A man with a gun in an outside-the-waist holster

How to Pick the Best Gun Holster for Concealed Carry?

Possessing a gun, but not ready to open it up safely and unnoticeable in any way? Or are you interested in carrying a concealed weapon for your own safety? The most important part of concealed carry is deciding the type of holster that suits your firearm. You may face overwhelming situations or confusion due to numerous choices available. However, you need not to worry because we are here for you.

This post aims at explaining how you can choose an appropriate gun holster for concealed carry out of the vast variety in the market; hence, looking at comfort, accessibility, and safety as some of the basic considerations. Let’s jump right in and make sure that you are prepared with all necessary information to enable you to make a good decision.

What is a Holster?

A man with a gun in an inside-the-waist holster

A holster is a piece of equipment that people put on various parts of their bodies to assist in guarding and carrying a gun. They are usually attached to belts, waistlines, ankles or shoulder straps to make it easier and more comfortable to reach them. Among other things, holders of firearms cannot do without this accessory because they have to protect themselves while using guns for purposes like hunting and target practice.


Holsters, since the 17th century when cowboys and outlaws in the American West used leather holsters to carry their revolvers, have existed for many generations. Made from leather, these early holsters for a specific gun model were merely simple and plain throughout that period.

With the evolution of firearms came the development of holsters—it was through this kind of evolution in firearm technology that holsters took their current form—each time designing it differently and using different materials.

Consequently, there is a wide variety of holsters available in the market, each having unique characteristics which makes them suitable under different circumstances.


A holster’s main purpose is to offer a safe and secure method of carrying a gun. By securing the weapon close to your body, you can minimize the chances of accidental discharge or theft. It is highly important to law enforcers and military personnel who carry guns daily.

When you have everything in one place, holsters ensure that every time you need your gun it is easily accessible. Holsters also provide great comfort and convenience to their users; they allow one to carry his or her gun without using hands while it remains close enough no matter what may happen.

It especially applies when one is hunting because sometimes you want to multitask like tracing the animal or carrying the one you’ve scored.

Also Read:
Best Concealed Carry Guns in 2023

Types of Holsters

Collection of four different holster designs showcased on white

Here are different types of holsters with different designs, shapes, and purposes with each having their own specialty. We’ll be listing the various types of holsters as well as their respective uses.

1. Inside the Waistband Holsters (IWB)

These holsters should essentially be worn within the waistbands. People find it easy to get hold of their gun from the waist as it is the closest to your hand, hence, IWB holsters are super convenient. Due to the fact that they should be close-fitting on the body they are considered very appropriate for the ones who want their guns kept hidden. By placing your firearm in the insides of your waist, you may be able to conceal it in the best way. Both civilians and law enforcers favor IWB holsters.

2. Outside the Waistband Holsters (OWB)

OWB holsters are different from IWB holsters because they are put outside the waistband. They are usually fastened to a belt or waistband for easy withdrawal. They are bigger than IWB holsters allowing for a more comfortable fix of heavy guns. They are also preferred by police officers who carry big guns while on duty.

3. Shoulder Holsters

Some gun enthusiasts choose to put their gun in a shoulder leaning under your armpit, that’s when shoulder holsters come in handy! Shoulder holsters are highly effective as they promote concealed carry in the best way. These holsters are usually very close to your hands which lets you close it under your shirt or jacket. Additionally shoulder holsters are the best for those who sit a lot: they do not bring the pain when you sit!

4. Ankle Holsters

Ankle holsters are a typical choice for people who require porting of a small and light gun. The holsters are usually positioned inside the leg and then strapped around an ankle. Therefore, ankle holsters have become increasingly popular with policemen who require another backup weapon but not wanting everyone noticing the fact that they are armed.

5. Pocket Holsters

Pocket holsters are mainly made to fit Into the pockets of pants, jackets, or purses. They are soft and lightweight and are usually highly convenient to carry. Small gun shoppers have loved pocket holsters over years. For people who wish to carry their guns discreetly, draw out quickly, and do not want people sensing they are armed, these holsters are perfect.

6. Thigh Holsters

Thigh holsters were designed to firmly attach the gun over the thigh. Police, military personnel, and athletes who enjoy the outdoors by hiking or camping, use these quite a lot. The purpose of thigh holsters is to enable you to get hold of your gun quickly, especially during hunting or self defense.

Best Concealed Carry Holsters

Assortment of holsters, including one large, one medium, and one small, placed with a handgun

There are abundant choices in the market and might be overwhelming to find the best concealed carry gun holster that suits all your requirements. We will look at the top 6 holsters best for concealed carrying and that offer high comfort levels as well as guarantee gun safety.

Category Holsters
Best IWB holster Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.0
Best OWB holster Blackhawk Serpa CQC
Best Shoulder holster Galco Miami Classic II
Best Ankle Holster AnkleBiter
Best Pocket Holster DeSantis Nemesis
Best Concealed Carry Holster for Women Flashbang Betty 2.0 Holster

1. Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.0

The Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.0 IWB holster is highly favored by gun owners around the globe due to its carrying comfort and features that make you stay on top of your game at all times. This one is designed for inside-the-waistband (IWB) carry, and offers adjustable retention, customizable cant, and neoprene backing material against your skin.

