A cross-draw holster is a great addition to any gunslinger’s gear. A cross-draw holster allows you to carry your gun without the worry of it getting damaged or causing injury. These holsters are made from durable materials like nylon and polyester, making them suitable for use in extreme temperatures and rainstorms. They feature large belts that go around the lower portion of the leg just above the knee. The top of the thigh is where the name comes from – literally translated, it means “cross-draw” which describes how the two straps cross over each other on the inside of the thigh. When you run, these holsters lift up slightly on the outside of the thigh creating an appearance that gives the wearer a natural gait while significantly lessening the impact on the joints.
The best cross-draw holsters are easy to operate and require minimal effort to conceal your handgun. Many people find that they prefer a more natural look than the traditional flat-pack style holsters, which tend to be associated with military fatigues. Some have additional features like provisions for a flashlight, a knife, and even a taser. The list goes on and on, but these are the most popular options.
What To Consider When Choosing The Best Cross Draw Holster
When shopping for a new holster, there are many factors to consider. The following section looks at some of the most important features and functions that can help you find the best possible fit.
Kydex is a rigid plastic material used in holsters because it’s durable, water resistant, and easy to clean. It doesn’t rust like steel or corrode like leather, making it an ideal material for a gun holster.
Kydex holsters tend to be more affordable than those made from other materials. This is because Kydex is less expensive and easier to work with compared to leather and metal. However, this also makes them less attractive as they’re typically not as waterproof or dustproof as other options.
The first thing you need to know about sizing up your firearm is that different manufacturers use different measurement systems, so what works for one may not necessarily fit another. For instance, while most handguns measure between 3 and 4 inches wide, some larger models come closer to 5 inches.
Also, keep in mind that even if two holsters appear to match, sizes can vary slightly due to manufacturing tolerances. So while you might have a perfect fit with one, the same size could easily wear on someone else.
Finding the right fit means understanding where the pistol sits in relation to your hip bone and doing some measuring along the way. First, determine where on your body you would prefer the gun to go and measure from there. Then consult one of the numerous online calculators available to estimate how much space you have for the handgun. Next, check out our list of common pistol fits to see if yours matches any of the descriptions.
A good holster should feel comfortable when worn but make sure it isn’t too tight. If it constricts, it will cause swelling and bruising, which can lead to issues such as blisters and bruises on the target area. This is why we advise using a smaller holster at first until you get used to wearing it. We also don’t trust anything that comes with a sharp edge right out of the box; we prefer to use wire cutters or scissors with a flat blade.
Handguns come in various types, each with its own benefits and considerations when selecting the best holster for it.
- Single action (SA) guns require you to pull the trigger once to fire the weapon. They include popular pistols like 9mm autos, .40 SW, and .52 Calibers.
- Double Action (DA) guns feature a push-button firing system similar to that of a revolver. To load the gun, you twist the knob back and forth until it locks into place. These guns include 10mm autos, .44 MagPuls, and .600 Axess.
- Revolver style weapons operate similarly to a double action gun except for the twisting motion required to reload the gun. These guns include .25 ACPs, .32 ACPs, and .380 AAs.
If you’d rather not wear the gun on your belt, you might want to look into lightweight holsters. While these usually sacrifice durability, they do weigh less and therefore may be preferable for comfort reasons. Lightweight holsters generally consist of thinner straps and fewer padding layers, though quality still matters. Look for thick padded straps that will prevent chafing and rubbing during use.
Finally, decide whether you like the classic single- or double-action pistol grip or something different entirely. There are plenty of variations within those categories, including thumb break styles, ambidextrous designs, and even drop-style triggers.
Types Of Cross Draw Holsters
Cross draw holsters are designed for specific uses. Some are meant to be worn at the front, while others are meant to be worn on your back.
A shoulder holster is a common type of gun-carrying method that keeps the muzzle of the weapon close to the center line of gravity (centerline) and thus reduces any possible offset caused by the weight of the firearm when it’s carried in a normal manner. This also makes it easier to reach across one’s body with minimal effort since there’s no need to contort one’s arm or twist their torso. The downside of this style is that it can create hot flashes due to the fact that the entire pistol is often exposed unless it’s hidden behind a cover garment. It’s important to note that this isn’t an issue if you plan on keeping the gun cool during operation as most law enforcement officers do.
A belt loop holster attaches to whatever belt you choose to use it on. There are two styles: single point and dual points.
The single point style features a single strap that loops around your waist and secures the muzzle of the handgun against your body. The dual point style has two straps; one goes over your hip and the other wraps around your abdomen near your belt buckle. Both designs keep the muzzle parallel to the ground to help prevent accidents like those seen in the picture above.
This design was popularized by lawmen who wanted quick access to both of their firearms without having to get them out from under their coats. Instead of using a bulky pouch, they would simply roll up their sleeves and carry a pair of pistols in the crooks of their arms. Since there wasn’t much space between the bones, these types of holsters were very uncomfortable and difficult to conceal. Today, paddle holsters have evolved into more comfortable options that still allow users easy access to their weapons.
Some folks would rather not wear a huge gun since they don’t want to be continuously concerned with keeping it secure. Instead, by carrying a smaller firearm, they may concentrate more on what really matters: making it home safely.
How We Chose Our Top Picks
Cross-draw holsters are a rare find, but they’re expected to do the same job as any other holster. So we started by searching for the best overall cross-draw holster.
We looked at various factors like price, comfort, and durability. The most important factor was how well the holster fits the hand and magazine well. A good holster should fit snugly across the top of your hand with room between the trigger guard and the barrel or handgrip of the cross-draw gun. This is not always possible, so we included some loose-fitting holsters on this list that will work for those who have large hands or small hands (we measured hand size in relation to the average person’s hand size).
Frequently Asked Questions About Cross-draw Holsters
What is the most comfortable holster for concealed carry?
The answer to this question depends heavily on what you intend to use it in. For example, if you’re a runner, then an IWB option might not be your first choice.
How tight should my cross-draw holster be?
Your cross-draw holster’s fit will depend on whether or not it uses a strap or belt loop. If it does, then make sure it fits snugly enough where you don’t feel any discomfort when you draw and aim quickly. Otherwise, go with something that doesn’t constrict your trigger finger.
Is a belly band better than a shoulder harness?
Belly bands are generally considered more comfortable than shoulder harnesses because they distribute weight away from your shoulders and chest. However, shoulder harnesses can offer greater concealment options (IWB vs. OWB) and some may argue that they’re easier to draw from.
Can you wear a cross-draw holster with a plate carrier?
Yes, you can wear a cross-draw holster with a plate carrier. The problem is that many plate carriers were designed specifically with modern firearms in mind, so they won’t fit properly over certain types of cross-draw holsters. Additionally, plate carriers tend to slide down into position during vigorous physical activity, which could cause you to lose control of your firearm and injure yourself or others. As such, we do NOT recommend wearing a cross-draw holster with a plate carrier unless you plan to keep it at home and sit all day. Then again, there are times when cross-draw holsters are appropriate, especially while traveling.