8 Best Appendix Holsters (AIWB): Tips & 2024 Field Test

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We field tested over 40 of the best Appendix Holsters and found the 8 best options available.

I find many people say that carrying a concealed carry gun in an appendix AIWB holster is very uncomfortable.

Since it is arguably the best way to conceal a handgun for self-defense, is there really a comfortable option?

Best Appendix Holster AIWB
Five of Jason's appendix holsters that he tested and uses regularly
Some of my favorite Appendix Holsters

Our team has over 25 years of experience with concealed carry and appendix holsters. We use these holsters every day. We have military experience, safety officer experience, and shoot competitively in concealed carry matches as well.

While finding a comfortable holster is possible, it is only part of what you need to know.

Keep reading to find our tips and tricks to finally be able to carry an appendix holster comfortably. Also check out our full concealed carry guide!


Comparison of our Favorite Appendix Holsters

BEST APPENDIX
CYA Supply Ridge Holster

CYA Supply Ridge Holster

AIWB

Full Kydex

Adjustable Clip

MSRP: $59.74

BEST KYDEX AIWB
Harry's Holsters Infiltrator

Harry’s Holsters Infiltrator

AIWB

Full Kydex

Adjustable Clip

MSRP: $97.75

MOST COMFORTABLE
Hidden Hybrid Holsters Single Clip

Hidden Hybrid Holsters Single Clip

AIWB

Hybrid Design

Fits over 100 Guns

MSRP: $89.95

BEST VALUE
Alien Gear Photon Holster

Alien Gear Photon Holster

AIWB or OWB

Full Kydex

Fits over 50 Guns

MSRP: $44.88

BEST LEATHER AIWB
Falco Leather IWB Holster

Falco Leather AIWB Holster

AIWB

Molded Leather

Not Adjustable

MSRP: $80

BEST UNIVERSAL AIWB
1791 Gunleather Smooth Concealment Holster

1791 Gunleather Smooth Concealment Holster

AIWB

Steer Leather

Universal Fit

MSRP: $45.99

CHECK SALE PRICE

Jump to Review

Save 15% at Checkout with code SS15!

BEST HYBRID AIWB
Stealth Gear Ventcore 1.0 AIWB Plus Holster

Stealth Gear Ventcore 1.0 AIWB Plus Holster

AIWB

Hybrid Design

Fits over 100 Guns

MSRP: $129.00


Best Appendix Holsters

CYA Supply Ridge Holster – Best Appendix Holster

CYA Supply Ridge IWB – Best Appendix
  • Material: Kydex
  • Handgun Models Available: Over 100
  • Return Policy: 30 Days
  • Warranty Policy: Lifetime
  • MSRP: $59.74

The CYA Supply Ridge AIWB Holster is our top pick as one of the best appendix holsters.

This full kydex holster is one of the slimmest low-profile appendix holsters we could find.

Why is that important?

An appendix holster that is not bulky is more likely to be comfortable and easy to conceal.

I have worn this holster for hours at a time and was able to sit, bend over, and load some heavy rocks into the back of my truck with it on.

Jason's CYA Supply Ridge IWB Holster and Sig P365XL
My CYA Supply Ridge Holster and my Sig P365XL

I like how the edges of the holster are rounded. I have found that holsters that have pointed edges can be painful when I move in a certain position. They are literally a pain!

This holster comes with a spring steel clip from Discrete Carry Concepts. This clip has two fingers with tangs on the inside that catches on the bottom of my belt. This clip is one of the most durable and secure clips that we have found.

Jason's CYA Supply Ridge IWB Holster and Glock 19
My CYA Supply Ridge Holster and my Glock 19

I was able to adjust the position of the clip to get the cant angle that was best for me. I simply loosened the screws, moved the clip, and tightened it back down.

The holster comes with a standard concealment wing with two different claw options. Hardware is included to remove it altogether, use a low profile claw, or a taller claw. I really like this option since I can customize it to my gun and my carry position.

But I really like the fact that CYA has included all of these options at no additional cost. Most other companies charge extra.

