7 Most Comfortable Holsters Reviewed 2022 [Concealed Carry, IWB, OWB, Fat Guys, For Sitting]

Most Comfortable Holsters Reviewed IWB OWB For Sitting For Women Fat Guys Chest Belly Band

Here’s a simple fact:

If your holster is not comfortable, then you’re going to have a hard time concealed carrying anything.  

I wrote this guide to give you a short overview of the different holster types, and their pros & cons when it comes to comfort while concealed carrying. 

7 different “most comfortable” holsters made it to this list. They are:  

  1. Best Overall: WTP Minimalist Kydex Holster (Inside Waistband / Appendix Carry)
  2. Best Chest Holster: Alien Gear’s Cloak Chest Holster
  3. Best Hybrid & Modular Pick: Alien Gear ShapeShift IWB & OWB Hybrid Holster
  4. Best Leather: IWB Leather Holster Pick: WTP Independence Leather IWB/AIWB Holster
  5. Best Belly Band: Tactica Defense Kydex-Reinforced Belly Band Holster
  6. Mag Carrier Platform Pick: WTP Freedom Holster System – IWB/OWB with mag carrier
  7. Best Ankle: Alien Gear Shapeshift Ankle Holster

Each one of them has its strengths and weaknesses that I cover in the reviews. 

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick summary. 

  • If you don’t know which holster to get, the WTP minimalist Kydex IWB holster is a perfect starting point. It’s got great adjustability, it’s compact-sized to minimize printing. You can wear it in 5 different positions – strong side, cross draw, back, and appendix carry. It checks all the boxes when it comes to safety, has a ton of features, and comes with a lifetime warranty. Also the most affordable holster on our list, and comes with 20+ different color options.
  • If you’ve already tried minimalist IWB holsters and are looking for something else, take a look at the Cloak Chest Holster by Alien Gear or Tactica Defense Belly Band. They’ve got all the benefits of a regular kydex holster, safety features, and good retention. Both are less complicated to wear and set up than shoulder holsters.
  • If you’re not concealed carrying, then a drop leg holster or an OWB paddle/belt holster are options worth considering. As well as the chest holster listed above.

Ready? Let’s get started. 

Table of Contents

7 Most Comfortable Holsters Reviewed [Concealed Carry, IWB, OWB, Fat Guys, For Sitting]

1. We The People IWB/AIWB Kydex Holster – Most Comfortable Concealed Carry Holster For Most People

WE The People Holsters IWB Holster

Why We Chose It

If you’re looking for a “jack of all trades” comfortable concealed carry holster, then you can’t go wrong with We The People IWB (Inside The Waistband) Holster. 

It is a reliable minimalist kydex holster that is built with comfort in mind. 

It checks all the boxes for safety and is highly adjustable to fit your needs (ride, cant, retention, carry positions). 

And if the regular side carry doesn’t work for you for any reason – whether it’s discomfort or printing – then you can always switch to hip, back or appendix carry which are more versatile for both sitting and standing. 

Taking A Closer Look

  • Holster Type: IWB, Custom-molded
  • Material: .08 inch Kydex
  • Carry: Concealed Carry | Side & Appendix Carry
  • Hand Orientation: Left & Right Handed
  • Retention: Adjustable passive retention + active click retention
  • Safety: Barrel & trigger guard protection
  • Gun compatibility: Models for most handguns available (Check Here)
  • Color & design options: 20+ different designs
  • Optics & streamlight compatibility: Streamlight & optics cut models available
  • Made in: USA
  • Warranty: Lifetime

The holster looks good, comes in matte finish, and with hand-buffed edges to minimize discomfort while wearing & operating the holster. 

The footprint of this holster is the smallest that you can find on the market, which minimizes printing (the gun being visible through your clothes). Coupled with its adjustability, it makes for a safe and comfortable holster option for most people. 

Moving on to safety, we’ve got – 

Retention adjustable using retention screw, as well as active level 2 “click” retention. In practice this means that: 

  1. You decide how tight you want your gun to sit in the holster
  2. Click retention gives your gun extra security, while still allowing you to draw quickly when necessary

It’s the safest retention style for most people, unless you’re a fan of old-school leather holsters. Those only offer passive retention. 

Fully covered barrel & trigger, sweat guard for the barrel. Barrel and trigger protection need no explanation. Sweat guard is that little bit between the gun and your body. It keeps your gun safe from sweat, which could otherwise cause corrosion if the gun is not cleaned regularly. It’s a small detail, but one less thing to worry about for you.

Sturdy, adjustable clip that will stand the test of time. Clips on cheaper holsters are usually the first part of the holster to start wearing out, getting loose etc. This one’s built to last. The clip is adjustable from 0 to 15 degrees, allowing you to be flexible with the cant (angle) of the holster to find the drawing angle that works best for you. 

Unlike the barrel & the trigger, the magazine release is exposed. This allows you to change the magazine without taking your gun out of the holster.

