10 Best Drop Leg Holsters in 2019: Thigh Holster Buying Guide

Drop Leg Holster Buying Guide

It’s tough to beat a drop leg holster when you need a secure carry solution that still lets you bring your sidearm into the action at a moment’s notice.

Sometimes called a thigh carry, or just a thigh holster, the drop leg is a (surprise, surprise) attached to your belt, dropped down against your thigh, and then tied off securely around your leg.

Unlike with standard holsters or appendix style holsters, you don’t have to deal with extra bulk and somewhat awkward positioning.

If you’re someone that carriers a lot of gear it’s nice to not have to worry about the clutter that can quickly pile up on your chest with a flak jacket or shoulder rig, either.

Instead, with a drop leg, you’re putting your handgun within a quick twitch of your fingers and distributing your gear across your body. This approach isn’t just smarter from a tactical standpoint, but it’s going to spread your loadout over your body, too.

Check out the picture of some of my Marine buddies below, a group of Machine Gunners.

Marine Machine Gunners with Drop Leg Holsters on

These guys carry around big, bulky, belt-fed weapons with a tendency to jam up while sending hundreds of rounds downrange.

Quick access to a sidearm is a must for these guys.

The trouble though is that their weapon system demands so much ammo and other gear that they’re basically already human pack mules. There’s just no room on a cluttered flak jacket for an easy to retrieve and deploy sidearm.

The drop leg solves that problem completely.

These guys can’t be wrestling around with their gear to deploy their sidearm. With a drop holster, their secondary weapon is always just a quick pull away – right on their leg, just a few inches from their hand at all times.

Commonly used by military personnel around the world, LEOs (Law Enforcement Officers) foreign and domestic, and by plenty of civilians, too, if you’re not worried about concealment it’s impossible to beat the utility and comfort of a drop leg setup.

Quick, Secure, and Reliable Access to Your Firearm at ALL Times

Rule number one of carrying a sidearm is that it is easy to access at any time, in any position.

It shouldn’t matter if you’re sitting, squatting, standing, crawling, running, kneeling – you get the idea.

If shit hits the fan, you need to be able to clear leather in a flash and start getting rounds downrange accurately – no matter how your body is contorted.

If you can’t, something’s wrong with your holster/gear setup and you need to make some changes.

Thigh holsters all but guarantee that’ll you’ll be able to get your sidearm clear and into action ASAP. No matter how you’re twisted, or what kind of position you find yourself in, if you can get to the outside of your thigh you’ll be able to engage your target.

Yes, concealment goes right out the window with this kind of rig. You will always advertise that you’re carrying with a drop leg. But if you’re on duty, at the range, or open carrying for any reason at all the odds are concealment isn’t going to be a priority, anyway.

There’s a Reason Infantry Guys, SEALs, and SWAT Operators Use Drop Leg Holsters.

Special Forces Using Drop Leg Holster

Guys at the tip of the spear don’t care much about how “tacticool” they look when outfitting for a mission. Although the American Sniper Chris Kyle once said, “ninety percent of being cool is looking cool.”

They’ve got a dangerous job to tackle, almost always with the odds stacked against them. They all pick gear they know they can trust.

These kinds of guys know that if they have to draw their sidearm, things have gone sideways in a hurry.

A sidearm is always a weapon of last resort. If it needs to clear leather, it needs to be deployed quickly, reliably, and accurately – often in a split second.

The efficiency of movement is critical when you’re falling back to your sidearm and putting it into play. You need it as close to the ready position as possible, capable of being drawn and brought to a shooting position in one fluid motion.

When it comes time to secure their sidearm for almost automatic retrieval, they know they can count on a quality drop leg rig.

If this gear is good enough for the best gunfighters on the planet, it’s going to be good enough for civilians that aren’t willing to compromise on their gear loadout, either.

Sure, you might not have to worry about carrying 50+ pounds of operational equipment, ammo, and armor on your chest.

But there’s a drop leg setup offers the same kind of mobility and security advantages to civilian shooters that they do high-level operators around the world.

