Buyer’s Guide for 2020: The Best Concealed Carry Holsters

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In this article, we will be discussing different types of concealed carry holsters and the qualities that make one ideal.

We will also learn about the top aspects to consider when choosing a concealed carry holster for yourself or as a gift. 

The models below are rated and reviewed so you can make a well informed decision when it comes down to the best concealed carry holsters. 

Comparison of the Best Concealed Carry Holsters 

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Best concealed carry holster on our list
  • Elastic and comfortable breathable neoprene belly band works in any position
  • Universal fit holster accomodates all handguns and extra storage pouch
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  • Concealed carry holster runner-up
  • Combo includes a belly band and a comfortable ankle holster
  • Ambidextrous design holster and universal fit to hold all size handguns
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  • Most comfortable concealed carry holster on our list
  • Fixed magazine pocket and extra movable pouch for storage customizability
  • Soft, anti-sweat breathable material and fits up to 45-inch circumference
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  • Best shoulder holster for concealed carry
  • Extra padding to tackle perspiration and nylon strap provides stability
  • Works with most pistols and offers a quick and easy draw
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  • Best concealed carry purse holster for women
  • Fits most handbags sizes due to its customizable sliding design
  • Keeps the gun in an upright position and works with all handguns
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  • Best IWB concealed carry holster for EDC
  • Right-handed, one-size-fits-all neoprene belly band provides comfort
  • Can be worn at multiple positions and includes extra pouch for accessories
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  • Best OWB holster for concealed carry
  • Can be worn as a belt-slide or paddle holster
  • Flexplate for added retention and very comfortable while sitting
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What Makes a Great Concealed Carry Holster

Just like any other ideal product, a concealed carry holster must have certain qualities that make it exceptional. These include:

Concealment and Comfort

The first quality that differentiates such holsters is concealment. Holsters must offer a high level of concealment under every situation.

IWB holsters offer better concealment than OWB holsters in almost every condition. Furthermore, the level of comfort depends upon the material and the design of the holster. 

Proper Retention 

Retention refers to how well the holster does at securing the weapon in place. Some holsters have retention adjusting screws, while others have locking mechanisms such as ALS. The bottom line here is that a good holster must offer reliable and secure retention.

Trigger Guard Cover

This detail is often overlooked, but trigger guard concealment is vital. This might cause you to falter or in the worst case, accidentally discharge your weapon. Thankfully, most holsters (all within this review) have concealed trigger guards.

Handgun and Body Protection

A good concealed carry holster must also be soft on your gun and your skin. Good holsters feature padding on the outside and are lined properly on the inside. Leather holsters are a good option in this case.

Full Grip

A good concealed carry holster should provide full grip so it's easy to draw and re-holster. A fully visible grip also ensures that you can draw with one hand, even with thumb straps or locks.

Quick Take - The Best Concealed Carry Holsters

Review of the Best Concealed Carry Holsters

Now we're going to switch it up a bit and take a look at some of our favorite concealed carry holsters. We're going to break down what makes each holster stand out, so stay tuned! 

Pros

  • Good concealment
  • Many draw positions
  • One size fits many guns
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Extra adjustable magazine pouch

Cons

  • Sub-compact guns are difficult to handle

What Recent Buyers Report 

What the new buyers got out of this holster was superior comfort and excellent concealability for a holster that fit so many users. The holster itself was able to fit many compact and full-sized pistols. Even better, this was available for either right-handed or left-handed shooters. Those who used the left-handed oriented holster were quite happy with the ease of use. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

Imagine a holster that will be snug and comfortable while being able to give you under the radar discreet carry that will give you confidence and peace of mind. And imagine it being fit for almost any shooter that is average or even a bit bigger in size. This is that kind of holster. And you will get a good deal of concealability plus being able to carry whatever pistol you choose without worrying about whether or not it will fit. 

Belly band holsters are the latest and most renowned innovation of the concealed carry market. These holsters feature a wide belt made from breathable neoprene which can be wrapped around the waist.

