9 Best IWB Holsters – Complete 2024 Field Test and Guide

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We field-tested over 40 of the best concealed carry IWB Holsters and picked out the 9 best options.

When someone talks about an IWB holster, the first thing I think about is comfort. IWB holsters are notoriously uncomfortable.

Using an IWB holster is the most concealable way to carry a handgun, but it can also be very uncomfortable. So, is there really a comfortable holster out there? While some may brush off comfort, it is one of the most important features of an IWB holster.

The Author's top 6 choices for the Best IWB Holster
Some of the best IWB holsters we found

Our team has over 25 years of experience with IWB holsters. We have military experience, range safety officer experience, and shoot competitively in concealed carry matches. We also carry concealed every day.

Finding a comfortable IWB holster has been our pursuit for the past few years. Below, we share the best we have found, along with tips in our IWB holster guide on what to look for.

Keep reading to find out what they are. Also check out our full guide to concealed carry!


Quick Comparison of our Favorite IWB Holsters

MOST COMFORTABLE
Hidden Hybrid Holsters Single Clip

Hidden Hybrid Holsters Single Clip

IWB

Hybrid Design

Fits over 100 Guns

MSRP: $89.95

BEST APPENDIX
BEST KYDEX
Harry's Holsters Infiltrator

Harry’s Holsters Infiltrator

IWB

Full Kydex

Fits over 50 Guns

MSRP: $97.75

BEST FULL IWB
Hidden Hybrid Holsters Double Clip

Hidden Hybrid Holsters Double Clip

IWB or OWB

Hybrid Design

Fits over 100 Guns

MSRP: $89.95

BEST LEATHER
1791 Gunleather Fair Chase Holster

1791 Gunleather Fair Chase Holster

IWB

Deer Leather

Universal Fit

MSRP: $59.99

CHECK SALE PRICE

Jump to Review

Save 15% at checkout with code SS15!

BEST CUSTOMIZEABLE
BEST MOLDED LEATHER
Craft Holsters Lynx Open Top IWB

Craft Holsters Lynx Open Top IWB

IWB

Molded Leather

Fits over 100 Guns

MSRP: $69.00

BEST HYBRID
BEST VALUE

Best IWB Holsters

Hidden Hybrid Holsters Single Clip – Most Comfortable IWB Holster

Hidden Hybrid Holsters Single Clip – Most Comfortable IWB
  • Type: 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 our pick as one of the most comfortable holsters.

The hybrid design of this holster features an Amish leather backing with a kydex shell. The suede backing on the leather makes this holster stand out from the others. It is soft and super comfortable. I also like that the leather as rounded edges around the perimeter.

While this single clip holster is made of the same materials as the double clip version below, the single clip is designed specifically for AIWB carry and is more compact than the double clip version.

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

I like the single polymer clip on this holster. It is adjustable, easy to put on, and I can tuck my shirt in behind it if I need to. I have to fight some holsters to put them on, but not this one.

I also have the optional claw on my holster. It helps pull the gun closer my your body, making it more concealable.

The author'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 also like that it has an optional protective hood for the red dot on my pistol. I have not seen this feature on many other holsters. It helps to protect the glass on my sight from getting dirty or scratched.

The only thing I don’t like about this holster is it doesn’t have the option for pistol-mounted lights for my Sig P365 XMacro. If it did, it would hands down be the best for this gun. However, they do offer a light option for many other guns.

The author's hidden hybrid single clip holster and his sig P365 XMacro
My Hidden Hybrid Single Clip and my Sig P365 XMacro

The Hidden Hybrid single clip holster is nearly perfect: comfortable, highly concealable, made of high-quality materials, the list goes on and on… if only I could see in the dark.

Recommended for:

The Hidden Hybrid Holsters Single Clip Holster is for anyone looking for a comfortable IWB holster. It is one of the most comfortable holsters we tried.

PROS

Comfortable Hybrid Design

Concealment Claw

Suede Backing

Tuckable Clip

CONS

Width of Holster

Video About Hidden Hybrid Holsters


CYA Supply Ridge IWB – Best Appendix IWB Holster

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

The CYA Supply Ridge IWB Holster is a full Kydex holster that is our pick as one of the best appendix holsters.

