2020 Buyer’s Guide: The Best Paddle Holsters

| Last Updated: September 5, 2020

There are a number of holsters ranging from natural strong side belt holsters to the more esoteric, IWB appendix carry, or MOLLE vest style attachment. 

Known for being a very comfortable method of carrying, the external or Outside the Waist Band (OWB) holster is one of the most popular ways to carry a sidearm. It affords a better grip on the draw as it sits further off the skin, enabling you to get your entire hand on it in the right position.

However, the traditional holster that slides onto the belt has less flexibility in getting it on and off. Besides, there's a hidden cost, because the belt usually anchors an OWB rig to your body, it means you have to invest in a quality, strong gun belt, sturdy enough to not flex under the weight of a fully loaded firearm.

Comparison of the Best Paddle Holsters

  • Best Fobus paddle holster
  • Passive retention holster for a fumble-free draw when needed
  • Great option for competitions and range use
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  • Fobus paddle holster runner-up
  • Passive retention with steel reinforced rivets for extra stability
  • Rubberized paddle is flexible and conforms to body shape while moving
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  • Best paddle holster from Blackhawk
  • Patented SERPA lock for automatic locking-in upon holstering
  • Great holster for duty, range, and EDC use
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  • Best paddle holster made from Kydex
  • Paddle features cuts and vents for air to pass through and offer comfort
  • Rides close to the body and is adjustable for ride height
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  • Best Outside-the-Waistband(OWB) paddle holster
  • Auto-lock active retention with a finger-actuated release for safety
  • Paddle is full 360-degree adjustable for rotation
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What is a Paddle Holster?

A paddle holster consists of two sections: a holster and a "paddle" or duckbill, a flat, concave shaped plastic piece or stiffened leather that is worn inside the pants.

The holster secures itself with a paddle that slides inside your waistband generating friction to prevent the entire holster from being pulled away when the gun is drawn.

What Makes a Great Paddle Holster?

Therefore, these are the main reasons for the development of the revolutionary paddle holster - a holster that doesn't need a belt to be attached to and a holster, which is much easier to remove from your person.

A paddle holster looks and feels like a traditional on-the-belt holster, but offers a "no frills" minimalist design and provides high retention complemented with a streamlined and straightforward exterior.

Except for the primary benefit of easy removal, paddle holsters have are designed with an adjusting cant and grip angle feature to suit the user's preference.

Currently, high quality and durability material for carrying a paddle holster over an extended period of time are leather and plastic.

Leather paddles are strengthened by stitching and sometimes by inserting a small steel plate into the paddle for added support. The more prevalent materials are plastic offered in the form of molded nylon, Boltaron, and Kydex.

Body Clock (source)

Undoubtedly, the paddle holsters are notoriously bulky due to the way they angle out from the body, thereby making it easier for them to print. For that reason, it is usually recommended that you wear loose fitting shirts, coats, and jackets over the paddle holster, instead.

Below, we have offered a few good examples of the best paddle holsters; all of them would fulfill a lot of necessary purposes and will work well for your particular carry style and keeps excellent retention over the handgun.

Quick Take - The Best Paddle Holsters

These are our recommendations for the best paddle holsters:

  1. Fobus Glock GL2E2
  2. Fobus Standard Holster RH Paddle
  3. BLACKHAWK! Serpa Sportster Holster

Review of the Best Paddle Holsters

Let’s take a look at some of our favorite paddle holsters. We’re going to highlight each holsters main features then covers some important pros and cons -- stay tuned!

Best Overall:
Fobus Glock GL2E2


  • Protective sight channel
  • The holster is comfortable
  • It is an inexpensive option
  • Lightweight 2oz. paddle holster
  • Molded to fit the guns indicated in the description specifically
  • Offers a considerable amount of retention for passive retention only holster


  • Not a real "concealment" holster
  • The larger handguns may feel uncomfortable

What Recent Buyers Report 

According to a handful of new buyers, the holster’s security lock feature was solid and allowed to keep the pistol in place without a single instance of wiggling and slippage. The release was quick and allowed for fast drawing in a self-defense situation. Quality-wise, new buyers were pretty happy with the durability and lightweight, saying that even while carrying a loaded pistol it didn’t add on any additional weight. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This holster was designed to handle a good number of Glock pistols. So if you want a holster that’s just as reliable as the pistol itself, you may find this holster to be quite appealing to you. Not only that, it allows for excellent concealability. If you are looking for a holster that will keep your pistol under wraps and won’t attract any undue attention, this will probably be the one that will rise above the call of duty. Made from high-quality polymer, this holster will not change shape and will not cause any snagging. Just consistently fast drawings that will save you time and even your life. 

