- 1 Top Concealed Carry Holsters
- 1.1 Best Ankle Holsters
- 1.2 Best IWB Holsters
- 1.3 Best Belly Band Holsters
- 1.4 Best Shoulder Holsters
- 1.5 Best Concealed Carry for Women
- 2 Choose Right, Carry Right!
- 3 Flash & Shoot! Or it’ll Be Too Late.
- 4 Don’t Carry Your Handgun Like That!
- 5 Best Concealed Carry Holster Comparison Chart
- 6 Wrap Up
Owning a firearm is a right granted to you by the Constitution, but you should always take care and keep your gun in a holster. Not using a holster can lead to unfortunate events, and you risk accidentally hurting yourself or the people around you. But did you know that the best concealed carry holster will help you carry your handgun without any discomfort for a long time?
In the following article, we review the best-selling models belonging to all the types of concealed carry holsters and reveal their pros and cons. Not only do we review holsters for men, but for women as well. Find out which features to look for in a concealed carry holster, and which are the advantages and disadvantages of using one type of holster instead of another. Don’t know how to make a concealed carry holster work with your schedule and lifestyle? Don’t worry, we have some suggestions regarding that. No matter your profession and usual activities, you will be able to find the right type of holster using the indications in our guide.
Who says concealed carry holster manufacturers only think about men shooters? In the following article, we review the best selling models of holsters for women as well. You will be able to find a holster for your everyday outfit, but we also prepared one to go with your dresses, so you won’t go anywhere unarmed. Don’t know exactly which will be the most suitable concealed carry holster for you? Don’t worry, most people don’t. That’s why we prepared a short buying guide to help you with your decision. We considered all the good and the bad aspects of all the types of concealed carry holster, so you can make your own decision about which is the right model for you.
Top Concealed Carry Holsters
Best Ankle Holsters
Galco Ankle Glove / Ankle HolsterThis ankle holster is made out of thick saddle leather stitched to a wide neoprene band with Velcro closure and an optional calf strap you can use to ensure a comfortable wear. The neoprene band will accommodate ankles up to 13” thick. The ankle holster can hold both double-action revolvers and semiautomatic pistols, and it’s available for left or right-hand draw.
- Very Comfortable – This ankle holster is so comfortable, some people will actually forget at times that they have it strapped on.
- Won’t Work With Glock 26 – The Glock 26 is one of the most popular concealed carry handguns, and this holster is not compatible with it (though the manufacturer offers some other models compatible with Glock 26).
Uncle Mike’s Law Enforcement Kodra Nylon Ankle HolsterThis holster has a nylon construction and not one, but two straps to hold it in place. One strap will wrap around your ankle, while the other will wrap around your calf for increased support. The strap which holds the holster wraps snugly around your ankle, and the soft fabric is so comfortable, you will be able to wear the holster right over your skin without any discomfort.
- Very Secure – The two straps keep the holster in its position at all times, no matter if you’re sitting, walking, or running.
- Thin Velcro Strap – The Velcro strap holding the holster in place could have been wider.
UTG Concealed Ankle HolsterThis ankle holster is completely made out of heavy duty elastic and it’s padded all along its strap’s surface. The padded straps have a hook & loop design which will allow you to adjust them properly over your calf and ankle. The holster comes with additional accessories you can use to make it even more secure. The calf strap will make wearing the holster more comfortable, while the vertical security straps will connect the calf and ankle straps for increased support.
- Feels Good – The holster feels good and secure against your leg, and it can be easily concealed.
- Can Scratch – Wearing this holster against your bare skin can lead to scratches.
Best IWB Holsters
Cloak Tuck 3.0 – Alien Gear HolstersThis holster has a spring-steel construction which provides it increased durability. This construction’s face is then covered with a thermoplastic polymer, while a material with a special texture will hold your handgun in place. The holster’s surface which rubs against your back is covered in soft neoprene for increased comfort, so you will be able to wear it at all times.
- 30-Day Test – If you buy the holster and you don’t like wearing it, you can return and receive all your money back in 30 days.
- Large Sweat Shield – The large sweat shield can get in your way when you try putting the gun into the holster
Relentless Tactical HolsterThis is one of the best-rated concealed carry holster available on the market today. The holster is made out of suede leather and will clip onto the waistline of your pants with a metal hook. The holster has a compact design and it’s easy to conceal under your shirt or jacket, so you will be able to wear it at all times.