This is a slim holster that is surprisingly comfortable. I usually find full Kydex holsters to not be the most comfortable.

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

We carried the smaller Sig P365 and the larger Glock 19 with this holster (we have two of these holsters). We found it comfortable not only in the appendix position but also at the 3 o’clock and 5 o’clock positions.

The Ridge holster has a low profile, which is key in my experience for comfort and concealability. The edges are rounded and smooth, which reduces “hot spots” – small areas that cause pain.

The author 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.

The spring steel clips are from Discrete Carry Concepts. These clips are the best for keeping the holster attached to your belt or pants. However, they will damage your clothes if you don’t open them when putting the holster on.

The clips are adjustable for ride height and angle. If you use a higher cant angle adjustment, it limits the ride height adjustment somewhat. I would like to have more adjustments here, but we didn’t have any issues with the two holsters finding a good position for the four of us.

A feature that I really like about this holster is it comes standard with multiple wing and claw options. There are three ways to set it up. Without the wing, with a short claw, and with a tall claw. This usually costs extra on other holsters, and there is usually only one option.

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

CYA Supply offers the Ridge holster in multiple colors and it is also optics-ready. They do not support pistol-mounted lights but have holsters for all of the common concealed-carry guns on the market.

Recommended for:

The CYA Supply Ridge IWB Holster is for anyone looking for a comfortable appendix holster. This is a low-profile and affordable holster that conceals very well.

PROS

Comfortable

Adjustable Claw

Low Profile

Affordable

CONS

No Light Bearing Models

Video Review of the CYA Supply Ridge Holster


Harry’s Holsters Infiltrator IWB – Best Kydex IWB 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 IWB Holster is a holster that we found works great in any IWB carry position.

This holster is a full Kydex holster. Normally, this means it could be uncomfortable.

That is not the case with this holster. The slim profile and the rounded design make this holster very comfortable.

The Author'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

I especially like how it is rounded at the end of the holster around the barrel of my gun. Most other holsters just end here with the Kydex. This creates an edge that can push into my groin and cause pain in certain positions. The rounded end of this holster is much more comfortable.

The adjustability of this holster is better than most other holsters I have found. It comes with a Discrete Carry Concepts clip (note my comments above about this clip) separate from the holster. This allows you to set up the holster for the position you plan to carry your gun.

The Author installing the clip on The Harry's Holster Infiltrator
I like how much adjustability is available on this holster

Set up is easy, and I was able to scan the QR code that came with the holster for a quick link to a setup video. This video tells you how to setup and install the clip.

The adjustable cant angle and ride height make this holster a great option for any IWB carry position. I like how I can adjust the cant angle to get the grip of my gun in a good position for drawing. Some other holsters put the grip at an awkward angle, especially at the 5 o’clock position.

The Author showing the hardware on the Harry's holsters Infiltrator
The square nuts are easy to install and adjust.

One thing I will recommend is if you don’t know what position you want to carry, try it first without applying the included Vibra-Tite. Wear the holster in various positions around your home and do some dry fire practice. Once you decide, you can go back and apply it. This will keep it from getting on your hands and the holster as you are trying to decide.

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

Another feature I really like on this holster is the wing. While it doesn’t have a traditional claw-like most other holsters, it has a raised area near the trigger guard that acts like a claw.

This raised wing is better than most claws since it has a gradual slope from the end of the holster. This makes it much easier to put on. I have found on holsters with claws that the claw gets hung on my pants or belt, and I have to fight it somewhat to get it in place.

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

This holster is a little more expensive than some others. What makes it stand out is the rounded shape and the adjustability. You can tell that it was designed based on experience and improvements over the standard IWB holster that you typically find.

Recommended for:

Harry’s Holsters Infiltrator IWB Holster is for someone looking for a comfortable, compact IWB holster that works great in any carry position. The adjustability makes this holster easy to adjust to your body shape.

PROS

Adjustable Clips

Setup Video

Raised Claw Like Feature

Retention

CONS

No Light Bearing Models

Video of the Harry’s Holsters Infiltrator


Hidden Hybrid Holsters Double Clip – Best Full IWB Holster

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

The Hidden Hybrid Holsters Double Clip Holster is a Hybrid Style Holster and is one of the most comfortable holsters for larger pistols that I have tried.