The Israeli Fobus E2 series is one of the most popular paddle holsters for semi-auto pistols as they are combat-proven, highly durable, and very affordable.

Fobus Evolution E2 Paddle Holsters for Glocks are made of lightweight and highly durable plastics, and include steel reinforced rivet attachments and a protective sight channel.

The E2 series holster attaches to the paddle backing with steel reinforced rivets. The paddle of this low profile holster also includes a rubberized insert to provide both comfort and stability.

The GL2E2 holster features one-piece body construction, and is designed as a high riding open carry holster for excellent firearm retention. The proven FOBUS passive retention design features an incorporated tension adjustment screw to allow the user to customize the ease of draw and the security of retention.

While the barrel of the handgun is held with 5 to 10 degree forward cant, the angle of the gun is fixed and not adjustable. This style covers the trigger guard and leaves the muzzle open, making it a great choice for open carry.

Who Will Use This Most 

If you own a Glock and want a holster that will handle a good number of pistols from the name trusted by many law enforcement and military members the world over, you’re going to love this holster for its toughness, reliability, and making sure that your pistol doesn’t wind up in the wrong hands. But thankfully, you have excellent concealability out of the whole thing. Wear this under a shirt and you’ll have out of plain sight carrying that will certainly be a plus for pistol owners. 

Bottom Line

The Fobus Evolution Paddle Holster might be the best quality holster for any Glock user. Whether you own a 17, a 19, or a 43 this should be a holster that will stand out in so many ways. Why settle for anything less if you want a holster that can last a long time, provide consistently fast drawings, and will make sure that your trusty Glock is at your side when you need it most. 

Draw requires a reasonably deliberate motion, but thanks to the adjustable passive retention screw and light coating of silicone, it makes drawing your pistol much easier.

Fobus Standard Holster RH Paddle SWMP S&W M&P 9mm.40.45 (Compact & Full Size), SD 9 &40


  • Holds up to wear and tear
  • Very affordable, but reliable holster
  • Lightweight (two ounces) paddle holster
  • Highly durable plastic is practically maintenance free
  • One holster is suitable for a large number of handguns
  • Passive retention is automatically engaged upon re-holstering


  • Not included any retention mechanism
  • Not intended for concealment, it has a noticeable print

What Recent Buyers Report

This was a hit with new buyers for a multitude of reasons. For one, the holster’s polymer material allowed for easy cleaning and maintenance and new users were really happy to own a holster that wasn’t afraid to get down and dirty. Furthermore, they were quite happy with the holster’s ability to hold their pistols in place while it maintained position and didn’t slide out of place. Overall, new users concluded the holster was comfortable and was easy to remove when they didn’t need it for the rest of the day.

Why it Stands Out to Us

If you are a right-handed shooter looking for the perfect straight draw holster, this might be right up your alley. Considering the fact that straight draw might be a little quicker than the cross draw, this holster is made from polymer to add the icing on the cake: making sure that the draw is indeed quick and easy compared to some holster that may allow slow, dragging draws. All and all, it’s a holster that is easy to clean and maintain while providing excellent support for your favorite pistol.

The Paddle version of the Fobus Standard Series is a passive retention holster that attaches to the person by a rubberized Paddle.

Like other Fobus paddle holsters, the standard holster is designed by an injected molding system that features a one-piece construction, made of high-density plastics.

The carrying of this holster implies very high riding, which is convenient for a deliberate and rapid upward motion, definitely enablingusers to draw pistols faster than typical leather holsters.

Besides, this extremely lightweight holster gives enhanced firearm retention. Moreover, the amount of friction holding the weapon in place can be adjusted via tension screw upon your personal preference.

Additionally, the Fobus Standard outside the waistband (OWB) holster utilizes a rubberized paddle and a reinforced steel rivet attachment system. This ensures your pants stay in one place with the holster while you draw the pistol.

