Pancake holsters are the perfect concealed carry holsters because they sit close to the body and they can be concealed with light clothing for this very reason.
They ride high on the hip and usually come in leather or nylon, leather being the more popular choice.
Since they are so comfortable, both civilians and police officers who carry concealed are big fans of pancake holsters. A lot of users say that pancake holsters are more comfortable holsters that are worn inside the waistband.
We tested top pancake holsters like Galco, DeSantis, and Safariland for this review to make sure our choices are really the best ones. There are many other companies that make great pancake holsters as well. That’s why it can be hard to decide which pancake holster to buy. We hope we’re making it easier for you!
Top 5 Pancake Holsters in 2019
|Gould and Goodrich 803||Solid fit, good retention|
|Bianchi Remedy||Easy draw, hides extremely well|
|Galco Combat Master||Designed for combat, simple grip|
|Blackhawk 3 Slot Ambi Holster||Affordable|
|Outbags Pancake Holster||Genuine leather, hard-molded with protective coat|
Our Top Picks
Gould and Goodrich are a reputable producer of fine leather holsters. As such, they definitely belong on our list. But why are they our topic choice? It’s not only because they make high-quality leather holsters. The range of weapons, for which their holsters can be used, is absolutely unmatched. Suitable for both concealed carry and duty use, this model of the 803 can accommodate most Glock handguns, including the full size, medium-frame Glocks, which includes the G22, the G31, and the G17.
This design puts a focus on retention and keeps the weapon in its place using a leather snap. You can open it easily with your thumb. It is located at the exact spot where the thumb naturally rests during the draw stroke. The intuitive design features top-quality vegetable tanned leather by master tanners. The leather is molded to the gun for good retention and a solid fit.
The Gould and Goodrich pancake holster of this type comes in a three-slot design which allows adjustment of the angle of the holster effectively for the purpose of easier concealment or an easier draw. Thanks to the added cant slot, you can wear the gun in a few different positions as well. We definitely find it’s a great-looking holster which retains an element of old world class.
- Good quality
- Conceals well
This pancake holster is an all leather, custom molded item that’s available for a wide variety of weapons. This particular model accommodates the Smith and Wesson M&P full sized handgun quite well, but there are many other types of models, so there will likely be a good fit for your model. The M&P is quite popular with police offices, security officers, and civilian home defense and concealed carry. It features an interesting and dynamic design that ensures an easy draw and good concealment alike.
The design is high ride, with the gun above where the average gun would be located. This is incredibly handy for carrying a concealed weapon because it is easy to hide under a light shirt or T shirt. The Bianchi hides weapons extremely well, and provides you with a reliable, yet efficient means to carry a full-sized gun.
This pancake holster also features a low-profile holster cut, meaning it is cut as low as it can be without compromising safety. The holster goes up right past the trigger and not much beyond that. This makes sure the trigger stays safe and protected from any intrusion. The low cut makes fast draw easy, which comes in real handy because the weapon rides so high.
This is one of the best pancake holsters and number two on our list because a low cut on a high ride holster is a must have for a quick and easy draw, among other reasons.
- Double stitched
- Well made
- Fits the Smith & Wesson like a glove
- Very useful breaking in directions
- Good retention
- Smooth draw
- A little stiff
It isn’t possible to compile a review of the best pancake holsters without at least mentioning the Galco Combat Master. We’ll go beyond mentioning it – it is number three on our list because we think it merits recognition as the king of leather holsters. It comes as no surprise, then, that the company makes pancake holsters too.
No review of handgun holsters can go without mentioning the Galco Combat Master either. This holster is made for a number of guns, but leather simply goes with 1911s although Galco makes this holster for plenty of other handgun models, just like the Bianchi). Classic holsters and classic guns go perfectly together.
The Galco Combat Master is designed for combat, as the name would imply. It is perfect for concealed carry as well as active duty. The open top design guarantees that the owner won’t need to defeat any kind of retention device. You just grip and take the gun out of the holster. The Combat Master doesn’t waste any of the gun owner’s time. It’s a simple, sturdy, and durable, yet elegant leather holster designed for combat shooting.
This pancake holster also features a two-slot design that provides a slight cant. The leather is molded specifically for the weapon, lending it an excellent level of retention. It’s an amazing looking holster, with the tan leather being well-crafted and rich in color. Galco’s product is a bit on the pricey side, but they also offer premium quality.
- Two-slot design with cant
- Easy retention
- None really, except maybe the price, but great value for money in any case.
