Best IWB Holsters For 2022

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Alien Gear IWB

ImageProductPrice
Alien Gear IWB Our Top Pick – Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB Holster Check Price
Concealment Express Concealment Express IWB KYDEX Holster Check Price
WTP IWB holster We The People IWB/Appendix Carry Holster Check Price
Tulster Tulster IWB Profile Holster Check Price
Bianchi IWB Bianchi 100 IWB HolsterCheck Price
Galco KingTuck Galco KingTuk Deluxe IWB HolsterCheck Price

You just received your concealed carry permit, so it’s time to get yourself a good IWB holster for concealed carry.

This greatly narrows down your purchasing options, but fishing out a decent IWB holster from the sea of endless brands is still a hassle.

IWB holsters are easy to conceal, low profile, offer excellent security that prevents accidental discharge, and are the top choice for self-defense in public.

A suitable ‘in between the waistband’ holster should be, first and foremost, comfortable and you should be able to get used to it as quickly as possible.

Some might prefer a good old OWB holster, but there’s no universal CCW holster that solves all problems, even though there are holster brands that vehemently suggest this.

If this is your first time using an IWB holster, I painstakingly compiled this ultimate guide for the best IWB holster for 2021 to help you pick the best concealed carry holster for you.

I rounded up some holsters that I’ve tried based on criteria like retention, material quality, safety, comfort, and unique characteristics that most would find suitable for their carry style.

Best IWB Holsters for 2021

Our Top Pick – Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB Holster

Alien Gear IWB
Pros
  • One of the most comfortable holsters
  • Available for up to 160 different pistols
  • Sweatshield neoprene backing pad
  • Easy to switch between various configurations
  • Well-balanced and easily concealable
  • Easily adjustable cant, ride, height, and angle
  • Lifetime warranty
Cons
  • A bit bulky
  • Might feel like it has too much retention

The Alien Gear Holsters Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB Holster is the best IWB holster on this list for a couple of reasons.

This hybrid holster is constructed of three different materials, all of which work together perfectly to make for a great all-around IWB holster.

The three-layered laminate leather and sweat-proof neoprene backing improve comfort and ease of use, while the durable Kydex maximizes flexibility and sturdiness.

The well-balanced laminate is made of a thermoplastic, scratch-proof polymer, also called ‘alien skin’.

It’s slightly heavier, but it’s a well-made holster for concealed carry that focuses on perfect retention, drawing speed, ease of use, and long-term durability.

The Alien Gear shell is custom-made to fit any handgun, and you can fully adjust the retention via the screws. The ride, height, angle, and cant are fully adjustable, and this is what makes it a great holster.

The Alien Gear Cloak Tuck can fit .38 S&W pistols, 1911 pistols, and Glock 19s without a problem.

But, what I like most about Alien Gear holsters is their impeccable customer service. If you change your pistol, you can contact Alien Gear and request a new shell for the Cloak Tuck 3.5.

You can also check out their Alien Gear ShapeShift 4.0 IWB Holster. The Cloak Tuck is a lot thinner and more concealable, but the ShapeShift 4.0 has a Polymer shell that completely covers your trigger from both sides.

Runner-Up – Concealment Express IWB KYDEX Holster

Concealment Express
Pros
  • Straightforward and versatile
  • Solid retention
  • Easy concealment with the Tuckable version
  • Lightweight
  • Claw attachment compatible
  • Comes with sweat guard and stealth belt clips
  • Fully adjustable cant
  • Covers the magazine release button
  • US-made with excellent quality materials
Cons
  • The edges are a bit sharp for some
  • Not very comfortable as an appendix carry holster

Concealment Express is well-known for their no-nonsense, minimalist holsters. They have holster models with highly convenient accessories that focus on comfort and ease of use.

Their IWB holster offers all the essentials if you’re looking for something lightweight, as it weighs a mere 0.1 kg.

