The Best Outside the Waistband (OWB) Holsters of 2019 | Buyer’s Guide

The OWB holster has become a major option for dedicated concealed carriers and those who can legally open carry in public. The best outside waistband holster– the one that actually performs like you need it to, with the longevity of materials and smart design features – does exist.

Looking for the right OWB holster can be a daunting challenge, as a wide variety of holsters exist, from synthetic materials to leather, and soft-sided to rigid holsters. What you need to know to select the perfect holster for you, is contained in this article.

This list will give you the resources and understanding you need to pick an excellent holster that will serve you well for years.

Best Outside the Waistband (OWB) Holsters Comparison Chart

PRODUCT
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BLACKHAWK!! SERPA CQC Concealment Holster

  • Best OWB holster on our list
  • Patented SERPA lock for flawless retention and quick-draw
  • Modular mounting platform and paddle adjustable for cant and ride height
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BLACKHAWK!! Serpa Sportster Holster

  • OWB holster runner-up
  • Durable and lightweight polymer construction and paddle-mounted operation
  • Great OWB holster for civillian use and range carry
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Sumtop Taurus Millennium G2 Paddle Holster

  • OWB holster second runner-up
  • Index-finger actuated active retention button lock for extra safety
  • 360-degree adjustable paddle and ideal for duty and range use
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R&R Holsters: OWB Kydex Holster

  • Best OWB Kydex holster for durability
  • 0-15-degree cant adjustments and partial sweat-guard backing
  • One-year replacement warranty and variants available for different handguns
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DTOM Premium Leather Universal OWB

  • Best leather OWB holster
  • Works both IWB and OWB with belt clip and belt loops
  • Compact and ambidextrous design works with most large and compact frames
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DTOM Premium Leather Universal OWB

  • Best OWB Kydex pancake holster
  • Two removable OWB belt loops properly spaced for weight displacement
  • Adjustable retention and genuine contouring to ensure minimal printing every time
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Galco Fletch High Ride Belt Holster for Sig-Sauer P226, P220

  • Best high-ride OWB holster
  • Specially designed for Sig Sauer P220 and P226
  • Full high-grade leather design to ensure safety and comfort
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The Benefits of Carrying OWB

Outside Waistband holsters fit a specific, but relatively broad range of uses. They are an extremely versatile option that can be accessed quickly in stressful situations and are incredibly intuitive.

There are few ways to go wrong with the placement and design of a quality, well-engineered OWB holster.

An OWB holster is a perfect fit for those who carry openly. There is no more versatile or proven design of a holster for this carry type.  

It will be easily indexed in the same place every time, and the retention, access, and positioning are unparalleled compared to other options.

For some concealed carriers, particularly those who sit or stand a lot during the day will benefit from the comfort of an Outside Waistband Holster.

True, it is not the easiest holster to conceal, though it can still be hidden under a concealed carry jacket or a larger shirt.

Larger people may have an improved experience with regards to avoiding having “gun print” (depending on their clothing choices).

Gun print is when a gun or gun profile/outline can be seen under/through the clothing you are wearing. Sometimes printing is unavoidable.

Which is Best: IWB vs. OWB?

This is a less cut and dry answer than a situational answer. Sometimes one will make sense over the other. There are definitely times when OWB is a better option.

Listed below are those times when an OWB holster will be best:

  • When you are open carrying and want the most comfort.

  • When you have a heavy gun and need good support, but cannot afford for hesitation or for your firearm to be stuck when drawn.

  • An outside waistband holster is excellent for smaller or thinner guns that you need to be grabbed quickly.

  • OWB makes incredible sense when you spend a lot of time sitting or have a daily routine that requires frequent vehicle travel

  • An outside waistband holster is the undisputed champion when the frequent use of the firearm is mandated, such as duty weapons/law enforcement or when there is a legitimate chance for unholstering your weapon frequently, like high-risk public facing professions. (Note: this is not an endorsement for frequently unholstering your weapon, simply an understanding that some jobs are higher risk than others.)