Holster claw helps keep the handle of your gun closer to your body, especially with appendix carry. The holster claw helps you angle the handle of your handgun to be more in line with the curvature of your body. It prevents it from sticking out, thereby minimizing the printing of the gun, and bringing you closer to deep concealment. 

There’s also a good chance they have streamlight or optics cut models for your gun. If you use those. I say that because most other companies don’t go that far in their flexibility. You can check the streamlight/optics cut models here.

Last but not least, WTP have a generous returns policy and offer lifetime warranty for all of their holsters. 

Keep In Mind

The build can be a bit rigid. That’s the only downside worth mentioning.

Kydex is more rigid than leather, so at the end of the day, it’s still a piece of rigid, reinforced plastic that you’re carrying around on your side. It might take some getting used to, and you might have to try different carry positions. Appendix carry position usually is the most comfortable for IWB holsters. But you’ll need to try different ways of carrying, and find what works for you.

For something softer, have a look at the leather & chest holster picks below. Maybe even the hybrid holster, although the size of it might make it even less comfortable than the minimalist kydex holsters for some people. 

Bottom Line

It’s hard to go wrong with a simple kydex IWB holster. They’re good for both comfort & security. 

With the free returns that We The People provides, you can safely order a holster, test it out, and see if it works for you. If you find it uncomfortable for any reason, you can always return it and get back your money.

WTP vs Others Brands: I like We The People as a company because they’ve got the features nailed down, there’s more designs to choose from, and most importantly – because I’ve never had an issue with one of their holsters. Great customer service, friendly reps, they’re just there when you need them or have any questions about the products. I gave them a call just to test that out so I’m talking from experience here. For full transparency, WTP is my personal pick for kydex IWB holsters. But there are other holster companies (Rounded Gear, Alien Gear, Crossbreed, Muddy River, Vedder) as well whose products are very similar, albeit usually with less color and customization options.

2. Alien Gear Cloak Chest Holster – Most Comfortable Chest & Shoulder Holster, Best For Open Carry

Alien Gear Cloak Chest Holster most comfortable chest holster pick

Why We Chose It

If you want to try something completely different from traditional belt and paddle holsters, then the kydex-reinforced Alien Gear Cloak chest holster is worth checking out. 

It’s basically a kydex holster attached to a chest harness, very similar to the one reviewed above. 

It’s comfortable to wear, offers good concealment, and having that kydex frame means that your gun remains safe & secure at all times. 

Still, there are some things you should keep in mind with chest holsters. They won’t work for everyone. 

Let’s get to it. 

Let’s Take A Closer Look

  • Holster Type: Chest Holster, Kydex-Integrated
  • Carry: Concealed Carry | Chest Carry
  • Material: Kydex, Leather, Nylon
  • Hand Orientation: Left & Right Handed
  • Retention: Adjustable Passive Retention
  • Safety: Barrel & trigger guard protection
  • Gun compatibility: Models for most handguns available (check here)
  • Color & design options: Black, Regular (Chest 33” – 43”) & Large (43” – 60”)
  • Optics & streamlight compatibility: This model not compatible
  • Made in: USA
  • Warranty: Lifetime

Chest holsters are great when you want to have your handgun with you without it obstructing your movement in any way. Situations like sitting, riding a motorbike, outdoors, hunting, hiking, being out on a farm etc.

But it’s also an option you should consider if you’ve tried an IWB holster and it didn’t work out for you. 

As for Alien Gear Cloak’s features, everything’s straightforward, just like you see on the photos: 

  • Gun sits tight and secure against your chest, allowing for deep concealment
  • Thick kydex shell custom-molded for your gun
  • Good protection on trigger guard & the barrel
  • Adjustable retention for perfect fit

The holster is angled (canted) in such a way that the gun is easily accessible when you need it. 

It’s going to be more comfortable than a belly-band for most people. The nylon ropes around the holster are thinner than with the belly-band models, which will result in less sweating and better ventilation vs. a belly band holster. 

Chest holsters are also easier to use than shoulder holsters. Most shoulder holsters come with additional 2 magazines on one side of the rig, and your handgun on the other side of the rig. Because all that weight is hanging from your shoulders, it takes some effort to make everything fit right. Adjustments, etc. all the things that take time and experience. Chest holsters are easier in that sense. 

Keep In Mind

First, chest holsters don’t work very well for ladies, because it’s usually less comfortable to wear and may end up printing too much on the chest. So for ladies – check the reinforced belly-band holster below, or go for a simple IWB kydex model. 

Second, you’ll likely be wearing this holster under a layer of clothing (jacket, shirt, etc.). Your draw speed will be slower, since you’ll have to go through that layer of clothing to get to your gun first. Compared to a regular belt holster. 

Third, the heat might bother you compared to an IWB holster. Especially if you live in a hotter climate. But that’s very body-type dependent – some people will have a harder time with this than others. 

This holster is also more expensive than most other holsters. But as always – you get what you pay for. With holsters or anything else that has to do with your physical safety, you shouldn’t be looking at the cheapest models on the market. 