The Concealment Express IWB Kydex holster is a very versatile holster made of high-quality materials. It doesn’t print or dig into your hips, it conceals perfectly, and the profile is suitable for all body types.

You can adjust the retention of the holster and carry angle from 0 to 15 degrees, and the Posi-Click feature allows you to hear a crisp and clear ‘click’ that tells you the pistol is holstered.

Though the Concealment Express IWB is marketed as an appendix carry holster, I recommend that you just use it as a standard IWB concealed carry holster.

The holster also has an anti-corrosive sweat shield that doesn’t irritate your skin, and it covers the magazine release button, which is very important for safety. The draw speed is decent, and the retention is not too tight.

There are two versions of this model that Concealed Express offer: the one we just talked about, and for a few dollars more, the Concealment Express Tuckable IWB Kydex holster, which is best suited if you want to tuck it under a shirt.

Popular Budget Option – We The People IWB/Appendix Carry Holster

WTP IWB holster
Pros
  • Most cost-effective holster option on this list
  • Audible ‘click’
  • Well-balanced retention
  • Available in black and carbon fiber models
  • Adjustable angle and cant
  • Perfect for 1911 pistols
  • Compatibility with up to 192 handgun models
  • Lifetime warranty
Cons
  • Can loosen up after a year

The We The People IWB holster is another no-nonsense type of holster that can be also used as an appendix carry.

With a simple design, sleek and lightweight materials, and practicality to boot, this Kydex holster is definitely a budget option worth considering.

There are versions available for up to 192 handgun models, so you’ll definitely find one that’s compatible. The trigger is covered and the holster is cut to expose the trigger guard, which allows for a firm grip and easy drawing.

The Kydex construction is durable and rides higher on the side of your body, and the retention can be adjusted via the screw at the bottom of the holster. The sweat guard is a nice touch as well.

You can adjust the ride and cant by moving the clip’s position. It’s suitable for any IWB carry position, not just an appendix carry. It’s small enough to suit most body types, and it’s backed by a lifetime warranty.

The holster firmly attaches to your belt with the wide belt clips, and they’re far superior to most single clip holsters I’ve had. Not only that, but the WTP holster has designs that fit pistols with lights and red dot sights on them.

Check out our WTP holster review here, if you want to read an in-depth take on this holster.

Premium Holster – Tulster IWB Profile Holster

Tulster
Pros
  • 0-30 degrees adjustable cant
  • Adjustable positive retention point
  • Adjustable retention
  • Anti-sweat shield
  • Audible ‘click’ that lets you know when the gun is holstered
  • Lifetime warranty
Cons
  • Expensive

Here’s the Tulster IWB Profile holster that bears a slight resemblance to the Concealment Express holster. It’s not exactly a premium option, but it might as well be.

It has minimal to zero retention drag to ensure that it doesn’t damage your pistol’s finish while offering a decent grip and safety.

This concealed carry holster doesn’t print, it fully covers the barrel and trigger, and the mag release is exposed, guaranteeing no accidental discharges when drawing.

The 1.5-inch quick clip is a lovely feature that enables a fast and safe draw and reupholstering. The adjustable cant angle goes from zero to 30 degrees with a positive retention point.

The Kydex construction is brushed up with a colored surface, and the anti-sweat shield is a nice touch as well.

If you want to wear the Tulster as an appendix carry holster, you need to make sure you have additional belt loops with different clip sizes. The Kydex has beveled edges for additional comfort.

The Tulster is slightly more expensive than these other holsters on the list. The audible click, the generous lifetime warranty, and the lightweight feel of the holster are its main highlights. From what I’ve heard, they cover lots of handgun models, but the Tulster works best with Glocks like the G43 and G19.

