Before you buy your first concealed carry weapon (CCW), it makes sense to learn about some of the most popular types of holsters for daily carriers. Don't assume that all holsters will help you conceal your weapon. Some holsters even have designs that intentionally attract attention. Those holsters might look amazing, but they don't serve you well in situations where you want to hide your gun.
The following four types of holsters stand out as the most popular options for concealed carry.
Inside-the-Waistband (IWB) Holsters
For many people, IWB holsters offer the most effective way to conceal guns. Since the holster fits inside your waistband, it's not visible to average observers.
A good concealment holster will reduce the outline that your gun leaves on clothing. You can make them even more effective by adding a holster claw kit that angles the gun's handle toward your body. A slight adjustment practically eliminates printing, which makes it difficult even for trained professionals to spot your weapon.
IWB holsters also offer superior stability because they give your weapon an extra contact point (your body). The holster has a loop that lets you attach it to your belt. This already does a decent job of holding the gun in place. Pressing the gun against your body creates an extra layer of stability that will prevent your gun from moving throughout the day.
There are some potential downsides to carrying IWB types of holsters. Some people don't like:
How the gun feels pressed against their bodies.
Buying slightly larger pants to accommodate the holster and gun.
That they have to reach inside their clothing to pull out their guns.
That the holsters work best when they leave their shirts untucked.
More often than not, you get the most concealment from IWB holsters. That doesn't mean it's the right type of holster for you, though.
Tuckable IWB holsters offer many of the same pros and cons as standard IWB holsters. The tuckable holster connects to your belt and keeps the gun pressed against your body.
The big difference is that tuckable IWB holsters can conceal your weapon when you need to tuck in your shirt. If you have to wear a suit to work, it makes sense to have a tuckable IWB holster. You might also want to have one handy for occasions when you need to tuck in a polo shirt or attend a formal event.
A tuckable IWB holster also has an extra downside: you will need to untuck your shirt to reach your pistol. Obviously, this will take a little more time and could cost you the element of surprise.
Still, this is your best option when you want to carry a concealed weapon with a tucked in shirt.
Not all popular types of holsters go inside your waistband. Some daily carriers prefer OWB holsters. While OWB holsters rarely offer as much concealment as IWB designs, they can feel more comfortable to wear. Perhaps even more importantly, OWB holsters give you faster, easier access to your gun. In a tense situation, it's almost always easier to pull a weapon from outside your waistband than from inside your waistband.
OWB holsters don't conceal quite as well as IWB holsters, but they can suit the needs of most people. You may need to make sure you wear a shirt or jacket that hangs low enough to cover your holster.
At Rounded, we use two belt loops to secure OWB holsters. With two contact points, your gun should stay in position even when you wear it for hours or need to move quickly.
Wearing an OWB belt loop holster is often more comfortable than wearing an IWB holster. Still, that doesn't mean you want your gun attached to you during every hour of the day. You might want to take it off when you sit down at your desk or get in your car.
OWB paddle holsters have become popular types of holsters because they give you that option. This holster uses a paddle to stay connected to your waistband. The paddle slips through the top of your waistband to the inside, where it presses outward against the holster.
Although you might wear a paddle holster without a belt, we don't recommend it. You run a risk of letting the gun's weight tug at your pants. All holsters work best when you pair them with a reliable gun belt.
Since paddle holsters don't use belt loops, you can take them off whenever you want. Unburden yourself when you walk into your office. As you get up to leave, simply reattach the holster to your belt to stay safe out in the world.
Find the Right Types of Holsters for You at Concealment Express
No matter what types of holsters you buy, you need to choose products made from durable materials. At Rounded, we make most of our holsters from Kydex, a durable, lightweight material that lasts a lifetime. If you love leather, we have some hybrid Kydex-leather holsters you should consider.
We're so confident in the quality of our products that we give you a lifetime guarantee with every purchase. That guarantee also applies to up-and-coming holster designs, like our: