If you want to carry your gun in public for your own protection, you need to think about concealment. For that, an IWB holster might be the best way to go. However, an IWB holster might not give you the best comfort or draw experience with your weapon, which is a high price to pay for concealment.
If you prefer the design of an OWB holster, then why not just stick with it. Nowadays, even the best OWB holsters are available in compact sizes that offer a high level of concealment. So you do not have to compromise on your speed and comfort to the slightest if you want discretion.
But not all OWB holsters will give you this option. You need to be careful in choosing a compact model that does not draw any attention to your weapon. Remember, you are prioritizing concealment, and for that, you need a specific form of the holster.In this article, we will give you a complete breakdown of everything you need to know about OWB holsters regardless of whether you want concealment or not. SO without further ado, let us jump in.
Top 7 Best OWB Holster Reviews
Whether you want the best OWB holster for concealment or not, you need to ensure that you end up with a strong and durable unit. But with so many options littering the market, making the right choice can be quite challenging. Before you realize your mistake, you will be going home with a unit that does not offer great performance.In the following section of the article, we will give you a review of the best OWB holsters to ensure that you do not fall victim to this situation.
1. Alien Gear Cloak Mod OWB Paddle Holster
First up, we will be looking at a high-quality unit by the respected brand Alien Gear Holsters. When it comes to gun holsters, you really should not compromise on the quality and design. This unit takes great care in both of these sectors, giving you a product that will surely earn your satisfaction.
It features fully adjustable retention giving you complete control over how your gun will fit inside it. By tightening or loosening the screw you can fine-tune the retention until you are happy with the gripping strength. You will not have to struggle with drawing your weapon or keeping it holstered any longer.
The soft neoprene backing over the polymer skeleton of the body ensures a comfortable carrying experience. With OWB holsters, the rigid design can often cause discomfort to the wearer. The manufacturers addressed this issue in a smart and simple way without sacrificing anything else.Further enhancing its utility, the neoprene backing comes with sweat-absorption capacity. In addition, the holster also comes with cant adjustment features that enable you to customize the carry angle. To top it all off, it comes at a highly reasonable price that makes it a smart investment.
2. Bravo Concealment OWB Gun Holster
If you own a Sig Sauer P320 and looking for a holster that fits this specific model, then give this unit by Bravo Concealment a shot. The product comes in various sizes for different handguns, though. So you can choose your model and find the right holster for the job.
The device comes with locking retention that feels sturdy and smooth. Sadly it is not automatic, and you have to manually activate it after holstering your weapon. You can also adjust the retention level to customize how strongly it grips your handgun once you put it in.
It also features a 1.5-inch belt loop that allows you to adjust the cant angle up to 10 degrees in either direction. So you can be sure that you will not be affecting your draw speed in the slightest by investing in this unit. You can even replace the belt loop with clips to easily convert it into an IWB holster for better concealment.The holster features a high-quality Kydex polymer that feels sturdy and durable. Its design fits the body contours giving you an extremely comfortable carrying experience. To further add to your comfort, it comes with rounded edges that stay out of your way during your daily commute.
3. R&R Holsters: OWB Kydex Holster
The next product on our list is by a brand called R&R holster. It boasts many strong performance features despite its compact and lightweight structure. At first glance, it might not seem much; however, when you take the time and go through its specs, you will surely find it to your liking.
Right out of the box, the retention on the unit feels perfect. The reason is that it is custom-fitted, keeping specific weapon models in mind. So before investing, make sure you consult the compatibility chart to ensure that your gun will work with it. However, with its massive gun compatibility list, it is more than likely that your gun will fit it.
The unit also features a partial sweat guard backing to protect your gun from any damages. The open barrel design of the holster allows you to use a suppressor attached gun with it easily. The adjustable ride height and cant level are also a great addition to its design.
It boasts .80 Kydex polymer in its construction which is both durable and comfortable enough for long term usage. The material can handle any abuse you throw at it. So after buying the unit, you do not need to worry about replacing it any time soon.
