Best Concealed Carry Holsters (2019): Buyer’s Guide and Unbiased Reviews

Are you on a quest to find the best concealed carry holsters?

Then you’re in the right place. Because I have done the hard work for you and have reviewed dozens of products to bring you the best concealed carry holsters.

In addition, I will introduce the following related topics.

  • Product Details (Including advantages and disadvantages) 
  • Buyer’s Guide
  • Purpose of Carrying
  • Features of Good Self-Defense Holsters
  • Different Types of Concealed Carry Holsters
  • Holsters Suitable For Women

I will also answer some common questions.

  • Can holsters work with people of different sizes?
  • Will I be able to get a holster that works well for my firearm?
  • If I have a larger than normal firearm can I get a concealed carry holster for it?

Without further ado, let’s begin!

Chief Editor

Brian

Hi! I’m Brian, graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sport Science at University of Houston. I used to be an editor of a sports magazine. Currently, I work as a part-time editor at OutsideHow.com. I like to read sports and recreation magazines, such as Outdoor Life, Sports Illustrated, ESPN and Runner’s World. I hope that this article can be helpful to you.
Brian

25
Hours Researching

45+
Products Evaluated

900+
Reviews Considered

15
Researched Sources

Top 3 Picks ( In a Hurry? Here are the winners )

Product
Editor’s Choice & Best Seller
CYA Supply Co. IWB Holster Fits: Smith & Wesson M&P Shield & Shield 2.0-9MM/.40 S&W - Veteran Owned Company -...
Professional's Choice
Gould & Goodrich B804-G17 Gold Line Shoulder Holster (Black) Fits GLOCK 17, 19, 22, 23, 31, 32, 34, 35, 39
Best Value
ComfortTac Ultimate Belly Band Holster for Concealed Carry | Black | Fits Gun Smith and Wesson Bodyguard,...
Image
CYA Supply Co. IWB Holster Fits: Smith & Wesson M&P Shield & Shield 2.0-9MM/.40 S&W - Veteran Owned Company -...
Gould & Goodrich B804-G17 Gold Line Shoulder Holster (Black) Fits GLOCK 17, 19, 22, 23, 31, 32, 34, 35, 39
ComfortTac Ultimate Belly Band Holster for Concealed Carry | Black | Fits Gun Smith and Wesson Bodyguard,...
Price
$37.74
$139.98
$19.90
Prime
Our Rating
Editor’s Choice & Best Seller
Product
CYA Supply Co. IWB Holster Fits: Smith & Wesson M&P Shield & Shield 2.0-9MM/.40 S&W - Veteran Owned Company -...
Image
CYA Supply Co. IWB Holster Fits: Smith & Wesson M&P Shield & Shield 2.0-9MM/.40 S&W - Veteran Owned Company -...
Price
$37.74
Prime
Our Rating
Read Full Review
View on Amazon
Professional's Choice
Product
Gould & Goodrich B804-G17 Gold Line Shoulder Holster (Black) Fits GLOCK 17, 19, 22, 23, 31, 32, 34, 35, 39
Image
Gould & Goodrich B804-G17 Gold Line Shoulder Holster (Black) Fits GLOCK 17, 19, 22, 23, 31, 32, 34, 35, 39
Price
$139.98
Prime
Our Rating
Read Full Review
View on Amazon
Best Value
Product
ComfortTac Ultimate Belly Band Holster for Concealed Carry | Black | Fits Gun Smith and Wesson Bodyguard,...
Image
ComfortTac Ultimate Belly Band Holster for Concealed Carry | Black | Fits Gun Smith and Wesson Bodyguard,...
Price
$19.90
Prime
Our Rating
Read Full Review
View on Amazon

Best Concealed Carry Holsters

One of the most important things you can do when carrying is to select the right concealed carry holster regardless of the type of handgun you have. Choosing the right pistol is important and exciting but buying the right holster is the next important step. Without regard to the particular pistol you choose, it’s stacking type or how lightweight it is, it won’t be much use to you if you’re unable to effectively and quickly draw it in the face of danger.

As well, the holster needs to be able to fit snugly against your body and cover the trigger so that there’s no chance of an accidental discharge. Whether military personnel or law enforcement or an ordinary citizen that wants to be more conscious of their security, getting the right holster will mean getting one that’s comfortable, will hold up, and it will protect its user and allow them to draw their weapon quickly. Here we’ll take a look at some high-quality holsters.

1. Best IWB Holster

1.1 CYA Supply Co. IWB Holster Fits: Smith & Wesson M&P Shield & Shield 2.0-9MM/.40 S&W – Editor’s Choice & Best Seller

CYA Supply Co. IWB Holster Fits: Smith & Wesson M&P Shield & Shield 2.0-9MM/.40 S&W - Veteran Owned Company -...
  • Fits only: Smith & Wesson M&P Shield & Shield 2.0 - 9MM/.40 S&W- No...
  • IWB Holster - Inside The Waistband - Easily Adjustable Retention...
  • Made of .08" Thickness Boltaron Material - Belt Clip 1.5" wide - All...
  • Posi-Click' Audible Retention Lock System - Sweat Guard covers full...
  • Made in USA - WE STAND BY OUR QUALITY: 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, No...

This is a great Amazon retailer that is small and sells Kydex holsters capable of safely carrying a gun. Those who consider themselves minimalist and want a holster that will work well and provide a trigger guard without any extras, then this is a great choice. Those who want the greatest simplicity will find this to be a good holster. It is simply a doubled over piece of Kydex along with the belt clip so that it stays in place.

