Top 5 Holster Brands for Fall & Winter
As Summer comes to an end, and colder weather finds its way into our forecast, we wanted to share our top 5 holster brands for Fall & Winter that are perfect for your change in wardrobe! With the cooler weather comes more layering, and that means it becomes leaps and bounds easier to conceal! So, whether you prefer to conceal carry inside the waistband (IWB) or outside the waistband (OWB), we’ve got you covered!
Crucial Concealment has been a hot holster manufacturer for us for a while now. We’ve really enjoyed their simple and effective designs that allow for comfortable, secure carry everyday. For most major handgun platforms, we find this kydex holster manufacturer to be a consistent favorite with our clients for a number of reasons.
Crucial Concealment offers 2 options for certain firearm platforms (IWB or OWB). The main selling point for them is they are all optic ready, open top for quick drawing, open bottom for threaded barrels, and offer adjustable retention. Additionally, the IWB holsters are ambidextrous—something any lefty will appreciate due to the severe lack of dedicated left handed holsters on the market.
Coming into the colder weather, OWB can get popular for carriers. Many holster brands for Fall & Winter Carry offer a OWB option with this in mind.
Since you are starting to wear thicker clothing and outer layers, concealing a firearm inside the waistband becomes less necessary since you can carry it under the most outside layer for additional comfort and ease of access. Safariland is our next top seller for this reason. They have a wide range of holsters from concealment to duty. They are one of the leading holster companies for law enforcement/military and rightfully so. Their OWB holsters tend to be a level 2 retention which is a sure thing for security of your firearm.
Following with 2 ways to wear it and a multitude of accessories you can get for them. The ALS is a thumb brake release that is firearm specific, while the GLS is a trigger guard release but is a multi-fit. OWB tends to be more comfortable but prints easier, which in turn is why it is most popular for true open carry or colder weather. OWB is typically easier to draw from and a level 2 retention makes sure your firearm is not coming out unless the carrier needs it to come out.
Safariland is a sister company of Bianchi, they are relaunching their brand. The 126GLS series has been a go to from them for many reasons. This is a leather holster OWB that utilizes a belt loop wing style that gets the holster closer to your person for concealment without having to stick anything in your waistline. These are one of the few innovative holsters as they use the GLS system from Safariland which is a wide range of firearm fitting and level 2 retention. These also have a screw that helps you fit your firearm for the GLS latch to secure your firearm. The topping on the cake is they are also part of the RDS series which is Red Dot Sight compatible.
Versacarry is another leather company that went above and beyond. The typical leather holster is firearm fitted with little to no retention but is usually a little more skin sensitive. Versacarry Comfort Flex Deluxe holster gives you all demanded features into one holster:
- Multi-fit holster
- Water Buffalo leather for long term durability
- Polymer embedded leather for the ability to re-holster instead of it compressing like most soft material holsters and allows the carrier to adjust the retention of the holster
- Optic ready
- Soft plush padded back for skin sensitivity and sweat absorption
Stealth Operator holsters are a good option as well. These have a very wide range of firearms they fit along with a fixed retention due to the molded kydex. They are open top and bottom to help with the range of firearms and have left and right-handed, OWB and IWB options. When comparing holster brands for Fall & Winter, this option is a simple and inexpensive multi-fit holster that may suit your needs as you find a dedicated holster for your firearm.
Sticky Holsters tend to be a first timer go to as a holster brand for Fall & Winter especially. These are a fabric adhesive external material that fit a few firearms close in size. These are nylon made so the retention you get is how it is used. The benefit of these is you can wear this IWB at any location being ambidextrous, and if you find another option for that location it can be moved to a car holster or in your purse or bag. They are a closed bottom with a corner piece for if used in a purse or bag you push it up-right in the corner to keep it from moving. When you draw, just press it to your body or lining for it to grab the holster and leave it in its location. This holster is popular for us due to the versatility.
What is Retention?
Retention is critical for your safety, and it allows you to know where the firearm is at all times. It is very important for active carriers as they are moving around a lot. You do not want your firearm falling out or at minimum moving out of place of where you have practiced drawing for speed and accuracy. Your nylon or leather holsters usually have little to no retention other than how it is attached to your person but is soft on your body.
Some holsters have a standard retention that tends to be more molded such as a kydex holster, even some have an adjustable retention based on a screw so it can be carrier’s choice on how tight they want their gun in the holster.
Then you can get into level 2 retention. This count is based on the standard retention of the holster and an added release. Usually, a button or lever the shooter presses as they draw. The benefit to this is security of the gun while working, moving, running, crawling, etc. Many 3 Gun competitive shooters tend to use these for those actions and reasons. Also, you will see many Law Enforcement and Military personnel use these or even a level 3 for even more security. The con to the level 2 and 3 holsters is the speed of the draw, some shooters can make the speed the same, but it takes a lot of practice and repetition to get that muscle memory down to be able to draw quicker.
I Have a Holster, Now What?
Once you find the perfect holster to suit your needs and firearm, be sure to select a quality belt to carry with as well. A dedicated concealed carry belt is much sturdier than your average daily wear belt, and helps keep your firearm in place and draw consistent and clean. Companies like Versacarry and Smith & Wesson have done a great job in producing belts that aren’t overly tactical, but still serve that sort of function! Overall, there are a lot of different holster brands for Fall & Winter carry, so finding the right one for you and training with it is critical to your safety and success.
No matter your needs, we are excited to help at Frontier Justice! If you’re just looking into firearms and concealed carry—take one of our classes to get started! We’ll see you soon!