Testing Kydex Holsters for Comfort
Oleg Volk 08.04.18
Most Kydex holsters look pretty similar. They often use industry-standard belt attachments, so it is difficult to shop on the basis of photos. As a result, the evaluation of comfort and concealment often depends on personal time with them. Since I have a steady flow of photo props coming through the studio, I try to evaluate them as opportunities arise.
The tuckable IWB rig for Walther PPS made by Harry’s Holsters looked somewhat unusual, but came in handy for a trip to Austin. The left-most corner of Texas seemed like the right place for staying covert. Two days full of walking, driving and dealing with 105*F heat convinced me that this design actually works.
Shown here in appendix position, the holster hides better work strong side behind the hip. For full concealment, the shirt tail would go between the Utiliclip and the Kydex shell, allowing fully tucked in business look and a decent pistol in a readily accessible position.
Retention was excellent even without a belt. My model who usually gets by with a 380ACP subcompact said that this holster would enable her to run a compact 9mm with no issues. In two days, I was aware of the holster only a couple of time when the top edge rubbed on my skin. Wearing an undershirt would have fixed the issue, as would not leaning to the right as I do while driving.
The next sample is from Mission First Tactical. This generic-looking G19/23 IWB rig proved extremely comfortable in daily wear, to the point of me wondering if I forgot my pistol at home.
As the unused openings in the shell indicate, it can be converted to OWB use with proper belt loops or paddles. As with the first holster, retention was excellent, and the comfort level even higher. I expected to dislike the abbreviated sweat shield, but it proved extremely comfortable in practice — the textured grip did not rub unduly on the skin.
So these holsters were two for two tries: comfortable, safe and versatile. I will report on other designs as further testing happens.