The snap does a very good job of keeping the gun secure and it does it well enough that you’ll never need to worry about it accidentally falling out even if you’re running. Even though it’s a bare basics holster it doesn’t miss out on any needed functionality. The only negative is that the hard plastic can irritate your skin if you’re doing a lot of sitting over an extended period of time. The chafing that it might cause can be unbearable for some.

That’s something that’s true with any holster of this type and material. There are no flaws in its design and the only reason it has this one drawback is because of the hard shell plastic material it’s made of. It does its job just as you would want it to.

Pros
  • It’s highly cost-effective
  • Extremely durable
  • It’s compact.
Cons
  • Its rigid material can be somewhat uncomfortable if you use it while sitting for extended time frames.

1.2 Concealment Express IWB KYDEX Holster: fits Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9/40

Concealment Express IWB KYDEX Holster: fits Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9/40 - Custom Fit - US Made - Inside...
  • Fits: Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9MM/.40 (Incl. M2.0 & Performance...
  • Type: IWB - Inside The Waistband - Easily Adjustable Retention...
  • Material: .08" KYDEX for a Perfect Custom Molded Fit - Weight: Only...
  • Posi 'Click' Audible Retention Lock System - Integrated Full Length...
  • 100% Hand Made in the USA - Unconditional Lifetime Warranty - Absolute...

If you want the smallest holster possible and you’re looking for one made of Kydex then this will be a great choice. There’s pretty much nothing else out there that’s going to do a great job and offer fewer features than this holster. It’s made of a single piece of material that’s been doubled over and the company has removed all but the absolutely necessary material and still allow it to guard the trigger and protect itself against sweat.

Even though it’s extremely compact and small it’s still possible to adjust its retention. It is designed so that you can set it to work specifically for your body shape and draw and you can avoid the chafing typically associated with holsters made of this type of material. This means you can use it and still remain comfortable throughout your day. It is very comfortable even when using daily or training while wearing it.

Pros
  • It’s as minimalistic as possible.
  • The adjustable retention is another important positive point of this holster.
Cons
  • Like all concealed carry holsters made of Kydex, the plastic is rigid
  • When there’s no gun in the holster the design is somewhat weak.

1.3 Crossbreed Holsters SuperTuck Concealed Carry Holster for Glock 17, 19, 22, 23, 25, 31, 32, 34 & 35 (Right)

CrossBreed Holsters SuperTuck Concealed Carry Holster for Glock 17, 19, 22, 23, 25, 31, 32, 34 & 35 (Right)
  • Made of Black Cowhide Leather
  • Gun Fits Snugly Inside Molded Kydex
  • Highly Concealable
  • Fit Custom for Glock 17, 19, 22, 23, 25, 31, 34, & 35 Handguns
  • Made in the USA!

This maker is well known within the industry of concealed carry holsters. There’s a good reason for this. They are well recognized for making holsters that are very reliable, highly concealable, and very comfortable. The SuperTruck, in particular, is made to be very comfortable even when it’s being worn all day. It can be adjusted for the particular user and it is highly concealable.

It is considered a hybrid because it combines cow leather together with Kydex molding. Most users of this holster feel that it does the perfect job of combining the best benefits of both these materials. Because the leather is what touches the body it’s more comfortable than when the body is touching hard plastic.

There is one trade-off with this and that is that the leather itself can loosen with time and use. This can lead to a possible safety hazard and has the potential of causing an accidental discharge.

Pros
  • It’s very concealable even when using a tucked-in shirt
  • It’s adjustable to its user
  • It’s comfortable because of the genuine leather used
Cons
  • The leather can break and this can cause a potential hazard

2. Best Appendix Carry Holster

2.1 BLACKHAWK! Appendix Reversible Carry Inside The Pants Fits Glock 19/23/32 Ambidextrous Holster, Urban Gray

If someone wants a holster with the lowest profile the Appendix by Blackhawk has been made available to the marketplace. Why a number of people like this choice is the fact that it has a low enough profile that some who were not able to wear other appendix carry holsters can wear this one. It cost considerably less than a custom-made holster using Kydex and yet most feel it can do an equal job.

The clip does a good job of securing the holster when wearing it and tests showed that it has very little wear even when it’s being used often. The fact that it has an adjustable retention is unusual for this type of holster and a lot of people appreciate that fact because they can adjust it for their particular draw stroke. This is a really nice choice for someone just starting to wear a concealed weapon and who wants something that is inexpensive but still works well.

Pros
  • It’s so easy to use,
  • It’s extremely durable
  • Very inexpensive.
Cons
  • The clip doesn’t hold up for as long a period of time as some other models might.
  • It has some sharp edges and is a bit unrefined.

2.2 StealthGear USA Glock 43 NO Accessory Revolution – Appendix – Right Hand

StealthGear USA Glock 43 NO Accessory Revolution - Appendix - 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...
  • No break-in time requried
  • Pebbled surface in contact with firearm, decreasing drag by 50%

Anyone who wants a super cheap holster may want to take a look at this option. It’s made of molded plastic and is securely designed to hold the gun in place with its clip. There’s not much to it but it does absolutely work.

It’s good that they are as cheap as they are because they certainly won’t last forever. They are not as comfortable as other options. The thing to consider about this choice is the fact that it will hold the concealed weapon safely and securely. It is perfectly good for daily use.

They do their job and although they’re somewhat uncomfortable they do their most important job well. It is possible to make them more comfortable using some sandpaper and a knife to work off their sharp edges. This will help it to be a bit easier when drawing the weapon.

This is a bear basic and super cheap option that is adequately comfortable and relatively maintenance-free. It does a great job of keeping your gun secure even under difficult circumstances.