This holster is made exclusively for the 3 o’clock and 5 o’clock positions. It will not work in the appendix position.

It has a wide leather backing that holds the clips and Kydex holster. The clips are spread out on the leather, which helps to distribute the weight of the holster across a wider area.

The Author showing the Hidden Hybrid Holster in the 5 o'clock position
The Hidden Hybrid Double Clip Holster in the 5 o’clock position

The leather is backed with a soft Amish-made suede that is super comfortable. It conforms to my body and has no hard edges to create pressure or “hot spots” of pain.

There are multiple colors available and five different clips that you can choose from. I like the polymer or spring steel clips since I can tuck my shirt in behind the clips. Most other holsters don’t offer this. It is a great option if you must dress up and want maximum concealment.

The clips have three different attachment points, so you can adjust the ride height and cant angle of this holster. Since this is a hybrid holster with a Kydex shell, the handgun retention is adjustable.

A bonus feature of this holster that I really like is it also has an OWB option. You can remove the clips and thread your belt through the belt loops to carry it on your hip. This is great if you want to carry OWB in the winter months and don’t want to buy a separate holster.

The Author's Hidden Hybrid Holsters Double Clip Holster
My Hidden Hybrid Double Clip Holster and my Glock 19

Since you have to remove the clips, going from IWB to OWB is not something you want to do daily. But it is a nice option to have. Remember that the loops offer no adjustment, so this is primarily an IWB holster.

Recommended for:

The Hidden Hybrid Holsters Double Clip Holster is for anyone looking for a comfortable IWB holster for the hip or behind-the-hip carry positions. It works great for people who don’t want to carry in the appendix position because of their body shape or larger handgun.

PROS

Hybrid Design

Comfortable

Shirt Tuckable Clips

High Quality Leather

CONS

Not for Appendix Carry

Video Review of Hidden Hybrid Holsters (both double and single clip)


1791 Gunleather Fair Chase Deer Hide IWB – Best Leather IWB Holster

1791 Gunleather Fair Chase Deer Hide IWB – Best Leather IWB

Save 15% at checkout with code SS15!

  • Type: IWB
  • Material: Leather
  • Handgun Models Available: Universal
  • Return Policy: 30 Days
  • Warranty Policy: Lifetime
  • MSRP: $59.99

The 1791 Gunleather Fair Chase Deer Hide IWB Holster is perhaps the most comfortable leather holster.

The Author's 1791 Gunleather Fair Chase Holster
As you can see, this is a great looking, and feeling holster

The leather is from ethically hunted wild whitetail deer. 1791 Gunleather has also placed the stipulation that they only use leather from deer that were harvested from only one shot from a rifle or arrow.

If you have never felt whitetail deer leather, I can tell you it is different from the normal cowhide you commonly see in a leather holster.

The author wearing the fair chase holster with a Glock 19
Wearing the fair chase holster with a Glock 19

The soft and supple feel of this holster is amazing. It also has that great leather smell that makes you think you just stepped into a leather craftsman’s shop.

This holster has a super low profile. The combination of this and the soft leather makes it so comfortable. I almost forgot it was there.

The Author's three 1791 Gunleather Fair Chase Holsters
The fair chase with a Glock 43, Sig P365 in the background

The metal clip is mounted to a reinforced leather strip on the front of the holster. This ensures that it won’t pull away from the deer leather.

Since this holster is a soft leather, it will collapse after you draw your gun. As discussed in our guide, this is not a huge issue in a self-defense situation. But if you plan to train a lot, this will cost you some time since you have to remove the holster every time you holster your gun.

The author 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

Since these holsters are made in different universal sizes, they will fit various handguns. We found that this holster worked well on most guns that we tried. But with the Sig P365, the gun sat a little deep in the holster, and this made it hard to get a full grip when drawing.

The Author's three 1791 Gunleather Fair Chase Holsters
A Glock 43, Glock 19, and Sig P365XL. You can see how the Sig sits a little deep.

Recommended for:

The 1791 Gunleather Fair Chase Deer Hide IWB Holster is for anyone looking for a comfortable leather IWB holster. The quality and the soft leather is amazing.