This holster features a metal snap-on retention strap and one magazine pouch. It can be used in multiple draw positions, including appendix, on hip, behind the hip, cross draw, OWB, and others.

Moreover, the mag pouch can be slid onto the belt to adjust its position. The one-size-fits-all design fits all handguns ranging from full size to sub-compact. Smaller weapons may be harder to handle with this holster, so use caution.

The neoprene material is lightweight and soft on your skin. Fits up to 44 inch waist sizes.

Who Will Use This Most 

This is the holster that will be perfect for any concealed carry user that wants nothing more than excellent comfort and the ability to carry their pistols out of plain sight so no undue attention is attracted to them. If you want to be prepared for any dangerous situation without anyone knowing that you carry a pistol (even in public), this is the holster that might give you faithful and loyal service for as long as possible.

Bottom Line

The ComfortTac Ultimate Belly Band Holster for Concealed Carry is perhaps one of the best in the business for a few good reasons. Of course, you have a comfortable fit and the ability to carry any pistol you choose. But it will be the best holster that can serve as the alternative substitute to a regular hip holster.

The ComfortTac belly band holster is an innovative, lightweight, comfortable product which fits most weapons. It can be worn in many positions, and the extra mag pouch is an added advantage. The holster is good for all intended uses ranging from the everyday workout to hunting. 

CREATRILL Bundle of Belly Band + Ankle Holster, Concealed Carry with Magazine Pocket/Pouch for Women Men Fits Glock, Ruger LCP, M&P Shield, Sig Sauer, Ruger, Kahr, Beretta, 1911, etc

Pros

  • Firm stitching
  • Valuable combo with amazing price
  • Comfortable and breathable material

Cons

  • Quick draw requires some practice
  • Don’t trust the velcro for very big guns

What Recent Buyers Report 

This was a package deal that really gave new users something to be happy about. Both the belly band and ankle holster were excellent fits that were comfortable and didn’t feel tighter than it had to be. They were also happy with the holster being able to handle every pistol under the sun from Glocks to Smith and Wessons (and everything in between). One user said that he carries two pistols at the same time regardless of wherever he goes. This way, he is able to take an attacker by surprise if they are stupid enough to go after him and threaten his life. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This is a package deal that is not worth turning down. Both holsters give you the opportunity to give you superior comfort while providing absolute under the radar concealability. These holsters might be a prepper’s dream knowing that he has to be prepared for any danger or when SHTF and he has to evacuate immediately. With the high-quality materials these holsters are made from, you can expect these to last you a long time without any ripping or falling apart. 

This package from Creatrill is a combo of a belly band and ankle holster. The belly band holster supports up to 46 inches waist sizes. Both holsters are made of breathable neoprene and include additional neoprene padding.

The holsters are ambidextrous, for right or left handed draws. The waistband features an elastic material, to accommodate weapons of various sizes, as well as a bonus extra mag pocket.

A potential drawback is that Velcro straps may not adequately secure large guns.

Who Will Use This Most 

If you plan on carrying two pistols at the same time, these holsters will in all likelihood will be what you’ll go with. You kill two birds with one stone just by snagging these two holsters. You can wear one or the other (or maybe both). It’s entirely up to you. Expect these to last you a long time thanks to the high-quality neoprene that is guaranteed to make the fit as comfortable and non-irritating as possible.

Bottom Line

The Creatrill Belly Band + Ankle Holster with magazine pouch is the set that every concealed carry owner should consider. Especially those who think that carrying two pistols at the same time should be a good idea. For a holster that exceeds standards when it comes to the fit, comfort, and ability to handle any pistol this could be exactly what you need for everyday use. 

This is a useful combo at an amazing price. The breathable neoprene is comfortable and soft on the skin. These holsters can be used to carry both a primary and a backup firearm.