Jason with the CYA supply ridge holster and a Glock 19
The CYA Ridge Holster and a Glock 19. This belt is the CYA EDC Belt.

There are multiple colors available, and this holster is optics ready. However, they do not support pistol mounted lights. I found that they support all of the popular concealed carry guns on the market, so you are likely to find one for yours.

The combination of the features, comfort, and price brought us to agree that this is the best appendix holster for most people.

Recommended for:

The CYA Supply Ridge AIWB Holster is for anyone looking for the best appendix holster. This value here is hard to beat.

PROS

Comfortable

Adjustable Claw

Low Profile

Affordable

CONS

No Light Bearing Models

Video Review of the CYA Supply Ridge Holster


Harry’s Holsters Infiltrator – Best Kydex Appendix Holster

Harry’s Holsters Infiltrator IWB – Best IWB
  • Type: IWB
  • Material: Kydex
  • Handgun Models Available: Over 50
  • Return Policy: 30 Days
  • Warranty Policy: Lifetime
  • MSRP: $97.75

Harry’s Holsters Infiltrator Holster is a full Kydex holster that we found works great as an appendix holster as well as any other IWB carry position.

The infiltrator is the latest holster from Harry’s Holsters. The shape and design of this holster looks different than most of the other Kydex IWB holsters that I have seen. You can tell that they have put in a lot of thought and incorporated improvements into this holster from previous models.

Jason's Harry’s Holsters Infiltrator IWB Holster and Glock 19
My Harry’s Holsters Infiltrator Holster and my Glock 19

I like how the outside of the holster is rounded. My Infiltrator holster has not only rounded the edges on the Kydex, but it is formed in key areas to eliminate any possible edges that could cause pain. This is especially true around the bottom of the holster, an area I found to be the key to comfort.

Just like the CYA ridge holster, this one also comes with a spring steel Discrete Carry Concepts clip. It is one of the best I have found on an appendix holster.

What really makes this holster stand out is the adjustability. The clip comes separate from the holster, and included is a card with a QR code with a link to a setup video.

The hardware on this holster is unique. Instead of the round nuts you typically find on most holsters, this one comes with square nuts that ride in the adjustment channel. This allows the clip to move up and down with nearly one inch of ride height adjustment and 30 degrees of cant angle adjustment.

This much adjustability means this holster will work for almost everyone. I found with some adjustment it worked great in the appendix position as well as behind the hip.

Jason's Harry’s Holsters Infiltrator IWB Holster and Glock 19 and Sig P365
My Harry’s Holsters Infiltrator Holster and my Glock 19 and Sig P365

Another feature that I really like on this holster is the unique concealment wing. Instead of being a separate wing with a claw, Harry’s Holsters came up with a unique design.

The wing is molded into the Kydex and is a gradual raised area around the trigger. I found that with holsters that have a claw, they are hard to put on and the claw gets caught on my pants or belt. With this holster, it slides right into place.

This is great since I often don’t drive with this holster on. This design allows me to quickly put it on when I get out of my truck.

Jason showing the wing on the Harry's Holster Infiltrator
The wing of the Infiltrator Holster

All of these design features are great, but they do come at a price. This holster is more expensive than most other Kydex holsters. If your budget allows, this is the one to get.

Recommended for:

Harry’s Holsters Infiltrator Holster is for anyone looking for an appendix holster that will work well in any IWB carry position. The adjustability and rounded design makes this holster very comfortable.

PROS

Adjustable Clips

Setup Video

Raised Claw Like Feature

Retention

CONS

No Light Bearing Models

Price

Video of the Harry’s Holsters Infiltrator


Hidden Hybrid Holsters Single Clip – Most Comfortable Appendix Holster

Hidden Hybrid Holsters Single Clip – Most Comfortable IWB
  • Material: Hybrid – Leather and Kydex
  • Handgun Models Available: Over 100
  • Return Policy: 30 Day
  • Warranty Policy: Lifetime
  • MSRP: $89.95

The Hidden Hybrid Holsters Single Clip Holster is one of the most comfortable appendix holsters we have used.