Pros
  • It’s maintenance-free
  • Very lightweight
  • Adequately comfortable
Cons
  • It will wear out sooner than other choices
  • It has sharp edges.

3. Best Belly Band Holster

3.1 ComfortTac Ultimate Belly Band Holster for Concealed Carry – Best Value

Sale
ComfortTac Ultimate Belly Band Holster for Concealed Carry | Black | Fits Gun Smith and Wesson Bodyguard,...
  • ONE SIZE FITS MOST - Neoprene band is adjustable and stretches to fit...
  • ONE SIZE FITS ALL HOLSTER - Surgical grade elastic holster fits small...
  • CARRY IN ANY POSITION - Can be worn inside the waistband IWB, outside...
  • RIGHT OR LEFT HAND DRAW - Bellyband Holster is available in right and...
  • Spare magazine pocket for accessories and optional use retention strap...

The ComfortTac Ultimate Belly-Band Holster is one of the top sellers. It is the preferred choice by countless people that have to use concealed carriers. This model comes with a universal handgun-holster that you can use in any type of carry position that feels comfortable for you.

The Velcro and heavy-duty neoprene help to secure this holster in a comfortable manner so you won’t have to worry that your gun will slide or flop around.

If you need a decent quality belly-band holster then this is a great choice as it combines both attention-to-detail and a heavy-duty construction designed for people that actually go shooting.

Small additions such as the additional magazine pouch along with more than enough space to make adjustments mean you can carry your holster across your chest, to an appendix, to the cross draw, or even the traditional 4’ o’ clock position without the need to invest in different holsters.

If you need a belly-band holster similar to a multitool, which means that regardless of what situation you need it for it will match up well, this is the ideal choice. This holster is made from maintenance-free materials at an affordable price point. It is also capable of carrying any type of handgun that will fit well into the universal holster.

Pros
  • One-size-fits-all holster
  • Great retention straps
  • Comfortable
Cons
  • Bulky

3.2 Belly Band Holster for Concealed Carry | IWB Holster | Waist Band Handgun Carrying System | Hand Gun Elastic Holder for Pistols

Belly Band Holster for Concealed Carry | IWB Holster | Waist Band Handgun Carrying System | Hand Gun Elastic...
  • RIGHT-HANDED ONE SIZE FITS ALL! Neoprene material stretches to fit...
  • HOLDS ANY SIZE PISTOL! Surgical grade elastic holster fits small...
  • VERSATILE CARRY OPTIONS! Can be worn inside the waistband, outside...
  • INCREDIBLY COMFORTABLE! Ventilated and soft to the touch. Comfortably...
  • EXTRA POUCH! Spare magazine pocket and you can also use it for your...

People in the market to buy a belly-band holster will soon find out that not all holsters are made the same. The belly band is not one of the typical holsters which means some of the versions are very cheap and made from materials that are subpar.

The quality workmanship and materials that have gone into this particular holster is superior to many of the other types of available belly-band systems. The heavy-duty neoprene and nylon along with a secure Velcro elastic featured in this holster mean that it is comfortable to wear and will last you for a long time. Unlike many of the other holsters, this version is made to support your magazine and gun weight without feeling like you are wearing a corset across your waistline.

This comes as a relief for the individuals who prefer to wear a looser fitting holster, that they can quickly forget about when they go about their daily activities. The small details such as open tips and perforated neoprene allow for a way to carry bigger guns with this system, along with an easy way to quickly deploy your weapon using the superior thumb-snap retention system.

Pros
  • Inexpensive
  • Durable elastic
  • Comfortable neoprene
Cons
  • Low quality

3.3 Fullmosa Concealed Carry Holster, Mi Belly Band Holster Handgun, Elastic Hand Gun Holder Waist Holsters Pistols Revolvers IWB Holster Mag Pouches

Sale
Fullmosa Concealed Carry Holster, Mi Belly Band Holster for Handgun, Elastic Hand Gun Holder Waist Holsters...
  • Five sizes: The pistol holster fit 40"-45.9" abdominal circumference....
  • Flexible carry: This IWB holster can be worn inside and outside the...
  • Smart designs: This waist holster is designed with three pistol...
  • Highly elastic holster: The belly band holster is made of elastic mesh...
  • Notice: Please ensure you choose "Sold by Fullmosa" for guaranteed...

If you are a hoarder, you might just appreciate this innovative belly-band holster. People that prefer to carry around several gizmos and gadgets with them that need to be concealed will really enjoy this model. This is a good quality holster that offers a comfortable way to carry items around without adding too much weight to your overall gear.

It is classified as one of the belly-band holsters, yet it also features loads of pockets. The overall design construction of this holster provides an easier way to carry a lot more weight around thanks to the thicker nylon and neoprene materials.

These thicker and more durable materials will securely support the overall weight of a gun and any other equipment you need to carry with you. It also means you do not need to pull your holster tightly in like you would with the standard models. Overall this product is the ideal choice even if you only need to carry your gun and a few spare magazines as it is more than effective when it comes to carrying and supporting the weight of these items.

It is regarded as slightly pricey when it comes to belly-band holsters, yet it also doesn’t cost a fortune when it comes to the concealed-carry method. This product is durable and long-lasting and will serve its purpose extremely well.