We’re talking about:

  • Being able to more comfortably carry large frame pistols (any 1911, for example)
  • Keeping your waistline totally free of clunky pancake or hip holsters that always get in the way
  • Effortless access to your sidearm while at the range, while on the move, or in a Three-Gun comp

…and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

You don’t have to be putting your life on the line every time you belt up your drop leg to get real utility out of it. Civilians are finding thigh holsters to be just as useful as members of the military and police.

5 Considerations Find the Best Drop Leg Holster for You

If you’re serious about investing in the same kind of quality tactical gear military operators and elite police response teams are using right now, you need to focus on the same details these pros are before they pull the trigger on a new holster.

Pay attention to these core factors before you pull the trigger on a purchase.

Material / Thickness

The straps (and sometimes the holster itself, on “all-in-one” rigs) are going to be made from some type of ballistic nylon 99% of the time.

I’m talking about DuPont ballistic nylon, CORDURA, or Kevlar for the most part.

Some straps on newer holsters are using elastic with a tensioning system built right in, promising a better fit and high level of security. Nylon straps are always thicker than elastic (obviously), but there’s a comfort tradeoff for sure.

Leather drop rigs aren’t as common as they used to be, and for one key reason.

When the leather gets wet it gets sloppy, and it doesn’t take long for it to lose its shape. Now you’ve got a leather holster that might still look great, but it’s loose and tugging when you try to clear it.

On top of that, if you’ve got a sidearm with a trigger safety (like most Glocks) you end up running the risk of tripping the action on misshapen leather. That’s a recipe for disaster.

It’s best to stay away from leather.

Kydex is maybe the most popular material used for the actual saddle/holster itself (especially when the saddle is separate from the holster frame/straps). Lightweight and strong, Kydex can be custom molded to fit the frame of your firearm perfectly.

Boltaron is another popular material. It’s lighter than Kydex with a higher strength rating, but you’ll have to pony up a little extra cash for drop holsters made with this material.

Kydex and Boltaron holsters almost always include tensioning screws that can be adjusted as well. This guarantees you get the snug fit not possible with “one size fits most” options I touched on above.

Design and Functionality

There are a couple of things you need to think about when it comes to the design and function of your drop leg setup.

First, the way you plan on wearing your new holster is critical.

Too many guys hang their thigh holster down around their knee, the perfect place for a tacticool Hollywood photo op but somewhere you’ll NEVER see military or police hang their sidearm. Too much movement is wasted with this ultra low mount, and they’d waste too much time drawing the sidearm that could get them killed.

On the other hand, belt slide drop holsters that get your sidearm just slightly off your hip might not be ideal, either.

They’ll be comfortable when you’re carrying in a vehicle and they keep your firearm close to your body (good for quick deployment), but if you’re wearing any gear up top – or even just baggy clothes – you run the risk of slowing down or crowding your draw.

A lot of tip of the spear guys and LEOs alike appreciate mid-ride holsters because they hit the sweet spot between your ultra-low thigh holsters and your belt slide drops.

Mid-ride holsters drop your firearm a little lower than a belt slide, but not nearly as low as your knee. You’ll carry it right on the meaty part of your thigh, keeping the butt of the weapon off your body for a quick draw – without any wasted movement.

Mid-ride holsters also usually only have the two attachment points/straps you want in a drop leg rig, something I’ll touch on in just a second.

You’re also going to have to choose between a universal design (a one-size-fits-most kind of holster) and a pistol specific holster.

Obviously, a universal option offers more flexibility. You can buy one holster for all of your sidearms and you can tinker with its configuration to position it the way you like on your body.

But if you’re going to be duty carrying the same sidearm all the time, or have one pistol in specific you’ll be toting in a drop leg, a holster made specifically for that piece is the way to go.

Strap Design

It might sound a little counter-intuitive, but single strap holsters are much better than a drop leg with holsters coming out of every nook and cranny.

Sure, you get fewer anchor points with a single strap setup. But you’re also lowering the potential for catches and snags and shutting down multiple failure points that can have your sidearm swinging in the wind if they blow apart at the seams.

Single strap thigh holsters usually feature thicker straps that wrap around your thigh just once to tie the holster down. You’ll want to ratchet the tension up on your single strap for sure, almost like you’re putting on a tourniquet.