- Complete Lifetime Warranty – If you buy this holster and have a problem with it, you will get another or replacement parts as soon as you inform the manufacturer
- Tough Reholstering – The holster won’t take the form of your gun, so reholstering it can be somewhat difficult.
Uncle Mike’s Nylon Inside-The-Pant HolsterThis holster has a ultra-thin four-layered laminate construction, but it’s not thicker than regular suede leather holsters. One of the four layers will act as a moisture barrier, and it will stop the perspiration from reaching the gun. The holster has an open top, so you will be able to draw and holster your gun quickly when necessary. The belt clip will keep the holster securely attached to your pants’ waistband.
- Soft Material – The holster’s material is soft and it will be comfortable against your skin.
- Bad Sizing Chart – The manufacturer’s sizing chart is not as accurate as it should be.
Best Belly Band Holsters
Comfort Tac Belly Band HolsterThis concealed carry holster is made out of a neoprene material which will stretch to fit anyone with a belly up to 44”. The material is so soft, you will be able to wear it directly over your bare skin without any discomfort. The holster can be worn across your waist, cross body, on the small of your back, or behind your hip, if you like it more that way. The holster also comes with a handy spare magazine pocket.
- Stays In Place – This conceal carry holster will stay in place, no matter how much you move
- Thin Velcro – The thin strip of Velcro does a nice job of keeping the holster in place, but a wider strip wouldn’t have hurt.
Active Pro Gear Concealment Belly Band HolsterThis holster allows you to carry a gun wherever you go without having to wear a jacket. The strap used for holding the gun is elastic and smooth to the touch, so you will be able to wear the holster directly against your skin without any discomfort. The elastic strap actually stretches a lot, so you will be able to wear it comfortably throughout the whole day. The holster’s design will allow you to carry larger handguns, but if you want to conceal them well, you should use compact ones.
- Comfortable – The holster is comfortable enough to wear the whole day
- Useless Magazine Pouch – The magazine pouch might be more troublesome than helpful. The extra magazine you store in it might fall is you bend over or sit up from a chair.
AlphaHolster Belly Band Hand Gun HolsterThis belly holster can conceal your handgun close to your body. The ventilated elastic strap will allow your skin to breathe while you wear the holster, minimizing your discomfort. The strap can be secured using a strip of Velcro. Any small or medium sized handgun will fit snugly into the holster, and you can secure them further by using a strap behind the gun. The holster also comes with two smaller holsters for magazines.
- Cross Draw – This holster was specially designed for shooters who are used to cross draw their handguns.
- Longer Draw Time – Since this holster is designed for cross drawing, it will take you longer to do it.
Best Shoulder Holsters
Galco Gunleather Shoulder HolsterThis shoulder holster can be adjusted to a horizontal or diagonal carry position and it attaches to the harness with the help of swivel connectors. The ammunition carrier has a secure design, and the harness is specially designed for improved comfort, so you will be able to make detailed adjustments to it, making sure it fits you snugly. The holster is designed for semiautomatic pistols, and you will be able to fit the best-selling models on the market in it without any difficulties.
- Well Balanced – This harness is very well balanced, and carrying your gun the whole day will be comfortable
- Will Need Some Breaking In – The holster’s leather will need some breaking in, so make sure you draw your gun plenty of times before you start wearing it.
Gould & Goodrich Gold Line Shoulder HolsterThis shoulder holster is fully adjustable and has a back swivel which will make the straps stay flat on your back, so the concealment will be really good. On the side opposite the holster, the harness has two magazine pouches for extra ammo. The holster’s harness is easily adjustable and made out of high-quality materials, ensuring a comfortable wear throughout the day.
- Great Weight Distribution – The harness’s wide straps will distribute the weight well, so you won’t feel any discomfort even when you’re carrying extra ammunition
- Plastic Clips -The clips that hold the straps together are made out of plastic, and don’t seem very durable
UTG Deluxe Universal Horizontal Shoulder HolsterThis shoulder holster has a universal design which will hold most popular handguns, no matter if you won a semi-automatic or a revolver. The holster has a soft lining which will protect your guns from scratches. The holster has a modular design and it can be used by both right and left-handed shooters. The harness’s shoulders are padded for increased comfort, so you will be able to wear the holster for a long time.
- Completely Adjustable – The harness and holster are fully adjustable, so you will be able to wear them comfortably.
