safariland 6354 review

Regardless of whether you are a proficient shooter, and/or you are a novice in the business, the one thing we can all agree to is saying that, right after you have purchased a handgun, almost hand-in-hand there comes the need to purchase a holster for that handgun. 

Inevitably, the two, namely, purchasing a handgun and a holster, are done concurrently with one another – that is just a fact.

Problem is, nowadays, there are an endless number of holster manufacturers out there in the marketplace to begin with, not to mention, the variables that come with the territory; talk about different shapes and styles, distinct carry options, functions, on and on. 

By the time it is all said and done, your holster choices have grown exponentially to where many of us, even the more experienced amongst us, can and will be overwhelmed as to which holster will ultimately be the best for your particular needs. 

It is this complexity of options, precisely where we come in.

Anytime we choose a product for review, we do so as, like they say, having been there and done that, meaning, we have done enough first-hand due diligence so as to help you navigate through the options maze typically associated with buying the right holster for your handgun.

A Holster Made for Your Handgun

If there is one unwritten rule-of-thumb principle which has been systematically and historically applied to buying a holster, that has to be purchasing a holster solely because the holster manufacturers’ design was made specifically for your handgun.

Nothing wrong with that theory, except that, when purchasing a holster there are a whole host of other criteria to consider as well.  

Matter of fact, there are a multitude of other features, which, other than pairing off a handgun and a holster should be given equal consideration. 

Safariland History

So, for the novice among you, the name “Safariland,” per se, is synonymous with tactical gear.

For that matter, you may even go as far as saying that it is also synonymous with excellent quality and craftsmanship. 

The company was originally founded in Sierra Madre, California in 1964 by Neale Perkins, pursuant to his father’s request for a custom holster.

Perkins named his new company after the African safaris that he and his father had taken together in years past.  

Safariland manufactures personal and other equipment principally concentrating on:

  • Law Enforcement
  • Public Safety
  • Military
  • Recreational Markets

Safariland’s product line is as varied and as versatile as it gets. Some of their most important product lines, include but are not limited to the following: 

  • Body Armor
  • Armor Systems
  • Tactical Accessories
  • Protective Gear
  • "Less Lethal" Weapons

Throughout the years, Safariland expanded exponentially by way of acquisitions, making it today a true powerhouse in the tactical gear universe. 

With the expansions also came an immense diversification of products and product lines, among them, a comprehensive line of holsters which includes the subject of today’s product evaluation, namely the Safariland 6354 holster, which we will be discussing at length throughout this review.  

Safariland 6354

Like I always say, first things first.

For starters, let me just be noticeably clear in that the Safariland 6354 is primarily a tactical gun holster.

Then again, for the beginners out there, tactical gun holsters are described as lightweight exceptionally durable holsters that are able to provide its owner with maximum reliable service for years. 

Tactical gun holsters (or drop-leg holsters), inclusive of the Safariland 6354, are mostly but not exclusively used by military personnel, police officers, contractors, and special operators.

More likely than not, tactical gun holsters will be used alongside other equipment, thus Safariland has ensured that their 6354 model is compatible with many other accessories, thus making it an incredibly versatile holster.

Leading Criteria and Features

For starters, let me point out that, when it comes to top-of-the-line, high quality holsters, Safariland’s name stands tall among many competitors, more so with their 6354 open top holsters featuring the ALS [Automatic Locking System], together with a double leg strap and leg shroud. 

As I have said repeatedly in all of my holster reviews, there are plenty of features and/or significant criteria on what to look for in all tactical gear, more so on such an important product line as holsters.  

I personally became remarkably familiar with the Safariland 6354 holster, which I have now been using for years.

Based on these subjective experiences, below please find a detailed list of some of this product’s features which I think sets it apart from many other similar and/or comparable holsters now in the marketplace.  

Advanced Retention System

To be sure, this holster can claim to have one of [the] most secure and reliable retention systems on the market, bar none.

In spite of the fact that this is an open-top holster, you need not worry about a possible falling out of your handgun. 

As I mentioned before, one of Safariland’s most innovative features is their ALS [Automatic Locking System] which means that, once the firearm is placed within the holster, an internal locking mechanism is activated, gripping the weapon from every direction. 

The barrel is, just as well, also directed into a plug, which translates into your firearm not moving anywhere while being holstered. 

advanced retention


If you have read some of my previous reviews on holsters, you know that I place comfort at the top of criteria that I am always looking for in a holster. 

As far as I am concerned, I always assume that no matter what, I will use my holsters for prolonged periods of time, which make me place comfort as a forefront consideration. 

What I have found about the Safariland 6354 is that it is compatible with all belt sizes only because of their convenient adjustable belt attachment.

Meaning you can choose a belt that best suits your own personal preference as opposed to one that you wear to suit your holster. 

In this comfort topic, I should make mention of the fact that Safariland has strategically placed silicone on the rear side of each of their dual leg straps of the 6354 holsters. 

Regardless of what mission you are up to, the 6354 will stay in place, gripping all of your pants’ materials.

As such, you can focus on the mission at hand instead of having to keep readjusting your straps.

Construction and Craftsmanship

Again, in the area of material construction and craftsmanship, I have to give Safariland kudos for a job well-done.

You can tell that a lot of innovation and research went into designing the Safariland 6354.  

I will start by saying that the material used on this system is constructed from Safariland's own proprietary product which they have named, “SafariLaminate.”

The “SafariLaminate” is a high impact-resistant thermoplastic that is thermoformed around the firearm, guaranteeing an exact fit for your firearm. 

As every Safariland holster has been designed to fit your model of gun, you can rest assured that it operates flawlessly.

