If you are in the market for a new gun holster, you have a great range of choices. Different styles of holsters are found in leather, nylon, and other synthetics, as well as Kydex. If you are interested in the latest “big thing”, we provide you with some background on Kydex and the top five choices available.
Are Kydex holsters any good? The simple answer is yes. Kydex holsters have gained considerable popularity in recent times, and are fast becoming the holster of choice for military and law enforcement personnel.
As a material, Kydex is a thermoplastic that is composed of acrylic and PVC additives. The material gets its rigidity and mouldability from its acrylic component and it gains toughness and chemical resistance from the PVC.
Kydex was originally developed for use in aircraft interiors but has application in many areas. From safety helmets to truck fenders, and gun holsters, the material is extremely practical and versatile.
Compared to hardened leather, Kydex has a few advantages for gun holsters. The material is more durable and will retain its shape for longer. It requires little to no maintenance and less friction allows for quicker drawing and re-holstering. For everyday use, a leather holster may have an edge in terms of comfort (for IWB) and in some cases, aesthetics.
Kydex is made in thin sheets that can be heated in order to take the form of any shape. This is ideal for manufacturing holsters that are perfectly fitted to specific models of guns. The thinness of the material makes it lightweight and great for IWB carry as it will not print on your clothing as the thicker holsters do.
The name “Kydex” is a trademark but has become synonymous with all of the plastic materials that are very similar in composition and retain the advantages of the material.
Our Top Picks For Kydex Holsters
Gun owners will typically spend a great deal of time selecting the right carry weapon but will often settle for a holster that is not ideal for their chosen gun or their carry needs. A carry pistol that suits your personal requirements is paramount, but a good holster is an essential complement.
Depending on the gun, a pistol can weigh anything from 1.75 to 2.5-pounds. Just like backpacks and boots, what seems fairly light, will start to weigh a ton after a few hours. If your holster is not a firm and snug fit for your gun and it does not sit well inside or outside of your belt, you will be served with constant reminders that you have a brick on your hip.
An adjustable cant is a good feature
The cant refers to the angle at which the gun rides in the holster. The most common adjustable cant on holsters is from zero to 15 degrees but some go up to 20 degrees. When a gun sits flush, straight up and down in a holster- that is a vertical or neutral cant.
If the gun tilts or leans slightly outward, that is a forward cant. Leaning inwards is called a negative cant. The neutral and forward cants are generally ideal for inside the waistband (IWB) or outside the waistband (OWB) carry. The negative cant is preferred for those that like to cross draw.
Being able to adjust the cant on a holster allows you to fine-tune how your gun sits on the hip after wearing it for a few days. I do not know of many shooters who do not want to make at least a small adjustment after some carrying experience with a holster.
Concealed Carry Holsters (IWB)
An IWB holster needs to hold your gun securely while also making it easy to grasp when drawing. Because it sits inside your pants, rough or sharp edges need to be avoided. Good IWB holsters tend to be “minimalist” in their use of material to ensure that your gun is as inconspicuous as possible and does not print if you are wearing a T-shirt.
This is gun-dependent, so if you insist on carrying a Desert Eagle, then IWB carry will be a challenge. With IWB holsters, only the grip and the rear of the slide protrude above the beltline which is great for secret carry but can expose the gun and holster to sweat and moisture.
Outside the Waistband Holsters
OWB holsters are the traditional carry option and most will be designed with open carry in mind. However, some OWB holsters are tailored towards concealed carry but are better suited to full-size auto pistols and revolvers.
If you want an OWB holster for concealed carry, then it is advisable to get yourself a thick and sturdy belt that is about 1.5 inches wide. A second factor to consider is the riding height of the OWB holster. Low and mid-riding holsters will be harder to conceal with light clothing because the barrel will run below your waistline. The high riding option would be best for summer and winter clothing.
Fierce Defender IWB
The Fierce Defender Kydex holster is made for a broad range of specific pistols. All of the Glocks are covered and the more popular CZ, Sigs, S&W, as well as Walther and FN pistols are catered for.
