Choosing your holster is as big a consideration as choosing your gun. A holster needs to be comfortable, easy to wear, and should support and retain the weapon while encouraging an easy draw.
When it comes to choosing a holster, there are hundreds of options, but from experience we’ve found five that seem to be the best.
1. Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 2.0 IWB
I have a long history of disliking inside-the-waistband holsters, the main reason being the comfort level. I had difficulty finding one I could carry comfortably day in and day out. I resisted purchasing an Alien Gear because I couldn’t try it on, and I ignored the spew of positive reviews out there for Alien Gear holsters. What finally broke me was a deal Alien Gear was running on buying two holsters. I bought an outside-the-waistband one and an inside-the-waistband one. The purchase of the Cloak Tuck 2.0 came side by side with my purchase of the Ruger LCR 9mm, so I chose the LCR holster just to have a holster for my new revolver.
The Cloak Tuck 2.0 is a hybrid holster, meaning it’s a combination of Kydex and cloth materials. The base is neoprene, which looks and feels somewhat like leather. This neoprene base is comfortable against the skin, and flexible for different body types. The base is molded polymer and holds the weapon tight to the base. The holster performs like it should; it’s sturdy, easy to use and customizable. When ordering, you have lots and lots of options for different guns, belt clips, and you get an accessory bag of goodies to customize the holster’s fit. The main thing I have to say about this holster is how comfortable it is, to the point where I have taken a nap with it, and my weapon on, completely forgetting about it.
2. Sneaky Pete
The Sneaky Pete makes the list due to its bit of genius utilized when bringing the holster to the market. The Sneaky Pete original leather belt clip holster resembles a carrying case for a modern smartphone. With phones growing and growing in size, it seems the Sneaky Pete becomes more and more invisible. The Sneaky Pete is best used, in my opinion, for concealing weapons like the LCP and S&W Bodyguard, but they do produce larger options for weapons like the Glock 43, S&W Shield and Walther PPS. The design of the Sneaky Pete uses a large cover that does make the width of the pouch difficult to see.
The Sneaky Pete uses either a complete leather belt loop or metal clips to keep the holster in place and steady. Once it’s on your belt, it would be nearly impossible to rip off. You can get a holster in either leather or nylon, and there are a few different colors. The Sneaky Pete is perfect in business wear, formal wear, and can be used in casual clothing. It is a little slow to draw because you do have to open the holster, but in some situations, it’s the only option some people can carry on a day-to-day basis.
3. Raven Concealment Phantom
If you carry a Glock or Smith & Wesson M&P, then the best holsters on the market for those weapons is made by Raven Concealment. With Raven, you can choose to customize a Phantom holster just for you, or purchase a pre-made model. The concealment Phantom is an outside-the-waistband holster that comes in either light bearing or standard models.
The Raven concealment holster takes the cake by allowing the easy carry of a full-sized pistol. The holster clings to your body nice and tight but is still comfortable. This makes keeping the weapon concealed a breeze, and allows you to carry, say, a Glock 20 with 15 rounds of 10mm. When you build a custom holster, you can build the holster of your dreams for the gun of your dreams. As long as that gun is a Glock or Smith & Wesson M&P.
4. Stealth Operator Compact
The Stealth operator has a cringe-worth, tacticool name, but it’s honestly an amazing holster. I purchased one originally because of the claim of a multi-fit holster that could fit over a dozen guns. I test and evaluate guns all the time, and this often involves carrying them, so this holster solved a lot of carry problems for me. I’ve been carrying four different weapons in it, and at a price point of about $30, I am spending less than $10 a gun so far.
The Stealth Operator can fit dozens and dozens of guns, and it carries them securely. I suggest checking the Internet for the complete list. The Stealth Operator is an outside-the-waistband holster, made from Kydex. The holster uses a passive retention device, and it actually works; the gun doesn’t move. The guns I’ve carried in this holster are the Walther CCP and PPS, the CZ P09, and the Glock 19 without issue.
5. Miami Classic
The Galco Miami Classic is the choice for those looking to carry in a shoulder holster. Stay away from cheap shoulder holsters; they are often uncomfortable, hard to use and tend to dangle the gun. The Miami Classic is an all-leather holster which draws its name from Miami Vice. The holster is very easy to wear, and can be adjusted for an individual user’s body. The actual holster portion is molded for a specific weapon, and this aids in retention and reducing the dangle factor.
The Miami Classic is easy to draw from, comfortable to wear and provides options for those in specific positions where carrying a firearm on the waist is difficult. These holsters do, of course, require a cover garment, and this may scare some off. The Miami Classic holster is expensive and around $150, but it is quite high in quality. This was the perfect holster when I worked as a driver, and still serves me well in the winter when I want to carry a large handgun.
What holsters would you add to our list? Share your advice in the section below: