Best IWB Holsters

While we are well very much aware that choosing a holster is a difficult, important, and very personal decision, we thought to make it easier on you by giving you the very basic guidelines you will need to follow to successfully meet your objective.  

There are, as you well can imagine, a great number of holster options available in the marketplace. Even if you were to narrow down your options to a particular holster model, such as an IWB [inside the waistband], the variables, still, can be overwhelming at times.  

So, let us make it simpler for you. 

First Things First – What is an IWB Holster?

What is an IWB holster?

IWB holsters are made to carry your firearm inside your waistband - hence the acronym IWB

As implied in the abbreviation or acronym IWB, this is an “Inside-The-Waistband” holster.  An IWB holster is kept in place by spring metal clips. IWB holsters work best over thick trouser belts.  Some modern designs of IWB holsters are ‘tuckable” – meaning shirts can be inserted [tucked] over the top of the handgun grip and down into the waistband. 

Undeniably, IWB holsters are probably the most popular type of holster to carry. There are, however, advantages and disadvantages that you must consider before making your final decision on which model to purchase. 

Advantages of an IWB Holster

Disguise and Conceal

The forefront advantage offered by IWB holsters would be “Concealment” – IWB holsters are easy to conceal, to disguise. The fact that they rest close to the body, inside your waistband, makes them less detectable, less likely to print and show.  


Next in the order of priority advantages would be its safety feature. The fact that your gun is tucked away inside of your waistband, simply put, spells security, defined as the fact that your gun is highly unlikely to fall out of the holster as well as making it very difficult for someone to take it from you. 

Ease of Drawing

Admittedly, IWB holsters are slower to draw than the OWB [Outside Waistband] models, however, they are swifter and faster to handle than other concealable holsters, i.e., shoulder holsters, paddle holsters, belt holsters, ankle holsters, thigh holsters, belly-band holsters, and pocket holsters. 

Disadvantages of an IWB Holster

As is true of most things in life, there is always a downside, and IWB Holsters are no exception.  


Yes, IWB holsters can be uncomfortable to use, more so with mid to full-size handguns. As you well can imagine tucking your gun inside your waist inevitably will cause skin friction to where it can become annoying and frustrating at times, speaking of which, overweight can be a very relevant issue in this respect. 

Regardless of your weight or build though, your IWB holster should always be adequately paddled and should be able to sustain sweat as otherwise, you can well anticipate getting skin rashes. Our advice: always strive to have adequate coverage in your clothes to minimize possible skin friction.

Clothing Issues

If you are one of the many who likes fitted-type clothing, IWB holsters are probably not for you, as you will likely experience printing – meaning you can see the outline of the firearm visibly through clothes or the cover garment while concealed.

When purchasing an IWB holster, you will have to be prepared to wear clothing that best suits the use of this holster type. 

Drawing Issues

Notably, IWB holsters have a fast-drawing capability that is contingent on you having done some pre-pulling exercises to get the hang of it.  While, as we mentioned earlier, IWB holsters afford you security by holding your gun and holster close to your body, by the same token, it also makes them somewhat more difficult to complete the grabbing and establishing of a safe grip before the actual draw takes place.


As is the case in much of life, there is a flip-side to the safety that we spoke about above when it comes to inside-the-waistband carry, especially when we're talking about appendix carry. There have been many instances of accidental discharges while re-holstering or even simply bending over, many of which occurring even with experienced handlers. In a situation where you are carrying that close to vital organs such as femoral arteries & obvious reproductive organs, your first mistake can easily be your last. 

So, now that we have covered some of the most basic principles needed to make your purchasing decision easier, how about if we go on to our suggestions on which holster you should buy. 

Best IWB Holsters

1. Concealment Express IWB Kydex Holster

After some serious due diligence, we have concluded that the Concealment Express holster is, undoubtedly, one that offers affordability while getting the job done.

The Concealment Express IWB Kydex Holster offers a wide variety of carrying options including but not limited to carry back and palm-out, hip, cross draw, however, it is especially suited for appendix carrying – referring to the way your holster rests against your abdomen in the general location of your appendix. 

The Kydex material keeps your gun protected while being extremely comfortable principally because of its full-length sweat guards.  Kydex holsters provide for simpler reholstering of your firearm as compared to other brands. In addition, their audible locking system also makes reholstering easier than their counterparts. 

Read our full evaluation.

2. Tenicor

Care for an equivalent alternative to the Kydex option?             

The answer is Tenicor with its 4 variants, the VELO4, the CERTUM3, the SAGAX LUX2, and the CERTUM LUX2. 

Talk about creative simplicity at its best by molding the back of their holsters to your body contour.  Therein lies the difference.

And if what you are looking for is retention, Tenicor’s belt loops are for you. Somewhat harder to draw out but sure to give you that extra holding resistance while allowing for an easy grip as well.  

If you are into fast, easy grips and lightweight, Tenicor is for you. 

For those of you carrying the “Appendix Inside The Waistband” [AIWB] holster, we urge you strongly consider Tenicor as your choice of preference. 

3. Crossbreed Supertuck

Ever heard, the best of both worlds? The Crossbreed Supertuck blends the best of leather and Kydex – a generic tradename for a material that intrinsically carries almost identical properties as those found in leather.

This holster has a shell of Kydex designed to protect your pistol together with a flexible leather backer made of premium cowhide or natural horsehide depending on the color of choice. 

The Supertuck Deluxe model is offered with or without a combat cut, where a portion of the leather backing is trimmed to enable an easier draw and re-holstering of your firearm. The downside to this feature comes in the way of making the holster somewhat more uncomfortable.