This holster is a hybrid design, so it has a leather backing with a kydex shell. I found that the leather has a soft suede backing that is super comfortable. I noticed that the leather was Amish made on their website but did not expect it to feel this soft.

When I ordered this holster I noticed that they have an option for an “RMR guard” and I selected the red dot that I have on my gun. I really wasn’t sure what this was since I had not seen it offered on any other holster before.

Blakes's hidden hybrid single clip holster and Sig P365 XMacro from a top angle showing the optics cover
Notice the cover for my red dot optic

I was surprised when I received the holster to find that molded into the Kydex was a full guard for my red dot. Instead of being out and exposed like on other holsters, it is fully covered and protected.

I also selected the optional claw when I ordered it. This pushes the grip of my handgun closer to my body, and it is a feature I usually look for on an appendix holster.

Blake's hidden hybrid single clip holster and his sig P365 XMacro
Blake’s Hidden Hybrid Single Clip and his Sig P365 XMacro

Part of what makes this holster comfortable is it is wider than most other kydex or leather holsters. This helps to spread out any pressure over a wider area. Think of stepping on a small or large Lego and you get my drift.

But it does take up more room as a result. Blake has a small waist and he has been carrying this holster for a while. He says the only downside is the width makes it harder for him to carry a mag carrier IWB as well.

Blake with the Hidden Hybrid Single Clip holster, showing it concealed and not concealed.
The Hidden Hybrid Single Clip is very concealable

Hidden Hybrid offers many different gun models with this holster, but they only have pistol light options for a few gun models. They also do not have an integrated mag carrier option, but they do have an IWB option that is separate.

Recommended for:

The Hidden Hybrid Holsters Single Clip Holster is for anyone looking for a comfortable appendix holster. This is one of the most comfortable holsters we have found.

PROS

Comfortable Hybrid Design

Concealment Claw

Suede Backing

Tuckable Clip

CONS

Width of Holster

Video About Hidden Hybrid Holsters


Alien Gear Photon Holster – Best Value Appendix Holster

Alien Gear Photon – Most Flexible
  • Material: Kydex
  • Handgun Models Available: Over 50
  • Return Policy: 30 Day
  • Warranty Policy: Lifetime
  • MSRP: $44.88

The Alien Gear Photon holster is more than just a great AIWB holster, it is an entire holster system.

This holster comes with hardware to set it up as either an IWB holster or an OWB holster. I got their Photon mag carrier as well, and I set it up as an AIWB holster with a mag pouch side car.

All of this for a price that is one of the lowest on our list.

The author wearing the Alien gear photon holster with a Glock 19
Wearing the Alien Gear Photon in the appendix position with a Glock 19

When I first setup my holster for my Glock 19, I found the adjustability allowed me to set it exactly where I wanted it. The sidecar attachment bracket has multiple options, as well as the clip on both the holster and the mag carrier. It took a few tries to get it exactly right, but I would rather have too many options than an uncomfortable holster.

This holster can be setup for either right-hand or left-hand draw. While not important for some, it is for us since some on our team are left-handed. If anyone in your family has a different dominant hand than you this holster will keep you from having to buy a unique holster just for them.

Jason wearing the Alien Gear Photon Holster with the mag side car
Me with the Alien Gear Photon and the mag side car and a Glock 19

I really like the fact that this holster comes with plenty of spare hardware. Since I have switched my holster between IWB and OWB a few times, I dropped a few screws and was glad to have extras.

The Author's Alien Gear Photon Holster
The Alien Gear Photon Holster and my Glock 19

The holster does have an optional concealment claw that you can attach behind the holster clip. I don’t like how close it is to the clip, as it makes it a little hard to put the holster on.

I found that depending on the pants and belt I was using, the space between the clip and the claw was not enough. A thick belt and a thick waistband just won’t work.

My only dislike for this holster in the AIWB configuration was it does not have a full sweat guard. I found that I always needed to wear an undershirt with it otherwise the slide of my Glock was right against my skin, serrations, and all.

