Available among a lot of different holster designs is the small of back holster. Also known as an SOB or MOB (middle of back), these type of holsters offer great concealment and effective function to the bearer.
Here we’ll be talking about the design, features, and aspects of an SOB holster, outlining the qualities an ideal SOB holster must have. We will also review a few top of the line SOB holsters to help with your buying decision.
Best Small of Back Holsters Comparison Chart
Universal Small of Back Concealed Carry Holster
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Desantis Small of Back Holster for 1911
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Pro-tech Small of the Back Holster
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Magnetic Retention Belly Band Holster
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Active Pro Gear Small of the Back Concealment Holster
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Gould & Goodrich G&G Back Holster
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What is a Small of Back Holster?
As the name itself suggests, it is the position where this holster is worn. For those who don’t know, the small of the back is the curved region in the lower part of your back where the spine curves in at the level of the waist.
A Small of Back (SOB) holster is sometimes also referred to as a Middle of Back (MOB) holster because it is generally worn at the center of the lower back.
An SOB holster is meant to provide extensive concealment when you wear a jacket, suit, or short blazer. As sometimes, side draw belt holsters might protrude and depict, and outline of the weapon. These SOB holsters can be worn IWB or OWB depending upon your choice, which also classifies them as palm-in or palm-out designs.
There are several other uses of an SOB holster but more on that later.
Why are Small of Back (SOB) Holsters Ideal?
Well, there are quite a few good reasons to answer this question.
The first and foremost aspect that makes an SOB holster ideal is its concealment. SOB holsters are ideal for concealing small handguns. Any other holster type (IWB or open carry holsters) is prone to showing an outline of itself, or the weapon, while you move or sit. But, an SOB holster is technically immune to this problem.
Ease of Pocket Access
Another important aspect is the ease of pocket access. Nearly all holsters (except the ankle holster), sometimes make it difficult to access your pants or coat pockets.
An SOB holster eliminates this problem due to its wearing position. Apart from that, it is also not going to interfere with your daily tasks.
Prevention of Sway and Wobble
Furthermore, an SOB holster prevents any swaying or wobble of the holster while you jog or run. This feature is helpful while you have to climb stairs, run, or lift any weights while your gun is holstered.
SOB holsters are sometimes more comfortable than an IWB concealed carry holster. Especially when you are driving or sitting for short stretches of time.
Aspects of a Great Small of Back Holster
Everybody wants to own an ideal product. As a prerequisite to this, you must consider certain aspects which make that product stand out. Let's take a look at several aspects that make it great.
Due to the unconventional position an SOB holster has to be worn, it must be very comfortable. Kydex may be a good choice for the holster, but nylon or leather are more viable options for the holster as well as padding when it comes to comfort. Also, keep in mind your dominant hand when ordering an SOB holster because they are not ambidextrous.
Although SOB holsters offer good concealment, some designs make the barrel visible when used OWB or make the holster protrude. Additionally, you must also check with your wardrobe, so it complements your concealed carry with the SOB holster.
Draw and Retention
A good SOB holster must offer a quick draw, in the angle you are most comfortable with, although it takes some time and practice. Plus, the holster must also offer proper and adjustable retention, like any good holster does.
Are all Small of Back Holsters the Same?
Different SOB holsters have different configurations, dominant hand, material, and level of comfort. For example, nylon or leather-based holsters are a bit more comfortable than Kydex ones. Some have a flared opening at the end, and some don’t.
Similarly, some SOB holsters are designed to be used as IWB, whereas some as OWB. Each of them offers different levels of concealment.
Your SOB holster can be accessible either by ‘palm-in’ or ‘palm-out’ position. Palm out draw is somewhat more time consuming than a palm-in draw because you have to insert your hand in the narrow space between the gun and your spine to grip the weapon..
Additionally, some holsters have a thumb release retention strap that offers better retention and safety to the weapon.
Review of the Best Small of Back Holsters
Now that we understand the practical and possible uses of an SOB holster and the aspects which make one ideal, let's take a look and review the best small of back holsters available on the market.
Most of these holsters are universal for multiple gun models, whereas some are designed for specific gun types. It is also advised to check with your local concealed carry laws, so you don’t violate them by mistake.
1. Best Small of Back Holster: Universal Small of Back Concealed Carry Holster
The Universal Small of Back Holster is probably the best-concealed carry holster in this list. This holster is very small and compact and fits most mid and full sized pistols.
The holster has a clip to attach it to a belt, as well as a belt loop on another side. The holster can be used IWB as well as OWB and is ambidextrous.
The leather construction is great and loosens up with time for fit perfectly. The holster draws quickly, and the ‘not-so-big’ design prevents it from digging into your spine and making it uncomfortable.
