Concealed Carry Holsters: A Guide to Safe and Effective Concealment

Concealed carry is a practice that allows individuals to legally carry a concealed firearm for personal protection. Whether you’re a seasoned gun owner or new to concealed carry, one of the most critical aspects to consider is the holster you choose. A well-designed and properly used concealed carry holster can make the difference between comfortable, secure carrying and a potentially dangerous situation. You can buy concealed carry holsters from Alien Gear Holsters.

Types of Concealed Carry Holsters

Inside the Waistband (IWB) Holsters

IWB holsters are designed to be worn inside the waistband, typically positioned between your pants and your body. They provide excellent concealment and are popular among those who want to carry discreetly. These holsters are known for their comfort, as they distribute the weight of the firearm along the beltline.

Outside the Waistband (OWB) Holsters

OWB holsters are worn outside the waistband, making them less concealed but easily accessible. They are often favored by open carry enthusiasts or those who wear loose-fitting clothing. While they may be less discreet, OWB holsters offer a faster draw and better ventilation.

Shoulder Holsters

Shoulder holsters are designed to be worn under a jacket or coat. They offer excellent concealment, especially in colder climates. However, they require some practice to master the draw and are not suitable for all body types.

Appendix Inside the Waistband (AIWB) Holsters

AIWB holsters are a variation of IWB holsters, designed to be worn at the front of the body, typically around the appendix area. They allow for quick and easy access to your firearm but require caution to avoid accidents, as the muzzle points towards your body.

Pocket Holsters

Pocket holsters are designed for small handguns and are ideal for carrying in your pants’ front or back pockets. They provide excellent concealment and are comfortable for everyday carry. However, they may not accommodate larger firearms.

Key Considerations for Choosing a Concealed Carry Holster


Comfort is paramount when choosing a concealed carry holster. If it’s uncomfortable to wear, you’ll be less likely to carry consistently. Test different holsters and carry positions to find one that suits your body type and daily activities.


The primary goal of concealed carry is to remain discreet. Choose a holster that effectively conceals your firearm, ensuring it doesn’t print or become visible through clothing.


Retention is the holster’s ability to keep your firearm securely in place, even during physical activity. Look for holsters with adjustable retention mechanisms to accommodate different firearm sizes and maintain a secure fit.


Quick and easy access to your firearm is vital for self-defense. Practice drawing your weapon from your chosen holster to ensure it doesn’t impede your response time in a critical situation.


Safety should be a top priority. Ensure your chosen holster covers the trigger guard entirely, preventing any accidental discharges. Additionally, consider holsters with additional safety features like thumb breaks or retention straps.

Material and Construction

Holsters are made from various materials, including leather, Kydex, nylon, and hybrid combinations. Each material has its advantages and drawbacks. Leather holsters are comfortable but require more maintenance, while Kydex is durable and easy to clean.

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Concealed Carry Laws

Familiarize yourself with your state’s concealed carry laws, as they may dictate specific holster requirements. Some states require holsters with trigger guards, while others may have rules regarding holster positioning.


Finally, invest in proper firearms training. Even the best holster won’t make up for lack of proficiency. Regular practice ensures you can draw your firearm safely and accurately when needed.


Selecting the right concealed carry holster is a critical decision for anyone carrying a firearm for personal protection. Whether you opt for an IWB, OWB, shoulder, AIWB, or pocket holster, comfort, concealment, retention, accessibility, and safety should be your primary considerations. Additionally, stay informed about your state’s concealed carry laws and invest in training to maximize your safety and effectiveness as a concealed carrier. Remember, responsible concealed carry is about being prepared while maintaining safety and discretion at all times.