Quick Take - The Best OWB Holsters

Review of the Best OWB Holsters

Here are some of the best OWB Gun Holsters available in the market and we have closely examined each of them for you. You can find more details along with Pros and cons of each of them below.

1. Best OWB Holster: BLACKHAWK!! SERPA CQC Concealment Holster

BLACKHAWK! Serpa CQC 410502BK-R Holster Glock 19,23,32,36 Matte Black

Very few OWB holsters are as proven as this holster. It is a powerhouse; well made, retains your firearm substantially; is versatile, and offers inexpensive options.

For a shooter who needs the best option for their OWB holster, and can handle a rigid, composite material holster, this is a great piece.

Pros

  • Well made
  • Lightweight
  • Proven design

Cons

  • Will Print Heavily Under Tighter Clothing; Not Easiest to Conceal

Bottom Line

A proven company and a proven design, this is a fantastic competition rig, concealed carry (with a bit more bulk being acceptable), and duty option. This has all the best features of the OWB holster and takes a top spot relative to most peers.

2. Best OWB Holster Runner-up: BLACKHAWK!! Serpa Sportster Holster

Frigidaire FFRS1022R1 10000 BTU 115-volt Slider/Casement Room Air Conditioner with Full-Function Remote Control

If you want the best grip for a sure-handed draw, and want OWB styling without the extra bulk, this is a solid option.

It is tough, good-looking, and features benefits that are hard to compete with for the money.

You will appreciate the adjustable retention and tensioners, as well as the fully accessible grip frame of your firearm. Excellent variability and gun specific models are available.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Made to Last
  • Great Retention
  • Full Grip Available at All Times

Cons

  • A Bit Bulkier on Profile, due to Full Retention Clip/Trigger Guard Piece

Bottom Line

This is the best choice for those who MUST have the trigger guard clip and the multiple tension points. This is a best-in-class, non-leather duty holster and will work very well for concealed carry needs also.

Serious competition and law enforcement chops, as well as the ability to confidently carry concealed (though there might be a small amount of printing). This is a serious option for any dedicated OWB loyalist.

3. Best OWB Holster Second Runner-up: Sumtop Taurus Millennium G2 Paddle Holster

CYTAC Taurus PT111 G2 Holsters, OWB Holster for Taurus G2C Millennium G2 PT132 PT138 PT145 PT745(NO PRO), Tactical Outside The Waistband Belt Holsters with 360°Adjustable Paddle - Right Hand

Purpose-built for the Taurus lineup of smaller framed firearms made for OWB carry specifically, this is a great option for those who require sure retention, easy access, and a lightweight holster.

The simple design is still loaded with creature comforts and the price is definitely right. It is very specific in its use, but this is a perfect companion for the Taurus semi-autos.

Pros

  • Simple design
  • Great aesthetics
  • Solidly built and the retention is very good

Cons

  • Made Specifically for the Taurus family of Semi-Autos

Bottom Line

The Taurus Millennium G2 and other similar models, (like the PT745), are great concealed carry options. This holster is improved for the day-to-day carrier. This match up is excellent.

The quality and capabilities of this holster far outweigh its price. Don’t be thrown off by the model specificity, this is a company that makes quality goods and you can order a different fitment if needed.

4. Best OWB Kydex Holster: R&R Holsters: OWB Kydex Holster

OWB Holster (Right-Hand, Taurus PT 140/111 Gen 2)

This is a best-in-class contender for the mass-produced Kydex OWB holster that actually is an effective straight up-and-down or slightly angled option.

The vast range of fitments makes this an easy choice for variability in makes and models. Robust build quality and good adjustability make it an excellent choice.

Pros

  • Well-Made Units
  • Massive Fitment Chart/Options
  • Pro 4

Cons

  • Kydex Vacuum-Formed Holsters Aren’t for Everyone

Bottom Line

If you like Kydex and you want an OWB, this one won’t disappoint. The price is affordable and has a range of features. The simple straightforward adjustment and options make this a future-proof option.