Bottom Line

If you’re struggling with IWB and OWB paddle holsters, it’s worth taking a look at a chest holster. Especially if you need it for sitting or moving around. It checks all the boxes when it comes to safety, and if you’re open to the idea of carrying your gun on your chest, and you think that it’s something that might work for you – go for it. 

3. Alien Gear ShapeShift Hybrid Holster – Most Comfortable For Bigger People / Fat Guys / Sitting, IWB & OWB

Alien Gear Shapeshift holster most comfortable iwb owb hybrid modular 2

Why We Chose It

Alien Gear ShapeShift is a modular holster system that allows you to wear it in different carries and different positions. 

With this holster you’re getting: 

  • IWB (inside the waistband) holster mode (side, back & appendix carry)
  • OWB (outside the waistband) holster mode (belt & paddle carry)

… all in one package. 

You’re basically getting 2 holsters in one. Making it easier to work out the carry style that works best for you. 

Especially valuable if you don’t yet know whether you prefer OWB or IWB. Or if you want to have both in the same package. 

Let’s take a closer look

  • Holster Type: Modular IWB/OWB, Custom-Molded
  • Carry Style: Open & Concealed Carry | IWB & OWB
  • Material: Kydex, Steel & Neoprene
  • Hand Orientation: Left & Right Handed
  • Retention: Adjustable passive retention + active click retention
  • Safety: Barrel & trigger guard protection
  • Gun compatibility: Models for most handguns available (check yours here)
  • Color & design options: Only black
  • Optics & streamlight compatibility: Not available for this model
  • Made in: USA
  • Warranty: Lifetime

Shapeshift checks all the boxes on safety & security – barrel & trigger are well-protected. 

The holster comes custom-molded to your firearm, meaning that you will have perfect retention and safety, never having to worry about your gun falling out of the holster or the holster fitting poorly. Since it’s a modular kit, you get to choose which retention modes you want active – passive, active, or both. 

When it comes to comfort, the most important thing to mention is that with this holster it’s neoprene touching against your body, not hard kydex. This might make the holster more comfortable to carry or sit with than a 100% kydex option, although that will depend from person to person (unless you’re doing appendix carry, where it doesn’t matter so much).

I’m saying “it depends” because the neoprene part gives this holster a larger footprint vs minimalist kydex holsters. This might result in discomfort when comparing the two side-by-side. Especially if you’re side carrying. The bigger size of the holster also means that it will print slightly more than a minimalist IWB holster. 

It’s a tradeoff that you’ll have to consider for your own situation. I’d say that if your frame is on the smaller side, it’s better to go for a smaller holster vs. this one. 

The Shapeshift is highly adjustable. It will depend on the configuration that you’re carrying it in, but these guys didn’t cut any corners here. For example, the OWB Paddle Holster mode is equipped with an adjustable 360 degree cant and can be tilted in 12-degree increments.

The holster does not come with a claw kit, but it’s still highly concealable. 

Finally, Alien Gear offers a 30 day test drive of the holster, free shell trades for life and a forever warranty. That’s probably some of the best customer protection in the industry. 

Keep In Mind

The OWB paddle & belt modes of carry are more difficult to conceal. But it’s possible. When concealed properly, OWB carry can be very comfortable. But it takes some work with clothing to get there, and it’s not nearly as universal as an IWB holster for achieving that. 

Alien Gear Shapeshift is bulkier than the minimalist IWB Kydex holsters like our #1 pick, in all configurations. That’s why it’s not at the top of the list. I like simplicity, and I’ve learned that less is usually more when it comes to holsters

This model takes the opposite approach, but they do it well. 

Bottom Line

Go for it if: 

  • You want to have both OWB and IWB holsters in one package
  • You’re not sure whether you want to carry OWB or IWB

If you’re looking to concealed carry only, then the WTP holster we have listed as our #1 pick will most likely be a better option for you, and more affordable as well. 

For another “softer” holster option, see the leather holster pick below. 

4. We The People Independence Leather Holster – Most Comfortable Leather Holster

WE The People Holsters leather comfortable IWB Holster

Why We Chose It

Leather holsters are trickier than Kydex models to get right. 

That’s because leather stretches over time, and many of the cheaper leather holsters on Amazon compromise on their retention. 

They make a generic (read: not custom-molded) leather holster and sell it as fitting for many different firearms. 

And sure, your gun will fit in there and it will also probably have a good enough retention to keep it in place. 

But with time, the leather might stretch out, and your gun will be less secure in the holster. I’ve seen it happen many times with the cheaper ones. It’s just a matter of time.