Pros
  • Durable
  • Capable of carrying lots of gear
Cons
  • Less comfortable when compared to others
  • Bulky

3.4 KAYLLE Belly Band Holster for Concealed Carry (Upgraded) – Most Comfortable Neoprene Inside Waistband Holster with Elastic Hand Gun Holder – for Men & Women – Fits Glock, Ruger, Sig Sauer, S&W M&P

KAYLLE Belly Band Concealed Carry Holster - Neoprene Elastic Inside Waistband Gun Holster for Women Men - Fits...
  • GUARANTEE & FULL REFUND: We do not only sell products, we sell...
  • CONCEALED CARRY - Thickness 2.5 mm and discreet, Kaylle Belly Holster...
  • COMFORTABLE WITH HIGH QUALITY MATERIAL: This Belly Band Holster made...
  • ONE SIZE FOR ALL: High quality neoprene material stretches to fit up...
  • WHAT MAKES IT DIFFERENT? Retention strap uses the highest quality...

OWB and IWB holsters serve their purposes, yet in some cases, you won’t always be dressed appropriately in order to wear a belt in order to support these items. It is in these situations when belly-band holsters are the best choice.

The belly-band option provides an easier way to carry your concealed firearm comfortably and securely. It also allows a way to carry your concealed handgun under clothing that is more restrictive such as your gym wear.

Belly bands are a good choice to conceal a firearm, yet it is important to note that it is not always very secure.

This is why it is better to only use one for smaller and lightweight handguns. You should also not rely on a belly-band as your main way to carry your gun around.

The Kaylle Belly-Band is a comfortable and well-made device for discrete methods to carry your concealed weapon. This model used a mico-velcro and magnetic retention-clip which allows for a quiet and smooth one-handed draw.

The neoprene materials fit waist sizes of all sizes all the way up to a 45” circumference. It is also highly adjustable to match up to all sizes and methods of carrying.

This model comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee, which makes it an attractive risk-free trial option.

Pros
  • Doesn’t require pants or a belt
  • Comfortable
  • Highly adjustable for all types of carry and sizes
Cons
  • A less secure method to carry your weapon

4. Best Ankle Holster

4.1 Galco Ankle Glove/Ankle Holster for Glock 26, 27, 33 (Black, Right-Hand)

Galco Ankle Glove/Ankle Holster for Glock 26, 27, 33 (Black, Right-Hand)
  • Premium Steerhide
  • Retention strap with reinforced thumb break on most models
  • Neoprene ankle band with Velcro fastener
  • Comfortable genuine sheepskin padding
  • Fits ankle up to 13 inch in circumference

If you are in search of a top-rated company that manufactures holsters, Galco is a well-known and trusted brand.

This company produces a wide variety of holsters, and the Galco Ankle Holster is currently one of the best models when it comes to concealed carry.

If you are carrying a gun that is heavier, or slightly bulkier when compared to the standard guns on your ankle, you need something that is durable and reliable.

This heavy-duty concealed holster will form fit to the gun that you use, using a genuine sheepskin and heavy-duty elastic to ensure maximum comfort levels. Many of the ankle holsters tend to get tangled in your hair or chafe your skin, but this holster has solved this issue in the way of including an added padding layer made from genuine sheepskin.

This makes these holsters fit well and feel comfortable and it also keeps your gun firmly and safely in place. All the features associated with this holster make it incredibly easy to carry and use. It is also one of the models that will last for a lot longer when compared to other models.

However, all these features do contribute to a higher price tag. If this is the first time that you are trying out an ankle holster, you may want to consider other options, and then buy this model once you are sure you feel comfortable with carrying your gun on your ankle.

Pros
  • Carries well
  • Secure and durable
  • Extremely comfortable
Cons
  • Soaks up water and moisture and takes longer to dry

4.2 LIRISY Ankle Holster for Concealed Carry | Non-Slip with Calf Strap Holster Fits Glock 42, 43, 36, 26, Smith and Wesson Bodyguard .380.38, Ruger LCP, LC9

LIRISY Ankle Holster for Concealed Carry | Non-Slip with Calf Strap Holster Fits Glock 19 42, 43, 36, 26,...
  • CALF STRAP FOR NO SLIPS DOWN: With calf strap to keep pistol of choice...
  • COMFORT DESIGN: Breathable neoprene material insures more softer and...
  • SIZE: We offer two sizes, a 15" band that will fit up to a 13" leg and...
  • HAND ORIENTATION: Ambidextrous design holds your handgun close against...
  • UNIVERSAL:  Fits a wide range of guns from micro pistols to...

This is one of the ankle holsters that ensures that your weapon remains firmly in place.

The neoprene and nylon materials used to produce these holsters molds perfectly to your ankle and offer more coverage when compared to most of the other types of ankle holsters currently available.

This means your gun will not slide around and offers you a more consistent and reliable draw regardless of the situation you find yourself in.

The unique feature about this model is that even though it is not classified as a form-fitting holster, the nylon sleeve has the ability to hold all types of guns, along with ample retention and the thumb-snap which helps you to feel secure and confident when it comes to carrying your concealed weapon.

If your job description requires you to be mobile and you spend many hours on your feet, and you are unable to carry your gun in any other way, this is one of the best carry options as it combines comfort and security in a unique way that most other holsters are unable to. Another attractive feature about the Lirisy Ankle Holster is the affordable price point.

If you are just starting out with carrying your gun on your ankle, and you need a holster that will not allow your gun to slip out when you need sprint or run. Or you are not ready to spend a lot of money on this type of product, then this could be the perfect holster to match up to your requirements.

