8 Best OWB Holsters for Concealed Carry – 2024 Field Test

Last update:
We are reader supported! We participate in affiliate programs and we may be compensated (at no cost to you) when you use our links and make a purchase.

We field-tested over 30 of the best concealed carry OWB holsters and found the eight best options. However, which one works for you will depend on your lifestyle and body type.

Many people associate outside-the-waistband holsters with “open carry” holsters. However, we have discovered that some holsters are suitable for concealed carry, which is a significant advantage for those who cannot or do not wish to carry an IWB holster.

Best OWB Holster
Jason's top five picks for the best OWB holster
Some of the best OWB holsters for concealed carry we have found

Our team has over 25 years of experience with OWB holsters. We carry concealed every day and have used all types of OWB holsters in the military and in competitions.

Finding an OWB holster that works for concealed carry is a challenge. Most of them don’t conceal very well and aren’t designed for this purpose. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible to find one.

Keep reading to find out which holsters we found that do work and our tips on how to pick the best one for you. Also check out our full concealed carry guide!


Comparison of our Favorite OWB Holsters

BEST OWB
Stealth Gear Ventcore 1.0

Stealth Gear Ventcore 1.0

Hybrid Design

Flexible

Fits over 75 Guns

MSRP: $129

BEST LEATHER
Craft Holsters Panther Open Top OWB holster

Craft Holsters Panther Open Top OWB

Low Profile

Molded Leather

Over 100 Gun Models

MSRP: $69

BEST VALUE
Alien Gear Photon Holster

Alien Gear Photon Holster

IWB or OWB

Full Kydex

Fits over 50 Guns

MSRP: $44.88

BEST UNIVERSAL FIT
1791 Gunleather BH2.1 OWB

1791 Gunleather BH2.1 OWB

Universal Fit

Quality Leather

Not Adjustable

MSRP: $65

CHECK SALE PRICE

Jump to Review

Save 15% at Checkout with code SS15!

BEST CUSTOM
1791 Gunleather Ultra Custom

1791 Gunleather Ultra Custom

Molded by User

Quality Leather

Light Bearing Option

MSRP: $100

CHECK SALE PRICE

Jump to Review

Save 15% at Checkout with code SS15!

BEST MOLDED LEATHER
Falco Pancake Style Leather Holster

Falco Pancake Style Leather Holster

Molded Leather

Many Gun Models

Not Adjustable

MSRP: $120

BEST PADDLE HOLSTER
1791 Gunleather Optic Ready Paddle Holster

1791 Gunleather Optic Ready Paddle Holster

Nice Leather

Universal Fit

Low Profile

MSRP: $65

CHECK SALE PRICE

Jump to Review

Save 15% at Checkout with code SS15!

BEST LEATHER HYBRID
Hidden Hybrid OWB Holster

Hidden Hybrid OWB Holster

Hybrid Design

Over 100 Gun Models

Not Adjustable

MSRP: $70


Best OWB Holsters for Concealed Carry

While OWB holsters are usually considered open-carry holsters, we have found some that conceal very well. We did not include open carry, competition, or OWB holsters that do not conceal well. These are strictly for concealed carry only.

Stealth Gear Ventcore OWB – Best Overall

Stealth Gear Ventcore OWB – Best OWB
  • Material: Hybrid
  • Handgun Models Available: Over 75
  • Return Policy: 30 Days
  • Warranty Policy: Lifetime
  • MSRP: $129.00

I have been using holsters from stealth gear for over 5 years now.

The Ventcore OWB holster is one of my favorite OWB holsters. It is a hybrid holster design with a unique breathable backing and a Kydex shell.

Jason wearing the Stealth Gear OWB holster with a Walther PDP
Jason wearing the Stealth Gear OWB holster and a Walther PDP Compact

The clips of the holster are mounted to flexible wings that allow it to conform to my body. I have found this design has two benefits. It makes it comfortable to wear, and it makes it more concealable than any other holster.

I like the belt clips on this holster. I can put the holster on without taking my belt off; they snap over it. I have used this holster for thousands of draw repetitions in dry fire, competitions, and range drills. It has never pulled off of my belt once.

The clips are moveable so I can adjust the ride height and cant angle. This is important to be able to adjust the holster to different body types and shapes.

Jason's Stealth Gear OWB holster and his Walther PDP
Flexibility and adjustability make this a great holster

The retention is also adjustable on the Kydex shell by a screw near the trigger guard.