So that’s why WTP Leather Holster is better than most other leather holsters: 

  • Basically a custom-sewn design, some of the best retention you can get from leather
  • Compatible with different gun models
  • Quality, thick leather
  • Adjustable ride and cant

Let’s take a closer look

  • Holster Type: IWB Holster, Custom-Sewn
  • Carry Style: Concealed Carry | IWB (Inside-the-Waistband) & AIWB (Appendix Carry)
  • Material: Leather
  • Hand Orientation: Left & Right Handed
  • Retention: Passive retention
  • Safety: Barrel & trigger guard protection
  • Gun compatibility: Models for most handguns available (check yours here)
  • Color & design options: Black & Brown
  • Optics & streamlight compatibility: This model not compatible
  • Made in: USA
  • Warranty: Lifetime

For starters, this holster will be slightly more comfortable than kydex IWB models, because you’ll have the softer leather touching against your body vs. the rigid kydex shell. 

Now, that comfort comes at a cost. Whether it’s worth it – that’s for you to decide. Most people are comfortable with kydex holsters. But I have a few friends & acquaintances who absolutely swear by leather. 

Leather vs Kydex is a personal decision. There is a difference in comfort, but it’s not massive. 

Because of its leather construction, the holster doesn’t come with all the little quality-of-life features that kydex holsters come with these days: 

  • No active click retention
  • No claw kit
  • No optics/streamlight support

But if you’re into leather, none of that will be a dealbreaker for you. 

I have a couple of leather holsters myself, and I know the appeal. It’s old-school. It’s the kind of holster that your grandfather had, if he had one. 

There’s just something real and natural about leather holsters, something that you don’t get with kydex plastic.

This model covers the basics well, and then some. 

  • The retention is good, as it’s custom-sewn for the gun
  • Cant & angle are adjustable
  • Good, thick leather that will stand the test of time

What more do you need from a holster? Protection, retention, comfort. Everything else is just gravy. 

Yes, it’s about three times as expensive as a kydex holster. But that’s what you have to pay if you want a good leather holster that’ll be able to take everything you throw at it and then some. Without stretching and without breaking. 

Bottom Line

If you feel that kydex is too rigid for you, or you just like the appeal of a leather holster, then it might be the time to try one out. It’s more comfortable, but does compromise on some safety features, like the active click retention. 

Note: The video below is about the OWB version of this leather holster.

Check out Galco Gunleather if you don’t like this one for any reason. The Independence holster ended up winning out because of its adjustability & quality, but you can get good leather holsters from Galco Gunleather and some other manufacturers as well. 

5. Tactica Defense Kydex-Integrated Belly Band – Most Comfortable Holster For Women

Tactica Defense kydex reinforced safe comfortable belly band holster for women

Why We Chose It

If you’re uncomfortable wearing a regular IWB holster for any reason, you should consider giving the belly band holster a shot.

Unlike most belly band holsters out there, this one is reinforced with a kydex holster shell that is strapped to it, so your gun gets all the protection that it needs. And there is no risk of accidental discharge. 

Taking A Closer Look (Benefits & Features)

  • Holster Type: Kydex-Reinforced Belly-Band, Custom-Molded
  • Carry Style: Open & Concealed Carry | Belly-band carry
  • Material: Kydex & Fabric
  • Hand Orientation: Left & Right Handed
  • Retention: Adjustable passive retention
  • Safety: Barrel & trigger guard protection
  • Gun compatibility: Models for most handguns available (check yours here)
  • Color & design options: Only black, sizes XS to XXXL
  • Optics & streamlight compatibility: Not compatible
  • Made in: Unknown
  • Warranty: Lifetime

This is basically a regular kydex holster attached to a belly-band. No matter your body size, you’re guaranteed to find a good fit with sizes ranging from XS – XXL. It’s a flexible holster design that you’ll either love or hate. 

If you find IWB holsters uncomfortable for any reason, then it’s worth a try. It’s usually the most comfortable pick for women who couldn’t make an IWB holster work for any reason. 

The holster itself is not as adjustable as the models listed above, but it also doesn’t need to be. You can adjust the height with the band itself, and it’s got a good angle for drawing the gun. 

Overall build is pretty sturdy, but of course we’re talking about neoprene fabric here. It doesn’t come close to kydex & leather durability. But with the kydex integration, it’s one of the best belly-bands you can buy. 

Keep In Mind

Sweating and heat are the biggest downsides of wearing a belly-band holster. You’ll be walking, sitting, driving, and working with this thing around your waist for the better part of your day. It might get too hot for comfort, especially if you live in warmer climates. Keep that in mind.

Then there’s the matter of clothing. You won’t be able to wear this one under a tight T-Shirt and get away with it. It’s not too bad, but you’ll need something that fits a little looser to conceal the belly-band under it. If concealed carry is your priority, that is. 

If you have it properly fastened, then there are no other risks that you should be aware of. With kydex reinforcement it’s just as safe as the regular holsters that you’d be wearing around your waist.

Bottom Line

Belly-band holsters are not for everyone. They’re good for certain situations – more specifically when you have the following two boxes checked: 

  • Your environment is not too hot
  • You’re wearing clothing that is loose enough to conceal it belly-band holster

Heat and large footprint are the main reasons why you might not want to get this holster. But if you’re not bothered by them, then it’s worth a shot. 

