When it comes to concealed carry, there are two main types of holsters: IWB and OWB. Each type of cover has its own advantages and disadvantages, which can make it difficult to decide which one is best for you.
In this article, we'll take a closer look at each type of holster and discuss the pros and cons of IWB vs. OWB holsters. We'll also help you determine which holster is the most comfortable, best to conceal, most secure, and easiest to access and remove.
So without further ado, let's take a look at each case type and see what makes them unique.
IWB and OWB holsters: what are they?
What is an IWB holster?
IWB holsters are popular with gun owners because they provide a high level of concealment. IWB stands for "inside the waistband" and as the name suggests, these holsters are designed to be worn inside the waistband. This makes them ideal for carrying a concealed weapon as they are much less likely to print than other types of holsters.
What is an OWB holster?
An OWB holster is a type of pistol holster worn on the outside of the waistband. OWB stands for Outside the Waistband, and these holsters typically clip onto a belt or waistband. There are many different types of OWB holsters such as pancake holsters, paddle holsters, and belt holsters.
Pros and Cons of IWB vs OWB Holsters
Now that we have a better understanding of IWB and OWB holsters, let's take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of each type of holster.
Advantages of the IWB holster
- IWB holsters are very easy to conceal. They conform to your body and can be tucked into your pants to make them almost invisible.
- They offer good stability, which is important for fast and smooth draws.
- It can be worn in different ways (strong side, appendix and even lower back)
Pros from the OWB bow
- OWB holsters are much more comfortable to wear compared to IWB holsters as they do not put pressure on the skin and do not cause discomfort.
- They're much easier (and faster) to draw, since you don't have to fight through your clothes to get your weapon.
- They offer a good level of retention (ability to keep your gun secure in the holster), which is important for safety.
IWB Holster Cons
- It takes time to get used to
- It may cause discomfort when used for long periods of time.
- More difficult to access and remove your weapon than OWB holsters
- It's not the best choice for larger guns, as they can be difficult to conceal and can also dig into your side and be quite uncomfortable.
OWB Holster Cons
- It is more difficult to conceal the carry with an OWB holster. You may need to wear a larger shirt or jacket to cover the gun.
- May be uncomfortable when sitting or driving
IWB vs OWB: Which holster is better?
Ok, so we've gone over what IWB and OWB mean and discussed the general pros and cons of IWB and OWB holsters. Now the big question is, which type of cover is better?
The short answer is that it depends on your specific needs and preferences. Both IWB and OWB holsters offer their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, the best way to choose a case is to consider your needs and decide what type of case will best meet those needs.
Now, let's take a look at IWB and OWB holsters and see which one is better for specific needs likeconcealment, comfort, accessibility and security.
IWB vs. OWB for concealment is a common debate among gun owners. But when it comes to concealment, IWB holsters are the winners.
IWB holsters form close to your body and can be tucked inside your pants to make them nearly invisible. OWB holsters, on the other hand, are worn on the outside of the waistband and are much more difficult to conceal.
Now, that doesn't mean OWB holsters can't be carried concealed. You can still conceal carry with an OWB holster, but you may need to wear a larger shirt or jacket to cover the weapon. In addition, you must choose thebest owb holsterfor concealed transport.
So if concealment is your top priority and you're looking for a holster to help keep your gun concealed, the IWB is the way to go.
Comfort is an important factor when it comes to covers. After all, you're going to be wearing the cover for long periods of time, so you want to make sure it's comfortable.
In my opinion, OWB holsters are the winners when it comes to comfort. IWB holsters tend to put pressure on the skin and can cause discomfort when worn for long periods of time. OWB holsters, on the other hand, sit away from your body.
But, when it comes to comfort, it really depends on the person. For some, an IWB holster (inside the waistband) is more comfortable because it doesn't add bulk to the waist. Others (like me) find an OWB (outside the waistband) holster to be more comfortable because it doesn't chafe the skin.
Ultimately it is a matter of personal preference. Some people find that they don't even feel the weight of their gun when wearing an IWB holster, while others find that an OWB holster allows them to move and sit more comfortably.
While I would say that OWB holsters are generally more comfortable, it is up to the person to decide which one is more comfortable for them.
Accessibility and drawing speed
Accessibility is important for several reasons. First, you want quick and easy access to your weapon if you need to use it for self-defense. Second, you should practice drawing your weapon regularly so that you feel comfortable and confident with the process.
In terms of affordability and speed of design, OWB holsters are the clear winners. IWB holsters are hidden inside your pants and can be difficult to access, especially if you are wearing tight clothing. Also, IWB holsters tend to push the gun a bit further into your body, making it harder to hold the gun properly when drawing.
With an OWB holster, on the other hand, you can easily access your weapon and not have to worry about getting it right because the weapon is already in a good position.
So if you're looking for a holster that will give you quick and easy access to your gun, the OWB is the way to go.
Safety is always a priority when it comes to guns. And when it comes to covers. When it comes to safety, there are two different factors to consider: gun safety and personal safety.