4. Safariland 576 7TS Gls Pro-Fit
For our next product, we are looking at a compact and comfortable gun holster by the brand Safariland. It is not a name we usually hear in the industry, but due to the excellent build quality and thoughtful design of this unit, it is hard to ignore it. To further add to the appeal, the unit is quite reasonably priced.
It features a unique GLS system that stands for Grip Locking System. Essentially, it is an automatic retention locking mechanism that ensures the security of your weapon when you put it inside the holster. When you want to draw your weapon, you can simply use your middle finger to unlock the mechanism.
The unit also features an injection-molded belt loop that anchors to your belt. It allows you to adjust the cant angle to some degree. You can also adjust the right height without any hassle to raise or lower your holster when using it. It is a highly versatile holster that is compatible with a wide range of firearms.For its construction, the manufacturers used a material they call SafaraiSeven, which is a high-quality, nonabrasive nylon-blend. It does not scratch the finish of your firearm, keeping the cosmetic quality intact. Furthermore, it can survive extreme heat and cold, making it highly durable.
5. Bravo Concealment OWB Gun Holster - BCA Light Bearing 3.0
It looks like another unit by the brand Bravo Concealment has made its way on our list. The BCA Light Bearing 3.0 is an exquisitely designed OWB holster that can give you a massive boost in your draw speed and comfort. Despite its amazing quality, it does not cost too much for you to buy it.
The adjustable retention system in the unit is easy to use and allows you to perfectly set up the gripping strength to get the exact fit that you need. In addition, the cant and ride adjustment options are also great to ensure that nothing can impact your draw speed and comfort.
This unit has a couple of variants available to purchase, suiting different guns that you might have. So before investing in it, it is wise to check which one you are getting. It is also available in a right and a left-handed model, so you should also think about your hand preference.
It is a Kydex polymer holster that features threaded barrels to house any tall suppressor sights that you might have equipped with your gun. These features make it a more practical option for any gun buffs. The addition of the sweat guard further ensures the safety of your weapons from any cosmetic or moisture damages.
6. Blade-Tech Industries Total Eclipse Holster
The Total Eclipse gun holster by the brand Blade-Tech Industries has the potential to be your next favorite new holster. Thanks to its stylish design and superior build quality, you can expect it to last you a lifetime. It is an excellent investment that you should never overlook when you are in the market for a new holster.
The unit comes in many different models to account for different weapons. Because of its weapon-specific variants, you can be sure that it will give you a perfect fit, whether you are using a Glock or a Sig Sauer. Just make sure you are buying the correct one; otherwise, you might not get the best experience.
It has a fully adjustable retention system that you can fine-tune using the tension spacer positioned handily right under the trigger guard. You can easily get the perfect retention by tightening or loosening the screws. The unit also comes in an ambidextrous design, so your hand preference should not pose any problem.The strong precision molded polymer blend used in its construction gives you a tough and durable experience with this unit. It features high-strength and promises to last without showing any signs of wearing. Because of its non-abrasive nature, the unit also protects the cosmetic integrity of your weapon.
7. We The People Holsters - Black - Outside Waistband Concealed Carry
Finishing off our list of reviews, we have a product by a brand named We The People. Do not make the mistake of overlooking the product just by looking at the name of the brand. The amount of features and design improvement that this unit brings to the table is unparalleled.
Regardless of the weapon you own, the unit features a weapon-specific model for your gun. Whether you are using an XDM 10mm or a Ruger P95, the product has your back. And since it is weapon-specific, the fit and comfort you get from it is exceptional.
The thing that immediately stands out about this unit is its efficient retention system. Although you have a lot of adjustability options, the retention right out of the box feels natural and perfect. You can even adjust the ride height and the cant angle to your liking using the screws on the body with no extra efforts on your part.Apart from all the design features, its build quality is also excellent. It features a fully waterproof Kydex construction that can survive the test of time. The material can shrug off any abuse you throw at it without showing any signs of wearing. This holster is also quite compact, meaning that you can expect a good level of concealment from this OWB holster.
Things to Know Before Buying the Best OWB Holster
Now that you have gone through our recommended products, you should already have a decent idea of which products give you the best performance. However, if you want a deeper insight, just knowing the right products is never enough. You also need to understand the major issues you must address when selecting an OWB holster.