The holster itself is made with 0.08 inch Kydex which is standard for most plastic holsters. The retention is adjustable so you can have a very snug or looser fit for your gun, depending on your favorite balance between draw speed and comfort.
The cant is adjustable between zero and 15 degrees and the trigger is fully covered by the Kydex. The backside of the holster is extended to provide a cover between the wearer’s skin for sweat and moisture protection.
The holster is pretty versatile and is comfortable for all types of carry, reflex, hip, and back. One stand-out feature in the Fierce Defenders favor is its price. This is a very affordable holster and is of great quality for what you pay.
The sight channel on the holster is pretty high to accommodate different sight options that you may have on your gun. This is a good feature. Another thing that I like is that the holster ends flush with the gun barrel. With other holsters, the barrel or the holster itself is longer.
The company also offers a lifetime warranty against defects and has good after sales service. There are two minor issues with the holster which may or may not be a big deal for other buyers.
Firstly, the FD logo on the holster is stuck on and comes off easily. The logo is bound to rub off after just a few days or a week of carry. Brand logos are not very important as no one is meant to see the holster anyway. It’s a small thing that does not impact the overall quality of the holster.
The second thing is that the belt clip is made from plastic. It is very durable and tough plastic but some gun carriers still prefer a thin piece of metal for the clip.
- Adjustable cant
- Adjustable retention
- Great price
- Sweat protection
- Minor quality control issues
Concealment Express Tuckable IWB
The concealment express tuckable holster is available for most of the more popular semi- auto pistols and revolvers. The term “tuckable” means that it is designed for the wearer to tuck their shirt in when carrying with the holster.
The concealment express is also made with the standard 0.08 inch Kydex and has a full-length sweat and rear sight guard. A big feature of this holster is the overall adjustability for the user.
This holster is not only retention adjustable but the ride height can also be played with between standard, shallow, and deep conceal. The cant is adjustable from minus 30 degrees to positive 30 degrees, which means you have many more carry options with a negative and forward cant.
The length of the holster is a bit longer to accommodate threaded barrels and an optics- specific cut is also available. There is a decent range of customization options as well, ranging from different belt clips and a claw kit for reducing print.
The product also has a lifetime warranty and comes in two colors, black and carbon fiber. This is not the cheapest holster under review but it is still at the lower end of the range. This holster would be great for gun carriers that have accessories and modifications on their weapons such as optics, suppressors, or target sights.
The ability to carry a concealed weapon with a tucked-in shirt is also a novel idea and will appeal to carriers that often have dress requirements. The holster provides for a smooth and quick draw but it has one potential drawback. The holster does not entirely cover the trigger guard and on some models of gun, this means that the magazine release could be accidentally pushed when drawing under pressure.
- Highly adjustable for cant, ride height, and retention
- A good range of additional modifications are available
- Sweat protection
- Has options for optics and other gun modifications
- The trigger guard is not fully covered
Relentless Tactical Stealth Mode Holster IWB
The relentless tactical stealth holster is made for most popular semi-autos but not for revolvers, with the exception of the S&W J frame. Most of the holsters are available in black and carbon fiber.
The retention is adjustable and the cant can be adjusted from zero to 15 degrees forward. The holster has a nice, flat profile against the waist and has comfortable draw and re-holstering.
The holster is a “no-frills” option and is certainly a quality choice for its price range. The company has good after-sales service and a lifetime warranty on all of its holsters.
The relentless tactical holster does not fully cover the trigger guard on all of the gun models that it is made for, which could be an issue, depending on your preference.
- Adjustable retention
- Adjustable cant
- Sweat protection
- Not all gun model holsters cover all of the trigger guard.
Black Jacket Holsters Gun Holsters IWB KYDEX
The Black Jacket holster caters to most semi-auto pistols and is available in black and carbon fiber. The holster is slightly thinner than most with 0.06 inch Kydex being used. The thin profile of the holster makes it a great choice for concealed carry when wearing light summer clothing.
