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alien gear holsters durable layers

Durable Materials & Affordable Holsters

A lower cost does not always mean lower quality.

This is particularly true for holsters — and yes, this is alluding to Alien Gear holsters.

The product development process established at Alien Gear Holsters is designed to identify the most durable materials and the most reliable construction of them.

Though, people doubt this.

The lower cost of the end product, however, is not due to its source material, but because of investments in machinery and processes that produce it.

Here are some examples of that, and some stress tests that illustrate Alien Gear holsters' strength.

How Alien Gear develops a durable holster

In order to craft a durable holster that stands the test of time, the development process must be rigorous.

The process in this neck of the woods is brutal.

Product designers implement Highly Accelerated Life Testing.

testing the shapeshift iwb holster with compression
"We test every part for different types of wear, possible ways they could break, effects of weather, heat, cold, freezing, water absorption, etc," one product designer said. "In most instances we exceed the conditions that should be seen in the normal life of the parts."

Tektronix is a measurement insight company that designs systems to accelerate technological advancements. They published a whitepaper that explains HALT.

"This is done by applying much higher stresses than exist in actual product use, which forces failures to occur in significantly less time than under normal conditions," according to the document.

Once a prototype fails, it's rebuilt to precisely fix the design's shortcoming.

This is done over and over, dozens of times with each product.

There are drawers full of iterations of holster backers and shells and clips. Textiles are ripped up, burnt, frozen, treated in chemicals and put through hell to ensure they won't falter in the final product.

This is done with each holster in the ShapeShift Modular Holster System. This is done with each Cloak Series Holster. This is also done with Cloak Mag Carriers.

Molle Holster from the ShapeShift holster line
Cloak Mod Paddle Holster for FNH FNX 45
mag carrier by alien gear holsters

The designs aren't for everyone. Fair. Not everyone is going to agree with the company's ideas. True.

It's undeniable, however, that the materials are engineered to withstand the most intense stress tests imaginable.

The holsters cost less because the machinery the company builds and invests in is also held up to strict scrutiny on its ability to provide precise results with the lowest possible rate of failure or defect, especially with the ShapeShift line.

Products are not released unless they rate between a four and five on Six Sigma performance levels.

What does that mean?

Well, there is between a 99.93 and 99.98 percent quality assurance rating on all holsters.

What is the real world application of these numbers though?

Real World Examples of Alien Gear Stress Tests

A stress test can be in a controlled environment. It can also be out in everyday life.

There are examples of both that can be referred to.

First, the ShapeShift 4.0 IWB Holster.

There is a public video of a shop press with more than 1,000 pounds of pressure per square inch compressing the holster backer and shell.

It showed no signs of wear, warping, cracking or breaking. Check it out for yourself.

A blow-dryed kydex holster can't do that.

The individual components are also tested for reliable function even in adverse environmental conditions, as referenced in U.S. Department of Defense document MIL-STD-810F.

One example is a sand test to ensure sliding components do not jam. This is also seen in a public video.

The perceived quality attached to price points is an interesting phenomenon. Extruded sheets of kydex plastic aren't a bad way to go with a holster. Many heat them up and press them into the shape of specified handgun models.

It works.

Unfortunately, this quick process has inflated prices across the industry, and when community discussion about specific brands becomes confirmation bias and not genuine dialogue, perception warps reality.

Alien Gear's customer service department has seen examples of the company's holsters tested by everyday life.

In fact, one arrived in the mail just the other day. A guy's dog got ahold of his Cloak Tuck 3.0 holster when he wasn't looking and brought it out to the yard.

It was left there.

Later, the man went out to do some yard work with his brush hog. Its 150-MPH rotary cutter blades are used to cut saplings and small trees.

The holster was ran over, but the boltaron shell survived the blades' impact without cracking.

Holster run over by a lawn hog
Holster from the motorcycle crash

One of the company's holsters from 2012 is on display in the Post Falls, Idaho facilities. It, too, faced extraordinary conditions and lived to tell the tale.

It was exchanged under warranty because its owner was involved in a motorcycle wreck. His entire back side was covered by road rash, except the portion beneath the IWB holster, which withstood the immense abrasion.

Although every holster is designed to withstand anything life throws at them, each is covered by a lifetime warranty.

About The Author

Jake Smith gun blog writer