Carrying a pistol stuffed in your pocket or tucked into your waistband can be extremely dangerous.
Responsibly armed citizens always use an adequate holster.
Today you have an endless sea of gun-carrying rigs. These are designed to be worn on almost every part of your person.
In the end, the best holster type for you is often a matter of personal preference and shooting style.
- Factors to Consider
- Paddle Holster
- Paddle vs. Belt Holster
- BEST PADDLE HOLSTER REVIEWS
- Final thought
Factors to Consider
The most popular holsters are the traditional on-the-belt models. They can range from standard OWB (outside-the-waistband) holsters to the more esoteric IWB (inside-the-waistband) appendix carry holsters.
Each of these carrying styles has benefits and limitations. When selecting the best holster, you need to do your research. A perfect holster should be able to hold your sidearm securely. It should conceal it well. It should also allow you to draw it quickly. But you have to be prepared for some compromise. Concealment, weapon security, and draw speed usually don’t go hand in hand.
The best paddle holsters are made from Kydex and leather. They will be precisely molded to a specific weapon. The holster should fit the pistol like a glove. It should also provide passive retention and cover the entire trigger mechanism.
As its name suggests, this holster type is shaped like a paddle. The paddle is what slides inside your clothes and attaches the holster to your waistband in IWB carry.
The paddle may be rubberized or made of leather.
Modern paddle holsters are made of many materials. These include Kydex, leather, injected molded plastic, and even nylon.
As with all holsters, you need to consider a few things when researching paddle holsters. It should hold your weapon securely. It should be comfortable to use. It should also provide years of dependable service.
Weapon security is a primary consideration when choosing a new holster. Comfort and ease of access are also extremely important.
These two factors have contributed to paddle holsters rapidly gaining popularity. They are now the first choice for lawn enforcement, competitors, and individual gun owners. Paddle holsters are especially good for people who work at a desk all day.
Paddle vs. Belt Holster
Paddle holsters are similar to belt holsters. Both can be carried inside or outside the waistband.
Belt holsters use single or multiple belt loops or hooks to attach to the belt. They work for both CCW and EDC because they have a very low profile.
Paddle holsters are also used for OWB. But they don’t require a belt. They also provide a quick draw and are quicker to detach.
In addition, many manufacturers design paddle holsters as modular rigs. That allows you to detach the paddle from the holster. You can replace it with a belt loop or clip.
The concave-shaped paddle rests against your leg and holds the holster in place. It also inclines the holster a bit away from the body. This ensures you have a good grip on the weapon.
The common feature of paddle rigs is flexibility. There are multiple carry positions.
If you carry a full-size or duty sidearm, paddle holsters are viable options for open carry or concealed carry.
For compact and subcompact handguns, you should purchase paddle holsters that ride high. This combination provides discrete protection for your pistol. It enables you to conceal your compact even under a T-shirt.
BEST PADDLE HOLSTER REVIEWS
1. We The People Holsters
We the People holsters is an American-based holster company. They offer a wide range of concealed carry holsters (IWB) and duty-style outside the waistband (OWB) setups. The OWB holsters are particularly popular among military personnel. If you live where open carry is legal, WTP’s OWB holsters are commonly seen on the street.
This WTP OWB Kydex holster is named OWB-02 1000-R. It is designed to be worn outside the waistband. It is specifically molded for a Glock 19.
We the People are known for quality leather products. However, this OWB line is made of robust .08-inch Kydex. It is strong enough to maintain structural integrity.
The main feature of this OWB holster is comfort. There is a large insert paddle that grips your clothes and prevents accidents. The paddle comes with hooks. They anchor the holster to the waist and keep it in place.
This product weighs just three ounces. It is thinner and lighter than other similar products. However, it is equipped with all the necessary features. It is truly one of the most adjustable OWB holsters on the market.
WTP provides you with adjustable retention and cant. This holster is ideal for outside-the-waistband carry. All the product’s features make drawing and re-holstering fast and easy.
2. Concealment Express OWB Paddle Kydex Holster
This relatively new holster series comes from the renowned Concealment Express.
The Concealment Express OWB paddle holster is made in the USA. It is constructed from 0.080” Kydex. It is made of very thin material. However, the holster retains its shape and structure for longer than similar imported products.
This convenient OWB rig has a minimalist design and a top-notch finish. The holster comes without sharp edges. The corners are rounded and filed smooth. There will be no pokes and prods.
The fiber-reinforced stealth paddle attaches easily. It allows you to carry high on the hip. The holster also features an adjustable cant. It ranges from -5 to +20 degrees.
You can carry this product on your strong side (hip) or in your waistband at 3 or 9 o’clock.
This minimalist outside-the-waistband Kydex holster has an over-cut open-face. It accommodates threaded barrels and silencer height sights.
Holstering and re-holstering are simple and clean. The Posi-click feature will tell you that the weapon is secured. In addition, you can adjust the retention. Just use the two screws below the trigger guard.
This lightweight and durable OWB paddle rig has a full-length sweat guard with a rear sight shield.
This is Concealment Express’s first attempt at OWB holster offerings. It is higher priced than the competition. Yet, the price is still very reasonable for the quality.
3. Uncle Mike’s TACTICAL OPEN TOP Kydex Paddle Holster
Off-duty and Concealment OT Hip Holster with PBA
Uncle Mike’s is a renowned US manufacturer of holsters, swivels, slings, and ammo holders. The brand has more than 20 years of experience creating handgun holsters. Uncle Mike’s offers a wide selection of carry rigs for combat, daily duty, hunting, or concealed carry. They are designed to suit any carry style.