The Universal SOB fits most medium and full sized pistols without much effort and retains them properly, which is its best property. The holster is compact, and the leather is comfortable. This is a must buy if you plan to holster different types of guns in your SOB holster.
2. Best Small of Back Holster Runner-up: Tri-slot SOB Concealed Carry Holster
The Tri-slot holster can be used as an SOB, or as a pancake holster. It offers a wide range of adjustments pertaining to the draw position and comfort. This holster fits most large to mid-sized handguns.
The holster is made up of nylon with a neoprene padding, which makes wearing it even more comfortable. It has screws to adjust the retention, and the three different belt loops allow the draw angle to be decided.
The Tri-holster houses most handguns, and its nylon body is quite comfortable. The retention and the draw angle are adjustable. The thumb strap provides extra security with retention. It is easy on your skin and is also covered by a lifetime warranty.
3. Best Small of Back Holster for 1911: Desantis Small of Back Holster for 1911
The Desantis SOB holster has been specially designed to accommodate handguns made on the 1911 frame.
The holster features a pure leather design with a properly shaped muzzle end, ensuring the barrel doesn’t dig into your back while you move or sit.
This 1911 holster is carried in "butt up" position and accommodates belts up to 1-1/2" wide. The retention device lets you holster your weapon securely into place.
The DeSantis holster is made up of leather and is capable of bearing heavy 1911 frames. The holster will stand the test of time and will provide a quick draw due to its angled design. Overall, the holster is good for an SOB of 1911 frame handguns on outings, for everyday carrying or hunting trips.
4. Best Small of Back Holster IWB: Pro-tech's Small of the Back Holster
The Pro-tech is a reliable IWB Small of Back Holster, which can carry all kinds of handguns ranging from compact to medium and large weapon frames.
The holster features an all nylon body with double stitched seams and a metal clip to attach it to your belt.
This model is small and compact and won’t hurt you on your spine. The holster is ambidextrous and offers good concealment even with loose t-shirts.
The pro-tech holster is a good SOB holster for everyday carry. The nylon fabric is comfortable, and the double stitched body is stable. The minimalist design is compact, and the holster is priced aptly.
5. Best Small of Back Holster OWB: Magnetic Retention Belly Band Holster
This magnetic retention OWB holster is more of a belly band holster which can be used at the SOB position. The holster has to be strapped around the lower back for use. It has a heat-resistant nylon pocket which is flexible enough to fit most guns.
The holster features a magnet in its base which helps in retaining the gun. The magnet is strong enough to prevent the gun from falling out and facilitates smooth draw and retention. The holster can hold guns fitted with lasers, lights, and sights. The design provides a lot of space and a perfect position for comfort.
The magnetic retention of the holster is a good feature which eliminates the need for straps, locks, and retention adjustment screws. The holster can fit attachments, works with many guns and is an all in one versatile product.
Although, it takes a certain amount of space and belly bands might feel uncomfortable for certain people. Plus, you have to use extra clothing for concealment.
6. Best Small of Back Concealed Carry: Active Pro Gear Small of the Back Concealment Holster
The Active Pro SOB holster features an angled draw and sits close to your body for concealment and comfort. The holster is designed for kidney carry as well, so you don’t feel uncomfortable while sitting or driving, and to avoid any serious spinal cord injury.
The holster is made of waterproof foam and is lined on both sides for a smooth draw. Webbing inside the holster protects the gun’s sights and retains a flare for easy re-holstering. Good for everyday carry.
The Active Pro holster is good for everyday carry use. The kidney carry option protects you from any unexpected spinal cord injury. The holster is waterproof and comfortable, offering good concealment.
7. Best Small of Back Leather Holster: Gould & Goodrich G&G Back Holster
This G&G SOB holster features a premium red leather body which has been formed and shaped to fit Sig Sauer P series handguns. The genuine leather is of high-quality and easily breaks within several days.
The holster is quite comfortable even when you sit or drive. The ‘gold-line’ genuine leather will last longer and so will the holster.
Minimalist design offers perfect concealment, and the retention adjustment screw allows you to adjust the friction as you desire. Perfect for all holster uses.
The G&G Holster features a top of the class leather body which is very comfortable for your body and your weapon. The holster is easy to conceal and offers retention adjustment. The only drawback is that the trigger guard is slightly visible and to remove the holster, you have to take off your belt. Overall, it is a good holster for everyday carry and outings.
A small of back holster is a good option to improve your efforts of concealment. An SOB holster must be comfortable and easy to draw for the user. Plus, the holster must provide proper retention for the weapon. An SOB holster can either be IWB or OWB, but eventually, it depends upon the preference of the user.