Maybe don’t make it so tight you lose feeling in your toes, but you don’t want your sidearm sloshing around down there.

Multi-strap setups can be the way to go if you’re dealing a full frame sidearm and a light or laser, or when you have extra mag pouches on your drop leg. This kind of weight demands another strap or two to keep things in place, but it’s not going to be very comfortable.

Elastic band style straps have become popular in the last few years because of the security they offer. Infinitely customizable to fit your leg individually, you can play around with these straps to find a pressure level that works for you. You won’t get that level of total control with buckles and nylon.

Elastic does run the risk of stretching out of time, though.

When that happens, your holster is going to slosh around more than most are comfortable with. You have two options when that happens. You can tighten things down another level and push the elastic to its max, or swap out the straps for new ones.

Eventually, you might have to splash some cash for a whole new rig to fix the problem.

Cost

Prices for thigh holsters can bounce all over the place.

At one end of the spectrum, you can snap up some pretty solid nylon, one-size-fits-most holsters for under $30. These are usually strong, capable, and reliable rigs – though they obviously won’t have the fit, finish, or “extras” that more expensive holsters will.

At the other end of the spectrum, you have the kinds of drop leg holsters carried by the most elite military and police units. Made with the highest quality materials and an uncompromising level of quality, if you want to buy one drop leg holster for your pistol and have it last forever, you could spend $200 (and a lot more) easily.

Thankfully, plenty of quality products hit the sweet spot between those extremes.

Just remember that this is an investment, not only in your firearm itself but also in your capabilities as a shooter. Cheap, ill-fitting holsters won’t let you draw all that fast or all that smooth, especially when you’re in duress.

You don’t want to pinch a couple of pennies and have it cost you your life.

Do Your Homework

At the end of the day, it’s going to come down to doing your homework to find the right drop leg setup for you, specifically.

You’ll need to think about:

  • Your budget
  • Your carry needs
  • How long it will take to train with your holster until you’re comfortable

…and all kinds of other personal factors that will tilt your decision one way or the other.

Below you’ll find a breakdown of the best drop leg options on the market today.

I went through dozen different contenders to find the best of the best, and the odds are pretty good you’ll find your next drop leg in the reviews below.

It’s important to remember that your carry needs dictate this decision. Don’t just snap something up because it looks high speed/low drag.

The carry needs of a bigger city LEO walking a beat will be different than a small town LEO in a cruiser most of his shift. If you’re looking for something to tote to the range or something to run a Three-Gun with, your needs are different than tip of the spear guys heading to the sandbox.

Your mission dictates the gear you bring. Period.

Think about how you’ll be using this new holster most frequently and you’ll be able to narrow your options down pretty quickly.

Let’s dive in.

Here Are the Best Drop Leg Holsters (Thigh Holsters) Listed by Price

1. Condor Tonado Tactical Thigh Holster

Condor Tornado Drop Leg Holster

My Review: Condor has been around for a while now, making quality gear at pretty affordable price points. The Tornado is no exception.

Made almost entirely out of ballistic nylon, the Tornado is a one size fits all drop leg holster – and she’s going to be pretty stiff right out of the box. A little on the bulkier side of things, it is infinitely adjustable and when Condor says you can use it with full frame to compact pistols, they aren’t joking.

The wrap around design of this holster guarantees you’re going to be able to slide even the bigger pistols in your arsenal into the Tornado – even with a light or laser attached. There’s a lot of breathing room when the system is “wide open” and once you mount your pistol in the saddle you can’t tighten things up for a secure fit.

Adjustment is a lot like folding up a burrito. You pop open a Velcro patch on the backside of the holster and can then tighten or loosen the saddle itself. This process is best done with your firearm in the saddle already (especially if it’s going to have attachments).

A hook and loop strap inside the holster (when it’s fully opened) helps you adjust for the depth of your sidearm. A couple of quick folds and some more Velcro and you’re ready to rock and roll.

There’s a basic retention system in place with a Velcro snap overtop for extra security. It’s not as well engineered as some of the systems from Safariland, for example, but it gets the job done for the most part.

