Best IWB Holsters For Concealed Carry
“IWB” stands for in-waistband holsters. IWB holsters are positioned between the user’s pants and underwear which is also what we use to appendix carry. “Appendix carry” refers to whenever we place IWB holsters in our waistband at the 12 or 1 o’clock position (for right handed shooters) depending on holster design and user preference. IWB holsters are a newer solution for conceal carrying sidearms but have exploded in popularity and availability within the past five years.
Best IWB Holsters For Glock 19
So why are we looking at the best IWB holsters for Glock 19’s? Well, the GST-9 frame should fit any holster designed for a Gen 1-3 Glock 19 or Glock 17. Some will work better than others but these are our favorite brands among what we’ve had on-hand testing so far:
ANR Design is one of our favorite holster making companies because of their wide variety of designs that are available and for their very competitive pricing. In terms of IWB holsters, they have options with and without claws which aid in grabbing on to your clothing more, making your carry gun’s separation from the holster that much smoother. The Master Blaster is a combination of a holster that carries the gun and one spare magazine.
If you’re afraid of the dark (like us) they have several light-bearing options as well for a multitude of tactical lights you might be using. When customizing your order with ANR you can also select a finish to the holster so it can come in a variety of colors, camouflages and even carbon fiber. The GST-9 in particular fits exceptionally well in the holster that we have. ANR appendix lightbearing IWB with claw holsters can be had for as little as $82.99.
LAS Concealment fits the GST-9 frame very well. Their Ronin 3.0 is akin to the slightly more expensive Axis Elite from Tier 1 Concealed which both sport a mag carrier that is connected to the pistol holster via bungee cord making it very flexible. When we tried out the Ronin 3.0 - Glock we found it very comfortable and satisfying to hear an audible “click” when inserting a GST-9 into the holster. For those not wanting an extra mag carrier you can opt for the Shogun which is just a holster for the gun. The Saya doesn’t have a mag carrier either but it allows you to attach a flashlight to your handgun.
Stay tuned for our upcoming holster collaboration between 80 Percent Arms x LAS Concealment.
Quick. Violent. Over. That’s what QVO stands for and they make some very cool holsters with unique designs in high quality material. What sets QVO apart from the rest of the market is the option to customize holsters in not one but two colors and or patterns. You may also mix and match them. For example you could have the primary piece of kydex be wrapped in multicam black while the inside of the holster is an orange color. They also periodically release fun themed holsters based on other brand name designs such as Louis Vouitton, Supreme and more.
Like every other brand out there they have options to have mag carriers separate and connected to the main IWB holster. They call it the Glock “Wingman” IWB holster. There are lightbearing options and non-lightbearing options. However, our one gripe would be that QVO’s version of the “claw” is a little large and sometimes may awkwardly poke outwards from inside your pants. We’ve never heard anyone say, “is that an IWB holster or are you just happy to see me,” have you?
Tier 1 Concealed
Arguably the most comfortable in-waistband holster available today, this is the brand that a lot of other companies will somewhat replicate because of its success. You might be familiar with the Instagram account @t1cs where you’ll see a lot of fast shooting and trick shots all while showcasing some cool T1C IWB holsters. We recommend the AGIS Elite which has a connected mag carrier but flexes via their SNAP system. It’s a very slim profile with canted angles for more ergonomic access and faster draws. The GST-9 fit absolutely perfectly in this holster, you couldn’t even tell it wasn’t a Glock — that’s how smooth it is.
Vedder holsters are known for their lightweight but durable and comfortable IWB holster solutions. Their Lighttuck kydex IWB holsters don’t allow for flashlights but that’s the point because this company only makes three IWB models. The other two models are a hybrid design that reminds us of Alien Gear holsters but we’ve yet to try them out on any GST-9 builds. (Alien Gear gets an honorable mention having won several awards back in 2016) The Lighttuck is a very straightforward design with just a single clip and two screws to help you adjust the ride height. For $59.99, that’s pretty hard to beat.
IWB Holster Pros
A good IWB holster will have great retention and be comfortable enough for you to wear all day, sweat in and hear a satisfying click when you holster your carry gun. Gone are the days when our concealed carry options were large jacket pockets, purses, and ankle holsters. Sure, shoulder holsters are sexy and very James Bond but they’re not as accessible. It used to be that you could really only get a decent IWB holster from a few different companies. But as the inside waistband holster became the modern standard for conceal carrying handguns the online market has certainly proved its value. Just do a quick Google search and you’ll see pages and pages of different companies making holsters just out of their residential garages (nothing wrong with that).
IWB Holster Cons
It can be uncomfortable to carry an IWB holster all day. We’ll be honest... Go out for a nice meal and all of a sudden you might feel like your pants don’t fit so well and have to unbutton. Getting into your car might be difficult, there could be some chafing sometimes… bending over to tie your shoes will become the most painful act you do each day. Conceal carrying with IWB holsters might involve getting a brand new wardrobe, or your friends and family may just start wondering why you all of a sudden started to sag your pants like a high schooler.
We’re talking bigger shirts and larger waist size pants. It’s not convenient, but it’s the price you pay to be able to properly conceal a firearm and not alert others by obvious “printing.” What kind of belt will you decide to wear? CCW classes will talk about this too as you work towards getting a license to carry but these are some of the factors you have to consider when getting into concealed carrying.
Perhaps an OWB holster (on waistband) might suit you better. During the colder seasons it could be pretty viable to conceal carry with some OWB holsters under a hoodie or larger jacket. We’ve also seen some influencers on Instagram show how feasible this is with a suit jacket or blazer. Check out our review on the best OWB holsters here.