PROS

Soft Deer Leather

Sizes For All Handguns

Very Comfortable

Low Profile

CONS

Not Adjustable

May Not Fit All Guns Optimally

Video of the 1791 Gunleather Fair Chase Holster


Falco Compact Hybrid IWB Holster – Best Customizable IWB Holster

Falco Compact Hybrid IWB Holster – Best Customizable IWB
  • Type: IWB
  • Material: Leather and Kydex
  • Handgun Models Available: Over 100
  • Return Policy: 30 Days
  • Warranty Policy: Lifetime
  • MSRP: $95.95

The Falco Compact Hybrid IWB holster is one of the best leather hybrid holsters we have found.

What’s great about hybrid holster designs is you get the best of the comfort of leather with the retention and durability of Kydex. As you can see, we have quite a few of them on our list.

The author's Falco Compact Hybrid IWB Holster with a Glock 43
The Falco Compact IWB holster and a Glock 43

This holster is a little unique from the others since it has more of a curved shape to it. I found that it was most comfortable in the 3 o’clock position on my hip.

The sweat guard is made from high-quality Italian leather. I like how the leather is thicker in the top part of the holster above the Kydex. This helps me holster my handgun during training. Some other holsters are thin here, and I find over time that they tend to hinder holstering easily.

The author wearing the Falco Compact Hybrid IWB Holster with a Glock 43
Wearing this holster with a Glock 43

This holster has an optional claw that really helps with concealment. It comes with two different claws that are different heights. I have found that having options here lets me customize the holster to me and my gun.

When you order this holster, there are a bunch of customization options available. You can select the leather color, stitching color, and the color of the leather edges. You can also laser engrave your initials or an image of your choice on the front and/or back. If you are buying it as a gift, there is even a fancy gift box available.

The Falco Compact Hybrid IWB Holster with a Glock 43 - side view
The claw can be customized to your carry position

The number of firearms and sight options that are available is huge. This is a compact holster, so it tends to work better with smaller compact or subcompact guns.

The only downside I could find is that the clip is not adjustable on this holster. You can order it in a straight or canted angle, however.

Recommended for:

The Falco Compact Hybrid IWB holster is for anyone looking for a compact hybrid IWB holster that they can customize.

PROS

Custom Options

Hybrid Design

Italian Leather

Many Models Available

CONS

Not Adjustable

Video of the Falco Compact Hybrid IWB Holster


Craft Holsters Lynx Open Top IWB – Best Molded Leather IWB Holster

Craft Holsters Lynx Open Top IWB – Best Molded Leather IWB
  • Type: IWB
  • Material: Leather
  • Handgun Models Available: over 50
  • Return Policy: 30 Days
  • Warranty Policy: 5 Years
  • MSRP: $69

The Craft Holsters Lynx Open Top IWB Holster is our pick for the best-molded leather IWB holster.

Craft holsters make some of the best leather holsters that I have seen. What makes this holster unique is it is molded to fit a particular firearm, much like a Kydex holster.

This holster is a great-looking traditional leather holster with no metal or plastic clips. Instead, it has leather loops with snaps that attach to your belt.

The Craft Lynx holster and the Sig P365
The is a great looking all leather holster

I found that the snaps could be difficult to snap depending on the belt I was wearing. After I learned to pull from the top to unsnap and to push from the bottom to snap, it became much easier. Initially, this was frustrating, though.

The leather loops have three possible positions, which allow you to adjust the ride height and cant angle of the holster.

The author wearing the Craft Lynx holster and the Sig P365
Drawing from this holster is smooth and easy. Retention is good since it is molded to my gun.

It is double-stitched on both sides of the holster and also has a reinforced opening. This keeps the holster open after I draw and allows me to holster my handgun while I am wearing it.

Since this is a wider holster, it is not meant to be worn in the appendix position. It works great in the 3 o’clock or 5 o’clock position since it is flexible and forms to my body.

I found that it was very comfortable with the Sig P365. It has a very low profile and was no problem to conceal.

The Craft Lynx holster
Notice the double stitching. You can even pick the color.

