Unveiling the Comfort and Concealment: Guide to OWB Holsters

In the dynamic world of concealed carry, finding the perfect holster is akin to discovering a reliable companion that offers comfort, security, and ease of access. Among the myriad options available, Outside the Waistband (OWB) holsters stand out as a popular choice for gun enthusiasts. This comprehensive guide explores the ins and outs of OWB holster, shedding light on their benefits, types, and top picks.

Understanding OWB Holsters

The Basics

OWB holsters, as the name suggests, are designed to be worn outside the waistband. Unlike their Inside the Waistband (IWB) counterparts, OWB holsters provide a more visible but accessible means of carrying a firearm. They are attached to the belt on the outside of the pants, promoting a comfortable and easily reachable position.

Benefits of OWB Holsters


One of the primary advantages of OWB holsters is their comfort. The design allows for a more natural and ergonomic position for the firearm, reducing the likelihood of discomfort during extended periods of wear. This comfort is especially crucial for individuals who carry their guns daily.


OWB holsters offer quick and easy access to the firearm. The external placement on the waistband allows for a smooth and efficient draw, making it an ideal choice for self-defence situations. This accessibility can be a deciding factor in emergency scenarios where every second counts.

Understanding OWB Holsters

OWB holsters are designed to be worn outside the waistband, making them an excellent choice for those who prioritize comfort and quick-draw access. Unlike Inside the Waistband (IWB), OWB holsters are attached to the belt on the outside of your pants, allowing for a more natural and comfortable carry.

Concealment Options

Contrary to common belief, OWB holsters can be effectively concealed with the right clothing choices. With the advent of buried carry fashion and holsters designed for discreet carry, OWB options can provide the desired concealment without compromising comfort or accessibility.

Tips for OWB Holster Use

Proper Belt Selection:

OWB holsters rely on a sturdy belt for support. Invest in a quality gun belt designed to bear your firearm’s and holster’s weight, ensuring a secure and comfortable fit.

Clothing Choices:

Choose clothing that provides adequate cover without printing. Loose-fitting shirts or outer layers can help conceal your OWB holster effectively.

Regular Maintenance:

Keep your OWB holster clean and well-maintained to ensure proper functionality. Check for any signs of wear and tear, and replace the holster if needed.

Practice Draws:

Regularly practice drawing your firearm from the OWB holster to build muscle memory and increase your proficiency. This is crucial for developing confidence and responsiveness in high-pressure situations.

Types of OWB Holsters

Paddle Holsters

Paddle holsters feature a flat, contoured piece that is inserted between the wearer’s body and the pants. The paddle shape helps distribute the weight of the firearm evenly, enhancing comfort. Additionally, paddle holsters are easy to put on and take off, making them a convenient choice for many gun owners.

Belt Slide Holsters

Belt slide holsters attach directly to the belt, providing a secure and stable platform for the firearm. They are known for their simplicity and reliability. The snug fit against the body enhances concealment, ensuring a quick and accessible draw.

Pancake Holsters

Pancake holsters have a flat design with two wings extending from either side of the firearm. This design aids in distributing the weight and helps pull the gun closer to the body, improving concealment. Pancake holsters are a popular choice for those who prioritize a slim profile.

Top Picks in OWB Holsters

Safariland ALS OWB Holster

  • Features: The Automatic Locking System (ALS) secures the firearm upon holstering and releases it with a simple thumb movement.
  • Benefits: Enhanced security without sacrificing speed, suitable for duty and everyday carry.

Blackhawk SERPA CQC Holster

  • Features: SERPA Auto Lock release and a speed-cut design for quick drawing and reholstering.
  • Benefits: Adjustable retention and angle, making it versatile for various carrying preferences.

Galco Classic Lite Shoulder Holster

  • Features: Traditional horizontal orientation with a vertical magazine carrier.
  • Benefits: Comfortable shoulder carry option, ideal for those who prefer an alternative to waistband holsters.

Choosing the Right OWB Holster


OWB holsters are typically made from Kydex, leather, or nylon materials. Each material has advantages, with Kydex offering durability, leather providing comfort, and lightweight nylon. Consider your priorities when selecting the material that suits you best.

Retention Level:

The retention level of a holster determines how securely it holds the firearm in place. Some holsters feature adjustable retention, allowing you to customize the level of security. Strike between easy draw access and secure retention based on your preferences.

Concealment Features:

While OWB holsters are inherently less concealable than IWB options, some models have features like adjustable cant or ride height to aid concealment. Experiment with these settings to find the optimal balance between concealment and accessibility.

Firearm Compatibility:

Ensure that your OWB holster is compatible with your specific firearm model. Different holsters are designed for various makes and models, so verify compatibility to guarantee a secure fit.


Concealed carriers often seek the perfect balance between comfort and accessibility, and OWB (Outside the Waistband) holsters emerge as a winning solution. These holsters not only provide a sense of security but also prioritize the comfort needed for everyday carry. Understanding the benefits, selecting the right holster, and implementing best practices are crucial steps in unlocking the full potential of OWB holsters.

In the realm of concealed carry, OWB holsters stand as a testament to the evolving landscape of firearm accessories. Their blend of comfort, accessibility, and concealment options makes them a favoured choice for many gun owners. As with any holster, personal preference, body type, and intended use are crucial in determining the best fit.

Whether you are a seasoned carrier or a newcomer to the world of concealed carry, exploring the diverse array of OWB holsters on the market can lead you to the perfect match for your needs. Remember, the right holster is not just an accessory; it’s a crucial component of responsible and comfortable concealed carry.

In pursuing safety, comfort, and style, OWB holsters shine as a beacon for those who refuse to compromise. The right holster can make all the difference, turning a simple accessory into a reliable partner in your daily journey of preparedness and self-defence.

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