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When it comes to choosing an appendix carry holster, there are two main things you should consider, comfort and safety.
There are a TON of crap appendix holsters on the market, which is why over the years appendix carry has gained such a bad reputation. The truth is if you find a quality holster and practice with it, carrying appendix style is one of the BEST carry methods.
I get it, it does have some advantages and disadvantages compared to standard inside waistband (IWB), outside waistband (OWB), or Thigh Carry (which I’ll cover in detail later). You can also check out out Corporal Pike’s review of the best concealed carry holsters here. Also, check out our review of concealed carry belts.
Before we get into the review, I just want to say that you may hear this type of holster called an AIWB holster, which stands for appendix inside waist band holster. They’re meant to be carried somewhere between your belly button and the front of the hip.
When shopping for an appendix carry holster, you really need to do your due diligence and find a holster that is tried and true. When carrying appendix style your gun will be pointed at some important areas, leaving no room for an accidental discharge. Below, I’ll list my 10 favorite holsters and some things to consider when choosing the best holster for appendix carry.
I’ll also let you know what holsters are the most popular and the best value. Just keep in mind, when it comes to choosing a holster, some things just come down to personal preferences.
CYA Supply AIWB Holster
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Fierce Defender The Paladin Series
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Tulster Holster with Flashlight or Without
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Concealment Express Kydex Holster
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DeSantis Hidden Truth Gun Holster
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10 Tips to Find the Best AIWB Holster for You
I found this video on YouTube. I think it does a great job summarizing what you should look for in a holster. If you don’t feel like watching I wrote out 10 tips and considerations when choosing a holster below the video.
Fully Covered Trigger Guard
The first tip might seem obvious, but it’s too important to skip over. With a fully covered trigger guard, you won’t have to worry about a negligent discharge when you’re moving around. This is an important feature for any OWB or AWIB holster, especially because most people carry with one in the chamber.
The Right Thickness and Material
When it comes to thickness, most holsters are 0.8” or 0.6”. So, you might be wondering which is better? It really comes down to personal preference, both are pretty thin. Some people prefer a 0.6 holster because they’re thinner, but sometimes it can be too thin and cause the holster to collapse in on itself. If you’re going to get a 0.6” holster, make sure you read reviews and choose a quality product, otherwise it may be difficult to holster your gun. I wouldn’t recommend a nylon holster because they’re known to collapse on themselves, which can make it hard to holster your gun. There are some nice leather appendix carry holsters, but if you don’t get a quality one they can wear out pretty quickly.
Holstering the gun is the most common time for an accidental misfire, and if the holster collapses it can make things a little more difficult, especially if you’re performing a one handed reholster. No matter what thickness you go to, make sure you practice your draw and holstering a lot!
A Good Firm Grip
When you’re drawing your weapon, you want to make sure the holster allows you to get a firm grip. If you get a holster that is bulky or isn’t designed well it can be difficult to draw your gun. When it comes to the retention, you want to get a holster with some retention but not too much. If you can, get a holster with adjustable retention, so you can set your preferred amount of force required to remove your gun from the holster
There are two main ways that holsters attach to belts. The most common ways are with clips or snap closures. Most high-quality holsters have snap closures. Clip attachment holsters are usually a little quicker to get on and off a belt, but in my opinion, are a little more prone to breaking or failure.
Sleek Comfortable Design
Appendix carry can be uncomfortable if you get a holster that is bulky. A sleek design will make it so your holster doesn’t cause your shirt to bulge out, which can give away that your concealed carrying. Some cheap holsters also don’t have rounded corners, which can lead to the edges of the holster digging into your body, which is super frustrating. All the holsters on this list have a great design so you really won’t have to worry about that too much while looking at this list.
Well designed holsters will securely hold your firearm and not allow it to rattle and shake as you move around. With some cheap holsters you can literally hear the gun moving around. You should be able to shake your holster upside down and not have the gun fall out.
Some holsters come with extra mags, others don’t. I recommend carrying with at least one magazine. Along with giving you more rounds, it can also balance the holster and make it feel more secure. Sometimes if you get a holster with multiple mag holders it can get too bulky, but again, it all comes down to preference. It’s nice if you can find a holster with a removable mag caddy if you aren’t sure if that’s a feature you want.
Does it Fit Your Gun?
This is another point that is pretty obvious but make sure you buy a AWIB holster that will accommodate the gun you plan on carrying
Some holsters have sweat guards. These are nice during the summer or hot days because they keep sweat of your gun. It’s not a must have but it’s a nice feature.
Open or Closed Ended
If you’re planning on using a handgun with an extended barrel, you will want to look for an open-ended appendix holster. Open-ended can also be better if you plan on practicing or shooting a lot. It allows for better ventilation and for the barrel and other components to cool faster.