Jason's Alien Gear Photon holster with the mag side car attached
The Alien Gear Photon setup for Appendix carry

Overall, it is hard to beat the price and flexibility of this holster. When it is setup right it is comfortable and not a pain. There are a ton of gun models available, light bearing options as well.

Recommended for:

The Alien Gear Photon holster system is for anyone looking for a flexible AIWB holster with a magazine side car and light bearing options.

PROS

Adjustability

Side Car Mag Carrier Ready

Light Bearing Models

OWB Option

CONS

No Sweat Guard

Hard to Put On with Claw

Video of the Alien Gear Photon Holster


Falco AIWB Leather Holster – Best Leather Appendix Holster

Falco IWB Leather Holster
  • Material: Leather
  • Handgun Models Available: Over 100
  • Return Policy: 30 Days
  • Warranty Policy: Lifetime
  • MSRP: $80

The Falco AIWB Leather Holster is one of the best leather AIWB holsters we have tried.

This holster is made from very high-quality Italian leather. This leather is a little different than the typical leather I am used to. It has some stiffness to it, which has some advantages.

Blake and the Falco Leather IWB holster and the Glock 19
Blake and the Falco Leather IWB holster and the Glock 19

Unlike most other leather holsters, this holster is custom molded to my gun. This makes it fit very well, almost as good as a Kydex holster.

I like how the top of the holster is reinforced with a second piece of leather on the front and around the sweat guard. This stiffens the opening of the holster and keeps it open after I draw my gun. Collapsing after drawing my gun is one of the biggest issues I have found with leather appendix holsters. But Falco has figured it out on this one.

The metal clip is attached to the front of the holster with a reinforced piece of leather. I can’t see it going anywhere. It feels very secure.

Jason's Falco leather IWB holster and the Glock 19
The Falco leather IWB holster and the Glock 19

However, the clip is not adjustable since it is permanent. My holster feels like it is at a good ride height and cant angle, but some adjustment would be nice.

Since the leather is fairly stiff, I found that the edges can cause some skin irritation when I first started wearing it. Over time, this seems to have gotten better, so I feel like the edges have become softer. But it has taken a few weeks, so it does require some patience.

Overall the quality of this holster is amazing, and I expect it to last a long time. The leather gives it that classic look and feel of leather, with a retention that competes with Kydex.

Recommended for:

The Falco AIWB Leather Holster is for anyone looking for a classic leather appendix holster. The molded leather is hard to find anywhere else.

PROS

Custom Molded Leather

Does Not Collapse

Classic Leather Looks

Good Retention

CONS

Needs Break-in Time

Not Adjustable

Video of the Falco Leather AIWB Holster with the Light Option


1791 Gunleather Smooth Concealment Holster – Best Universal Appendix Holster

1791 Gunleather Smooth Concealment Holster – Best Universal Appendix Holster

Save 15% at Checkout with code SS15!

  • Material: Leather
  • Handgun Models Available: Universal
  • Return Policy: 30 Days
  • Warranty Policy: Lifetime
  • MSRP: $45.99

The 1791 Gunleather Smooth Concealment Holster is the best leather universal fit AIWB holster we have tried.

This holster comes in seven different sizes that will fit almost any handgun. Normally I do not recommend universal fit holsters since they often don’t fully guard they trigger, don’t have good retention, or have material around the sweat guard that interfered with my draw.

However, we tried this holster with five different concealed carry guns and for the most part did not have any of these issues. I felt that the Sig P365 XL was a little loose in the holster, and the sweat guard came up a little too high. However, fit was fine with the Glock 19, 43, and the S&W Shield.

Jason's 1791 Gunleather SCH and the S&W M&P Shield
The 1791 Gunleather SCH and my S&W Shield

This holster is made from top quality leather. It is durable, soft, and smells great as well. This makes it super comfortable, with none of the stiff edges that kydex holsters have.

I found that for some handguns this holster does need a break-in period. The process was easy with the included instructions. I just needed a plastic bag and it took a few days.

