Since handguns were invented, people were trying to develop the ideal carrying rig for them. Eventually, the pockets and waist belts imposed themselves as a logical solution.
To make a slight digression, there is a whole host of pocket styles out that may vary from the smallest one designed to keep a cigarette lighter or little penknife to the largest ones that can even accommodate a sawed-off shotgun or some types of submachine guns.
In the inevitable evolution that followed, the gun owners discovered the on-body holsters as a perfect way to carry their firearms.
According to the subject of our guide, we’ll focus on handgun holsters that could fit inside a regular pocket, known as pocket holsters.
This holster type gains unprecedented popularity with an explosion of popularity in 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, but only recently have they become trendy.
The first pocket handguns were derringers and small revolvers, or snubbies, but nowadays, they stay in their own class, while the semi-auto pistols sovereignly rule this category.
The former pocket pistols were chambered in some of the smallest centerfire and rimfire calibers, such as the .380 ACP, .32 ACP, .25 ACP, and .22 LR.
In contrast to that traditional approach, the new development of materials and technological processes allows manufacturing of absolute powerhouse (.45 ACP or 9mm Luger) in small and compact packages suitable for CCW (Concealed Carry Weapon).
With the expansion of the CCW carry method, pocket pistols present undeniable advantages compared to large frame sidearms. These pint-sized pistols can be carried in almost any situation with total concealment and comfortably.
Many gun authors would agree that it is never a good idea to shove a handgun anywhere on your body without a holster.
As its name says, the pocket pistol is intended to be worn inside your pockets. Yes, it’s correct, but it doesn’t mean simply stick the pistol in your pocket without a holster.
Though it will work on some occasions, the practice of shoving a firearm into the pocket or waistband without a holster always is a terrible idea.
Unlike the more traditional IWB holster method with belt holsters, a pocket carry implies sticking the holstered gun into your pocket. For this concealed carry method, you will need a much smaller and slimmer pistol than other handguns.
Pocket Holster Positions
Although intended for concealed carry in a coat, jacket or trouser pocket, the pocket pistols are usually designed to be carried in either the front or back pocket of your pants. In fact, the most preferred way is a front pocket since you can access it quicker and easier.
A rule of thumb is the front pockets are better when your holster tiny, mouse gun, and rear-pocket holster are favorable for compacts or somewhat bigger guns as they provide better concealment.
Pocket holsters materials
Probably the oldest form of concealing a firearm, pocket holsters traditionally are made from leather. Today, just like any other holster type, these holsters are available in Kydex, nylon, neoprene, synthetic leather or fabric material.
Typically, pocket holsters are very affordable. Depending on the brand and type of material, you may find simple holsters from as low as $4 up to the $50 for more sophisticated designs.
Why pocket holster?
Pocket carry is a convenient and safe way to carry a firearm, but certainly not ideal. There are certain situations when you might not use a regular holster, and concealing your small handgun inside a pocket holster will provide you undeniable advantages in dangerous situations.
Whether you slip your holstered pocket pistol into a front pocket or back pocket, it will go largely unnoticed because a proper pocket holster will make your carry gun to be discreet and hidden. Without a doubt, a cleverly designed pocket holster (wallet or phone-shaped print) will not print the distinctive ‘L’ or oblong shape of a pistol. It will also enable you to put your hand on your firearm while in a completely non-threatening pose.
Second, the well-built pocket holster will keep your pistol roughly the exact location inside your pocket.
Finally, a good pocket holster should stay in the pocket when you draw your pistol out and 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, but ShapeShift Alien Gear Pocket Carry holster is an entirely different animal.
The injection-modeled ShapeShift is a versatile, serious carry holster that comes with a full trigger guard and is a custom fit to your make and model pistol.
Along with a shell built from a durable polymer, this concealed holster sports a backing layer of ventilated neoprene and an interior with slick lining that provides a smooth, snag-free draw.
Alien’s pocket holster boasts a feature rarely found in pocket holsters – 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, ensuring a clean and quick draw and keeping the holster firmly inside your pocket when you need to draw your compact.
This Alien Gear Pocket Carry Holster integrates seamlessly into any of their ShapeShift series of holsters, and you can upgrade it to any style of carry waist, appendix or shoulder.
2. Vedder Pocket Locker
Vedder Pocket Locker Holster is an advanced pocket holster design 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 to fit your small framed pistol perfectly.
Constructed from the single sheet of Kydex, the holster has an extended slide guard that covers the entire slide of your weapon. That feature reduces weapon contact with moisture from your body.
