Sometimes you just aren't able, or willing, to dress for concealed carry.

Whether you are out on a morning jog or just running some quick errands in your sweat pants and a tee-shirt, if you're like me you still want to have that peace of mind that comes with having your weapon on hand.

But without a belt to attach your IWB holster to, that can be very difficult, if not impossible. 

In times like this, it's nice to have options.

And one of the best options is a good belly band holster.

What is a belly band holster?

Belly band holster

If you're not familiar with belly band holsters, they are a great alternative to traditional belt-loop style holsters in that they allow you to carry even if you're not dressed to do so.

Typically made with a type of elastic or neoprene material, belly bands wrap around your waist or mid-section, allowing you to carry even if you're not wearing any clothing at all! Hey, there's no judgment here 😉 

Some modular belly band holsters allow you to attach a regular old IWB holster directly to the strap so that you can have the same benefits and security as you would with a traditional holster.

Others use a less secure cloth (or elastic) pocket stitched into the fabric which works but generally isn’t as secure or safe to carry.

And that's where I come in.

You see, I'm a bit of a nerd when it comes to tactical gear, particularly holsters.

After testing about 50 different types, and trashing the vast majority of them, I decided to put together this post to share with you, what I have found to be the best on the market.

Although it's not an exhaustive list - let's face it, there are literally HUNDREDS of these things out there - it’s a list of the ones that I found to be worth talking about.

What Are The Best Belly Band Holsters?

Alien Gear Sport Tuck Belly Band & Holster Bundle

Alien Gear Sport Tuck Belly Band & Holster Bundle

Alien Gear Sport Tuck Belly Band & Holster Bundle

The Alien Gear Sport Tuck Belly Band is a bit different from other belly band holsters as it does not come with a built-in holster.

On its own it's just a band that goes around your waist that can be paired with an IWB holster of your choice (from the Alien Gear lineup, obviously).

This is actually a good thing because belly band holsters are never as safe or efficient as a regular IWB holster.

I decided to go with the Shapeshift 4.0 holster pairing for my SIG P365

The belly band itself is made from a stretchable neoprene material, which is super-comfortable and soft on the skin.

The kit comes with a thumb-release lever that fits onto the holster, which helps to secure it into place and prevents your firearm from accidentally coming out of the holster.

This has its drawbacks, however, as it adds an extra step to drawing your gun.

Personally, I find that the retention with the Shapeshift 4 IWB is plenty sufficient, so I chose not to use the thumb-release lever with my setup.

As far as concealability, I found the Alien Gear Sport Tuck belly band to be one of the most concealable setups I've tried.

Depending on how you decide to position it (I position mine on the side, which I've found to be the least noticeable) the amount of printing is negligible.

Appendix carry seems to allow a bit more printing, but that could just be due to the fact that I have a bit more of a gut these days.

One of the nicest things about this setup is the fact that the holster can be raised or lowered between 3 different settings, as well as having adjustable cant and retention, which are features that simply do not exist with most other belly band holsters. 

All in all, if you are looking for a good belly band setup, I would highly recommend giving this one a look.

It's a bit pricier than other options (my setup was around $80 all-in), but for what you get, it's well worth the price.

Galco Underwraps Belly Band 2.0

Galco Underwraps Belly Band 2.0

Galco Underwraps Belly Band 2.0

As someone who owns several holsters from Galco Gunleather, I guess I consider myself somewhat of a fanboy.

So when I learned about the new Underwraps Belly Band 2.0, I jumped at the opportunity to test it out. 

The cool thing about this belly band is that it allows you to carry multiple weapons, along with anything else you may need to take with you on the go - whether it be a pocketknife, flashlight, cash, ammo, or whatever else you can manage to fit inside the two accessory pockets that come with it. 

You can wear it like a traditional belly band (low on your waistline, partially under your belt line or just above it), or even around your mid-section.

You don’t need a belt, and you can wear it with just about any type of clothing, even pajamas if you feel the need. 

It’s made from elasticized nylon and accommodates strong side, cross-draw, and appendix carry. It retails for around $60, and the versatility that it offers is well worth every penny.

If you’re looking for a great belly band holster that is made from quality materials and is backed by a company that you can trust, you can’t go wrong with the Galco Underwraps.

Crossbreed Modular Belly Band

Crossbreed Modular Belly Band

Crossbreed Modular Belly Band

Founded in 2005, CrossBreed Holsters quickly became one of the premier holster manufacturers in the nation. 

They make each holster by hand, right here in the USA.

I own several Crossbreed holsters, including the ReckoningSuperTuckSuperSlide, and MaxSlide.

Needless to say, Crossbreed is a company that I trust. 

A friend brought me the Modular Belly Band to try out, and I was thrilled to oblige.