Pros
  • Low profile
  • Extremely secure
Cons
  • May irritate your leg hair
  • The neoprene may start smelling after a while

4.3 Ultimate Ankle Holster For Concealed Carry by ComfortTac | Fits Glock 42, 43, 36, 26, Smith and Wesson Bodyguard .380, .38, Ruger LCP, LC9, Sig Sauer, and Similar Guns

Sale
ComfortTac Ultimate Ankle Holster for Concealed Carry Fits Glock 42, 43, 36, 26, Smith and Wesson Bodyguard...
  • EXTREMELY COMFORTABLE - We use a neoprene band that is comfortable...
  • FITS WIDE RANGE OF GUNS - Our elastic holster fits a wide range of...
  • FAST SILENT DRAW - The retention strap features a metal snap for a...
  • FLEXIBLE FIT - we offer two sizes, a 15" band that will fit up to a...
  • MONEY BACK GUARANTEE - ComfortTac offers a 30 day buy and try money...

In some cases, a mid-body traditional method of concealing your gun may not be appropriate. For these situations, it is great to know there are other concealment methods.

One of the more popular methods to carry a concealed weapon is on your ankle. The ComfortTac is one of the ankle holsters that is made to secure guns that range from small to compact.

This may mean that you won’t have to buy holsters to carry each gun that you own, as this holster works well with different sized guns. One of the drawbacks about this holster would have to be its overall position. Even though it might be an easy method to conceal your gun on your ankle, it may start to feel uncomfortable if you use it for long periods of time. It may also prove to be slow when it comes to draws, which might cause a problem for certain types of situations.

The ComfortTac comes in two band sizes which fit all leg sizes. It provides a way to either carry your holster under your pant leg or over your boots.

The ComfortTac uses a band made from neoprene similar to what you find in athletic clothing which adds to the comfort levels of this holster. There is also a foam-pad positioned behind the location of the gun to stop the weapon from digging into your leg.

Pros
  • Fits various guns
  • Easy concealment
  • Added comfort and features
Cons
  • Slow draw, which might mean your gun is not accessible immediately
  • There is a limit to the sizes of guns you are able to carry

5. Best Shoulder Holster

5.1 Galco Jackass Rig Shoulder System for 1911 5-Inch Colt, Kimber, para, Springfield (Havana, Right-Hand)

Galco Jackass Rig Shoulder System for 1911 5-Inch Colt, Kimber, para, Springfield (Havana, Right-Hand)
  • Made using the finest materials
  • Used by law enforcement, military, and citizens alike
  • Tested for durability and quality
  • 1911 5-Inch Colt, Kimber, Para, Springfield

The shoulder holsters at this stage are only associated with a few select companies producing high-quality products that you can rely on for daily use to carry your gun.

The Galco Jackass Rig Shoulder System is definitely one of the best for concealed-carry if you are looking for a product you can use every day. The shoulder holster is one of the niche items and not suitable for everyone. Yet if you have decided on a shoulder holster this is one of the best options to consider.

This is a modern take on the old classics, Galco has revamped this holster with the use of suede leather on the shoulder strap and genuine leather for the holster and magazine pouches. The tension or thumb-snap makes sure the magazine and your gun will not fall out, while the holster system overall is extremely comfortable.

If you have used a shoulder holster that was poorly made in the past, it can be compared to wearing some type of torture device. However, this model is exceptional as it comes with metal hardware that swivels and adjusts to each movement that you make, while the suede leather comfortably molds to your back which stops the holster from shaking or rattling. If you are able to afford this premium shoulder holster it is the best option that we highly recommend.

Pros
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Combines high-quality materials
Cons
  • High maintenance
  • Heavy

5.2 Gould & Goodrich B804-G17 Gold Line Shoulder Holster (Black) Fits GLOCK 17, 19, 22, 23, 31, 32, 34, 35, 39 – Professional’s Choice

Sale
Gould & Goodrich B804-G17 Gold Line Shoulder Holster (Black) Fits GLOCK 17, 19, 22, 23, 31, 32, 34, 35, 39
  • Fits GLOCK 17, 19, 22, 23, 31, 32, 34, 35, 39
  • Made in USA
  • Top Grain Vegetable Tanned Genuine Leather from the World's Best...

The shoulder holsters are in most cases linked to undercover cops from the 80s, yet they should definitely not be disregarded as a great way to conceal your weapon.

The right shoulder holsters provide a convenient and safe way to conceal full to medium-sized firearms along with space for your ammunition while keeping the weight away from your belt-line, provided you do not mind wearing a garment to conceal your weapon.

The Gould and Goodrich shoulder holsters are made from a premium vegetable-tanned leather which offers comfort, durability, and a superior finish.

The back swivel ensures that your gun is orientated correctly, which assists with the ultimate concealment.

The Gould and Goodrich is a great quality holster, yet it is one of the more expensive options.

If you are prepared to invest in a high-quality shoulder holster and you are committed to carrying your weapon in this way this is one of the best choices. If you are still testing out whether you can carry your firearm in this way, there are many other cheaper options to consider.

The non-glare hardware also stops any bright lights or sunlight from reflecting off the metal which may reveal that you are wearing a holster.

This holster also provides an easy-access to 2 additional magazines which means you can feel confident that you are always prepared, without having to worry about running short on ammunition or coming across an issue such as magazine malfunction.

Pros
  • Keeps the weight away from your waistline which could result in back pain
  • Offers an easier method to carry a large firearm
  • Allows for easy storage of additional magazines
  • Made from high-quality leather
Cons
  • The draw is slightly slower when compared to waistband-mounted holsters
  • You need to use an appropriate cover garment like an open t-shirt or a jacket
  • The price is comparatively higher which makes this product an investment

5.3 Galco CL652 Classic Lite Shoulder System for M&P Shield 9/40, 2.0 9/40, RH, Natural

Sale
Galco CL652 Classic Lite Shoulder System for M&P Shield 9/40, 2.0 9/40, RH, Natural
  • Classic Lite shield RH nat
  • High quality product
  • Highly durable product
  • This product is manufactured in United States

If you prefer a more budget-friendly option, Galco has produced an exceptional Classic Lite Shoulder System that features suede leather.

