Best Concealed Carry Holsters in 2024 – [Top 12 Picks & Guide]

As an avid hunter and night vision enthusiast, I know the importance of having the right gear – especially when it comes to concealed carry. A quality holster can make or break your EDC setup. After testing dozens of options over the years, I’ve put together this guide to the best concealed carry holsters for 2024.

Whether you’re looking for deep concealment, all-day comfort, or quick access, there’s a perfect holster out there for your needs. I’ll break down the pros and cons of different styles and materials to help you choose the ideal setup. Let’s dive in!

IWB Holsters: The Concealed Carry Staple

Inside the waistband (IWB) holsters remain the most popular choice for everyday concealed carry. They offer an excellent balance of concealment and accessibility. Here are my top IWB picks for 2024:

1. Alien Gear ShapeShift 4.0 IWB Holster

The ShapeShift 4.0 from Alien Gear is my current go-to IWB holster. The modular design lets you customize the carry angle and ride height for your ideal setup. The breathable neoprene backing keeps you comfortable all day long.

What I love about the ShapeShift is how secure it feels. The “Alien Skin” material grips your firearm firmly without scratching the finish. Drawing is smooth and re-holstering is a breeze thanks to the reinforced mouth.

For larger firearms, the ShapeShift does an excellent job of distributing weight. I can comfortably carry my full-size 1911 for hours without fatigue. The lifetime warranty is a nice bonus too.

2. Crossbreed SuperTuck Deluxe 

Crossbreed basically invented the hybrid IWB holster, and the SuperTuck Deluxe shows why they’re still at the top of their game. The combination of a premium leather backing with a molded Kydex shell gives you the best of both worlds.

I’m a big fan of the SuperTuck’s adjustable cant. You can dial in the perfect draw angle whether you prefer appendix, strong side, or behind-the-hip carry. The cowhide backing molds to your body over time for a custom fit.

One thing to note – there is a break-in period with the leather. It starts out pretty stiff but becomes buttery smooth after a couple weeks of wear. Patience pays off!

3. Concealment Express IWB Kydex Holster

If you’re on a tighter budget, it’s hard to beat the Concealment Express IWB for value. This minimalist Kydex holster punches well above its weight class in terms of quality and performance.

I love how slim and lightweight this holster is. It adds virtually no bulk to your firearm. The sweat guard helps protect your gun (and your skin) during all-day carry. Retention is fully adjustable to get that perfect “click” when holstering.

For smaller subcompact pistols, this is my top pick. It disappears under a t-shirt but still allows for a quick and smooth draw. Just be sure to size up your pants an inch or two to accommodate the extra bulk.

OWB Holsters: Comfort and Quick Access

While not as concealable as IWB, outside the waistband (OWB) holsters have their place – especially for larger firearms or cold weather carry. Here are my OWB recommendations:

4. Safariland 7TS ALS Concealment Paddle Holster

When it comes to retention and durability, it’s hard to beat Safariland. The 7TS ALS uses an automatic locking system to keep your firearm ultra-secure. A simple thumb release allows for a lightning-fast draw.

I’m impressed by how light this holster is despite the rugged construction. The proprietary SafariSeven material stands up to extreme temperatures and hard use. For duty or competition use, this is my top choice.

The paddle attachment makes it easy to don and doff without threading through your belt. Just be aware that effective concealment requires a larger cover garment with this holster.

5. Galco Fletch High Ride Belt Holster

For leather lovers, the Galco Fletch is a classic choice that’s stood the test of time. The high-ride design pulls the firearm in close to your body for good concealment. Premium steerhide construction molds to your gun over time.

I appreciate the combat grip this holster affords. The open-top design allows for a full firing grip before drawing. The tension screw lets you dial in retention to your liking. 

This is my go-to for carrying larger pistols OWB. The forward cant makes concealment under a jacket very doable. Just be prepared for a break-in period as the leather softens up.

Appendix Carry: Quick Access and Deep Concealment

Appendix inside the waistband (AIWB) carry has exploded in popularity in recent years. It offers lightning-fast draws and excellent concealment for those with the right body type. Here are my top AIWB picks:

6. Tier 1 Concealed Axis Elite

The Axis Elite from Tier 1 Concealed is the cream of the crop for AIWB. The modularity is impressive – you can run it as a standalone holster or add the attached mag carrier. 

