When you’re carrying a gun in public, you may not necessarily want the people around you to know that you’re carrying it. This is where a concealed carry holster comes in! A good concealed carry holster should keep your gun hidden but must also be easily accessible in an emergency.
Choosing the right concealed carry holster can be challenging based on your needs. Thankfully, there are several holster types that do a great job of concealing a gun. In this article, we’ll look closely at some of the best types of holsters for concealed carry, as well as the pros and cons of each.
Let’s get into it.
The 7 Best Types of Holsters for Concealed Carry
- Shoulder Holster
Shoulder holsters are designed to be placed over one of your shoulders, with a diagonal strap running across your torso. These types of holsters are great for concealed carry because you can wear them underneath your clothing comfortably; you can also wear it on top of your clothing as well. If you’re someone who needs to access their gun quickly, then a shoulder holster is a good option, especially if you’re wearing a suit jacket or a sports coat.
Shoulder Holster Pros
- You can use it to carry a large handgun.
- It is comfortable to wear.
- You can access your gun while seated.
- It doesn’t add any weight to your waistline.
- It lets you carry additional accessories, like a magazine.
Shoulder Holster Cons
- It can restrict your movements.
- It tends to print if you’re wearing it underneath your clothes.
- You need to wear an outer layer to conceal it properly.
- Ankle Holster
An ankle holster is another great concealed carry option. You would wear this type of holster on the non-dominant side of your body; your right ankle if you’re left-handed, for instance. We highly recommend this type of holster because it allows you to move comfortably without worrying about people noticing the shape of a gun under your clothes.
Having said that, constantly wearing an ankle holster could cause your feet to hurt due to the added weight and can even cause physical injuries over the years. Therefore, if you choose an ankle holster, it’s best to ensure that you choose a high-quality holster that fits you well. It goes without saying, but the holster must be comfortable!
Ankle Holster Pros
- It is easy to conceal.
- It allows you to carry a backup gun wherever you go.
- It is unobtrusive.
Ankle Holster Cons
- It can hurt your leg and foot if worn for long periods and can cause injuries.
- It can be uncomfortable when you’re seated.
- Accessing it in a high-stakes situation could be difficult.
- You need to wear loose pants while using this type of holster.
- It’s hard to conceal bigger handguns.
- Inside the Waistband (IWB) Holster
An IWB holster is another one of the most popular holster types out there since it comes in various styles and is made from a wide variety of materials. These include Kydex and leather. The reason that IWB holsters are so popular is because they mean what they say when they are concealed carry holsters! They allow you to conceal your gun easily and securely.
These holsters do not allow your gun to print, which is ideal if you’re someone who doesn’t prefer to wear an undershirt. Since IWB holsters come with different designs, choosing the type that best suits your needs is easy. When selecting an IWB holster, you must buy one that is comfortable, easy to draw from, and, most importantly, does not print.
IWB Holster Pros
- They are easy to conceal.
- You can remove the holster when you aren’t using it.
- They allow you to draw your gun quicker than other holster types.
IWB Holster Cons
- They might be uncomfortable if you wear it for too long.
- Outside-the-Waistband (OWB) Holsters
OWB holsters are a great alternative if you find the IWB uncomfortable! We recommend this type of holster for concealed carry if you live in a cold place; the layers of clothing that you wear make this type of holster easy to conceal. However, if you live in a place like Florida and need something for concealed carry, this holster might not be for you.
However, while this holster might not be ideal for pure concealed carry, it allows its users to access their guns and draw them quickly and easily. This could be really useful for hunters. An OWB holster is also very comfortable and does not cause injuries or pain, even if you wear it for a long time.
OWB Holster Pros
- They are comfortable to wear.
- They allow you to access and draw your gun easily.
OWB Holster Cons
- They are not ideal for concealed carry, especially in hot or warm places.
- They can only be worn on the outside of your clothing.
- Thigh Holsters
Thigh holsters are typically marketed towards women, mainly due to their placement on the body. If you’re wearing a pair of pants, it would be hard to conceal your gun. However, if you’re wearing a dress or a skirt, a thigh holster is a great way to conceal carry.
It’s important to note that you must not confuse a thigh holster with a tactical thigh holster; it is marketed to and designed for both women and men. The difference between the two is that a tactical thigh holster is designed to be worn on the outside of your clothing. It isn’t considered to be a concealed holster either.
Thigh Holster Pros
- Effectively conceals a gun when you’re wearing a skirt or dress.
- It allows you to easily access your handgun in certain types of clothing.
Thigh Holster Cons
- You might experience slippage if you wear the holster for too long.
- It does not conceal large handguns.
- Pocket Holsters
Pocket holsters are specially designed so that you can carry a gun in your pocket without risking your safety. While it might seem tempting to simply carry your in the pocket of your pants without a holster, you must not do that. You’re leaving the trigger exposed, which means a bullet can be fired accidentally.
A pocket holster protects you and those around you from unintentional injury or harm, and it also ensures that you gun’s outline is concealed. It is also easier to draw your gun when it is inside the holster. It would be best to wear a pair of loose pants when using a pocket holster, ensuring it is completely concealed.
Pocket Holster Pros
- It is easy to access the gun.
- It is convenient to carry.
- It hides your gun’s print very well.
Pocket Holster Cons
- It doesn’t work well for larger handguns.
- The holster might move around when you’re walking a lot.
- It has a slower draw than other types of holsters.
- Belly Band Holsters
Belly band holsters are a type of holster that wraps around your belly. They are concealed by the shirt or whatever upper garment you’re wearing. It’s important to note that you should wear this type of holster above your waist, in the middle of your abdomen, for maximum comfort.
We recommend that you wear loose clothing when using a belly band holster to conceal your gun effectively. Wearing a tight shirt might cause your gun to print.
Belly Band Holster Pros
- They fit guns of various sizes.
- Some models let you carry additional accessories.
- They are easy to conceal.
Belly Band Holster Cons
- They may not be comfortable for heavier people.
- The sweat from your body could cause your gun to corrode.
- They can chafe or irritate your skin.
How to Choose a Concealed Carry Holster
Choosing a concealed carry holster is simpler than you might think because your choice must ultimately boil down to functionality! Here’s a short list of factors to consider when choosing a concealed carry holster.
- It must be secure.
It’s important to remember that your holster must securely hold your gun in place, regardless of its type. The last thing you want is for your gun to fall out of its holster when you’re in the middle of something, or worse, you don’t want to injure yourself or others.
- It must conceal your gun well.
Aside from an OWB holster, your concealed carry holster must conceal your gun effectively. Having said that, you must also choose a holster based on the types of situations that you’re in. For instance, if you’re in a high-stakes situation, don’t choose a thigh holster.
- It must be durable and comfortable.
Regardless of how often you use a holster, it’s important to remember that it needs to durable and comfortable. Durability is key if your job is physically demanding! Comfort is just as important because the holster is somewhere on your person, and it needs to help you and not deter you from using your gun effectively.
In this article, we took you through the top seven holsters ideal for concealed carry. Each holster is designed to be worn on a different part of the body, and has varied levels of comfort and functionality. When choosing a holster to conceal carry, it’s best to assess the types of situations that you’ll be in and the environments as well. Once you’ve done that, you’re all set to buy your first concealed carry holster.