Best Concealed Carry Holsters – Picking the Best One for You!

Choosing Your Best Concealed Carry Holsters

When it comes to concealed carrying the number one thing people talk about the most is holsters and methods. There are literally thousands of different holsters on the market with everyone trying to get your head earn dollars.

While each carry method has its pros and cons, they all need a decent holster. Here are the best concealed carry holsters on the market and their respective categories and a quick guide on which one is best for you. There’s a lot of products out there, many of which are rip-offs and copies.

Here are some of the best options for you to consider so that you don’t end up with a bad holster and in a dangerous situation because your gun wasn’t retained or your holster kept you from drawing your weapon.

How to Choose a Concealed Carry Holster?​

Choosing Concealed Carry Holster

Choose a concealed carry holster is largely dependent on what type of method you will be used to carry. The gun you will be carrying is important as well but first, you have to decide which location you like to carry your gun on. Each carry method has advantages and disadvantages but normally you will either be carrying on your belt, and a shoulder rake, or on an ankle rig.

Belt Holsters

Carrying on your belt has the advantage of tons of different holsters available. If your gun is manufactured by the major company, chances are there are several holster designs out there that will allow you to effectively carry your gun.

Both inside the waistband and outside the ways been holsters are available for carrying on the belt as well as numerous duty holsters. You have to pick up a lot when it comes to retention devices materials as well.

IWB Holsters

The problem with carrying on your belt is that most people will run into trouble with concealing a large handgun in certain attire. Normally, women and men who are wearing T-shirts and shorts will have trouble concealing a compact or full-size firearm.

This can be mitigated by changing the way you dress, but if you wear a uniform that doesn’t allow you to work belt or an over shirt, you’re going to run into serious problems.

The vast majority of people end up carrying on your belt because it is the most effective method. It easy to retain your gun in a fight, it’s easy to draw on the matter what position you’re in, and is normally accessible with both hands.

If you can’t carry inside the waistband for comfort reasons, consider wearing a jacket and outside the waistband carry.

Shoulder Holsters

Shoulder Holsters

Shoulder holsters are very much a niche item. They take special training to be able to safely use a shoulder holster and draw from concealment. You must also always be wearing the proper clothing. At zippered jacket or button up shirt or best but a suit jacket can also be substituted.

Most people should be discouraged from using a shoulder holster because of the safety factor and the fact that you have to wear certain attire. Many people you shoulder holsters are police officers and professional bodyguards who have to dress in formal attire or have other things on their belt.

Carefully consider if you are actually going to use your shoulder holster because the good ones can cost several hundred dollars. You’re often better off going with an ankle holster rather than a shoulder holster if you can’t carry on your belt.

Ankle Holsters

Ankle Holsters

An ankle holster is good for people who will always be wearing long pants. Especially if you have to wear boots. Angle holsters can become uncomfortable and hot weather though and especially with heavy guns.

Your ankle moves more than any other part of your body as you walk around throughout the day. You must make sure you buy a quality holster otherwise your gun can go flying out of your pant leg with every step you take!

Professions like doctors or nurses that are required to wear scrubs, normally resort to an ankle holster or shoulder holster because they can’t carry on their belt. Professional drivers or people seated for a long period of time and are allowed to wear an overcoat or button up shirt can use a shoulder holster or an ankle holster much better than they can carry on their belt.

Your line of work, combined with the type of gun and clothing that you normally would use are going to be the major factors in where you carry. Consider all the obstacles to concealing your gun and decide how you want to conceal it. Then go shopping for a holster.

If you go shopping for a holster without first considering how and where you care your gun you’re going to run into trouble when you come home with a holster that is a bad match for you.

Choosing the Best Holster just Right for You

1.) Best IWB Holster

1.1) Alien Gear Holsters Cloak Tuck 3.0 IWB Holster

Alien gear makes a ton of ridiculously comfortable holsters. This is one of their best inside the ways been holsters because it combines extremely comfortable design with a multi-laminate construction that supports the weight of your gun well without sacrificing quality.

Aileen gears claim to fame is their combination of leather, Kydex, and neoprene that makes for an extremely comfortable holster right out of the box. There’s no need to break in the holster or deburr any sharp edges from plastic, this holster feels great up against your skin no matter what you’re wearing.

The great thing about it though is how well it supports the weight of your gun because of that laminate construction. You could conceal a large handgun and nothing more than just a T-shirt and basketball shorts with this holster.

If there are any downsides this holster is the fact that it’s bulkier than others and also more expensive. The bulkiness comes from the excellent laminate construction and the dual clips that hold the holster in place during a quick draw.

In the world of holsters, you certainly get what you pay for and this holster is on the expensive side but is one of the best holsters you can buy as a beginner looking for the best inside the waistband holster for concealed carry.

  • Extremely comfortable
  • Supports weight well
  • Excellent quality
  • Bulky
  • Expensive

1.2) CYA Supply Co. IWB Holster

This is a small Amazon retailer that is putting out excellent Kydex holsters that take a minimalist approach to safely carrying a gun. If you’re looking for little more than a dust cover and trigger guard with a clip attached, this is your holster.

There’s something to be said about simplicity in this holster is the very definition. It is a single piece of doubled over Kydex and a belt clip to keep it in place.

It has a very nice audible snap when your gun is secured in place and you don’t have to worry about it falling out accidentally if you need to run.

Overall this is a very minimalist holster but it’s not missing anything for function. If there’s a downside it’s not the hard plastic eats away at your skin after sitting for a long period of time and chafing can become unbearable if you don’t deburr some of the edges.

But that’s a criticism with any Kydex holster. There are no quality or design flaws with this holster and the only limitations of it are the fact that it is a hard shell plastic. It protects the gun well and won’t leave you wanting for anything once you get it strapped in.

  • Compact
  • Durable
  • Cost-effective
  • Rigid
  • Uncomfortable for sitting long periods of time

1.3) Concealment Express KYDEX IWB Gun Holster

if you’re looking for the absolute smallest holster available for your concealed carry gun, this is the best answer. Anything with fewer features and this and you are looking at a string tied to your belt loop!

This is a single piece of Kydex it’s been doubled over with as much material removed from around the trigger guard and sweat guard as safely possible.

The great thing about this holster is that while it is a small and compact as possible, you still have adjustable retention and adjustable can’t on the belt clip. This means that you can tailor it’s to specifically your draw and your body shape to avoid the chafing many Kydex holsters suffer from.

Even though this is one of the smallest and most compact holsters on the market for inside the waistband carry it still provides a few comfort features that make carrying it an easy part of your daily life. You won’t regret living with this holster day in and day out and training with it.

  • Minimalistic
  • Excellent clip adjustable retention
  • Rigid plastic
  • Weak design without gun inside it

1.4) Galco Tuck-N-Go Inside The Pant Holster

If there’s a giant in the holster industry, it’s Galco. No other company produces as many, or as high-quality holsters as Galco. They make a ton of different holsters and every material imaginable. This is one of their staple items. A simple suede leather holster made to be tucked inside your pants and forgot about.

Few materials on the market aren’t comfortable suede leather when it comes to holsters. And although it requires more upkeep and maintenance and other materials, like Kydex, it still is remarkably comfortable and inexpensive.

This is one of the best holsters for newly concealed carry permit holders because they can experiment with different positions inexpensively.

That low sticker price doesn’t speak for the quality because these are excellent holsters with a total usable clip and several nice to have features that make carrying this holster day today easy and enjoyable. Overall, if you only have a few dollars to spend on inside the waistband holster this is one of the best you can get.

  • Excellent quality
  • Great customer service
  • Expensive

See also our reviews for IWB holsters for Xds and IWB holsters for Shield for more details.

2.) Best Appendix Carry Holster

2.1) CrossBreed Holsters - Appendix Carry (IWB) Holster

Crossbreed holsters are the manufacturer of extremely high-quality handmade holsters that combined several different materials to make an excellent holster.

They compete with other companies making water called laminate holsters that combined neoprene, leather, and Kydex for an out-of-the-box extremely comfortable holster that supports the weight of a gun exceptionally well.

