The 9 Best Concealed Carry Holsters: 2017 Reviews

 In Gear Guides

When concealment is a priority, one of the biggest hurdles to overcome is a holster. If the wrong holster is chosen, you end up showing the world you carry or, worse yet, you look ‘husky.’ That isn’t the only factor. Comfort is necessary when you conceal carry.

The last thing anyone wants is a piece of metal digging into their side or belly. The expectation is a great looking concealment device unless you pull your shirt up. The reality is, many times a conceal carry holster makes someone look unkempt and noticeable.

Why It’s Necessary To Own A Good Holster

A holster is meant to protect your protection. No one wants a gun to accidentally slip out of its holster onto the floor. It puts a huge amount of responsibility on the user to maintain control of their weapon. Having a quality holster takes a lot of stress and responsibility off the mind of the wearer.

We take care of our cars by putting on a good polish, or hair by adding some rogaine. Putting your firearm in a quality holster will maintain the finish of the gun, keep it well hidden, and protect the user as much as the gun.

Different Types of Holsters

There are 4 main types of holsters that we will review. Each one has positives and negatives. It’s always best, for the person carrying, to buy a few types of holsters and try each of them.

  • IWB
    • Stands for “In Waist Band.” This is one of the most common types of holsters for concealed carry. This style allows a wearer to keep the gun inside the waistband, thereby allowing the pants to fall naturally and limiting the outline visible to others. One downside is that most require a break in time and will rub against the bare skin. This causes some serious discomfort to wearers. A second disadvantage is that retrieving your concealed firearm takes more effort. You must pull up your jacket, sweater, and shirt before you remove the firearm from the holster. It’s like firearm foreplay.
  • OWB
    • Stands for “On Waist Band.” As the name implies, this is worn on the outside of the pants, but attached to the belt. While it is easier to see it, it is also easier to retrieve. There is no, or minimal, contact with bare skin and hardly requires a ‘break in’ period. Being further from the body means that it is closer to others, and extra care must be taken to avoid brandishing it unintentionally. A loose fit, with this style holster, can spell disaster.
  • Ankle
    • When worn on the ankle, most firearms carried this way are very difficult to see unless you wear super skinny jeans. This holster limits types of pants, socks, and shoes a user can wear. The holster itself will also limit the size of the firearm you can conceal.
  • Shoulder
    • This is the Dick Tracy of holsters. The Shoulder holster is meant to be worn underneath a loose jacket or suit coat. It gives a feeling of superiority and confidence. There is no break in time and many holsters come with attachments for additional magazines. While easy to use it is also easy to spot and requires a cross body retrieval. These holsters do not limit the size of the firearm you can carry. Think of the shoulder holster as man lingerie. While it may not be for everyone, it certainly can show off your hidden treasure.

How To Choose A Handgun Holster That's Right For You

The first, and more important, part of any holster is the relative safety. It must retain the firearm securely. Any loose fitting holster, fatigued holster, or damaged holster must be replaced immediately. Some users prefer a plastic or composite material for the ability to retain shape and pressure. Some users prefer leather holsters for comfort. It easily will conform to the user and will not create ‘hot spots’ on the skin. Leather carried additional risks, due to fatigue, and for this reason, we are not reviewing any leather holsters.

The recommended way to find a holster that best fits a user is to try many types, and styles out. A holster can only be limited by the size firearm someone wishes to conceal. A Colt 1911 will not fit in an ankle holster and be visible. If concealment is your priority than the size of the firearm must accurately fit your body type and clothing style. Try many, wear each one for a few weeks, gauge the opinion of friends and family, choose the best security and comfort.

Our 9 Choices For The Best Concealed Carry Holsters

ProductHolster TypeRatingPurchase
S&W M&P Shield 9/40 IWB HolsterIWBbuy it now button
Alien Gear Holsters Cloak Tuck 3.0 IWB HolsterIWBbuy it now button
Blackhawk! SERPA Concealment HolsterOWBbuy it now button
Alien Gear Cloak MOD HolsterOWBbuy it now button
StealthGearUSA SG-REVOLUTION Mini HolsterIWBbuy it now button
Concealment Express IWB KYDEX HolsterIWBbuy it now button
Fobus Standard HolsterOWBbuy it now button
Kryptek Typhon Kydex OWB holstersOWBbuy it now button
Uncle Mike's Law Enforcement Kodra Nylon Ankle HolsterAnklebuy it now button

S&W M&P Shield 9/40 IWB Holster

S&W M&P Shield 9mm/40 Inside Waistband Concealed Carry Holster

If you want to talk about a company that is pure U.S.A., look no further. Just by looking at this holster you can hear the chanting. Meant to fit the M&P Shield 9mm and 40mm (only the Shield), it comes in both left and right hand draw. Manufactured by CYA Supply, a veteran owned company, they take great pride in their quality and manufacturing.

