Best Cross Draw Holsters [2022]

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lee van cleef

ImageProductPrice
Relentless tactical Our Top Pick – Relentless Tactical Ultimate Leather Cross Draw Holster Check Price
Comp-Tac Runner Up – Comp-Tac International Cross Draw Holster Check Price
DeSantisPremium (Fanciest Option) – DeSantis Sky Cop Cross Draw Holster Check Price
Galco OutdoorsmanBest Left-Handed Alternative – Galco Dual Action Outdoorsman Holster Check Price

The cross draw style is a classic holstering technique where you reach for the sidearm pistol across your body towards your non-dominant side with your dominant hand.

Your handgun’s grip faces the dominant hand while the muzzle points down. You’ve definitely seen it in old Western movies.

Although regarded as dated, the cross draw is still a very viable holstering technique that offers convenience and comfort when carrying.

The cross draw holster is overlooked by most, frequently used by a few, and some can’t think of any other way to carry their gun.

Law enforcement officers and CCW experts do not recommend this for novice pistol owners, but it’s really easy to get used to with a little bit of practice.

lee van cleef
Lee Van Cleef’s character in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1965). Source: USACarry.com

Cross draw holsters and the cross draw carry style aren’t popular compared to other holster styles like the OWB style holstering, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider it.

In this buyer’s guide for the best cross draw holster, I’ll talk about cross draw holsters, their advantages and drawbacks, give you some important tips, and hopefully help you choose the best cross draw holsters for you and your gun.

Best Cross Draw Holster

Our Top Pick – Relentless Tactical Ultimate Leather Cross Draw Holster

Relentless tactical
Pros
  • High-quality leather holster
  • 3-slot pancake design allows a cross draw carry at different angles
  • Open-ended, perfect for long-barreled pistols like 1911
  • Curved and breaks in easily for comfort
  • Ambidextrous holster
  • Easy to clip on
  • Suitable for Glocks and SIG Sauer pistols
Cons
  • Belt holes might be small for some

For the best cross draw holster, I decided to place the Relentless Tactical Ultimate Leather Gun Holster on the top spot. It’s suitable for beginners and offers lots of versatility with an easy learning curve.

The Relentless Tactical cross draw holster is made of premium grade leather for long-term use, and the triple belt slot design allows a straight drop carry or a butt forward cant, both of which are a very effective holstering/drawing method.

Besides the cross draw, it offers lots of different holstering configurations like strong side and behind hip, among others. It’s also very suitable for concealed carry users, given its compact size and pancake build.

The holster has an open end for guns with longer barrel lengths, but I strongly recommend it for Glocks and other regular-sized pistol models.

This waistband holster can fit ¾-inch belt holes, but this might be a problem for some, which is why I regard it as its main drawback.

What I really like about the Relentless Tactical leather holster is that it’s suitable for lefties. It has an ambidextrous design, and it’s still very comfortable and intuitive to use.

It’s a perfect leather holster to start with when you’re trying to learn the cross draw technique with a 1911 handgun.

Runner-Up – Comp-Tac International Cross Draw Holster

Comp-Tac
Pros
  • Sturdy, high-quality Kydex construction
  • Simple and lightweight design
  • Offers multiple cants and holstering positions
  • IDPA legal holster (suitable for competitive shooting)
  • Fits many pistol models
  • Excellent retention and drawing speed
  • Can be worn regular-style as well
Cons
  • Might be expensive for some

The Comp-Tac International Holster is a very simple and straightforward OWB holster that effortlessly fits the cross draw style, but can also be effectively used as an OWB cross draw. It comes with two retention screws that are easy to adjust.

It’s not flashy, but the durable Kydex construction with a modular mounting system offers excellent retention and stability. In fact, the featured Kydex offers the perfect level of sturdiness and comfort.

What I love about this one is that the Comp-Tac International Holster is IDPA-approved (International Defensive Pistol Association), which makes it one of the best cross draw holsters for competition shooting in certain carry styles.

You can wear it as a belt holster, paddle holster, or offset for both configurations. This freedom of holster style is what most cross draw beginners need to achieve the best cross draw position.

Additionally, it can be worn on the dominant side either via straight cant or an angular one just like the FBI do, though this specific cant is tricky and takes a bit of practice.

Overall, the Comp-Tac cross draw holster offers a nice and smooth drawing speed. It’s expensive, but its performance and price are reflected by its near-perfect retention and comfort.

Premium (Fanciest Option) – DeSantis Sky Cop Cross Draw Holster

DeSantis
Pros
  • Premium-grade saddle leather
  • Carefully designed mold, suitable for many pistol models
  • Adjustable retention screw
  • Perfect when you’re driving/sitting
  • Adjustable tension for added security
  • Suitable for smaller handguns
  • Easily concealable under a shirt
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Most expensive option
  • Adjustment screws may be difficult to operate

Here’s the DeSantis Sky Cop Cross Draw Holster, for those of you who have extra bucks to spare. It’s perfect for when you’re in a sitting position or when you’re driving.

The Sky Cop is made of premium-grade leather with anti-moisture compound layers that are perfectly molded for the Glock 19, the Glock 26, and some CZ pistols.

The holster and the trigger guard are covered by a thicker layer of leather with strong and sturdy stitching, and there’s a retention screw for easy adjustments.

The belt holes are 1 and ½-inch wide and there’s a strong metal clip for extra gun safety.

It’s expensive, but that’s evident by the excellent molding and reinforced stitching that offers unmatched stability.

You can say that it’s the ultimate western-style cross draw holster, and there are no thumb breaks for an easy and fast gun drawing speed.