- Stitching Could Be Better – The harness could have better stitching.
Best Concealed Carry for Women
Flashbang Bra HolsterThis concealed carry holster will keep your gun close at hand in a horizontal position, allowing you to draw and go into a shooting position in mere seconds. The holster has a thermoplastic construction and it will be a good fit for every woman who wears a traditional bra. The holster is easy to conceal, and you won’t have any problems fitting popular compact handguns in it. The holster comes with three straps, each having a different length.
- Quick Draw – This holster allows you to draw your gun quickly.
- Reholstering Can Be Difficult – Reholstering your gun after drawing it in public might be difficult.
UnderTech Concealment Tank Top Single ShirtThis concealed carry holster will allow you to carry two handguns at once, or you can choose to carry extra ammunition, a cell phone, or anything else you want on the opposite side of the handgun. This holster does not use straps or a harness for stability, but it actually uses a whole shirt. The shirt can be worn comfortably and allows your body to breathe.
- Good For All Shooters – The dual carry design of this holster will allow both right or left-handed shooters to wear it and use it with great results.
- Limited Wardrobe Options – The fact that you’re wearing a shirt underneath your clothes will limit your wardrobe options.
Bulldog Cases Concealed Lace Thigh HolsterThis holster uses a stretch lace material for holding it in place. The lace has a silicone band on the top to stop it from slipping. The holster is safe and comfortable to wear, even under skirts or dresses. The holster will accommodate small compact handguns which weigh under one pound, so your handguns options will be somewhat limited. The holster can be used with good results for carrying your phone or wallet.
- Comfortable And Concealed – This holster will allow you to carry a concealed firearm even when you’re wearing a dress
- Garter Straps Could Be Better – The garter stripes could be more resistant.
Choose Right, Carry Right!
Choosing a good concealed carry holster depends on a lot of factors, and you should weigh each of them before reaching a decision. Here are some things (including some tips) you need to consider if you want to buy a concealed carry holster.
The type of the concealed carry holster will have a great impact on how you can use it, as every type has certain advantages and disadvantages.
- Ankle Holsters – The main advantage of using an ankle holster is that it can be easily concealed, especially for men. Ankle holsters can be covered up by jeans or dress pants, but some people actually prefer wearing high boots over them, making them practically invisible.
Some ankle holsters use only one strap for support, while others use two of them. Choosing between one or two straps is mainly a matter of preference, as both designs will hold the gun steady. The disadvantage of using an ankle holster is that you have to bend over or kneel whenever you want to draw, and this can attract unwanted attention to yourself.
- IWB Holsters – The main advantage of using an “inside the waistband” (IWB) holster is that it’s very easy to reach. You can wear the holster at your side or on your back, depending on the holster’s design and your preference, and drawing it can be done swiftly, without drawing unwanted attention to yourself.
A disadvantage of using this type of holster is that it may be somewhat uncomfortable. The holster itself, or the gun’s handle can poke at your back or at your side when you’re sitting down, so this type of holster might not be the best choice for someone who spends a lot of time sitting at a desk or in a car each day. However, some manufacturers have clever designs which will allow you to sit without discomfort, making this type of holster suitable for everyday use. Another advantage of using this type of holster is that it’s easy to conceal, so you can wear them under your T-shirt or sweater without anyone noticing.
- Belly Band Holsters – The main advantage of using belly band holsters is that they’re comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. They usually use wide elastic straps which will distribute all the weight along your core, so you won’t feel any discomfort when wearing them.
Another advantage is that you will be able to change the holster’s position to where it’s most comfortable and easy to draw. Some people like to cross draw, while others like to draw from their back. This holster can be used for virtually any position around you, so you will be able to draw fast. A slight disadvantage is that you may feel some discomfort when you sit, or the holster and gun can become visible through your clothes when you do it.
- Shoulder Holsters – These holsters are very comfortable, and they usually come with additional pouches in which you can store extra ammunition, among other things.
An advantage of using shoulder holsters is that they are comfortable to wear for a long amount of time, and they will keep your gun steady no matter how complex your movements. A slight disadvantage is that you will need to wear a jacket in order to conceal your pistol, and that can be uncomfortable when it’s hot outside. Another slight disadvantage is that shoulder holsters are tough to draw from when you’re in a tight space, like a car.
- Bra Holsters – Bra holsters have the major advantage of being easy to conceal. Once you strap one on, nobody’s going to notice it.