Jason wearing the 1791 Gunleather SCH
Jason wearing the 1791 Gunleather SCH Holster and the Sig P365XL

Over time I realized the holster forming to my handgun my body. The Leather just feels great. This holster is very low-profile and compact, so it is easy to wear.

The metal clip is easy to use, and it is attached to the holster with a reinforcing piece of leather. This makes it super strong, and I am not worried about it pulling away from the holster.

However, the clip is not adjustable since it is permanently attached to the holster. I didn’t find this to be an issue with the guns I tried, but it could be depending on the gun you are using and your body shape.

Jason's 1791 Gunleather SCH and the Sig P365XL
The 1791 Gunleather SCH and my Sig P365XL

Since this holster is a soft leather AIWB holster, I found that it collapsed after I drew my handgun. I talk about this in the guide below. This is not a show stopper but it is an issue during training.

Recommended for:

The 1791 Gunleather Smooth Concealment AIWB Holster is for anyone looking for a comfortable leather appendix holster. The quality of the leather is amazing.

PROS

Soft Steer Leather

Sizes For All Handguns

Very Comfortable

Low Profile

Affordable

CONS

Not Adjustable

May Not Fit All Guns Optimally

Collapses

Video of the 1791 Smooth Concealment Holster


Stealth Gear Ventcore 1.0 AIWB Plus – Best Hybrid AIWB Holster

Stealth Gear Ventcore 1.0 AIWB Plus – Best Hybrid AIWB Holster
  • Material: Hybrid
  • Handgun Models Available: Over 75
  • Return Policy: 30 Days
  • Warranty Policy: Lifetime
  • MSRP: $129

The Stealth Gear Ventcore 1.0 AIWB Plus appendix holster is one of the best hybrid holsters we have found.

This holster has a hybrid design (learn more in our guide below). But instead of leather, it has a unique breathable fabric for the backing.

Jason's Stealth Gear AIWB+ Holster and a Glock 43
The Stealth Gear Ventcore 1.0 AIWB+ and my Glock 43 (note the clip is an older version)

This fabric is what sets it apart from all other holsters. I noticed that it is super comfortable without having the issues with sweat that leather does. Leather breaks down when it is subjected to a lot of sweat, so it is best to wear an undershirt between it and your skin.

In very hot weather, I usually don’t want to wear an undershirt. So, this holster is my goto option. I have tried all of the Stealth Gear holsters and can say this fabric really makes a difference.

The Kydex shell fully protects my handgun and has perfect retention that is adjustable.

Jason wearing the Stealth Gear AIWB+ holster with his Glock 43
Jason wearing the Stealth Gear Ventcore 1.0 Holster with the Glock 43

I like that it has a built-in sidecar for an extra magazine. It is easy to just throw this holster on, and I don’t have to worry about a separate mag carrier for my spare magazine.

I also like the clip on this holster. It is adjustable for ride height and cant angle and I can also tuck my shirt in behind it. The other holsters on our list don’t offer this, so this is the one I go for when I need to dress up and tuck in my shirt.

There are a bunch of gun models available for this holster, and plenty of light and laser options as well.

Update – I now have one of theses for the Walther PDP as well. This holster does not have a concealment claw, so the grip of my handgun does press out a little farther from my body than I care for. This makes it harder to conceal than the others. If you have a smaller handgun this is a great choice.

Jason wearing the Stealth Gear AIWB plus with the Walther PDP
Jason wearing the Stealth Gear AIWB plus with the Walther PDP

Recommended for:

The Stealth Gear Ventcore 1.0 AIWB Plus appendix holster is for anyone looking for a comfortable appendix holster for hot weather with a mag side car.

PROS

Hybrid Design

Breathable Material

Tuckable Clip

Pistol Light Options

CONS

Price

Concealment on Larger Handguns

Video Review of the Stealth Gear AIWB Plus Holster


Cross Breed Xecutive – Best Budget Appendix Holster

Cross Breed Xecutive Best Budget Appendix Holster
  • Material: Kydex
  • Handgun Models Available: Over 75
  • Return Policy: 30 Days
  • Warranty Policy: Lifetime
  • MSRP: $39.95

The Crossbreed Xecutive Holster is our pick for the best budget appendix holster.