What sets this holster apart is the flexible “wing” that connects the gun and mag caddy. It allows the rig to conform to your body as you move. I find this much more comfortable than rigid all-Kydex designs.

Retention is rock solid and the audible click when holstering is confidence-inspiring. The built-in wedge and claw help tuck the grip in tight to your body. Concealment is excellent even under fitted shirts.

7. Phlster Pro Series

For deep concealment, it’s hard to beat the Phlster Pro. This ultra-minimalist AIWB holster is optimized for comfort and concealment. The DCC clip system allows for fine-tuning of ride height and cant.

I’m a huge fan of the ModWing attachment. It really helps drive the grip of your pistol into your body to minimize printing. The raised sweat guard protects both you and your firearm during all-day carry.

One unique feature is the option for discreet carry – no visible hardware above the beltline. For maximum concealment in professional environments, this is my top pick.

Shoulder Holsters: Old School Cool

While not as popular as they once were, shoulder holsters still have their place – especially for larger firearms or extended driving/sitting. Here’s my favorite shoulder rig:

8. Galco Miami Classic II

When it comes to shoulder holsters, accept no substitutes – the Galco Miami Classic II is the gold standard. Premium center cut steerhide construction breaks in beautifully over time. The spider harness design distributes weight evenly for all-day comfort.

I love the versatility of this system. You can carry your pistol horizontally or with a slight muzzle-down cant. The offside mag pouches help balance the load. Tie-downs secure the holster from shifting during movement.

Is this the most practical EDC option? Probably not. But for extended road trips or when you need to conceal a full-size pistol under a sport coat, nothing beats the Miami Classic’s old-school cool factor.

Ankle Holsters: Deep Concealment for Backup Guns

Ankle carry isn’t for everyone, but it can be a great option for a backup gun or when deep concealment is paramount. Here’s my top ankle holster pick:

9. Crossbreed Ankle Holster

Crossbreed brings their hybrid design expertise to ankle carry with this supremely comfortable rig. The neoprene calf strap prevents the holster from sliding down your leg throughout the day. 

I’m impressed by how secure this holster feels. The Kydex shell provides excellent retention while the leather backing prevents printing through your pant leg. The sheepskin lining is a nice touch for additional comfort.

One pro tip – wear higher socks to prevent chafing during extended wear. While not the fastest draw in the world, ankle carry with the Crossbreed gives you a viable deep concealment option.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Concealed Carry Holster

With so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right holster. Here are the key factors I consider when evaluating concealed carry holsters:

Retention: Your holster should securely hold your firearm in place, even during vigorous activity. Look for adjustable retention and/or active retention devices for maximum security.

Concealment: A good holster should minimize printing and allow you to conceal your firearm effectively under normal clothing. Features like belt clips, wings, and claws can help tuck the grip in close to your body.

Comfort: You’ll be wearing this holster for extended periods. Look for designs that distribute weight evenly and use comfortable materials against your skin. 

Accessibility: Your holster should allow for a smooth, consistent draw stroke. Practice your draw (with an unloaded firearm) to ensure you can access your gun quickly when needed.

Protection: A quality holster should protect both you and your firearm. Look for designs that fully cover the trigger guard and use materials that won’t damage your gun’s finish.

Durability: Your life may depend on your holster. Invest in quality materials and construction that will stand up to daily use and harsh conditions.

Adjustability: The ability to fine-tune cant, ride height, and retention allows you to dial in the perfect setup for your body and carry style.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right concealed carry holster is a personal decision that depends on your specific needs, body type, and firearm. Don’t be afraid to try out different styles to find what works best for you. 

Remember, the “best” holster is the one that you’ll actually use consistently. Prioritize comfort and concealment to ensure you can carry daily without compromising.

Whichever holster you choose, be sure to practice your draw stroke regularly (with an unloaded firearm). And always follow the four fundamental rules of firearms safety. Stay safe out there!

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