If you've used belly band holsters before, you know how difficult it can be to re-holster your weapon, since most belly band holsters are nothing more than a strip of material (usually elastic or neoprene), that feature a gun-shaped pocket sewn into it as a “holster.”

They are typically pretty flimsy, which can make drawing and re-holstering your weapon pretty difficult.

There are safety issues that come with them as well, such as not having significant protection from accidental trigger depression. 

The Crossbreed Modular Belly Band holster eliminated these issues by adapting their flagship Kydex and leather holsters onto the band itself.

The band consists of elastic with several Velcro panels for attaching the holster and magazine pouch (optional).

The band then wraps around your body, and around the holster a second time to secure it into place.

As you could expect from a company like Crossbreed, the Modular Belly Band holster is a step above most other belly bands on the market.

Alien Gear Low-Pro Belly Band Holster

Alien Gear Low-Pro Belly Band Holster

Alien Gear Low-Pro Belly Band Holster

Alien Gear is pretty well known for decent quality holsters, in fact, I have reviewed several of their holsters on this site, such as the Shapeshift IWB and Cloak Tuck.

So, I figured it would be worth checking out the Low-Pro Belly Band Holster

The first thing that I noticed about this product was the neoprene material in the band itself, which is very comfortable against the skin.

I could easily see myself wearing this material all day without any issues as far as comfort.

One of the main drawbacks with belly band holsters is the fact that most of them aren’t really a holster at all, and instead just offer a pocket that is sewn into the material that you can fit your gun into.

So it was nice to see that the Low-Pro actually features a thermoplastic shell holster that is built on top of the fabric.

This offers quite a bit more trigger protection than traditional belly bands and also helps to more quickly and safely re-holster your weapon. 

The holster offers adjustable retention as well.

I found that it takes a bit of tinkering in order to get it just right for my preferences, however, once I got it dialed in correctly, it was just fine.

After a day of use, I did come across a few issues with this holster, unfortunately.

For starters, I found that the angle of the holster was a bit awkward, and took a bit of getting used to when practicing my draw.

Also, the way that the holster sits allows the grip of my pistol to stick out just enough to catch on my shirt as I’m pulling it up to draw, which I had to compensate for by pulling my shirt out a bit more in order to clear the grip before drawing my pistol. 

Secondly, since the grip does stick out at such a weird angle I wasn’t able to conceal it as well and noticed printing even with a larger shirt.

While this is a common issue with belly band holsters, I had hoped for a bit better from Alien Gear.   

Even with these issues, I would still consider the Low-Pro as a viable option in the belly band space.

The quality of the materials and workmanship with this holster easily puts it in the lead when compared to other cheaper options.

Tactica Belly Band

Tactica Belly Band

Tactica Belly Band

The Tactica Defense Belly Band holster consists of an elastic, neoprene band fitted with a molded holster shell.

The band is designed to wrap around the midsection and then loop through a strap ring before fastening and securing with a hook and loop.

As someone who has tried a lot of different belly bands, one of the first things that I noticed about the Tactica is the fact that the band is a bit narrower than other belly bands, occupying less space around my midsection.

I give this a +1 for comfort, as I find, in general, that the less material that comes into contact with the skin, the less irritation and discomfort results.

The thing that I like most about this setup is the fact that the holster does a good job of securing your firearm in place and offers trigger protection to prevent accidental discharge.

It also offers adjustable retention through the use of a set of screws and a key wrench.

The holster itself is canted in an almost horizontal angle for what the company touts as a more natural grip, but personally, I found that this angle requires a bit of practice drawing in order to get used to. 

For concealability, the Tactica won’t work with every outfit.

While this is common with belly bands that offer a Kydex or molded shell, I found that wearing a tighter shirt revealed ridiculous amounts of printing, to the point that you could see the full outline of the pistol under my tee. 

Moving it a bit lower below the waistline did offer a bit more concealment, but since the grip of the gun sticks out quite a bit, there was still an odd-looking protrusion, even when wearing it low.

Wearing a looser shirt helps quite a bit, but it's definitely something to keep in mind with this holster. 

Functionally I found that the Tactica worked exceptionally well at staying in place during normal activities, even when running or jogging.

This is likely due to the addition of a steel spring which is embedded into the band material, which is a great design concept.

ComfortTac Ultimate Belly Band Holster

ComfortTac Ultimate Belly Band Holster

ComfortTac Ultimate Belly Band Holster

The ComfortTac belly band is a universal style holster, which means that you can carry just about any model handgun with it, from full-size to subcompact.

I tested it with my Glock 17 just to see how it would hold up with a full-size pistol. 

It held up pretty well, allowing me to go through an entire day without any issues whatsoever. 

From a comfort standpoint, this holster definitely lived up to its name.

It is made with an elastic-type material with a neoprene backing which helps with breathability and comfort.