While Vedder Holsters Pocket Locker is one of the fastest on the draw in its class, this holster comes with a retention hook that will catch for the inside of your pocket, preventing the holster from coming out of the pocket with the pistol and providing a clean, snag-free pull every time.
Additionally, you can order the Pocket Locker with an optional thumb release which will enable you a quicker extraction.
This ambidextrous pocket holster is also a double-duty piece of gear 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
Compared to classical L-shaped holsters, 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 the utmost discreetness.
With the look of the plain old ordinary wallet, this holster offers a rectangular outline and removes the weapon’s profile.
The G&G Wallet Holster is constructed from rugged nylon and accomplished with a piece of durable and stiff 10-pound foam to keep the silhouette of a wallet.
The G&G Wallet holster will hold even the tiniest of micro pistols firmly in place thanks to the strong elastic retention band.
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 that 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 a Leapers UTG Universal Ambidextrous Holster. In short, the Leapers UTG product is a budget nylon holster designed with ambidextrous capability and with extra front and back pockets suitable for ID and credit cards or for holding small tools.
Besides the outside storage pockets, this surprisingly well-built budget holster comes with integral non-slip bands with the task of keeping the holster securely in your pocket when you draw a gun.
The Leapers UTG Ambidextrous Pocket Holster offers a closed bottom and open-top design with solid construction without any clips or tabs that distract your attention.
The Leapers UTG holster is a simple, lightweight and easy-to-use holster that fits easily in pants or shorts pockets,
it is a budget utility holster built of polyester material, but unlike some flimsy nylon and cheap neoprene holsters, it features firm sides and a solid feeling making it a 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, making the pistol’s grip visible, but at the same time, it covers the trigger for added safety.
The Blackhawk is an L-shaped holster with just enough grip to keep it from moving in your pocket.
This ambidextrous pocket holster comes with a single non-slip friction band, allowing 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. While the holster’s smooth internal nylon lining provides swift draw, a low-profile laminate construction will provide good comfort due to the high-density closed-cell foam.
In addition, laminate construction provides a barrier against sweat and lessens the printing of guns.
Though not a combat-ready holster, this open-top Blackhawk holster provides grip-up positioning of the handgun at an inclined angle as the best for 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 ranging 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 without additional clips or loops. The sticky outer material produces compression and friction when placed in the pocket or waistband to adhere to your undergarments or your skin.
While the outer “sticky” skin helps secure the holster in your pocket when you make a draw, the surface around the trigger guard is stitched to form a secure area.
Although Sticky Holsters are thinner with softer textures than their counterparts, Sticky Holsters come with a lifetime factory warranty due to solid construction.
Designed for most popular compact and subcompact handguns, all Sticky holsters are ambidextrous.
6. DeSantis Nemesis
Another sticky textile holster that will disguise the shape of small pocketable carry guns comes from reputed holster manufacturer and dealer DeSantis.
The DeSantis, the Nemesis Pocket Holster, is made of highly viscous external material designed to stay in your pocket no matter what.
In contrast to outer grippy neoprene fabric, the slick cloth interior is crafted of silky material that minimizes friction and allows the handgun to ease out of the holster seamlessly.
The Nemesis Pocket Holster is molded to different gun models and comes with the addition of quilted padding that reduce weapon printing and disguises the shape of the pistol.
This sticky holster is ideal for front pocket carry and will suit both right- and left-handed users.
Like most sticky holsters, the DeSantis Nemesis comes without a retention system using only a compression and friction system to adhere to your body.
7.Galco Front Pocket Horsehide Holster
Galco Gunleather offers an absolute classic in this CCW niche called a Front Pocket Horsehide Holster designed to fit most of the pint-sized pistols and revolvers available today.
This Galco pocket holster is constructed of premium horsehide with two different types of surfaces.
The interior is made of smooth and soft leather, slick enough to release a handgun. In contrast, the rough exterior side against the pocket provides solid retention of the holster in the pocket.
The holster also boasts a twin leather ears design, a double hooked shape segment of the holster that also helps to stick the holster inside your pocket.
The holster’s form is purpose-built for front pocket carry in pants or a jacket as its design will keep the weapon in the same general position allowing 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, but it covers the trigger to prevent negligent firing.
Galco Front Pocket holster efficiently conceals the shape of the sidearm while enabling 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 every kind of garment.
Like with any other carrying rig type, drawing from a pocket requires practice. Though you probably will not achieve ease of draw found in combat-type holsters, you will maximize drawing speed and handgun accessibility for this quite inconspicuous style. For the very end, one of the most recommended tips for pocket holsters is to use a dedicated pocket. It would help if you tried to keep a holster in a pocket without your keys, cash, and other items that 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.