The 5 Best OWB Holsters (Outside the Waistband Carry)

best owb holster

Never before has an armed citizen had as much access to holsters as right now. There are a ton of different holsters on the market. All different carry methods, all different materials, all different manufacturers. Wading through to find the best outside the waistband holster can be a daunting task for anybody. Here are the five best OWB holsters and a few tips to make sure you get the right one for you.

Buying an OWB Holster

Make sure when you are evaluating holsters you keep in mind types of clothing that you are likely to wear and how far the edge of your shirt comes down on your sides. The type of gun that you carry, mainly the length of the barrel, is going to determine how large your holster is. Overall a normal shirt will be able to conceal most any common concealed carry firearm.

However, if you have a long barrel revolver or you tend to wear shirts that are shorter than normal you may want to try on your holster with several of your shirts before you buy it. Make use of any return policies the holster manufacturers offer. The physical dimensions of an outside the waistband holster matters just as much as the inside the waistband holster when it comes to conceal-ability and living with it.

The further out a holster protrudes from your waistband the more likely you are to bang it on door frames or furniture as you move about the world. This can damage not only the holster but clog your sights with debris and cause problems if you need to use your gun. Make absolutely sure you buy the correct dimension holster for you and be cognizant not to smash it around or get it dirty. Otherwise, you may not be able to see your sights. If you have an outside the waistband kydex holster you just may break it if you bang it on a doorframe or piece of furniture.

The 5 Best OWB Holsters

There are a ton of great OWB holsters on the market today, but we believe these to be the cream of the crop.​

1. Safariland 6378 ALS Concealment Paddle Holster

best owb holster for concealed carry

Best OWB Holster for Concealed Carry​

Few companies put out as many products as Safariland. They're the most successful military and police holster supplier in the world. Part of their success has been tailor making as many holsters as possible without a single lapse in quality or design from a single product.

If you’re going to conceal carry your pistol day in and day out, outside the waistband, you may need a few features that other concealed carriers don’t. This holster has you covered with everything from active retention, injection molded suede lining, a paddle mount to make it easy to put on and take off and adjustable cant and retention.

The jewel in the crown of this holster is the ALS locking system. It keeps people from grabbing your gun randomly and running off with it and is an excellent job of keeping your gun in the holster if you have to move about or run during the day. The injection molded polymer is extremely stiff and strong where it needs to be but bends well around the paddle mount for all day comfort.

You may need a few extra moments to familiarize yourself with the ALS locking system and get used to the rigid construction of this holster but the overall footprint and distance away from your body of the gun is extremely comfortable and easy to conceal.

Safariland holsters are unique in their high-quality production grade designs and managed to cram a ton of different features into seemingly simplistic designs. This is the best outside the waistband holster for everyday concealed carry.

2. DeSantis Mini Scabbard OWB Holster S&W M&P Shield

outside waistband concealed carry holsters

Best Compact OWB Holster​

DeSantis is an old-school company that manufactures many different leather holsters, as well as some, do polymer designs. Many of their designs come from the heyday of police sitcoms and prime time shows. Featuring shoulder holsters, J frame revolver’s and occasionally conchos! However, this is a serious concealed carry holster made for a day in and day out carry. It’s just as at home on a police or military duty belt as it is with a concealed carrier.

This is one of their bestselling holsters, the Mini Scabbards OWB. It is great because many of the ways been holsters, especially leather holsters, are very bulky and can get in the way.

However, this holster is made to be as small as possible and doesn’t feature a sweat guard or any adjustments other than retention. It is a simple pancake style leather holster that attaches directly to your belt with a single loop and encases the trigger guard and forward section of your pistol.

Small enough to wear with just about any untucked shirt this holster will serve you well if you want a leather holster to protect the finish of your firearm but still want to conceal carry day in and day out. Made from premium tans leather this holster will be easy to maintain provided it is dried regularly and conditioned well.

3. R&R HOLSTERS: OWB Kydex Holster

best owb kydex holster

Best OWB Kydex Holster​

Kydex holsters are one of the biggest innovations in the last decade for concealed carry. Kydex is virtually maintenance free and lasts forever but is still cheap and supports the weight of a gun extraordinarily well. The market is littered with a ton of different options for kydex holsters both inside and outside the waistband.

Some custom shops make you wait several months before they can ship you a holster but available online is R&R holsters. They make inside and outside the ways been holsters for a multitude of different firearms and colors.

This holster is one of the best outside the waistband kydex holsters on the market. Made as a pancake style this is a rugged but still lightweight kydex design that features to injection molded belt loops. It is not endorsed adjustable retention but it does feature adjustable ride height and cant from 0 to 15°. It has a partial sweat guard backing and one-year replacement warranty.

Fully made in the USA this is a very popular holster online and is one of the best outside the waistband kydex holsters on the market. This holster is boringly reliable and is well-made to be used hard day in and day out. It won’t disappoint you.

4. K Rounds OWB Pancake

owb kydex pancake holster

Great OWB Kydex Pancake Holster​

This holster is a very durable but slim design that features injection molded belt loops that are spaced far enough apart to distribute the weight of a heavy gun evenly and are also removable. The adjustable retention works well as does the full length sweat guard.

This is a boringly reliable and well-made holster that will serve you well for years. If you need a concealed carry holster and prefer the old school pancake styles, but want to take advantage of newer technologies like kydex and injection molded nylon, you’ll appreciate this holster and make good use of it.

5. Galco Cop 3 Slot Holster

leather owb holster

Best Leather OWB Holster​

Not a single company on the market can hold a candle to Galco’s level of quality and refinement. This holster is a perfect testament to how incredible each and every one of their products is. This is the Galco cop holster. It’s a pancake style three slot holster available for a multitude of pistols and both left and right handed models.

This is a classic holster design. It’s made by dozens of different companies ranging from very cheap import products to high-end handmade versions. This is the best production quality leather holster on the market. Made using 100% center cut steer hide leather handstitched in the United States this holster is very high-end and well-made.

Used in the civilian market by federal air marshals and airline pilots to law enforcement military and concealed carriers alike, this is a very well-known and well love holster. Unlike many other leather holsters, this model includes a screw type adjustable retention system along with adjustable cant via the three slots.

If you’re looking for a leather outside the waistband holster there simply not a better designed one on the market. Combine the excellent manufacturing quality and materials with the fact that this is a production great holster that is available for shipping right away, and you have a winning holster that few others can compare to.

​Bottom Line

Having the best outside the waistband holster for concealment can mean the difference between having your gun on you when you needed and not. Make sure you get your hands on the best outside the waistband carry holster you can and make sure you know how to use it.

There’s never been a better time to buy holsters with the multitude of options available. Outside the waistband, holsters have seen a resurgence with people moving away from inside the waistband for comfort and wardrobe reasons. However, it doesn’t matter how cool or high-speed your gear is if it’s on the shelf and you need it.