Uncle Mike’s Kydex Paddle Holster is high quality. It is made from slightly thicker Kydex than average. It will be a little bulkier than the competition. However, it should not reduce the comfort or concealment possibilities of the holster.
The Uncle Mike’s Kydex Conceal Paddle holster is not gun specific. But it does come in a variety of sizes. This Kydex paddle holster has an open-top design. There is adjustable passive retention.
As you would expect, there is a thumb snap for additional retention.
Surprisingly, the Kydex Paddle Holster from Uncle Mike’s includes a belt loop attachment.
Nevertheless, the main selling point is the adjustable semi-rigid Kydex paddle. It will mold itself to the wearer’s hip. The soft, pliable paddle rides closer to the body. It features generous vent holes to improve air circulation.
Uncle Mike’s CCW holster is best used for conventional behind-the-hip carry at a mid-level height. It is also suitable for hip, cross draw, and appendix carry.
4. Galco Speed Paddle Holster for Ruger LCR
This is the only leather paddle-style rig on our list. It comes from another USA holster manufacturer – Galco Gunleather.
Galco creates many different styles of paddle gun holsters. One of the most popular is the Speed Paddle Holster.
Actually, the Speed Paddle is a hybrid holster. It combines premium thick saddle leather and Galco’s patented copolymer injection-molded belt-lock paddle. The Galco Speed Paddle holster includes a convenient on/off switch. There is also a tension screw adjustment system for added security.
The model SPD300B-8 features expertly molded leather bound. It has a thick double-stitching and beautiful finish. It comes in a rich “whiskey” brown color.
This holster is well-known for its perfect balancing. It provides a quick draw, firearm access, and improved safety. It is a fantastic blend of traditional steer hide leather and modern Kydex. This Galco Belt Holster features an open-top design. It provides a speedy draw. There is also a covered trigger guard for added security.
The Speed Paddle holster is available for semiautos and double-action revolvers. It works best with belts up to 1.75 inches in width.
5. 7371 7TS ALS Concealment Paddle Holster – Safariland
Another world-class holster manufacturer is Safariland Holsters. Their Model 7371 7TS holster is the top-of-the-line. All Safariland holsters feature an ALS (Automatic Locking System) system. The 7371 7TS also provides the simplicity of an open-top design.
Safariland’s 6378, 7378, and similar paddle models are bulky. They are less suitable for concealed carry in warmer climates. To address this flaw, Safariland has offered a new holster line. This includes the micro paddle (571 BL).
The 7371 holster is much smaller than previous rigs. It belongs to the “slim” line of holsters. This OWB rig has a concealment-driven design created specifically for CCW.
The Safariland Model 7371 7TS ALS Concealment Paddle Holster rides close to your body. It has a small footprint. This makes it ideal for sidearms with thinner profiles.
Safariland offers the same holster in standard-size paddle configuration (568 BL) as well. That holster is dubbed the Model 7378.
Like other Safariland holsters, the 7371 holster is built from durable SafariSeven impact-resistant thermoplastic. It can withstand extreme temperatures from +300°F to -50°F (150°C to -45°C). This proprietary nylon blend is completely non-abrasive. It won’t scratch or mar the firearm’s finish.
As said above, the 7371 7TS comes with Safariland’s innovative ALS retention system. It is officially rated at retention Level I. The ALS allows for quick retrieval of a firearm. There are no thumb breaks on this holster.
Like other ALS models, the Model 7371 features an ALS system that locks the firearm securely in place. However, it uses a wider version of the standard ALS lever. In this version, the lever is deactivated by your thumb during the draw. You can do a natural straight-upward draw with this holster.
The Model 7371 features a 3-hole belt-loop pattern. It is compatible with all belt mount options found in the Safariland catalog.
6. Fobus HPP Evolution Holster
For Hi-Point .380, . 40, . 45, 9mm, Ruger American 9mm Compact, 9mm & .40 Full, P94, P95, P97 (with or without rail), SR45, Right Hand Paddle
Fobus is an Israeli-based manufacturer of inexpensive plastic holsters. Their products fit a plethora of handgun models and makes (semiauto pistols and revolvers). They have been in business for more than 40 years. Thanks to his firsthand knowledge, Fobus has mastered the technology of injected molded polymers.
As you would expect from an Israeli defensive company, Fobus excels in the polymer holster market. They offer thoughtfully-designed holsters made of high-density polymer.
The Fobus Evolution holster features a one-piece holster body. It is carefully molded to fit each handgun. It will exert passive retention. The retention adjustment screw is placed at the lower portion of the trigger guard. This allows you to find the perfect amount of retention.
The other part of this minimalist design is the rubberized paddle. It incorporates a steel-reinforced rivet attachment for stability.
The Evolution series is built as an OWB holster. However, this low-profile design is awesome for any kind of concealed carry.
IWB holsters are all the rage today. They may be the most obvious choice for concealed carry. Yet, they are not perfect for every situation and person. OWB holsters tend to be more comfortable and versatile.
Considering the size, paddle holsters are a compromise between IWB and OWB holsters. This makes them a very convenient way of carrying a firearm for prolonged periods.
You know that holster selection is a matter of personal preference. But read our guide anyway. It should help you to make a better-informed decision.
Brian Belko is a freelance writer and blogger. His primary areas of focus include the outdoors and shooting sports. In addition to his freelance work, Brian also writes for Wide Open Spaces and is on the Pro Staff at Military Hunting and Fishing. When he isn’t busy writing, Brian enjoys fishing farm ponds for bass and hitting the spring woods during turkey season.