However, this model has some minor complaints -- as an OWB holster, it's not nearly as concealable as an IWB. Therefore, you have to pay close attention to what you wear or check the laws in your state to make sure you have the right to open carry.

Who Will Use This Most

If you are starting out with concealed carry, this might be a holster that you’ll get to enjoy. It’s durable, easy to clean, and reliable. Of course, you can snag one of these at an affordable price so if you are looking for a starter holster, money shouldn’t be an issue. A great quality holster that is affordable in price might just be the best place to start.

Bottom Line

The Fobus Standard Holster RH Paddle will make straight drawing with your right-hand a breeze and will stand out as the best holster for the first time concealed carry users. You haven’t had quite an experience like carrying a pistol until you’ve used a holster that will hold up very good while drawing and allow for discreet carrying that won’t set off any alarm bells around you. 

Fobus holsters allow the possibility of wearing the paddle between your pants and belt for extra comfort against your body. While this passive retention holster includes a retention adjustment screw, if you are not satisfied with its drawing speed, you can also use silicone spray in the trigger guard area of the holster as a means of lowering the level of retention.

BLACKHAWK Serpa Sportster Holster


  • Retention is adjustable
  • Clicks when the gun is holstered
  • Passive retention with adjustable screw
  • Active retention keeps your weapon safe
  • Belt loop or paddle options for extra support option


  • Large and Bulky
  • Needs plenty of practice

What Recent Buyers Report

As expected, new users were able to utilize this pistol for the purpose of concealed carry and competitive purposes. Most of the users were able to draw from their holsters rather quickly and with smooth consistency as well. The belt was easy to attach and was able to maintain its position while shooters were walking or running during their “run and gun sessions”. One user said that the holster was pretty comfortable and didn’t weigh him down when he had a loaded pistol sitting in it.

Why it Stands Out to Us

If you want a pistol that is perfect for either right-handed or left-handed shooters, this might be your ticket to better-concealed carry, faster drawing, and better peace of mind in knowing that you will be protected and prepared for any situation where danger may lurk. And it will be the holster that will make your draw times consistently faster than most holsters, which is a good thing if you are a competitive shooter.

Blackhawk has established a benchmark in the holster industry by offering one of the most secure holsters of any kind, suitable for everyday carry and tactical gear enthusiasts.

The Serpa Sportster Holster is made of injection-molded polymer and designed as a level 2 holster, where the second level lock retention utilizes a mechanical lock, that grasps the trigger guard from the inside.

The drawing motion is a natural extension of your index finger and pressing a button makes it nearly impossible for anyone to take your firearm from your holster.

Like other counterparts, SERPA Sportster holster from Blackhawk comes with a paddle rig and an interchangeable belt loop rig. This enables the owner to use a variety of additional accessories including vest rigs and shoulder harness rigs.

As for the concealment, though Serpa's design keeps it close to the body, Sportster holsters are suitable as cold weather concealed OWB.

Who Will Use This Most

If you want a holster for concealed carry, competition shooting, or both and don’t want to deal with leather (like the previous holster), then this could be a viable alternative for you. Make no mistake about it, it’s a pretty good holster to have on hand for the long-term. Why say no to the consistent quick drawing that will stand out as the go-to option for those who want a little speed and reliability?

Bottom Line

If you want quick drawing, superior reliability, and excellent concealability all rolled into one nice little package the Blackhawk Serpa Sportster Holster will be the best option for you. Don’t be shocked if you strap on this bad boy to your favorite belt or waistband and it keeps its position while making sure you get quick drawing ability that will put you ahead of the competition and even the threats against your life. 

Without a doubt, the Serpa holster dual mounting systems fit a variety of needs. The holster itself can oriented vertically, with a forward cant, or a reverse cant. With such a unique design, a SERPA auto-lock keeps the gun secure but also requires some getting used to.