CYA Supply uses Boltaron, a Kydex alternative. Boltaron resists scuffing, abrasions, and chemicals outperforming most Kydex holsters. Boltaron also allows for an easy adjustment of the cant, or tilt, of the holster from 0 to 25 degrees.

While it is a well-made holster, the clip has limitations. Users have found that a thick pistol belt bends the clip out too far, breaking the bolts or holster. Even with the slim profile, others report that it still makes them look like they have a tumor growing out of their side.

About Holster

  • IWB
  • American Made
  • Boltaron Plastic Construction
  • Right or Left-hand Draw
  • Adjustable Cant
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Negatives

  • Difficult Clip
  • Limited Pistol Choices
Sale
S&W M&P Shield 9mm/40 Inside Waistband Concealed Carry Holster
17 Reviews
S&W M&P Shield 9mm/40 Inside Waistband Concealed Carry Holster
  • QUALITY MATERIAL - Special Polymer designed for strength and durability to withstand the test of time.
  • ADJUSTABLE - Tension screws can be adjusted for a comfortable and perfect fit.
  • LESS MOVEMENT - Outer surface texture finishing for less movement of your holster

Alien Gear Holsters Cloak Tuck 3.0 IWB Holster

Alien Gear Holsters Cloak Tuck 3.0 IWB Holster

Alien Gear has a great reputation for quality. Their product guarantee shows they are concerned about the user’s safety and comfort. Users are allowed to ‘try’ a holster for 30 days, are given free shell replacements for life, and have a lifetime warranty.

The center of the holster is made with a stainless spring steel band, to be secured inside the waistband. The shell itself is constructed of thermoplastic polymers and coated with a special texture to improve firearm grip. The shell is removable from the band and attached with 4 Hex Bolts, making replacement simple. If these polymers loosen around the firearm, the shell can be replaced by Alien Gear’s guarantee. Coming in right or left draw, and changeable C or J concealment clips available on Amazon makes this holster a great option.

One issue with a loose shell, as the pistol, is pushed further into the shell the chances of hitting the magazine release increase. Users have reported, that after consistent use the magazines are found to not be entirely clipped in. With all the bolts and screws the holster needs constant care or it will fall apart while being worn. Quite a bit of the trigger is left exposed increasing the risk of accidental discharge.

About Holster

  • IWB
  • American Owned Company
  • Thermoplastic Polymer Construction
  • Right or Left Hand Draw
  • 100% Guarantee and Shell Replacement
  • 30 Day Trial

Negatives

  • No Adjustable Cant
  • Falls Apart Easily
  • Trigger Exposure
  • Shell Loosening and Magazine Release
Sale
Alien Gear Holsters Cloak Tuck 3.0 IWB Holster (Glock 43, Right)
730 Reviews
Alien Gear Holsters Cloak Tuck 3.0 IWB Holster (Glock 43, Right)
  • Adjustable ride height, cant and retention
  • No maintenance or break-in time needed
  • Waterproof neoprene backpad

Blackhawk! SERPA Concealment Holster

Blackhawk! SERPA Concealment Holster

Sometimes, you just get the itch to use your trigger finger. Even if you shouldn’t. That’s why man invented Passive Retention Systems. The SERPA is the first holster we review that has a passive retention system, requiring the wearer to push a button on the side of the holster to release the firearm. The Passive Retention System does not need to be engaged when returning the firearm into the holster.

The SERPA is a Quick Cut CQC Carbon Fiber holster. Designed for a fast draw. This holster allows the user to draw, fire, and return without even needing to see the holster. When reset into the holster there is an audible click, informing the user the firearm is secured. This holster will only fit the round trigger guard.

Right or Left-hand draw makes this holster an easy purchase. OWB carry with a bolt or paddle; both are included. Users find this holster a perfect fit for their pistol; when they receive the correct item. The largest complaints have been the wrong holster size being sent, and assembly very difficult with little to no directions. They are also very strict with their warranties.

