The best concealed carry holsters are critical for gun enthusiasts looking to concealed carry while also maintaining comfort and ease of access. There are many different takes on concealed carry, placing your weapon in various positions. We’ve looked at the best gun belts for IWB, the best pancake holsters, as well as the best DeSantis holsters. Now, let’s broaden our approach.
There are a multitude of different carrying positions. Here, we look at a range of some of the best on the market in all different design concepts, so you can get a full understanding of which would be ideal for you.
- Top 10 Best Concealed Carry Holsters On The Market 2021 Reviews
- 1 Alien Gear Cloak Mod OWB Paddle Holster
- 2 Crossbreed Holsters SuperTuck Concealed Carry Holster
- 3 Tagua Thumb Break
- 4 Safariland 7378 7TS ALS Concealment Paddle & Belt Slide Holster
- 5 Comp-Tac MTAC Holster
- 6 CYA Supply Co. IWB Holster
- 7 ComfortTac Ultimate Belly Band Holster
- 8 BLACKHAWK! SERPA CQC Concealment Holster
- 9 Sticky Holsters Anklebiter Wrap System
- 10 Galco Miami Classic Shoulder Holster System
- Choosing The Best Concealed Carry Holster
Top 10 Best Concealed Carry Holsters On The Market 2021 Reviews
|(4.4 / 5)|
|(4.4 / 5)|
Leather and molded kydex
Tagua Thumb Break
|(5 / 5)|
|(4.4 / 5)|
Proprietary nylon-based synthetic
Paddle and Belt Slide
Comp-Tac MTAC Holster
|(4.3 / 5)|
CYA Supply Co. IWB Holster
|(4.8 / 5)|
|(4.4 / 5)|
|(4.5 / 5)|
Paddle and Belt Slide
|(4.1 / 5)|
|(4 / 5)|
1 Alien Gear Cloak Mod OWB Paddle Holster
Alien Gear always makes excellent OWB holsters, and the Alien Gear Cloak Mod OWB Paddle Holster is no exception. Constructed from rugged stainless steel and equipped with a lifetime warranty, this holster is ready to last a lifetime.
And that’s a good thing, because you’ll love the features it offers. It has an open mouth for easy draw and reholstering, as well as adjustable cant and retention. As with all Alien Gear holsters, there is an audible click when the gun is securely holstered. This is critical for peace of mind that your weapon is securely in place and the holster is doing its job.
Just in case, there is a spring steel flexplate for added retention. Overall, as you can tell, your weapon won’t be going anywhere. This holster can really be a vise if you want it to be, but you can adjust it to your preferences.
Additionally, this holster can be worn either as a belt-slide or paddle holster, giving you options. This is a pretty traditional concealed carry position, so those looking for a great holster without branching out too far will want to seriously consider this holster.
In addition to the lifetime warranty, Alien Gear has a 30-day “test drive” so you can determine whether you like this holster enough to keep it. That’s a great offer that we wish more manufacturers would offer. As much as we love being able to give you our in-depth reviews, nothing beats hands-on experience with a holster, and a test drive is a great idea.
All in all, this holster is a great example of a classic but versatile OWB holster. Anyone looking to stick to the basics but have plenty of options and excellent quality should be happy with Alien Gear.
2 Crossbreed Holsters SuperTuck Concealed Carry Holster
Crossbreed has created a minimalist OWB holster that is designed to do its job without a lot of extras. That doesn’t mean it necessarily lacks the features of other brands. It does, however, try to parse those features down into a tiny, workable package. For the most part, it works well.
As far as concealment, the most important quality, it’s highly concealable. The minimal design choices have created a less bulky holster. This also makes it quite comfortable. The base of the holster is a leather plate which absorbs the pressure of the gun. This means that there is no one or two points where the gun pushes against your body. This is a simple design choice that works well.
Unfortunately, the leather, while nice, cannot compare to some of the better materials on the market like synthetic materials. However, it also wears in comfortably like any leather, whereas some of the competition’s materials can be more stiff. Some synthetic materials retain their shape. Leather will contour to your use over time.
One noticeable complaint is that it can be difficult to get a firm grip when drawing your gun. This is because it rests exceptionally tight against the leather plate. If this becomes a concern, it can always be shaved down. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t have to take matters into your own hands.