Uncle Mike's Kydex Off-Duty and Concealment OT Hip Holster with PBA


  • The holster is not gun specific
  • Adjustable for cant and tension
  • The molded form of the holster holds the pistol in place
  • Rides close to the body at mid-level height; near-vertical rake for conventional behind-the-hip carry
  • Low ejection port cutaway allows the shooter to draw the firearm out of the holster a lot faster than other holster that cover it


  • Not convenient for conceal carry
  • An open holster without retention system or thumb break

What Recent Buyers Report 

This holster was a major hit with new users for those who have heard of the material Kydex before. Which comes as no surprise since it indeed one of the fastest-growing materials in popularity. Users say that the holster was durable and provided a good deal of quick, consistent drawing that was super key for those using a pistol in self-defense or competitive shooting. Even one user said that while tough as nails, it was light in weight and didn’t feel any heavier once he holstered his loaded pistol. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

As we mentioned, Kydex is a material that has quickly become more popular than all the other materials ever used in a holster. It might be miles better than nylon and perhaps more superior in durability than polymer and leather. Simply put, it’s a kind of material that is guaranteed to last you a long time while being able to provide quick and consistent drawing for when you need it the most. A quick draw time will definitely save your bacon or set you ahead of the competition (depending on the application).

Uncle Mike’s a big name in the gun accessories and tactical gear world, with a long history of making quality holsters.

The Kydex Off-Duty and Concealment OT Hip Holster is their entry into the paddle holster market and offers users the ability to wear it either behind the hip or in the appendix position; a neat feature that set it apart from the competition.

Furthermore, the body’s lead edge of this model has been cut down for a faster draw, allowing you to move the muzzle of your handgun forward even before completely clearing the holster.

Uncle Mike’s tactical holster can be angled forward or back via mounting screws, while the retention tension is also easily adjustable. This Kydex, open-top hip holster has air vents and very firm paddle arrangement, meaning it will ride close to the body at a mid-level height.

Made from injection-molded plastic, Uncle Mike’s tactical holster will conveniently fit several handgun models. Like all paddle holsters, this model is a little bulky for CCW without a longer concealment garment.

Who Will Use This Most 

If you really want to know what the big idea is about Kydex, then you want to give this paddle holster a go. It will give you excellent durability, top-notch reliability, and overall comfort in a holster that you won’t get enough of using. For all your concealed carry, competitive shooting, or both this holster will have its uses. It just might set the stage for other holsters to follow its lead and become more durable with the use of Kydex. 

Bottom Line

If you want a holster that will truly last you a long period of time, the Uncle Mike’s Kydex Off-Duty OT Hip Holster will not disappoint you in the slightest. Once you add this to your hip or appendix carry position, you’ll have a holster that will withstand the tests of time and frequent drawing and re-holstering. This might be the best quality holster on the market based on the material alone. 

Remarkable for a low-cost holster, Uncle Mike's open top hip holster is fully adjustable for cant and tension, something that is more difficult to accomplish within it's price class.

Polymer OWB Holster for Taurus G2C G3C G2S G3 TX22 Millennium G2 PT111 PT138 PT140 PT145 - Index Finger Released | Adjustable Cant | Autolock | Outside Waistband | Right Handed


  • Non-expansive
  • Easy maintenance
  • Level 2 (II) Auto lock System
  • Paddle or belt clip is optional
  • The adjustable tilt angle rotates 360 degrees
  • Automatic locking when your gun is reholstered


  • The fit on PT 111 is a little loose
  • Will not fit Gen1 PT111 Millennium
  • Not so convenient for a conceal carry

What Recent Buyers Report 

This holster was an excellent fit for most users who were in search of a holster for Taurus pistols. In fact, when one user tried it out he was quite happy with the fit not only for his pistol but also for the tactical belt that he recently purchased. Upon testing it out at the range, he said that it really made his drawing time a lot faster than his previous holster, a nylon holster that would snag on him from time to time. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

Taurus pistols are often one of those underrated and underappreciated pistols that prove their worth in a concealed carry or target shooting application. And it deserves a high-quality holster that will give it maximum support and concealability. Furthermore, it gets excellent security from an auto-lock feature that will keep the pistol secure and preventing it from getting it into the wrong hands. If safety and security are what you want out of a holster, this might be a pistol that is right up your alley.

The  PT111 G2 from Taurus is one of the most popular compacts and is mainly used for defensive purposes. This models fits PT111 PT132 PT138 PT140 PT145 PT745, OWB Tactical Pistol Holsters and includes a black microfiber gun cloth.

