The 5 Best Holsters of 2019 [Field Tested & Reviewed]

Which product offers the best value for money? The decision on which holster you’re going to buy is the most important ones you can make after buying a gun. There is a wide variety of types and styles of holsters on the market right now, but they’re not all perfect for concealed carry. So what makes a reliable concealed carry holster?

The concept of safety always comes first.  As a gun owner, you can’t have missed the safety rules by now, but if this is the case: treat every weapon like it’s loaded, don’t point it at anything you can risk destroying, and don’t touch the trigger until you intend to fire, with your finger or anything else.

The trigger could get caught and the gun could go off by accident, and that’s the last thing you want. Weapons have discharged when being holstered because something got caught in the trigger and pulled it.

This is why it is crucial that you learn how to safely re-holster your handgun to make sure you know how it is done. Don’t rush it. You should always take care to ensure your gun’s path is clear of any foreign objects, including your own hands, before holstering it.

Best Holsters 2019

Product Image
Best Feature
Grade
Price
Glock 26 ShapeShift Starter Kit
Flexibility, designed for optimal performance
A
CYA Supply Co IWB Holster Fits Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm
Quality material, easy to adjust
A
Glock 19 ShapeShift Starter Kit
Compact and versatile
A-
CarryGear Advanced Breathable belly Band Holster
Top quality neoprene material
A-
ComfortTac Ultimate Belly band Holster
Flexibility and stability
A-

1. Glock 26 ShapeShift Starter Kit

The Glock 26 ShapeShift Starter Kit is our top choice because it can easily be converted to a full-size pistol as it can accept larger magazines. This isn’t to say it can’t accept shorter magazines and function as a subcompact, ideal for concealed carry.

That’s some much-needed flexibility and versatility, which is also why a Glock 26 ShapeShift Starter Kit is the ideal choice. The starter kit lets the owner conceal his gun via multiple methods, and it’s suitable for open carry as well.

You can conceal the weapon with a traditional IWB or appendix carry holster or with the belt slide holster with an OWB. Alternatively, you could carry it openly with the paddle holster. The Glock 26 itself can be used in various different ways, so we’re not surprised this holster has become a best-seller.

This holster is designed for optimal performance. It offers great comfort to the user and can be carried over an extended period of time. It is made of real leather, which makes it strong and durable.

It combines function, durability, and comfort to give the user a product they can rely on for a long time. This IWB holster ensures concealed carry plus comfort at a relatively high price compared to analogical products. We find it is great value for money because it is reliable, sturdy, and form fitted, making it easy to offer concealed carry and fast access. The flexible holster is the perfect choice for people who carry their guns every day.

Pros

  • High quality
  • Sturdy and wide
  • Slim
  • Lightweight
  • Conceals well

Cons

  • Expensive

2. CYA Supply Co IWB Holster

The CYA Supply Co IWB Holster Fits Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm/ .40 S&W is made in the USA by a veteran-owned company. This concealed carry holster is worn inside the waistband (IWB) and guarantees concealed carry. Designed with the user’s comfort in mind, the design and materials used are tailored to meet the needs of many gun owners.

If you choose to use this holster, quality is guaranteed. It is made of a Boltaron material of .08 inches thickness. The whole body is made of stainless steel black oxide hardware. The belt clips are 1.5 inches wide. On t he downside, it can only fit a few firearms.

Its retention is really good, and the holster is easily adjustable. This means that you can set its carry angle from 0 to 15 degrees and the retention pressure as per your comfort level.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Comfortable
  • Great retention
  • Stable
  • Sweat shield works quite well

Cons

  • Fits only a few firearm models

3. Glock 19 ShapeShift Starter Kit

The Glock 19 is the perfect combination between a weapon that is compact enough for concealed carry, yet big enough for use on duty. This is why the Glock 19 ShapeShift Starter Kit is on our top 5 list. This holster package gives a user almost everything they could need for carrying.

The Appendix Carry Holster and 4.0 IWB configurations allow for an unimaginably comfortable carry. The Belt Slide OWB is perfect for easy outside-wasteband concealment and you just won’t find as durable, versatile, or customizable an OWB as this Paddle Holster. The variety of carry options is perfect for the Glock 19, as you can carry the pistol any way you want.

This is an innovate, creative product with four comfortable carry styles for both open and concealed carry in one tool-free, integrated, and customizable system.

It begins with the Shift Shell, which is made of a robust polymer injection-molded to the shape of your handgun. This is actually the same type of polymer some semi-automatic weapons are produced with.

The backer of the holster is made from four materials: ballistic nylon providing extraordinary durability, soft perforated neoprene limiting sweat from the holster, a thermoplastic elastomer front lending overall resilience to the holster, and spring steel in the holster core, guaranteeing excellent stability.