In terms of gun safety, IWB holsters are the winner. IWB holsters keep the gun close to your body and make it difficult for someone to pick it up. OWB holsters, on the other hand, leave the weapon more exposed and make it easier to grip.
In terms of personal safety, OWB holsters have the upper hand. Because OWB holsters sit slightly further away from your body, you're less likely to accidentally go off. IWB holsters, on the other hand, are close to your body and there is a higher chance of accidentally firing yourself if you are not careful.
So when it comes to security, IWB holsters are best for gun security and OWB holsters are best for personal security.
so in conclusion
IWB vs OWB holsters are a tough call and it really depends on what you are looking for in a holster.
IWB holsters are better for concealment while OWB holsters are better for comfort and accessibility. IWB holsters are also safer for the gun, while OWB holsters are safer for the person carrying the gun.
Ultimately it is a matter of personal preference and you will have to decide what is most important to you.
Frequently Asked Questions about IWB and OWB Holsters
Which holster is better IWB or OWB?
There is no definitive answer to this question. It depends on what you are looking for in a case. IWB holsters are better for concealment while OWB holsters are better for comfort and accessibility.
What is the best method for hidden shipping?
IWB holsters are the best method for concealed carry. IWB holsters keep the gun close to your body and make it difficult for someone to see or take your gun.
Are IWB holsters comfortable?
Some people find IWB holsters comfortable while others find them uncomfortable. It really depends on the individual.
Can OWB holsters be used for concealed carry?
Yes, OWB holsters can be used for concealed carry. However, they cannot be concealed as much as IWB holsters.
What are IWB and Owb?
IWB stands for inside the waistband. OWB stands for outside the belt. IWB holsters are worn inside the pants while OWB holsters are worn outside the pants.
Is the IWB carry uncomfortable?
Some people find IWB holsters uncomfortable, while others find them comfortable. It really depends on the individual.
What is the difference between an OWB holster and an IWB?
The main difference between IWB and OWB holsters is that IWB holsters are worn inside the pants while OWB holsters are worn outside the pants. IWB holsters can be more concealed than OWB holsters.
IWB holsters will generally be better for situations when it is of the utmost importance to conceal your firearm, such as in your everyday life, while OWB Holsters will be better for situations when it is not overly necessary to keep the gun concealed (such as when you're embarking on a hike out in the woods).What type of holster is best for a guy with a gut? ›
Some of the best fat guy holster choices are OWB or outside the waistband. The reason is simple: You have more space for your handgun and holster due to the external placement. Since the holster is not situated between your pants and your body, you won't have to wear a larger pant size to make it fit.What is a FBI cant holster? ›
Cant. The cant of a holster refers to how tilted forward from vertical the gun rides when carried in the holster. A straight-drop holster has 0 degrees of cant and carries the gun vertically. An FBI-cant holster has a cant of between 10 and 20 degrees. Some holsters are severely canted to 30-degrees or even more.What are the advantages of IWB holster? ›
- Deeper Concealment than OWB holsters. ...
- You Can Wear Light Clothing. ...
- You Don't Need a Belt. ...
- You Don't Need to Tuck In Your Shirt. ...
- IWB Holsters Don't Get In the Way.
IWB Holsters (inside the waistband) holsters are the most uncomfortable because you have to tuck them into your pants. They also require you to wear pants 1 size larger than normal. If you are new to concealed carry buying a new wardrobe will add up to a big expense.What is the best form of concealed carry? ›
The most popular place for concealed carry is around the waist. Sometimes known as “around the clock,” this style of concealed carry is depicted as looking down at your waist as a clock face. Carrying in this fashion places your firearm at an easy-to-grab location.What holster do most police use? ›
Plainclothes LAW ENFORCEMENT holsters
Plainclothes or detective holsters are concealment based. These are holsters with concealment mounts, and you'll see paddles, or paddle ride UBLs or belt slide kits. Plainclothes officers may choose to have concealed, or half-concealed holsters.
Inside the Waistband (IWB) Holsters for Fat Guys
If concealing your weapon is the most important thing for you, then an IWB, like a belly band holster, is definitely the best option. A stretchy band fits all but the biggest girths, and sits below your waistline (under the jelly roll), mostly inside your pants.
Black. This asymmetrical design, is now the standard issue for the U.S. Secret Service and other Federal Law Enforcement agencies. The hole accommodates a padlock or standard handcuff behind the trigger allowing the weapon to remain holstered and loaded but locked and safe, for childproof storage. Available in black.What holster does the military use? ›
This M17 holster kit is the official kit used by the U.S. Army for the M17 pistol. This kit allows the user to have one holster with two different ways to deploy it: It accommodates a belt-mounted option (included) featuring a drop to lower the pistol from interfering with any chest gear.