When it comes to appendix carry where your holster will be in direct contacts with very sensitive parts of your belly, a soft and supple holster is a top priority. Crossbreed makes one of the few truly comfortable appendix carry holsters on the market that is in just a plastic sheath with a clip.

If you know you’re going to be appendix caring for a long time consider this holster for crossbreed. It is much more expensive than other options available but is totally worth the money if you are going to make the effort to carry every day in the appendix position.

  • Comfortable
  • Supports the gun well
  • Leather
  • Expensive

2.2) BLACKHAWK Appendix Reversible Carry Inside the Pants

For people looking for the absolute lowest profile, appendix carries holster Blackhawk has put this injection molded appendix carry holster out on the market.

The great thing about this holster is that it is low-profile enough that many people who were previously unable to appendix carry now can.

Being a fraction of the cost of a custom Kydex holster that does the same job, this holster is a godsend for people looking for the smallest possible appendix carry rig.

The belt clip that secures the holster to your pants is durable and does its job well, and showed no sign of wearing out after extended use.

The adjustable retention is not common on these types of holsters and is a welcome relief for people who want to tailor their holster to their draw stroke.

If you’re just starting out concealed carrying and need one of the absolute cheaps is holsters on the market or you want to try appendix carry for the first time don’t be afraid to try this model from Blackhawk.

It’s well-made and low-profile enough that many people with a few extra pounds will be able to comfortably conceal this where other holsters would dig into their belly fat.

  • Inexpensive
  • Durable
  • Easy to use
  • Unrefined
  • A few sharp edges
  • Belt clip doesn’t last as long as other models

2.3) Blade-Tech Industries Klipt

Blade Tech is made their name the competition arena. They make dozens of different holsters designed for scoring quickly in the arena.

However, they have spread their designs to retention duty holsters and concealed carry options like this excellent simple design made for appendix carry.

It’s injection molded holster and clip combo that is higher-quality than its competitors.

The main difference between this holster and all the other injection molded appendix carry holsters on the market, and the main reason you should buy it is the deburring and high-quality molding that takes place when they manufacture this holster.

There are no sharp edges, there’s no protruding plastic where it shouldn’t be and the entire holster feels professional and solid in your hand. It seems much more resilient than other models and the clip holds on much more secure than almost any other injection molded appendix carry holster on the market.

If you have the cash, this is as good as it gets for this type of holster and if you’re set on this carry method this is the one you should get.

  • Excellent customer support
  • Excellent fit, finish, and attention to detail
  • More expensive than other models

2.4) StealthGearUSA SG-REVOLUTION Appendix Holster

If you’re looking for a dirt cheap holster that gets the job done, this is an excellent option for appendix carry.

It is an injection molded plastic designed that securely hold your gun and with a clip. There’s not a whole lot too these holsters, they just simply work.

They may not last forever, and they are certainly far from the most comfortable design in the world but they do securely and safely hold your firearm for daily concealed carry. 

That’s their job, and they do well despite being on the uncomfortable side.

A little bit of love with some sandpaper or pairing knife can deburr a lot of the sharp edges and make drawing a little bit easier but you could just as easy by a nicer holster, to begin with.

I say, take this holster for what it is a somewhat comfortable lightweight and maintenance free design that will securely hold your gun even if you’re hanging upside down.

  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight
  • Maintenance free
  • Sharp edges need to be broken in

3.) Best Belly Band Holster

3.1) ComfortTac Ultimate Belly Band Holster

This is one of the best-selling belly been holsters on the market. Loved by thousands of concealed carriers it includes a universal handgun holster that can be used in just about any carry position.

The heavy-duty neoprene and Velcro keep this holster in its place comfortably so you don’t have to worry about your gun flopping around all day.

If you’re looking for a decent belly band holster this is as good as it gets because it combines heavy-duty construction and attention to detail with the design for someone who actually goes shooting.

Small things like an extra magazine pouch and a huge amount of adjustment allow you to carry this from up high on your chest, to cross draw, to appendix, and even traditional 4 o’clock position without having to buy a different holster.

