Many backpack holsters are a confusing array of straps or zipped pockets.
They tend to be complicated chest rigs, lack rigid trigger guard coverage or are just an extra pouch hidden away in a location that isn't readily accessible at a moment's notice.
This needed to change.
So, Alien Gear expanded the ShapeShift Modular Holster System to offer an accessible, durable, high-retention holster option that attaches to most bags' straps.
This is what you should know about the ShapeShift backpack holster:
What Is The Backpack Holster, And How Does It Work?
It's simple to describe what Alien Gear's backpack gun holster is.
Think of it as two parts.
Shell and mount.
The Shift Shell, in its full configuration, completely encloses the handgun trigger guard and muzzle with a rigid polymer blend that's injection-molded into a shell fitted to specific handgun models.
It has adjustable passive retention, and optional active retention with a thumb release.
This is the unit used in all ShapeShift carry styles in either full or half-shell configuration, depending.
That Shift Shell attaches at a single point to the backpack strap holster mount. That single point is immensely durable, engineered to withstand hundreds of pound-inches of torque.
The backpack strap attachment is three polymer pieces with a heavy duty nylon tubular webbing strap woven between. Tubular webbing, by the way, is relied upon in prolonged weight-bearing activities like rock climbing, and it's a go-to in slackline webbing.
Its breaking strength generally requires thousands of pounds of pressure.
If people dangle from mountainsides relying only on this type of textile, a handgun is going to be safe and sound.
Those three polymer pieces fold over the backpack strap with a backplate and frontplate, which are then fastened together with a lever and two pull tabs.
Once fastened, these tabs cannot be unlatched unless pressure is applied on the lever first.
The backpack strap attaches ideally to straps between 2”-3.25” wide, but works with most sizes within reason.
Once secured to the strap, the frontplate has a mount for the full Shift Shell configuration, offering a full 360-degree rotational cant for personalized accessibility wherever placed.
This carry style is the seventh addition to the interchangeable ShapeShift Modular Holster System.
Its design and level of customization offer an innovative way to carry while backpacking, hiking, hunting or participating in any outdoor recreation that requires an added level of security while wearing a pack.
The Backpack Holster Is Different And Useful
Think of the typical situations that would require a backpack holster.
One is outdoors.
He or she is carrying a backpack filled with supplies.
Supplies require as much space as possible to optimize a trip's longevity.
The weather conditions require either light or heavy activewear apparel, depending.
The activity requires mobility.
They may face lethal threats.
Many bags have multiple straps for weight distribution, and the bag extends to or below the waistline.
Therefore, if carrying a handgun, one needs a holster that is immediately accessible, lightweight, durable, impact resistant, heat resistant, cold resistant, low profile, high retention and compatible with most body sizes and styles (male or female).
It must be modified without tools within moments.
It cannot have loose hardware or excess materials.
It needs to be shifted away from the waistline and allow heat ventilation or conservation.
Because bags and their straps are inconsistent in style, the holster must be attached at any angle.
If a lethal threat attempts to disarm the gun owner, they need an added level of retention for security, if desired.
And if the weather changes to rain, the handgun needs to be able to be unequipped quickly (say, with the press of a button) and stowed, or reconfigured into a concealed carry option, to ward against excessive exposure to moisture.
The ShapeShift Backpack Holster does all that.
And, to be honest, although it's designed for backpack straps, it's made (in the USA, by the way) to be installed on straps in general. Who's to say you can't secure it to, for example, a tactical belt, overall suspenders or other strips of durable fabric?
Bottom line: it's a strong, utilitarian carry system that improves the mobility and adaptability of safe handgun carry outdoors — and indoors, for that matter.