Since a holster, in general, is quite a simple tool, it can get difficult to determine which aspects you need to focus on to get the most value. To put it simply, you need to ask yourself a few key questions.
Apart from these simple questions, you need to address a few extra elements. In the following section of the article, we will highlight all the things that you need to consider before buying the best OWB holster.
- Construction material
The first element that you must check when choosing your IWB holster is the material that is used for its construction. Generally, holsters either feature leather construction or Kydex polymer. You need to understand the advantages and disadvantages of both the materials if you want to make an informed decision.
Leather is an excellent material choice when it comes to OWB holsters. Apart from looking downright cool and classy, leather holsters are extremely durable and can take a lot of abuse. Furthermore, because of their softer nature, these units are more comfortable when compared to Kydex holsters.
However, the primary issue with leather is that they may stretch over time. After years of use, you start to notice that your leather holster does not retain the gun as effectively as it once did. That is when you have to replace your holster. If you can make peace with replacing your holster after a couple of years, then leather is the way to go.
Kydex is a special form of polymer that is popularly used in different types of gun holsters. It can come in various thicknesses and is generally quite inexpensive, at least when compared to leather. Additionally, it is extremely durable and rigid, making it an ideal material for an OWB holster.
The strength of Kydex holsters is also its greatest weakness. On the one hand, you have a tough and rigid material that does not bend over time and retains its gripping strength. However, for this reason, it is also less comfortable than leather. So you essentially sacrifice comfort for durability when going with this material.
As you can see, neither Kydex nor leather is perfect when it comes to the choice of material for gun holsters. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, and you generally have to make a choice based on where you want to compromise; comfort or durability.
However, these days a special type of holsters can be found that combines use a Kydex construction with synthetic leather backing. These units are simply called Hybrid holsters and can truly offer the best of both worlds. You have the durability because of the tough Kydex interior while the leather exterior caters to your comfort.
Over the years, many different types of OWB holsters have hit the market. The two most popular designs that you can find are the pancake style and the paddle-style holsters. Similar to the choice of materials, the design of the holster is an important element to consider when you are making your decision.
If you are going for concealment, pancake holsters offer the most value. This type of OWB holster comes with belt loops in line with the rest of the body that you thread on the belt. This design allows the holster to snugly hug your body, hiding its appearance completely.
The major advantage of this holster is not only its discretion but also the comfort it provides. Because of how the two sections of this holster are sandwiched together like a pancake, the weight of the gun gets distributed evenly, reducing stress and fatigue. However, taking it on or off does take some time.
Paddle holsters are the popular choice for most people because of how easy it is to take on or off. It is perfect for people who regularly use a holster every day and takes it off when they reach their destination. In this design, the holster comes with an extra piece of material that attaches to the waistband.
The issue with this design is that it is not very concealed. You need to dress specifically if you want discretion while carrying your gun. It is also known discomfort to many wearers because of the protruding design of the paddle. However, these units are highly adjustable and can be customized to suit your drawing preference.
- Draw Speed
Since you are going with an OWB holster, draw speed is an obvious priority. Although your speed of draw improves with practice, you need to ensure that the design of the holster allows you to do so easily. If the holster itself feels hard to use, then your draw speed will take a severe hit.
A lot of the draw speed depends on the retention and cant level of the holster. So first, you have to make sure that those are set properly. See if you can reach the holster without interference from other pieces of clothing or protrusion from the unit. You need to check if you have smooth access to the handgun while it is inside the holster.
If you want guaranteed concealment, an OWB holster might not be the best choice. However, that does not mean that you cannot concealed carry this type of holster. Although not ideal, you can find units that offer decent concealment while retaining all the qualities of a fantastic OWB holster.
Firstly make sure that the size of the holster is compact. If you want to go with larger holsters to carry bigger weapons, you need to dress accordingly. Wearing a suit or jacket can sometimes help conceal an OWB holster. But if you do not require concealment, you can skip this factor entirely.