Craft makes this holster for all of the most common concealed carry handguns, has brown and black leather, and also offers a custom monogram.

If you like a traditional leather holster but want a holster custom-made for your handgun, this one is for you.

Recommended for:

The Craft Holsters Lynx Open Top IWB Holster is for anyone looking for a traditional leather IWB holster that trains a lot. The unique design keeps the holster open for easy holstering.

PROS

High-Quality Leather

Double Stitching

Adjustable

Molded Design

CONS

Snaps Can Be Difficult

Video of the Craft Holsters Lynx Open Top IWB Holster


Stealth Gear Ventcore 1.0 AIWB – Best Hybrid IWB Holster

Stealth Gear Ventcore 1.0 AIWB – Best Hybrid IWB
  • Type: IWB
  • Material: Hybrid
  • Handgun Models Available: Over 75
  • Return Policy: 30 Days
  • Warranty Policy: Lifetime
  • MSRP: $99

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

This holster has a soft fabric backing with a Kydex shell. As we discuss in our guide below, hybrid holsters are very comfortable.

The Stealth Gear Ventcore 1.0 and my Glock 19
The Stealth Gear Ventcore 1.0 and my Glock 19

What sets this holster apart is the unique fabric backing. It combines five different materials that make it breathable and sturdy.

While leather can be comfortable, it is not the best in hot weather and can degrade when exposed to sweat. This holster is as comfortable as leather and won’t degrade over time.

The author wearing the Stealth Gear Ventcore 1.0 and a Glock 19
This holster is very comfortable and not as hot as leather

We found that wearing this holster feels cooler than leather holsters. I have used one for my Glock 19 for nearly 5 years, and I can say from experience that during the hot summer months, I can really tell a difference.

The polymer clips are adjustable for both ride height and cant angle. I like this since I can use it in the appendix position as well as on my hip or behind my hip. The cross-draw position works well, too, when I am camping or working on my property.

I also like that I can tuck my shirt in behind the clips. So if I need to dress up, it is not a problem.

The Stealth Gear Ventcore 1.0 and my Glock 19, a Glock 43 in the background
You can run this holster with two clips or just one

Stealth Gear offers this holster for all the popular handgun models as well as pistol-mounted lights. It is hard to find many other companies that offer a light option.

Recommended for:

The Stealth Gear Ventcore IWB appendix holster is for anyone looking for a comfortable IWB hybrid holster for hot weather. The breathable material really sets this model apart from the others.

PROS

Hybrid Design

Breathable Material

Tuckable Clips

Pistol Light Options

CONS

Price

Video of the Stealth Gear Ventcore IWB appendix holster


Alien Gear Photon Holster – Best Value IWB Holster

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

The Alien Gear Photon holster is the latest holster system from Alien Gear. The price and capabilities make it a great value.

This holster comes with multiple pieces of hardware, so you can set it up as an IWB or an OWB holster. If you purchase the photon mag carrier, you can also set it up as an appendix holster with a sidecar.

The Author's three Alien Gear Holsters with a Glock 19, Glock 17, and Sig P365XL
The three configurations of the Alien Gear Photon Holsters

What I really like about this holster is its adjustment capabilities. When setting it up with the mag carrier sidecar, I can set the ride height and cant angle of both clips. I can also set the relationship between the holster and the mag carrier.

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

Wearing this holster with the sidecar can get a little tricky, depending on your belt. I found that with certain traditional buckle belts, I couldn’t find a good spot for my belt buckle that didn’t interfere with one of the clips. In my experience, a cobra-type adjustable belt is better and easier to use.

This adjustability makes it easy to adjust the holster to your body shape and handgun. It is even convertible between right-hand draw and left-hand draw.

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

If you like to carry OWB in cooler weather, you won’t need a different holster if you get this one. In just a few minutes, you can easily convert it over to an OWB holster.

The only thing I don’t like about this holster is it doesn’t have a sweat guard. So, the back of my handgun is directly against my body. If I wear a shirt under this holster, I find that it isn’t an issue. But in very hot weather I prefer a sweat guard.

The Author's Alien Gear Photon Holster and Sig P365XL
The Alien Gear Photon Holster with the Mag sidecar and my Sig P365XL

There are a bunch of gun models available, including pistol-mounted light options.