Another advantage is that bra holsters will allow you to draw quick. They keep the gun ready in a horizontal position, so you can draw and aim it in a couple of seconds. A slight disadvantage is that once you draw the pistol, it might be harder to reholster it in public without lifting your shirt.
- Garter Holsters – The main advantage or garter holsters is that you can carry a handgun when you’re wearing a dress or a skirt.
A slight disadvantage of using this kind of holsters is that you will only be able to carry very small pistols. Another disadvantage is that your draw will not be fast, and it’s guaranteed to attract attention from all across a room.
- Drawing Speed
Whenever you think about buying a gun holster, you should also think about the drawing speed. Drawing your gun quickly can make a very big difference in every situation
- Slow Drawing Speed – Garter holsters, shirt holsters, and ankle holsters have a slow drawing speed. While garter and shirt holsters have a slow drawing speed because they’re usually placed under clothing and they take some time to reach, ankle holsters are slow to draw because you need to kneel or bend over to reach them. However, drawing a gun from an ankle holster can be fast if you’re sitting down.
- Fast Drawing Speed – Bra holsters, belly band holsters, shoulder holsters, and IWB holsters allow a fast drawing speed. However, shoulder holsters can prove a little slower because you have to cross draw, while bra holders are surprisingly fast, especially when you think about what they’re hooked on.
Flash & Shoot! Or it’ll Be Too Late.
OK, most people will say that they want to buy a concealed carry holster because they need to protect themselves and their family, and that’s an alright answer, but we’re not talking about that right now. Some holster designs will offer certain benefits that other models won’t, so you have to make sure you know how you’re going to use the holster most often if you want to pick the right one for the job.
You should buy the holster thinking about how you’re going to use it with your current schedule, not modifying your schedule or behavior just because you have a new holster. With these arguments in mind, here are some suggestions about which type of holster you should buy, depending on your usual activities and vocations.
- Policemen – If you’re a policeman, not only are you allowed to carry a gun at your waist, you have to do it. But certain situations might need an additional handgun. Which is the best concealed carry holster for you?
The answer to this question depends on your daily activity. Do you spend a lot of time sitting in a police car? If the answer is yes, waistband and belly band holsters might not be very comfortable to carry. They are good for everyday use, but they can poke you when you sit down. On the other hand, a shoulder holster will be very comfortable, but drawing your gun from a shoulder holster while sitting down can be tricky, and it might take long. A good solution would be to use an ankle holster. If you’re already sitting down, you’ll be able to reach your ankle and draw in a fraction of a second. If you’re not sitting down, all you have to do is bend over and the gun will be in your hand, ready to shoot.
- Businessmen – If you’re a businessman and you want to protect yourself, you need an easily concealable firearm. So what type of holster is the right fit for you?
This depends on your routine. Are you the kind of businessman who is almost always on the run, or do you spend almost all your time sitting in front of your desk? Do you do a lot of driving, or spend a lot of time in a car? The answer to these questions can make your choice clearer.
A businessman always has to dress apart, so this will help you conceal your holster. You can wear a shoulder holster beneath your jacket at all times, without anyone noticing. On the other hand, the jacket will also mask a belly band holster, or an IWB one, so your options are not limited to a shoulder harness.
- Women – People often think women have it easier than men because they can carry their purses around almost anywhere, and they can always keep a gun in the purse, but that’s not necessarily true. Sometimes, the distance between the purse and yourself can make drawing difficult or too slow. If you’re wearing dress pants most of the time, you could also wear an ankle holster without anyone noticing, and you’ll be able to draw quick while sitting.
The best thing is to have the gun with you at all times and to be able to draw it quickly. If you’re wearing a casual outfit, the best choice will be the bra holster. This type of holster holds the gun at a horizontal level, and you will be able to draw and aim it in a matter of seconds. But if you’re wearing a dress, a bra holster might not be the best option. You can use a garter holster instead, but reaching it quickly might not be very easy.
Don’t Carry Your Handgun Like That!
Having a gun with you at all times can be vital for your protection, but you should always keep in mind that you’re actually carrying a real-life weapon and not a toy. The following section will address some popular mistakes people make when they carry their handguns, so you can avoid them. The first thing you should keep in mind is that you have to keep the safety on at all times, no matter the situation you’re involved in.
