If you are a massive fan of the old western movies in which gunslingers carry their pistol on their strong side of the hip and look totally badass while doing so, you may not like this new concealed carry practice called appendix carry. However, if you are one of the people who has decided to give it a try, finding the best appendix carry holster is essential.
Being a gun owner and not having a gun holster is pretty much impossible to happen in the twenty-first century. Still, there are various factors you need to consider before buying yourself such a valuable product and let’s not start with how many items there are to be seen on the market nowadays.
That’s why our team has created this buying guide full of tips, useful information, and of course, the top seven appendix carry holster reviews that will hopefully help you find your dream holster. Let’s get started!
Best Appendix Carry Holsters Comparison Chart
VanGuard Basic IWB Holster Kit
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BLACKHAWK! Ambidextrous Appendix Reversible Carry Inside The Pants Holster
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Concealment Express IWB KYDEX Holster
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Alien Gear ShapeShift Appendix Carry Holster
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StealthGearUSA SG-Revolution Appendix Hybrid Holster
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Blade Tech Industries Inside The Waistband Klipt Appendix Holster
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Our 7 Best Appendix-carry Holster Reviews
Here are the 7 top products that will keep safe not only your gun but also you and the people around you. Remember that these products are not arranged in any specific order. It is up to you to decide which one will be the perfect fit.
1. VanGuard Basic IWB Holster Kit
VanGuard 2 Basic IWB is an extremely minimalistic holster, but don’t let the size misguide you! Covering only the trigger of your weapon, you can run, jump, walk without worrying that your gun will fall. VanGuard 2 has good retention, making you feel safe and comfortable that your weapon is in place.
This unique design eliminates the traditional big and heavy to wear a holster. And yet at the same time provides you with a level of safety. All you need to do is merely stick the pistol in the waistband of your clothes.
This small but multifunctional holster provides you with more than one way of use. It can be used as a trigger guard while the gun is for safe transportation. This is why there is no chance that the trigger might be accidentally pressed. Another option is to attach the strut and soft-loop assembly. This way a stable, secure, IWB holster is created. The cant is tuckable for maximum concealment, and the complete system is fully adjustable.
- Zero print on the clothes
- Great for appendix carry
- Well built
- No chance of your gun to fall
- Good retention
- Easy to draw
- Not suitable for left-handed users
- Must wear a belt to hang it on
2. BLACKHAWK! Ambidextrous Appendix Reversible Carry Inside The Pants Holster
Looking for an inexpensive and yet durable holster? You just found it! Made of soft and durable molded polymer material this holster is exceptionally flexible and provides you with the comfort that the gun will stay in its place. Easy and straightforward to use, with a limit effort to re-holstering the firearm even with one hand. Suitable for 1 o’clock position.
Blackhawhk A.R.C is most suitable for Glock and Smith & Wesson models. If you are searching for a holster ideal for concealed carry, this is a good option. A significant advantage for this holster would be its adaptability for both right and left-handed users, due to its cant and ride adjustment belt clips for 1.5″ and 1.75″ belts.
Besides, due to the oversized sight channel the holster has, you are able to adjust to iron sights of almost any size. Furthermore, this holster has passive retention which locks in the desired position.
- Made of soft and durable material
- Excellent for Red Dot Optics
- Adjustable screw with passive retention detent
- Suitable for left and right-handed users
- Really good for 1 o’clock position
- Not suitable for some gun model
- Doesn’t feel comfortable while seating
3. Concealment Express IWB KYDEX Holster
Concealment Express IWB KYDEX Holster is an example of a simple, minimalistic design and at the same time a handy IWB option. Due to being made of .08″ thick material, this holster is light and yet strong and durable. With this product, re-holstering is a piece of cake! For your safety, the trigger area is covered. The smooth edges and the very deep channel of the carrying rig ensure that the higher side doesn’t get snagged while drawing your weapon.
Simple and easy to use, this holster features what is called Audible Retention Lock System. You can effortlessly adjust on the retention and place the holster on your desired angle and position.
And if all these reasons are not enough then read this. Concealment Express IWB KYDEX Holster has a Full-Length integrated Sweat-Shield. This is to protect your weapon against the sweat and the moisture coming from your body. This shield is kept inside your waistband.
- Good for different carry positions
- Made of .08” KYDEX material
- Simple and delicate design
- Simple and easy to adapt the retention pressure
- Diverse and adjustable carry angle ( 0-15 degrees)
- Lifetime warranty
- May occur uncomfortable while sitting
- The clip to the belt (or pants) is not very comfortable.
4. Alien Gear ShapeShift Appendix Carry Holster
In case you are looking for an innovative, durable and yet simple to use a holster, then Alien Gear ShapeShift Appendix Carry Holster is the one for you! Thanks to its creative design, a new CoolVent neoprene technology is used. This layer of neoprene allows the skin to breathe, while you are wearing the holster and what is more, it makes the holster waterproof! Мade of a stainless spring-steel core, your holster will survive over an extended period. Its sturdy construction will save it from losing shape and will remain the same after fierce usage.