Also, while the belt clips are adjustable, overall you get what you get with this holster. It’s designed to work fairly universally without adjustments. Since there are some concerns, like being unable to get a solid grip, more adjustable features would be welcome.
Overall, this holster would be best for owners who want something comfortable, low-profile, and don’t expect much in the way of customization. It’s fairly comfortable and usable from the get-go, so these decisions mostly work in Crossbreed’s favor so long as you’re looking for an OWB holster and nothing more.
3 Tagua Thumb Break
This belt holster is designed to give you an immediate, classic-style belt carry position. There is nothing to adjust, so be sure before purchasing that the way it presents itself is exactly how you want it. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because as stated this is a classic sort of holster.
The cant is a direct forward cant without adjustability. This is sometimes referred to as FBI cant. It is fairly easy from this position to access your weapon and be ready. There’s a simple reinforced thumb break with a covered snap. This is standard for these types of holsters, and it works as well as you’d expect.
The material used is durable genuine leather, and it has been carefully double-stitched. As we often point out, leather will not last as long as other materials, such as synthetics. In this case, it seems doubtful that anyone would be purchasing this holster with a realistic expectation that it will last a lifetime, so we don’t hold that against it. But it is worth mentioning.
This holster supports an open muzzle. The belt loops are quite accommodating at 1-34”. This ensures that no matter what belt you are wearing, you won’t have any problem. Since concealed carry owners like to take their gun everywhere it’s possible to do so, compatibility with all outfits is ideal.
There is no warranty with this holster, but it’s not really designed to be the sort of holster that you expose to abuse and the elements and expect to operate like a military-grade holster on the field. It’s designed to look excellent, handle your gun well, and provide you with a classic design. The ideal user of this holster is one looking for a quality holster, but that does the job of concealed carry.
It does all these things well, and in fact as far as budget holsters go, does it exceptionally well. It is very adaptable to your needs. Anyone looking for the basic job of concealment but not picky about their holster otherwise should be happy with this holster.
Of course, it’s not going to do anything more than be a belt holster, so those looking for a variety of positions will want to look elsewhere.
4 Safariland 7378 7TS ALS Concealment Paddle & Belt Slide Holster
Breaking away a bit from the more traditional holsters we’ve reviewed so far on our list, this Safariland holster offers a lot of great options for those looking to conceal carry with extra features. Many of these features are unique to Safariland, which makes it truly stand out.
First is the Automatic Locking System, or ALS, which secures your weapon once holstered. The weapon can easily be released with a simple thumb press during draw. This is a great combination of security and ease of use. The operation of the button and the entire process feels very fluid and natural, with only the amount of resistance that feels right.
The draw itself feels exceptionally smooth coming from the holster. That’s because Safariland utilizes a raised stand-off surface in the interior to create extra airspace. This means there’s minimal contact during the draw. This airspace creates a very fluid and natural movement.
For enhanced security, this holster comes with an ergonomically designed soft nylon paddle with an optional belt slide which is fully adjustable. This is great, as it means it will easily fit in with a variety of outfits and occasions.
The holster is made from Safariland’s proprietary material, which they call 7TS Nylon. Of course, when dealing with proprietary materials, it’s hard to accurately say how well they’ll hold up. Safariland claims that it can withstand high and low heat up to 300 degrees F and -50 F, respectively. That’s a pretty bold claim, so we have to conclude that this material is strong.
As you might expect with a proprietary material, it is designed to not affect the gun’s finish. It also, like kydex, is firm but flexible, making it a great compromise on durability and comfort.
Lastly, the cant is adjustable via injection molded belt loop. As you can see, while this holster isn’t a wild departure from your basic holstering scenarios, it does offer a very wide range of features and unique specifics.
5 Comp-Tac MTAC Holster
Comp-Tac has created an excellent choice for those looking for an inside the waistband holster with a slim profile and plenty of options. While it is useful for only one carrying position, it does that exceptionally well.
The profile is one of the slimmest inside the waistband that we’ve seen. Accordingly, Comp-Tac has taken a few steps to ensure comfort. This includes a leather backing and leather holsters. The way the leather backing hugs the holster has been well thought out, and absorbs much of the pressure the gun may apply to your body.
There are a lot of adjustable features here. Let’s start with the kydex half-shell. This shell is replaceable, meaning that you can use this single holster for all of your handguns by simply swapping it out for one that fits your needed model. You’re not likely to use this feature often, but it’s extremely useful to have, and something more manufacturers should consider for added versatility.
