Best Gun Holsters Reviewed and Rated for Quality and Use
As a prospective handgun owner, you can think of a lot of things that could go wrong when you put a loaded firearm in your pants without an adequate concealment. Most of us probably hate carrying a holster around all the time but not carrying one is probably out of the question. Holsters are more than just a tactical gear – they not only protect your handgun but also everyone around you. It’s surprising though nobody carries a holster in movies unless he’s a cop. For novice shooters, holsters are just for the defensive purpose which means keeping your firearm within easy reach at all times. There are two ways to do that safely – either duct tape the gun to yourself or get a holster.
- Barsony Gun OWB Belt Holster
- Laminate Cordura nylon
- Uncle Mike's Inside-The-Pant Holster
- Durable suede exterior
- Smith & Wesson Pro Gun Holster
- Top grain leather
Should you need a gun holster?
Holsters were initially made for military and security personnel, but now they are an important accessory to handgun users globally. Different types of pistols can be safely housed and easily transported. A holster is an interface between your gun and your body and it’s undoubtedly a vital piece of gear – not just an addition to your tactical kit. For the most part, a holster makes things a lot safer. First, they keep the gun from dropping and more importantly, they usually protect the trigger, both of which help prevent accidental discharge. Plus, it makes sure your hunting handgun remains in the same position all the time, which eliminates the need to fumble with your weapon when you need it the most.
Additionally, with the tight concealed carry laws in many states, it requires you to keep our pistol hidden at all times. Sure, moving around with your gun comes with the territory, but having the right holster makes it easier to conceal your pistol comfortably and fashionably. And when you’re after concealability, you’re in a holster that fits your body type in a desired concealed position that will work well the types of clothes you’re wearing. The designs are form-fitting that restrict guns from getting dislodged and falling off while travelling. Also, a quality concealed carry holster must strike a perfect balance between concealment and accessibility.
15 Best Gun Holsters
1. Barsony Gun OWB
- Premium quality concealment holster
- U.S. Cowhide leather for durability
- Closed-cell foam padding for superior comfort
- Superior hold and comfortable to carry
- Easy draw and re-holstering
- Great for open carry
- Lack of comfort
2. Smith & Wesson
- Hand-molded design for comfortable carry
- Finest Inside the Waistband Clip-on
- Extreme durability and versatility
- Superior weapon protection
- Ideal for both left and right handed users
- All day concealed carry for low-profile tactical use
- Holster might seem a little sloppy
3. Uncle Mike's Inside-The-Pant
- Versatile inside-the-waistband holster
- Durable suede exterior for great fit
- 4-layer ultra-thin laminate for comfortable carry
- Quick draw and re-holstering
- Moisture barrier keeps perspiration off the firearm
- Weight distribution is heavier above belt line
Made of premium Buffalo Hide leather
Feels like a fine leather glove
Fits most medium and large sized handguns
Superior hold and trigger coverage
Ideal for IWB concealed carry
Not sturdy enough
5. UTG LE Grade
- Premium synthetic material for durability
- Enhanced concealed carry holster
- Velcro holds both sides of the thumb break for better retention
- Soft padding for a superior hold
- Fully adjustable Velcro snaps
- Adjustable belt loops for efficient carry
- Superior weapon protection
- Universal design fits most pistols
- No cons
6. BLACKHAWK! Serpa CQC
- Injection-molded heavy-duty polymer for maximum durability
- Advanced SERPA technology for efficient retention system
- Paddle attachment for civilian concealed carry
- Audible click after re-holstering
- Quick draw and re-holstering
- Easy to use active retention system
- Ideal for self-defense and range use
- Not suitable for every kind of gun
7. Taigear Belt Loop
- Ideal for low-profile tactical use
- Civilian concealed carry
- Maximum protection at a pocket friendly price
- Belt attachment for quick draw and re-holstering
- Large magazine pocket easily holds extra magazines
- Ideal for medium-sized sidearm
- The strap might be problematic
- Not ideal for long handguns, more than 7 inches
8. Condor Tornado
- Efficient wrap-around design for easy carry
- Fully adjustable for all large and medium sized pistols
- Velcro straps for thumb break
- Better retention system for a superior hold
- Adjustable magazine pouch for extra mags
- Quick draw and re-holstering for right hand users
- High-quality materials and durable construction
- Ideal for range use and low-profile tactical operations
- Medium quality
- Not so handy for civilian concealed carry
- Ideal for left, right, and both hand draw
- Lightweight ventilated elastic for increased durability
- Wrap-around design for a snug fit and secure hold
- Fits most medium and large sized handguns
- Easily carry up to three spare mags
- Highly functional belly gun holster
- Tactical use and civilian concealed carry
- Hard to conceal under most clothing
- Belly gets sweaty
10. BLACKHAWK! CQC
- Blackhawk’s signature SERPA technology for unparalleled weapon protection
- Efficient retention system for quick draw
- Audible click upon re-holstering
- Durable and easy to use concealment holster
- SERPA Auto lock release for ease of use
- Very small and stealth
- Lacks comfort
11. Lirisy Inside The Waistband
This holster helps to reduce the bother some issues that sometimes occur with holsters that go inside of your clothing. Made from material intended to promote breathability, this holster can reduce the amount of irritation to your skin. Another great feature, the holster was designed to move with you, helping to eliminate those awkward movements caused by resistance.