Double nylon straps will wrap around your leg and securely fashion with plastic polymer thumb buckles. Again, there not the most secure fastening system in the world, but for less than $30 they more than get the job done.

You can adjust the drop of this thigh holster with the belt strap at the top of the holster. Some reviews online have talked about this strap being almost impossible to move, and others have talked about it being loose and sloppy. Seems a bit hit or miss for the most part, but you can tinker with it to get the drop you’re after.

A single magazine pound is attached directly to the front of the holster itself, which is a nice little extra and keeps a fresh mag close at hand.

Potential cons:

  • Big, bulky, and stiff (especially with smaller pistols)
  • Plastic strap buckles are for sure a weak point

Key Features:

  • Will work with almost any pistol out there
  • Will not break your bank account
  • Quality construction built to last and withstand constant abuse

2. Tactical HQ Blitz Universal Leg Holster

Tactical HQ Thigh Holster

My Review: If you don’t want to drop a ton of cash on a new drop leg holster, but still want something reliable and versatile, Tactical HQ and the Blitz has what you’re looking for.

Made out of 1000D ballistic nylon materials, it’s just as stiff and as strong as the Condor I reviewed above though it doesn’t have the same fit and finish. This is the kind of holster you can use with medium to full frame pistols, but compacts are going to swim around in this holster too much for it to be relied on.

It copies the same basic shape and design of the Condor, but does a slightly poorer job of executing. The straps feel a little looser (and are a little stiffer), the buckles are a little cheaper, and the retention system doesn’t seem as secure. Velcro is still the main attachment system used throughout, and it’s dependable, but the rest of this holster just feels a little cheap.

Granted, you’re going to be able to pick up this holster for next to nothing. If you need a weekend warrior to tote your firearm to the range, or want something that looks tacticool for your airsoft rounds this is right up your alley.

But if you need a duty holster or plan on playing with this in the sandbox, you’d be better off looking elsewhere.

Potential cons:

  • Straps come loose relatively easily
  • You’ll have a tough time fitting sidearms with attachments

Key Features:

  • Quality construction materials for the most part
  • Dual strap system leaves the holster secure
  • Works perfectly well with mid and full frame firearms

3. Leaper UTG Spec Ops

Leaper UTG Spec Ops Holster

My Review: Leaper has been around since 1991, making tactical gear for LEOs, military members, and serious shooters from day one.

Their UTG Spec Ops thigh holster is a perfect example of not judging a holster by its cover – or, in this case, it’s price point. You get A LOT of holster for the money here.

Featuring the universal design qualities that will accommodate any medium or large frame pistol, the quality of construction across the board on this holster is really special. Weighing in at just under a pound, synthetic leather and ballistic nylon materials make this a strong, stiff, and steady holster for a fraction of the price you’d expect to pay.

A double thumb break retention system is going to be especially important for LEOs that want to make sure their firearm doesn’t end up in the hands of someone else in a scuffle. It’s a tight lock you can trust, and one that will allow you to quickly draw the weapon but will make it tough for another else to get your sidearm free.

The non-slip holster pad and straps keep this thigh rig tight against your body, and the single leg strap is both comfortable and secure with a quick thumb buckle system.

Potential cons:

  • Takes a while to break in
  • Not enough space for lights or attachments

Key Features:

  • Lightweight yet strong
  • Non-slip surfaces really add stability
  • Enough adjustment to fit most medium and full size pistols

4. Blackhawk SERPA Level 3 Drop Leg Holster

Blackhawk Drop Leg Holster

My Review: Blackhawk is one of the biggest names in tactical equipment, and their stuff ALWAYS walks the walk and talks the talk.

Founded by a former Navy SEAL, the gear coming out of this USA based company is about as top shelf as it gets. If you’re looking to spend a little bit more for a tactical thigh holster you can’t go wrong with the SERPA Level 3.

For starters, the multi-point “Y-Harness” strap system pioneered by Blackhawk makes this one of the most comfortable drop leg rigs on the planet. You’ll be able to spread the weight of your entire sidearm evenly, causing a lot less fatigue and facing zero discomfort – even when you’re wearing it for hours one end.

