Best Kydex Holsters Reviewed
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Carrying a holster can be easy just as much as it can be hard. The comfort of a holster is one of the most evaluated factors when it comes to purchases. Realistically speaking, nobody wants to wear an uncomfortable holster regardless of its quality and features. At the end of the day, the holsters need to make carrying a gun comfortable – a holster that lacks comfort is pretty much missing the purpose of holsters in general.
There are multiple sub-factors that determine how comfortable a holster is. The first one, as you can probably imagine, are the materials of the pouch and straps. Leathers are possibly the best materials to construct a holster for long-lasting use as they’re not only comfortable but also resistant and durable.
The shaping of the holster is another influencing factor. Generally, the most optimal fit is achieved by contouring the holster to the shape of your legs. This not only results in more comfortable, but it also provides much more support and stability to your holster and gun. However, this requires the materials to feature a certain degree of flexibility.
When we’re talking about Kydex holsters, certain components may interfere with the flexibility of the holster. However, the Kydex layer is usually applied in a manner that allows the rest of the frame to move freely. Once again, leather is a material that counts with the required features as it’s a flexible material. While it may not be elastic or overly-stretchable, it should be flexible enough to contour your leg.
No matter how good a holster is, if it’s not comfortable then it’s no good. Usually, an uncomfortable holster doesn’t even get a second evaluation – as soon as users find it uncomfortable they discard it as an option.
Not everyone likes the same things, which is why the best holster manufacturers allow users to adjust the configuration of their holster in order to achieve the fit that they find the most optimal. There are multiple ways in which a user can adjust their holster to make them both more comfortable and more functional under their personal user preference.
We gave priority to holsters that include the possibility of modifying the riding depth and similar qualities. People shoot differently in general whether it’s because of their body shape, holster type or dexterity. Thus, certain users may require a deeper ride in order to access the gun more comfortable, as opposed to some other users that are more comfortable with higher retention.
Carrying adjustment is a great advantage when it comes to Kydex holsters. Usually, the carrying adjustment is limited to 0-15 degrees, but this may vary amongst manufacturers. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, the carry is the angle in which the gun (or rather the gun’s grip) is positioned while carrying. The term comes from an engineering angle term, and it basically describes the angle of a surface (the grip in this case).
There are multiple ways in which you can carry a gun. The most commonly used positions are outside the waistband (OWB) and inside the waistband (IWB), the latter is also known as a concealed carriage. These two are by far the most optimal positions to carry your gun, but this may not be true under very specific circumstances where alternate carrying positions may be more effective.
The positioning of your holster should depend on multiple aspects; some of them involve functional aspects while some others really depend on just personal preference. Keep in mind that almost all types of holsters can work for concealment as long as they’re designed for it. On the other hand, you can’t expect to successfully (nor comfortably) conceal a holster that’s designed specifically for open carriage.
Certain holsters can be adapted to multiple parts of the body. This is much more convenient due to the simple ability to access various positions for your gun with the same holster. But, being efficient for all positions also means it’s not particularly efficient for each one individually. In simpler words, a holster designed for IWB carriage will be much more efficient than an adaptable holster adapted to IWB transportation.
When acquiring a specific type of holster, you want to consider multiple factors that determine the most convenient style for you. Your drawing hand and style should be the first parameter to take into consideration. If you’re a cross-drawer, make sure to opt for a holster that allows you to invert the position of your gun; if you’re right-handed drawing from your left, you’ll be reaching for the gun in the opposite direction, and thus the grip should be facing your right hand.
Concealment is another thing to consider. We particularly recommend concealed carriage unless you have a specific purpose in which open carriage is more convenient or functional. The most effective way to conceal a gun is to use a vertical angle, but this results in the more uncomfortable carriage. The closer to the hip, the more hidden the gun will be, but the proximity to the hip may affect the comfort.
Thermoplastic materials such as Kydex are possibly the best type of material you can get your hands on for holsters. They offer the very same qualities (if not better) than any traditional material while being considerably lighter. Thermoplastic materials are polymers that become pliable when they reach a certain temperature. This means that they’re very easy to mold after being treated with heat.
Keep in mind that the thermoplastic material is molded to the very shape of the gun it’s meant for, and thus they most likely don’t include enough space for any gun attachment. However, the ability of this material to be molded freely under heat allows it to create custom holsters that support the desired attachments too.
Leather is the second-best option, and it’s been possibly the most used material for holsters since holsters exist. At the same time, leather is a much more complex material as its quality varies based on a large list of factors. The animal it comes from, the tanning quality and stitching are all things to take into consideration when getting a leather holster. We recommend either synthetic leather or full-grain leather, although other leathers are just fine.
The good thing about leather is that, as opposed to other materials, it gets better with time. Leathers gets a better character as it ages; it gets softer and starts to adapt to the activity it’s used for. After wearing a leather holster for some time, you’ll get the most comfortable wear you could possibly get, as the leather will stay just the way you like it as you use it repetitively.
