Since handguns were invented, people have invented carrying rigs for them. Eventually, pockets and belts became the most logical solution.
There are a whole host of pocket styles out there. They vary greatly. There are the smallest designs that hold a cigarette lighter or penknife. The largest ones can even accommodate a sawed-off shotgun or some types of submachine guns.
Gun owners quickly discovered on-body holsters were a perfect way to carry their firearms. Pockets were readily used for this purpose.
Here we’ll focus on handgun holsters that fit inside a regular pocket. These are known as pocket holsters.
This holster type gained unprecedented popularity with an explosion of small, easily concealable semi-automatic pocket pistols.
- Pocket pistols
- Why pocket holster?
- Best Pocket Holster FINAL
- Final thought
The category of pocket pistols has undoubtedly been around forever. It is only recently that they have become trendy.
The first pocket handguns were derringers and small revolvers, or snubbies. Nowadays, they stay in their own class. Semi-auto pistols rule the pocket pistol category.
Earlier pocket pistols were chambered in some of the smallest centerfire and rimfire calibers. These include the .380 ACP, .32 ACP, .25 ACP, and .22 LR.
On the other hand, new materials and technological processes allow the manufacturing of absolute powerhouses (.45 ACP or 9mm Luger). These calibers are housed in small and compact packages suitable for CCW (Concealed Carry Weapon).
With the expansion of the CCW carry method, pocket pistols present undeniable advantages. These pint-sized pistols can be carried in almost any situation with total concealment and comfort.
It is never a good idea to put a handgun anywhere on your body without a holster.
As its name says, the pocket pistol is intended to be worn inside your pocket. That name can be misleading, though. It doesn’t mean you can simply stick the pistol in your pocket without a holster.
Though it may work occasionally, not using a holster with pocket pistols is an extremely unsafe idea. The dangers of the pistol misfiring are great.
Unlike the more traditional IWB holster method, a pocket holster fits right into your pocket. For this concealed carry method, you will need a much smaller and slimmer pistol than normal.
Pocket Holster Positions
Pocket pistols can be concealed carried in a coat, jacket, or trouser pocket. However, they are most often designed to be carried in either the front or back pocket of your pants. The most preferred way is a front pocket. You can access the pistol quicker and easier in that position.
Front pockets are better when you holster a tiny, mouse gun. Rear-pocket holsters are favorable for compacts or somewhat bigger guns. They provide better concealment.
Pocket holster materials
Pocket holsters are probably the oldest form of concealing a firearm. They are traditionally made from leather. Today, just like any other holster type, pocket holsters are available in Kydex, nylon, neoprene, synthetic leather, or fabric.
Typically, pocket holsters are very affordable. Their cost depends on the brand and material. You may find simple holsters from as low as $4 to over $50 for more sophisticated designs.
Why pocket holster?
Pocket carry is a convenient and safe way to carry a firearm. There are certain situations when you might not use a regular holster. Concealing your small handgun inside a pocket holster provides undeniable advantages in dangerous situations.
It doesn’t matter if you slip your holstered pocket pistol into a front pocket or back pocket. it will go largely unnoticed. A proper pocket holster will make your gun discreet and hidden. A cleverly designed pocket holster (wallet or phone-shaped) will not print the distinctive ‘L’ or oblong shape of a pistol. It also enables you to keep a hand on your firearm and appear non-threatening.
Second, a well-built pocket holster will keep your pistol in roughly the same location inside your pocket. It will not slide around.
Finally, a good pocket holster should stay in the pocket when you draw your pistol. It should also cover your firearm’s trigger to prevent accidental discharges.
Best Pocket Holster FINAL
1. ShapeShift Alien Gear Pocket Carry Holster
Most pocket holsters are usually cheap and flimsy. ShapeShift Alien Gear Pocket Carry holster is an entirely different animal.
The injection-modeled ShapeShift is a versatile, serious carry holster. It comes with a full trigger guard. It will also have a custom fit to your pistol’s make and model.
It has a shell built from a durable polymer. This concealed holster also sports a backing layer of ventilated neoprene. It has an interior with slick lining that provides a smooth, snag-free draw.
Alien’s pocket holster boasts a feature rarely found in pocket holsters. That is an adjustable passive retention system for a consistent draw.
This pocket holster comes with a hook system that grabs your pocket when you pull the gun. It ensures a clean and quick draw. Your holster will remain firmly inside your pocket when you draw your compact pistol.
This Alien Gear Pocket Carry Holster integrates seamlessly into any of their ShapeShift series. You can upgrade it to any carry style, including waist, appendix, or shoulder.
2. Vedder Pocket Locker
Vedder Pocket Locker Holster is an advanced pocket holster. It is designed for those that do not wish to carry a gun around the waistline. In fact, the Pocket Locker holster is purpose-built to be worn in your front pocket.
This innovative and well-built pocket holster is custom molded from Kydex. It will fit your small framed pistol perfectly.
Constructed from the single sheet of Kydex, the holster has an extended slide guard. It covers the entire slide of your weapon. That feature reduces weapon contact with moisture from your body.
Vedder Holsters Pocket Locker is one of the fastest on the draw in its class. This holster even comes with a retention hook that will catch the inside of your pocket. That prevents the holster from coming out of the pocket with the pistol. It also provides a clean, snag-free pull every time.
Additionally, you can order the Pocket Locker with an optional thumb release. That gives you an even quicker extraction.
This ambidextrous pocket holster is also a double-duty piece of gear. It is suitable for off-the-body carry. With an optional attachment point, you can easily carry your handgun in a backpack, bag, or purse.