I found that the screws on the holster really need Loctite. I have had a few back out over time. It hasn’t been an issue since there are redundant screws and spares are included.

There are a ton of pistol and light-bearing options available for this holster. The price is slightly higher, and the lead time is slightly longer than some other holsters. But I have found it to be worth it.

*Update – As I have been training with this holster for some time now I noticed the edges of the wings are fairly sharp. I have hit my fingers on them when my draw is not exactly perfect (when trying to go faster.) I simply took a fine file and rounded them off.

Recommended for:

The Stealth Gear Ventcore OWB holster is for anyone seeking a concealable and comfortable OWB holster. The flexible design makes this holster one of the best.

PROS

Hybrid Design

Flexible and Comfortable

Many Gun Models

Adjustable

CONS

Price

Lead Time

Edges of Wings Sharp

Video of the Stealth Gear Ventcore OWB Holster


Craft Holsters Panther Open Top OWB – Best Leather OWB Holster

Craft Holsters Panther Open Top OWB
  • Material: Leather
  • Handgun Models Available: Over 100
  • Return Policy: 30 Days
  • Warranty Policy: 5 Year
  • MSRP: $69

The Craft Holsters Panther Open Top OWB holster is one of the best OWB leather holsters we have found.

What makes this holster stand out is the molded design. Craft has a process where they mold each holster to a specific handgun, much like Kydex.

Jason and the Craft Panther OWB Holster with the Glock 19
Jason and the Craft Panther OWB Holster with the Glock 19

This is amazing since I can get a leather holster with most of the benefits of a Kydex holster. I have one of these for my Glock 19, which fits it perfectly.

As this holster has a pancake-style design, the wings that come with belt loops are flexible and conform to my waist. This allows me to conceal my handgun with ease.

The quality of the Italian leather is top-notch, as well as the double stitching in key areas.

I especially like how the opening of the holster is reinforced with a second piece of leather. This helps it retain shape and provides a nice opening when I holster my gun.

The Craft Panther holster and the Glock 19
The Craft Panther holster and the Glock 19

The sweat guard is what I would call a “half guard” or “combat cut.” It allows me to get a positive grip on my gun when I draw it. This is a key feature I look for in any holster. Accuracy starts with a good grip.

Since this is a leather holster, it is not adjustable. I found the angle to be a little more forward than I prefer, but not by a huge amount. I found after a few draw repetitions, it was manageable.

Recommended for:

The Craft Holsters Panther Open Top OWB holster is for anyone seeking a compact, concealable, leather OWB holster. I found the flexible design makes it comfortable to wear as well.

PROS

Italian Leather

Pancake Design

Conceals Well

Custom Molded

CONS

Belt Loops

Not Adjustable

Video of the Craft Panther OWB Holster


Alien Gear Photon – Best Convertible Holster

Alien Gear Photon Holster
  • Material: Kydex
  • Handgun Models Available: Over 100
  • Return Policy: 30 Day Test Drive
  • Warranty Policy: Lifetime
  • MSRP: $44.88

The Alien Gear Photon holster is the newest holster from Alien Gear.

It is a Kydex holster specifically molded for a ton of different handguns. They also have light-bearing models available.

Jason showing the rear of the Alien Gear Photon Holster
The back of the Alien Gear Photon holster with the OWB paddle attachment

What is so unique about this holster is it will convert from an OWB paddle-style holster to an IWB holster. The price is also very affordable, which makes it a great value.

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

I have tried this holster with the Sig P365, Glock 19, and Glock 17. It has plenty of built in adjustment, so I found I could get the ride height and angle where I wanted it. It even coverts between right-hand and left-hand shooters.

Jason assembling the Alien Gear Photon Holster
The Alien Gear Photon Holster does require some setup

I expected to find that with the OWB paddle attachment, my handguns would sit a little farther away from my body than some of the other holsters. Alien Gear did a good job here and kept the paddle low profile. Even with my Glock 17, it still sits close to my body.

Jason showing the profile on the Alien gear photon paddle
You can see the paddle has a low profile to the holster

I especially like that the holster came with a bunch of spare hardware. I don’t know how many times I have dropped those tiny screws, and it seems like they disappear when they hit the floor.

The back has a low sweat guard, which some people like. I do not like it as much since the slide serrations and my aftermarket sight rub against my shirt when I move.

Jason wearing the Alien Gear Photon holster with a Glock 17
Jason wearing the Alien Gear Photon setup in OWB with a Glock 17

Recommended for:

The Alien Gear Photon holster is for anyone who wants a convertible holster. I can easily change it between OWB and IWB, and the price is great.