The Desantis Sky Cop holster has an adjustable tension, meaning that it gets even more secure and stable on your belt as you push the gun in.

With its smaller size, it’s perfect for compact holsters, not just Glocks.

Speaking of Glock pistols, check out our carefully compiled list of best holsters for the Glock 19.

Best Left-Handed Alternative – Galco Dual Action Outdoorsman Holster

Galco Outdoorsman
Pros
  • Best ambidextrous option for both left and right-handed folk
  • Very durable leather
  • Suitable for snub-nosed and long-barrel revolvers
  • Great retention and balance
Cons
  • Bulky
  • Not suitable for concealed carry

Here’s something for you left-handed folk out there who are looking for a holster that stays put on the right side. Galco is well-known for their excellent leather quality, and that’s why I have to mention the Galco Outdoorsman Cross Draw Holster.

This one is special because it’s a shout out to all you revolver enthusiasts. Besides the Wild West aesthetic, what makes it so great is that it provides the right amount of retention for quick draws. Plus, the long-term durability of the holster is very commendable.

The Galco Outdoorsman is an ambidextrous holster that has a no-snag design with an impressive and sturdy retention strap that does a very fine job of keeping your snub-nosed revolver in place. It’s very easily adjustable, fits the form of the handgun well, and is perfectly suitable for hunters.

The Outdoorsman checks off all the necessities for cross draw holstering, especially if you’re a Smith & Wesson-type of guy. It supports the concealed carry holster style, open carry, and both the left-handed and right-handed variants are suitable for rookies and seasoned hunters.

Though its bulkiness doesn’t allow comfort for concealed carry purposes, it’s still one of the best ambidextrous options money can buy, when it comes to an OWB cross draw holster.

Buyer’s Guide for the Best Cross Draw Holster

Before you decide to purchase your cross draw holster, make sure you know what you’re in for, and keep in mind that the cross draw needs some careful practicing.

What to Look For in Cross Draw Holsters

Cross draw holsters are gun holster models that are meant to be worn on your non-dominant side or your non-shooting hand side.

The holsters would keep the pistol slanted towards your shooting arms that would allow hassle-free access without you having to lift your arm.

There are rarely IWB cross draw holsters because they’re regarded as impractical for concealed carry.

That being said, besides IWB holsters, there are multiple styles of cross draw holsters like the belly band cross draw holsters, OWB cross draw holsters (which are the main standard), and ankle holsters.

Then, there are shoulder holsters, which can be regarded as a close second in nature when compared to the way we use cross draw holsters.

It’s up to you to decide which one you’re looking to carry when cross draw holsters are in question. It usually comes down to whether or not you’re looking for an open carry or concealed carry.

Keep in mind that you’ll need a concealed carry permit if you’re going for an OWB carry holster type.

Besides comfort, which is an obvious criteria, there are three other factors to consider when buying a cross draw holster:

  • Material;
  • Retention;
  • Level of concealment.

Additionally, trigger guards are an important feature in holsters because they provide additional safety in preventing any accidental discharge.

Consider the Holster Material

I strongly suggest you steer clear of nylon material holsters, which are usually belly band holsters. I recommend that you avoid nylon like the plague because they are cheap and very fragile.

Kydex holsters are the go-to holster material because they offer excellent durability and comfort, and they are very easy to mold for many different pistol models.

They use thermoplastic acrylic-polyvinyl chloride materials that are waterproof, require less maintenance, and offer moderate comfort.

Not only that, but it’s a definite must-have if your gun has a red dot sight or optics.

You probably noticed that I placed a lot of leather holsters, and this is not because they stay true to the Wild West nature of the cross draw, and they are arguably more comfortable than Kydex material holsters.

Leather material provides a quieter draw and breaks in more easily than Kydex. Not only that, but a high-quality leather holster looks great on anybody.

The downside is that leather holsters require you to clean and maintain the soft leather because it degrades over time.

I recommend washing your leather holster with glycerine soap every 3 to 4 months.

Make Sure That the Holster Covers the Trigger

For safety, I recommend you consider covering the trigger guard. One of the biggest reasons why a Glock 19 needs a good OWB holster is that it doesn’t have an external safety.

I strongly recommend you look for holsters with passive retention (without a retention strap) and a positive grip that can cover the trigger to avoid accidental discharge.

A gun holster with a positive grip offers you faster-drawing speed with your dominant hand and it covers the trigger at the same time.

If you own a Sig Sauer P365, for instance, there are lots of holsters with a great positive grip.

Conclusion

The use of the cross draw carrying position was first recorded and popularized in the old frontier days. It was favored by cowboys because it was the most comfortable position for their revolvers while they were riding on horseback and carrying a bunch of gear.

I strongly recommend the Relentless Tactical Ultimate Leather Cross Draw Holster if you’re looking for the best cross draw holster for 2021.

It offers just the right amount of features and it isn’t cluttered with excess belt clips, velcro, and unnecessary adjustments and buttons to make things harder rather than easier.

Additionally, if you want something even simpler, the Comp-Tac International Cross Draw Holster is made for you.

Like all things in life, it takes a bit of drawing and practice to make this underappreciated carry style work. You can work your way through multiple styles of holsters and holster positions and angles before you find the one that works best.

Stay safe, shoot straight.

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Author

Brady

Hi there, I'm Brady and I'm the owner of GunMade.com. I have been an avid gun enthusiast and hunter since I moved to the Midwest over 15 years ago. It's my passion to share my knowledge and expertise to help you find the best guns in your price range.

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