The first image you have in mind when you hear about carrying a gun is probably having the firearm at your hip. While belt holsters are the most popular way to keep your handgun that doesn’t mean this style has a one-size-fits-all approach.
Depending on the firearm you have and your goals, there are a few considerations to keep in mind for the best gun holster for pants carrying. It’s a good idea to start with something compact that has a slim profile. Testing out different options is also recommended whether you are new to gun ownership or just looking for a different approach.
Before you invest in a new holster for your sidearm though, here are the basic things to keep in mind:
Waistband Options: IWB vs. OWB
First thing’s first: if you are carrying a firearm in your pants you absolutely need a holster. Just stuffing a weapon in your waistband creates too many issues. If you want to keep your pistol at your waist though, start by deciding whether an inside-the-waistband (IWB) or outside-the-waistband (OWB) option best meets your needs as a gun holster for in pants carrying. Most IWB holsters have a clip that can easily attach to the waistband. While OWB holsters may have a clip, many also just have a belt loop attached to the piece. Figuring out which style of holster is best for your needs largely depends on how you plan to carry.
Will You Open or Conceal Carry?
Your choice of firearm and the laws in your area can answer your next question: are you going to open or conceal carry with your pants gun holster? For law enforcement and military personnel, open carry is the preferred choice. Private citizens typically prefer concealed carry for their protection.
Concealed carry has the added benefit of carrying without potential threats knowing you have a weapon, and making it more difficult for those threats to wrestle the weapon from you in a confrontation. However, with open carry, you often have easier weapon accessibility and the sight of a weapon may act as a deterrent. Besides these points, it is helpful to know the position you will carry, as open and concealed carry provide different levels of comfort based on where on your waistband you plan to carry.
Keep Comfort in Mind
Pants gun holsters in general cause issues when it comes to personal comfort no matter what style you have. The obvious advantage to carrying your firearm at waist level is accessibility and the ability to quickly draw. However, this style of carrying is known for causing issues as you move. Some waistband holsters, like IWB pieces, shift with movement and uncomfortably dig into you.
It’s also important to decide where on your waist you plan to carry. Trying out different spots can help you find the best spot that allows you to remain comfortable even after hours of wearing or with different movements. At the appendix and kidney are popular carry locations, but small of the back and hip also work well. It all depends on your body style and how you want to draw your firearm.
The Right Clothing Makes a Difference
Every style of holster has its own benefits and drawbacks in regard to the clothing you can wear. If you go with an IWB gun holster for pants carrying it is important to wear something baggier and looser fitting. If your pants are too tight, your holster will uncomfortably press against you. This also causes printing – where the outline of your weapon will be seen by others; which is something you want to avoid if you are trying to conceal carry.
Just because you want a belt holster worn on the outside of your waistband doesn’t mean you have to wear formal attire. Jeans and a t-shirt (tucked in) are usually ideal for this style of holster. Heavy fabrics can be your friend when it comes to hiding your weapon. Not only will you have greater flexibility as you can place your holster anywhere around your waist and still comfortably reach it with this style of clothing, but your firearm will be kept firmly against your body. However, you should consider wearing an undershirt as well so the rough grip of your weapon doesn’t rub against your skin.
Holster Materials that Match Your Lifestyle
Another factor when choosing between different gun holsters for in pants carrying is the material the holster is made from.
Leather holsters offer a classic look that many prefer if your decision is based solely on style. Pieces made from leather typically conform to your handgun and keep it snugly in place as well.
Nylon and neoprene options provide a comfortable fit for IWB holsters though as they are usually slim in design and have a little more “give” to them, which is better suited for an active lifestyle or when you are taking a firearm in rougher tougher such as when hiking.
Finding the Perfect Holster Fit Can Be Easy
A decent holster is one of the most essential pieces of gear when you have a firearm. But ultimately selecting the right gun holster for in pants carrying is not overly complicated. Start by identifying your personal style – between IWB and OWB – as well as carrying goals – open or concealed carrying. Testing out a few options to help you determine which materials and attire to wear for the best accessibility and comfort are also good ideas; as well as consulting with experts.
If you are still unsure about the best way to carry a gun holster around your waistband contact the experts at OUTBAGS USA. Our combined experience covers every aspect of holsters and carrying. No matter what your goals are, we can make a suggestion that will be the perfect fit.