Best Leather Holster – Bianchi 100 IWB Holster

Bianchi IWB
Pros
  • High-quality leather protects your body from your gun’s top edges
  • Suede, non-slip exterior
  • Excellent stability and cant
  • Heavy-duty steel spring belt clip
  • Suitable for 1.7-inch belts
  • Lightweight (‎0.3 lbs)
Cons
  • Takes some time to break in
  • Reholstering seems to be a hassle with this model

If you’re looking for a good leather holster, here’s the Bianchi Model 100 IWB Holster by Safariland. It’s their best-selling leather item and it’s tuckable.

Bianchi has the C-Clip design patented, and here’s how it works: it envelopes the belt and reduces visibility at the same time, which makes it a great IWB option for a tuckable holster.

The single clip can be adjusted for a 90-degrees vertical cant.

It feels pretty subtle, and I’d recommend it to Smith & Wesson and Glock handgun owners, but you can find versions suitable to your own model as well.

If you happen to get a faulty order that seems brand new, but doesn’t fit, don’t worry and demand a replacement. Amazon has a tendency to mess up the orders.

You can also check out our list of best Glock 19 holsters for 2021, if you’re interested.

Though it takes some time to break in the leather, it’s a very comfortable holster that feels like a baseball glove.

The metal clip spring is sturdy and offers decent retention overall, and it’s pretty high up so it won’t irritate your skin.

The Bianchi leather holster covers the trigger pretty well, and your handgun won’t hang over the end of the holster.

Overall, it’s a great leather holster that might need a little stretching. If you want to really find the proper holster model, ditch Amazon and go straight to their website.

Fastest Draw for S&W Handguns – Galco KingTuk Deluxe IWB Holster

Galco KingTuck
Pros
  • Solid combination of leather and Kydex
  • Comfortable when sitting down
  • Good concealment holster with solid retention
  • Breaks in easily
  • Recommended for the S&W M&P Shield pistol
  • Fully covered trigger guard
Cons
  • Not compatible with red dot pistol optics
  • Not easy to reupholster with one hand

Here’s the Galco KT652B KingTuk IWB Holster that works like a charm for Smith & Wessons. It’s a hybrid holster with a leather back panel and a molded Kydex front.

The combination of leather and Kydex work well for the holster’s overall feel and durability, and it easily conforms to any body type. It’s a comfortable IWB holster for when you’re in a sitting position, so it’s great while you’re driving.

Drawing and reupholstering are fast, though some feel that you’ll need both hands for this. In any case, the interchangeable injection-molded nylon C-hooks offer excellent stability and can fit belts up to ¼-inch width.

The C-hooks work well to increase concealability as well, and the backing plate is made of high-quality Napa leather, and that’s why it’s so easy to break in after a short time.

Though it’s not compatible with red dot optics, the Galco KingTuk is well-balanced and the stitching is very sturdy. That’s US manufacturing for you.

The trigger guard is fully covered and the holster comes with UniClip and Ultimate Stealth clips that are included with your purchase, so you can choose the one that suits you best.

The clips are cant- and angle-adjustable, and the dual attachment points add to the holster’s solid balance as well.

Honorable Mentions

These holsters aren’t IWB types, but are still fantastic alternative carry options that are easy to pull off as concealed carry holsters.

Check them out.

Best Ankle Holster – The Galco Ankle Glove (Ankle Holster)

Galco Ankle Holster
Pros
  • High-quality leather
  • Great value for an ankle holster
  • Neoprene ankle band with velcro fastener
  • 100% premium steerhide leather
  • Decent calf support
  • Super lightweight (only 0.4 pounds)
Cons
  • Not many options (only 14)

Here’s another high-quality Galco with a genuine leather construction.

It’s an ankle holster, and although we’re here to discuss IWB, I’m pretty sure that someone will get a kick out of this.

It’s a solid balance between comfort and retainable support.

The Galco Ankle Holster is definitely the only leather ankle holster that I’ve grown to like. It’s comfy, secure, and is made of 100% premium steerhide leather. It wraps around your ankle with a large neoprene wrap, and the retention strap with reinforced thumb break works well.