Right or Left Handed
Make sure you buy a holster that allows you to comfortably draw with your dominant hand.
Try not to fall into the mindset that more expensive is better. There are some holsters on this list that are far better than holsters that cost almost twice the price.
Here Are the 10 Best Appendix Holsters
1. CYA Supply AIWB Holster (Best Seller and Value)
If you haven’t heard of the CYA Supply Company, they’re a newer Veteran owned company that is rising quickly due to their quality products and excellent customer service. The owner is a former Marine and hires veterans, which is just another reason to support them.
Let’s talk about some other reasons this might be a good option for you.
If you want one of the best appendix carry holsters out there, but don’t want to drop a 100 plus dollars, CYA Supply holsters are a great budget option. A lot of people say this holster is so comfortable they decided to try appendix carry for the first time. This is a great IWB holster for 6 o’clock, 3 o’clock, and 1 o’clock carry.
The clip has a great design that quickly attaches to your belt quickly and securely. It has an adjustable retention pressure and carry angle (cant) between 0 and 15 degrees. The belt clip is designed for belts 1.5 inches wide.
Available for: Nearly all common CCW models (refer to product page for specifics)
- Trigger Guard Fully Covered
- Posi-Click Audible Retention Lock System
- Sweat Guards
- Made in USA by Veteran Owned Company
- Holsters for Most Gun Models
- Excellent customer service
- Not as adjustable as many other options
- Single-clip design
- CYA Supply has been reported to sometimes have quality control issues
2. Fierce Defender The Paladin Series IWB Kydex Holster
The Fierce Defender Paladin Series IWB Kydex Holster is a solid option for shooters who want a reliable and minimalist inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster. It’s made from durable kydex and features a clean, sleek design. This holster has a secure and adjustable retention system, which lets you fine-tune the level of retention to suit your needs. Its compact profile makes it excellent for concealed carry, especially appendix carry.
A particularly notable feature of this holster is its robust clip. It will securely attach to your belt and hold firmly in place as you go about your day. It also features adjustable cant for comfort and accessibility. The precision molded fit ensures that your gun stays firmly in place when you don’t need it, while also minimizing printing.
- Secure retention
- Durable kydex construction and a sturdy clip
- Adjustable cant
- Precision molded fit
- Clean, compact design
- Kydex can be uncomfortable against skin
- Unpadded interior can scuff the finish of some firearms
3. Tulster IWB Profile Holster
Tulster holsters are not cheap, but if you’re looking for a really comfortable holster for a Glock 43 and don’t mind spending a little more money this is a great option. This is a standard IWB holster that is made of 0.08 KYDEX. It does have some features that really make it stand out from most KYDEX Appendix Carry Holsters out there.
The clip is injected molded with 2 stainless steel screws that are blackened. The stainless-steel hardware is an upgrade from most other holsters on the market.
This holster has a couple of unique design features that set it apart from many other KYDEX holsters. It is cut nicely so you can get a good high grip on the firearm while still getting protection from the body with the sweat shield.
Tulster intentionally undercut the trigger guard to allow you to get a higher grip on your gun and allow the magazine to be released when the firearm is completely holstered. They also removed all the extra material between the muzzle and retention screw to make it sleeker and to prevent it from digging into the body or thigh.
The magazine release for most firearms will be located outside the holster, so you can remove the magazine with your weapon holstered. This is an interesting feature that most people like, but I have heard some people say they worry about it getting bumped, but report it has never actually happened.
Note: 1.75-inch clips are sold separately if you’d prefer that over the 1.5-inch clip. There are also soft loops available with pull-the-dot directional snaps that prevent the holster from accidentally releasing from the best.
- Fully covered trigger
- Intentionally undercut trigger guard
- Open-ended muzzle
- Magazine release while firearm is holstered
- Adjustable cant and retention
- Pricey compared to other options
4. Concealment Express Rounded IWB Kydex Holster
Concealment Express is another one of my favorite holster companies. This model here has a minimalist design that is perfect for appendix, hip, cross draw, palm in back, and OWB carry.
It comes with a standard 1.5-inch belt clip and utilizes a Posi click audible retention lock system. Like most of the other holsters on this list, it is made of 0.08 KYDEX. The holder has a lightweight (2.5 oz) and sleek design.
The retention pressure and carry angle (cant) can easily be adjusted with a Philips screwdriver.