Nylon is commonly used for the creation of holsters as well. It’s not as resistant as any of the other materials, but it’s very versatile. Nylon is used in pretty much every type of holster, but always keep in mind that nylon has different levels of qualities, just like leather. When going for nylon (or any material for that matter), you want to make sure you’re acquiring it from a reputable manufacturer.
Top 10 Picks
1. OWB Kydex Holster
R&R Holsters has embraced Kydex as the material for this OWB holster. A 0.80” material thickness makes it both light and convenient to carry, barely providing any sensation while worn. The materials of this holster have been field-tested and are guaranteed to be very resistant and durable under a lot of circumstances.
If you’re tired of sweat ruining or decreasing the efficiency of your gun and holster, this holster is for you. The holster is crafted with a specific material and surface to prevent sweat from adhering and moisturizing any part of the equipment.
The OWB approach is engineered in a way that hugs your body and is contoured to deliver a comfortable fit along the hip. This design is idyllic for open and concealed transportation of smaller firearms when worn with a loose shirt.
Cost and Value
As the top product on the list, this holster has a little of everything to benefit the consumer. You will receive plenty of value from the comfort and durability of this selection.
2. CYA Supply Co. IWB Holster
Our top choice is the CYA Supply Co. IWB Holster, and for very good reasons. This is one of the best-reviewed Kydex holsters on the market due to its great design and strong build. This holster is made of high-quality material and is chemical and abrasive resistant. What’s more, it has adjustable retention pressure and carry angle which improves its security and comfort. This is designed to hold Glock 19, Glock 19X, Glock 23 and Glock 32.
One of the main advantages of purchasing this accessory is that it has an audible retention lock system. It will let you know for sure whether your gun is locked in place or not and decreases the chances of dropping your weapon.
Thick Boltaron Material
CYA Supply Co. IWB Holster is constructed for the long term, comfortable use. The boltaron material is thick enough to resist the roughest surfaces if accidentally dropped and covers the whole slide of your gun in order to fully protect it.
Cost and Value
This comes in the mid-price range and varies depending on the color you choose. The brand is so confident in their product that they offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee and a lifetime warranty.
3. Outlaw Holsters NT Hybrid IWB
If you have a gun, chances are that the Outlaw Holsters’ NT Hybrid has the right design for it. The hybrid holster is available for over 150 different guns, all specially designed to deliver the most optimal fit to each gun. The combination of Kydex and leather provides you with the support and lightness for carrying ease.
The .080” thickness of the Kydex is firm and resistant enough to protect and lock your gun, yet slim enough to be nearly weightless. Additionally, the leather and other materials of the IWB pouch are minimalist and comfortable.
Each hybrid holster is hand-molded in the US to fit each gun individually, ensuring a smooth draw and fit. The IWB panel is expressly crafted to comfort the waist regardless of the dexterity.
Cost and Value
Made by hand, you can be sure you are receiving a product made of great quality. This option is available in the widest variety of sizes on the list thus far.
4. Concealment Express IWB Glock
If you’re looking for the most adaptable option for your Glock, Concealment Express if your brand to go to. This holster is hand-made in the US to resemble the exact shape of every single Glock model it covers, ensuring both a snug fit and an optimal draw. The IWB design and size of this holster makes it ideal for concealing and carrying your Glock with you wherever you go.
Ability to adapt
Concealment Express is all about giving you the option to carry your gun how you like it the most. Thanks to the changeable carrying angle (up to 15° inclination) and the adjustable screw pressure, you’re able to customize the holster and adapt it to your very own preferences.
At the end of the day, a holster’s quality is directly proportional to the quality of its components. This is why all of the components of this holster are rust-resistant, also counting with anti-scratching features and thread lock on all fasteners.
Cost and Value
You can carry your firearm in a way the is best fitting to you with this one. As you have the ability to change the angle at which the forearm will rest. Your comfort paired with the relatively low cost are what makes this selection valuable to many.
5. Fierce Defender IWB
When it comes to choosing, Fierce Defender IWB is definitely an option worth taking into consideration. This product has received rave reviews from users and for good reasons. Despite being thick, which provides great resistance, Fierce Defender IWB is comfortable. You can fix it on your appendix, hip, side or back. Also, it is available in 7 different shades so that you can select your favorite color.
To remove any trace of concern, this holster completely covers the trigger and the backside of your gun. Moreover, the Kydex is moisture resistant, so it provides protection from sweat. If the holster becomes dirty, you can easily clean it with a wipe.
Unlike some holsters, which are made for a specific gun model and still don’t fit right, Fierce Defender IWB offers a great solution to this common problem. Its design permits you to adjust the retention just enough to keep your weapon well-fixed.
Cost and Value
This item comes at a very reasonable price and is designed to do more than just hold your weapon. It protects your gun from moisture, dirt, and other elements that can damage it.
6. CE Ruger LCP II IWB
When it comes to quality, Concealment Express is one of the most reliable companies. They’re experts at designing concealed weapons, staying true to their name. The key features of their holsters are also included in the Ruger LCP II mold, built strategically into the specific shape of your gun. You can also customize your holster by changing the carrying angle up to 15 degrees.
