A quality level 2 holster is a great addition to any gunslinger’s gear. They are the perfect solution for those who don’t want to carry a gun in their pocket or use a cumbersome loose-fitting holster that doesn’t conceal-carry weapons well. The most comfortable and lightweight materials used to make these holsters are nylon and polyester, which are also strong and long-lasting. They come in various sizes to fit different types of guns and have provisions for a flashlight, a knife, and even a small blade. The best level 2 holster will suit your needs regardless of what you’re carrying.
Before making a final decision, there are a few things to think about while selecting a level 2 holster. This guide explores some important features to keep in mind when shopping for this specialized product to find the right one for your particular situation.
What To Consider When Choosing The Best Level 2 Holsters
The following section contains some of the most important shopping considerations for choosing a new level 2 holster. These include things like retention, comfort, and other features that can make your experience with these versatile accessories better.
A gun’s retention is its ability to keep firing without ejecting the round or dropping it on the ground. This is due to a combination of factors including the size of the hole in the barrel where the bullet enters, the quality of materials used, and how well the weapon fits in the holster. Retention Level 2 utilizes a pair of mechanisms in conjunction with one another, such as friction and button release or a thumb strap over the slide and a button release. Undoubtedly, this holster is the most popular.
- Size of entry hole – The larger the hole, the easier it is for the shooter to get a firm grip on the handle of the firearm. Smaller holes are harder to grab hold of, making them more prone to accidental activation.
- Material – A hard plastic material will feel smoother than a rubber one. Also, many plastics have additional padding inside the holsters they’re made from to further increase their comfort level.
- Fit – Finding the perfect fit for a handgun holster isn’t as easy as it might seem. Manufacturers use different sizing systems, so be sure to measure yourself against a ruler when you try on a potential new piece of equipment.
Level 2 holsters come equipped with several features designed to help users stay safe while using their guns.
- Safety Features – One of the biggest perks of owning a level 2 holster is safety. With numerous layers of protection, these holsters are less likely to accidentally discharge a firearm.
- Ergonomics – Ergonomic handles allow the operator to maintain a strong grasp on the pistol even during long periods of time. Some designs also feature textured grips to further secure the hand-gun.
- Accessories – Many manufacturers offer free extras with their products, such as cleaning kits, cases, lighters, etc.
Level 2 holsters should be made with sturdy material and be pleasant to wear. It will be on your person the entire time. Before spending money on a purchase, verify the material and the degree of satisfaction.
Safety and Security
It is necessary to choose a level 2 holster that offers optimum security for both the user and the pistol. Despite the numerous twists, snaps, and switches, the holster should make it simple for you to draw your weapon in an emergency.
Types Of Level 2 Holsters
There are several different types of level 2 holsters on the market. Each has its own unique features, so it’s important to know what you’re getting into before making a purchase.
Inside The Waistband Holsters
Level 2 holsters worn inside the waistband (IWB) are the most common choice for covert carry. These holsters hold the gun within the waistline of your jeans and attach to your waist with a clip or hook. As just the butt and back of the slide are visible above the waistband, this is great for concealing. However, it isn’t the most breathable style and leaves the weapon exposed to moisture. They perform well when used with flat, small semi automatics.
Outside The Waistband Holsters
If you’re carrying a magnum or a larger semi-automatic, OWB level 2 holsters made for concealed carry are a wiser alternative. These holsters frequently have broad wings that help smooth out the contour and hold it firmly on the belt while lowering “printing” on your shirts or jacket.
A belt holster may be uncomfortable for someone who spends a lot of time sitting down or driving, and drawing may also be difficult. The harness of a level 2 shoulder holster includes loops across each shoulder that are joined by a back strap to help distribute the weight of the gun. Shoulder holsters can be quickly drawn from when seated and are easily hidden under an open jacket. Some have a magazine pouch in front of the holster. The fact that shoulder holsters are the only true option for concealing a large revolver is another benefit of using them. The actual holster can be either vertical for longer-barreled pistols or horizontal for smaller handguns, which facilitates drawing.
Sometimes it’s just easier to keep a gun in your pocket but doing so can result in snagging on your clothes or other items in your pocket, prolonging your draw or even accidentally firing a cartridge. A level 2 pocket holster prevents the weapon from snagging and enables clean draws when necessary. Most pocket holsters rely on friction to stay in place because they aren’t linked to the interior of the pocket and are therefore quick and simple to transfer between jackets. In order to have more friction against the pocket and less against the pistol, you’ll frequently see them with the hard side of the leather facing out.
Short-barreled revolvers or subcompact semi-automatics are typically carried in ankle holsters as a backup weapon. If someone performs a fast or covert pat-down, they often go unnoticed because of how well they conceal themselves. However, they are not without problems. The speed of the draw won’t be the fastest in history by the moment you’ve knelt down and raised your pant leg. If you’re exercising a lot, they could also be uncomfortable. It’s not that enjoyable to be bouncing a handgun against your ankle while running about.
Belly Band Holsters
A level 2 belly band holster is a broad, elasticized belt with an incorporated holster that is made to conceal a pistol under an untucked shirt. You can choose the precise placement of the weapon from directly above the waist to rather higher on the chest thanks to the variety of forms they come in. Others position the rifle beneath the armpit, while some have it held in front of the body. Level 2 belly band holsters are comfortable to wear but poor for concealment. They must be snug in order to retain the weapon securely in place, which makes them uncomfortable to wear for a lengthy amount of time.
The reason level 2 belt holsters have become the most preferred option for open carry is that they are perfect for it. They maintain the weapon accessible yet out of the way. They are stable, remaining in place, so you know precisely where your pistol will be when you look for it. A level 2 belt holster can be considerably more comfortable to wear if concealment is not required, and you also have additional retention options to keep the weapon in the holster until you need it to. An open-topped belt holster with a band or any other retention tool is typically the best option if you intend to open carry.
How We Chose Our Top Picks
When choosing our recommendations for this guide, we relied on personal experience with concealed and open-carry holsters from a range of manufacturers. We also reviewed other sources to identify the best holsters in general.
We looked at a variety of factors when making our picks. These included price, comfort, durability, and more. Finally, we decided on the holsters that felt the most durable and comfortable to us. This is what you should look for in any good holster.
Frequently Asked Questions About Level 2 Holsters
What is the most comfortable holster for a level IIIA?
This solely depends on the purpose for which you intend to use it. While some manufacturers advertise their products as being “level IIIA-compliant,” that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re truly comfortable.
Are thigh holsters good for concealed carry?
Absolutely! Thigh holsters are great options, especially if you have trouble concealing your pistol in your three- to five-o’clock position (I’m looking at you, belly band)
How tight should my level 2 holster be?
Your level two holster should be comfortable but not overly tight. You shouldn’t feel any discomfort or hot spots when sitting with your firearm in place. Make sure you get one that fits well with your model of firearm and not just a generic/off the shelf type that might work for many different makes and models.
Can I wear a level 2 holster with body armor?
Yes, although you may want to consider an under-the-armor carrier like the HydraPak HydraShield instead. The downside is that it won’t offer much protection against outside fire while the upside is that it will likely be more comfortable than a standard belt.