Comp-Tac has also provided adjustable cant and ride depth. The clips may be repositioned to ride either higher or lower on the holster according to your needs. The ride depth can also be adjusted. Interchangeable clips means you can achieve different styles, colors, and belt widths.
Each holster is individually fitted for your gun, which adds a level of detail and craftsmanship to each holster. The company notes that due to this process, there may be minor scuffs inside the holster. It is always welcome to see this level of attention to detail.
The kydex half-shell is also very smooth. Holstering and unholstering is a breeze. Our only real complaint here is the lack of extensive securement features, in a market where there are often proprietary solutions. There is a click, but it is so quiet is is both missable and unsatisfying.
All in all, however, anyone seeking an inside the waistband holster that offers an excellent range of customization options, reliable materials, and ease of use should truly love this holster. It does not accommodate more than inside the waistband positions, but if that’s your favorite way to conceal carry, this may be the way to go.
6 CYA Supply Co. IWB Holster
Cya Supply Co. holsters are designed to be simple and easy to use, without any fancy excess that you’ll never use. In exchange, they just make great holsters with everything you’d expect. A love of concealed carry is evident in the design of their holsters for all carry positions.
One seemingly minor, but extremely satisfying, feature is evident in all of their holsters. That is a very audible click when the gun has been securely holstered. This is not some accident of the mechanics. Rather, it has specifically been engineered to be loud.
Compare this to other holsters that either make a noise passingly, or make no sound at all. The reason this sound is satisfying is it assures you your weapon has been secured into place.
It is also a very rugged holster, made from Boltaron thermoplastic. This is a similar material to Kydex, but much stronger. Consequently, the holster has high abrasion, chemical, and heat resistance.
It’s also a fairly comfortable holster. The cant and retention are both adjustable up to 15 degrees with the use of a Hex Allen Key. While it’s not innately self-adjustable, it’s a simple enough solution unless you tend to wear your holster in multiple positions or change position based on your outfit. In this event, adjustment might be a bit of a pain, but at least it is an option.
This is counter-balanced by the use of only one very strong clip. Some users even report using it in other placements, but we’d recommend a gun belt for that. Most other holsters utilize two clips, which can be annoying and lead to frustrating fumbling.
Lastly, this holster has an extremely low profile. Given the purpose is concealed carry, this is very important. It will be nearly impossible for others to spot your weapon regardless of what you’re wearing. This is invaluable in the summer months, when you’ll generally be wearing less, or at least thinner, clothing.
Overall, if you’re looking for an IWB holster that gives you the basic features you need with strong construction, CYA Supply Co. has the holster for you.
7 ComfortTac Ultimate Belly Band Holster
If you’re looking for something substantially different from classic IWB or OWB holsters, ComfortTac’s Ultimate Belly Band Holster is an interesting choice that might revolutionize your concealed carry practices. The idea behind all belly band holsters is that they don’t need to be worn with a belt, allow you to carry a variety of guns easily, and are more comfortable.
It is absolutely true that if you elect to wear a holster that needs to clip to a belt or waistband, you will be limiting your options. Of course, if you’re the type of person who consistently leaves the house in only jeans, that won’t be an issue. This is a perfect solution for women who prefer to wear dresses, skirts, or really anyone who wants to conceal carry while wearing gym shorts or sweat pants. It also makes it more suitable for loose-fitting jeans.
Comfort is also evident with these holsters, so long as you get used to the feeling of having it strapped to your belly. Many belly holsters are made of elastic, but ComfortTac has elected neoprene, which is both more comfortable and longer-lasting. Unlike elastic, it won’t pinch your skin or pull your hair, and will not turn brittle after being exposed to moisture, such as sweat.
The holster is flexible and allows you to fit any pistol up to a full size 1911. It is notable that smaller so-called “pocket pistols” may end up sitting deeper in the holster. If you carry a smaller pistol, be aware that you’ll need to take extra care that it Is secure and easy to draw
The band measures five inches by 42.25 inches long, and will fit anyone up to a 44” diameter. You’ll need to measure yourself around the area you intend to wear the holster.
Overall, this holster is a very specific use case. You won’t be able to wear it in a variety of positions, and there are not many special features. That said, if you’re a female carrier and want to wear more feminine clothes, or anyone who wants flexibility in their attire while carrying, this holster is an excellent solution.
