8 Significant Factors To Look For In An Ideal Gun Holster

8 Significant Factors To Look For In An Ideal Gun Holster

A gun holster is an important gun accessory. The holster serves multiple purposes i.e. keeping the gun securely in place, concealing the weapon, and enabling the shooter to carry the gun on his body, while his hands stay free. Gun holsters restrict the movement of the gun and allow quick and easy access to the gun when needed. Choosing the best and most suited gun holster is as important as selecting the right type of firearm. 

Nowadays, many different types of gun holsters are available in the market. They come in different shapes, sizes and materials. For any newbie who has little experience with guns, it can be overwhelming to choose the best-suited holster. Hence, we have compiled a list of important factors that should be considered when choosing a holster for your gun. So read on.  


Depending on the usage, you may have to wear the holster for prolonged periods. If the holster is uncomfortable to wear, it cannot be carried around for longer durations. Physical ease and comfort are the first factors to consider when choosing a holster. They are especially important for Everyday Carry (EDC) and concealed carry weapons.

A well-suited and physically comfortable holster has the following characteristics:

  • It stays in place and does not poke or dig into your body. A well-designed holster is equipped with good-quality belt clips that keep the holster securely in place.
  • It does not interfere with your body movements,  like walking, running, driving, bending, sitting down, etc.
  • It should not be excessively heavy. The combined weight of the pistol and holster can make it difficult to carry the weapon for prolonged hours and can cause you physical distress.


The manufacturing material of the holster is an important factor to consider when looking to purchase. Leather and Kydex are two of the most common holster materials. They have varying properties and uses. Let’s explore them in detail. 

     Before the introduction of synthetic materials, the majority of the holsters were made from leather. Due to their strength, flexibility, versatility, and style, leather holsters are quite popular even today. Nowadays, a wide variety of leather holsters is available, which range from traditional styles to custom-made holsters that are a snug fit for a particular model of the gun. 

    Leather holsters are more suited for concealed carry weapons. Due to their pliability, they can accommodate the shape of the weapon and adjust to the body. Leather holsters are not heavy either; hence, they remain undetected by onlookers.

    However, leather holsters have multiple disadvantages as well. Due to their hygroscopic properties, they can absorb sweat and moisture from the air. A wet leather holster can be quite uncomfortable to carry around. Leather retains moisture due to which the holster may lose its shape gradually.

    If not handled carefully, scratches and marks can appear on the leather holster, which can make it look old and worn out. 



Kydex is a sturdy and durable thermoplastic material. Despite its sturdiness, it's pliable and can be molded into any shape. Hence, Kydex can be designed to accommodate any specific weapon. Kydex holsters maintain their shape and don’t fold when the weapon is drawn out of the holster. This allows the shooter to draw and reholster the weapon in one swift movement using a single hand. 

When choosing a Kydex holster, look for one that produces a clicking sound when you insert the pistol in the holster. The clicking sound gives assurance that the gun is holstered safely. Kydex holsters are quite low-maintenance and can be cleaned with relative ease. Unlike leather, they don’t absorb sweat and moisture.  

On the downside, Kydex holsters can be slightly uncomfortable to carry, especially for concealed weapons. They are not as flexible as leather holsters and do not mold to fit the contours of your body perfectly. Rigid holsters can be quite heavy, and due to their bulkiness, they can be noticed even when worn under clothes. 


The main objective of a holster is to carry the pistol securely while you are on the move. An ideal holster will have a strong grip on the firearm, keep it firmly and securely in place, and prevent it from falling even when the carrier is running around or performing other physically challenging acts. 

A holster with a stronghold and retention prevents the accidental firing of the weapon. However, the holster should not be so tight and rigid that it would interfere with the smooth and quick drawing of the weapon. 

The best holsters are those that come with adjustable retention. Kydex adjustable retention holsters allow you to modify the retention on the pistol according to your requirement and the situation at hand. It ensures smooth drawing of the weapon when needed while ensuring secure placement otherwise. 


When encountered with a potential threat or danger, you need to take quick action as every second matters. In a life-threatening situation, if your holster doesn’t let go of the pistol easily, it can have dire consequences. 

The ease of drawing the pistol is just as important as keeping it securely in place. When choosing a holster, look for one that comes with appropriate and adjustable retention. Adjust the holster at a suitable height and angle on your body to be drawn out effortlessly. 

Another important factor to consider is how quickly and smoothly the weapon can be re-holstered. If the holster does not allow smooth gliding of the weapon inside, it can lead to the accidental dropping or even firing of the weapon. 

In this regard, Kydex holsters are the best because they retain their shape. Other materials such as nylon and leather usually lose their shape when the pistol is drawn out. Nylon holsters come in one-size-fits-all. They are not customized for a particular model of the weapon. Hence, they require considerable effort and the use of both hands to reholster the weapon. 


Concealment is an important factor when considering a holster, especially for Concealed Carry and Everyday Carry weapons. Holsters are broadly classified into the following five types:

  • Outside the waistband holsters, or OWB
  • Inside the waistband holsters, or IWB
  • Pocket holsters
  • Shoulder holsters
  • Ankle holsters

Except for shoulder holsters, the remaining four types of holsters offer a varying degree of concealment. The ideal holsters should be disguised under the clothes, and onlookers should not be able to make out the outline of the holster or the weapon. 

Concealment is determined by adjustability and how well the holster fits the carrier and the weapon. For adjustable holsters, the height and angle can be adjusted so that they blend in with the clothes and do not stand out. The material and weight of the holster also determine its degree of concealment. 

Inside the Waistband and Outside the Waistband are two of the most commonly-used holsters. They offer varying degrees of concealment and comfort. Their properties are as follows:

  • WB holsters are more concealable as they can be hidden under your T-shirt or any other garment you are wearing. However, they are slightly uncomfortable because of their proximity to the body.  They are ideal for summers when a person isn’t wearing a jacket or sweater, as they can be concealed successfully even under a shirt. 
  • OWB holsters require an additional piece of garments such as a sweater or jacket to conceal them completely. Hence, they are less concealable.  However, they are more comfortable to wear and carry. They are ideal for colder temperatures. 

As a rule of thumb, concealability ranks higher than other factors when choosing a holster. So look for a holster that offers maximum concealability, especially for EDC weapons. 


Safety of use is the first rule of gun ownership. Gun accessories such as a holster should encourage the safe use of a gun The following factors determine the degree of safety provided by a holster:

  • It should cover the trigger completely so any accidental firing would not take place. 
  • While drawing and re-holstering the pistol, no protruding part of the holster should interfere with the functioning of the pistol.
  • The area covering the trigger guard should not be made of a malleable material so it won’t deform and collapse inside over time, causing an accidental pull of the trigger. 


Many inexpensive nylon holsters claim to be one-size-fits-all. However, because of their poor fit, these low-end holsters usually cause a lot of trouble for the carrier. These cheap holsters are either too tight or too loose and have poor retention. They lack concealment and are usually noticeable from underneath the clothes. 

A lot of companies tailor-make holsters for the exact model of the weapon. These holsters are usually more expensive, but they are worth the cost. So always look for a holster that has been designed specifically for your weapon. 


Ease of attachment is an important component of a holster that has been designed with a focus on ergonomics. A good holster does not have a complicated design and can be put on and taken off smoothly without much effort. It should also fit under multiple different types of clothing items. The holster clips attach the holster to the garment. While they should be sturdy and adjustable, they should not be too complex or rigid to become troublesome for the carrier. 

If you are planning to buy a new holster, we recommend you consider these factors to choose a well-suited, and long-lasting gun holster.