A great backpacking holster is a must-have accessory for any outdoor adventure. Whether you’re a traveling professional or an avid hiker, your ability to conceal carry weapons and ammo is crucial for staying safe while enjoying the fresh air and encapsulating vistas.
The most effective backpack holsters are those that are tight enough to prevent accidental drops while still applying adequate pressure to the arm. The optimal ones shouldn’t restrict movement or be difficult to draw from. They should also provide protection from snow, rain, and other weather factors without being readily destroyed or uncomfortable. These holsters are composed of strong materials like nylon and polyester, so they can withstand abuse such as exposure to water and abrasions.
What To Consider When Choosing The Best Backpack Holster
The best backpack holster is one that keeps your gun secure without causing too much discomfort when you’re on the move. Before deciding which model might work for you, consider where you’ll be carrying it and how much force you want the holster to stop.
- Kydex holsters are popular because they are flexible and durable. It can withstand extreme temperatures, falls, and other hazards of urban survival. It’s also resistant to corrosion and abrasion damage.
- Leather holsters have a classic look that many people appreciate. They’re tough, but they can easily get caught on something or rip if dropped on hard surfaces. Leather is also vulnerable to moisture exposure, so keep them sealed in a waterproof bag whenever possible.
- Nylon holsters offer a middle ground between Kydex and leather. These synthetic fibers hold up better than either material and tend not to stretch with use. However, nylon is less durable than both Kydex and leather and can wear faster than either of those materials.
A good fit ensures that the belt doesn’t hang loose nor does it bunch up when moving. The length of the strap should fall just below the hipbone. A standard waistband size is 32 inches wide, while a regular hip size is 34 inches around.
Backpacks come in different sizes, and choosing the right one depends on how well it fits the user. Smaller frames typically do fine with smaller packs, whereas larger frames may need a bigger pack to carry their gear safely.
Weight could be a problem if you don’t want to carry your equipment by hand. Although manufacturers hardly ever offer weights, estimations based on study and experience suggest that a backpack typically applies pressure to the body at a rate of roughly 1 pound per square inch (psi). This figure is a subjective assessment of what degree of stress is appropriate rather than having any scientific foundation. For example, hikers usually find 2 psi too heavy, while military personnel often prefer 4 psi or more. If you plan to hike extensively, look for a lightweight backpack with a low psi rating; however, if you’re looking for a rugged outdoor bag, then a higher psi might suit you better.
Mobility refers to the ability to move freely within a given space. In this case, we’re talking about walking along a street or through a mall crowded with shoppers. How easy it is to navigate obstacles such as puddles or uneven sidewalks while wearing a backpack will determine whether or not the bag is a good choice for you. However, mobility isn’t just limited to getting from point A to point B. If you need to run errands or travel somewhere quickly, a sturdy backpack equipped with a lot of padding and straps designed specifically for running will help ensure you make it to your destination alive.
Another vital consideration when selecting a new backpack is storage. You’ll need room inside the bag for everything you need including guns, knives, tools, food, water, and first aid supplies. Also think about how much you’ll need to carry in the field – extra batteries, fire starters, and lights. Finally, take into account any special equipment like a GPS unit or drone controller.
This includes things like pistol holders, knife blocks, tool loops, and other accessories that don’t necessarily go into a traditional backpack frame.
Finding the perfect fit for a backpack isn’t always about having the largest capacity available. For instance, someone who needs to carry a gun daily would probably benefit from a heavier duty bag than someone who only uses a firearm once in a while.
Instead, look at the overall comfort of the bag. Is it rubbing against your skin? Are the straps too tight? Too loose? Does the weight distribution feel balanced?
One of the most important parts of a backpack is undoubtedly the set of straps that attach the bag to the user’s body. Designed to distribute the load evenly across the shoulders and chest, these straps are critical for safety reasons. Not only do they prevent the bag from falling off during movement, but they also help maintain the proper tension on the hose to increase efficiency and effectiveness when working outdoors.
Depending on the type of backpack, there may be several sets of straps. For instance, some hiking backpacks feature two sets of straps one on each side to balance the weight on the user’s shoulders and another set attached directly to the top of the bag to secure it to the user’s torso.