If you have a tight budget and still want a decent appendix holster, this is the one for you.

I like that this Kydex holster is a compact, minimalist design. It is very slim which helps with comfort.

These holsters are custom made, so safety and retention is there as well.

I found that there are a bunch of options available with this holster. There is a ModWing attachment that provides better concealment (similar to a claw on other holsters).

There are six different clips available, including belt loops and tuckable clips. There is also a foam wedge available that helps to make this holster more comfortable.

However, these options do cost extra. So by the time you add a couple it actually costs more than our top pick above. I would recommend going with the CYA Ridge holster unless your budget is tight and you don’t want or can afford any other option.

Recommended for:

The Crossbreed Xecutive Holster is for anyone with a super tight budget that needs a safe appendix holster.

PROS

Compact

Custom Kydex

Basic Design

Price

CONS

Options add Cost

Video of the Xecutive holster (same as N8 Tactical)


Best Appendix Holster Tips – What to Look For

In our experience, finding an appendix (AIWB) holster that works for us and our handgun is one of the most difficult choices out of all the holster types.

I have found that so much depends on your body shape, handgun, clothing, and how you wear the holster. Even on our team one of us can try a holster and really like it while the others do not.

In this guide we will give you some tips on what we found when trying and actually using appendix holsters with a variety of our favorite concealed carry handguns.

Keep reading to find our tips that you won’t find anywhere else.

Important AIWB Holster Features

First, there are some important features that you need to look for when choosing an Appendix Holster. Also refer to our guide on how to choose a concealed carry holster.

Safety is always most important.

Some people (rightfully so) do not like appendix carry because when you sit or bend over the gun is pointed at your body. In a sensitive place I might add.

Carrying a handgun in the appendix position is perfectly safe if you have a holster that fully guards the trigger and retains the handgun properly.

If your holster does not fully guard the trigger do not use it.

The author showing a holster that fully guards his Sig P365XL trigger
A fully guarded trigger is a must for safety

This leads us to the second most important feature…

Retention

No matter what kind of holster you use, it should retain your handgun. This is especially important for appendix carry.

This is important so that the trigger always remains guarded. If your gun is wiggling around in the holster it could come out partially and expose the trigger.

I know when I feel something falling my natural reaction is to grab it. Imagine if you bend over to pick something up and your gun slides up and you grab it as a reaction. You could accidentally hit the trigger while the gun is pointed at your groin.

I have found that Kydex holsters made for my particular model of handgun usually have the best retention. Some leather holsters are custom molded and are nearly as good as well.

Universal holsters are hit and miss depending on the handgun. If you are considering a holster that works for many different guns, my experience is that those that work for the least number of guns (more sizes of holster) work better.

Comfort/Adjustability

Nearly everyone I talk to about AIWB holsters talks about how comfortable they are (or not). After all, there is a big chuck of metal down your pants.

There are a few things you can look for before you try the holster to know if it is comfortable or not.

Look to see how rounded the holster is around the bottom. This is the area that could cause the most pain around your groin area. Holsters that have flat or pointed edges should be avoided as they can cause pressure points of pain.

Also note if the belt clip is adjustable. This will give you the most options in where the holster rides on your body. For larger guns I have found this to be even more important.

Jason installing the clip on The Harry's Holster Infiltrator
I like how much adjustability is available on this holster – Harry’s Holsters Infiltrator

Draw Grip

The whole reason for carrying a concealed handgun in the appendix position is so you can get to it quickly. While speed is important, getting a good full grip on the handgun is more important.

I have found that if I don’t have a full grip on my gun when I draw, I am trying to reposition my grip as I aim. This really slows me down and also causes me to be inaccurate.

In some cases I have seen others almost drop their gun during the draw process because their grip was hindered by the holster or their clothing.

