The 3 Best Pancake Holsters

best pancake holster

More and more people every day are joining the ranks of concealed carriers. Taking the responsibility of their personal security into their own hand's. People are taking their concealed carry permit classes, getting trained up on weapons and safety in order to be able to conceal carry a firearm effectively.

Many people turn to new technologies like Kydex and other polymers to help them do this. However, a lot can be said for the basics like pancake holsters. A pancake holster is an old standby piece of equipment that has been used for generations by off-duty police officers and bank robbers alike.

If you are considering using a pancake holster, you can enjoy greater comfort and style than many other holster designs. Here are five of the best pancake holsters on the market and a few clarifying tips on how to choose the correct one.

Pancake Holster Vs. Paddle Holster

Many people confuse pancake holsters and paddle holsters.

The difference between a pancake holster and paddle holster is how it is connected to your belt. A pancake holster is two pieces of material sewn into a rough circle to hold your gun either inside the waistband or outside the waistband.

Pancake holsters are designed primarily for concealed carry. They are exceptionally comfortable because the wide band of material on either side of the firearm distributes the weight of your gun evenly and comfortably. You don’t have to worry about breaking nearly as much because the majority of the gun is concealed behind the second layer of material.

A paddle holster, on the other hand, is a holster mounted to a paddle that slides behind your waistband and clips on to your belt. These are almost always outside the waistband holsters and are constructed mainly for security and law-enforcement personnel.

Paddle holsters are popular because they can be quickly taken off without the need for removing your belt. If you work in law enforcement or security and have many pouches or gadgets on your belt, having to take off your gun to pass through security checkpoints or enter courthouse can be a pain without a paddle holster.

The 3 Best Pancake Holsters​

1. R&R OWB Holster

best kydex pancake holster

Best Kydex Pancake Holster​

Pancake holster is traditionally made out of leather. This is because when the pancake holster was designed it was mainly to overcome some of the shortcomings the leather had as a holster material. Mainly, the lack of support and difficulty in getting passive retention.

The double layer of leather allowed for a thinner grain of the leather to be used, which could be molded tighter to a gun’s detailed surface to allow for more retention with a lower sweat guard. We moved past that in technology that now allows us to use other materials like Kydex.

Kydex is an ideal holster material because it is completely maintenance-free, cost-effective, and extraordinarily rugged. This Kydex holster is all three and more because it combines Kydex best qualities with an intelligent design that surpasses all expectations.

The pancake holster was designed at a time when leather was the stiffest material available for holster making. Because the material is doubled up to make a pancake holster, this holster can be made with a thinner grade of Kydex that allows for greater retention.

Once you get a well-made Kydex pancake holster on your hip you can instantly feel the difference in bulk and retention. There is a louder snap when this holster grabs your gun than many other designs and brands.

The double belt loops on this holster are moved as far away from each other as possible for maximum weight distribution and the heavy-duty eyelets pressed into the Kydex hold the holster together extremely well. You won’t notice this holster once it’s on your belt, other than the weight of your gun.

This is an indestructible, lightweight and maintenance free design that incorporates the best of pancake holsters and Kydex. Don’t be afraid to move away from an older leather holster for this holster that is 100% handmade in the United States.

2. BLACKHAWK! Leather 3-Slot Pancake Holster

pancake holster for glock 17

​Pancake Holster for Glock 17

Blackhawk is best known for their tactical style, rugged military holsters. Recently, they’ve introduced several concealed carry holsters on the market including an excellent all leather pancake style holster for many guns including the Glock 17.

Many people consider the smaller cousin, the Glock 19 a perfect conceal carry or general use pistol. However, if you have large hands you may have trouble keeping the smaller Glock 19 on target. The Glock 17 also offers two additional rounds and has a slightly longer sight radius that is easier to hit with.

Whatever your reason for carrying a full-size pistol, a pancake holster is an excellent way to do it. Especially on this model where you have two different cant angles to choose from, as well as plenty of material to support the weight of your gun and grip with plenty of retention.

Manufactured by a TK for Blackhawk, you can expect the highest grade steer hide leather used in this holster. You can really feel the quality that this holster has to offer when you examine the stitching in hand and feel the even finish on the inside of the holster.

The supple interior leaves no question that this holster will not overly damage the finish on your gun, or chafe you during practice. This is an extremely comfortable and well thought out holster to distribute the weight of your gun well and will serve you well day in and day out for years.

The only downside to this holster is, of course, the leather. You have to make sure that this holster is dry and clean no matter what. Conditioning from time to time both inside and out is recommended to make sure that this holster does not lose its retention and supple grain.

Don’t be afraid to learn how to do the maintenance that you can enjoy an extremely high-quality holster like this model from the clock. It is one of the best pancake holsters for a large gun like the Glock 17 and will serve you well whether you are concealed carrying outside the waistband, or open carrying.

3. Galco Combat Master Belt Holster Right Hand S&W M&P Shield

galco pancake holster

Best Galco Pancake Holster​

No one makes leather holsters like Galco. They are the finest production quality holsters on the market and are available right off the shelf. No long waiting for a handmade piece of art that you won’t want to carry anyway! These holsters can be bought and shipped to your house in a matter of days via the Internet.

This holster is designed to be one of the best pancake holsters for revolvers by incorporating a full-length barrel cover, adjustable cant, and a large footprint to distribute the weight of a heavy revolver evenly against your hip.

When it comes to carrying revolvers, you have two main problems, weight, and bulk. The weight of a large bore revolver is considerable. As it is the overall size. It can be difficult to carry these guns on your hip without the correct holster.

Made from 100% genuine steer hide, this holster is as high quality as it gets. Available in black or tan this is an extremely comfortable holster made to carry a multitude of different revolvers. Including, 4 inch and 6 inch barreled .44 Magnum it up. The unique blend of retention and support this holster offers is pretty much unique in revolver pancake holster designs.

The addition of a fully enclosed barrel protects the crown of your revolver while keeping out any debris like lint from getting to your gun. If you’ve recently gotten your first revolver and are looking for the right holster, or you have a collection of revolvers with holsters to match, you’ll appreciate the high quality design, materials, and workmanship from this holster.

This holster is 100% made the United States of America. The only downside this holster has is the maintenance inherent to a leather holster. You have to make sure that the holster is dry and clean both inside and out and periodically condition it to make sure it doesn’t lose its retention. There is a slight break in. While the holster gets “worn in” so that you can realize its full potential.

If this holster is in your budget, seriously given a shot. You certainly won’t regret it!


If you are looking for a pancake holster, times have never been better. There's never been more options on the market and never before has quality been so affordable. When shopping online do your research and read reviews, so you don’t get the wrong holster.

While you can’t go wrong with any of the five listed here there are a ton on the market waiting to be had. Just get the best pancake holster that works for you and make sure you have it on you when you need it!