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Awesome Alternatives to a Concealed Carry Jacket



Safety is the main purpose of using a holster. A holster is there to protect you and those around  you by shielding the trigger and keeping it fastened to your person.

Comfort may appear to be a minor requirement, it ranks among the top three. You won’t carry if your holster is difficult to use. What’s the point of this if you’re not carrying? A gun (and holster) that you carry every day is far superior to a gun/holster that you only carry on occasion.

Draw is the result of good training and a good holster. A good holster will allow you to adjust slightly and place your weapon in the ideal position to get a good master grip on it and draw smoothly without flagging yourself. This, however, is something that can be worked on.

Concealability is always a concern, but this has more to do with the gun than the holster. However, a good holster can make a small gun disappear or a large gun difficult to find.


When it comes to holsters, there are really only three materials to consider. Kydex, leather, and a combination of the two.

Leather was the standard for decades. Leather is comfortable, molds to your gun over time, and is simple to work with. However, it does not breathe, causing you to sweat more. When you try to reholster it, it doesn’t hold its shape very well. It can also stretch or deform over time. It also doesn’t get along with things like optics or lighting. Plus, unless there’s a thumb strap, retention is usually a pain.

Kydex is a newer material that has taken the holster world by storm. Sekisui SPI manufactures a thermoplastic known as Kydex. It’s reasonably priced, simple to work with, molds to any shape you need, is lightweight, rigid, and long-lasting, and comes in a plethora of sizes. Basically, it’s a fantastic material for things like holsters and scabbards.

Simply put, hybrid designs combine Kydex and leather. Typically, a leather backer is used for comfort against the skin, and a Kydex shell is used to hold the gun.

Everything has advantages and disadvantages; try a few and see what you like. I strongly recommend Kydex as a starting point.


IWB stands for In Waistband, and the gun is placed between you and your belt. This is by far the most popular method of concealed carry because it is secure, hidden, and simple for most body types. The location of your IWB can make a difference. I carry a small amount in front of my strong side hip. Some people carry it at or behind their hip, while others carry it in the small of their back. It’s all IWB, just in different flavors.

AIWB stands for Appendix In Waistband, and while technically a type of IWB, AIWB requires a different type of holster to function properly. If you’re unsure, AIWB means it’s in front of your appendix, or to the side and above your groin. Yes, your CCW will be aimed at your… special parts. This is an instant turn-off for many people. AIWB also necessitates a more fit body type, but if you can and want to carry this way, it provides advantages in draw speed, comfort, and the ability to draw with either hand if necessary.

Belly band holsters are mostly popular among women, but men have begun to embrace them as well. These are essentially belly wraps that do not require belts or pants and can be worn with a variety of clothing options, most notably yoga pants, dresses, gym shorts, and so on. These are fantastic if you have the right body type.

Ankle holsters were once reserved for backup weapons only, and they still should be. However, for some people, it is their only holster option. It’s not something I recommend, but it does exist.

Off-body Unless you’re completely out of options, I never recommend carrying off-body. I admit I’ve done it in the past for special circumstances, but it’s not something I recommend for EDC. This is exactly what it sounds like: carrying your CCW on your person rather than in a backpack, purse, or something similar. Fanny packs, in my opinion, are also off-body.


Our Top IWB Kydex Picks

Dara Holsters


Our Top AIWB Picks

Tier 1 Axis Elite

Our Top OWB Pick


Our Top Belly Band Pick

Crossbreed Modular Belly Band

Our Top Shoulder Holster Picks

Versacarry Shoulder Holster

Galco Classic Miami

Our Top Ankle Holster Pick

Crossbreed Ankle Holster


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