The Alien Gear Glock holster is compatible with a variety of handguns, and most are modular in nature which allows you to swap out the shell for different gun models keeping the same comfortable base. If you are going to buy or review this holster, it is well-liked for its comfort versus good firearm retention making it the most reliable options for Everyday Carry (EDC).

2. Blackhawk Serpa CQC

The Blackhawk Serpa CQC is a great choice for you if you’re looking to carry your firearm OWB and also want secure retention; this hard-shell, adjustable holster offers outstanding construction quality as well as faster draws. It is typically a very solid lock that locks the firearm in place with an audible click, meaning it will just stay there until you choose to draw it yourself.

Constructed from durable, impact-resistant polymer and carbon fiber, the Blackhawk Serpa holster is designed for everyday use. It also provides adjustable cant options for individual comfort and the ability for quick draw, which is vital in self-defense situations.

But the user needs to be concerned with the safety issues linked with its trigger finger release. Individuals handling the Axygen should be careful about how to safely operate one.

3. Galco Miami Classic II

The Miami Classic II holster by Galco is a high-grade shoulder holster that has gained notoriety for its quality handiwork and user-friendly design, catering to the needs of gun owners and law enforcement professionals.

The weight of the firearm is distributed evenly across the shoulders and back with an ease of a smooth leather harness, not to mention that the holster, as well as the magazine holder are independently adjustable.

The Galco Miami II, is created from a robust steerhide leather that is symbolic of aging with dignity, hence, preserving its composition over time without sacrificing its harmonious design.

This whole kit comes with a holster, shoulder harness, and a double magazine pouch. The open-ended magazine carrier on the accessory is adjustable and can be switched to both right and left side. It also includes a tension screw for customizing draw tension as well as fitting preferences.

4. AnkleBiter

The ankle holster offers a perfect way of carrying your firearm without being noticed because of its discrete nature. It usually has a neoprene ankle strap which goes round your ankles thus providing ease of drawing out your weapons as well as firmness as it clings on your ankle. With this model one can be assured that their weapon will not fall off at any point, even if they run or move around fast.

When it comes to accessibility, the AnkleBiter holster is designed for accuracy and efficiency, which makes it perfect for self-defense situations where quick reach is key. Moreover, because it is on the ankle, this ease of approach is enhanced even more.

The holsters can have different handgun sizes and models, from compact to subcompact firearms, making them versatile. This means that they are ideal for everyday carry and can also serve as a backup holster where other types may not be suitable or might be difficult to access.

Also Read:
The Best Revolvers for Concealed Carry, Hunting, and Defense

5. DeSantis Nemesis

One of the most popular holsters is the DeSantis Nemesis Pocket Holster, perfect to carry your gun around in your pocket. DeSantis Nemesis Pocket Holster is designed to conceal the outline of a gun and keep it in an upright position to ensure quick access and to guarantee that your holster stays put in the pocket after the gun has been drawn out.

The outside part of this particular holster usually contains a sticky substance that makes it remain where it is supposed to be within the pocket; usually the inside part is such that it allows for easy withdrawal of a firearm’s smoothness.

Many users find it easy to use the Nemesis holster because of its straightforwardness and its efficiency, especially when carrying a small revolver, like a Ruger LCP, Smith & Wesson Bodyguard or something similar.

A person discreetly concealing a gun in their pocket, using a pocket holster for added security

6. Flashbang Betty 2.0 Holster

The Flashbang Betty 2.0 Holster is specifically made for women who are interested in moving around with a hidden weapon without being noticed. It can be kept alongside one’s body securely by fitting in between the breasts, under the undergarment, or top part of clothing.

Pulling it down from behind can allow someone to get hold of the pistol handle anytime you want because it is normally positioned right at her finger tip; hence making it easy for you to use it quickly. This particular holster makes sure that carrying a gun all day is comfortable and not at all uneasy.

It is effectively the best holster to conceal the weapon under clothing while still ensuring easy access for self-protection, making it safe when needed, for your peace of mind. Also, there is a built-in trigger guard; hence there is no chance of firing accidents. It is made with a soft suede to prevent irritation and hold the holster in place even during long term uses.

Final Thoughts

In order to choose the right concealed carry holster, you need to consider your comfort, how easy you can get to your weapon and the safety features that fit your comfort. There are some specific points that should be put into account when selecting a holster for females who prefer a light and smooth design Flashbang Betty 2.0 Holster are perfect as they offer fast access and ensure the gun stays well hidden. An all-rounder choices such as Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.0 and Blackhawk Serpa CQC that have adjustable retention levels as well as fast draw options.


Q. What type of holster is best for concealed carry?

There are many options to choose for concealed carriers that best suit their needs and body, however “IWB” holsters are common because they help in hiding guns next to the skin.

Q. What is a level 3 holster?

A Level 3 holster refers to a kind of retention holster with approximately three security levels (such as thumb break, hood, and rotating hood) so as to secure a pistol and provide maximum safety from any unauthorized access.

Q. What type of holster is most comfortable?

Holster comfort can be variable, but most individuals consider that the inside waistband (IWB) holster with soft material backing or else the shoulder holster featuring straps that are filled with cushions among the ones that much facilitates due to the close to body feel they provide as well as the ergonomic design.

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