The grip of your handgun should be high enough over the waist of your pants so that you can wrap your fingers around it. The backstrap of the gun should also not be covered by the sweat guard of the holster.

Similarly to retention, I have found that most holsters that are custom made for a particular gun usually allow a good draw grip. A holster with an adjustable clip will also allow you to move it to the best place for you.

Jason with a Concealed Carry Holster gripping the handgun
A full grip is essential for safety and accuracy

Re-holstering

While it may not seem super critical during a self-defense situation, I have found that being able to holster my handgun without taking the holster off is important.

In order to be proficient with drawing and operating my handgun, training has been important. If I have to take the holster off every time I need to holster my handgun, it is a big waste of time and an aggravation. I find that I don’t train as much and really don’t want to use that holster.

If I was in an emergency and had to draw my handgun, I want to be able to re holster it quickly. I may need to help others or do some other task quickly.

Jason wearing the fair chase holster showing how it collapsed after drawing, Barrel of a Glock 19 in the foreground
This holster will collapse after you draw

Concealing Features

Carrying a handgun in the appendix position is one of the most concealable methods for most people. However, since appendix holsters are often narrow in width, I have found that the holster and the grip of my handgun can rotate away from my body, causing it to “print”.

The best Appendix holsters will have a “wing” or “claw” that extends from near the trigger on the holster and presses against inside of my waistband. This keeps the grip of my handgun close to my body and better concealed.

These wings can make it harder to put the holster on or can be too aggressive. The best appendix holsters will have adjustable claws (like the CYA Drift) or they will have sloping wings (like the Harry’s Holsters Infiltrator).

Jason showing the wing attachment of a concealed carry holster
Claws attachment on the CYA Drift Holster

Clothing Considerations

In my experience, when most people complain that appendix carry is uncomfortable, it is because they are not wearing the holster correctly.

The first consideration is my pant size. If my pants can stay up without a belt, they are usually too tight for an appendix carry holster. After all, my pants have to not only accommodate me, but my gun and holster as well.

I usually get pants that are one size larger than I need. It is even better if they have some elastic in the waistband as well.

A stiff gun belt is also a must have. Since my pants are loose and my holster is attached to it, it needs to be stiff and durable since it is holding everything in place. If I keep having to adjust it and my pants move up and down a lot, it becomes uncomfortable.

Jason demonstrating how to wear a concealed carry holster with a gun belt and shirt
A proper gun belt and an undershirt make concealed carry safe and comfortable

I have also found that when carrying an appendix holster, I need to keep the bottom of the holster above my hip joint. This is so I can bend over and sit down comfortably.

I normally wear my pants a little lower than most people just because of my body shape. This is a problem for appendix carry since it puts the lower part of my holster right into my groin.

I find that I have to pull my pants up higher to get the holster in the right position. This is the biggest issue for most people and carrying appendix. If you have a belly that keeps you from getting your pants up high enough appendix carry may not be for you.

Appendix holsters are also most comfortable when worn in the center of the body. This is because this area offers the most room. If I slide my holster over to the 1 o’clock position, the bottom of the holster is closer to my leg and can be uncomfortable when I sit down or bend over.

I also like to wear a tight-fitting shirt under my AIWB holster. This keeps the holster from rubbing my skin and getting sweaty. If you don’t want to wear an undershirt, I have found that hybrid holsters are comfortable since they have a soft material against my skin.

Appendix Holster Materials

The only materials you should consider for an AIWB holster are Kydex and Leather. Holsters that are a hybrid design have both of these materials.

Kydex

Kydex is a type of polymer that can be formed to the specific shape of each gun model. Kydex works great for appendix holsters since it is a durable and rigid material. I know that my kydex holster is safe because it is securely holding my gun.

I like that Kydex holsters require no maintenance. Water or sweat doesn’t affect them and they are easy to clean. I find that most Kydex holsters have an adjustable retention screw so I can adjust the holster to my gun.

However, since Kydex is a hard, rigid material, they can be uncomfortable if they have any edges or points like I mentioned before. Make sure your Kydex appendix holster has rounded edges and no corners that can poke you.