And it’s definitely worth a shot if you’ve tried out the regular IWB holster and found it uncomfortable for any reason. For most people, IWB appendix carry will be more comfortable than a belly band holster. 

6. WTP Freedom Holster Platform – Most Comfortable IWB/OWB Mag Carrier Holster

We the people freedom holster platform most comfortable holster with a mag carrier

Why We Chose It

WTP Modular is a flexible holster if you need to have an extra mag carrier on you. 

It’s similar to the Alien Gear Shapeshift above, and you have the following configurations available: 

  • IWB belt & paddle carry (side, back & appendix carry)
  • OWB belt & paddle carry
  • Modular mag carrier for both attached/detached carry

Let’s Take A Closer Look

  • Holster Type: Kydex IWB/OWB, Custom-Molded
  • Carry Style: Open & Concealed Carry | IWB/OWB
  • Material: Kydex
  • Hand Orientation: Left & Right Handed
  • Retention: Adjustable passive retention
  • Safety: Barrel & trigger guard protection
  • Gun compatibility: Models for most handguns available (check yours here)
  • Color & design options: Black, Gray, Carbon Fiber
  • Optics & streamlight compatibility: This model not compatible
  • Made in: USA
  • Warranty: Lifetime

The Freedom holster system comes with all the benefits of a regular kydex holster. You’re good on security, safety, and comfort. All the features are the same as I’ve covered in the #1 review above, so I’m not going to repeat myself here.

It’s got adjustable ride and cant, and it’s good for both IWB and OWB carry. 

The comfort is good. The adjustability of the platform will allow you to play around with different configurations and carry styles. With time, you’ll find one that works the best for you. 

So if you’re looking for comfort and modularity, it’s hard to go wrong with this holster. 

Common carry configurations for this holster include: 

  • Appendix IWB 1 (2 tuckable clips outer edges)
  • Appendix IWB 2 (1 tuckable clip center)
  • Appendix IWB 3 (1 classic IWB clip)
  • IWB tuckable (Tuckable)
  • IWB Classic Clip
  • OWB Loop
  • OWB Paddle

Keep In Mind

Having the mag carrier makes the holster a bit heavier than usual. It’s especially noticeable if you have both the mag carrier and holster attached to each other. 

You can always distribute the weight around by detaching the two parts, and having the mag carrier on your side. That will make the carry lighter.

If you have limited experience concealed carrying, starting out with both the holster and a mag carrier might complicate things. But since the mag carrier is detachable, you can just begin carrying the holster part of the platform. Attach the mag carrier once you’ve found a comfortable carry style for the holster. 

To summarize – no significant downsides. 

Bottom Line

If you do want a mag carrier with your holster AND you want flexibility, then there’s no better system that I can recommend. 

If you’re not sure, you can always just go for a simple kydex IWB holster and purchase the mag carrier later if you feel that you need one. 

But for flexibility & modularity, this rig is difficult to beat even at premium price that it retails for. 

7. Alien Gear ShapeShift Ankle Holster – Most Comfortable Kydex Ankle Holster (Backup Gun Pick)

Alien Gear Ankle Holster Most Comfortable Ankle Holster Pick

Why We Chose It

So… why an ankle holster? 

  • First, ankle holsters are more comfortable these days than they used to be. 
  • Second, they’re great if you need to carry a backup gun

Because of its kydex integration, Alien Gear Shapeshift is one of the best ankle holsters on the market.  

Yes, there are $20 ankle holsters out there. They usually compromise on safety & durability of the holster. This one doesn’t. 

Simple as that.

Let’s take a closer look

  • Holster Type: Ankle Holster, Kydex-Integrated
  • Carry Style: Concealed Carry | Ankle Carry | Backup Gun
  • Material: Kydex, Leather, Nylon
  • Hand Orientation: Left & Right Handed
  • Retention: Adjustable Passive Retention
  • Safety: Barrel & trigger guard protection
  • Gun compatibility: Models for most handguns available (check yours here)
  • Color & design options: Black
  • Optics & streamlight compatibility: This model not compatible
  • Made in: USA
  • Warranty: Lifetime

Alien Gear ShapeShift Ankle Holster is one of the more advanced ankle holster designs on the market. 

More specifically, here’s what sets it apart from the others: 

  • Compatibility with full-sized guns
  • No break-in time
  • Slip-resistance
  • Better retention & security

It’s a good pick if you need to carry a backup gun. As a main holster, there are too many downsides to carrying ankle holsters vs other types covered above. 

Here’s what I’m talking about. 

Keep In Mind

Ankle holsters some with their specific issues which make them inferior to other holsters included in this list. The issues include:

  1. The holster gathers more dust & dirt than other holster types, because it’s seated so low. You’ll need to clean your gun more often with ankle carry.
  2. You won’t reach the holster while running. 
  3. Draw speed is significantly slower than with regular holsters.
  4. Better suited for smaller guns, because you want to minimize the weight. 
  5. Your pants need to be long enough to cover the holster at all times, otherwise you risk revealing that you’re carrying. 

