Concealed Carry Corner: Best and Worst IWB Holsters


When it comes to inside the waistband holsters, there are countless options on the market today. Whether it’s the latest minimalist holster made from the footsteps of the latest tier one operator or a quality holster it can be hard to pick the right holster for you. There are a number of different holsters on the market today with variations between all of them. For new shooters, it can be rather challenging to understand the various types so let’s dive into a few of the most popular IWB holsters on the market today.

Concealed Carry Corner: Best and Worst IWB Holsters

Minimalist Holsters

One of the latest and greatest holster styles is the minimalist take. If you’re into firearms and take a look around at some of the newest options on the holster market, you’ll probably see these small holsters as an option. Typically minimalist inside the waistband holsters will cover the trigger and will click in on the frame. There may be a claw attachment to help conceal the firearm in your waistband but most of the time there’s only one point of contact on the waistband. The typical marketing for minimalist holsters will be the fact they are low profile with little to no footprint. Having such a low-profile holster will definitely be the least bulky option when it comes to holsters. Certain individuals enjoy carrying inside the waistband with these types of holsters because it doesn’t feel like you’re actually carrying a firearm.

Photo Courtesy of Raven Concealment

The fact you have an option that you can clip on and walk out the door is a fairly large plus. The biggest issue with these holsters is the fact they tend to jump around a fair amount. Having a claw attachment on the holster can help stabilize it, but typically they do move around quite a bit on the belt. This is usually because the main holster clip that goes onto your belt is a rather small thing and doesn’t stop your firearm from moving throughout the day. While these holsters may seem simple and easy to use, they can be rather tricky to keep in the same spot all day long. If it was up to me, it wouldn’t be my first pick but it’s not a terrible option compared to some other options.

Photo Courtesy of Raven Concealment

Holsters With Claws

One of the most common holsters on the market right now is a single large clip holster with a stabilizing claw. Out of everything I have carried, these holsters are typically the easiest to throw in your pants and carry throughout the whole day. The stabilizing claw will push your waistline out slowly which gives you more clearance to hide your grip. Having that extra little bit of space to help conceal the butt of your pistol can make all the difference if you’re carrying a larger framed pistol. Most holsters will have tightening screws for retention, or will automatically come with stabilizing claw attachment points available on their holsters. If you plan on going with a Kydex holster with a single large clip belt mount, it’s always a great idea to look for a company that offers a claw attachment as well.

When I started using a large single clip holster, I would still fight the handgun canting and slightly moving throughout the day. I decided to order a new holster with the claw attachment and it made carrying compact or full-size firearms comfortably much easier. I cannot tell you how many times I get asked what my secret is when carrying a full-size Glock 17 or SIG P226 comfortably. There’s no crazy black magic or anything, it’s just using a claw attachment to have two points of contact on your waistline. The second point of contact acts like an anchor and plants your holster securely onto your waistline ensuring a consistent draw every time. Out of all the holster options, this style is by far my favorite.

Hybrid Holsters

Hybrid holsters are some of the original inside the waistband holsters. Various companies like CrossBreed Holsters have been making Kydex holsters with leather backing for years. These hybrid holsters offer the retention of Kydex holsters with the comfort of leather holsters which is the best of both worlds. They can be incredibly comfortable and the leather backing helps protect against your handgun digging into your side. The big positive of these holsters is the level of stability they offer. With two separate mounting belt clips, hybrid holsters tend to stay in the same position throughout the entire day.

Photo Courtesy of Cross Breed Holsters

A holster with less points of contact on your waistline won’t hold up as well to staying in the same position over time because there’s less surface area on the waistline. Some of the downsides of a hybrid holster is the fact they can be rather cumbersome to put on and have set up when you first put it on. The second downside to hybrid holsters is the fact they will typically take a long time to break in and become comfortable. The leather backing can rub your skin raw while it’s brand new and will take a couple weeks to properly break-in so it’s always good to know ahead of time. These style of holsters are never a bad option, but the break-in period at the beginning and the mounting process can be tricky compared to other options.

Photo Courtesy of Cross Breed Holsters

Overall Thoughts

Starting out, it can be really tricky to find the perfect holster for your handgun. The constant barrage of ads with the latest and greatest can make a tricky decision even tougher. It’s important to start out looking for a style holster that works best for your life style and giving it a try. I have tried all the styles above and personally I prefer the ease of use when it comes to single belt clip holsters with a claw attachment. Everyone is different though and when it comes to inside the waistband holsters, different people are looking for different options to fit their lifestyle.

Out of everything, it’s important to look realistically at what you want from a holster and narrow your list from there. Let me know what you guys prefer when it comes to inside the waistband holsters. Do you have a specific style or brand you always go with when it comes to holsters? Let me know in the comments below! If you have any questions, feel free to shoot me a message on my Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there!

TFB’s Concealed Carry Corner is brought to you by GLOCK


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