Secondly, the injection molded saddle system guarantees you get a perfect and permanent fit for the specific sidearm you’re carrying. Blackhawk makes the SERPA Level 3 available for more than a dozen of the most common pistols, so the odds are good you’ll be able to get a saddle for your weapon of choice.

Third, the SERPA Auto Lock system from Blackhawk is the ultimate in security without compromising draw speed. It goes toe to toe with the capabilities of Safariland options, though it comes down to personal preference to break that two-way tie.

Full-length holster saddle will protect your front and rear sights, and the quick disconnect buckle means you can drop your holster saddle in a hurry (and then mount it back up again just as fast) – or swap out one weapon specific saddle for another. This adds a lot of versatility to this drop leg that other options can’t touch.

Potential cons:

  • A little bit on the pricey side
  • You’ll have to buy new SERPA saddles for every pistol you want to carry

Key Features:

  • Accessory mounting points are all over the place
  • Pivot Guard thumb activation improves SERPA security
  • Guaranteed to fit your firearm like a glove

5. Drop Leg, Right Handed Tactical Thigh Holster

Right Handed Draw Thigh Holster

My Review: Another quality ballistic nylon holster, you can count on this affordable option to get you to the range and back without issues.

Made of the almost industry standard 1000 denier ballistic nylon you’re likely already familiar with, this is a lightweight full frame holster that can accommodate pretty much any pistol you have – including compacts – with accessories attached.

The entire holster opens up for easy adjustment (depth adjustments can be made with the internal strap). You’ll be able to tinker and toy with this setup to get the fit you’re after pretty quickly.

Dual straps hold tight enough for range work, but some reviews online say that they can get sloppy if you push them too hard or are constantly on the move. The belt strap is long enough to give taller guys a comfortable ride, but you’ll want to make sure you’re not letting out all the slack and keeping your firearm just above your knee.

Potential cons:

  • Fit and finish leaves a little to be desired
  • Leg straps can come loose without a lot of effort

Key Features:

  • Won’t set you back more than a box of 9mm shells
  • Will work with almost any pistol, and accessories
  • Long enough belt drop for guys taller than 6’1

6. Safariland Drop Flex Adapter

Safariland Leg Holster

My Review: Next to Blackhawk, Safariland is the other Big Boy in the tactical accessory industry.

Trusted the world over for their quality and dependability, some of the world’s most elite military and police units trust holsters from this company more than anyone else. Strong, lightweight, and always mission-focused, people like to joke about high speed/low drag gear – but these holster’s fit the bill.

The Safariland 6004 Single Strap has been specifically designed to carry your sidearm just below hip height, but with a forward leaning weight distribution pattern that keeps it high on your thigh. You don’t have to worry about the single strap system slipping and sliding, that’s for sure.

Instead, you get a tight and accurate fit that’s going to stay in place – exactly where you set it. The system self-adjusts when you’re sitting for a more comfortable carry while mounted, and it springs right back to your pre-determined “normal” carry position the second you go upright again.

This is important though, so listen up. This drop holster is sold separately from the saddle your firearm sits in. Safariland call them “weapon shrouds”, and you’ll need to be sure you purchase a shroud that fits your weapon before you’ll be able to use this holster rig.

Both the 6004 and 6005 Series shrouds will work with this setup. Shrouds are made out of high impact Kydex, molded to your weapon system. They quick mount directly to this holster with a snap, which opens up the potential to buy one rig and multiple shrouds to keep yourself outfitted.

Potential cons:

  • You’ll have to buy your weapon shroud separately
  • Won’t work with other, non-Safariland saddles or shrouds

Key Features:

  • The drop positioning of this holster is second to none out-of-the-box
  • Works with all 6004 and 6005 Weapon Shrouds from Safariland
  • Comfortable and secure without a lot of potential failure points

7. Safariland 6304 ALS Leg Holster (Best Overall)

Tactical Leg Holster

My Review: This Safariland leg holster is very popular with QRT (Quick Response Teams) and SWAT members, thanks to its Automatic Locking System (ALS) that won’t slow down your draw but guarantees your weapon stays in position at all times – no matter what.