In addition to a spacious main compartment, a quality backpack will include one or more pockets for organizing small items or keeping hands warm in winter months. These pockets could be simple mesh bags sewn into the interior of the backpack or constructed using weatherproof fabric that wraps around the outside of the bag. Either way, make sure the pocket(s) are large enough to avoid losing things in the bottom of the bag when moving around.
Types Of Backpack Holsters
Backpack holsters come in two primary categories. Everyone has its place, but before making a purchase, you need to understand what you’re getting into.
These packs sling open behind your back in a similar fashion to how a rifle holster would be worn. The pack itself is carried over the shoulders and hips like most backpack styles, but the opening mechanism requires more forethought. If you don’t have a good idea of where you’ll be traveling or staying for an extended period of time, this type of bag may not work well for you.
The best option here is to buy one with some extra space built-in so you can put all your gear inside. This way, you won’t have to worry about it being damaged when you aren’t using it. You also stand a better chance of fitting everything you want to take on vacation inside. These bags tend to be much lighter than other options as well because there’s less material that needs to carry weight. They also hold their shape better under pressure.
These packs are designed specifically for hiking trips. That means they prioritize lightness and compressibility. Because of this, these bags often feature large hip belts and bungee cords to keep them from shifting during travel. Many come equipped with emergency whistles as well. Most hiking backpacks offer plenty of side pockets for additional gear such as food, batteries, rain ponchos, etc. Some even include water bottles on the outside of the bag so you can stay hydrated while out on the trail.
How We Chose Our Top Picks
We started by searching for the best-reviewed and most popular backpack holsters on Amazon, professional publications, and other online retailers. We limited our search to products that were designed specifically for use in law enforcement or security roles.
After identifying a list of potential candidates, we narrowed our focus based on feedback from experts in the field and feedback from users who have purchased the holsters. We then read through hundreds of reviews from people who have bought these holsters, looking for common problems and ideas we’d come across on our own.
Frequently Asked Questions About Backpack Holsters
How tight should your backpack holster be?
Your gun will fit comfortably in a good holster, not too tight or too loose. From the holster, your firearm should release easily. No portion of the slide or frame should scratch against the holster or catch on it in a way that would interfere with drawing. Additionally, while making routine movements, you’ll want the gun to remain still in your holster.
Is it safe to carry a weapon without a holster?
You run the chance of accidentally discharging your handgun even if you designate a pocket for it because there is nothing to hold it firmly, guard the trigger, or keep the barrel pointing in a safe direction. In other words, all holsterless carry techniques are dangerous.
How often do guns go off in holsters?
Practically none, unless you are carrying some antiquated, dangerous POS. Any modern gun, whether it has a manual safety or not, is as safe as it gets in the real world when it is carried in a suitable holster that covers the trigger
How does a backpack holster work?
A backpack holster allows you to conceal your handgun in your bag without having to remove it from its case.
Is a backpack holster safe?
Yes! A backpack holster is just like carrying a purse or briefcase. It’s not much different than carrying a wallet or keys in your pocket.
Can I use my existing backpacks?
No! Most backpacks don’t have pockets designed specifically for handguns.
Will a backpack holster interfere with my ability to move quickly if needed?
Not really. In fact, many law enforcement officers prefer to carry their firearms in this manner so they don’t slow down when they’re running after suspects.
Do I need special training to use a backpack holster?
Absolutely not! Anyone can learn how to properly use a backpack holster. All you need is practice.
Where should I put my backpack holster?
You can place your backpack holster anywhere along the outside of your bag. Just be sure to keep it away from zippers and other hardware that could snag your clothing.
Should I buy a new backpack?
If you want to carry your handgun comfortably, then yes! Get yourself a quality backpack that has plenty of room for your pistol.
What kind of material should I choose for my backpack holster?
It doesn’t matter what type of fabric you choose. What matters is that it’s strong enough to hold your gun securely.
What size backpack should I get?
Most police departments recommend getting a medium sized backpack. This will give you enough space to fit your pistol and extra magazines.
What size magazine pouch should I get?
This is something you decide based on personal preference. Many people opt for a large capacity magazine pouch instead of a smaller one.
How often should I clean my backpack holster?
Cleaning your backpack holster isn’t necessary unless you plan on using it regularly. Otherwise, you won’t notice any difference between a dirty holster and a brand-new one.