With its lightweight polymer frame, thin profile, and ramped 3.2-inch barrel, the new version called "Millennium G2" is a perfect pistol for concealed carry, either at the waist or in a purse. Sumtop offers such holsters from CYTAC manufacturer that will enhance the portability of the PT111 and Taurus whole lineup of Millennium Generation 2 sidearms.

As a fairly inexpensive tactical holster, it features a Level 2 (II) safety locking mechanism with built-in quick-release and an audible quick-locking button upon re-holstering. Its passive retention system is designed in a way that the only point of contact the handgun has with the holster is where the trigger guard touches the frame.

The holster body height can be easily adjusted too, offering a full 360 degrees of rotation for every application (i.e. small of the back, cross draw). In addition, you can also adjust the holster cant with the included Allen key, but you will have to wear a very loose fitting shirt to cover it.

While the Sumtop's holster features a smooth interior, this ensures quick draw and re-holstering. Its included soft silicone paddle provides comfortable and easy securing of the holster too. Moreover, the Sumtop OWB Taurus Millennium G2 is made of durable high-tech Military Grade polymer materials, it is maintenance free and has extreme temperature tolerance (-30℃ to 180℃).

Who Will Use This Most 

If you own a Taurus Millenium G2 or a similar pistol, you might just hit the jackpot with this holster. It’s high in quality so it’s built to last you quite a long time. And it’s not as high maintenance as some holsters. In other words, if it gets down and dirty you can easily clean it up afterward. Other than that, it’s a paddle holster that delivers on the promise in terms of comfort and reliability. 

Bottom Line

The Sumtpo Taurus Millennium G2 OWB Paddle Holster could be the only holster that can handle Taurus pistols and go above and beyond the tasks that any other holster would kill to do. With a security lock feature that allows you only access to the pistol (and to no one else) and a solid quality that will allow for no-snag drawing, this holster should be a hit with Taurus owners everywhere. 

Sumtop OWB Tactical Millennium G2 Holster is compatible with most of Taurus PT series pistols and can be attached to a paddle, belt clip, MOLLE, or drop leg platform. However, it will not fit Gen 1 PT111 Millennium handguns.


  • Paddle or belt clip is optional
  • An Iron-clad triple guarantee
  • Adjustable retention and cant
  • Spring steel flexplate for added retention
  • Includes paddle and slide for user configuration


  • The most expensive option
  • The interior of the holster can rub the finish off of your weapon

What Recent Buyers Report

Many new users were really happy with the holster and its ability to handle a number of compact pistols for concealed or open carry (where allowable). This holster was able to fit on most belts and waistbands while keeping itself in place when users were in motion. One user said that he managed to get a good comfortable fit out of it and his pistol was quick and easy to access. To add, his drawing times were considerably faster than when he had a nylon holster.

Why It Stands Out To Us

Alien Gear is known for making some really tough holsters that stand the test of time. This one is no exception. This holster is simple in design and simple to tack on. So if you want a holster that isn’t too complicated to use and will have the ability to accept compact or even some full-sized pistols, the Cloak Mod will deliver on the promise. 

Alien Gear enjoys an excellent reputation in the scene of holsters and the Cloak MOD OWB Holster represents their newest addition to a line of holsters with a distinct, modular design.

It's an outside-the-waistband holster, which uses either a paddle or a slide feature to attach it to your belt. It's made from a mixture of rubber, nylon, and steel and built to last. A steel, spring-flex plate is the retention provider and is placed between the top surface membrane layer and the rigid nylon backer.

While the curved paddle, which is uniquely designed in the shape of an alien head, allows for quick placement or removal of the holster, a belt slide attachment is entirely different from the ordinary, rigid belt slide option.

The Cloak Mod has a rigid back plate and features multiple mounting points for the belt slide or paddle attachment. This allows you to adjust retention and set cant, which let you determine your preferred draw.

The customization of the Cloak Mod OWB holster means that the outer holster shell is weapon specific, but also exchangeable. As with other Alien Gear holsters, you are still allowed to swap out the custom-molded retention shells, making the holster suitable to a different handgun. Lastly, the manufacturer offers a 30-day test drive and lifetime warranty.

Who Would Use This Most?

This will be an excellent holster that will be used by law enforcement, military personnel, or even civilians who tend to conceal or open carry for self-defense. These paddle holsters provide excellent comfort and will make sure that you are prepared for any dangerous situation where a pistol may be warranted. It’s better to prepare yourself than never at all. 

