October 01, 2019 3 min read

If you’re looking for a concealed carry holster or an open carry holster, you’ll want one that is both comfortable to wear for long periods and durable for use over time. If you’re planning to bring your gun out into the elements, it’s also essential to find a holster that is easy to clean and maintain when you return home. There are a variety of styles, shapes and materials for gun holsters to explore to meet your personal carry use needs.

What are the different types of holsters?

There are different places on your body where you can keep a holster, depending on whether you are open or closed carrying. There are five primary styles of holsters for handguns:

For women, there are also specially designed bra holsters and thigh holsters to be worn under a dress. Belly, groin and cross-draw belt holsters are also popular choices, depending on the wearer’s preferences and needs.

There are three types of holster materials: leather, nylon and Kydex. Leather is the most classic holster used since handguns were invented, while nylon became popular in the 1980s and 1990s. Kydex is a specially molded plastic holster that can be heated to further custom-fit your handgun. This is the most modern style of holster on the market today.

handgun holster ready firing position

What is the best gun holster?

Each style of gun holster has a different function, depending on how the wearer feels most comfortable carrying, drawing and firing their weapon. The best way to find your gun holster is to do some research and try out a variety of holsters while you practice at the range. Most gun ranges have holsters on hand for you to try out and see which feels the most comfortable.

As for materials, leather, nylon and Kydex have their pros and cons, depending on the wearer’s preferences. Leather holsters require a break-in period where they conform to your body and your gun. However, once they’re broken in, they draw smoothly and silently. They do require upkeep, including drying them out after wearing them in conditions where they may absorb some of your body’s moisture.

In extreme climates, leather may end up cracking. Over time, they will break down, and if they hold a lot of your body’s moisture, they can corrode your pistol much more quickly than other holsters.

Nylon holsters are popular because they don’t require much upkeep at all. They repel moisture, are easy to clean and they don’t need a break-in period. However, nylon holsters can begin to rip and tear as time goes on, and they may not last as long as leather holsters which are properly maintained.

Kydex holsters are a special polymer plastic that uses heat to mold to your gun’s size and shape. It’s lightweight and only requires a quick wipe down to remove lint and dirt. Kydex holsters repel moisture and hold up in extreme climates. Over time, a Kydex holster can cause some wear in the appearance of a firearm as the firearm presses against the holster as it is removed and re-holstered. However, it will not affect the function of the gun.

hybrid tuckable iwb holsters

What is the best type of concealed carry holster?

The best type of concealed carry holster largely depends on the wearer’s preferences. For concealed carry purposes, the best styles include:

  • Pocket holsters
  • IWB holsters
  • Ankle holsters
  • Shoulder holsters

Many women also prefer to concealed carry with a bra holster when they are out in crowded areas and may be bumped up against by other people, or if they are wearing form-fitting clothing.

IWB Kydex holsters are one of the most popular choices for concealed carry purposes. They are usually comfortable to wear for long periods and, with looser clothing, they are not typically seen by others. They are typically easy to draw quickly and will secure your firearm while you’re wearing it.

Pocket holsters are another popular choice, but they are sometimes trickier to conceal unless you have a long shirt. Ankle holsters work well when used with loose-fitting pants. Finally, shoulder holsters are a popular choice to be worn under suit jackets or coats that will be kept buttoned.

Find The Best Holster For You

Final thoughts

Ultimately, the best choice for a concealed carry holster is one that will be comfortable to wear and easy to access for how you best draw your handgun. The material you choose will also depend on which will work best for your needs and the amount of upkeep you are willing to do for your holster. Because they last, Kydex holsters are fast becoming the number one choice for concealed carry purposes.

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How to Find the Perfect Gun Holster for You