One thing that you should never do with an OWB holster is to sacrifice your comfort. This is one of the primary reasons for getting this type of holster. Avoid units that have sharp edges that can scratch your hand when you reach for the gun. It is a common issue with low-quality Kydex units.
If you want the most comfort, leather holsters are the obvious choice. However, if you prefer Kydex material, you need to think carefully about your decision. You need to go over the smoothness of the holster and check for any roughness. Also, trying out the holster yourself before buying is a good idea as you can get a firsthand experience of how it feels.
Retention is an important quality for an OWB holster. You need to make sure that the gun does not fall off even when you turn the holster upside down. Checking for proper retention is extremely important when it comes to leather units, as you typically do not get the ability to adjust it.
With Kydex holsters, it is less of an issue since it usually comes with screws on the side of the body to customize it to your liking. If you have the option, make sure to set it up so that you do not sacrifice smooth of the draw while keeping the retention at a secure level.
- Cant Adjustment
Another excellent feature that you should never overlook with OWB holsters is the cant adjustment. With this option, you can customize the carry angle of your holster to get the optimal drawing position. With OWB holsters, the cant adjustment option is much higher than IWB variants.
Cant adjustment feature also allows you to experiment with your carry position as you can play around with the motion of your draw. It opens up a lot of possibilities that you should never miss out on, especially if you are trying to get the most value out of your purchase.
- Gun Compatibility
Before committing to a gun holster, you should always check if your weapon is compatible with what you are buying. This should go without saying, but you would be surprised how many times people make this mistake. So it should be your number one priority when you are buying an OWB holster.
You can even find some generic holster designs that are compatible with a wide range of weapons. Though they may offer great value, typically, they cannot compete with a weapon-specific holster. Thankfully, the same holster comes with many variants for different weapons, so as long as you have a specific weapon in mind, you can surely find a holster suitable for it.
You need to think long and hard before you start spending your hard-earned money. When it comes to an OWB holster, you have a massive price range to work with. Some of the units you find can come at dirt-cheap prices, while for some products, the cost may seem absurd.So it would be best if you had a fixed budget in mind when you start looking for a holster. This step would help get rid of a lot of your options and give you a select few products to sort through. Then you can simply cross-check the remaining products with your requirements until you find the perfect unit.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is an OWB holster good for concealment?
As we have already mentioned, OWB holster does not primarily concern itself with concealment. It caters towards comfort and draws speed more than discretion. However, that does not mean you cannot conceal an OWB holster at all.
Your wardrobe plays a major role in concealing an OWB holster. If you wear loose clothes or jackets and suits, you can easily hide your holster under it. For tight-fitted clothes, it is a bit more difficult to get the level of discretion that you want.
Other than that, you can use compact holsters to hide your gun. Because of the smaller size of these holsters, hiding it from sight is much easier. Some OWB holsters allow you to modify it and turn it into an IWB holster. They may offer better concealment overall.
Should I buy an IWB holster instead of an OWB holster?
Whether you buy an IWB or an OWB holster depends on what you are willing to get out of it. Your decision to go for one over the other should be based on facts, and for that, you need to understand the two holster variants.
IWB holsters go inside the waistband of your pants and is mostly a concealed carry type unit. It favors concealment over comfort. As a result, the draw speed with an IWB holster is typically slower.If you do not require discretion, an OWB holster is always the better choice. Even when you want concealment, some models offer you enough of it to justify overlooking IWB holsters. Furthermore, since OWB holsters do not make contact with your skin, they are more comfortable to wear for longer periods.
When it comes to OWB holsters, you really cannot make any mistakes. Holsters are not something that you buy every few months. So when you make an investment, you usually want it to last a good few years before you even consider getting a new one.
We hope you found our article on the best OWB holsters informative and helpful. With any luck, you should be able to use all the knowledge you gathered in the article to get yourself a unit that will meet your every expectation.
Last Updated on November 22, 2020 by Ronald K. Smith
Think of me as your gun-obsessed buddy who is great at explaining stuff. I have been shooting and hunting pests and big game animals for quite a long time. It’s time for me to share my knowledge with you guys, fellow gun enthusiasts so that you can level up your gun knowledge. If you are looking for quality firearms resources, you are in the right place.