The Kryptek Typhon is a molded Kydex holster that comes in a very broad range of models. There are not many auto-pistols that Kryptek does not have models for. If you own any of the Glocks, CZs, S&W, Berettas, etc., you will find a Kryptek for your gun. In addition, they also offer left-hand holsters, although I am not sure if they offer as wide a selection with the left-hand holsters.
All of the Kryptek holsters are standardized in terms of length for guns with 3.5-inch barrels but the end of the holster is open to fit guns with longer barrels. The standard belt loop clips are designed to fit belts of 1.5-inches in height but can still be a bit tight for those belts. The company does offer leather belt loops as an accessory that will fit taller belts.
Aside from that one issue, the holster has good retention, and considering the price, this holster is a good buy, particularly for left-handers that have less popular auto-pistols.
The Bianchi is a cowhide holster that is available in two colors, black and tan. It is also offered in both left and right-hand versions. The novel feature of the Bianchi is its finger lock retention system. Unlike many holsters that have a thumb-style retention device, Bianchi’s fingerlock is flicked with your middle finger.
The holster has just two belt holes which result in a 15 degree forward cant and the Bianchi will have a naturally higher sitting position on your hip. It does, however, fit belts up to 1.75-inches in height.
The bottom of the holster is open to fit guns with longer barrels but it is designed specifically for auto-pistols with 3.5-inch barrels. Some people claim that it fits many of the compact and subcompact pistols well but it was designed for shorter barrel 1911 style pistols. Bear this in mind when deciding to choose this holster.
This nylon hip holster is made by Federal and is an ambidextrous holster with a single belt clip. It was designed for the S&W shield 3.1 or 3.5-inch barrel, although other pistols of similar size should fit.
The holster can fit guns with an under-barrel laser but it’s important to note that it will not fit lasers that extend beyond the barrel or fit below the trigger guard. The Federal has a thumb retention strap, which is pretty standard with nylon OWB holsters. A practical feature of this holster is that it also has a magazine pouch situated down the slide side.
The inside of the holster is padded with a soft outer nylon lining. The overall quality of the holster is good and because you can change the clip to either side of the holster, you can also carry it IWB style. The Federal would be an excellent affordable option for people with S&W Shields with a laser but it could be a risk for people with similar-sized guns.
This is the second Bianchi holster on our list of top picks. This leather holster is for revolvers, specifically S&W K-frame-sized revolvers with two to four-inch barrels. The Bianchi is available in black and tan colors and left and right-hand versions.
The holster fits belts up to 1.75-inches and is designed to sit pretty high on the hip for concealability. It has a thumb retention strap that fastens on the inside as opposed to the outside of the holster. This makes the retention strap harder for a third party to flip open but it can also impact draw speed.
Bianchi makes good holsters in general and the Black Widow is no exception. The leather and stitching are all quality for a holster in this price range.
The G36 is made by Bedone and is a paddle-style polymer holster. It’s designed to fit the Taurus G2/G2C/G3/G3C models including the PT745 but not the Pro model. The G36 is intended for both concealed and open carry and has a trigger release retention feature.
The smoothness of the trigger release is good and does not affect a quick draw. A nice thing about paddle designs, in general, is that they fit bigger belts. The G36 can fit up to two-inch belts with comfort.
The cant is fully adjustable by an Allen key which is shipped with the holster. This is a pretty versatile holster but because it protrudes a few inches from the hip, it would only be useful for concealed carry if you are wearing a jacket or baggy clothing. Unfortunately, the G36 is only available in the right-hand at the moment but this may change.
With the plethora of holsters and designs on the market these days, you may be wondering what the difference is between a hip holster and any other outside-the-waist belt holster. The difference may not be so obvious but what we consider to be a hip holster is typically a holster for a smaller gun. We are talking small frame revolvers and sub to compact auto-pistols.
By design, a hip holster will typically ride high on the belt. This combined with a smaller pistol and smaller holster should maximize concealment. Some hip holsters may offer adjustable ride heights but, as a general rule, they don’t. If you are looking for an OWB holster for a full-sized pistol or want ride height adjustment, then have a look at our top five picks for OWB holsters. We also have separate reviews for IWB holsters and tuckable holsters.
We generally try to test holsters ourselves or do as much research on user reviews as possible in order to save you time. Some of our top five picks are offered in many different molds to suit the most popular guns on the market.
Other holsters are designed with just a few specific gun models in mind and will state that they may fit similar-sized guns. If we have been able to establish that the holster does in fact fit other guns very well, then we will tell you in the product review. If not, be a bit wary as there may be a likelihood that you are not happy with the holster fit.
Whether it’s a hip or an IWB holster, general safety features remain the same. You may like extra retention features or prefer easy access. Either way, a good holster should still cover the trigger guard of your gun and in the case of an auto-pistol; the holster should have enough coverage to prevent you from accidentally pushing the magazine release when drawing.
All of our top picks have been chosen with these basic features in mind.
Most hip holsters will have an extra retention feature like a finger or thumb strap or even a trigger release. Four of our picks have one type of extra retention feature. If you prefer plain old passive retention, then head directly to our review on the Kryptek Typhon, it’s our only pick that does not have an active retention feature.
The Kryptek is also quite unusual for a Kydex holster in that it offers specific molds for all the popular auto-pistols but also many of the more rare guns on the market. If you have a gun that you have struggled to find a good holster for, then you should definitely take a look at the Kryptek.
That concludes our roundup of the top five hip holsters. For owners of small frame revolvers and small auto-pistols, the hip holster is a great concealment option, particularly if you want better access to your gun than an IWB might offer.
As always, we have selected hip holsters to suit all preferences. There are Kydex, leather, and nylon options as well as holsters for revolvers and auto-pistols.