8 BLACKHAWK! SERPA CQC Concealment Holster
This holster from Blackhawk is a strong retention holster packed with unique innovations in order to offer the highest performance. Blackhawk’s patented SERPA Technology lock is able to engage the trigger guard whenever you holster, and it won’t let go until it is released.
This is great, because with systems like these, you know it will never leave your holster unintentionally. Even better, Blackhawks SERPA technology is designed with your natural drawing motion in min, with the trigger finger behind the holster body. This gives you a smooth, natural draw.
It also offers a passive retention detent mechanism. This adjusts tension as needed. Pair this with the SERPA Auto Lock Release, and you have a very secure solution to your concealed carry. Since all these features have practical use in mind, reinforcement of a full grip is assured.
One of our favorite features is an audible click upon immediate retention, and Blackhawk delivers. The click is loud and immediate. This means you don’t even need to rely on the additional patented features, but taken together, it is a very satisfying system to use.
Additionally, belt and paddle attachments are included, designed so that you can fit this holster with belts up to two inches, which is very generous. Most holsters fall a good bit short of this. Since this holster also boasts a very small profile, the you may even be prone to trying positions you wouldn’t with other holsters, and the attachments ensure you’ll be ready to go.
The synthetic composite material is also strong but flexible. This not only assures great, long-lasting quality, but it means it will be flexible for hours of use. It’s available in three colors, as well as either a matte or carbon fiber finish, so you can personalize it to your own individual liking. This isn’t a common feature, nor is it particularly functional, but it’s nice to have.
Lastly, the proprietary SERPA Quick Disconnect Kit is also on offer, albeit sold separately. This delivers even more quick disconnection versatility to your Blackhawk holster, even if it is an external accessory you will need to purchase.
9 Sticky Holsters Anklebiter Wrap System
If you’re looking for a significantly different concealed carry position, Sticky Holsters Anklebiter Wrap system is an interesting choice. Obviously, this system is designed to conceal your firearm at your ankle, and even an extra magazine. This system actually requires a separate IWB or pocket holster, so you will need to choose a separate holster in order for it to work.
While Sticky Holsters claims it is cross-functional, and you may be able to get another brand’s holster to function with the wrap system, it is actually designed to specifically be used with their own Sticky Holsters line. The way it works is that the Sticky Holsters all have a self-securing wrap design. The ankle biter uses this system to secure to your leg and the holstered pistol. It is very adjustable and will either fit on the leg itself or over a boot.
The most obvious concern here is that it’s a lot more conducive to small guns. Technically, the cut of your pants will be the determining factor, but generally speaking, it will only be compatible with smaller models.
Depending on the size of the gun you’re concealing, you will be able to fit an additional magazine. Actually, the sky is really the limit here. If you want to conceal a tactical knife, or anything else, you certain can.
Since the positioning of your weapon, the weapon of choice, and how exactly you choose to wear the wrap system are all unique to you, comfort will vary a lot. Generally speaking, the wrap is so think that it will absorb much of the gun’s pressure.
That said, this is a very different solution to concealment. Needing to invest in both the wrap system and the holster is asking a lot. If it’s possible to do so, we strongly recommend trying this or any comparable ankle concealment holster before investing.
But if you’re dead-set on an ankle holster for whatever reason, this would be a great, well-made, durable solution. Just remember, it’s a wrap system to aid concealment. It is not technically a holster itself. You will need to purchase another holster separately, either from Sticky Holsters or another brand.
10 Galco Miami Classic Shoulder Holster System
If you love the idea of a different concealment solution but the ankle position isn’t right for you, a shoulder holster might be ideal. This holster system is, as it’s name suggests, a classic that was first introduced in 1970. A staple of certain old television dramas (from whence it draws the Miami part of its nickname), this holster has handsome rugged appeal but also some great utility functions, as well.
Like the aforementioned ankle wrap system, the Miami Classic is really a holster system. The so-called “spider” harness has a Kydex panel in the back, and four swivel joints and leather straps connected to a Kydex plate. These straps create two loops which go around each arm.
This creates an X pattern across your back, however, the front only has one single strap over each shoulder, disappearing behind your arms. This way, you are able to wear a outerwear which is open in order to conceal the leather straps, as well as the holster and your magazine pouches.
Since this is a system, there are interchangeable magazine carrier and holster modules. Unlike the ankle wrap system, you do not need to provide your own, although you can. You are able to specify this when you order your Miami Classic.