About Holster

  • OWB
  • Unclear Country of Origin
  • CQC Carbon Fiber
  • Option of Right or Left Hand Draw

Negatives

  • Spotty Warranty and Customer Service
  • Difficult Assembly
  • BlackHawk! Requires Better Quality Control
Sale
BlackHawk Serpa CQC Concealment Holster for Glock 19/23/32/36, Right Hand, Black
1673 Reviews
BlackHawk Serpa CQC Concealment Holster for Glock 19/23/32/36, Right Hand, Black
  • Passive retention detent adjustment screw and SERPA Auto Lock release
  • Reinforces full master grip and superior draw technique
  • Immediate retention and audible click upon re-holster for security

Alien Gear Cloak MOD Holster

Cloak Mod Alien Gear Holsters

We’ve already covered the pros and cons of Alien Gear and their warranty information listed above (see: Cloak Tuck 3.0 IWB Holster), so we will stick to only the holster here.

OWB with either belt or paddles puts this holster in direct reach. It can be set to 15 degrees of +/- can’t in both left or right-hand draw. The same thermoplastic polymers are put into this holster, decreasing the weight without impacting durability.

While user have been satisfied with this holster, there is an amount of users who have found the holster cracks. It also frequently arrives missing pieces for assembly.

About Holster

  • OWB
  • American Owned Company
  • Thermoplastic Polymer Construction
  • Right or Left-Hand Draw
  • Adjustable Cant
  • 100% Guarantee and Shell Replacement
  • 30 Day Trial

Negatives

  • Cracks Easily
  • Frequently Missing Pieces
Sale
Glock 19 Cloak Mod, Right Handed - Alien Gear Holsters
21 Reviews
Glock 19 Cloak Mod, Right Handed - Alien Gear Holsters
  • Open-mouth for easy draw and reholstering
  • Adjustable cant and retention
  • Can be worn as belt-slide or paddle holster

StealthGearUSA SG-REVOLUTION Mini Holster

StealthGearUSA SG-REVOLUTION IWB Mini Holster

The Stealthgear USA is an American owned company that manufactures domestically. They provide some excellent customer service and are pretty tough about their products. While their warranty may be lacking compared to their competition, they make up for that with outstanding quality and design

The SG-REVOLUTION Mini is just that; an IWB, revolutionary mini holster. Made from ACX-57 Polymer (a fancy name for Kydex) and laser cut vents make this holster incredibly light-weight. The pebble surface allows the holster to grip a firearm securely.

While it is cool looking and lightweight, many users have complaints about the amount play and movement. This movement also allows some pistols to disengage their manual safety, despite the .093″ Kydex. It fits wide for a person with a small frame body (the person being small frames; not the pistol). Many also find the holster scratches their slide with little effort.

About Holster

  • IWB
  • American Owned Company
  • ACX-57 Polymer
  • Right or Left Hand Draw

Negatives

  • No Adjustable Cant
  • Disengage Safety Issue
  • Scratches
SMITH AND WESSON M&P SHIELD 9/40 NO ACCESSORY REVOLUTION - IWB MINI - RIGHT HAND
47 Reviews
SMITH AND WESSON M&P SHIELD 9/40 NO ACCESSORY REVOLUTION - IWB MINI - RIGHT HAND
  • 100% Made in the USA - Ventilated with laser-cut ports
  • Breathability allows you to remain cool & dry - absorbs ZERO moisture
  • Single flexible layer of proprietary polymer material with soft suede-like backing

Concealment Express IWB KYDEX Holster

Carbon Fiber Black Concealed Express Holster

Another American made holster comes to us from Concealment Express. All their holsters are handmade. They take pride in their product. Using a slightly thinner Kydex, at .08″ thick, their holsters still stand up to a ton of use and abuse.

IWB carry, with a 15-degree adjustable cant, and clamshell style mold help to protect the pistol from moisture while being worn. Coming in both Right and Left-hand draw,they are severely minimalist in design. A waist clip and pistol shell are all this holster consist of.

Depending on how hard you are on your holsters, users have found the clip to break while wearing the holster. In addition, the clip screws go through the holster itself, often scratching a pistol. Many other users felt that there just wasn’t enough ‘holster’ and that this holster was incomplete.

About Holster

  • IWB
  • American Owned Company
  • .08″ Kydex
  • Handmade
  • Adjustable Cant
  • Right or Left Hand Draw

Negatives

  • Flimsy Clip
  • Scratches, Scratches, And More Scratches
Concealment Express IWB KYDEX Holster Waistband Concealed Carry Holster, Carbon Fiber Black - Right Hand
277 Reviews
Concealment Express IWB KYDEX Holster Waistband Concealed Carry Holster, Carbon Fiber Black - Right Hand
  • Fits: GLOCK G19 - G23 - G32
  • Type: IWB - Inside The Waistband - Easily Adjustable Retention Pressure & Carry Angle (Cant) 0-15 Degrees
  • Thickness: .08" KYDEX - Weight: 2.5 oz. - Belt Clip: 1.5"

Fobus Standard Holster

Fobus Standard Holster RH Paddle

Fobus is the only company to offer a no questions asked lifetime warranty.We appreciate the effort they go through to offer a warranty like that, but we still want the positive and negative aspect of this holster, in its purest form.