Available in right-hand and left-hand configuration, and with injection molded holsters specifically crafted for your weapon, this is as close to a custom made drop leg holster as you’ll find “out of the box”. The fit and finish is what you’d expect from the folks at Safariland (top notch) and the included firearm shroud is designed to work with or without a laser or light attached.

The ALS is the standout feature here, though.

A revolutionary new design, its self-locks into your ejection port to provide a level of stability and security you won’t get elsewhere. You can easily activate the release with your thumb while your draw, and it will automatically reset the moment you reseat your weapon.

The included thumb guard guarantees that no one but you can activate the ALS, even accidentally. You and you alone will be in control of this weapon.

You can’t beat that.

Potential cons:

  • Like all things Safariland, it’s pricey (but worth it)
  • If you’re holstering an obscure sidearm, there may not be a shroud made for it

Key Features:

  • Safariland quality is head and shoulders above almost everyone
  • ALS system is tops in the drop leg segment
  • Holster accepts ELS, QLS, and MLS accessory attachments

8. UTG Elite Tactical Right Handed Leg Holster

UTG Elite Tactical Leg Holster

My Review: Barebones and basic, this UTG Elite Tactical leg holster is like the Honda Civic of the drop leg world.

It’s not the fancy Lamborghini (Blackhawk and Safariland gear fits here), but its dependable, affordable, and it’s going to get you down the road without headache or hassle.

Stripped to the essentials, this is about the most basic carry thigh rig you’re likely to find on the market today. It’s a simple saddle, two leg straps, and a belt attachment – with a single mag pouch mounted opposite the slide of your pistol.

PVC materials are used on the outer shell of the holster itself, with a soft interior lining to protect your sidearm. The fit isn’t as secure as Kydex holsters (no surprise there), but it’s made to accommodate most medium and full frame pistols, There’s not a lot of room for lights or attachments, though.

Simple straps can be adjusted with the buckle keepers to get the kind of ride you’re after. The drop belt is smooth and comfortable, and you can toy with the height of your drop a little bit. It’s not the most flexible system in the world, but it’s a great range holster.

There’s no retention system though, and that’s what stops us from recommending it for duty use.

Potential cons:

  • Lack of retention system is worrisome
  • Saddle itself has a sloppy fit

Key Features:

  • Simple, cheap, and durable
  • Fits most medium and full frame pistols
  • Not a budget buster

9. Cisno Thigh Holster

Cisno Adjustable Leg Holster

My Review: More than a halfway decent mimic of the first drop leg I broke down above, the Condor Tornado, the Cisno thigh holster has the same “burrito” style holster setup that allows for use with almost any pistol out there.

Made of 1000D ballistic nylon and Velcro, you can adjust not only the width of this holster to accommodate compact, medium, and full frame pistols but can also set the depth of their ride in the holster, too. This is all done with an internal depth strap that affixes again with Velcro, letting you really customize how deep your firearm sits in the saddle.

The leg straps come with non-slip rubber on the inside, which is a nice plus at this price point. It helps improve security and stability of this thigh holster (especially with full frame and kitted out sidearms). Plastic thumb buckles and adjustable catches are standard fare here, keeping your pistol in place when they’ve been tightened down sufficiently.

Potential cons:

  • Some quality control issues
  • Not as secure as Kydex/injection molded rigs

Key Features:

  • A price you can’t beat
  • Durable construction with high-quality materials
  • Universal fit that lives up to expectations

10. Safariland SLS Tactical Holster (Best Value)

Safariland SLS Tactical Holster

My Review: Similar to the Safariland ALS Tactical Holster I highlighted a moment ago, the SLS uses a simpler retention and release system that might be better suited to some shooters compared to the full blown ALS tech and hood setup.

Here you’re getting a paddle style drop leg holster with the Safariland Self Locking System (SLS). A single step locking and retention system compared to the two-stage ALS, you’ll have a smoother draw without sacrificing a lot of security with the SLS.