PROS

Can Use IWB or OWB

Adjustability

Affordable

Low Profile Paddle

CONS

No Sweat Guard

Video of the Alien Gear Photon Holster


1791 Gunleather BH2.1 OWB – Best Universal Fit

1791 Gunleather BH2.1 OWB

Save 15% with code “SS15” at checkout!

  • Material: Leather
  • Universal Fit
  • Return Policy: 30 Days
  • Warranty Policy: Lifetime
  • MSRP: $65

The 1791 Gunleather BH2.1 Optic-Ready Holster is a full leather holster that I found to conceal very well.

The pancake design allows it to hug my body and keeps the grip of my handgun tucked in. The belt loops are pre-formed to wrap around my hip.

The craftsmanship and the leather top notch. If you like fresh leather’s smell, you will like this holster. It is made from 100% American steerhide. There are also multiple colors available.

One issue I usually find with leather holsters is they get soft and don’t hold their shape over time. This can lead to a dangerous situation with retention and guarding the trigger.

That is not the case with this holster. It has a reinforced opening and is molded to retain its shape over time.

The 1791 Gunleather BH2 and the Glock 19
The 1791 Gunleather BH2 and the Glock 19

This is a universal fit holster, meaning it isn’t made for a specific handgun. There are multiple sizes available, however, and you can find the handguns that fit each one.

This may be an issue depending on what gun you have, especially if you have one that is not so common.

I found that my holster needed to be broken in since my Glock 19 was initially tight. I simply followed the included instructions, and after a couple of days, the retention was just right.

Jason and the 1791 Gunleather BH2 Holster and the Glock 19
Jason and the 1791 Gunleather BH2 Holster and the Glock 19

Since this is a full leather holster, it is not adjustable. That is really the only negative, however, this is common for all leather OWB holsters.

Recommended for:

The 1791 Gunleather BH2.1 OWB Holster is for anyone looking for a classic leather OWB holster for concealed carry.

PROS

Molded Leather

Looks Great

Contoured Shape

Universal Fit

CONS

Belt Loops

Not Adjustable


1791 Gunleather Ultra Custom OWB

1791 Gunleather Ultra Custom OWB

Save 15% with code “SS15” at checkout!

  • Material: Leather
  • Universal Fit
  • Return Policy: 30 Days
  • Warranty Policy: Lifetime
  • MSRP: $99.99

The 1791 Gunleather Ultra Custom OWB holster is one of the most unique OWB holsters we have found.

I was able to custom mold this holster to my specific handgun/light combination. The molding process can also be repeated over and over, which means that I can change handguns or lights if I want without buying a new holster.

Jason showing the 1791 Ultra Custom with a Walther PDP
The 1791 Ultra Custom and my Walther PDP

This is great, especially when a new gun or light comes out, and I can’t find anyone that has made a holster for it yet.

For my holster, I molded it to my Walther PDP with a Streamlight TLR7.

First, I heated the holster up inside the included bag in hot water. At first, I wasn’t sure how to do it, but I found that using a large pot on the stove and monitoring the temperature with my BBQ thermometer worked great. I adjusted the temperature to keep the water between 155 and 175 degrees.

Jason heating up the 1791 Ultra Custom Holster before molding
This is my heating setup

After about 10 minutes, I took the holster out and inserted my handgun. I noticed the holster was soft enough to hand mold it. Once the holster cooled, it was stiff and was custom molded to my PDP and light.

Jason molding the 1791 Ultra Custom Holster
I used my hands and the included tool to mold the holster

The single belt loop on the back of the holster keeps my gun close to my body, which is good for concealment. However, I found this holster to be on the bulky side.

The leather is very nice and still has the leather smell that I like so much. It includes an exchangeable rib and an adjustable retention screw which allows me to adjust it even more.

Jason wearing the 1791 Gunleather Ultra Custom Holster and a Walther PDP
Jason wearing the Ultra Custom holster with a Walther PDP

While the ride height and angle of the belt loop are not adjustable, I found that I could change how high my handgun sat in the holster by molding it in a different position.

Recommended for:

The 1791 Gunleather Ultra Custom OWB holster is for someone who either can’t find a holster for their gun/light combo or wants a flexible holster that can change over time.

