Inside the Waistband (IWB) holsters are extremely popular and commonly used for concealed carry. They may have their up and downs, but there's a reason these holsters so well-known.
In this article, we'll outline some of the best IWB holsters currently on the market. We've rated and reviewed each to help you pick one out with ease.
Best IWB Holsters Comparison Chart
Best IWB Holster
Belly Band Holster For Concealed Carry | IWB Holster
Best IWB Holster
Q-Series IWB Minimalist Concealed Carry Stealth Holster
Best IWB Holster
Concealment Express IWB KYDEX Holster
Alien Gear Holsters Cloak Tuck 3.0 IWB Holster
Best Alien Gear
Galco KT224B Kingtuk Inside the Waistband Holster
Concealed Carrier Universal IWB Holster For Concealed Carry
Relentless Tactical The Defender Leather IWB Holster
Benefits of Wearing an IWB Holster
IWB holsters are well-known for being great daily carry options. There are some primary benefits behind this type of holster we want to cover.
There’s no doubt that IWB holsters offer excellent concealment. They work well with T-shirts, untucked shirts, and concealed carry jackets, and are difficult to see if positioned properly.
This design allows users to carry their firearm in public without flaunting it. IWB holsters are also great for self-defense as they provide users with an element of surprise.
Prevents People From Losing Their Weapon
IWB holsters are intended to be secured at the hip and tucked into your waistband. Since the holster is squeezed between your body and apparel, this prevents the gun from falling out. Additionally, this safeguards your weapon from being stolen.
Another benefit is that these holsters don’t obstruct your movement. Other holsters have a tendency to get in the way and can be awkward while sitting down or bending over.
IWB holsters also offer an incomparable draw time.
Drawbacks to IWB Holsters
Now we are going to shine light to some of the drawbacks associated with IWB holsters.
As mentioned, IWB holsters are exceptional for concealed carry. Though, they do not work well with fitted clothing.
IWB holsters often print an outline on clothes, thus revealing that you're carrying. If you intend on wearing tight clothes, IWB holsters may be a no-go.
IWB holsters can be uncomfortable in several positions. When you sit or drive, a 12 o’clock or appendix position might poke into your pelvis -- especially if you're carrying a mid or full-sized gun.
Furthermore, they may not be a good option for people with full-rounded bellies. Some IWB holsters do not feature proper sweat guards or padding, which can lead to rashes.
Difficult to Draw and Re-holster
Although IWB holsters have quick draw times, they can still be difficult to draw and re-holster.
The reason being is because you have to squeeze your fingers between your belt body, which may cause fumbling.
However, as with anything -- practice makes perfect.
Qualities of the Best IWB Holsters
IWB holsters must have several qualities to be considered good for use. Keep an eye out for these qualities while reading our product review section.
A top pick must be durable. Needless to say, the holster is useless if you can't depend on it for years later.
A durable holster will not only save you money, but it will also perform well.
As a good rule of thumb: leather and Kydex holsters are always a safe bet.
The IWB holster you choose must also be comfortable and not restricting. Moreover, your holster should be lightweight, so all you have to bear is the weight of your weapon.
Simple enough, a good IWB holster must preserve your weapon as well as your skin from scratches and bruises.
An ideal option must feature a reliable retention mechanism to prevent your gun from falling out.
Cant and Belt
Choose a holster wisely when it comes to the cant. Some people prefer FBI cant, whereas some like the straight drop version. Be sure to care for your holster too by wearing a quality belt.
Review of the Best IWB Holsters
Let's take a look at some of the best IWB holsters on the market. These holsters have been handpicked based on their exceptional qualities.
1. Best IWB Holster: CYA Supply Co. IWB Holster
This IWB holster has been made from Boltaron, a thermoplastic similar to Kydex; some argue Boltaron even outperforms Kydex.
Other parts of the holster are made from powder coated steel, making it durable and wear resistant.
The retention is hex key adjustable between 0 to 15 degrees and the holster features a posi-click audible retention lock system. This indicates when the gun is properly holstered.
This specific model only fits Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9MM/.40 S&W without attachments, and is a right-hand draw only.
This CYA IWB holster is a slim, highly concealable holster, and is perfect for everyday use. It has a proper slide lining for added comfort and offers user-friendly adjustment mechanics.
2. Best IWB Holster Runner-up: Belly Band Holster For Concealed Carry
Belly band holsters are an amazing option for IWB carry. These bands wrap around your waist, providing a secure holster for your weapon.
The breathable neoprene fabric is extremely comfortable and soft on the skin. The holster is made from surgical grade elastic and can hold handguns of various sizes.