You will have to push the SLS action down while rotating the hood forward to draw your weapon, but it’s a smooth action that becomes second nature almost immediately.

Your sidearm will be protected while sitting in the saddle, not only by the thermoformed SafariLaminate custom shaped shroud but also with the soft suede interior. A molded sight track keeps your sights from getting bumped out of position so you’ll always be able to bring your weapon into action with total accuracy.

Potential cons:

  • The rotation on the SLS action takes a bit of practice to get used to
  • Accessory switches on the trigger guard might be turned on, even while holstered

Key Features:

  • SafariLaminate heat molded materials will last and lifetime (and then some)
  • SLS retention system promises security and quick-draw capabilities
  • Secure double leg strap system works wonders with the SLS holster paddle

FAQ

Q: Is a Drop Leg Holster and Thigh Holster the Same Thing?

A: For the most part, the terms “drop leg holster” and “thigh holster” are used interchangeably.

When you get right down to it, though, a drop leg holster is most anything that hangs from your belt and can sit on your thigh, down by your knee, or up close to your hip. A thigh holster is something made specifically to ride right on the meaty part of your leg.

Q: Are Drop Leg Holsters Comfortable for Long Term Wear?

A: Again, it really all depends.

Some of the better thigh holsters (like the Blackhawk and Safariland models I touched on above) are going to include standoffs that will move your saddle off the holster paddle on your leg. This pushes the gun a little off your body, which will be more comfortable when you’re sitting for longer periods of time.

There’s a tradeoff in the efficiency of your movement deploying your weapon with those standoffs (you’ll almost always have to cant your body a bit for smooth action), but LEOs in patrol cars and folks spending time in vehicles will take that trade most of the time.

When on foot, it’s tough to beat the comfort offered by a thigh holster/drop leg rig.

You’re spreading the weight of your gear across your body, the straps are usually tight but not enough to make your toes tingle, and the security of having your sidearm a twitch away from your fingers is always appreciated.

Q: What are Some Common Mistakes When Using a Drop Leg Holster?

A: The number one mistake people make with a drop leg holster is wearing it way too low for practical use.

Hollywood likes to show high speed guys dodging bullets with a thigh holster just above the knee, but that’s not going to cut the mustard in the real world. When the lead starts flying and you need to get your sidearm into the game, you need it as near your fingers as possible – and that means just below the hip, right on the meat of your leg.

Another big mistake people make with a drop leg (or any holster, really) is not putting in the time to practice with it. Too many people (even professionals that should know better) fall into the trap of complacency with their gear.

When it all goes sideways and your adrenaline is through the roof, you need to know you can draw your weapon with your eyes closed. Dry run clearing your new drop leg until it’s second nature – and then run though it some more.

Can I Use a Drop Leg Holster for Concealed Carry?

A: It’s almost impossible to conceal carry a drop leg holster, though I suppose if you were wearing some real baggy tops (or an overcoat) you could get the job done.

This isn’t a holster system designed for concealed carry though, and your retrieval times are going to go way down. The idea of a drop leg is to get your firearm clear of obstructions for smooth action. Cover it up and you’ll be clumsy with your draw when it matters most.

Are There Holsters That Hold Additional Magazines?

A: A lot of drop holsters come with a magazine pouch (or two) attached directly to the holster, and others include accessory mounts if you want to add some extras. Just remember that every extra magazine you add is going to add a little more weight, and that’s going to put stress on the straps.

You’ll end up pulling the holster downwards and away from your body (thanks, gravity) and will have to tighten the straps even more. Keep things as minimalist and uncluttered as possible. Maybe keep a magazine holster on your belt or somewhere else on your gear for improved efficiency.

Final Thoughts

All in all, drop leg holsters are viable carry method so long as you don’t need to conceal your sidearm. They a lot of tactical advantages over IWB holsters, which is why they’re so commonly used by military personnel and police officers.

Let me know if you have any questions about any of the holsters reviewed, of there are any you think should be added to this list.

Other References and Information:

Wikipedia: Drop Leg Handgun Holster

Quora: Difference between hip and thigh holster

Be sure to check out some other pages on my website before you go.

Semper Fi,

Corporal Wabo

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