- Tucking It In Your Pants: This is one of the most popular mistakes people do when they want to carry a handgun without using a holster. Here’s what’s wrong with this carrying method.
- Trigger Is Not Covered – If you’re carrying the handgun in your waistline without a holster, the trigger and the trigger guard are not covered, so you might provoke an accidental discharge.
- Muzzle Is Not Pointed Right – If you’re tucking the gun in your waistband, chances are the barrel is pointing straight at your legs. If there’s an accidental discharge, you will definitely get hurt
- Gun Can Slip – Without a proper holster, the gun can slip and fall (even if you are wearing tactical pants) . This can either happen when you walk or run, or when you decide to sit down and get up. Once the gun slips into your pants, you will have a tough time explaining your actions to those around you.
- Keeping It In A Pocket: Keeping a gun in your pocket is also a popular way of conceal carrying a handgun. Here’s what’s wrong with this method.
- Gun Moves Around – If your pockets are large, the gun can move around a lot and actually drop sometimes.
- Fumble Your Draw – Your pockets don’t have to be too large for you to fumble your draw. Even if your pockets are tight, you might have some difficulties with drawing and aim your handgun. Just think about how you sometimes fumble reaching for your keys and add the pressure and emotions which lead you to draw out your firearm in the first place. It’s not a pretty combination, isn’t it?
- No Cross Draw Ability – If you put the gun in a pocket, it will be very difficult to reach it with your other hand, and even if it’s not difficult, it’s time-consuming. This can be a serious drawback if time is of the essence.
- Suitcase Or Purse Carry: You might think about keeping your handgun in a purse or a briefcase if you don’t have a proper holster. Here’s what’s wrong with this method.
- Slow Draw – Even if you keep the suitcase or purse close to you at all times, which is highly unlikely, you will need a lot of time to open them, draw your gun, and aim it properly.
- Unlucky Draw – Another disadvantage is that most of the times, the purse or briefcase is filled with other objects (so is your backpack as well), so you might actually grab something else instead of your handgun.
- Gun In The Wrong Hands – A major disadvantage of this carrying method is that a briefcase or a purse are among the first things a burglar or a thief will try to steal from you. Just imagine the following scenario – you get a firearm license, buy a handgun, and after an unfortunate incident, the gun gets in the hand of a thief or burglar. Who’s to say where the gun registered on your name could show up next?
- Accidental Discharge – Since most people usually keep other items in their briefcases or their purses, there is always a chance of an accidental discharge. This might lead to accidents like hurting yourself or the people around you.
Best Concealed Carry Holster Comparison Chart
|Galco Ankle Glove / Ankle Holster||$$$$||Right||100% Leather||Reinforced thumb break|
|Cloak Tuck 3.0 - Alien Gear Holsters||$$$||Right||Stainless spring-steel band|
Soft neoprene fabric
|Advanced retention and comfort No break-in time required|
|Comfort Tac Belly Band Holster||$$||Right||Neoprene material||Elastic holster |
Spare magazine pocket and optional use retention strap provided
|Galco Gunleather Shoulder holster||$$$$$||Right||Leather||Pivot independently and connected by clover-shaped|
|Flashbang Bra Holster||$||Left||Thermo plastic||Designed to keep a gun horizontal|
No matter how well concealed your gun is, keep in mind to leave it behind every time you go in an area where guns aren’t allowed, such as public institution buildings, schools, kindergartens, or churches. You might have the right to carry that gun, but if you do it in a restricted area, you risk a fine or worse. Many people disagree on which is the best concealed carry holster, but you shouldn’t worry about that. The only thing you should keep in mind is to find the right model for your particular needs. Some people like to cross draw, while others like to draw the gun from their dominant side. It’s only natural that a holster model which might be perfect for the first category won’t be the right one for the second. Different type of holsters will offer you a different type of advantages, so you have to make sure you find the right model to suit your needs. The most important thing you should think about when you’re buying a conceal carry holster is when are you going to use it. If you plan on using it every day, you should buy a holster which will fit all your daily needs.
On the other hand, if you plan on using the holster only on occasion, you should think about buying the right model for those occasions. Some concealed carry holsters can be worn with your everyday outfit, while you can wear others with more elegant outfits, which you might use only rarely. This is why you will be able to find the proper holster for your situation, no matter your profession or what your daily activities are. If you don’t have the necessary time to do the research, just read our buying guide and reviews well prepared by tacticals.org editors and make an informed decision.