The button-clasp thumb break retention adds even more security. Moreover, this holster is extremely versatile and can be worn in positions other than inside the waistband.
As an added bonus, the extra pouch is wide enough to hold a few magazines or items such as a phone or wallet.
This belly band holster can be used for a number of different carrying options and is great for those who are constantly on-the-go. The holster is designed to stay in place even when you run or exercise. Overall, the holster is ideal for nearly every situation.
3. Best IWB Holster Second Runner-up: Q-Series IWB Minimalist Concealed Carry Stealth Holster
This holster features a minimalist design and is a great option for those who are in search of something compact and functional.
The holster is no bigger than a small cell phone and it's extremely easy to conceal. Made from Kydex, this holster sits close to the body and covers the trigger guard and half the slide of the gun.
The retention is also adjustable and the metal clip is designed to snap firmly to any waistband or belt (up to 2-inches wide).
The holster is available in multiple variants designed for different kinds of weapons.
This minimalist holster features an exceptional, unique design and offers high levels of concealment. However, placing your gun back into place can be difficult. The bottom line here is that this is good option for occasional use, but maybe not everyday carry.
4. Best Kydex IWB Holster: Concealment Express IWB KYDEX Holster
This IWB holster is made from Kydex and can be used for appendix, hip, cross draw, small of back (SOB) holsters, and palm-out carry.
Buyers love that the retention pressure can easily be adjusted using screws near the base of the holster. The cant angle is also adjustable, which makes it even more versatile.
Additionally, the full-length sweat guards makes it very comfortable and users are guided while re-holstering via the audible lock system.
Keep in mind, this particular model is designed exclusively for Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9MM/.40 but there are other sizes available.
Kydex holsters are very durable and easy to re-holster -- this holster is no exception. However, keep in mind this model is not very flexible.
5. Best Alien Gear IWB Holster: Alien Gear Holsters Cloak Tuck 3.0 IWB Holster
Alien Gear is a company renowned for manufacturing holsters. This model of theirs features a Kydex frame mounted to a cloak tuck neoprene base and is our top pick for the best Alien Gear IWB holster.
The cant and ride height is easily adjustable and can worn in a variety of different concealed carry positions. What separates it from other holsters is the base, which provides added comfort while in position.
This holster from Alien Gear is an extremely comfortable option for everyday carry. The neoprene base one of the top selling points and the holster is built to last. During regular use, you may even forget it’s there.
6. Best Galco IWB Holster: Galco Kingtuk Inside the Waistband Holster
The Galco IWB holster features a napa leather base and Kydex body to securely hold your daily carry. This holster is exclusively designed to fit the Glock series, all the way from Glock 17 to Glock 33.
The base features two clips to attach to user's belts. The holster also adapts for several other Glock models with a sight attached.
If you own a Glock or several weapons of the Glock series, this holster is perfect for you. The holster is comfortable and offers adjustable retention and cant. You’ll even forget about it once it breaks-in. Leather construction lasts long, however, the price might be a concern for some.
7. Best IWB Magazine Holster: Concealed Carrier Universal IWB Holster For Concealed Carry
This pistol and magazine holster from Concealed Carrier features a universal fit for almost every small, medium, and large pistol.
The package is a combination of a pistol holster and magazine holster, which can be used for carrying lethal or non-lethal items.
The holsters have been constructed entirely from neoprene, making it very comfortable and soft to the touch.
Both the holster and the pouch have a metal clip which can be attached any belt. The holster ensures little to no printing and fits most guns. The retention is secured using a thumb strap on both items.
This universal IWB holster is exceptional and offers great comfort and protection. The neoprene design eliminates any chance of printing and the holster is quite slim in design. As an added bonus, the separate holster and mag pouch ensure that the unit appear too bulky.
8. Best Leather IWB Holster: Relentless Tactical The Defender Leather IWB Holster
Leather holsters are often a high-end, classy product for firearm owners. They are durable and easy to break in.
The same can be said for this holster.
It is handmade in the USA and fits most full-sized and compact guns. Clips ensure the holster can be easily attached to any belt and there's no retention or locking mechanism.
Designed as an open holster, this model works on the general principle of the leather’s ability to retain the weapon. Its good quality and precision may cover up any major flaws
This leather holster from Relentless is for people who are looking for a reliable, long lasting holster. It is reinforced well and easily conforms to the shape of your body. It fits most weapons and is perfect for people who are sensitive to other material.
To wrap things up, a good IWB holster offers exceptional concealment, prevents users from losing your weapon, and is not restricting in use.
We hope this review has helped outline some of the best IWB holsters and put you on the right path. If you end up choosing a model from our list, be sure to check-in after you've put it to the test. We'd love to hear what you think!
Best of luck!