Three of the Jason's Kydex holsters
Kydex is a great material for holsters

Leather

A leather AIWB holster can be very comfortable. I like how leather just gets better with age as it forms to my body. It is a natural material that looks great and smells great as well.

But there are some things to watch out for.

Jason showing three leather IWB Holsters
Leather AIWB Holsters

Sweat can break down leather and cause it to deteriorate. I have found it best to wear an undershirt between the holster and my skin to prevent this as much as possible.

Leather usually requires break-in and maintenance as well. Moisture is the main enemy, so you do have to take care in how you clean it. I like to keep a care and maintenance kit on hand like the Craft Leather Care Kit.

Leather can soften over time and could become a safety issue if the areas around the trigger become soft. You also need to pay close attention to the retention of your handgun. With repeated use I have found it will eventually become too loose.

Hybrid

A Hybrid holster combines the comfort of leather with the retention and durability of kydex.

Two of Jason's appendix hybrid holsters
The Stealth Gear and Hidden Hybrid Holsters

These holsters have a durable fabric or leather backing that sits against my body with a kydex shell attached to the front.

They are just as safe as a full kydex or leather holster, as long as they fully guard the trigger and have good retention.

The only disadvantage I have found is that some of them can be bulkier than a compact kydex holster. For a larger gun like a Walther PDP it can make a difference.

However, I have found that hybrid holsters are great in warm weather. I really don’t need an undershirt with them and they don’t cause as much skin irritation as a kydex holster does.

Price of an Appendix Holster

A good quality AIWB holster is between $50 and $100. Considering that this is much less than the cost of the handgun and ammo, there is no reason to try to save a few bucks here. A cheap $25 holster on Amazon may not be safe and will likely be a waste of money anyway.

Purchase from a reputable company with a good return and warranty policy. We have specifically listed this on all the holsters above so you can be sure you are buying from a good source.

Appendix Holster Carry Tips

  • Your pants should be a size bigger than you normally need.
  • A sturdy gun belt is a must.
  • Wear your pants high enough so that the bottom of the holster is above your hip joint. Depending on your body shape you may not be able to. If so, appendix carry may not work for you.
  • When sitting down or bending over, I find that I need to pull up my pants slightly beforehand. I also tend to pull the top of my holster away from my body so my belly doesn’t push my gun and holster down.
  • Driving while wearing an appendix holster is a personal decision. It can be dangerous in an accident since your seatbelt goes directly across the holster. I mainly think about my chances of needing my handgun on me versus the chances of getting into an accident.
  • For men, going to a public restroom without taking off your holster can be a challenge. Think about this and practice what is best for you before you are in the situation. If you can move the holster over without unclipping it, do it. Just don’t take your entire holster off and drop it.
  • Buy a holster from a company that has a good return policy. After following these tips if the holster is not for you it is easy to send it back.
  • Wearing the proper shirt is critical to keep a CCW concealed. See our favorites in our best shirts for concealed carry guide.

The Best Appendix Holster for You

We hope this guide is helpful in finding the best appendix holster for you. I understand finding one that is both comfortable and functional is a challenge.

The holsters above are the best we have found after years of trying different ones. I hope that one of them becomes the perfect holster for you. But, if it does not, they all have great return policies.

The CYA Drift holster is a great appendix holster at a very good price.

If you have a larger gun you may want to go with Harry’s Holster Infiltrator. The rounded design and adjustability will really help.

You will also need a spare magazine carrier and a belt. See our guide on the best pistol magazine pouches and best concealed carry belts for our top picks.

Now that you have learned about Appendix Holsters, check out our other holster guides in the Defend Guides and Gear Reviews. Our concealed carry guide is full of everything you need to know to defend yourself.

Go back to the main Concealed Carry Guide

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Jason has an engineering and problem solving background. He is an avid outdoorsman, survivalist, and competitive shooter. He enjoys researching the best and most practical solutions for the problem at hand, studying stoicism, and finding innovative ways to be prepared.