LIRISY Belly Band Holster for Concealed Carry, Ultimate Waist Band Belly Band Concealment Holster for Glock 19-43, Up to 45''

Pros

  • Soft and comfortable
  • Ambidextrous adjustment
  • Extra movable zipper pouch

Cons

  • Not for waist sizes over 45 inches

What Recent Buyers Report

New buyers consisted of a lot of men and women who were looking for a holster that was comfortable, offers max concealability, and can be an asset to those who carry every day or target shoot at the range. This holster did not disappoint in the slightest. The holster was well-fitted for most average-sized and even some larger sizes as well. One user said that she was able to draw her pistol quickly from this holster compared to a hip holster she had carried the following year. So far, she says that it was perhaps one of the most comfortable holsters (not to mention the most reliable) that she’s used so far.

Why it Stands Out to Us

One of the best features that made this stand out was the neoprene material. It’s breathable, allows for a comfortable fit, and won’t trigger any skin irritation due to perspiration or even sensitive skin. Simply put, it was a holster that truly maximized concealment without any bulging. And it brought comfort to a whole new level compared to even most IWB holsters.

Another very well-made, comfortable belly band holster. This concealed carry holster from Lirisy is also made of neoprene and is quite versatile.

The holster can be used in eight different carry positions, including shoulder rig carry. The holster’s position is adjustable for left or right handed draw.

One size fits up to 45” in circumference and is held in position by velcro. The holster holds both the firearm and the magazine.

As an added bonus, this holster features a movable second pocket which can be used to hold another accessory like a cellphone, knife, or extra mag. Your weapon is secured by a snap-on lock strap for a silent draw.

Who Will Use This Most

This is a holster that men and women of all shapes and sizes can enjoy. Also, it’s one of the most affordable on the market. So if you happen to be on a budget, you’ll get a whole lot more than what you pay for with this holster. It ain’t cheap and flimsy in the slightest, so you might have just hit the jackpot with a holster that is high in quality and super awesome in terms of performance (all at a price that you can afford).

Bottom Line

For a holster that will work for any shooter while not breaking the bank, the LIRISY Belly Band Holster is exactly what you are looking for if you need a holster that will make all your concealed carry needs fulfilled. Whether you carry it around the clock or while you are out and about, this holster will definitely keep your pistol at your side in case danger decides to rear its ugly head in. 

This belly band holster from Lirisy is good for everyday carry. The extra pocket increases its usefulness.

The holster, however, is sewn onto the outside of the belt which doesn’t secure the weapon snugly against the body. Overall the quality is great and offers good value for money.

Best Shoulder Holster Concealed Carry:
Yeeper Deep Concealment Shoulder Holster

Yeeper Deep Concealment Shoulder Holster Right Hand Draw

Pros

  • Deep concealment
  • Comfortable all day carry
  • Distributes weapon’s weight over the torso

Cons

  • No extra pouches
  • Doesn’t favor speed draw
  • Velcro retention strap is not silent

What Recent Buyers Report 

This concealed carry holster was a huge hit with many users that included security guards and even people who tend to carry two pistols at the same time. The material was nice and sturdy and didn’t even rip or tear once. This was a perfect fit for many shooters across many sizes. One user said that she was able to find a holster that fit her frame perfectly after a belly band holster she tried out turned out to be a little too big for her. She also added that it allowed for really quick drawing and re-holstering without the snag. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

We now turn our attention to the shoulder holsters for a moment. This is no ordinary shoulder holster that has all kinds of adjustable straps that may leave a bit of slack. This is perfect for those who want a comfortable, more snug fit regardless of their size. If you are wearing this on a hot summer day, you can rest assured that two things will happen: this holster will resist any sweat and will prevent any skin irritation from occurring. In short, it’s the holster that will give you excellent comfort no matter the weather conditions outside.

This shoulder holster is deeply concealed making it more like a belly band design rather than a conventional shoulder strap holster. The strap on this holster comes over the shoulder and fastens with Velcro. The holster features a Velcro fastened retention strap.

The design of the holster distributes the weight of the weapon evenly over the torso and is suitable for all kinds of pistols. Extra padding makes it comfortable to wear all day long. 

Who Will Use This Most 

This will be an excellent concealed carry holster for newbie users just starting out and looking for something that is really comfortable for cold weather carry. Alternatively, it can be used by seasoned concealed carry practitioners that plan on carrying another pistol in order to keep their attackers off guard if and when a situation warrants it. 

