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TOP 7 Best IWB Holster Review And Guides 2020

best iwb holster

If you do not have time for the details, here are our top picks for IWB holster:

  1. Crossbreed Holsters MiniTuck
  2. Alien Gear Holsters ShapeShift Appendix Carry Holster
  3. Concealment Express IWB Holster
  4. Relentless Tactical The Defender
  5. Blackhawk ARC
  6. Galco King Tuk Tuckable IWB Holster
  7. Amberide IWB Holster

Choosing a good holster is an important, but often difficult decision for any gun owner. The sheer number of options on the market is enough to leave even the most experienced shooters feeling confused and overwhelmed. If you’re searching for the best IWB holster and aren’t sure where to begin, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we cover everything you need to know about IWB holsters. We even share some of our top picks to help you narrow your search and find the right holster to meet your individual needs. .

IWB Holster Guide


The two most popular options for carrying a handgun are IWB (which stands for Inside The Waistband) and OWB (Outside The Waistband). Which is better has been a topic of hot debate in gun circles for decades. While there are diehard fans of both carry methods, the truth is neither is necessarily “better” than the other. One may be certain in certain circumstances. However, each has its place.

If you want to conceal your favorite pistol, an IWB holster is definitely the better option. IWB uses the waistband of your pants to help hold the firearm tight against your body. This creates a thinner weapon profile and better concealment. With a good IWB holster, you can simply pull your shirt over your weapon and most people will never even know it’s there.

The biggest drawback to IWB carry is comfort. Having a firearm stuffed inside the waist of your pants can be annoying, especially when that firearm is right next to your skin. The right holster (and sometimes a few wardrobe adjustments) can work miracles when it comes to carry comfort.

Because you don’t have a weapon sitting inside your pants right next to your body, OWB is generally a more comfortable way to carry a sidearm.

However, this carry method can be problematic, especially if you’re trying to effectively conceal your weapon. OWB holsters can also be bulky. Since the weapon isn’t sitting tight against your body, it is more likely to get in the way as you go about your day.

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Positioning Your IWB Holster

Technically, you can wear your IWB holster anywhere inside the waistband of your pants. However, some positions work better than others.

When talking about IWB concealed carry, most shooters refer to their carry position as a position on a clock. If you think of your waist as the clock face, your belly button would be 12 o’clock and the small of your back becomes the 6 o’clock position. From there you can fill in the remaining numbers just as they would be positioned on a traditional clock.

The most common positions for right-handed carry is the 2 o’clock (also referred to as appendix carry), 3 o’clock, and 4 o’clock (just behind the hip). For lefties, you just switch to the other side. For left-handed shooters, carry positions become 8 o’clock, 9 o’clock, and 10 o’clock (for appendix carry).

Kydex vs. Leather

Leather and Kydex are the two main materials used to make IWB holsters. Each has its own list of pros and cons.


Kydex is a modern thermoplastic resin. This modern, synthetic material was first used to make holsters in the early 1970s.

Kydex is easily molded into pretty much any shape. This makes the material easy to form into the exact outline of your handgun. For this reason, most Kydex holsters are model specific, meaning they only fit certain firearm models, and they are not interchangeable.

The molded material should hold its form forever, never stretching or tightening over time. It is also incredibly durable, much cheaper than traditional leather, and helps protect your weapon from dirt, moisture, and sweat.

The one major drawback to Kydex, especially as a material for IWB carry, is that it is hard. Kydex doesn’t form to the body, isn’t at all flexible, and can be pretty uncomfortable when worn right next to your skin.


Made from tanned animal hide, leather is the traditional holster material. Well-tanned leather is soft and supple, making it much more comfortable to wear against your skin than stiff, unforgiving Kydex.

Over time, leather will “break-in”, soften, and begin to conform to your body, making your holster even more comfortable. High-quality leather is also a classy and attractive way to carry a sidearm.

However, leather holsters can have some issues. Leather can be easily damaged when it gets wet. It can also stretch over time, causing it to lose some of the passive retention that keeps your weapon inside of your holster.

Leather holsters also require more care than Kydex, and they tend to be significantly more expensive.

Hybrid Holster

Composed of both leather and Kydex components, hybrid holsters attempt to combine the best of both worlds. Most hybrids have a leather backing that sits next to your skin for increased comfort. The pocket that holds the firearm is usually made of molded Kydex. This provides extra protection for your weapon, allows you to adjust retention, and makes it easier to draw and holster your sidearm.

Comparison Table

Image Product Features
scmtbl-table__image Crossbreed Holsters MiniTuck
  • Weight: 6 ounces
  • Material: Kydex and Leather
scmtbl-table__image Alien Gear Holsters ShapeShift Appendix Carry Holster
  • Weight: 15 ounces
  • Material: Layered ballistic nylon
scmtbl-table__image Concealment Express IWB Holster
  • Weight: 3 ounces
  • Material: Kydex
scmtbl-table__image Relentless Tactical The Defender
  • Weight: 10 ounces
  • Material: Leather
scmtbl-table__image Blackhawk ARC
  • Weight: 4 ounces
  • Material: Kydex
scmtbl-table__image Galco King Tuk Tuckable IWB Holster
  • Weight: 7 ounces
  • Material: Kydex and Leather
scmtbl-table__image Amberide IWB Holster
  • Weight: 3.46 ounces
  • Material: Kydex

Top 7 Best IWB Holster Reviews

1. Crossbreed Holsters MiniTuck

The MiniTuck from Crossbreed Holsters is one of the best rated IWB holsters on the market today. Perfectly built for concealment, the MiniTuck has a super slim profile. It also rides low inside the waistband, so it almost disappears under your shirt when it is tucked in your pants.