To keep your holster in place while drawing your weapon, this one has a clip for your belt, made from quality materials. This clip will ensure that your holster stays in place while you take your weapon out of it. For your firearms security, this holster comes with a snap system to keep your weapon from slipping out of the holster.
Cost and Value
For not that much cost to the consumer, you gain a fully functional holster for both you and your firearm. Made from materials for your comfort, and safety features for keeping your firearm in place you are sure to be pleased with the results you receive.
- Made form breathable materials
- Clip added to keep holster in place
- Snap system for holding firearm in place
- Comes in two sizes
- Difficut to reholster weapon one handed
- Sizing not true to specs
12. Concealed Carrier
Constructed from high quality materials, the band portion of the holster offers comfort while you wear it. Holes have been placed throughout the belt portion, to provide you with airflow, reducing the irritation to your leg.
Easy to Use
If simple is your thing, this holster is right up your alley in that department. When putting this holster on, all there is to it is to simply strap the top to your calf, then strap the bottom to your ankle. This makes for easy on and off, seems simple to me.
Cost and Value
This holster gives you the potential to carry your firearm discreetly, while not even noticing it yourself. The design theme behind this holster is comfort, while being simple to use, the strap system securing this holster to your leg makes it simple to use. While the materials and holes placed for airflow give you a good amount of comfort.
- Easy on and off
- Made for breathability
- Has an extra pocket for storage
- Velcro doesn't hold up
- Stitching around extra pocket frays quickly
13. Bulldog Cases Hip Holster
Carrying your weapon at your side has become an important aspect for many, this holster gives you two placement options for carrying. One of those options is to use the clip provided, simply place the clip over the waist line of your pants. The other option you have is to use the loop included on the holster, slide your belt through, this allows you to carry the weapon on your belt instead.
Inside of the Holster
On the inside there has been soft material placed to minimize the amount of scratching you will see due to sliding your weapon in and out of the holster. To protect you holster, it has been designed with added protection at the seams to prevent the inside lining from tearing. Therefore extending the life of your holster.
Cost and Value
This holster has the ability to accommodate any pants you put on for he day, as it comes with two options for attachment. There is no need to look for right or left and specifications with this holster, the design is made for use as ambidextrous.
- Two options for wearing
- Soft inner lining
- Reinforced seams
- Can be used for right or left handed holstering
- Too wide when wearing
- Velcro for retention strap is weak
14. Relentless Tactical
Made by hand not on a machine, ensures the the amount of quality you receive with this holster. Add to that the fact that this holster is made purely from leather, and you have found yourself a holster known for outlasting others on the market.
With a three slot system for attaching this holster to your belt, you have several position possibilities available to you. You can choose to wear your firearm behind you, or right at your side for quick access. This holster also gives you the capability to keep your firearm straight or at a slant for your drawing preferences.
Cost and Value
Although this holster seems slightly higher in price, the amount of quality you get from this holster offsets that cast to you. Made by hand, each holster made is checked for the highest quality stitching. Being that the holster is made from leather, you can count on the fact that it is made to last.
- Made from leather
- Several position options
- No cutout for mag release
- Front sight tends to get hung up when drawing weapon
15. Concealment Express
This holster provides a more custom feel for holstering your firearm. Special materials were incorporated into the design to provide your firearm with moisture protection, which can combat any corrosion issues. It is recommended that you check with the manufacturer to see that they have a holster to suit your needs, as they are specific on their list of firearms that these will fit.
Locking Placement System
This holster comes with a safety measure that will ensure your firearm has been properly placed within the holster. Added to the holster is a locking mechanism, that you will hear click, when your firearm is securely placed into the holster.
