's Universal Purse Holster

Montana West Tote Bag for Women with Holster Ladies Concealed Carry Purse Pistol Handle Tote Pink MWC-G018PK
  • ❤【Montana West Patented - Concealed Carry Pocket - US Patent # 9599434B2】Concealed Handgun Carry Pocket on back of the handbag, with two zippers closures and metals concealed buttons, Anti-theft, safety guaranteed. Easily to attach and fix the holster by velcro in concealed handgun carry handbag. And the size of the Handgun Pocket is about 7.9" x 9.8".
  • ❤【FOlDABLE DESIGN】The front of the handbag has a Monogram five-petal flower print decoration, simple and natural, with a gun pocket and a open pocket design on the back, unique and beautiful. 4 stabilizing feet on the bottom of the bag to help the bag stand on its own and keep it in good condition. And The handbag can also be folded with the middle stitch on the bottom,easy for storage,and travel.
  • ❤【UNIQUE STRUCTURE】3 inner compartments with a zipper enclosure for the middle one, two open pockets on one side, one pocket with zipper on the other side. And there is a magnet snap closure between two open pockets and the middle one, and with soft material, perfect for the electronic products, such as Laptop, iPad, and cell phone etc.
  • ❤【MULTIFUNCTION】 Elegant and stylish handbag can be used as a gun bag, anti-theft bag, laptop bag, and foldable bag. It goes well with any outfit in any occasions, such as travel, business, work, gym, beach, etc. And it’s a perfect gift idea for your loved girlfriend, wife and mother.
  • ❤【GRAND CAPACITY】 Large purse measures about 13.5"x 10.5"x 4.75", Hand Strap Height: 11". Total weight: about 2 LB.

It is easy to assemble and can be inserted inside a purse to offer a sturdy flat partition great for keeping the weapon accessible inside oversized bags.

Elastic velcro straps are used to holster the weapon flat against the wall of your purse, taking up minimal space.

It fits any size firearm and facilitates quick draw. It also accepts other holsters, great for women's concealed carry and it is suitable for purses and handbags.

It is a great carry purse holster for women and fits most handbags sizes due to its customizable sliding design. It keeps the gun in an upright position and works with all handguns.

However, it is only used with purses and handbags and it might flop over with large handguns.

Pros

  • Fitting holster with elastic Velcro straps.
  • Made from highly durable materials that will not wear off easily.
  • Offers discreet concealment.
  • Fits bags and purses seamlessly.
  • Ideal for most small and medium sized guns.

Cons

  • Not a unisex concealed carry holster.
  • Re-holstering might be difficult.
  • Not suitable for large guns.

Ghost Ankle Holster with Magazine Pouch

The belly band holster supports up to 46 inches of waist sizes. Both holsters are made of breathable neoprene and include additional neoprene padding. With the high-quality materials these holsters are made from, you can expect them to last you a long time without any ripping or falling apart.

It has firm stitching and is a valuable combo concealed carry holster with an amazing price. It is comfortable with breathable material.

The combo includes a belly band, a comfortable ankle holster, and the ambidextrous design holster with a universal fit to hold all gun sizes.

However, quick draw requires some practice, and do not trust the Velcro for very big guns.

Pros

  • Fits a wide range of pistols perfectly.
  • Waist concealed carry holster.
  • Durable holster.
  • Not expensive.
  • Ambidextrous designed
  • Tough and durable holster.
  • Belly band and ankle holsters.
  • Adjustable retention.
  • High-quality neoprene concealed carry holster.
  • Good tactical holster.

Cons

  • Reholstering could be difficult.
  • Not suitable for big guns.