Bottom Line

The Yeeper Deep Concealment Shoulder Holster will not fail you nor forsake you in terms of fit, comfort, and reliability. This just might be one of the best holsters for shoulder carrying out there on the market to this point. And one good reason why that might be true, the lack of “slack” that you probably won’t see in other shoulder holsters.

The Yeeper shoulder holster is intended for deep concealment and comfortable everyday carry. The adjustable design and neoprene material is comfortable. However, it is not meant for quick draw. 

Best Concealed Carry Purse Holster:
Concealed Carry Women's Universal Purse Holster

Purse Holster | Concealed Carry Women's Universal Handbag Insert Firearms | Female Conceal and Carry Satchel Platform | Woman Gun or Pistol Holster | Right or Left Hand Draw | Cross Body

Pros

  • Fits any size firearm
  • Facilitates quick draw
  • Accepts other holsters
  • Great for women’s concealed carry
  • Suitable platform for purse/handbags

Cons

  • Only used with purse/handbags
  • Might flop over with large handguns

What Recent Buyers Report 

New users were women looking for a holster that would fit in most purses (and fitting for most compact pistols). They said it did a good job maintaining a good amount of space that would keep everything organized without causing a mess. They said that it didn’t add any heavy weight to their purses even when a fully loaded pistol was intact. One user said that she was quite happy with the holster being compatible with her 380 pistol and even more impressed when it fit her purse that wasn’t so big in size. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This holster doesn’t fit on your hip or anywhere on your body. It is designed to fit inside purses, which might be one of the most clever places to conceal carry a pistol (if not the most genius). And yes, it’s a practice that has long been done. But it never goes out of style. This is designed to fit in most regular sized purses and is guaranteed to not take up all kinds of room while being placed inside.

This handbag insert is used to conceal carry a handgun inside a purse or handbag. It is easy to assemble and can be inserted inside a purse to offer a sturdy flat partition, great for keeping the weapon accessible inside oversize bags.

Elastic Velcro straps are used to holster the weapon flat against the wall of your purse, taking up minimal space.

Moreover, you can attach your existing holster to the platform. The insert itself is adjustable so it can fit both small and large purses/handbags from 9-18 inch lengths.

Who Will Use This Most 

If you are a woman who is new to concealed carry or has been around the block at times, this holster might be of interest to you. If you’re a man looking for a creative way to say “I love you” to the woman in your life (and she carries a pistol), she’ll absolutely appreciate this holster. Attackers who dare prey on a woman will be in for a rude awakening when she pulls something out of her purse that is not cash or a wallet. 

Bottom Line

This concealed carry women’s universal purse holster is without a doubt one of the best holsters that any woman can own. And best of all, she doesn’t have to wear it. If you’re a woman and have a compact size pistol that you want to keep out of plain sight, this is the holster that will make sure that your pistol flies under the radar and will play a role of surprise against anyone stupid enough to attack you.

The concealed carry platform is a new innovation which facilitates women’s safety. It creates a partition in your purse allowing for a quick draw and organization within your purse.

Best IWB Concealed Carry Holster:
Belly Band Holster For Concealed Carry

Pros

  • Offers great concealment
  • Comfortable neoprene fabric
  • Extra mag pouch can fit two magazines

Cons

  • Not great for large guns
  • One size doesn’t fit all

What Recent Buyers Report 

As expected, a good number of new buyers were happy with this concealed carry holster. This was able to fit all kinds of shooters and their size (even those who are a bit on the heavy side as well). Regardless, it provided excellent comfort while working with so many pistols that ranged from subcompact to full-size pistols. One user said that he was able to switch out different pistols and got secure concealed carry without any slippage or issues with the retention. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This belly band holster is by far one of the most versatile and universal holsters that you can find just about anywhere on the market. In fact, this belly band holster might as well be the top option for most review sites because of a laundry list of benefits that users get out of this. Excellent comfort, superior concealability, and a belly band holster that holds its own regardless of the size of the shooter. Made from high-quality materials, this bad boy keeps tough and doesn’t rip or fray when stretched. And lastly, this allows for quick drawing and re-holstering without snagging. All and all, this holster might just be that diamond in the rough you are looking for.