Cost and Value
For a more structured fit, this holster can be purchased for specific model weapons, giving your firearm a sense of security. The locking mechanism added to the design of the holster, helps you securely place your firearm into the holster.
- Form fitted to your firearm
- Locking mechanism for holstering
- Sweat resistance
- Has sharp corners
- Seems Bulky
Although there are different types of holsters designed to conceal a gun, there are several instances where other holsters won’t suffice – whereas some specifically designed holster will make it easier for you to carry your weapon. They come in various shapes and sizes, designed for all kinds of body types. However, we’ve focused on only the best holsters you can get your hands on.
Wrap-Up – The Final Word
Holsters are completely a personal choice and there’s no particular design or make that everyone’s going to like. But at the same time, you don’t have to spend a fortune on a holster. Comfort is the key, and over time you can adapt to just about anything. Regardless of what you choose, you should allow it to adjust to your body for at least two weeks before making a change. You’ll likely to forget you’re actually carrying a gun, as your body will adjust to the feel. Remember, the best advantage of a holster is the fact that you can secure any type of handgun in the holster. So you don’t have to buy multiple gun holsters to conceal different types of handguns. After all, your choice among the best gun holsters is a matter of personal preference.
Criteria Used to Evaluate Gun Holsters
Choosing the Best Gun Holster
For someone just starting out, trying to choose among the best gun holsters can be a bit overwhelming. Choosing the best gun holsters matters more than many gun holders realize. A holster is a part of your hunting gear but many people don’t realize the importance of that part, and it simply slips past them.
So to make sure you’re not one of the many to tell others they should have picked the higher quality holster, you have to understand the variable characteristics of holsters, to begin with. You can save yourself a good deal of this trouble by keeping the following factors in mind as you make your purchase when looking for best gun holsters.
Factors to Consider
Holsters, in general, are designed to offer protection to your handgun, secure its retention, and provide easy access to it. They are particularly designed to be used with one hand, allowing the handgun to be removed and/or replaced with the same hand. They are generally attached to your belt or waistband or clipped to another article of clothing. They are designed with a few objectives in mind: security, access, concealment, and one-hand re-holstering ability.
Security – The right holster should hold the handgun in place while you’re moving, or upside down, running, or while you get in and out of cars. The holster must hold the firearm adequately and it must allow it to fit securely within, without constricting the ability to draw the weapon or return it back to the holster. You’re not going to spend your life sitting still, and you aren’t standing still either when in a fight.
Access – The holster is supposed to allow for easy access so that you can easily withdraw the weapon with one hand and also put it back to safety with one hand. It must provide easy access to your weapon in a short span of time even in compromised situations, like when you’re rolling around the ground or while jumping off or strapped in a car seat. Further, your weapon should always be in a stable position, so that the draw can be hassle-free and consistent under stress.
Concealment – It allows you to have the element of surprise when responding to an attacker who’s threatening you with force. A gun is remarkably less dangerous in the hands of someone who handles it properly even under unfortunate or uncomfortable circumstances. This is something you owe it to yourself and others to minimize the risk of your carry. Additionally, it helps prevent those unfortunate situations when your handgun could be accidentally exposed to the general public who may immediately call for law enforcement officers because they see a person with a gun.
One-Hand Re-holstering – The ability to re-holster one-handed while still focusing on the threat (a less lethal response) is important. There are incidences people accidentally shooting themselves in the draw or while re-holstering. Speed is one thing, but gun handling and tactics are equally important. One hand re-holstering ability comes in handy when your hands will be tied up with other things immediately after you fire upon a suspect. The ability to re-holster one-handed is absent in holsters made of thin, floppy material. So choose wisely before you make the final decision.
Types – The most popular variety is obviously the inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster which rides inside of your waistband between your undergarment and your pants, and they attach to the belt with loops or hooks. These are the most concealed types of holsters, but require trousers that are about an inch more in the waist that you normally wear. A summer special type IWB has the rough side of the leather on the outside to help keep the holster anchored in one place. Belt-positioning of an IWB holster varies based on personal preference.
Outside-the-Waistband, on the other hand, has not only to deal with what’s up above the belt line but what is below as well. This requires a suit jacket or a garment long enough to cover the muzzle of the holstered weapon.
Draw – You should be able to quickly and easily draw your weapon from your concealed holster. The draw has to be consistent and reliable, and the holster must lend itself allowing you to have a complete grip on your weapon while still allowing releasing any retention devices. Well, you also need consistency to want to have a fast, smooth draw. Drawing your gun is directly connected to how you holster your gun and how to move through the draw depends entirely on where you draw your gun from. The clothing you wear each day will likely require different holsters to worn in different ways with different styles.