Unlike our previous choice, the Blackhawk 3 Slot Ambi Holster is one of the most affordable products in its class out there. It is also the only nylon holster on the list. We’ve included it because it does offer the indisputable advantage of being practically universal. The holster comes in a very wide array of sizes, well-suited for a variety of different guns. It accommodates almost all popular models of handgun, including S&W, Glock, and 1911.
This holster is made from durable, water resistant nylon, which also accounts for its low weight. It uses a polymer thumb snap that can be alternated from side to side. It is also fully ambidextrous, so you can use it regardless of whether you’re left- or right-handed. The Blackhawk 3 Slot Ambi Holster can be worn kidney-side, strong-side, or cross draw. It features three slots, making it possible to adjust for a forward cant for a more intuitive draw.
This pancake holster is also designed to be held close to the body, which aids in retention and concealment. It is a simple, well-priced, and effective holster. Blackhawk backs their products with an excellent warranty, which you probably won’t need. This holster is ideal for a shooter with several different guns who likes to alternate his concealed carry weapon. After all, variety is the salt of the Earth.
- Quality leather
- Best pancake holster for the money
- Fits really well
- Does not move
- Rides close to body
- Snap is difficult
- Time needed to break it in
Outbags Pancake Holster offers a good combination of quality and price. Their prices are high enough to maintain premium quality standards, yet reasonable enough to allow adjustments in their manufacturing, thereby keeping the costs affordable. They do not disappoint with this holster. It’s made in the US, from premium leather, and is durable and reliable.
This holster features right and left hand options, OWB side carry, and a hard molded coverage with protective clear coat. It fits belts up to 1.75 inches. It features excellent quality and comfort, rides high, and is a good fit. We find the forward cant to be one of its best features. This is an excellent value for money product that we’d be happy to recommend.
- Good fit
- Great forward cant
- Easy to adjust
- Rides high
- Gun can irritate skin
- May mar the surface of the gun
- Break in time needed
Factors to Consider Before Purchasing a Pancake Holster
In this section, we’ll outline the main factors to take into consideration before buying a pancake holster. Even though the decision is hard, you shouldn’t just throw your gun in a pocket or tuck it in your pants. Carrying a gun without a holster can be very dangerous. Nothing protects the trigger, so the gun could go off by accident. The gun could also slip down to the ground and out your pant leg if you just tuck it into your pants without a holster.
What are the basic functions any concealment holster should have? Everyone is looking for a good price, a good fit, and comfort. Here are some other extra qualities beyond these.
The holster of your choice should hold your handgun no matter what you’re doing. Sitting, walking, running, or doing somersaults – the gun should stay in place. Holsters that are molded to the handgun feature what is called passive retention. This means that the gun is kept in place due to the friction of the holster. Some holsters have added mechanisms, like a strap, to keep the handgun in place. Each added mechanism is an extra layer of retention.
As noted, everyone is looking for a good fit. But what does that mean exactly? The holster of your choice should fit your body type. For example, skinnier people may not do very well with an OWB holster because these can ride far away from the body. The holster should fit you and your handgun. It shouldn’t be too tight or too loose. That’s what you should be looking for.
Most pancake holsters are molded to fit specific gun models. As you shop, make sure your handgun is on the list of guns to be used with the given holster.
Your holster should give you fast and easy access to your handgun. Every different obstacle that you have to go through to get to your gun means it will take you longer to draw. Ask yourself – will you need to unsnap a strap or other retention mechanisms? Move clothing out of the way?
The level of comfort when wearing your holster should be as high as possible. If your holster is not comfortable, you won’t end up wearing it and you’ll just waste your money. Comfort includes ensuring a low profile. The holster you choose should conceal your gun as well as possible. It needs to be out of sight in order to be concealed well. You don’t want the outline to be showing through your clothes.
The holster of your choice should keep your gun at your side without moving around. It might not be in the place you think it is when the time comes to draw if it’s shifting around on your belt.
Our Final Review
Thank you for reading our review of the best pancake holsters. We hope it will be easier for you to make a decision now. All of the products reviewed here are comfortable for carrying a wide variety of handguns.
Our top choice protects your skin from the gun rubbing against it, rides close to the body, and features an easy to reach grip. We’re sure you will like any product on this list that you choose.
Once more, please recognize the importance of owning and using a holster. Thrown into your pocket without a holster, the handgun could flip around and you could end up holding the wrong end as you draw it. A good-quality, secure holster brings much needed peace of mind to a gun owner.
Which is your favorite product of the ones reviewed here? Is there another one you like? Please share your answers with us in the comments section below!