The number of inside the waistband (IWB) holsters out there can be pretty overwhelming. And asking five people, “What’s the best IWB holster?” will probably get you five different answers. We wanted to put a blog post out there to discuss some of the options we like out there. Since we never use affiliate links on any of our blog posts, we hope our impartial advice will help you out. We should note, all of the IWB holsters listed below work extremely well with our belts and shirts.
NOTE: We do not use affiliate links, nor do we currently sell these products. These are our own opinions that we pass on to help our fellow LEO and CCW family. If you'd like to support us, support yourself too, take a look at our apparel.
Finding the best IWB Holster is Key
IWB firearm holsters are an absolute must for gun owners, law enforcement officers and concealed carry professionals alike. I wear mine nearly every day, sometimes even when I’m working. But, before I cover the best IWB holsters I should mention one thing. This is by no means an exhaustive list. Over the last decade and a half, I’ve tried at least 20 IWB holsters. Some are great and some are not so great. Others have worked for a specific purpose (i.e. dressing in a suit) while others a great whether I’m wearing board shorts or joggers. The best IWB holster will depend on what firearm you're carrying as well. Are you trying to conceal carry with a full-size Glock 19 or a compact Glock 43? Basically, what I’m saying is, you may need to have a few different kinds of IWB holsters for different occasions and different sized guns.
Take a look at the list we put together below and feel free to let us know your favorite holster in the comments! We’re always looking for better. But, no matter what you choose, make sure you practice, practice, and practice some more with your new holster. Especially before you wear it in high-risk situations. Additionally, you may want to practice utilizing our free dry fire training guide.
If you are looking to purchase a high-quality IWB holster, or the best IWB holster, here are six products we like.
- Leather and padding cushions make for comfortable wear.
- Includes a plastic shell that can be swapped with other Alien Gear firearm holster products.
- Includes both standard Nylon clips and steel clips. These clips can fit belts between 1.4 and 1.75 inches.
- You can also add other clips known as the “C” and “J” clips that can be used to make the firearm even more discreet.
- Includes multiple additional pieces that can enhance concealing ability.
- Very comfortable and durable to wear for long periods of time.
- Inexpensive price, compared to competitors.
- Very adjustable and easy for the customer to adapt.
- It can be quite difficult to get the holster set up for beginners.
- There are more improved models of this particular product, so customers may feel like they need to upgrade after a while to achieve maximum satisfaction.
- Some may have to unbuckle their belt every time they want to put their gun back into the holster.
IWB Common Comments
- A lot of folks have commented to me that this holster is so comfortable that they forget that they had it on, which is why we included in the article on best IWB holsters.
- Cowhide and horsehide leather, which makes it easy for the holster to be worn for long periods of time without being uncomfortable.
- Premium leather material is durable even in humid or hot climates.
- Equipped with special clips that make it easy to adjust height, tuck, and prevent squeaking when the leather rubs against the firearm or other material.
- Placed in certain positions to make drawing your firearm hassle-free and comfortable.
- Leather is made specifically for firearms to ensure that it fits perfectly.
- Designed to fit in the most convenient sections of your waist.
- Some holsters may have to be made to fit specifically for you depending on your body. This can be troublesome for people who need their holsters right away and don’t like having to send products back and forth.
- The firearm is easy to access and fits well even with more casual clothes.
- The leather needs time to break in.
- Shipping from this brand is fast.
- Great for first-time concealed carry.
- Easily adjustable with very flexible carry options.
- Has multiple carrying positions including behind the hip, strong side, etc.
- You can adjust the tension to ensure that you can draw and replace the firearm with ease.
- The holster is lightweight which doesn’t make it feel heavy or too clunky.
- Although it is lightweight, it is extremely durable.
- Material protects against sweat.
- May not be comfortable with certain types of clothing (basically anything that is pretty tight).
- The holster retention might require a bit of adjusting and screwing out of the box to ensure the firearm or holster won’t fall out.
- Quality matches well with the price.
- Designed specifically to be worn IWB.
- Custom sight channels.
- Adjustable ride height.
- Can fit comfortably no matter which position you have it in on your waist.
- Comes with a lifetime warranty.
- Takes a while to break in.
- Depending on which position you have it stored, it can be difficult to hide completely.
- May have to experiment with different positions depending on body type in order to hide completely.
- Great for appendix carry.
- Belt clip is stiff for a while, takes a bit of time to break in.
- Very adjustable and comfortable with pretty much all types of clothing.
- Smaller build for improved concealability.
- Trigger guard included, adding enhanced safety.
- Clips included designed to eliminate difficult assembly.
- Buying two complete holsters at once is saving you money.
- Easily shit from one carrying method to the next with the included parts.
- The is Alien Gear’s most advanced holster.
- First-timers may prefer to buy the starter kit prior to this one due to price. It will be more expensive trying to build or create your own starter kit with this product.
- Most satisfied customers have reported that this holster beats all others due to comfort, price, durability, and material.
Here's the last one on our list. I'm not going to list out the pros and cons here, because it's a pretty straightforward no-frills IWB holster. I realize this may not be the most popular or the highest-reviewed holster out there. But for the price and versatility, this is one of my continual go-to IWB holsters. I like that fact that it has a retention device and I can grab it and throw it on almost any pair of shorts or pants. Also, I can toss it directly into a variety of lockboxes or safes, if I need to stow my weapon real quick (without taking it out of the holster). Additionally, when my gun is in this holster, I can throw my weapon in a backpack or bag if I really needed to. And I know the retention device will keep it securely holstered.
Conclusion - The Best IWB Holster
There are a lot of options out there. I'm not totally certain if there is an actual "best IWB holster" out there. But there are some great options, depending on what you're looking forward. Again, just make sure you're practicing with whatever you wear.