Whether you’re shopping for your first-ever concealed carry holster or your hundredth, the fact remains the same – you need something that is safe, comfortable, functional, and, at least in most cases, sleek and well-designed. Although every person who purchases an IWB holster probably wants something a little different, it’s always a good idea to have a mental checklist of what it is you want.
Particularly if this is going to be your first purchase, you may want some guidance regarding what factors most experienced concealed-carry permit holders look out for in a potential holster. This list is by no means exhaustive, but here are some points you’ll probably want to consider.
Concealment – It’s called “concealed carry” for a reason – nobody wants to look like they’ve got Grandma’s fanny pack stuffed in their waistband. You aren’t trying to open carry, and you aren’t trying to create confusion as people try to figure out what you’re carrying. For obvious reasons, you need an in-waistband holster that is streamlined and does not draw attention to itself.
This can be challenging if you, for whatever reason, are unable to try on the holster before purchase. IF you’re buying online, see if there are photographs of people wearing the holster under clothes. How noticeable is it?
You’ll also need to pay attention to what sort of clothing the holster model is wearing. If he or she has on an oversize shirt, then that may well mean that the holster is bulky. Reading reviews can help, too. Pay attention to what users like about the model you’re looking at, as well as what they don’t like.
When you’re shopping around, it’s also wise to talk to a knowledgeable sales rep about what you want in a holster, as well as how truly concealable the models you’re considering are.
Comfort – Because many concealed-carriers carry all day, or at least most of the day, it’s important to have something that’s comfortable. Obviously, trying on your potential products can help here, but it’s hard to get a sense of how a given holster will feel after walking around in the heat for eight hours. For this reason, any immediate discomfort should tip you off that this is not the model you need.
As for trying to figure out what model will remain comfortable day in and day out, this is where talking to representatives and/or reading reviews can help you. In addition to online reviews by buyers, it’s a good idea to consult a reputable magazine where the product you’re considering has been reviewed. Reputable gun magazines generally have experienced staffers who will provide honest reviews of the pros and cons of products. Of course, knowledgeable sales representatives can also be invaluable in trying to figure out what holster is right for you.
Durability – This one is a no-brainier. It’s great to get a holster that is comfortable and easily concealable, but if it falls apart after a few uses, it’s no good to you.
Generally, you can tell durability by looking at a holster. Is it well made? What are the materials and how are they connected? Selecting a reputable brand is generally best, and as with any product, stay away from cheap knockoffs online. They may seem like a great deal, but when they break, you’ll likely regret that investment.
Ease of holstering/upholstering – We all hope we’ll never be faced with a life-or-death situation that requires a quick draw. But these situations can and do happen, so you want a holster that makes it easy to draw fast.
What some new carriers don’t consider is that you want a holster that also lets you re-holster quickly. You may find yourself in a situation where you need to put the gun away fast and make an escape or administer aid to a wounded person. You’ll need a holster that is rigid when open. Test out potential products – if you do find yourself in a dangerous situation, you’ll be glad you did.
Visual appeal – This may be one of the less important things to look for, but many people want a holster that they can customize, or at the very least, they want one that they can wear proudly.
Whether you’re just looking for information or are looking to buy, feel free to contact us and learn about our high-quality custom concealed-carry holsters!