Retention – You need to be able to access your gun in a hurry if there’s even the slightest possibility of an assailant attacking you with deadly force, as your life or that of another person depends on it. The level of retention is entirely up to you, but generally, a level 1 – or friction retention holster – would be a great choice for anyone who carries a pistol inside the waistband. In simple terms, retention is an important concept to grasp, whether you open or concealed carry. Retention levels will vary from internal devices in the holster to simple thumb breaks that will help you retain your weapon if you’re engaged directly with an assailant. A Level 2 consists of two retention devices, such as a strap and internal retention device.
Holsters that lack a proper fit and no retention device may not retain the weapon properly. A thumb break is a safety device installed on many holsters and sheaths to prevent a weapon from drawn unintentionally. If your holster has a thumb break retention strap, you may need to stretch the strap before you get it to snap. There are many kinds of retention devices available on concealment holsters which usually involve one or more digits of the drawing hand releasing as the gun is drawn. A poorly fitting holster might cause problems with everyday use which could dislodge the pistol from the holster.
Hold – A holster that doesn’t grip properly and comfortably isn’t worth wearing at all so that when something unexpected happens, you don’t want to add a loose weapon to the equation. A loose holster can be useful at times, but you won’t appreciate your gun flying around while dodging bullets, or because you just tripped or jumped. Also, make sure you obtain a full firing grip when the gun is in the holster. This way, you don’t need to adjust the grip each time you draw your weapon.
Safety – When looking at a perspective holster, it should cover the trigger guard well to make sure none of the holster material protrudes into the trigger guard, which could affect the trigger. You can practice excellent trigger control most of the time, but will you be able to do the same when something unpredictable happens on the line? You might also be careful to never reveal your concealed weapon but accidents happen when you least expect them. One main area of consideration depends on the individual who carries the gun and where they position the holster. So it’s wise to invest in a holster with good safety features.
Materials – The quality of workmanship and the materials used in the making of a holster – this is the area where you can see the most variety of differences between manufacturers. The build quality is perhaps the area that needs your full attention. The last thing you need is a terribly designed holster. The leather is by far the most popular choice among armed citizens. High-quality holsters from the renowned companies are generally of good quality, and custom-made holsters are generally the top-quality holsters made from all the industry-grade materials. A poorly made holster, on the other hand, could possibly interfere with your draw during an emergency. So invest in something solid.
Comfort – Last but not the least, the comfort which is in the feel of the beholder. The right holster not only provides an optimal concealment solution but also allows for a quick access to your firearm with ease. It doesn’t matter how wonderful your holster looks on the outside or how it feels on the hands if it’s not comfortable you are not going to wear it on a consistent basis. So make sure you’re comfortable with a holster before you make your purchase.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why am I uncomfortable wearing my holster?
A: Although your discomfort can be caused by several factors, here are a few tips for a more comfortable experience. If your holster is made of leather, it will take some time to break in a leather holster. The more you use it the faster this will happen. If you are a first time user with holsters, they do take time to adjust to. Keep using the holster for a while, if you don’t see any changes, you may need a different type or concealed carry may not be your thing. Make sure that your weapon fits properly into your holster, if not properly fit, the holster can cause you some discomfort.
Q: How do I know which size holster I will need?
A: If you are familiar with the size specifications for your firearm, there are several one size fits most options on the market that will list their specifications for fit. But you run the risk of assuming, which sometimes leads to an improper fitting holster. Most holster manufacturers will list on their websites the weapons that their holsters will fit. In the event you don’t find your weapon on their list, most will also list a customer service number you can call as well.
Q: Will a holster cause wear and tear on my gun?
A: The true answer to this question is yes, a holster can cause some wear on your firearm. There are some options for holsters on the market to slow this process, but over time you will notice wear patterns to your firearm caused by the friction from rubbing. You can purchase a conditioner for leather, this will soften the inside of the holster, minimizing the damage to your firearm. When looking into a holster other than leather, look for one with a lining made from softer materials.
Q: If my gun is smaller than the holster, will the holster work?
A: Not if you want a good experience while using a holster, using a holster that doesn’t properly fit your weapon will hinder your holster performance. For example, using a holster that is too large for your weapon, will add hassle to your drawing ability. In the event your holster is too small for your weapon, this will result in an uncomfortable fitting holster.