It has the standard features, being adjustable retention and cant together with a sweat guard. The area covering the trigger guard is slightly undercut to assist with faster drawing. There is no extra material beyond the barrel and the overall design has very rounded and smooth edges for comfortable carry.
A nice design feature is that the Black Jacket covers the magazine release for most of the pistols that it is made for. It also comes in as the cheapest holster under review which gives it great points for quality versus price.
The Black Jacket would be a good option for someone looking for the thinnest and lightest holster for everyday carry. There is only one issue with the holster which is the tightness of the opening. This is great for retention but could be an issue for re-holstering.
- Very thin and light
- Adjustable cant and retention
- Covers the magazine release for most models
- The opening is a little tight ( subjective)
Fobus GL2E2 Evolution
Fobus is an Israeli company, originally producing holsters for the Israeli army and security forces. This is the only OWB holster under review but it is intended for concealed carry as well.
The Fobus Evolution is designed for all Glock models with the exception of the Gen 5 for the models 22 and 23. The holster is designed specifically for rapid draw and holstering, and has been combat tested over many years.
The holster has a rubberized paddle backing for additional comfort and a highly secure belt fit. It has a decent snap when the gun is holstered to let you know that your weapon is properly secured.
The Fobus does have an adjustable retention and the cant can be changed to some extent with an Allen key at the back of the paddle. This could be a potential issue for an OWB holster if you intend to use it for concealed carry. Depending on your waist height, the gun grip can stick out a bit causing problems if you are wearing light clothing.
The Fobus holster is an extremely well-made product and was designed with military specifications in mind. It will last you a lifetime and is also very reasonably priced. It would be my top pick for a plastic OWB holster to be used mainly on the range and occasional carry.
- Adjustable retention
- Rapid draw and holstering
- Great price
- Not ideal for concealed carry
Kydex is a great holster material because it is highly durable and resistant to water and chemical damage. It can be molded perfectly to fit a specific model of gun to ensure a very snug fit and zero wriggle.
Kydex tends to be cheaper than good-quality leather options and requires no maintenance. The holster that you choose will need to accommodate your choice of gun. The level of adjustment for fit and comfort is a big determining factor, as is the holster’s ability to accommodate modifications such as higher sights and optics.
All of the holsters under review fall within the 30 to 45 dollar price range, making them all value for money purchases.
KO-1 AIWB/IWB Kydex Holster
Minimal, Adjustable, Comfortable and Discreet.
The KO-1 AIWB/IWB All Kydex Holster by N8 Tactical.
All the Features, None of the Bulk!
Minimalist design meets comfort and speed in the KO-1 Holster by N8 Tactical. Featuring multiple clip options, adjustable retention, and an available ModWing attachment the KO-1 is the perfect holster for your EDC needs.
The KO-1 is designed with a minimalist mentality in mind, creating an incredibly thin overall footprint for incredible all day comfort.
Multiple Clip Options
Your carry method may change and your holster should change with it. The KO-1 AIWB/IWB All Kydex holster has two different clip options: a low ride tuckable option (default configuration), or a non-tuckable high ride EZ Clip option (optional).
YOUR holster should be set up with YOUR desired retention! With the KO-1 AIWB/IWB All Kydex Holster by N8 Tactical, you can easily adjust the retention of your holster by simply tightening or loosening two screws that connect the front and back of your holster.
Available ModWing / Claw for Maximum Concealability
Carrying concealed means exactly that: concealed. With the ability to easily add a concealed holster ModWing (claw) you can ensure superior concealment by pressing the holster closer to your body to help eliminate any unnecessary printing.
Two Week, Try It Free Guarantee
The KO-1 AIWB/IWB All Kydex Holster by N8 Tactical features a “Two Week, Try it Free Guarantee”. If for any reason you are unhappy with your holster within the first two weeks of receiving it, N8 Tactical will buy it back (minus shipping and handling).