If you’re looking for a belly band holster that is almost like a multitool, meaning you can put it into any situation and will work equally as well and this is a great option. It’s made of maintenance free materials and will break the bank but will also carry just about any handgun you can fit inside its universal holster.

  • Comfortable
  • Good retention straps
  • One size fits all holster
  • Bulky

3.2) Belly Band Holster For Concealed Carry

People looking for a belly band holster going to quickly come to the realization that not every holster on the market is as high quality as in other areas. Belly bands are not common holsters and are therefore sold for dirt cheap with subpar materials.

The materials and quality that go into this holster is a notch above most other belly band systems available. It’s no secret that the quality and this sector of the holster market is in question and this holster is doing an excellent job of bringing up the overall quality nicely.

The heavy-duty nylon and neoprene as well as the Velcro elastic that go into this holster are going to last a long time and are comfortable up against your skin. Unlike other holsters, this holster supports the weight of your gun and magazine without needing to feel like a corset around your waist.

A welcome relief for people who want a somewhat loose fitting holster that they can forget about as they walk around during the day. Small details like perforated neoprene and open tips holster allow you to carry huge guns with these and deploy them quickly with a high-quality thumb snap retention system.

  • Comfortable neoprene
  • Durable elastic
  • Inexpensive
  • Low quality

3.3) Belly Band Holster Trigger Happy Outfitters

The difference between this belly band holster and the others to look seemingly identical is how wide the elastic and Velcro is on this model.

Simply put there’s more real estate distribute the weight of the heavy handgun on this model than most others and the addition of a cell phone pocket and spare magazine pouch make this an extremely useful holster for just about anyone who is going to be concealed carrying.

The low-profile design and thin materials of this holster go along way for comfort and breathability and few people have found any durability problems with his holster. It simply works well and for some people that are a bit taller in the torso can be a more comfortable fit then the bulkier shorter belly band holsters on the market.

Being one of the most inexpensive bellies been holsters on the market means that you can buy a few of these and rotate them throughout your inventory if you prefer the style holster. Keeping them fresher and newer than if you just had one you were to use every day.

  • Inexpensive
  • Secure
  • Comfortable elastic
  • Low quality

3.4) Concealed carry holster, Fullmosa

If your dear hoarder, you’ll appreciate his belly band holster. Many people I could carry a lot of gadgets and gizmos with them when they concealed carry and this is the perfect holster for them! This is an exceptional holster that makes for a comfortable carry method if you don’t overweight with too much gear.

On the surface, it’s a belly band holster that has a ton of pockets. However, the design constructions holster allows it to carry much more weight than other designs because this holster is made with thicker neoprene and nylon.

That thicker material supports the weight of your gun and equipment you are carrying with you and means you don’t have to pull the holster in as tight to your body as you do with other models. Overall this is an excellent holster even if you’re only going to carry a firearm and spare magazine because it supports the weight of the gun very well.

It is expensive for a belly band holster but is not overly expensive for a concealed carry method by any stretch the imagination. It will last a long time and serve you well as one of the best belly been holsters on the market.

  • Carries a lot of gear
  • Durable
  • Bulky
  • Less comfortable than others

4.) Best Ankle Holster

4.1) Galco Ankle Glove / Ankle Holster

If you’re looking for one of the top companies manufactured holsters Delco is going to instantly come to mind.

They make a ton of different holsters and this is one of the best angle holsters on the market for concealed carry.

If you are looking to carry a heavy gun, or a slightly bulkier gun than would normally be carried on the angle you’re going to need a serious holster.

This is the one you’re going to want. It combines a heavy duty holster that is formed fitted to your specific gun, with a heavy-duty elastic and genuine sheepskin to keep you comfortable. Most angle holsters have a tendency to chafe and rugged strangle hair, but this holster s solves that by adding an extra layer of padding in the way of high quality sheepskin.

That makes this ankle holster exceptionally comfortable and formfitting to your angle so that the gun doesn’t slide around. Everything about this holster is a dream to use and carry. It will last much longer than the other holsters on the market by far.