Before departing from this particular topic, I would like to add the fact that Safariland’s thermal-laminate finish makes the 6354 impervious to moisture, which, in turn, will prevent it from breaking down over time.

Bottom line this is an extremely sturdy holster that will, for sure, last you a long time.   

As far as the inside of the holster is concerned, the Safariland 6354 is lined with a high-quality touch of soft suede, which translates into a great level of protection for your firearm finish and safeguarding of your sights whenever executing a quick draw as I have done plenty of times.

Diversity of Compatibility

Yes, every Safariland 6354 is molded to a perfect fit for specific models of firearms, and, while I do not think that any holster manufacturer can claim to offer holsters for absolutely every brand name out in the marketplace, I think that Safariland comes as close as you can get to covering quite an all-inclusive line of compatible firearms as per the following list:  

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
    Heckler & Koch
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
     Sig Sauer
  11. 11
     Smith & Wesson
  12. 12
  13. 13
     Springfield Armory
  14. 14
     STI Intl (Staccato)
  15. 15
  16. 16
  17. 17

Ease of Draw

In my books, another yet critical consideration when purchasing a holster, is the ease-of-draw and/or your ability to holster and re-holster your firearm, which, to me, is as essential as any other feature to look for in a holster.   

As far as the Safariland 6354, located inside the holster, sitting against the body of the user, is a thumb release lever. 

To release the firearm, the lever requires to be slid backwards, which in turn disengages the internal locking mechanism.

You may say that the action required is almost completely instinctive as when you take a natural grip on your handgun.

Once the mechanism is released, the firearm can be withdrawn straight out with no further turning or twisting. 

safariland holster 6354 als

Accessories Compatibility

As I mentioned before, the Safariland 6354 features a leg shroud which accepts three basic systems: the ELS, the QLS and the MLS.

The ELS stands for Equipment Locking system and is a Kit that provides a mounting platform for tactical or competition accessories to be placed in various locations, including belt clips, tactical rigs, or directly in MOLLE loops.  

The QLS or Quick Locking System has a two-part fork and plate system which gives users the ability to move easily and quickly as well as secure or exchange their firearms without having to remove it from the holster itself. 

The MLS is the MOLLE Locking System that is primarily used for military applications when the operator needs to attach a holster or accessory to any MOLLE-fitted apparel, such as an armored vest which means that adding various accessories can be done quickly and easily.  

In addition, Safariland offers a vast range of belt loops, paddles, leg straps and other clip-on accessories all of which are compatible with the 6354.

Safariland 6354 Price

At a price point of approximately $180.00 ±, this could be perceived as a pricey item for some.

That said, however, if you take into consideration the quality, the construction and the features offered by the 6354, you will then realize, this is not at all as expensive as it may first appear given what it offers in return for your investment, that is, of course, assuming that you can afford this price point.  

Then again, as everything in life, you get what you pay for, a cliché that becomes ever so true in this Safariland 6354. 

Pros and Cons

I have always contended that there is no such thing as a perfect system, meaning there are always upsides and downsides, positives, and negatives to anything in life. 

If nothing else, what to some may be interpreted as a good thing, to the next guy it may be just the opposite.  

What I did with the Safariland 6354 is what I do with all my other product reviews, namely, I did some personal research, interviews of other users like myself to try and get a general idea of what others construed to be the Pros and Cons of the Safariland 6354, as presented below. 


  • Adjustable belt attachment compatible with any belt.
  • Superior construction with the use of SafariLaminate proprietary thermoforming material capable of withstanding most any environmental conditions.
  • ALS retention locks your firearm tightly in place with no issues of firearm unwanted movements.
  • The interior Suede lining offers great protection to the firearm.
  • Available in a wide array of colors, finishes, as well as right- and left-handed options.
  • Compatible with ELS, QLS and MLS mounts for effortlessly adding accessories. 


  • It is a rather large noticeable system not specially designed for concealment.
  • Activating and deactivating the ALS can be quite noisy.
  • No cross-draw option is available.
  • The hood guard can be annoying; however, it can be removed as need.

Summary and Conclusion

Let me preface my final comments on the Safariland 6354, by making the disclaimer to you of the fact that, for me, tactical thigh holsters are, probably, my preferred style of holster, so there may very well be some biased opinions in my overall evaluation of this system. 

That said, however, I will try to constrain myself in being as objective as I possibly can. 

Now that I have made my preference disclosure public, I can honestly say that the design, and the built quality of the Safariland 6354 are just inherently obvious in all aspects of this holster – no other way of putting it.

The SafariLaminate, while not as soft as leather, is still incredibly durable and will withstand extreme environments which translates into great longevity.

I am also quite impressed with their high-quality suede on the interior, which only serves to protect my handgun.

If your mission requires you to carry a firearm for prolonged periods of time on a regular basis, you will definitely enjoy this holster, which, at the same time offers comfort, ease-of-draw, secure retention, and accessibility as needed. 

Not much more you can ask for, can you? 

The fact that the Safariland 6354 is one of the top holster choices for SWAT teams, military and law-enforcement personnel just goes to say that it will hold its own for civilian use as well.

Bottom line friends, I will not only recommend you consider the purchase of the Safariland 6354, but I will go as far as recommending you do purchase this system, more specially if you work in law enforcement and/or the security industry.

Vis-à-vis, if you are a civilian, like I am, the fact that I am endorsing it for military use, just goes to say, you should give this system utmost consideration before making your final purchasing decision. 

In closing this review, as always, all that is left for me to say is to wish you the best of luck in your purchasing journey and hope we will make the latter somewhat a more pleasurable, more practical, and more insightful experience while having provide you with, what we consider, some important criteria necessary to make the right purchase for your particular needs. 

Again, good luck to you, whichever final decision you make in the end. 

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