You can fasten the neoprene ankle band via velcro, and it feels super comfy with its inside sheepskin padding. Keep in mind that it fits an ankle up to 13 inches of circumference.

The holster’s leather thumb snap keeps your Glock pistol nice and tight, and it’s pretty easy to undo it. For more info on Ankle holsters, check out our roundup of the best ankle holsters of 2021.

Additionally, the Galco Ankle Glove has a very comfortable calf support strap that comes with the package. You don’t see this in other ankle holster packages.

Simply put, the Galco Ankle holster is one of the finest ankle holster solutions I’ve ever seen, despite how tedious ankle holsters can be.

I strongly recommend you stick to this one if you’re going for an ankle carry.

Best Belly Band Holster – Crossbreed Modular Belly Band Holster

belly band holster crossbreed
Pros
  • Suitable for multiple carry purposes
  • Breathable and very comfortable
  • Solid option for a backup holster
  • Comes in multiple waist sizes
  • Durable Kydex
  • Covered trigger guard
  • Velcro-backed holster
Cons
  • Not enough trigger protection

If you’re having trouble with standard holster types, check out the Crossbreed Modular Belly Band holster.

Crossbreed holsters can safely cover a wide range of handguns and all kinds of body types. They’re quite a versatile belly band holster brand, and their belly band holsters are perfect for when you’re going for a backup holster.

The fabric is made of a high-quality elastic band that allows your skin to breathe. It’s velcro backed and the Kydex is firmly molded.

You can freely cover up the band over your torso and feel the freedom of movement, in contrast to what you get with most annoying belly bands that feel downright uncomfortable or too tight around the stomach.

I recommend that you try the back hip area or the five o’clock position for maximum comfort – and you won’t need a belt for it. It conceals well and it comes in four sizes that are guaranteed to fit your body type.

The only major downside is the weak trigger protection, as is the case with most belly band holsters. Most belly band systems are soft holsters that almost always lack coverage and retention. Their main purpose is to help with comfort and fit certain body types.

Belly band holster systems are one of the most underrated holster types, and I strongly recommend this one.

You can also check out the Crossbreed MiniTuck model for subcompact pistols, or the SuperTuck for larger handguns.

Buyer’s Guide for Choosing the Best IWB Holster

IWB stands for ‘inside the waistband’, and it’s a concealed carry holster that’s meant to be worn on the inside of your pants.

These holsters are easy to conceal, make your pistol less likely to print, and are designed to be hidden and tucked away by your clothing.

On the downside, IWB concealed carry holsters offer a slower drawing speed than OWB holsters.

OWB holsters, on the other hand, are the ‘classic’ types that are meant to be worn on the outside. OWB stands for ‘outside the waistband’.

An OWB holster can’t be easily concealed, but it offers a much faster-drawing speed in contrast to ankle holsters, shoulder holsters, other IWB holsters, or belly band holsters.

There are many different types of concealed carry and open carry holsters, including:

When we go out in public, we like to make sure that we’re strapped for self-defense, but there’s no need for the public to know this, and this is purely out of either ethical or tactical reasons.

IWB holsters might not be as comfortable as OWB holsters, and they might not have a faster drawing speed, but IWB holsters are convenient and positioned close enough to your dominant hand.

Keep in mind, though, that an IWB holster is not a one-size-fits-all product. Most of them are made to meet the concealed carry demands of certain people with certain body types.

There are a few critical factors to consider like comfort, durability, function, positive grip retention, concealability, and safety, which includes considering how covered your trigger and/or magazine release button are.

Let’s take a closer look.

Material

You need to consider three main types of IWB holster materials: Kydex, leather, and nylon, but I strongly recommend you stick to either Kydex or leather.

Kydex Holsters

Kydex holsters are the main and most popular material for holsters. It’s an innovative and versatile holster surface that uses special thermoplastic acrylic-polyvinyl chloride.