Bottom Line

As you can see from the downsides above, ankle holsters can’t really compete with IWB/OWB or chest or belly-band holsters for carrying your main firearm. 

If you do want to carry a backup gun though, then an ankle holster is going to be your best bet.

How To Choose A Comfortable Holster – A Short Buyer’s Guide

Keep reading to find out what factors can make or break the comfort of your holster. 

Holster comfort can be a very personal thing, depending on your requirements and body type. 

Here’s a quick rundown of all the factors that you should also be aware of when choosing. 

Compare The Most Comfortable Holsters

Comparison Table Coming Soon.

What Makes A Holster Comfortable? [5 Factors]

1. Holster Safety

I think we can both agree that if you don’t feel that your holster is 100% safe and reliable in any situation, you’ll never truly feel comfortable wearing it.

People tend to take holster safety for granted. Because if they’re selling it on Amazon and there’s 1000’s of positive reviews, then it must be safe, right? Not necessarily. I’m talking about generic nylon and leather holsters here. 

Fortunately, there are a couple of easy rules that you can follow to make sure that your holster is both safe and comfortable.

3 main rules for holster safety: 

  1. Get a stiff holster, it protects the trigger from accidental manipulation. Kydex or polymer holsters are your best bet, as they’re molded after your gun & come with a trigger guard that keeps your gun 100% safe. Custom-molded leather holsters will also get the job done, if you stick to reputable manufacturers. It’s the nylon and fabric holsters that you should be careful with. Their fabric is inherently stretchier than leather or kydex, leaving the trigger less protected. This means that there’s a higher risk of an accidental discharge.
  2. Get a holster that is custom-molded for your firearm – this ensures good retention, either passive or active. Again, a custom-molded leather or kydex holster is going to be your best bet for good retention. The fact that the holster is custom-made for your firearm means that it will have a perfect fit for your gun. Whether it’s active click retention on kydex holsters or passive friction retention on leather holsters, you can be sure that your gun will stay in place no matter the situation that you might find yourself in. Most nylon holsters also come with an active retention strap that keeps your gun in place, but the fact that they’re not custom-molded to the firearm still means that their retention level is lower than that of kydex & leather, even if it’s “good enough” for most situations. Something to keep in mind and be aware of. Likewise, we recommend avoiding generic leather holsters for that exact same reason – their retention is going to be compromised one way or the other. 
  3. Avoid SERPA holsters. This is the final point that I’m going to make about safety – avoid SERPA holsters. They’re notorious for accidental discharges and there’s a chance that you end up shooting yourself in the foot if you decide to carry one of them. Here’s a video explaining the dangers, you can see for yourself: 

With safety out of the way, let’s move on to actual physical comfort of the holster. 

2. Holster Comfort, Day-To-Day

There’s not a single holster that is uncomfortable by design, but depending on your body type and wearing style, one holster type might fit you better than the other. 

For most people, we recommend a regular IWB Kydex holster as a good place to start. Because of its adjustability, it can be worn in both side-carry and appendix-carry positions, allowing you to find a position that works for you. 

If you’re on the bigger side OR you’ve tried the regular IWB holster and it didn’t work for you, then here are the options. 

  • Give the appendix carry a try. It’s extremely rare for appendix carry to be uncomfortable, even though it might seem a little scary at first. 
  • If the kydex is too rigid, give a leather IWB holster a shot. If you’ve had trouble with kydex pressing against your body even in appendix carry, then getting a good leather holster will help remove some of that. You’ll be sacrificing a little bit of retention & other quality of life features vs. a kydex holster, but it might be worth it. 
  • Try a hybrid or a chest holster (kydex-reinforced). Again, the part that is against your body will be softer, while still keeping all the benefits of a good custom-molded kydex holster. 
  • Then there’s the belly band holsters, good for women. They will fit everyone, and I’d recommend going for a kydex-reinforced model for better safety. They’re not good for hotter environments and are more difficult to cover up than the smaller IWB holsters. But worth a shot if you think it might be your thing. 

For more complicated setups there’s shoulder holsters. I don’t really recommend them for newbies because they require more work to set up properly, and you’d need to have a jacket or something on at all times for concealed carry. So unless you know that a shoulder holster is what you want to go for, I’d say it’s better to start somewhere else. 

Ankle holsters are good for backup firearms. For your main gun, you’re sacrificing too much in accessibility, drawing speed, clothing options, and general comfort. 

3. Lack Of Printing, Concealed Carry Ability

Printing means that the holster is visible from under your clothes. 

Unless you wear loose-fitting clothing at all times, you will run into the printing issue soon after starting to concealed carry. 

Depending on your concealed carry style and needs, you will need a holster that works with your body and doesn’t print in all the wrong places. Otherwise you’re telling everyone around you that you’re carrying, where exactly your gun is located, etc. 

