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Alien Gear Holsters' Cloak Tuck 3.0 vs ShapeShift 4.0 IWB Holster

Improving IWB Carry With The ShapeShift Holster

Alien Gear Holsters motivates itself as an organization with an idea: pioneer or perish.

The sheer amount of research, development, prototyping, time and energy spent crafting the ShapeShift 4.0 IWB Holster make it a best-of-class concealed carry holster that was made in America by a versatile team of gun-owning engineers, designers, veterans, and manufacturers.

Alien Gear ShapeShift 4.0 IWB Holster vs the Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.0 IWB Holster

The ShapeShift 4.0 amplifies every positive trait of the Cloak Tuck 3.0, and augments gun owners' abilities to carry how they want, when they want, and where they want with a modular system of interchangeable holsters.

Let's break down the differences between the Cloak Tuck 3.0 and the ShapeShift 4.0 IWB Holster.

ShapeShift 4.0 IWB Holster Customization and Improvements

Holster customization is the ability for the gun owner to alter an inside the waistband (IWB) holster to make it better fit their body, carry style and firearm.

The Cloak Tuck 3.0 features two clips in different styles that can be raised or lowered by removing the metal screws with an Allen key. This allows the cant (forward and backward angling) and ride height (how high and low it is on the beltline) to be changed to preference.

Changing the clips on your 3.0 IWB cloak tuck holster
Changing the clips on the Alien Gear 4.0 IWB ShapeShift Holster

The ShapeShift 4.0 similarly has two clips in different styles that can be raised or lowered. However, they don't require any tools. By gripping them and turning 180 degrees downward, they can be removed and then raised or lowered to personal preference.

In fact, the entire ShapeShift 4.0 IWB Holster is toolless.

The Cloak Tuck 3.0's four points of retention hold a boltaron shell to the backer at those four locations, and they can be tightened or loosened at each point for customized passive retention.

The ShapeShift 4.0 Shift Shell is mounted to its backer at a single point, improving its flexibility and therefore comfortability. Unlike the 3.0, the 4.0 covers the bottom of the trigger guard as well, completely enclosing it for added security and drastically reduced likelihood of a negligent discharge.

The 4.0 is far more flexible with only one mounting point, meaning improved comfort
ShapeShift's adjustable retention unit

It also has an adjustable retention unit that is installed on the front of that trigger guard. By using one of the twist locks used to hold the shell to the backer, it can be dialed tighter or looser for a personalized level of retention.

The ShapeShift 4.0 IWB Holster also has an optional thumb release for active retention, bumping it to a level 2 retention holster.

The difference between the Shift Shell and the boltaron shell reflects an advancement in the materials used throughout our flagship IWB holster.

Side by Side Comparison of the ShapeShift 4.0 and Cloak Tuck 3.0

The ShapeShift 4.0 IWB Holster Shift Shell is the unit that grips and covers the handgun, and it's the component that is transplanted from the IWB holster to the other available ShapeShift holsters in the modular system.

It allows multiple carry styles under one interchangeable system.

Rated Red demonstrating swapping the shells on the ShapeShift 4.0 IWB

The difference between it and the boltaron shell is first and foremost in the materials. Boltaron is a synthetic material that's highly reliable, thick, tough and molded to your handgun. The Shift Shell, however, takes that up a notch.

It's made from polymer, a popular material used in many striker fired handgun grips. It outperforms kydex in strength, rigidity, retention, abrasion resistance, heat resistance and structural integrity over time.

That polymer is injection-molded to the exact contours and dimensions of the handgun, enclosing the muzzle.

The Cloak Tuck 3.0 does have something the ShapeShift 4.0 IWB Holster doesn't: free shell trades for life. Due to the advanced injection-molding technique used to make Alien Gear's polymer shells, the ShapeShift Modular Holster does not include that portion of Alien Gear Holsters' Iron Clad Guarantee.

The thermoplastic elastomer Alien Skin texture was updated to a new design from the Cloak Tuck 3.0 to the ShapeShift 4.0. This material provides grip and drag, improving the retention and matching the aesthetic improvements of the polymer Shift Shell.

The backer is noticeably smaller on the ShapeShift 4.0 IWB Holster than the Cloak Tuck 3.0.


Close-up of the all-new Alien Skin Texture

It takes up less space on the waistline, advancing its comfort. That paired with the shell mounted at a single point make it fit to the body more responsively than the Cloak Tuck 3.0.

The layers of the 4.0 IWB ShapeShift Holster

The 3.0 and 4.0 backers include the same layers of neoprene, ballistic nylon, spring steel and thermoplastic elastomer.

But, the neoprene in the 4.0 is perforated for breathability. The spring steel core, which rides along the length of where the handgun's slide rests against the backer, has a lower profile than the Cloak Tuck 3.0 spring steel core.

The ShapeShift 4.0 IWB Holster's neoprene covers all hardware for a smooth back surface that cushions the holster against the body. The Cloak Tuck 3.0 hardware on the back is partially exposed to the skin.

The 4.0 also has an edge finish to improve its durability, lifespan and overall aesthetic appearance.

The ShapeShift 4.0 IWB Holster, like the Cloak Tuck 3.0 IWB Holster, includes a Forever Warranty. If a portion of it somehow malfunctions, we'll replace or repair it free of charge.

There were hundreds of prototypes while developing the ShapeShift Modular Holster System. And after thousands of hours spent working on it, we're ready to offer it to you.

Are you ready to try the ShapeShift Cloak Tuck 4.0 today?


With the 30-day test drive, you can try it out for a month.

gun blog writer jake smith

About The Author

Jake Smith (@notjakesmith) is a copywriter and photographer based in the pacific northwest. He graduated from the University of Idaho with degrees in public relations and apparel.