The backing is made of raw leather and is much more comfortable if used by itself. 

As a point of reference, you can choose to do away with the combat cut as you can always add it in the future.

The CrossBreed holster fastens to your belt with the use of powder-coated steel belt clips which allow for an easy adjustment to the holster’s height and its oblique or cant angle.

4. Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB Holster

At number four in our selection comes the Cloak Tuck 3.5, yet another great IWB combo holster at a lower price point.  For the record, our use of the word “combo” in all of the IWB holsters discussed in this article refers to: “the combination or use of two or more raw materials in the production of one holster.”

The Alien Gear, same as the CrossBreeds uses Kydex as a means of protecting and securing the firearm while a layer of breathable neoprene was added to reduce body sweat to make it more comfortable.

The material composition of the Alien Gear holsters was specifically designed for long-lasting usage. All things considered; the Alien Gear is possibly one of the best IWB Holsters for your money. 

Two elastic clips on the broad backing help keep this holster well in place. 

The cant angle, as well as the retention level and the ride height are all changeable to allow for the best comfort and safety.

5.  Hidden Hybrid Holsters

As you may have noted…we like hybrid holsters.  However, if we were forced to choose exclusively because of comfort, that would be the Hidden hybrid Holsters.

These holsters use Bridle Leather from Amish Country specially designed to give the feel of a soft suede cloth backing.

These holsters offer plain models which use a single clip for appendix carrying or double clips for the kidney 4-5 o’clock position [7-8 o’clock for lefties] – OWB Outside the waistband are also available.  Here, a good time to go into our Hidden Hybrid Holsters Review.

Mind you, it may take a couple of days for the Amish leather backing to begin conforming to your body. 

The Kydex aids in retention while their “claw” improves concealment as it helps to modify the pistol’s orientation resulting in less printing.

After you adjust your retention and cant angles, drawing becomes easy. These holsters also give full grip capability.

If you happen to have a Ruggedized Miniature Reflex sight [RMR®], these holsters have options for it. For some, however, these may be just too large to carry only to be used occasionally. 

So let us take you to our full Hidden Hybrid Holster review. 

So fundamentally these are one of the most comfortable hybrids available. Their Mag options are not too bad either.

How do others rate the Hidden Hybrid Holsters?

6.  Urban Carry G2

At number 6 in our picks comes the Urban Carry G2, which is a hybrid version that blends features of both IWB’s and OWB’s.

To use this holster, you must first clip it to your belt, next place the gun into the pocket and then tuck it in your pants where it will hang down below the belt.

A flap made of leather covers the cross point where the clip connects to your belt. All you need to do whenever you draw the weapon is pull the flap and lift for an easy draw. 

This holster offers improved concealment. Unlike most of the other IWB counterparts, these holsters are compatible to be worn with tucked or untucked shirts – your choice.

The leather flap in these holsters reduces printing when you wear a belt that matches its color. The lowered posture of these holsters affords more comfort to move around as compared to other IWB holsters.

The downside to these holsters: Reholstering can become somewhat messy. 

Features to look for in IWB Holsters

So, we have given you a rundown of our top choices for IWB holsters, however, we still feel we owe you some pointers on what to look for when buying your IWB holster.


Guess you heard that adage which says: “you get what you pay for” haven’t you? Never more true when buying a holster.  Yes, there are plenty of inexpensive holsters out there, however, the savings in cost will be greatly offset by the replacement costs as your holster falls apart in no time. 

No, you really do not have to break your bank to get a good holster, just make sure you do your homework as you are now doing with our help. Endurance, durability is mostly related to the kinds of materials that your holster is made of.

There are, as suggested before, materials such as leather, Kydex, which are sure to extend the life of your holster. 


A forefront criterion when purchasing a holster should always be its comfort level. The positioning of your holster relative to when you wear should be a leading consideration. A good holster should move with you as you do. 

Good holsters should never restrict the natural movements of your body. Remember, holsters should not create any friction with your body and should allow you to go about your life as normal as if you were not carrying a firearm.

When it comes to holsters, never take too lightly how important comfort is. An uncomfortable holster may become an unbearable and frustrating annoyance. 

You should always try on a holster before you buy it. If you are buying online and can’t try it, just make sure you can return it to the seller, just in case things do not go as expected.


Whichever holster you ultimately decide to purchase, should be one that can safeguard your weapon against the rigors of usage, inclusive but not limited to drops, theft, and obviously an accidental discharge.

One very important thing you must always remember is your holster has to cover your firearm’s trigger all the time to prevent or avoid an unwanted discharge.  Be alert to the fact that there are quite a number of holsters in the marketplace which do not provide suitable trigger coverage. Please stay away from these holsters.

Lastly, look for holsters that have an adequate retention system so as to ensure that your gun will not fall out and be exposed to unnecessary harm, embezzlement, and/or unwanted exposure to others.

Quick Summary

Whether or not you have made up your mind as to which is the best IWB holster for you, no need to rush your decision. Take your time, think it over, and go over your options. You really do not want to waste time buying and returning the wrong holster. 

Do remember however that the ultimate decision on which holster to purchase rests with you and you alone. As much as we have tried hard to guide you in which is the best IWB holster to purchase, in the end, it will be your holster, not ours. So better make sure you buy what best suits you. 

We hope this article has helped you in your decision-making process. If you, however, feel you need more help, why not check our latest concealed carry forum “Ideas and Tips I Wish I Had Known Before Carrying Concealed Weapons”. 

Want more information? Make sure to check out our review of concealed weapons Do’s and Don'ts.

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