While the type of handgun you use is important, deciding which holster you are going to use with that sidearm can be a big factor in how you use it. Your carrying goals can help determine between different styles (such as waistband vs. shoulder carrying, etc.) which holster materials you choose play just as important of a role in finding a holster for your gun.
Most holsters are made from three materials – leather, nylon, and kydex – and they each have their pros and cons.
Leather: The Classic Holster Option
Leather is the popular “classic” gun holster look associated with the Wild West or law enforcement. It has been the standard gun holster material for generations because it‘s flexible and forms to your body over time. Drawing your weapon from a leather holster is also quieter than with other materials. However, leather can be damaged more easily and crack when exposed to high heat and sunlight over time. This can cause your holster to lose its grip and wear out more than nylon or kydex.
Nylon: A Sturdy, Lightweight Choice
More and more gun owners are embracing nylon for their holster needs. Of the various holster materials available, nylon is the most lightweight. Nylon is ideal for concealed carry because it doesn’t add much bulk or weight. If you are looking for a “universal” holster option that can be used for different firearms, nylon holsters may be your best bet because they don’t form fit weapons like other holsters. However, this also means they don’t provide the same grip – and thus security – that other holsters provide and are more likely to shift with movement as a result.
Kydex: Ideal Form-Fit Carrying
The other popular gun holster material worth considering is kydex. It’s a thermoplastic acrylic-polyvinyl chloride material, also used in aircraft bulkheads. These holsters are considered “maintenance-free”, as kydex requires little effort to keep clean.
Holsters made from kydex are also known for being molded to specific guns. So you can be sure of a secure grip on your firearm, but you’ll have to buy several if you have various guns to carry. While the rigid kydex won’t lose its shape over time, it will wear and dull your firearm’s finish the more you use it. Some gun owners also are against kydex holsters because they are the noisiest of the three materials when it comes to drawing your weapon.
Your Firearm Goals Determine the Best Option
When it comes to deciding which holster is right for your weapon the key factors are durability, security, and ease-of-use. These can all depend on the handgun you plan to carry, along with your carry style. Kydex is the most durable, while nylon is the most easy-to-use. However, leather offers a high degree of comfort and security.
At the end of the day deciding what factors are most important to you, and discussing your needs with experts like OUTBAGS USA, can help you figure out which holster materials can best help you meet your goals.