Luke Cuenco 03.29.21
The number of people in the U.S. who carry a concealed firearm continues to rise. The wake left by a tumultuous election, uncertainty around the coronavirus, and economic struggles, citizens are choosing to take their safety into their own hands. Carrying a handgun for protection comes with a lot of responsibility. Safety is the number one concern, and a large part of that safety is the holster. A quality holster that covers the trigger guard of your firearm is extremely important. While different people require different solutions, appendix in-the-waistband (AIWB) carry has become very popular. AIWB allows for quick draws, better control over the holstered weapon, and increased comfort. Below you will find my list of the best appendix holsters for concealed carry.
Table of Contents
1. Fierce Defender IWB Kydex Holster – Editor’s Pick
This style of holster being on the list isn’t going to surprise anyone. It’s been a favorite of those serious about concealed carry for some time. The Fierce Defender IWB holster is very similar to the one made by T REX Arms but is much less expensive. The ability to carry a spare magazine without needing a separate mag carrier is very convenient. Past convenience, the added weight from the magazine helps counter-balance the weight of a loaded handgun. The shape of the holster allows it to curve with the body. This increases comfort and concealability.
The Fierce Defender IWB is available for Glock models 23, 19, and 32 and is compatible with current Gen 5 modes. As an added benefit, the Fierce Defender can also accommodate an Inforce APLc weapon mounted light, the Holster retails on Amazon for just a touch under $85.
Pros/he Twin clips of the Sidecar make the rig extremely secure in the appendix position
Cons/Twin Clips means trips to the bathroom are kind of awkward
Bottom Line/Great for a simple fully loaded every day carry setup
2. Bravo Concealment Torsion 3.0 IWB – Budget Pick
The Bravo concealment Torsion IWB holster is very similar to the Plister floodlight holster with the noted deletion of the weapon light spot. This would be perfect if you’re looking for a more streamlined carry style and aren’t looking for a lot of extra options like magazine carriers or IWB/OWB compatibility. The Torsion is made from injection-molded plastic making it extremely durable and also features user-adjustable retention so you can get your draw adjusted down to exactly how you like it.
The Bravo Concealment Torsion 3.0 IWB holster is available for $34.99 making it one of the more affordable options on this list.
Pros/Lightweight and extremely durable
Cons/You’ll have to add a mag pouch
Bottom Line/A terrific holster for the money
3. PHLSTER Floodlight
While it appears to have a more traditional form, the Phlster Floodlight has a cool advantage over a lot of holsters. The Floodlight is ambidextrous. Instead of having to choose which hand you’ll be drawing with, you simply switch the IWB soft loops or belt clips to the preferred side. It can also be worn as a strong-side holster. Depending on your needs for the day, that gives you the ability to run the same holster instead of adding another one to the drawer. It uses the light to retain the firearm, meaning a variety of firearms can fit the same unit.
They can be had to fit the SureFire X300 or the Streamlight TLR-1. They’re available in black, OD green, tan, and wolf gray. There are less color options than some other options like the Sidecar, but there are all neutral colors that can blend in with anybody or any outfit. Retention is adjusted by shortening or lengthening the shock cord, which mates the two sides of the holster. The Floodlight will also work with muzzle devices and slide-mounted optics
Pros/Compatible with a wide variety of guns
Cons/ Lack of attachment options
Bottom Line/If you’re looking for one holster to cover multiple guns – this one is it
4. Veil Solutions
Veil Solutions makes the Ghost for most of the popular defensive handguns that are being carried. The best version, in my opinion, is the model meant for the Glock 42, 43, 43x, and 48. The minimalist design really shines when paired with one of these slimline pistols. It allows you to squeeze all of the benefits out of carrying a small gun.
The holster covers the trigger guard but does away with the bulk of a traditional holster making for a much slimmer and low-profile design. This ideally translates to better concealability and a slightly lighter weight.
Pros/Extremely small profile = Extreme concealability
Cons/Without the wing attachments it tends to drift from side to side
Bottom Line/Perfect option for deep concealment when wearing light clothing
5. Bianchi 6T Waistband Tuckable
If you spend much of your day in a suit, or you just like wearing your shirts tucked in, a solid tuckable holster is essential. These allow shirts to be tucked in over the holster. They use a special hook that goes behind your belt and loops back over the front. This specific model is made by Safariland.
The Bianchi 6T Waistband Tuckable holster not only offers you a wider array of clothing options to choose from when carrying, it is also designed to be lightweight and provide a thin profile which is extra important when you’re tucking in your shirt over your carry piece. The J-Clip is adjustable for either a forward or rearward cant if you feel the need to change the angle at which you draw from the appendix position. The MSRP on the Bianchi 6T Waistband Tuckable holster is $29.00 and is available for both left and right handed shooters as well as a black or brown suede colors.
Pros/Leather is comfortable to carry
Cons/Leather tends to hold onto sweat
Bottom Line/Hands down the most comfortable option on the list
Quick tips for appendix concealed carry
Use an undershirt to reduce the friction that is put on your appendix area – Carrying appendix can be rough on your stomach especially if you’re moving around a lot and an undershirt can serve as a good way to create a barrier between yourself and the grip of your gun.
Use a proper gun belt – Carrying appendix means putting a lot more weight on the front part of your belt than you’re normally used to. By equipping yourself with a good stiff belt like a Blue Alpha Gear EDC Hybrid or a Bullint Side Ratcheting Belt to both secure the holster to yourself and make sure your pants stay up.
Use a reverse cant to speed up your draw – We are all most familiar with putting a slight forward cant to our pistols for strong side carry but the opposite method works much better for appendix carry since the angle of your hand will be different when it meets the gun. Adjusting your gun to have a rearward cant that fits your draw angle will help optimize draws from your holster.
Can I sit with an appendix holster on?
You can, but for most, it’ll be uncomfortable unless you’ve spent time working on how you’d do so. It takes practice.
Can I use an appendix holster to carry on my hip?
You can use it on your hip, however, the cant of the holster will be off in most cases, as it is designed for a different draw angle. This is why I like different holsters for different carry angles depending on what I’m wearing, but be sure to practice with each holster.
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