Some firearm owners merely tuck their guns into their waistbands. However, using a proper holster can be safer because holsters prevent accidental trigger contact. Inadvertent gun discharges can still sometimes occur with holsters — if something gets stuck inside and interferes with the trigger, for instance.What is the safest IWB carry position? ›
With break action firearms and long guns without a sling, the side or elbow carry position is typically considered a safe way to carry. With commonly used handguns, the inside the waistband (IWB) position is often recommended for concealability, access, and convenience, although this is somewhat subjective.Can you sit down with an IWB holster? ›
Different holsters are designed to be carried by different parts of your body, which have an effect on both their concealability and your comfort. You may not find an IWB holster to be comfortable while sitting for prolonged periods of time as much as, say, an ankle holster might be.What is the best IWB carry position for skinny guys? ›
If you are a skinny guy, appendix carry may be the easiest and most comfortable for you. If you consider yourself to be average build you can carry in whatever position is most comfortable for you.Can big guys appendix carry? ›
Can you appendix carry with some extra fat? Absolutely! Appendix carry is an excellent choice for those of us with a few extra pounds in the gut area, as it can actually help conceal your firearm at times.Do you have to wear a belt with a IWB holster? ›
IWB Intrepid Holster (#1 Best Selling Holster)
The Intrepid Holster is designed to be worn comfortably without a belt! No need to adjust your wardrobe for belted pants, with the UltiClip your holster will securely fasten to any garment you ask it to.
You can stay concealed AND tuck in your dress shirt without any worry. The big element you have to pay attention to is the belt clip. Inside the waistband holsters that clip directly from holster to belt don't allow you to tuck your shirt between the two.What pistol do Navy SEALs carry? ›
The M11 Sig Sauer P-228 was introduced in 1989. It is a compact version of the Sig P-226, just 7.1 inches long and only 1.5 inches wide. The Navy SEALs and Special Boat Teams consider it a favorite, and use it as their standard carry pistol as it is small, light, durable, accurate and easy to conceal.What are the most comfortable concealed carry methods? ›
Outside the Waistband (OWB) Carry
Most will agree the OWB carry is the most accessible and comfortable method of carry. All you really need to make it happen is a belt. However, OWB carry is the most difficult to conceal and requires a serious belt for optimum security and holster stability.
- Sig Sauer P365. Pros: Small, compact design. ...
- CZ P-01. Pros: Compact 9mm. ...
- Shadow Systems MR920. Pros: Shoots smoothly. ...
- Glock G19. Pros: Most popular CCW handgun. ...
- Heckler & Koch VP9. Pros: ...
- Smith & Wesson M&P 9 Shield EZ. Pros: ...
- Ruger SR1911. Pros: ...
- Smith & Wesson 642. Pros:
Matchweight a.k.a John Wick Holsters – Odin Holsters.What holsters do Green Berets use? ›
There is a ton of variability from operator to operator on the belt and under belt, but nearly every soldier is using the Safariland ALS holster for their pistol.What holsters do Marines use? ›
Components: The USMC Holster consists of one composite/polymer holster with male quick detach connector, one drop leg platform with female quick detach connector, one mid-ride belt platform with female quick-detach connector, and one PALS platform with female quick detach connector.What holster do FBI use? ›
The Hank Sloan-designed holster was created exclusively for the FBI's S&W Model 10 M&P .What holster do US Marshals use? ›
The U.S. Marshal model is a paddle holster that can be custom molded for any handgun available. This unique design allows for easy placement or removal from the belt. The rugged plastic paddle blade is constructed to be worn tucked inside the waistband or the belt.What is the most comfortable CCW carry position? ›
We talked to our customers and found the most comfortable concealed carry position is on the hip, in a 3 or 9 o'clock position, or just behind the hip in a 4-5 or 7-8 o'clock position.Are OWB holsters good for concealed carry? ›
Outside the waistband – or “OWB” – holsters are an excellent choice for both open and concealed carry. These commonly-used holsters are carried on the outside of your waistband and are known for being one of the most comfortable carry options available.What is the best carry position for a full size gun? ›
The most reasonable option is to carry outside the waistband (OWB). This, of course, varies from the more popular inside the waistband (IWB) method, wherein the pistol is more easily concealed under clothing. An OWB holster is universally a better method for carrying a large gun for several reasons.What is the best holster position open carry? ›
- 1 hour (appendix carry)
- 2 hours (the right side in the front)
- 3 hours (right side)
- 4 hours (the right side in the back)
- 5 hours (small of back)
- 6 hours (small of back)
- 11 hours (left side in the front - cross draw)
We always recommend starting at 2 o'clock because there is a natural valley between the front girth and the love handles. This valley can be taken advantage of by placing your IWB concealed carry holster within it. Not only is it highly concealable, it's adaptable for sitting and standing.
With break action firearms and long guns without a sling, the side or elbow carry position is typically considered a safe way to carry. With commonly used handguns, the inside the waistband (IWB) position is often recommended for concealability, access, and convenience, although this is somewhat subjective.What holster do military police use? ›
Tactical holsters are specifically designed for elite law enforcement and military use, and built for maximum performance in combat situations.Should you keep your gun loaded when carrying? ›
Having a Loaded Handgun Helps with Defense
The gun can be kept loaded and ready to access within seconds, but still safe from children or adults. Make sure guns are always secured where no one else can access them, never point them at anyone, and never place your finger on the trigger until ready to shoot.
While a 10 round capacity is our minimum recommendation, there are a few reasons why you may want to choose a firearm with even more capacity.