Recommended for:

The Alien Gear Photon holster is for anyone looking for a good holster at an affordable price. The adjustability and carry options this holster offers make it great if you are on a budget.

PROS

Can Use IWB or OWB

Adjustability

Ambidextrous

Light Bearing Models

CONS

No Sweat Guard

Video of the Alien Gear Photon Holster


Tips For Choosing the Best IWB Holster

Finding the best IWB holster for your concealed carry gun is no easy task. We have gone through many different holsters over the years, and even still, it seems like we find one that is better and changes our minds.

Getting the right holster depends mostly on your body shape and lifestyle. It does not depend on how many different people you see on Instagram with a particular brand of holster.

The type of handgun you want to carry also has some influence on your holster choice. Particularly for IWB, if you want to carry a large, heavy handgun in the appendix position it may be hard to find a comfortable holster. Before you pick the best concealed carry handgun for you, make sure you consider your holster options and how you would like to carry it.

Often, I recommend that people get both an IWB and an OWB concealed carry holster. OWB holsters work well in cooler weather when you can conceal them. But IWB holsters work well year-round.

Keep reading to learn more and find our tips on how to choose the best IWB holster for you.

IWB Carry Positions

Before deciding on the best IWB holster, it is important to understand the different IWB carry positions. While appendix carry is an IWB holster position, you can also carry some IWB holsters on your hip or behind your back.

For more help in deciding on the best concealed carry position for you, see our guide on the best concealed carry positions.

The Author with an IWB holster at the appendix position and a Sig P365XL
IWB Appendix Holster (CYA Ridge and Sig P365XL)

Important IWB Holster Features

There are some important features to look for when selecting an IWB concealed carry holster.

Safety is always the most important.

A safe holster will always fully guard the trigger, no matter what type of holster it is. If your holster does not guard the trigger, don’t use it, plain and simple. Most accidents occur from unintentional discharges when something pushes against the trigger.

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

Retention

Proper retention is also important for safety and security. Your holster should fit your handgun, and keep it in the holster during active movements. If the holster can’t hold your gun when you turn it upside down, don’t use it.

Holsters that are made for your particular model of handgun and have a retention adjustment screw often provide the best retention. Leather holsters can work well also, but need to be monitored as they wear.

Kydex holsters usually offer the best retention. But some leather holsters do a great job as well.

Comfort

Carrying an IWB holster is the trickiest of all holsters to find a comfortable carrying position. I list this as important since, over time, if a holster is not comfortable, you will not use it.

The appendix carry position is the most concealable. However, as I mentioned, depending on your body shape, it can be the most uncomfortable. The holster you choose plays a big part in this.

In general, hybrid holsters that have a fabric or leather pad that rests against your body are the most comfortable. Kydex holsters can be comfortable, too, but they need to be constructed properly.

The back of two Hybrid Holsters
The back of a Hidden Hybrid Holster and a Stealth Gear Holster

For appendix carry, thinner holsters are better than bulky ones, and they also need to have enough area to spread out the pressure. Think of stepping on a small Lego versus a larger one. The small one definitely hurts more!

All of the holsters on our list meet the comfort factor that we look for. Some are more comfortable than others, but we tossed out any that were not worth the mention.

Draw Grip

The holster you choose should allow you to get a full grip on your handgun before you draw it from the holster. If any part of the holster makes you reposition your hand after you draw it, adjust the holster or consider a different holster.

I have learned from years of shooting concealed carry guns in competitions that if I don’t get a good starting grip in the holster, my accuracy is terrible. I start by driving the web of my hand (area between my thumb and forefinger) into the backstrap of the handgun. If I can’t get this part of my hand high and firmly on the grip, it’s a no-go.

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

Also, some holsters will press the grip of my handgun into my body. When I draw, I have to bend or move to expose the grip. Some of this is OK, but too much leads to the same problem: I can’t get a good grip on the gun. Often times I can adjust the ride height of the holster to make this better.

Speaking of adjusting….

Adjustability

Everyone has a different shape. From my beer gut that is slowly forming to Blake’s nonexistent fat cells, even those on our team can’t just pass around the same holster and draw the same conclusion.