5. Best Leather OWB Holster: DTOM Premium Leather Universal OWB

Frigidaire FFRS1022R1 10000 BTU 115-volt Slider/Casement Room Air Conditioner with Full-Function Remote Control

Versatility is the name of the game for this holster. It can be used in OWB and IWB carry or as a sleeve fit holster. This holster can pull double duty.

The simplicity, ingenuity, and intuitiveness of the design make this a hit with just about any shooter in need of a solid carry, and excellent universality.

Pros

  • Intuitive use
  • Variable Configuration
  • Inexpensive and Well Made
  • Universal Simple Sleeve Design Methodology

Cons

  • Too Simple for Many Carry Scenarios

Bottom Line

If you want simplicity and universal usage, this is the top choice. If you need a more robust build, this might be a bit too simplistic. The materials and design make this a holster that is hard to hate and hard to beat up.

The design is timeless and isn’t overcomplicated. This is a no novelty, no-frills piece that can easily revolutionize the way you think about holsters.

6. Best OWB Kydex Pancake Holster: K Pounds LLC OWB Pancake Holster

OWB Pancake,CZ,P-01,1.50' H Belt Loop,Right Hand,FBI – 15 Degree,Black

A great pancake style holster made of Kydex that combines classic design architecture with the newest material to hit the holster world.  

This has an amazing design and offers great perks for a holster that normally costs significantly more for a custom build.

This is well suited to the lines of the gun it’s made for, (the CXP-01), a gun that often top-tier carry gear.

The multiple design aspects harness the best design features from each of the different design inspirations and make this a truly hybrid offering that doesn’t discount form or function.

Pros

  • Form-fitting
  • Top Quality Materials
  • Excellent Fit and Finish
  • Excellent Draw Angle Choice
  • Good Aesthetics and Edge Designs

Cons

  • Made Only for the CZ P-01
  • times-circle
    Pricey Compared to Other Offerings

Bottom Line

If you own a CZ P-01, this is a serious contender for your accessory dollars – the price is worth every penny. The design philosophy is much better than most Kydex holsters available.

As a result, you get a much better, snag-free fit and finish, an attention to detail rarely seen on mass-produced products, and the best-in-class holster for this particular gun.

7. Best High Ride OWB Holster: Galco Fletch High Ride Belt Holster for Sig-Sauer P226, P220

Galco Fletch High Ride Belt Holster for Sig-Sauer P226, P220 (Tan, Right-Hand)

A time-tested, proven design from one of the oldest makers of premium holsters still in existence. This is a holster that has been well vetted and well used by many hardcore users of OWB holster.

The fact that it has not been discontinued or changed significantly since its inception proves its wherewithal and the serious design chops from many years ago.

If you want a leather holster for your Sig P220 or P226 it is very hard to beat this one.

Pros

  • Proven Design
  • Proven Brand Name
  • Beautiful Construction
  • Long Lasting Durability

Cons

  • Slightly Expensive

Bottom Line

Galco has always been a premium maker of OWB holsters. The Fletch is a gorgeous option that you’ll almost be sad to conceal. The high ride position and the good grip angle gives a lot of versatility for carrying positions.

The robust leather build and sure fit of the leather against the gun mean you won’t have to rely on gimmicks for retention. When all is said and done, you will enjoy the way the Galco crew has handled this holster on the market since it was introduced so many years ago. Some things are timeless for a reason.

Conclusion

An outside waistband holster can be an easy choice as a holster style for many users; particularly those who need quick, unrestricted access to their firearms, will be transitioning from sitting to standing frequently, or those who will be traveling in a vehicle often as they carry.

The OWB market is very broad and there are many pretenders that mimic the best versions.

We suggest you look past the cheap replicas and find a quality, capable OWB gun holster that will meet all your needs. It doesn’t have to have a high price tag to be a high-quality holster.

This list is proof that the best holsters have a wide range of capabilities and price points.

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