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belt holster

Want To Get The Most Use From The Least Amount Of Gear? Try A Belt Holster

The belt holster style gives you the best of all possible worlds, as you have the choice of concealment or open carry. That's why a lot of people will buy a holster of that type and most holster companies make one.

We actually make several!

If you're looking for a holster that makes your life really easy, it might be the type to acquire.

What's A Belt Holster?

belt holster

While the words "belt holster" literally mean a holster that rides on the belt, what the term means colloquially is a high-riding OWB. It's worn outside the waistband, and rides high on the belt and tight to the body in most cases.

Holsters of this style got popular in the 20th century for civilians and law enforcement, and have remained top sellers for some time. In times past, the dominant types were leather pancake or scabbard holsters or the Askins Avenger style. These holsters ride high on the belt, tight to the body, with the pistol easily accessed if needed, good for personal protection or for competition.

Depending on the person wearing it and the gun they're carrying, you can easily conceal the pistol with some light layering. Some people need only to throw on, say, an unbuttoned button-up like a flannel shirt or maybe a light hoodie jacket. In some cases, you can even just drape your typical t-shirt or polo over the holster and still effectively conceal the pistol.

Again, it depends heavily on you, your holster and your gun.

Today's belt holsters are often made of different materials. While leather holsters are still around, modern designs include hard polymer holsters as well as more comfortable hybrid models with a pliable base for increased comfort while carrying.

How You Can Use A Belt Holster

owb holster

The belt holster style is the closest thing to a factotum when it comes to gun holsters. It can be used for pretty much any role that you can use a holster for.

With some clothes to dress for concealment, you can conceal an OWB holster for daily carry or wear it openly as well. That way, you don't have to mix and match with a carry holster for daily use and a range holster for your training sessions, which is awesome because you need to train with the gear you're going to fight with.

This makes them ideal for more casual wear. If you wear your gun at home (and ideally, you should) you can easily throw on a light outer layer to head out for a quick errand. Come back, take your concealing layer off and you can lounge around with ease.

There are a few tricks to a belt holster to get the most out of one, so let's go over those real quick.

Best Practices For Wearing An OWB Holster

owb holster

So, how best to use an OWB holster of this style?

First, you have to find the spots on the belt where the holster can ride comfortably. It's going to be up against you all day, so you want to choose a belt holster that's comfortable to wear and put in a position where it can rest against you without causing discomfort.

Second, find a comfortable position where the pistol can be concealed by a cover garment.

That's the basics.

Now for a few finer details.

You may need to adjust the cant angle for easier concealment. Often a slight forward tilt, maybe about 10 to 15 degrees forward, helps a great deal in this respect.

Make sure that you've selected a strong belt to carry the gun with. That's the foundation of your concealed carry set up; without a good belt, it's not going to work well.

When it comes to cover garments, look for a shirt or light jacket with a long hem. You need at least 1 inch of fabric past the bottom of the holster if not more in order to maintain concealment. The fit should be roomy, though obviously not so baggy that you look like a doofus.

Make sure you're sure that your set up works for you before relying on it. If you can't conceal your gun effectively, you're liable not to carry it for fear of discovery. If your holster is not comfortable enough to wear for extended periods, you're going to find reasons not to wear it.

Our Belt Holsters

Alien Gear Holsters makes several models of belt holster, perfect for exactly this manner of use. They are incredibly comfortable to wear, and easy to conceal.

For those with a pistol that fits in the ShapeShift shell system, we have the ShapeShift Belt Slide OWB Holster.

belt slide owb

The ShapeShift Belt Slide OWB Holster uses the same holster base as the ShapeShift Appendix Holster, with our CoolVent neoprene cushioning fabric and bound edges for comfort, and a spring steel core for reinforcement. This holster has the smallest possible footprint for an OWB.


However, for pistols not supported in the ShapeShift line, the Cloak Belt Holster is very similar in construction.

belt holster

The Cloak Belt Holster features the same CoolVent neoprene cushioning layer and bound edges, with a spring steel core for reinforcement as well. The footprint is slightly larger, about 1 inch larger horizontally, but there are far more holster shells available with the Cloak Belt Holster. The Cloak Belt Holster can also be ordered with belt clips to fit a 1.75-inch and 1.5-inch belt.


Both conceal easily, and wear incredibly comfortably when worn outside the waistband and supported by a solid gun belt. The combat cut of both holsters allows the user to gain a fast, full firing grip on the gun for training purposes and in case the worst case scenario should emerge.

These belt holsters are made so that the wearer can wear them against bare skin if needs be without discomfort. There is also a moderate forward cant, around 10 degrees, enabling easier concealment.

Both holsters are covered by Alien Gear Holsters' Iron-Clad Guarantee, including a 30 Day Test Drive trial period after purchase and our Forever Warranty for the lifetime of the holster. You can start your Test Drive today, and find out just how comfortable using a belt holster can be…