Most often, printing happens with regular & bigger IWB holsters in side-carry or back carry positions. 

An easy fix is to move the holster to the appendix carry position. Usually, this removes the printing problem completely. 

With other holster types, the printing issue is going to depend on the clothes that you’re wearing, and whether or not they work with the holster that you’re carrying. 

Now, I realize that it’s quite a specific situation that we’re talking about here. But for the sake of completeness of this article, I decided to include this scenario. 

For example, it might be dangerous if you work a job where you might come into an open confrontation or a brawl with someone. If they see where you’re keeping your firearm, they might make a go and try to get to it during the fight. 

Now, if you’re using one of the Kydex holsters with active retention, the attacker won’t have much luck pulling it out, even if he sees it printing and knows where your gun is located. But it’s better to avoid that situation altogether by getting a holster that fits your body type, and doesn’t print. 

For most people, a small IWB kydex or leather holster worn in an appendix position will get the job done even in tighter-fitting clothes. 

4. Ability To Quickly Draw When Needed

If you’re already carrying a gun, you want to be able to access it quickly. 

Best holster types for drawing quickly are: 

  • IWB (inside the waistband) – belt, paddle, etc. 
  • OWB (outside the waistband) – drop leg, belt, paddle, etc. 
  • Shoulder holsters (with jacked unbuttoned)

Drawing speed is usually compromised with: 

  • Chest holsters
  • Belly-band holsters
  • Ankle holsters
  • Pocket holsters

Or any other holster that is “covered” by clothing and not easily accessible. It’s just something to keep in mind, and one of the strongest arguments for carrying simple IWB holsters vs. something that looks more comfortable. 

With proper practice, there will be negligible differences in draw speed between AIWB (appendix carry) and IWB (side-carry) configurations of the IWB holster. So both of those are good for drawing. 

5. Comfort while sitting, driving

For sitting, the regular IWB holster might get the job done. You’ll have to play around with different positions and see what works for you. It’s all very body shape dependent, so it’s impossible to give any concrete solutions here that would work for everyone. 

But there’s a chance that a normal IWB holster will be pressing against your body enough to make it uncomfortable to sit with it all day. 

No matter how you position it – side carry, appendix, or 5 o’clock – if your regular holster doesn’t work then it might mean a couple of things: 

  • Your firearm is too big – try sizing down
  • You just need a different type of holster for sitting down

If you don’t see a regular IWB holster allowing you to sit normally, you should give the following holsters a try – in that order:

  • Hybrid IWB holster
  • Chest holster
  • Belly Band
  • Shoulder holsters

Comfort & Safety Of Different Holster Types (Comfort & Safety Pros & Cons)

IWB (Inside The Waistband) & AIWB (Appendix Inside The Waistband) Holsters

The gold standard for a concealed carry holster, the IWB/AIWB holsters can usually be worn in different positions (side carry, appendix, 5 o’clock, etc.) and are all that most people need from their holster. 


  • Safety – checks all the boxes
  • Good retention
  • Stiff material, trigger guard protected
  • Easy to concealed carry
  • Fast draw speed (with practice)
  • Good adjustability – height, cant, angle, position, retention


  • Might need to use the appendix position for sitting
  • Printing with tight clothing in non-appendix position

OWB (Outside The Waistband) Holsters

OWB (Outside The Waistband) holsters come in multiple forms – thigh, drop-leg, belt, etc. holsters – and are not generally meant for concealed carry. If it’s not necessary for you to have your holster concealed, OWB holsters are a good option to consider because of their reliability, comfort, adjustability, and drawing speed. 


  • Safety – checks all the boxes
  • Good retention, retention levels 2-4 available for max. security
  • Stiff material, trigger guard protected
  • Fast draw speed
  • Good adjustability – height, cant, angle, position, retention
  • Multiple configurations available – thigh/belt, drop leg, etc. 
  • More comfortable for sitting, esp. drop leg 


  • Concealed carry options limited, difficult to conceal
  • Bigger footprint of the holster itself (not necessarily a con)

Shoulder & Chest Holsters

Holsters that are worn across the chest, or under the shoulder. More complicated to wear and manage, to choose as well, especially if you’re looking to concealed carry. While it’s not a holster we’d recommend for someone just starting out, shoulder & chest holsters are great for heavier handguns. 


  • Fastest draw speed
  • Safety – checks all the boxes (with proper shoulder holster model)
  • Active or passive retention, depending on model
  • Either leather or kydex, molded to firearm shape
  • Good adjustability
  • No problems when sitting with proper clothing


  • Concealed carry needs very specific clothing, not universal
  • More complicated to wear & master than IWB or OWB
  • Bulkier, takes more time putting on & taking off
  • Takes more training and getting used to
  • Usually on the pricier side, at least the good ones

Ankle Holsters

Less common these days, ankle holsters are still a great option for conceal carrying smaller firearms. The biggest downside of ankle holsters vs. iwb holsters is a slower draw speed, as it will take you some time before you can reach your leg and unholster your firearm. Then, you’ll have to move all the way back to threat focus. Ankle holsters are not suitable for all situations, and are best if you need to have a backup gun on you. 