This material can provide exceptional durability, comfort, and flexibility for custom-molding certain handgun models, especially if we’re talking about handguns with a red dot sight or optics.

Kydex holsters are waterproof, easy to clean, easy to maintain, and highly durable. The downside is that Kydex can scratch your handgun’s finish.

Leather Holsters

Leather holsters, on the other hand, are the cowboy’s choice. It’s arguably more comfortable than Kydex, offers a more silent draw, and breaks in more easily than Kydex.

Leather holsters are aesthetically pleasing and look cool, but you really need to take care of their surface, or else it’ll degrade over time.

They can also be really sticky in humid and warm climates, which might be annoying for some.

I suggest that you wash your leather with warm water and glycerine soap once every 3-4 months, and you’ll be fine.

Safety and Additional Features

A sturdy holster can really scratch and rub the finish off your handgun or be really annoying on your skin, but a loose holster is just asking for trouble and accidental discharge.

When deciding on a certain IWB holster, make sure you consider all its features like belt loops, claws, as well as your habits, like how you would use it and how frequently you would carry it.

I personally think that any holster with an audible click is a nice holster, but you should also look for holsters that keep the trigger guard covered and ensure a secure fit.

Fit and Comfort

The best-concealed holster depends on a perfect fit.

Though the material is important for comfort, it’s not enough to just pick a holster, choose your handgun model, and call it a day. One should consider the carrying position as well.

You got all kinds of carry styles like hip carry, appendix carry, 5 o’clock carry, etc. Most folks complain that IWB holsters are really a pain to sit with, especially when carrying them in the appendix carry position.

Make sure you do your research and see which holster and carrying style is the most comfortable for you.

You must try it before you buy it. This is very important because a great holster for some might be an absolute pain for others.

I recommend that you stick to holsters with proper pads and sweat guards with an anti-rash surface to ensure comfort.

An undershirt helps to minimize rubbing and any annoying sweat rashes. The rest is up to you and your carrying position.

Retention

Retention means that if you turn your holster upside down, the gun will stay in. The purpose of a holster is not just to hold your handgun, but also to make sure it ‘stays put’.

There are two types of retention:

  • Active retention; which uses an active mechanism like a thumb break (on leather holsters) or straps to keep your gun in place.
  • Passive retention; which are usually Kydex holsters that are molded for a perfect fit and audible clicks that accommodate your handgun and rely on friction to keep it nice and tight.

Active retention holsters offer maximum security, but they have a slower draw speed, and it’s a hassle to unbutton the straps just to retrieve your handgun.

Passive retention holsters are old-school and offer a faster draw speed, but they can loosen up over time and then – so much for security.

Not to worry though, they’re usually designed with adjustable screws that can be tightened or loosened.

Keep in mind that drawing speed and ease of use are very important, and this criteria goes hand-in-hand with retention.

Conclusion

IWB holsters are arguably the best concealed carry holsters. Whether you’re going for everyday carry, or just casual necessity, IWB holsters are the way to go.

The problem with picking out IWB or OWB holsters is that you can’t exactly compare them like you would firearms.

It’s a very personal decision, and you should look for the best concealed carry holster for you in gun shops that you can actually try out before buying.

Some concealed carry holsters require breaking in, others just stay rigid forever, and you need to look for comfort, durability, safety (trigger guard coverage), retention, and draw speed.

It’s important to do your own research and see which IWB or OWB holster works best for you. This includes carry style and the material, not just your holster type.

I also suggest you try different holster positions to figure out which one suits you best.

It depends entirely on you if you’re looking for something more lightweight, or with less retention, or fewer features.

You got Alien Gear, Galco, Concealment Express Holsters, and other holster brands that dominate the market, but you always have the chance to discover an unknown holster brand that might turn out to be your absolute favorite.

I picked the Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB holster because I feel that it’s an IWB holster with outstanding value for the money, and I believe that most people would find it perfect.

Stay safe and 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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