This concealed carry holster is the best choice for IWB carry. The holster is made from perforated neoprene fabric which is comfortable and soft on the skin.

Elastic material secures the weapon and features a button clasp thumb-break mechanism for retention.

The belly band has an extra pouch right next to the holster which can be used to hold a magazine, cell phone or any other relevant item. The versatile belly band is adjustable.

Who Will Use This Most 

If you want a belly band holster that might be great for newbies or seasoned practitioners, this might be the one you may end up investing in. The versatility and ability to handle any kind of pistol will in all likelihood draw the newbie users closer to it. Who says you need a holster that is exclusively for the pistol of your choice? You can find any pistol you can get your hands on and fit it in this holster if needed. Best of all, you can wear it IWB, OWB, or any other position that is most comfortable for you.

Bottom Line

The Belly Band Holster from Concealed Carrier might just take the ball and run with it as the best option for most concealed carry users. It’s universal, versatile, and will undoubtedly blow any competitors out of the water. That is unless of course you somehow don’t like it (which we’re confident that you probably love it instead). But nevertheless, it’s a holster that will be useful for any gun owner regardless of application.

This belly band concealed holster is good for IWB carry. The mag pouch is wide enough to carry two mags, though a single mag may result in a lumpy bulge. Overall it is a comfortable product and is exceptional for concealed carry.

Best OWB Holster for Concealed Carry:
Alien Gear Cloak Mod OWB Paddle Holster

Alien Gear Cloak Mod OWB Paddle Holster - Custom Made for Your Gun (Select Pistol Size) - Open Carry - Adjustable Retention - Right and Left Hand - Made in The USA

Pros

  • Easy to adjust
  • Belt Slide and paddle options
  • Comfortable (tight against hip)
  • Kydex design offers quick retention

Cons

  • No lock mechanism
  • Limited concealment

What Recent Buyers Report 

This holster was perfect for both right-handed and left-handed shooters. No matter what hand orientation they chose, they got quick and easy access to their pistols and were able to draw them fairly quickly and re-holster them. Most of the new users were using it for self-defense purposes while about a third were using the holster exclusively for target shooting and competitive purposes. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

Finally, we’ll be taking a look at a concealed carry holster that is outside the waistband. Granted, you can still be able to cover this with a shirt and get excellent concealability out of the whole shebang. But an OWB holster will make drawing a lot quicker (even compared to some IWB holsters as well). This holster is made from breathable, high-quality neoprene. In plain English, it’s pretty dang comfortable for a holster that has other materials that make it tough and impervious to any kind of damage.

This OWB concealed carry holster from Alien Gear is a masterpiece in its class. The paddle holster can be clipped directly onto a waistband or belt and is easily concealed under your t-shirt or jacket.

No bulky straps, making quick draw and reholstering fast and easy. Retention is adjusted through a couple of screws.

This holster may be worn as a belt slide or paddle holster. It is made of durable Kydex thermoplastic and overall, a good product for people who like to carry OWB.

Who Will Use This Most 

If you want excellent comfort while using a holster that is built to last and can handle any pistol that you own, this could be one of the options that you can consider. This holster will last you a long time and will make sure that your draws are consistently fast even after a year of use. Don’t be shocked if you wind up using this sucker for years on down the road without even considering the idea of purchasing another holster.

Bottom Line

If you want a holster that is hardcore in quality but wicked comfortable for all-day wearing and carrying, the Alien Gear Cloak Mod OWB Paddle Holster won’t do you any wrong. You may want to tack this onto your tactical belt or waistband in a hip carrying position for best results if you want to get to your pistol rather quickly.

The Alien Gear holster is an OWB type concealed carry holster. Kydex material is durable and long lasting, and the open mouth offers quick draw and adjustable retention. However, being an OWB type model, it offers limited concealment.

Types of Concealed Carry Holsters

There are quite a few types of concealed carry holsters and they differ in two aspects.