The MiniTuck has a wide, dual clip design that helps evenly distribute the weight of your firearm across your waistband. This helps keep the weight of your weapon from dragging down your pants, even when you aren’t wearing a belt.

With a hybrid, kydex/leather design, CrossBreed has found a near perfect balance between comfort and security. The backing is made from soft, premium cowhide (there is also an attractive horsehide version available) that sits comfortably against your skin.

A durable Kydex pocket is mounted on the leather backing of the holster. Perfectly formed to the contours of your firearm, the Kydex provides a secure fit that helps keep your weapon inside the holster until you draw your weapon. (Be sure to order the model that fits your specific firearm.)

This holster is a bit bulky. Small-framed shooters and those who prefer a minimalist holster could be turned off by the size of the MiniTuck. However, the levels of security and comfort this model provides is hard to match.

2. Alien Gear Holsters ShapeShift Appendix Carry Holster

Most critics of appendix carry complain about how uncomfortable the carry position can be. Alien Gear has revolutionized appendix carry with their incredibly comfortable ShapeShift holster.

The back of this lightweight holster features a layer of ventilated, moisture-wicking neoprene. The neoprene works to wick sweat away from your body, so you stay comfortable all day long, even in hot weather.

The holster itself is made from a surprisingly flexible combination of layered ballistic nylon and spring steel. Although the material is flexible, it also provides a stable platform for you to safely and comfortably draw and re-holster your sidearm. The retention can be easily adjusted to suit your personal preferences, and you won’t even need any tools to do it. 

3. Concealment Express IWB Holster

This ultra lightweight Kydex holster from Concealment Express is one of the best-selling IWB models in the United States. It has a minimalist design that allows you to comfortably tuck the holster into your pants waist for effective concealment. 

Shooters can easily adjust the holster’s weapon retention for a personalized draw stroke. You can also adjust the cant to accommodate several different carry positions.

For the ultimate comfort, Concealment Express’s IWB holster features a full-length Sweat Guard, a rear sight shield, and an undercut trigger guard. These features not only protect your weapon from scratches and corrosive sweat, they also help prevent your weapon from snagging during your draw.

4. Relentless Tactical The Defender

The Defender IWB holster from Relentless Tactical has one of the highest customer satisfaction ratings on the internet, and it’s easy to see why. This high-quality, American-made holster is hand crafted from beautiful, premium bull hide.

If you’re looking for a stunning leather holster, this one definitely fits the bill. You can choose from three attractive color options, including midnight black, whiskey barrel brown, and our favorite, charred oak. The holsters are so gorgeous it’s almost a shame they are intended to be tucked into your waistband. You’ll really want to show your off to your friends. 

The Defender IWB isn’t model specific, so you can conceivably carry both your .40 caliber Glock 23 and your 9mm Glock 26 in the same holster. Just don’t try to do it at the same time.

5. Blackhawk ARC

Blackhawk is one of the best-known holster manufacturers in the United States, and the ARC is one of their best designs. ARC stands for “appendix reversible carry”, and this ultra slim holster is ergonomically designed for appendix carry comfort.

The holster is truly ambidextrous and comes with two belt clips so you can secure it to any size belt. You can also easily adjust the cant, ride height, and retention. This allows you to fully customize the holster for your own comfort and personal ease of draw. The ARC even accommodates a rear mounted red dot optic.

6. Galco King Tuk Tuckable IWB Holster

This super comfortable, tuckable holster from Galco features a backing plate made from lined saddle leather with a soft, napa leather exterior. The leather is specifically chosen to shorten the break-in period and ensure a tight, comfortable fit against your body.

The holster also features a molded Kydex pocket that is incredibly durable. The Kydex works to protect your weapon during everyday carry and also makes drawing and re-holstering your weapon safe and easy.

The King Tuk also features two removable belt clips that can be adjusted up or down via holes in the leather holster. Shooters can reposition these clips to alter the carry height and draw angle to suit their personal preferences.

7. Amberide IWB Holster

If you’re looking for a high-quality, affordable Kydex IWB, this one from Amberide is a budget holster that still allows you to carry with confidence.

The Amberide IWB features a Posi-Click retention system that provides audible confirmation that your weapon is secure. There is also an integrated retention screw that allows you to adjust the amount of force needed to confidently and quickly draw your sidearm if you encounter a dangerous threat.

You also get a metal belt clip that lets you adjust the cant of your weapon from 0 to 15 degrees to accommodate different draw strokes and carry positions. The clip is powder coated so you don’t have to worry about cold, uncomfortable steel sitting against your skin.

Amberide IWB holsters are completely waterproof and made with a full-length sweat guard to protect your weapon from corrosive sweat and oil.

Summing It Up

An IWB holster is a great way to carry a concealed sidearm. There are a ton of different options on the market, and finding the right one for you is largely a matter of personal preference.

The only foolproof way to find the best IWB holster for your needs, is to test drive a few to see how they feel and perform. However, if this isn’t an option, any of the models on our list have magnificent customer satisfaction ratings. Each is made from high-quality materials, offer a degree of adjustability, and some even come with a money back satisfaction guarantee.

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