However, it is much more expensive. Consider looking at other options if you are just trying out can feel carrying on your ankle. Then get this one once you are more comfortable.

  • Exceptionally comfortable
  • Carries well
  • Secures tightly
  • Soaks up water quickly and takes a long time to dry

4.2) Galco Ankle Lite / Ankle Holster

If you’re looking for a more slim and low-profile ankle holster, Delco has you covered. There are a ton of high quality low-profile ankle holsters on the market and Alcoa salt part of the problem by introducing this model, called the ankle light holster.

The idea behind his holster was to dig the bulky sheepskin and leather holster to provide a formfitting holster made specifically for your gun with heavy-duty neoprene and elastic that Velcro is run your ankle.

This combination of padding and elastic form fits around your ankle and hold everything in place where it should be.

You don’t have to worry about protruding or printing and dress pants and you can carry just about anywhere with this holster and not have to worry about your gun flying out of your pant leg.

  • Slimmer than other designs
  • Comfortable
  • High quality
  • Elastic wears out

4.3) Lirisy Ankle Holster for Concealed Carry

This ankle holster goes the extra mile to grab as much real stay on your ankle as possible to make sure that your gun stays on.

The mostly nylon and neoprene construction of his holster grabs your ankle with more coverage than any other ankle holster on the market.

This keeps the gun from shifting around and ensuring a consistent draw no matter what conditions are just before it.

The interesting thing about this holster is that despite not having a form fitted holster, it has a nylon sleeve that holds just about any handgun outfit, it still has plenty of retention with the thumb snap to keep you at ease with concealed carrying.

If you work in a highly mobile job where you’ll be walking a lot and can’t carry any other method, emergency room nurses and construction workers come to mind, this is an excellent carry option because it blends security and comfort in a way that few other holsters can. It is also much less expensive than other options.

If you are just getting into ankle carrying and want a holster that you know will not let the gun go if you have to sprint, and you don’t want to spend a ton of money on a holster you don’t know if you like or not, this is the holster for you.

  • Extremely secure
  • Low profile
  • Neoprene can start to smell
  • Can irritate leg hair

4.4) Ankle Holster For Concealed Carry

If you have a tiny gun and will be concealed carrying on your ankle every now and then this is a great holster.

It combines a decent level of security with adequate levels of comfort to give you one of the best and lowest-priced ankle carry holsters on the market.

The holster is made of breathable neoprene all around and is secured with Velcro and elastic. It even includes a spare magazine pouch opposite the holster.

For small guns, like little.380 pocket pistols, this is an excellent option because it is so low-profile and lightweight.

However, if you carry in all steel backup gun or a small J frame revolver you might want to reconsider this holster. It is not sturdy enough to support the weight of those guns reliably and you will be uncomfortable and constantly worry about your holster all day. If you are just getting into concealed carry on your ankle this is an excellent option until you move up to a pricier model.

  • Inexpensive
  • Lowest profile
  • Fits several different guns
  • Can be uncomfortable

5.) Best Shoulder Holster

5.1) Galco Jackass Rig Shoulder System

When it comes to shoulder holsters there are only a few companies putting out a high-quality product that you can use day in and day out for to carry.

This is by far the best shoulder holster on the market for concealed carry if you are going to be doing it every day.

Shoulder holsters are kind of a niche item and not everybody should use one but if you’re going to this is the one you should get.

A modern take on an old classic Delco brought this holster back and is using suede leather for the shoulder straps and genuine leather for the magazine pouches and holster. Thumb snap or tension secures the gun and magazines from falling out and the entire holster system is extraordinarily comfortable.

If you’ve ever used a bad shoulder holster it can feel like a medieval torture device! This one is excellent because it included all metal hardware adjusts and swivels with your every movement and the suede leather conforms to the shape of your back to keep from shaking. If you can afford this shoulder holster is by far the best model on the planet and the one you should be using.