3. Gould & Goodrich Wallet Holster
The Wallet Holster from Gould & Goodrich represents a new approach to pocket holsters. This completely inconspicuous product allows you to carry any pistol under 5 1/2 in. long in utmost discreetness.
This holster offers a rectangular outline. It looks like a plain, old wallet. The shape removes the weapon’s profile.
The G&G Wallet Holster is constructed from rugged nylon. Its shape is created by a piece of durable and stiff 10-pound foam.
The G&G Wallet holster will hold even the tiniest of micro pistols firmly. The strong elastic retention band helps with placement.
Gould & Goodrich’s Wallet Holster is available in the right- and left-hand models.
This is a very affordable solution for any primary or backup gun. It works best when carried in your back pocket.
4. Leapers UTG Ambidextrous Pocket Holster
Without a doubt, one of the most versatile pocket holsters overall is the Leapers UTG Universal Ambidextrous Holster. In short, the Leapers UTG product is a budget nylon holster. It is designed with ambidextrous capability. It also has extra front and back pockets suitable for ID and credit cards or for holding small tools.
Besides the outside storage pockets, it comes with integral non-slip bands. They will keep the holster securely in your pocket when you draw the gun.
The Leapers UTG Ambidextrous Pocket Holster offers a closed bottom and open-top design. It has a solid construction without any clips or tabs.
The Leapers UTG holster is a simple, lightweight, and easy-to-use holster. It fits easily in pants or shorts pockets.
It is a budget utility holster built of polyester material. Unlike some flimsy nylon and cheap neoprene holsters, it features firm sides. It is an extremely durable and long-lasting gun harness.
5. BLACKHAWK Inside-the-Pocket Holster
Another budget pocket holster comes from Blackhawk, a renowned manufacturer of tactical equipment.
The BLACKHAWK Inside-the-Pocket Holster does not cover the grip. Your pistol’s grip will be visible. But it does cover the trigger for added safety.
The Blackhawk is an L-shaped holster. It has just enough grip to keep the pistol from moving in your pocket.
This ambidextrous pocket holster comes with a single non-slip friction band. That allows the holster to remain securely in the pocket when the firearm is drawn.
Blackhawk’s inside-the-pocket holster consists of a suede-like laminate exterior and nylon lining. The holster’s smooth internal nylon lining provides a swift draw. The low-profile laminate construction provides good comfort due to the high-density closed-cell foam.
In addition, the laminate construction provides a barrier against sweat. It also lessens the printing of the pistol.
It is not a combat-ready holster. However, this open-top Blackhawk holster provides grip-up positioning of the handgun at an inclined angle. It is one of the best inside-the-pocket holsters.
6. Sticky Holsters MD-1
The versatile Sticky Holsters MD-1 can be used for both pocket carry and inside waistband carry (IWB). Sticky Holsters can be attached to your ankle or another part of your body in combination with a proper harness.
This modular system is available in several sizes. They range from micro pistols to sub-compacts, medium semi-auto pistols, and small frame revolvers.
As its name suggests, the Sticky Holster is built of a non-slip material. It doesn’t have additional clips or loops. The sticky outer material produces compression. When placed in your pocket or waistband it will adhere to your undergarments or skin.
The outer “sticky” skin helps secure the holster in your pocket. The surface around the trigger guard is also stitched to form a secure area.
Sticky Holsters are thinner with softer textures than their counterparts. They also come with a lifetime factory warranty.
Designed for most popular compact and subcompact handguns, all Sticky holsters are ambidextrous.
7. DeSantis Nemesis
Another sticky textile holster that disguises the shape of small pocketable carry guns comes from reputed holster manufacturer DeSantis.
The DeSantis Nemesis Pocket Holster is made of highly viscous external material. It is designed to stay in your pocket no matter what.
In contrast to the outer grippy neoprene fabric, the slick cloth interior is crafted of silky material. It minimizes friction and allows the handgun to ease out of the holster seamlessly.
The Nemesis Pocket Holster is molded to different gun models. It comes with the addition of quilted padding. The padding reduces weapon printing and disguises the shape of the pistol.
This sticky holster is ideal for front pocket carry. It will suit both right- and left-handed users.
Like most sticky holsters, the DeSantis Nemesis comes without a retention system. It only uses a compression and friction system to adhere to your body.
8. Galco Front Pocket Horsehide Holster
Galco Gunleather offers an absolute classic in this CCW niche. They call it the Front Pocket Horsehide Holster. It is designed to fit most of the pint-sized pistols and revolvers available today.
This Galco pocket holster is constructed of premium horsehide. There are two different types of surfaces.
The interior is made of smooth and soft leather. It is slick enough to release the handgun. In contrast, the rough exterior side of the pocket provides solid retention of the holster in the pocket.
The holster also boasts a twin leather ears design. There is a double hooked-shape segment of the holster that also helps the holster stick inside your pocket.
The holster’s form is purpose-built for front pocket carry. Its design will keep the weapon in the same general position. That allows for the one-handed release of the gun from the holster.
Like other pocket style rigs, the Galco Front Pocket Horsehide Holster doesn’t feature any passive or active retention device. It does provide trigger covering to prevent negligent firing.
The Galco Front Pocket holster efficiently conceals the shape of the sidearm. It also enables easy drawing and maximum security.
With a wide choice of materials, shapes, and sizes available, there’s a pocket pistol holster for every budget and garment.
Like any other carrying rig, drawing from a pocket requires practice. You will probably not achieve the ease of drawing found in combat-type holsters. But, you will maximize drawing speed and handgun accessibility for this quite inconspicuous style. One of the most recommended tips for pocket holsters is to use a dedicated pocket. Don’t keep the holster in a pocket with your keys, cash, or other items. They can tangle with your weapon and its trigger.
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.