Comforttac Ultimate Belly Band Holster

Ultimate Belly Band Holster (Black, Medium and Large Pistol)
  • Our belly band holster is available in right- and left-hand draw; designed for firearms of various sizes, including subcompact, compact, and full-size pistols and revolvers
  • From wearing it at the appendix or hip, to sporting it outside the pants cross draw or open carry style, you can wear this pistol holster your way
  • Our gun holster for women & men is compatible with Glock 19, 23, 38, 25, 32, 26, 27, 29, 30, 39, 28, 33, 42, 43, 36, Smith and Wesson, Bodyguard, M&P Shield, Sig Sauer, Ruger, Kahr, Beretta, Springfield, Taurus PT111, Kimber, Rock Island, Bersa, Kel Tec, Walther, and more
  • The Large, adjustable neoprene waistband on our concealed carry holster for men and women fits up to a 44" belly while the XL fits up to a 54" belly
  • These belly band holsters come with a hard plastic trigger guard and metal snap retention strap as a helpful safety feature to keep your gear secure

This holster features a metal snap-on retention strap and one magazine pouch. It can be used in multiple draw positions including an appendix on the hip behind the hip cross draw, owb, and others.

It fits up to 44-inch waist sizes, and has good concealment for many drop positions, with one size fitting many guns.

It is lightweight, comfortable and it has an extra adjustable magazine pouch. However, sub-compact guns are difficult to handle with this holster.

It is an ideal concealed carry holster for you if you want comfort. This is because of its elasticity and comfortability. Also, breathable neoprene belly bands work in any position, and the universal fit holster accommodates all handguns. It also has an extra storage pouch there.

Pros

  • Fits a wide range of pistols perfectly.
  • Straps to fit various waists and prevent the gun from gliding down the leg.
  • Conceals guns discreetly without leaving a print.
  • Made from highly durable materials that will not wear off easily.
  • Extra compartment pouch for additional accessories and weapons that might come in handy.
  • Good warranty from the manufacturers.
  • Extremely comfortable to wear without skin reaction.

Cons

  • Not a great choice for sub-compact guns.
  • Straps can lose their elasticity after some period making the holster ineffective.

Different Holster Materials and their Pros and Cons

When purchasing a holster select one that feels comfortable and has the features most important to you. When it comes to holsters, there are several options on the market, which makes it difficult to choose the best one.

Nylon Holster

Nylon holsters are very inexpensive which is why new permit holders are drawn to them. Some of them are not even worth the amount you are paying; this is how cheap they are.

The buckle on the nylon is very poor, and the nylon stretches and bends over time. Your firearm will not be secured with nylon holsters compared to other choices.

They are, however, ideal for people with low budgets, so if you have few bucks to spare, nylon holsters should be totally out of your option.

Raw Leather Holster

Raw leather holsters are a better option than Nylon holsters. They are durable and you can use them for many years. These holsters fit in pretty nicely on firearms they are molded for.

However, the main issue with leather holsters is in trying to re-holster the gun once you pull it out of your waistband. They tend to collapse, and you really might not be able to re-holster the firearm with one hand and this is not something anyone would like to deal with regularly.

Another downside of leather holsters is that they sit way too deep inside the pants and it makes drawing very difficult next. But this might also be an advantage if your goal is to significantly reduce printing.

Finished Leather

Finished leather is the way to go if you care about aesthetics. They always look very beautiful and nice.

However, since they are for concealed carry, and you are carrying inside the waistband, people are not going to see the firearm or the holster.

If you are a law enforcement officer that can don your holster, and people are going to be able to see it, then finished leather is a great option.

Also, finished leather holsters are made of very thick leather and they tend to be significantly heavier than some of the other options.

Plastic or Kydex Holsters

Kydex holsters are very similar to plastic, if not identical. The benefit of having these plastic holsters is that the firearm will have positive retention when it goes in and out.

You also don't have to worry about the holster getting soaked and saturated with sweat as you do with leather holsters. Plastic or Kydex holsters are the ideal way to go with today's technology

Conclusion

If you are a CCW owner, then you will need a concealed carry holster for gun carriage. You can then choose one of the aforementioned options depending on your preference. However, some holsters are more complicated than others, so it is important to choose an easier option.

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