5 of the most comfortable IWB concealed carry holsters
If you’re going to carry concealed off duty, do it comfortably.
With an increasing number of officers choosing to carry concealed off duty, people new to the practice of carrying inside the waistband (IWB) might discover — quite to their dismay — that it can be a lot less comfortable than carrying in a duty holster.
Furthermore, choosing a subpar IWB holster can be painful, both at the waistline and in the wallet.
Some IWB holsters are found to be so uncomfortable that users simply discard them or leave them in a box in the garage with all the other failed attempts at finding the holster that is the “just right” fit.
Indeed, the process of discovering the perfect IWB holster can be both time-consuming and expensive. In order to save you a little grief (and money) here is a short list of some of the most comfortable inside the waistband concealed carry holsters. Add your favorite in the comments section below.
The CrossBreed MicroClip is ideally suited to smaller guns such as the Ruger LCP and similar models. It is secured inside the waistband with a single metal clip bearing the company’s cross logo. One great feature of this hybrid design is that the carrier can tuck their shirt in around the gun and it still won’t print. This holster is made of a custom-molded Kydex pocket, mounted to a soft but firm leather backing which is comfortable against an undershirt as well as directly on the skin. The retention is easily adjusted and keeps its setting (unlike some cheap imitators which loosen up over time, causing the firearm to potentially come loose and an inopportune time).
N82 Tactical Original and Original Tuckable
With a suede leather backing that serves as a barrier to moisture (sweat), the N82 Tactical Original and Original Tuckable are very comfortable even when worn directly against the body. Held in place with a single clip, the canted pocket provides swift access to the firearm. The original version was first introduced in 2009, and sometime later the company added to the design an additional piece of leather is sewn onto the outside of the pocket, enabling the carrier to tuck in their shirt and still have quick access to the firearm. For either design, the company will add the capability to accommodate a trigger-guard-mounted laser or light for just ten bucks.
Bianchi Model 100T Professional Tuckable IWB
Speaking of tuckable, Bianchi recently added that capability to its best-selling Model 100, releasing the Model 100T Professional Tuckable. Bianchi has applied for a patent for its C-Clip design which envelopes the belt while minimizing the space covered on it, reducing its visibility. This is an all-leather holster with a single clip which can be adjusted for vertical or canted carry. It’s subtle, and small, and a best-seller for a reason.
The VentCore from Stealthgear
The StealthGear VentCore IWB is a hybrid holster with a Kydex pocket and a backing made from a synthetic material which does not absorb liquid (read: sweat) and is vented for breathability and comfort, so even in hot weather, the holster remains light, dry, and comfortable. Also, unlike some leather backing platforms, this synthetic material does not squeak. The cant angle is adjustable, and the spring steel belt clips are tuckable, aiding in deep concealment.
The Deep Concealment Holster from Cherries
Cherries Deep Concealment Holster is for those who choose appendix carry, even with a larger frame gun. Cherries calls it an Appendix Below-The-Waistband (A-BWB) holster designed for deep concealment where extra retention and concealment are needed. Utilizing something the company calls its patent-pending “Zero-Print” design, the holster actually sits securely below the waistband, not behind it, and therefore rests on the inner part of your thigh. This does two things: it makes it far more comfortable to sit for prolonged periods with an appendix carry option, and it allows for “the guy with a bit of a gut” to choose appendix carry, without the gun cutting into that boiler they’ve developed. This holster fits all nine versions of the Glock chambered in 9mm and .40 caliber standard double-stacked magazine shells bodies — holsters for other firearms manufacturers may be added in the future.
These are just five of the countless options available, and they are listed here in no particular order. This brings to mind one final thing to mention: IWB is just one of the choices on the market. If your daily clothing allows for it, OWB concealment holsters are out there (literally and figuratively), and many CCW citizens and off-duty cops are partial to ankle carry. I’m not fond of pocket carry for a host of reasons, but it may work for you (just be sure to get a top-quality pocket holster like those produced by Sticky Holsters).
The point is this: do your own research. Talk with your friends and find out what they like. It’s highly probable that the comments section below will quickly fill up with other ideas to consider.
Remember that no matter what you choose, probably the most important thing to consider when buying a deep concealment holster is to practice, practice, practice. Depending on which carry option you choose, it can be vastly different from your duty holster.