This is an appropriate choice for smaller sized guns and concealed carry as the suede leather fails to support the weight like the Mac pouches and genuine-leather holsters do.

However, the comfortable materials present in the more expensive options are available in this excellent holster which makes it perfectly comfortable to carry under a heavy or suit jacket.

If you need t to conceal your firearm in attire that is formal, then this is the best choice in a shoulder holster.

Many of the shoulder holsters are brown, yet this version is also available in black which can give you that edge you need when you want to conceal your gun. If you run into any issues with this Galco holster, it comes with an exceptional warranty.

You do need to pay attention when it comes to making sure the suede materials remain dry and clean. Suede leather is prone to degrading faster when compared to genuine leather. Suede also absorbs sweat and water and exposing your firearm to moisture could result in damaging it. It is important to condition these holsters and allow the product to dry out when you are not using it.

Pros
  • Very concealable
  • Secure and comfortable
Cons
  • Not durable when compared to genuine leather models
  • High maintenance

Purpose of Carrying

People carry guns for a variety of reasons and the holster you choose for carrying also depends on your particular purpose. In simple terms, it means that a man living on a 5000 acre ranch doesn’t have to worry too much about concealing his 9 mm when he goes to check the fence but a woman living in Detroit and walking home in the dark from work does need to think about concealment.

Do not forget about this when you discuss concealed carry with friends and family. If you’re searching for a holster for self-defense, keep in mind that it’s going to be different in design as compared to the holster that people usually wear at a shooting club or range. It is also going to be different from the holster used by security guards and police. In fact, it may also be different than the holster used by your next-door neighbor. It’s perfectly fine to have a different holster but the important thing is that it should work for you and your gun.

Features of Good Self-Defense Holsters

All the good holsters have a few characteristics in common when carrying a self-defense firearm. It doesn’t matter whether you carry a 9 mm Glock under your arm or a Beretta Pico at the hip, these are some of the important features you want in a self-defense holster:

  • It should fit snugly against the body. An ill-fitting holster is not only going to be uncomfortable but it may also draw attention as it will bounce around and this is not something you want.
  • It should also keep the firearm tight. If the gun isn’t tight in the holster, it becomes a risk in case of a physical altercation. In case you’re fighting someone and you get thrown to the floor or even if you are running away, you would want to ensure that the firearm is stay put.
  • It should allow you to carry concealed. In case you want to carry a gun for self-defense, you would always want it to be concealed. You don’t need to draw any kind of unwanted attention or make others feel uncomfortable when they can see your weapon.
  • It should have smooth presentation. A good quality holster will allow the user to easily draw the gun out of the holster and also return it without any issues. In case you have to fumble with the straps or removing the gun from the holster requires you to use both your hands, then it’s not the right choice for self-defense as every second counts. You want to get your firearm out as quickly as possible.
  • It keeps your gun protected. The holster should protect the firearm from the outside elements as well as your body. Do not forget that sweat and rain can cause damage to a firearm but these can be easily avoided with the help of right holster.

Different Types of Concealed Carry Holsters

If concealed carrying is completely new for you, you might find it challenging when buying holsters. When you start searching, you will come across many different acronyms such as Appendix, IWB, OWB and other such terms. In this section, we are going to cover the meaning of all these acronyms and help you figure out the right choice for your firearm.

Inside the Waistband

IWB or inside the waistband carry is a great way to carry your firearm if you want to maximize concealment. In this case, the firearm is concealed between your body and your pants and belt. It simply means that majority of the firearm is hidden inside the pants making it easy for you to conceal large as well as small guns. This type of holster also allows you to carry the gun in a variety of positions including on your strong side and as an appendix holster.

This type of carry requires good holsters to be comfortable. Sticking a firearm down inside your pants isn’t comfortable. The firearm is going to prod and poke around like nobody’s business. Therefore, a high quality holster should make IWB carry much more comfortable. This type of concealed carry allows for easy concealment and quick draw at the cost of comfort. You might also need to go a size up in your jeans.

The firearm is around an inch wide and that can be uncomfortable if you don’t have proper fitting pants. IWB requires a belt and it’s better to get a sturdy belt in order to support the firearm and keep it in place. This type of carry is great for people with small frames as OWB carry may create a large bump. This type of carry also makes it easy to avoid accidental firearm explosion and printing.

Pros
  • Quick draw
  • Almost no printing
  • Easy concealment
Cons
  • Not comfortable for everyone

Outside the Waistband

This is another popular form of concealed carry. As is obvious from the name, the gun and holster remain outside and rest on the belt. It’s extremely comfortable and there are many different types of holsters available for this type of carry. This type of carry is the choice of professionals globally. Therefore, it is important to differentiate between holsters that are made for duty and holsters that are made to be concealed. If you want to carry outside the waistband, get a good holster and hide it under a long shirt and that will make you ready for any kind of situation.

These type of holsters are designed so that these can be held close to the body in order to help with concealment. The pancake design is popular as it flattens the firearm against the body making it easier to conceal it even if you wear only a T-shirt. These holsters typically don’t have any retention devices and can be made from Kydex, leather or nylon.

There are two significant advantages offered by OWB holsters. These are extremely comfortable to carry and fast to draw form. You will get uncompromised access to the firearm as they is absolutely nothing in between you and the firearm. In terms of comfort, these also keep the gun in place and prevent them from poking and prodding around.

Pros
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Extremely easy to draw
  • Huge number of selections available
Cons
  • Difficult to conceal

Shoulder Carry Holsters

As the name suggests, these are the type of holsters that loop around both the arms and keep the firearm under the armpit. Most of the high-quality shoulder holsters available for sale these days are made of leather and these have almost become the standard. This type of holster is great for road trips or in situations where you need to sit for a long period of time. It is not only much more comfortable as compared to a waist holster but it is also more comfortable to draw even in a seated position. There is no need to fumble around and wrestle with the seatbelt in case you need to use your firearm.

Another advantage of these type of holsters is that you are free to carry a full-size pistol with much more confidence and ease as compared to other styles of carry. Most of these holsters also offer a secondary location for keeping additional tacticool goodies and magazines.

These do have a downside and that is the fact that the user needs to wear a jacket of some sort or a button-down shirt in order to conceal the firearm. Also, there are certain geographical locations where it might be too hard to wear these for a large part of the year.

Pros
  • Comfortable even when seated
  • Allows you to carry full-size guns
  • Additional space for extra ammunition
Cons
  • Large cover garment is needed for concealment
  • High prices for quality models

Pocket Carry

It’s a very effective and simple way for carrying a gun when the main goal is concealment and convenience. It’s not always possible to carry a firearm on the waist in certain kinds of clothes which makes this type of carry a viable alternative. A holster is still needed for pocket carry due to reliability and safety reasons and in order to keep your firearm protected from other pocket goodies. A pocket holster not only makes it easy to draw the firearm but also keeps the hammer concealed in order to avoid any kind of accidental discharge.

These holsters should remain firmly inside the pocket when drawing your firearm or you’re not going to like a situation where the holster comes flying out of your pocket and you have to fumble around in order to get to your firearm. Therefore, it is important to invest in a purpose built holster that is made by a highly competent company. There is some limit on the size of pocket carry but having a small gun is much better than having no gun at all.

Pros
  • It’s easy to carry
  • Concealment is easy
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Gun size is limited

Ankle Carry

It’s a very niche category for concealed carry. It’s extremely tricky but many people commonly use it to carry a backup weapon. It’s convenient and comfortable while sitting or driving for extended periods of time but it’s not really an optimum daily carry. You are restricted to a small gun and it’s not easy to reach. Also, if you happen to step in a puddle, it will expose the firearm to whatever is there in that puddle. It can definitely work but you need a good holster for it to work.

Pros
  • Concealment is good
  • Great for sitting positions
Cons
  • Restricts the gun size
  • Makes it hard to reach the firearm when standing
  • Allows easy exposure to elements

Guide For Buying The Best Concealed Carry Holster

Comfort and Function

When shopping for a concealed carry holster one of the things often overlooked is considering whether or not it’s highly functional and comfortable. If you end up not wearing it because it’s difficult to use or uncomfortable then it won’t do you any good. It’s something that you should be able to wear regularly. Here are some ideas that are important to consider when selecting what type of holster you need.

  • It’s highly recommended that you choose a holster that is worn on your body rather than off it. If you’re looking at two and one is worn on the waistband and the other is in a carry purse, then the one worn on the waistband is the recommended choice. If looking at a specialized concealed carry jacket or a hip holster, then the latter will be the recommended choice. It’s considered to be much safer when the firearm is on your body as well as making it easier to reach and making it more difficult for the wrong people to get their hands on it.
  • For the average person, a holster that is worn on the hip or waste will usually be more efficient than other kinds. This puts your weapon within easy reach of your dominant hand and it helps protect it from others being able to easily grab it from you. When you’re shopping for the holster don’t just grab one and pay for it, it’s important to try it on. You should even walk around wearing it in the store. You might even try doing some jumping jacks with it on.
  • Try doing things that you would do in everyday life like bending over to see how it feels doing those activities while wearing it. Take notice and see if it stays in place as you move. Also, consider whether or not it pushes into your ribs. Pay attention to whether or not it presses into your back when you make certain movements. When you do these different activities and you pay attention to the level of comfort or discomfort that the holster produces you’ll know if it’s the right one or not.
  • Because of the fact that you wear different types of clothing, you may need more than one holster. One type might work well with gym clothes or blue jeans while another may be needed when wearing a suit. Women will also need something that will be suitable for work clothes and for formal wear. Just as you have different shoes to go with different types of clothes as well as different accessories, it’s no different when it comes to your concealed carry holster.
  • If it’s possible to get a holster that is specifically designed for the gun you have then that is the best choice. There are plenty of holsters that are designed to be universal but one that is made specifically for the gun you carry will work better. It will hold it more firmly and you’ll notice that it fits more like a glove.

Holster Retention

When a gun is being carried for self-defense it needs to have good retention. This means that it holds the weapon well. The type of holster you choose will determine how it retains the weapon and various holsters retain them in different ways.

Friction

Friction is a term used for a highly effective type of retention that helps keep a gun snug. Leather holsters often do this. When the leather holster is specifically made to fit a certain gun it will do this incredibly well. Because it was made for that particular gun it will touch more of its surface and that helps it hold it in place better.

Tension Screws

These can be loosened or tightened to help achieve the perfect amount of friction for your handgun. Although it can be effective there are situations where the screws work their way loose through the course of the day. If that happens it means you’re not going to get the result you’re looking for.