The KO-1 Holster by N8 Tactical comes with a hassle free Lifetime Warranty. If your KO-1 Holster fails at any time send it back to N8 Tactical and we will replace or repair it. For complete warranty information and shipping and handling description please Click Here.
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Inside the Waistband Kydex Holster
Are you looking for the best Inside the Waistband Kydex holster on the market? Well, the search is over, because at Muddy River Tactical our Inside the Waistband Kydex Holster is our best seller! Our holsters are handcrafted in the USA by hard working American Workers! Your Inside the Waistband Kydex Holster will be custom molded to your exact firearm model. This guarantees a holster that fits and secures perfectly! Furthermore, by custom molding, you get a holster that is thin and comfortable! The custom fit will give you the perfect retention to keep it fully secure. All while maintaining a easy and smooth draw. Some addition features of this Inside the Waistband Kydex Holster include:
. Adjustable Retention now comes standard on all our IWB Kydex Holsters! We have engineered in dual adjustable retention with two screws to adjust your holster to exactly how you like it!
. Fully Adjustable Cant Angle from 0-15 degrees. Everyone likes to carry in different positions and angles, so with our adjustable cant angle you can carry anyway from appendix carry to 4-5 o’clock with the same holster. To adjust the cant angle you simply loosen the two screws holding the belt clip on, move the belt clip to desired angle, then tighten the two screws back up.
. If you need to take off your holster , you can have your Inside the Waistband Kydex Holster off in a fews seconds. There is no need to undo your pants or belt, you can simply slide these holster on and off.
. We only use top quality .080″ kydex on all our concealed carry holsters to ensure a holster that will last a lifetime. This kydex thickness provides a sturdy holster that will not collapse, for easy re-holstering. However, it is thin enough that you do not sacrifice comfort or add bulk to your Inside the Waistband Kydex Holster. Watch the Comparison video below to see why all kydex is not created equal.
. Our Inside the Waistband Kydex Holster comes standard with a FULL sweat shield. Making the holster comfortable against your skin and protected from sweat and oil.
. These holsters only weight a couple ounces, so they add no weight or bulk to your concealed carry set-up!
. Optic Ready options are the new craze in the concealed carry market! Everyday there is more and more manufactures offering smaller optics geared towards the concealed carry market. At Muddy River Tactical we can Optic Cut ANY of our holsters we offer including Inside the Waistband kydex holsters, Inside the Waistband Leather Holsters, Outside the Waistband Kydex Holsters, Paddle Holsters, and Outside the Waistband Leather Holsters! All you have to do is select any of our products and options from our website, then on the final page of checkout there is a notes / comments section. In that box simply write ” optic cut ” and we will personally get you taken care of. Its that simple!
. You have three belt clip options when you order your Inside the Waistband Kydex Holster. The standard clip is included in the price of the holster and fits belts up to 1.5″. If you choose to upgrade to a tuckable belt clip, you gain the ability to tuck your shirt in to conceal your holster. The tuckable belt clips will fit belts up to 1.75″. (The Inside the Waistband Holster is molded differently for each belt clip style, so if you order the tuckable clip you don’t get the standard clip option and vice versa).
. Our Inside the Waistband Kydex Holster comes with the option to add a claw attachment. The claw is designed to ride against your belt and push the grip into your body. This eliminates printing and makes concealing your mid to full size models much easier for concealed carry!
. We have over 40 color options to allow you to give your Inside the Waistband Kydex Holster a custom look just right for YOU!
. Best Value in the Industry – We have developed special systems in our production that have allowed us to build the BEST quality Inside the Waistband Kydex Holster on the market and give you the most bang for your hard earned money!
. All orders will ship from our facility within 3 business days! No longer do you have to wait 3-4 weeks to get a custom holster. Our production systems allow us to create the highest quality Inside the Waistband Kydex Holster and get them to you QUICKLY! If you allow us the opportunity to earn your business, we owe it to you to get your holster to you ASAP!
Below you can read why our Inside the Waistband Kydex Holster is the best on the market!
Why Muddy River Tactical makes the Best Kydex Holster
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Holster iwb kydex
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