If the IWB holster you choose can adjust the way the holster attaches to your belt, it is a plus.

The ride height of a holster is where it rests compared to your belt. If you can adjust this up and down, it is helpful so that you can get a full grip on the handgun. A ride height that is too low will leave the grip of your handgun resting on your belt. Not good when you try to draw it.

The angle of the holster, or cant, is also important. You may need to adjust this depending on your carry position. If you are using a holster in the appendix position and move it to the 3 o’clock position,  you may need to adjust the cant of the holster for comfort or to allow a proper grip.

Re-holstering

While not a critical requirement, if a holster collapses after you draw your handgun, you will have to remove it before you can re-holster.

This is not super critical in a self-defense situation, but it can be helpful. You may need to help treat someone who is wounded or get children to safety. You can’t act quickly when you have no safe place to put your handgun.

Where it is a must for me is during training. While I am running drills, I have found that it is a pain to render your handgun safe, find somewhere to put it, pull off your holster, and then make your gun ready and re-holster every time.

If you are going to carry concealed, you must train. If training is not easy to do or is difficult, you probably won’t do it. So, being able to re-holster your handgun is not super critical, but a training time saver.

Concealing Features

One issue with smaller IWB holsters with a single clip is they can rotate, and the grip of your handgun can fall away from your body. This makes them more susceptible to being seen and “printing”.

To help remedy this, some IWB holsters will come with a feature often called a “wing” or “claw” that extends under the grip of the handgun and pushes on the inside of your waistband. This helps to keep this rotation from happening and pushes the grip of the handgun closer to your body.

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

The best holsters will have claws that are adjustable or removable so that you can tweak them to your preferences and body shape.

Clothing Considerations

If you have decided to carry an IWB holster, the type of clothing you wear is just as important as your holster. If you are not sure, check out our guide to the best concealed carry holster for other holster styles.

When you wear an IWB holster, the waistband of your pants needs to accommodate it. I have found that I need pants that are a size bigger than I need. If they fit just right without the holster, they will be much too tight when I shove a holster in the waistband.

This is the reason that most people say a holster is uncomfortable. It is not the holster; it is their pants.

A good gun belt is also a must-have. Not just any old belt, but a good solid belt that will keep your pants and the holster in place. In my experience, my pants will still be a little loose after putting my holster on. This is perfect since I can use my belt to tighten them comfortably.

The Author 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

If the weather is warm and you are only wearing a shirt, one that is looser around the waist will conceal better than a tighter one.

Also, consider wearing a tight-fitting shirt under your IWB holster. This will make it more comfortable and will help to keep sweat off the holster.

IWB Holster Materials

In our how to choose a concealed carry holster guide, we go through the pros and cons of the different materials. Focus on Kydex, Leather, or Hybrid designs. Cheaper holsters made out of Nylon or some cheap plastics do not work as well in our experience.

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

Price of an IWB Holster

A good quality holster that is safe and comfortable will cost at least $50. Anything cheaper than this should be studied very closely, as it is likely made from inferior material or does not have the proper safety features.

The best holsters will be between $50 and $150. Customer leather holsters and holsters that are custom-made to a particular combination of gun/optic/light will be the most expensive.

Keep in mind that there are plenty of imitation holsters made in low-cost countries on Amazon that are very cheap. Avoid these as they are a waste of time and money.

While the cost of a handgun and the cost of training ammo are much higher than a holster, you still don’t want a box full of holsters that you don’t use.


The Best IWB Holster for You

Choosing a comfortable IWB holster that fits your body shape and lifestyle is one of the hardest parts of concealed carry.

In the list above, we have listed the highest quality and most comfortable holsters out there. We have hands-on experience with all of them and did not list many of the holsters we have tried.

We also listed the return policy of each. While we hope that you find the perfect holster on the first try, it may be better to try a few of them and then send the ones back that you like the least.

The Hidden Hybrid Single clip holster is the most comfortable IWB holster we found, but any of the others will also serve you well.

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. Also check out our favorite concealed carry shorts guide and our tips for choosing the best shirt for concealed carry.

Now that you have learned about the best IWB holsters check out our other Self-defense guides and gear reviews. Our concealed carry guide has 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.