The belt itself is about 4’ wide and around ⅛’ thick which offers a decent amount of padding against your skin.

The belt secures around your waist using a strip of velcro that is about 2 inches across and the width of the belt.

While I felt that this would be an issue, with repeated use I can say that I had no problems with the velcro staying in place during normal day-to-day activities.

The holster setup is for a vertical draw orientation, with no options for adjusting the cant since the holster is made from the same material as the belt and is stitched into the belt itself.

It uses a strap retention system that has a button that snaps into place to secure your firearm.

While this works well for its intended purpose, it does add an extra step to your draw and will likely require a bit of practice to get used to. 

Concealability is pretty decent, especially from the side position and with loose-fitting clothing.

As I mentioned before, this is typical for belly band holsters, however, I found that the ComfortTac does a good job at holding my pistol tightly against my body which helps out quite a bit.  

The biggest downside for me with this holster was the fact that it offers no real trigger protection.

Yes, the trigger is at least covered, but since it uses the elastic material for the holster, it isn’t as secure as it could be.

You could purchase a stand-alone Kydex trigger guard as a separate item, but on its own, I would recommend against carrying with a round in the chamber with this setup. 

Overall, it’s a good belly band holster for the price and I’d recommend it.

Bear Armz Tactical Belly Band Holster

Bear Armz Tactical Belly Band Holster

Bear Armz Tactical Belly Band Holster

This holster is very similar to the ComfortTac in that it is universal, meaning that it will fit nearly any size handgun that you want to carry.

It is also made from the same Neoprene material which provides a great deal of comfort and is ideal for all-day carry situations.

It similarly secures around your waist using a very strong velcro, which stays in place very well. 

The Bear Armz also uses strap retention that snaps into place over the grip of your pistol, which keeps it firmly in place until you need it.

It comes with an additional magazine pouch which also uses the same snap retention, holding your extra mags into place as well.

Also included is an extra pouch that can hold additional items that you may want to carry - a cellphone, cash, pocketknife, etc.

The great thing about this pouch is that, since the back is attached to the belt using velcro, you can position it anywhere on the belt that you choose, or take it off completely. 

As with the ComfortTac, you will need to choose your hand orientation at purchase.

It offers a strict vertical draw, with no options for adjusting cant.

This is, much like the ComfortTac, because the holster itself is made from the same material and is stitched into place. 

Concealment is pretty good for this type of holster.

It keeps your sidearm pulled snug against your body which generally reduces any printing issues, providing that your clothes fit loosely enough to give you that extra bit of space.

The downside to this holster, which is the same for just about all belly band holsters of this type, is the lack of trigger protection.

As with the ComfortTac, I would recommend against carrying with a round chambered while using it. 

But with that issue aside, this is a great belly band at a great price and I don’t think that you could go wrong here. 

Bottom Line

As I mentioned earlier, this isn’t an exhaustive list of all options available.

I don’t have the time, or frankly, the money to test them all.

It’s not even a list of all of the holsters that I’ve tested, only the ones that I thought were worth your time or money.

However, this is only my opinion, and I understand that is very subjective.

That’s why I decided to focus on 4 critical areas that I think are the most important when putting together a list such as this.

And those are:

  1. Comfort
  2. Reliability
  3. Safety
  4. Concealability

I think that these are factors that we can all agree on, so it's probably the best way to go about putting together a list like this. 

Do you agree with this list?

Let me know in the comments section!


Are belly band holsters any good?

That really depends upon the design of the particular holster. The concept is pretty practical, and very effective when you don't have the option to carry normally. Belly bands are generally comfortable to wear and are a good alternative to traditional IWB or Appendix carry holsters.

Do belly band holsters print?

In my experience, belly band holsters tend to print more than a well-designed IWB holster. This is mainly due to how they are made and how they fit against your body. Without wedges or claws, it is difficult to keep your pistol tucked as snugly to your body, leaving more opportunities for printing. There are, however, exceptions to both sides of this rule.

Do men wear belly band holsters?

Of course. I consider myself a pretty manly man, and I have no problems wearing one when circumstances warrant wearing one.

Are gun belly bands Safe?

For the most part, yes. As with everything else gun-related, a holster is only ever as safe as the person who is using it. However, without trigger guards, no holster is going to be as safe as it can be. My recommendation is to never carry with a chambered round when wearing ANY holster that doesn't offer a trigger guard. It may be inconvenient in that it adds an extra step to have to chamber a round AFTER you draw, but it's a lot less inconvenient than an accidental discharge into your leg or other body part. 

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  1. Did you see the Feranco belly band I saw on Instagram. Looks very light and comfortable for me as a woman

  2. I absolutely love your blog and find most of your post's very interesting and informative. Thanks for sharing such useful info, and again awesome site!

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