ThisOWB Paddle holster is manufactured in Israel for a right-hand shooter. Fobus is vague about what comprises their holsters, and states they are made of, “injection molding and high-density polymer.” While we may be a bit lost as to what they make it out of (hint: tears of your enemies), it weight is at a few grams under 2 ounces.

Users do not feel that the holster adequately holds the pistol in, with little more than gravity. The retention screw seems to be an unnecessary, useless addition. The biggest issue everyone has is a loose fit. Very few reports of breakage.

About Holster

  • OWB
  • Israeli Manufacturing
  • Undisclosed Polymers
  • Right-Hand Draw

Negatives

  • No Adjustable Cant
  • Loose Fit
Sale
Fobus Glock 17/19/22/23/31/32/ GL2E2
791 Reviews
Fobus Glock 17/19/22/23/31/32/ GL2E2
  • fobus evolution holster glock
  • lightweight 2 oz
  • one piece holster body construction

Kryptek Typhon Kydex OWB holsters

Black Kryptek Typhon Kydex OWB holster

Another American made, Kydex holster coming to us from Outlaw Holsters. Made for both Right and Left Hand draw, this holster has a lofty expectation of being able to fit nearly 150 pistols. Despite seeming like a lofty statement, it hold true! The holsters may all look the same but they do, fit nearly 150 different pistols. OWB design makes it easy to draw and conceal.

Users have found several sharp edges they have had to sand or grind down. Many pistols do have a loose fit, when first received. Users also argue that the designs are not very visible. We’re not sure what part of ‘conceal’ is hard to understand.

About Holster

  • OWB
  • American Owned Company
  • Kydex
  • Right or Left Hand Draw

Negatives

  • Loose Fit
  • Sharp Edges
  • Subdued Designs
Kryptek Typhon OWB Holster (Right-Hand, Glock 17,19,22,23,25,26,27,28,31,32,34,35,41)
135 Reviews

Uncle Mike's Law Enforcement Kodra Nylon Ankle Holster

Uncle Mike's Law Enforcement Kodra Nylon Ankle Holster

Uncle Mike’s is owned by Vista Outdoors LLC. who also owns BlackHawk!. As we stated earlier, with BlackHawk!, manufacturing location is vague. It could be North America, could be Asia, could be Europe. We’ll never truly know. It’s much like that weird beer you tried, that one time in college. However, Uncle Mike’s has stated that this holster is made in Vietnam.

Made from Corduna Nylon, this ankle holster tucks nicely inside the pants of a right-hand user. It does have some softer material against bare skin, for comfort, and Velcrocinch closure. It will fit many small and medium sized pistols and revolvers, as well as, several large frame pistols.

We will preface this part of the information  by stating, “no ankle holster is comfortable.” Never let a company tell you their ankle holster is comfortable and easy to wear, despite what their 80’s advertisements tell you. If you don’t wear high socks to protect our delicate skin, this holster will hurt. If you do wear high socks, this holster will constantly slip, occasionally allowing the frame of your pistol to hit your ankle. The majority of complaints from users have been comfort and fit.

About Holster

  • Ankle Holster
  • Vietnamese Manufacturing
  • Nylon Construction
  • Right-Hand Draw

Negatives

  • It’s An Ankle Holster
  • It Goes On Your Ankle
  • Doesn’t Fit Well On Your Ankle
  • Small Fit For Pistols…. To Go On Your Ankle.
Sale
Uncle Mike's Law Enforcement Kodra Nylon Ankle Holster with Retention Strap (Black, Size 1, Right Hand)
409 Reviews
Uncle Mike's Law Enforcement Kodra Nylon Ankle Holster with Retention Strap (Black, Size 1, Right Hand)
  • Fits 3-4 inches barrel medium autos
  • Soft knit fabric is comfortable enough to be worn right against skin; closed cell foam acts as a moisture barrier and padding for comfort
  • Nylon web retention strap with reinforced thumb break

Our Favorite Concealed Carry Handgun Holster

And the winner is! *drumroll* S&W M&P Shield 9/40 IWB Holster. – Buy It

While the CYA Supply Co. May have limited the intended user of this holster, we find that it is custom designed for use as a concealed carry holster with specific pistols. The high quality and manufacturing standards put this holster ahead of most competition. Adjustable cant and manufacturer guarantee push it to the top of our list. Users have been very satisfied with all aspects of this great holster!

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