One is material and the other is the design. Functionalities like retention, locks, and ends should also be noted.

Concealed carry holsters are commonly available in three different materials: leather, plastic, and nylon.

Leather holsters are more conventional and can be priced higher. They are durable, comfortable, and easily conform to your body. However, they may sag with time and are susceptible to wear.

Holsters are also made from different kinds of plastic -- the most common being Kydex. These holsters are extremely durable, lightweight, waterproof, and offer a low profile and excellent retention. The only drawback is the discomfort they can cause while sitting since they don’t conform easily.

On the other hand, nylon holsters are softer and more comfortable. Yet, they are also more susceptible to wear and tear.  

In regards to styles, there are several types that should be noted. These include IWB, OWB, Shoulder Straps, Belly Bands, Ankle Holster, SOB, Specialty holsters, and Chest Rigs.

Some not so popular designs also include fanny packs, handbags, and purses.

IWB

IWB stands for Inside the Waistband.

As the name suggests, these holsters are worn inside the waistband of jeans or pants. These are the most common and best kind of concealed carry holsters in our opinion.

OWB

Another type is OWB (Outside the Waistband) holsters. As the name suggests, these are worn outside the waistband and are clipped to the user's belt. They can also be concealed using any jacket or coat. 

Shoulder Strap Holster 

Shoulder holsters feature straps which run over the shoulder and are secured around the torso. They no doubt look cool, but they also have drawbacks such as the tendency to cause excessive sweating, low concealment, and reduced security while holstering.

Belly Band Holsters

Belly Band holsters are an amazing innovation and have taken the market by storm. They wrap around your waist and can be used in IWB, OWB, cross draw, appendix carry, hip carry, and many other positions.

Plus, they also prevent someone from drawing your weapon. Keep in mind though, belly bands might not be very comfortable during harsh summer months.

Ankle Holsters

Ankle holsters are worn over the calf and remain hidden under your jeans or pants. They are perfect for carrying without paying attention to the holster. Plus they great for carrying a backup. However, the draw times are considerably high.

SOB, Specialty Holster and Chest Rigs

SOB stands for Small of Back, which also indicates the position these holsters are worn.

SOB holsters offer good concealment, but also pose a threat of injury, discomfort, and back pains. Specialty holsters describe designs like underpants or bra holsters which are specially designed for specific purposes.

Chest rigs, also known as chest holsters, are worn across the chest and are good when you have to carry large backpacks or gear.

Considerations to Keep in Mind

Apart from the ideal qualities, there are also some features to be cautious of, when buying a concealed carry holster. These include:

Open Trigger Guard

Back in the day, most revolver holsters had designs which made the trigger guard open and some thought it was ideal for quick draw. However, that’s not the case today. This is a safety hazard that can end with your gun accidentally discharging. 

Open Trigger Holster (source

Open Top Holster

Open top holsters are known for being a holster without any form of retention. Several holsters just rely upon the elasticity of their material for retention, which can be a serious flaw.

Level of Comfort

Before choosing a holster, you should assess and envision how it will suit your lifestyle. Finding that perfect holster will alliviate an discomfort you may encounter in the future. Be sure to check the material and fit to ensure everything is good to go!

Conclusion

A concealed carry holster hides your weapon while in public places. Many options are available, in varying material and design, to fit any gun owner’s preference, including IWB, OWB, shoulder, belly band, shoulder, and ankle holsters.

Optimal features in a quality holster include, good retention, quick draw and ability to be concealed.

When purchasing a holster, select one that feels comfortable and has the features most important to you.

Ultimately, comfort and ease of handling are two of the most vital features in a concealed carry holster.  

About Ankit

Ankit has been a writer for almost a decade now and has developed a diverse portfolio. His love for writing led him to turn down his lavish and lucrative career as a software engineer, twisting the reins of his life towards being a full-time writing. He only does what he loves. His hobbies include gardening, reading, shooting, and most of all - learning new things in every context (hence why he chose to be a writer). His whimsical nature and love for writing fosters creativity in all of his work

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