  • Exceptionally comfortable
  • Combines the best materials available
  • High maintenance
  • Heavy

5.2) Galco Classic Lite Shoulder System

If you’re looking for a slightly more affordable option Galco has come out with this excellent classic lite shoulder system made of suede leather.

This is more appropriate for concealed carry and smaller size guns because the suede leather doesn’t support weight as well as genuine leather holsters and Mac pouches.

However, the same comfortable material that goes in the pricier options goes into this awesome holster and it is a dream to carry underneath the suit or heavy jacket.

If you are looking for a way to conceal a gun in formal attire there’s simply no better option than this holster.

Everyone makes brown shoulder holsters but this model also comes in black to help with that extra edge in concealing your gun. If there are any problems with this holster Galco, has an excellent warranty.

The only thing to look out for on this holster is keeping the suede clean and dry. Suede leather can break down faster than genuine leather and absorb water and sweat holding it against your gun possibly damaging it. Make sure your conditioning your holster and drying it out each and every night.

  • Extremely comfortable and secure
  • Very concealable
  • High maintenance
  • Not as durable as others

5.3) Galco Vertical Shoulder Holster System

If you are looking to carry a large bore revolver for full-sized steel 1911 you’re going to need a specialized holster.

Especially if you are carrying a long barrel done in the shoulder holster, you’re going to need to think outside the box on how to conceal that gun.

Galco has you covered with their vertical shoulder holster system that allows you to conceal much larger gun than other models. This is one dirty Harry would’ve carried!

It is the same genuine leather and suede strap holster system that is common to Galco products but it relocates the holster further down until said 90° so the barrel is carried pointed downward.

This changes the game with the size the gun that you can carry. For concealed carry, you can have anything that doesn’t stick out below your shirt or jacket! Open carry, the skies the limit as long as it doesn’t drag on the ground behind you!

While there are other models on the market that carry guns in a vertical position in a shoulder holster it doesn’t get any better than Galco products. In fact, many of his other holster systems are designed for Airsoft or tactical use and would be terrible and uncomfortable to use for concealed carry.

Stick with this brand and this model if you’re going to carry a long barrel heavy gun and you won’t have any problems.

  • Can carry a huge gun
  • Conceals well
  • High maintenance
  • Bulky in the holster and shoulder straps

5.4) Bianchi X16 Agent X Shoulder Holster

Bianchi has been making holsters for a long time, concentrating on police cowboy action shooting markets, but they do make some excellently concealed carry holsters. This is one of the best and lowest-priced genuine leather shoulder holsters on the market.

Combined everything you need a shoulder holster, low profile, low maintenance, comfortable, and lightweight designs that come together to be able to conceal guns much easier. The great thing about this holster is that once you get on it feels like you’re wearing a tank for a holster.

The design as a whole is much more rugged than its competitors and you can tell as soon as you get it broken in. This holster will last a lifetime if you take care the letter and you’ll have no problems handing it down to your grandchildren. If you’re only going to buy your shoulder holster once, this is the one to get.

However, that increase in durability does make it slightly less comfortable and concealable than other models. There is no free lunch, and you get what you pay for but this holster certainly has in each with people who were going to be using their holster every day for years on end.

  • Very secure
  • Comfortable
  • Cost effective
  • High maintenance
  • Heavy, bulkier than others

The Verdict

While there are literally thousands of different holsters on the market, there are good ones and bad ones. If you are just getting into concealed carry and need a good holster to set you straight pick one of the ones from this list and carry it. Concealed carry is a skill, not an activity.

You will get better with it as time goes on and don’t be discouraged by the initial awkwardness you feel as you carry. Overall, what you want in a good holster is the ability to comfortably carry a gun and a method that works for you. Nothing less, nothing more.

Don’t be scared by the “tactical” methods that are common to today’s shooting magazines and online retailers, get the best concealed carry holsters for your gun. Your life may just depend on it.

About the author

Mckinley Downing

Mckinley is a gunman & instructor. He shoots, hunts and is a patriot in the sense that he enjoys pissing off gun grabbers and anti-hunters. He writes for several online outlets on the use of guns and ammunition to solve all sorts of problems from the 'hoods to the woods.

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