  • If Kydex integrated, good safety
  • Good for sitting for prolonged periods
  • Decent adjustability


  • Slowest draw speed
  • Need to wear loose pants to avoid printing
  • Better for smaller-sized handguns
  • Gun gets dirty faster, needs more cleaning
  • Can’t draw while running

Belly-Band Holsters

Belly-Band is the most popular option for a “comfortable” holster for any body type, and as long as you get the more expensive kydex-integrated version of it, there’s little to fault with it. Your biggest problem will probably be the sweating that having all that nylon hugging your body will cause. Especially if you live in a warmer climate. Avoid belly band holsters without kydex reinforcement, as your trigger will be less protected, and thus the risk of accidental discharge is higher. 


  • If Kydex integrated, good safety
  • Fits all body types and positions
  • Good for sitting for prolonged periods
  • Decent adjustability
  • Good draw speed
  • Easy to conceal with looser clothing


  • Cheaper nylon-only models compromise on safety
  • Can’t wear tight clothing
  • Sweating from having it against the skin

Pocket Holsters

Pocket holster is basically an IWB holster that you keep in your pocket. It’s better for smaller firearms, and is good for specific situations where you can’t or don’t need to have your gun fastened to your belt. 


  • Safety – checks all the boxes
  • Good active retention
  • Stiff material, trigger guard protected
  • Easy to concealed carry with bigger clothes


  • Better for small firearms
  • Gun not fixated – will take more time to access
  • Holster might fall out of your pocket with the gun
  • Slower draw speed
  • No reason to opt for this as IWB is better in all aspects

Comfort & Safety Of Different Holster Materials: Kydex vs. Leather vs. Hybrid vs. Nylon

HThe main takeaway of this section is the same as in the rest of the article – avoid fabric holsters and get a holster that’s custom-made for your gun. With that said, here’s a short rundown on holster materials. 

Kydex, Boltaron, Polymer Holsters

Rigid, custom-molded, usually have good retention and adjustability. Comfortable for most people. Because of the rigid construction, you might experience discomfort from the holster pressing against your body in certain carry styles. Appendix carry is usually the most comfortable one. 

Hybrid holsters

Hybrid holster means that it’s a combination of two different materials – usually fabric/leather and kydex. Carrying a hybrid holster, you’ll have the softer material of the holster against your body, potentially making it a more comfortable choice. I say potentially, because hybrid holsters are larger than minimalist kydex and leather holsters. Which means that they’ll take up more space on your waist. So there’s pros and cons here, no way to know without ordering one and trying it out first. 

Leather Holsters

Leather is softer than kydex, so a leather holster will be slightly more comfortable than its kydex counterpart. They’re more difficult to get right, and can run quite expensive especially if you’re looking for a custom-sewn model for your handgun. As mentioned above, most people are comfortable wearing kydex. But if you want that extra softness, then leather is the way to go. 

Nylon, Cordura, Fabric Holsters

Yes, they’re softer and comfier. No, I don’t recommend them because they offer less safety than kydex or properly made leather holsters. Fabric holsters are usually not custom-made for the handgun, so they compromise on retention and safety. They’re less durable. They stretch. The list goes on. Low cost is the only thing that fabric holsters have going for them, but you do get what you pay for. 

A Few Words About Comfort & Concealed Carry – It Takes Practice

Concealed carry is not easy. You will have a transition period after first starting out. In many states, displaying your weapon openly is a reason to have your gun permit revoked.

If you do make the decision to concealed carry, you’ll have to adjust your:

  • Clothing style
  • Activities you do while carrying
  • Your carry style
  • Your holster
  • … and maybe even get a new gun, if the old one is not working out

You’ll need to be more careful about how you move your body, what activities you participate in, etc. unless you want it to be obvious that you’re carrying.

Then there’s the practice part.

Learning to concealed carry & effectively use your weapon when needed takes some practice. This includes:

  • Maintaining your gun & ammo regularly
  • Proper grip while drawing
  • Practicing basic extraction & reholstering
  • One-shot drills
  • Accuracy practice
  • Speed draws
  • Threat focusing

There’s much more that I could go into here. But I’ll just leave my favorite videos on the topic, they explain it way better than I ever could do here. 

Parting Shots, Loose Rounds

I hope that you liked this list of most comfortable holsters & holster types. Please do comment, and let me know if there’s anything important I missed. 

The post ended up being longer than I expected, so I might not have had the time to edit all of the information properly. 

I’m also considering adding a drop-leg holster pick in the future for completeness, but since most people are probably looking for concealed carry, it’s not critical that there’s no drop leg pick included in the article. 

And remember – each of the holsters on the list comes with FREE returns. If you’re in doubt, just order 2-3 models and send back the ones that don’t end up working for you. 

Hasta luego. 

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