PROS

User Molded

Quality Leather

Works for Any Gun

CONS

Belt Loop

Bulky

Video of How to Mold the Ultra Custom Holster


Falco Pancake Style Leather OWB Holster

Falco Pancake Style OWB
  • Material: Leather
  • Handgun Models Available: Over 3000!
  • Return Policy: 30 Days
  • Warranty Policy: Lifetime
  • MSRP: $119.95

The Falco Pancake Style OWB holster is a great-looking leather holster that is custom-molded to your specific handgun.

I tried one with my Glock 17 with a TLR7 pistol-mounted light. The first time I tried it, my gun slid right in. No break-in was needed. It has good retention, almost as good as a Kydex holster. I did find that sometimes when I draw though, the light gets turned on.

Jason showing the Falco Pancake holster and a Glock 17
I really like how this leather holster is custom made for my gun and light

This holster comes with a retention strap. At first, it was very hard to snap in place. I managed to get it snapped after working the strap around the back of my handgun. After leaving it snapped overnight, it was somewhat easier, but still a challenge sometimes. I used the helpful leather holster break-in guide from Craft holsters, and the strap was much easier to use over time.

While I typically don’t like a strap, it works well on this holster, especially for larger guns. It is easy to unsnap with just my thumb as I draw.

The Italian leather is super nice, as well as the double stitching. This is a great-looking holster.

Jason wearing the Falco pancake OWB holster and a Glock 17
Jason wearing the Flaco pancake OWB holster and a Glock 17

What amazes me is the number of gun models they can make this holster for. It is massive and impossible to count how many combinations they have. There are over 50 different pistol-mounted lights to choose from! There are also many other options to choose from, like cant angle and sight type.

The pancake design keeps my handgun close to my body, which helps to conceal my big Glock 17.

My only big negative is this holster is not adjustable, but neither are other 100% leather holsters.

Recommended for:

The Falco Pancake Style OWB holster is for someone who wants a leather holster for a larger gun with a pistol-mounted light. It conceals well under a jacket.

PROS

High Quality

Molded Design

Low Profile

Many Options

CONS

Strap Needs Break-in

Not Adjustable

Video of the Falco Pancake OWB Holster


1791 Gunleather Optic Ready Paddle Holster

1791 Optic Ready Paddle Holster

Save 15% with code “SS15” at checkout!

  • Material: Leather
  • Universal Fit
  • Return Policy: 30 Days
  • Warranty Policy: Lifetime
  • MSRP: $65

The 1791 Gunleather Optic Ready Paddle Holster is a leather OWB holster with a paddle attachment.

I find that paddle holsters are nice because I can take them on and off. However, I usually find that they make my handgun sit farther away from my body, which makes concealment challenging.

Jason showing the 1791 paddle holster with the Sig P365
The 1791 leather paddle holster and a Sig P365XL

I was surprised to find that this paddle holster sat nice and close to my body. They made the attachment point as low profile as possible.

The leather on this holster is amazing just like all of 1791 Gunleather’s holsters. It smells great, and I really like the burgundy color.

This holster is a universal fit holster, which can be concerning since retention may not be the best. With the C size, I found that a Sig P365 fit nice and snug, but a Glock 43 was very tight.

The 1791 Gunleather Paddle Holster
The 1791 Gunleather Paddle Holster

The holster comes with break-in instructions, which I have found helps greatly. I leave my gun in the holster for a few days, and it fits much better. There is also an adjustable retention screw around the trigger guard which helps also.

That being said, it may not work with every gun. If you find it doesn’t work with yours, they have an easy return policy.

Jason wearing the 1791 gunleather paddle holster and a Sig P365XL
Jason wearing the 1791 gunleather paddle holster and a Sig P365XL

Most leather holsters have loops that do not allow me to take the holster on and off without unhooking my belt. This leather holster solves that issue with the paddle attachment.

The cant angle is also adjustable on the back of the holster, which most other leather holsters can’t do either.

Jason showing the back of the 1791 Gunleather Paddle Holster
The back of the 1791 Gunleather paddle holster showing the adjustment

Recommended for:

The 1791 Gunleather Optic Ready Paddle Holster is for anyone who wants a leather OWB holster that can be taken on and off without unhooking your belt.

PROS

Nice Leather

Adjustable Angle

Low Profile Paddle

CONS

Universal Fit


Hidden Hybrid Holsters OWB

Hidden Hybrid Holsters OWB
  • Material: Hybrid
  • Handgun Models Available: Over 100
  • Return Policy: 30 Day
  • Warranty Policy: Lifetime
  • MSRP: $69.95

The Hidden Hybrid Holsters OWB holster is a hybrid design OWB holster with a leather backing and Kydex shell.