- Lightweight minimalist design
- Adjustable click retention system
- Adjustable cant
- Full length sweat guard
- Made in USA
- Kydex can be uncomfortable against skin
- Unpadded interior can scuff the finish of some firearms
5. DeSantis Hidden Truth Gun Holster (Best with magazine Pouch)
The DeSantis Hidden Truth Gun Holster is an interesting entry into the world of concealed carry. The holster has a slim, compact profile, so it’s well-suited for a variety of concealed carry positions, including appendix carry. The leather construction brings an element of classic craftsmanship to the modern world of holsters, while also being durable, comfortable, and safe for your gun’s finish.
The Hidden Truth Holster has a tuckable design, meaning that wearers can easily and comfortably tuck their shirt in over the holster, without printing, to better conceal their firearm. The double clip design keeps the holster securely in place and helps support the weight of both your carry weapon and a spare mag.
Finally, the adjustable tension screw offers some customization in terms of retention, giving users the ability to find the right balance between secure retention and a smooth draw.
- Classic leather appearance
- Space for a spare mag
- Slim, compact, tuckable design
- Comfortable against your skin
- Adjustable retention
- Leather holsters aren’t as durable as kydex
- Limited adjustability
6. Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.5
The Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.5 Holster is the latest version of Alien Gear’s popular line of hybrid holsters. The Cloak Tuck 3.5 stands out for its attention to user customization, allowing for adjustments to cant, ride height, and retention levels.
One great feature of this holster is its neoprene backing, which provides a comfortable barrier between the firearm and the wearer’s body. The holster’s two clips allow for excellent stability.
The Alien Skin texture inside the holster enhances retention and ensures a smooth draw. The ability to adjust the retention helps with that even more. Furthermore, the holster’s customizable cant and ride height allow users to find the perfect balance between comfort and accessibility.
- Available in a left-handed version
- Hybrid design for comfort and durability
- Very stable thanks to dual clip design
- Alien Skin texture interior
- Highly adjustable
- Bulkier than fully kydex options
- Neoprene can show wear over time
- Neoprene isn’t as comfortable when wet
7. Relentless Tactical Defender Leather Holster
Relentless Tactical Makes a quality leather AIWB holster. Some people find leather is more comfortable the Kydex. This holster fits most compact guns that are 9mm, .40 caliber, and even .45. Some of these guns include the Glock 17, Glock 26, Glock 43, S&W M&P, Sig Sauer P226, Sig Sauer P229, Sig Sauger P250, and many other similar sized concealed firearms.
The holster is opened ended which is nice if you’re practicing a lot. It allows barrel and internal to cool faster and prevent overheating.
- Open Ended
- Made with Genuine leather (with American pride)
- No synthetic materials
- Comes in multiple colors
- Doesn’t fit larger CCW
8. Vedder Holsters LightTuck Kydex Holster
Vedder is another company known for making some of the best appendix concealed carry holsters for sale. It has all the features you’d want in an AIWB holster and has custom channels for standard sights and indicators.
The company designed this holster to be as sleek as possible and “virtually disappear” under your clothes on your belt. This is a great holster for 3-5 o’clock carry, appendix, and cross-draw. It’s made of .08” Kydex that gives it good strength without being too bulky.
- Sweat Guard
- Adjustable ride height
- Adjustable retention
- LightTuck design
- Made in USA
- Similar holsters at lower price point
9. Raven Concealment Systems Eidolon
The Raven Concealment Systems Eidolon is a versatile, modular option that’s great for concealed carry. With its innovative design, this holster offers a balance between customization, comfort, and concealment.
One of the key features of the Eidolon is its adjustable belt clips and hardware. This modularity enables users to fine-tune the holster’s ride height, cant angle, and depth to their liking. It also features a really interesting retention system, which uses bungee cord to create a secure fit that’s also easily adjustable.
In addition, it can be configured for left or right-hand draw. And to make things even better, the holster accommodates optics and threaded barrels, so it’s great for those of you with customized setups on your CCW. The minimalist design and slim profile contribute to effective concealment, minimizing printing under clothing.
- Ambidextrous design
- Highly customizable
- Compatible with optics and threaded barrels
- Slim profile
- All the adjustment options may overwhelm some shooters at first
- Getting the adjustments just right for you can take some time
10. ComforTac Ultimate Belly Band Holster
As someone with a relatively narrow frame, I really enjoy the comfort and concealability provided by belly band holsters, and of all the belly bands out there on the market right now, the ComforTac Ultimate Belly Band Holster is my favorite.
This holster’s neoprene material provides a comfortable barrier between the firearm and the wearer’s skin, making it suitable for all-day wear. It’s also adjustable, including both the band itself and the position of the holster pouch. This allows the Ultimate Belly Band holster to work for a wide range of bodies and a wide range of firearms. It even has an extra pocket that’s perfect for storing a spare mag or other small items, like your carry permit, a flashlight, or a knife.