Retention locking system
The intuitive lock from Concealment Express holsters lets you know when your gun is securely positioned by making an audible clicking sound. The post-click technology also keeps your gun securely supported through a full day of use.
Protection against sweat
The support and positioning of the IWB holster are not affected by moisture or sweat. They're also designed to prevent friction and potentially irritating the skin. Your holster stays dry at all times.
Cost and Value
The lock for this will keep your firearm safe and secured at your side. Whilst the materials and techniques used to construct the holster will prevent it from irritating your skin even after wearing it all day.
7. Concealment Express S&W M&P Shield
Concealment Express is unquestionably one of the most dedicated manufacturers. This company encompasses the largest variety, engineering and designing products to specifically fit the qualities of each gun separately. This particular product delivers an optimized fit for the Smith & Wesson M&P in calibers 9mm and .40, following their standard inside-the-waistband (IWB) design.
Easily adjustable retention pressure
Manipulating your holster has never been so easy before – the S&W M&P holster counts with the ability to modify both the retention pressure and the carrying angle. Adjusting the holster doesn’t require any special tools, but rather just a traditional cross-recess screwdriver which makes it extremely practical.
Posi 'Click' Audible Lock System
When carrying a firearm, safety is the number one priority. This is why this holster incorporates a clicking lock system that makes a very particular sound to let you know when your gun is being clicked in and unclicked.
Cost and Value
Here is another potentially beneficial selection on the list. Perfect for those who prefer to carry more discreetly. While feeling safe that their weapon is fully secured at their side.
8. Black Carbon Fiber
Though most people will say they don’t exactly care what their holster looks like, we happen to disagree. Handguns are pricey so why not have it holstered in the most luxurious and appealing item on the market. That is where the Black Carbon Fiber Kydex OWB Holster comes into play. Built to be tailored to over 200 different handguns, this one is one of the best on the market.
Anyone who carries a holster regularly will tell you they aren’t always comfortable. Sometimes it's uncomfortable especially if it's hot. Keeping that in mind, Outlaw Holsters created one of the most comfortable on this guide. This is mainly due to its design being flexible yet fragile, this isn’t the easiest thing to do but the brand achieves it seamlessly. Furthermore, having this feature enables the construction to fit nicely to the shape of your body for an extended period.
One-year Replacement Warranty
If having exceptional features wasn’t enough, the brand took it a step further by offering a one-year replacement warranty. Having this touch not only gives you peace of mind that you are buying a quality product but it shows you that you’re purchasing from a brand who has your back. Furthermore, the product is exceptional and takes a while to wear and tear so you are getting the quality you want and need.
Cost and Value
As predicted after analyzing all the price of this product, it is on the pricier end. However, you want to keep in mind, that you are getting quality over it all. And most importantly this one holster is designed to fit over 200 different guns. Which means one single product can get the job for most of your guns.
9. Tulster M&P SHIELD 9MM/.40 IWB
Compactness and adjustability are two of the most outstanding features of Tulster holsters, and their model for the Smith & Wesson MP SHIELD is not an exception. The holster is nearly weightless and very simple to carry with little no drag until retention point. A quick clip makes it much faster and smoother to put on and simplifies the process of taking out your weapon.
A rectangular hole on the forward of the holster allows you to modify the carrying angle of your gun up to 15 degrees. The retention point is also adjustable and makes a distinctive sound when it’s properly locked and unlocked.
Protection from moisture
A full protective shield prevents sweat and humidity from affecting your ability to draw and carry. The indexing point makes it much easier to holster your gun, also preventing your shirt from getting within the opening.
Cost and Value
Next on the list is a choice that includes many benefits to the user. One or two that come to mind are the resistance to causing chafing as well as the ease at which the weapon can be drawn. After all, you never know when you may need to quickly withdraw your weapon from the holster.
10. KOBRA Products
Made in the USA the KOBRA Products IWB Holster was designed for those who use their right hand to draw their Glock. Designed to hold Glock 19 19X 23 32 along with all stainless steel handguns that weigh approximately 8 ounces, this holster comes prepared to get the job done. Its the simple Kydex holster you needed yet didn’t know was on the market until now.
As stated above this holster was, made in the USA; therefore, it makes sense for it to be created out of the best quality products possible. Featuring a lightweight belt clip that measures 1.5 inches in width, Kydex Boltaron material with .08 inches of thickness and an Audible Retention Lock System, this holster was created to conceal your weapon while still keeping it safe. Its all about giving you peace of mind and this one does just that.
100% Lifetime Warranty
When you purchase a quality product one of the very first things you want to look for is the warranty. Will you be protected if something were to go wrong? Though not all Kydex holsters have a solid warranty, this one does. But not just any warranty, a 100% lifetime warranty. This means no matter what happens to your holster, you will be able to get a replacement for life. What better way to feel safe about your investment than to know the brand has your back the entire time.
Cost and Value
Even though the features are excellent and you will be getting a lifetime warranty, this holster is pretty inexpensive. This is great when you want to have a quality product on hand that won’t break the bank this one does just that and more. Furthermore, you have two options to choose from depending on which side you like to draw your weapon from.
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