Bottom Line

The Alien Gear Cloak Mod OWB Paddle Holster has stated a pretty strong case as to why it might be one of your best choices for a paddle holster. If you want something that will give you quick drawing and re-holstering without the snagging, this could be the go-to option for you. Keep your favorite pistol at your side with a holster like this and you surely won’t go wrong. 

This Alien Gear Cloak Mod OWB features a relatively easy on-off design, but also provides very convenient versatility through its modularity. Any previous shells that you may own from Alien Gear will work perfectly with this holster.


  • Adjustable tension
  • Constructed of premium steer hide
  • Fits comfortably with decent retention
  • "Speed Paddle" system for easy takeoff
  • More friction to wear and tear than plastic


  • The paddle is a little short
  • The holster rides high to some users

What Recent Buyers Report 

A lot of new buyers were looking for a holster that would be perfect for competitive shooters like themselves. They found this holster to match their criteria in various categories. For one, it was proven fit for a good number of Colt pistols (and also other names like Springfield). And it allowed for quick drawing without a single instance of snagging. One user said that he loved this holster for its looks and the ability to draw quickly and consistently, which was a must in competitive shooting situations. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This holster is a good looking holster. That’s because it’s made from high-quality leather that will give it that timeless look. It might look like your father’s (or grandfather’s) pistol holster from when you were a kid. But nevermind the looks of it all. Consider the performance: it’s durable and can handle a good amount of drawing and re-holstering. And best of all, it’s a good holster that will be great for concealed carry or competitive shooting purposes. In plain English, it’s a versatile holster that will probably last you a long time and still maintain its firmness over the next few years. 

An iconic firearm like the 1911 deserves a classic holster such as the Galco Speed top-quality leather holster. Made from premium saddle leather, this holster features a "Speed Paddle" system, built with a co-polymer injection-molded belt-lock paddle and is suitable for quick arming and disarming.

This Galco Belt Holster features an open-top design for quick draw and firearm access, which is highly appreciated among the gun competition community. It also has a covered trigger guard that offers improved safety and tension-screw adjustment system for added security.

The Galco Speed paddle pistol holster features an elegant leather design with an outstanding finish requesting a little time for break-in. However, some users' complaints that the paddle is too small for the weight of the full-size pistol such as 1911 5-Inch Colt, since the weight of the magazine pulls the top-heavy grip away from shooters body.

Who Will Use This Most 

If you want a holster that’s built for speed, this is it. You can find a pistol like a Springfield XD or a compact-sized Colt and fit it onto this sucker. Yeah, it will give you excellent concealability and comfort. But it will keep you ahead of the curve if you are able to draw it from your holster much faster than normal. What more can you ask from a holster like this? It’s high-performing and high-quality. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Bottom Line

The Galco Speed Paddle Holster for 1911 is perhaps the one holster that will benefit both concealed carry and competitive shooters alike in so many ways. You can get the best in concealability and fast drawing all in one nice little package. And on top of that, it’s pretty good looking too. Don’t be shocked if you somehow end up turning a few heads at the range (or maybe endless compliments on the holster’s looks alone). 

The Speed Paddle Holster by Galco will fit the shape of your 1911 with a custom-tailored design, that includes a belt-lock paddle, making it possible to attach on and take off without removing your belt.


  • Forever warranty
  • Very comfortable fit
  • Adjustable retention, cant, and ride
  • The hybrid holster can be attached to any belt or waistband


  • Wears easily
  • Very difficult to re-holster the weapon with one hand

What Recent Buyers Report

This holster was impressive with a good number of new users. Not only was it super sturdy in strength, but it had no trouble retaining its position while strapped to most waistbands. One user said it was more comfortable to wear in an appendix carry position compared to the 3 o’clock position. He also added that the quality was pretty solid and cleaning and maintaining it was easy as pie. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

We wrap up the review list with another holster from Alien Gear. This holster is the epitome of what an IWB holster should be: excellent comfort, allows for maximum concealability, and fast drawing that will never slow down no matter how long you use the holster itself. It’s a holster that doesn’t change shape nor will it sag over time. 