This design keeps my gun close to my body, which is a must for concealment.

There are a bunch of gun models available, including pistol-mounted lights. There are also different leather and Kydex colors available. They even have the “RMR Guard” option if you have an optic mounted on your handgun.

Overall, I like the cant angle, which is slightly forward. However, it is not adjustable on this holster.

The belt loops in the leather are pass-through type loops. I find this is good for concealment, but I can’t take the holster off without unhooking my belt.

There are two retention adjustment screws, so I can adjust it just how I like. Many other OWB hybrid design holsters don’t have this feature.

I do like how the loops are high on the leather backing. This keeps the ride height lower to make my drawstroke more comfortable. I find some concealable OWB holsters make my gun sit too high, causing an awkward drawstroke.

Overall, the quality is great, and it is one of the more affordable holsters I have found.

Recommended for:

The Hidden Hybrid OWB holster is for anyone looking for a comfortable, affordable, and concealable OWB holster.

PROS

Hybrid Design

Many Gun Models

Affordable

CONS

Not Adjustable


Tips on Choosing the Best OWB Concealed Carry Holster

To better understand if OWB or one of the other concealed carry positions may be better for you, make sure you check out our best concealed carry positions guide. Once you have an idea of what may be best for you, check out our How to Choose a Concealed Carry Holster guide.

Contrary to what I usually hear, I have found it possible to carry my handgun in an OWB holster and conceal it. It can be a challenge, though.

Carrying a handgun, especially a larger one, concealed in an OWB holster is more comfortable than an IWB holster. I have found it to be much easier to conceal in cooler weather when I can wear an unbuttoned shirt, jacket, or vest. In fact, when the weather allows, it is my first choice.

There are certain features to look for, as not all OWB holsters can be concealed. Here are some features I look for when choosing an OWB holster for concealed carry.

  • The holster should fully guard the trigger.
  • The holster should retain the gun securely.
  • The holster should allow a full grip on the handgun when drawing it.
  • The holster should be adjustable.
  • The holster should not collapse after drawing the handgun.
  • The holster should hold the handgun close to the body.
  • The holster should be Kydex, Leather, or a Hybrid design.
  • The holster should be comfortable so that I will use it regularly.
  • The holster must not be a Serpa holster! See this bulletin on why not to use them.

Safety should be at the top of the list, of course. That is why guarding the trigger and retention are a priority.

I prefer a holster that is flexible. I have tried full rigid Kydex OWB holsters with belt loops. The loops on these holsters tend to dig into my hip when I tighten my belt. They also make the grip of my handgun point away from my body, depending on how I position them.

To conceal a handgun with an OWB holster, I have found that it needs to hold the gun close to my body. To do this, the attachment method should be low profile and add minimal distance between my belt and handgun.

The best OWB holsters to conceal, in my experience, are hybrid-style or leather holsters. They add very little space here, if any.

There are three basic belt attachment methods to consider:

  • Loop: These are the lowest profile and can be concealed very well. The only disadvantage is I have to take my belt loose to take the holster on and off.
  • Clips: These can be low profile, depending on the holster design. I have found they work well on hybrid holster designs. The big advantage is I can take my holster on and off without unhooking my belt.
  • Paddle: These are basically one large clip that hooks over my belt. Some are not as low profile as others. Similarly to clips, I can take these on and off without unhooking my belt.
Jason showing the different belt attachment methods for holsters
The three different belt attachment options for concealed carry

Finally, I make sure to use a proper concealed carry gun belt when I carry an OWB holster. It helps keep the holster in position and close to my body. It will also keep the holster in place when I draw my handgun.

Choose the Best OWB Holster for You

All of the holsters I listed above have worked well for us. They also have excellent return policies, so it is easy to return if one doesn’t work well for you.

Go with the Stealth Gear Ventcore OWB for the best we have found.

If you prefer a leather holster, 1791 Gunleather has plenty of options, as well as Craft Holsters and Falco Holsters.

For the best value, go with the Alien Gear Photon holster.

Be sure to check out our Best IWB Holster guide and Best Appendix Holster guide for inside the waistband holsters to compliment your OWB holster. In warm weather, these are much easier to conceal.

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!

If you have not already, start our full concealed carry guide from the beginning. It is full of info you won’t find anywhere else. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter since we are adding new content every week!

Go Back: Concealed Carry Guide

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.
Photo of author
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.