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Adjustable cant and ride height
  • High quality
  • Affordable
  • Holds gun in place

Cons

  • Free 30-day trial doesn’t include shipping costs
  • No clear assembly instructions

4. CarryGear Advanced Breathable Belly Band Holster

This is another of our great choices for concealed carry. It is a one-size-fits-all belly band holster, which is why it can be worn by men and women alike. It was designed to fit gun owners up to 47 inches in size measured around the belly button.

This holster is designed and made from top-quality perforated neoprene. This material is breathable, which helps reduce sweat and enhances the comfort level. This would make it a great choice for you if you have to carry your guns for longer periods of time. The quality isn’t the only notable factor. So is the right- and left-hand draw provision. The holster can be rotated from top to bottom and then drawn from the left to the right-hand side.

You can also wear it inside or outside the waistband, depending on what is more comfortable for you.

Pros

  • Adjustable cant
  • Fits great
  • Holds gun in place
  • Durable

Cons

  • Belt clip can be hard to handle
  • Clothes can get caught in the process of holstering

5. ComfortTac Ultimate Belly Band Holster

This is another one size fits all type of product made from outstanding neoprene. It can be adjusted and stretches to fit belly sizes of up to 44 inches. The material is very soft and as a result comfortable enough to wear directly on the skin. Like the previous one, it can be worn by men and women.  It is flexible and elastic and can fit small and compact, subcompact, and larger revolvers and pistols.

It can be worn in any position chosen by the user – inside or outside the waistband, appendix, cross draw, behind the hip, on the small of the back, and up on the shoulder. Concealed carry is guaranteed regardless of the position you choose. It also provides both right and left hand draw.

Pros

  • Flexible
  • Stable
  • Robust

Cons

  • Expensive

Factors to Consider Before Purchasing a Concealed Carry Holster

As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, there are a lot of different types and styles of concealed carry holsters on the market. However, some of them are dangerous, and not suitable for concealed carry for this reason.

When you pick out a holster, make sure it is made of robust, sturdy material and features total trigger coverage, good retention, handgun protection, good conceal-ability, a positive grip, and skin protection. We’ll go into each of these factors in depth.

Good Retention

Another way of saying retention is that your gun needs to “stay put.” A good test…if you stick your gun in your holster, and turn it upside down, will it fall out? If it comes out, the retention of it needs to be adjusted (usually via a screw) or you need a different method of carrying. It needs to be strong enough that it keeps your firearm in place until you tug it out on purpose.

Trigger and Material

There are a lot of holsters on the market where the trigger is covered by a flimsy material or not covered at all. To be as secure and safe as possible, we advise buying a holster that is made of a sturdy material that covers the trigger fully.  A gun owner must make every effort to keep the gun from going off accidentally.

A good example of sturdy and reliable material is leather or Kydex.  Both do a really good job of protecting the trigger. Basically, Kydex is a polymer composite material designed based on the shape of your gun with a few properties that help it be as effective as possibility. Some holsters feature both leather and Kydex, with a Kydex shell on top of a leather backing.

Another material we can recommend is crossbreed super tuck with XDs. There are quite a few companies making great-quality holsters out of this material.  You can’t go wrong here.

Concealability

If you don’t want to carry your gun openly, you’ll want it in a discreet position where it won’t be noticed. IWB holsters offer a better degree of concealment than OWB.  As far as IWB holsters go, appendix IWB offer the most concealment, generally speaking. Imagine appendix carry as starting directly in front of the belly button and ending on the pelvic bone.

Don’t forget that it can depend on body type, and everyone is unique when it comes to that.  What conceals well for one gun owner may not be a good option for another.

It may be best to play around with the holster a bit to find the right balance between concealment and comfort.

Grip

The grip is an absolutely crucial factor.  If your holster doesn’t give you the ability to keep a full, steady grip on your gun when you draw, it isn’t the right one for you. A high grip can deactivate safeties and is able to shoot one-handed.

A user should be able to draw and fire irrespective of their position, including right off-body if their assailant is on top of them. Ideally, the holster should be in a position where you can draw with your weak hand as well.

Protection

The holster needs to protect your gun and you. Don’t forget that some of the harder materials can cause marks on the finish of the gun over time. At the same time, some of the stiffer products can cause skin damage, rubbing, scars. This becomes a problem if you need to carry your gun every day. The wrong type of holster can also damage your clothes.

Clips

Metal clips can wear holes into your clothes with time. While not as strong and reliable, plastic clips can do a great job and are gentler on clothing than metal ones.

Our Final Take

No matter which method of concealed carry you choose, we recommend you practice your draw and holster often to make sure you’re good at it. When it comes to holsters, you might need to try a few out to see which one feels and fits the best.

Which is your favorite concealed carry holster of the ones we’ve reviewed? Share your answer with us in the comment section below!

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