One of the most user-friendly holsters focused on all-day comfort comes from Alien Gear, a company that is constantly innovating its products.

For this overview, we have chosen their 3.0 version of Cloak Tuck inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster, available for nearly 600 handgun models.

Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.0 IWB Holster comes out of the box with a recommendation to carry at a 4:30 position and manufacturer claim that it requires zero break-in time.

Furthermore, the Alien upgraded holster comes preset with cant, ride height, and retention, but you also have 3 types of spacers and screws as an option so the holster can be customized to your exact preferences.

You can also attach this hybrid holster either on your waistband or on your belt using adjustable steel or nylon clips, making it versatile and able to switch between belt slide and paddle attachments.

While the Cloak Tuck 3.0 is molded around Boltaron shell, the rest is made from a mix of materials. A strong stainless spring-steel core inside the backer is coated with a layer of ballistic nylon and soft neoprene, which reduces hardware exposure to the skin, and cushions the holster against the body.

All these options make printing (unintentionally showing the outline of a handgun) nonexistent and provide good concealment. The retention of this advanced Cloak Tuck 3.0 holster that can be adjusted by tightening or loosening screws on the holster shell to the exact angle and height you prefer.

However, there are some user complaints, such as one on reholstering the handgun due to one side being soft or easily scratching the holster.

Who Will Use This Most 

If you are in search of a paddle holster that won’t take up too much room but can still deliver a comfortable, stealthy concealed carry experience this is the holster you deserve. You can strap this on at any given position and be able to draw it cross-body or straight. Either way, you’re prepared for what might happen next in a dangerous situation. And hopefully, it’s your assailant that thinks the better of it and runs away. 

Bottom Line

The Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.0 IWB Holster is nice and flat but gives you the best in concealed carry for most pistols that deliver powerful, reliable shooting in survival situations. This holster is built like a tank and certainly easy to strap on for all-day carry or whenever you’re at the range for a target shooting session. 

Engineers at Alien Gear Holsters make constant improvements on this IWB holster by applying the latest advanced materials in its construction. The Cloak Tuck holster is held tight against the body, making gun printing almost invisible under the loose shirt.

Are Paddle Holsters Good Daily Carries?

Actually, paddle holsters are more popular in recent years than belt slide holsters, as they offer excellent grip retention over the handgun. While the passive retention is almost perfect for the occasional user, for the people who carry a paddle holster daily, active retention is a must.

Because the paddle holster isn’t stuck to your belt, this method of securing the holster to the wearer gives you another benefit as you can easily slide it around your body until you find a comfortable position.

By using a paddle holster, you're no longer dependent on a belt. However, please note that paddle holsters tend to be larger and bulkier and tend to print more often than standard on-the-belt carry models.

A second disadvantage is that its security is not as great as a holster secured with a belt, as the paddle holster relies on the friction of the "paddle" to keep it in place. You should also keep in mind that paddle holsters sometimes tilt the butt of the firearm inward, pushing the barrel out and making the gun more identifiable.

How to Wear a Paddle Holster

Since the paddle holster does not have to be on your belt, this gives you a lot of wearing options, making it almost a universal holster.

On the other side, the use of a belt is still recommended due to another layer (the belt) between the side of the holster and the holster paddle. Note that the paddle has to be put in between your pants and underwear and not over the belt.

The standard holster location for a right-handed users is at 3-o'clock and 9-o'clock for lefties. If you feel like this position is unnatural, you can slide the holster around your waist until it settles into a comfortable, natural point along the curve of your body.


If you're not a fan of the classic pancake style, you should consider a paddle type holster because they are an enormously popular. Ultimately, there's no "best" paddle holster, but we have selected a handful of the top-rated paddle holsters and provided them to you, knowing that everybody has their own preferences. Many paddle holsters are often made with polymer, but leather holsters have their own charm since leather is the ultimate heritage material.

With this, paddle designs are more convenient, comfortable, and versatile, but can never be a 100% anchor like a belt-mounted holster. We hope this has been helpful in outlining some of the best paddle holsters.

He is a military historian enthusiast and hobbyist, war veteran and an avid hunter with more than 30 years of experience. He began reviewing firearms for publications in the mid -1990s and have been fortunate to make many friends in the industry. He has improved continuously his firearms skills and knowledge, which is a never ending journey.

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