The Ultimate Belly Band Holster is especially useful for those who have difficulty finding holsters that accommodate their body shape or size. It can be worn discreetly under clothing, minimizing printing and facilitating concealed carry without the need for traditional belt clips or holsters. However, the belly band approach might not be ideal for all body types, as it could potentially become uncomfortable for some users, especially during extended periods of wear.
- Versatile carry options
- Adjustable fit
- Comfortable material and fit
- Extra pocket for a spare mag or other small essentials
- Very discreet
- Belly bands aren’t suitable for all body types
- Slower and more difficult to draw than other types of waistband holsters
- Does not provide the same retention or security as kydex or leather holsters
Also Read: 15 Best Car Holsters (Vehicles & Trucks)
Yes. A specially designed holster for your firearm will help you better conceal it and also avoid extra bulges.
A special holster will also help you get out the weapon fast in emergency situations.
It depends on the holster, your body, and the gun you carry. Most people have reported that sitting on appendix carry is not practically tenable.
You have to find out what works best for you by testing various holsters.
Yes. Everybody is different. You can also wear it in the front, center, or back near your left hip. You must ensure you have a comfortable fit. That is the main goal.
The biggest risk of appendix carry is negligent discharge. If it happens, it might affect the critical organs of the body including the groin area and femoral artery. It can be fatal.
What is Appendix Carry?
Appendix carry is a somewhat new term for an old practice. With this type of carry, your firearm is holstered inside your waistband between your stomach and belt. Usually, the gun is situated between the hip and naval. There are a lot of movies that show people just tuck their pistol into their pants, which is basically appendix carry without a holster, which is extremely dangerous. Appendix carry does have some benefits, for instance, it can be easier to conceal the weapon and it can be easier to access in some positions, like seated.
How can I adjust my holster’s retention?
Some holsters have screws located near the front you can tighten.
Is there anything I can do to make my holster more comfortable?
Some holsters are covered with suede or another material that can cause the gun to not move around as much. The best thing to do is just invest in a good holster with a sleek design to start with. Most holsters also have an adjustable ride height, so you can find a carry depth that is most comfortable for you. When your sitting for long periods of time, try pulling up your pants a little. It can make the gun sit a little more comfortable against your stomach. Another thing is just actively carrying. The more you carry with an appendix holster the more comfortable it will become to you.
What are the benefits of appendix carry?
For some people, carrying a firearm against the hip can be uncomfortable. The holster can dig into the iliac crest of the hip leading to discomfort. Others find AIWB more uncomfortable, especially if you have a large gun with an extended barrel, so it really does all come down to preference. Some people also like AIWB carry better because they can get to their firearm more easily while driving. If you’ve never tried an appendix holster you might want to go to a local firearm dealer and see if it is comfortable before you spend a lot of money on one. With AIWB carry, you also don’t have to worry about giving away while bending over because your shirt will naturally cover the gun.
Is AWIB Carry Safe?
The short answer is yes, but if you’re not trained properly and practice with your firearms it can increase the risk of accidental discharge. There are a lot of professionals in the industry that are straight up about not liking AWIB holsters, there are others that swear by them. Some say it’s less safe, and it can be if you’re not careful and especially if you have a cheap holster that is low quality. I prefer to carry my Sig on my hip, but for those who find conventional hip carry techniques uncomfortable, this may be a great alternative to try.
What are Downsides to Appendix Holsters
Inside Waist band (IWB Holsters) and AIWB is very comfortable when standing, but a lot of people find them uncomfortable in a seated position, especially with larger guns. There are some techniques you can use to make AIWB holsters more comfortable. This type of carrying is usually more preferred by people who are thin. For those with a large belly, this may not be the best carry style for you.
There are safety concerns related to IWB holsters, particularly appendix carry, because of where the gun is pointed (femoral arteries and other sensitive areas). That said, these risks are often overstated and AIWB can still be a safe and practical carry method if proper gun safety is utilized.
Will Appendix Carry Work for Me?
Your best bet is to try a AIWB holster and see how it feels to you. Your local gun shop should have this type of holster and you can put it on. Try sitting down and walking around to see how it feels for you. Depending on the activities you are doing on a particular day, an AIWB holster may be more comfortable.
Related Article: The Best Hellcat Holsters
One thing I noticed is that almost all holster companies manufacture their products in the USA. It seemed strange to me at first because usually, it costs more to manufacture in the USA. It’s probably because their primary audience is in the United States due to the right to conceal carry and the preference of those who take advantage of the second amendment to support American founded companies.
Many of holsters on this list were actually designed by veterans.
Let me know if you have any questions in the comments.