The greatest benefit here is comfort. No matter what activity you are doing, you can practically forget you’re wearing the holster. And yet, everything you need is immediately accessible. Meanwhile, concealment is unbelievable. Generally, there is an even trade-off between concealment, where the more concealed something is, the less comfortable, but not here.
Of course, the downside is that you will need to cover it with an appropriate garment. While blazers and suits are the obvious choice, experimenting with your wardrobe will yield something you can comfortably wear in just about any weather. As an added bonus – or maybe drawback, depending on the person – it encourages you to dress up and look better.
Overall, because of its unparalleled concealment, perfect comfort, and providing everything you need within easy reach, this is one of the best solutions on the market. Plus, it’s a unique, classic, and handsome system that provides the perfect marriage of form and function.
Choosing The Best Concealed Carry Holster
Carry position will be your first consideration
We’ve created our list of reviews without limiting any type of holster or holster system, which means there are some very different options available. When it comes to concealed carry, you may want to change your routine or branch out of your comfort zone to find what works best for you.
OWB, IWB, and other waist-oriented positions tend to be the most popular, but there are many different options. While that may be the classic choice, it’s worth trying out different positions to see if you are better able to conceal with another method, or it’s more comfortable for you.
Additionally, some different conceal methods might be more practical for some people. A belly holster, for example, is perfect for female carriers who prefer dresses, skirts, and other attire that doesn’t support waist-oriented solutions. Likewise, anyone who’s used an OWB or IWB but for whatever reason feels their accessibility is compromised, perhaps due to injury or disability, may find other positions more comfortable and safe.
Remember, the position of your holster is more than just concealment and comfort. If you can’t reliably and quickly access your weapon when you need it, that’s a problem.
Material is important
Half of the holsters on our list are made of leather, and half are made of synthetic materials. Accordingy to the manufacturers,their chosen material is the best. Neither is necessarily wrong. Leather tends to be more comfortable, especially over time as it’s worn in.
However, this same quality leads to wearing down. It also makes it notoriously difficult to clean. This might not matter to you. On the other hand, you might expect to keep your holster for life. It’s unlikely that will happen with a leather holster.
Synthetic materials are more durable, and also tend to break in over time without wearing down. They’re much easier to clean, and resist the elements as well as the residue from your gun. It will typically take them much longer to become comfortable by being worn in, if ever. That’s why most of the synthetic materials are paired with adjustable parts, so you can find a fit that’s right for you.
Lastly, consider your climate, and whether leather may dry out. Note that some of the holsters we’ve reviewed claim to last in conditions you would never want to find yourself stuck in. But in a worst-case survival scenario, that’s great peace of mind!
Don’t forget that warranty
Last but not least, warranties are important and often overlooked by consumers. For this round up, we found a lot of holsters that did not have warranties. At the same time, some of them were also some of the best on the list, and crafted very carefully with quality materials.
Consider how well you take care of your equipment, and what environments you subject them to. No warranty isn’t likely to be a concern for owners who mostly shoot in controlled environments and take careful care of their guns.
On a related note, some of the manufacturers have “test drive” options, where you can try out their product, and if you don’t like it, send it back. This may be a great option if you’re interested in something different, but don’t want to commit your hard-earned money to something you might not enjoy.
The Galco Miami Classic Shoulder Holster System is your best choice, by a long shot.
While we’re normally hesitant to pick something that’s a drastic departure from its rivals, here that departure is what makes the Miami Classic shine. Yes, it’s a very different position, but that position provides an unparalleled balance of comfort and concealment, without sacrificing the slightest bit of either. Until you’ve tried this position, you truly can’t imagine the difference.
Additionally, it’s adjustable for just about any set up you might desire. While it’s leather-constructed, the way it works puts less strain on the material. This makes it lightweight, comfortable, and durable.
Perhaps most important, it offers optimum accessibility to your firearm. Since it is drastically different, it will take a little getting used to, but soon becomes like second nature.
And of course, it’s so great looking that it’s iconic. Yes, you’ll need to wear something over it, but its flexibility allows for the lightest of outerwear, so you can find something suitable even in hotter months.
Overall, the Galco Miami Classic Shoulder Holster System is a nearly flawless solution to your concealed carry needs, combining unparalleled quality with customization and concealment excellence.