Thumb Break

A thumb break is something often used with those who open carry and it is a strap that goes across the back of the gun to help hold it in place. Using this will require it to be unsnapped when drawing the weapon but at the same time, it helps reduce the chance that someone will be able to take it away from you.

SERPA Lock

Law enforcement officers will often use a SERPA lock. This type of holster has what’s known as level three retention. This holster uses a mechanical rotating hood that keeps the gun in the holster and some can have a guard to keep the trigger locked for added protection. SERPA holsters have a button that can be used to allow for a faster draw.

ALS Lock

It’s also possible to get an automatic locking system. These holsters have a safety feature that allows it to self-lock. When this is in place the holster will hold the firearm locked in place in all directions. It stays there until the thumb lever is used to activate it.

Types Of Material You Can Choose

The most common holsters come in nylon, leather, and Kydex. Each one has its own positive and negative points. The ones in leather often conceal better because of a lower profile but they are typically more expensive. Nylon is very affordable and can be used with many different guns. They dry fast if they get wet and they’re easy to clean. They’re not as easy to use when holstering the weapon. Kydex is made of durable plastic. It usually has tension screws for good retention allowing the handgun to come in and out without much effort. One of their drawbacks is the fact that they’re bulkier and more difficult to conceal.

Holsters Suitable For Women

Everything discussed is something both men and women should consider but there are some additional things women might want to think about. An average woman typically has a shorter waist to hip ratio and their clothing often fits more snuggly. This means that the ability to carry a concealed weapon takes more thought. Even so, women do regularly carry concealed weapons.

It’s recommended that a woman wear looser fitting shirts and wear them untucked. Clothes with florals or patterns are better for concealment than solid colors are. These types of fabrics also helped hide bulges more than others do. Loose pants should also be worn when possible. Usually, a woman will want to get a half size bigger than she needs for wearing when carrying a concealed weapon.

Skirts and pants should have strong belt loops and those with elastic waistbands should be avoided. When possible you should wear sleeveless vests. Dresses and skirts should have pockets if possible. Making a slit on the inside of a pocket can give access to a holster worn on the thigh. Other options include a bra holster which may work better in some cases over a thigh holster.

FAQ

Can holsters work with people of different sizes?

People of all sizes wear concealed weapons. It’s simply a matter of using the information above to find one that will work for your needs.

Will I be able to get a holster that works well for my firearm?

There is a wide range of firearms someone might choose. Even so, there’s certainly a holster that can work well with whichever one you go with.

If I have a larger than normal firearm can I get a concealed carry holster for it?

Most concealed carry holsters are designed for compact pistols because they’re easier to conceal. There are some choices, however, that can allow the possibility of a larger firearm.

In Conclusion

The ability to carry a concealed weapon is a tremendous right that helps you protect yourself and other innocent people. It’s always important that we understand that that right comes with great responsibility. Choosing the right holster to carry a concealed weapon will help you achieve better success while allowing for more comfort and discretion. After reading the information herein you should now have a pretty decent idea of what you need to look for and what our highest recommended products are. Always do your best to stay safe and we hope this guide has helped you to carry on.

References

Best Concealed Carry Holsters ( Top 3 Picks )

Product
Editor’s Choice & Best Seller
CYA Supply Co. IWB Holster Fits: Smith & Wesson M&P Shield & Shield 2.0-9MM/.40 S&W - Veteran Owned Company -...
Professional's Choice
Gould & Goodrich B804-G17 Gold Line Shoulder Holster (Black) Fits GLOCK 17, 19, 22, 23, 31, 32, 34, 35, 39
Best Value
ComfortTac Ultimate Belly Band Holster for Concealed Carry | Black | Fits Gun Smith and Wesson Bodyguard,...
Image
CYA Supply Co. IWB Holster Fits: Smith & Wesson M&P Shield & Shield 2.0-9MM/.40 S&W - Veteran Owned Company -...
Gould & Goodrich B804-G17 Gold Line Shoulder Holster (Black) Fits GLOCK 17, 19, 22, 23, 31, 32, 34, 35, 39
ComfortTac Ultimate Belly Band Holster for Concealed Carry | Black | Fits Gun Smith and Wesson Bodyguard,...
Price
$37.74
$139.98
$19.90
Prime
Our Rating
Editor’s Choice & Best Seller
Product
CYA Supply Co. IWB Holster Fits: Smith & Wesson M&P Shield & Shield 2.0-9MM/.40 S&W - Veteran Owned Company -...
Image
CYA Supply Co. IWB Holster Fits: Smith & Wesson M&P Shield & Shield 2.0-9MM/.40 S&W - Veteran Owned Company -...
Price
$37.74
Prime
Our Rating
Read Full Review
View on Amazon
Professional's Choice
Product
Gould & Goodrich B804-G17 Gold Line Shoulder Holster (Black) Fits GLOCK 17, 19, 22, 23, 31, 32, 34, 35, 39
Image
Gould & Goodrich B804-G17 Gold Line Shoulder Holster (Black) Fits GLOCK 17, 19, 22, 23, 31, 32, 34, 35, 39
Price
$139.98
Prime
Our Rating
Read Full Review
View on Amazon
Best Value
Product
ComfortTac Ultimate Belly Band Holster for Concealed Carry | Black | Fits Gun Smith and Wesson Bodyguard,...
Image
ComfortTac Ultimate Belly Band Holster for Concealed Carry | Black | Fits Gun Smith and Wesson Bodyguard,...
Price
$19.90
Prime
Our Rating
Read Full Review
View on Amazon

Last update on 2019-08-15 / Rating by Author / Affiliate links, Images, Descriptions & Price from Amazon Product Advertising API

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