Another advantage is that even though the holster is designed mainly for centerline carry, you can still adjust it in any position and angle you like. Because of the trigger guard, covering the trigger completely, your weapon will be locked in place with completely adjustable retention. Every time you wear the holster, you will feel safe.
There is a 30-day test period for you to take advantage of. If you like the holster and decide to keep it, you will get a lifetime warranty.
- Made of improved cool vent neoprene
- Waterproof feature
- Alterable retention
- Reinforced base and a stainless spring-steel core
- Durable, because of its construction
- Right hand oriented
- Lifetime warranty
- Not easy to adjust it
- Very big and heavy
5. StealthGearUSA SG-Revolution Appendix Hybrid Holster
SG-Revolution Appendix is a comfortable, thin and light holster. While wearing it, you will almost not feel it at all. You can run, jump, walk fast or whatever exercise you do, you can feel safe that the holster will hold your weapon. It will stay where you placed it initially. This holster is a combination of good build quality, with strong and durable materials, but it also has breathability, which means that your skin will remain fresh and dry, no moisture will be absorbed.
Two vital aspects of every holster are their comfortability while wearing it and the retention. With this product, you don’t need to worry about them both. Once the holster is tucked in your pants, it will keep a very low-profile and you will feel comfortable wearing it while you are doing various physical activities. Excellent concealment and customizable retention inside the waistband. Your weapon will be held in place.
To sum up, SG-Revolution Appendix is an excellent choice for a concealed holster. It gives you comfort and safety that your gun is kept in place.
- Durable, It will not deteriorate in time
- Tuckable, leaving no mark
- A single flexible layer of proprietary polymer material with soft suede-like backing
- Absorbs no moisture, therefore allows the skin to remain calm and dry
- Might feel uncomfortable while seating
- The top edge of the sweat guard is not rounded off
- In some places, the plastic is rough to the touch
6. Blade Tech Industries Inside The Waistband Klipt Appendix Holster
Klipt Appendix IWB is an excellent example of a holster suitable for concealed carry. Because of its ultra-thin body construction, this holster keeps a quite low profile, and it makes you comfortable while wearing it. Whatever position you are, the chance this holster to leave a print on your clothes is close to zero.
Except keeping a low profile, another useful feature is the signature Blade-Tech click. This way, your gun is securely placed and locked into the holster. Most of the belts up to 1.75″ are suitable for this particular holster.
If, for example, you use a night sight on your firearm, you don’t need to worry about the use of the holster. The only thing that will not fit is if you put a laser in the front on the gun. You can quickly draw the weapon. A strong, simple, easy to use and lightweight this holster is perfect for keeping a low profile.
- Ultra-thin construction
- Simple and easy to use
- It can be used in the appendix and kidney position
- The weapon is securely locked into the holster
- Blade-Tech click
- Fits most of the belts, up to 1 3/4”
- Might feel uncomfortable while seating
- No retention adjustment, the magazine release might not be covered well
- Belt clip will not conceal well with tight clothes
7. Do All Appendix Carry Holster
Smith & Wesson M&P 9 and 40 Shield Pistols is an excellent choice for an appendix holster. With the help of the clip, your holster will be kept securely in place. It is a mixture of durability and comfort while wearing it.
The unit is made of extremely durable materials such as Kydex and Cordura. The Cordura cloth is for the backing of the holster giving you comfort while wearing it. With the strong metal clip, you have maximum retention to your clothing. It is a combination of perfect size, giving you a low profile, but at the same time, a comfortable feeling while performing various physical activities. Also, your weapon and magazine are very well concealed and secured.
All in all, the All Appendix Carry Holster is an excellent choice as it is multifunctional. It has a spare mag check, pistol check, and a swift and easy draw. Because of the secure retention, your weapon will be kept in place.
- It has a spare magazine check
- Fast and quick draw of the gun
- Made of strong and durable materials: Kydex with a Cordura backing
- Strong retention with the Ulticlip
- May feel a little big and uncomfortable for tight clothes
What is an Appendix Carry Holster?
Appendix carry (also called “center-line carry”) is an effective and viable way to carry your weapon. The gun is positioned in front of your hip bones at the twelve or two o’clock position on your body. This means that it is carried roughly over the appendix area and that makes it a bit scary, especially for men.
People prefer appendix holsters for concealed carry as they are easily disguised. When compared with IWB holsters, AIWBs- appendix inside the waistband holsters, offer a more natural draw from concealment. The convenient insertion into the waistband is also a significant advantage since the holster is carried on the left or the right side of your belt buckle. People like this type of carrying as your gun is easily concealed and it is harder for other people to approach it. Still, there are some cons that you will need to keep in mind, so continue reading!
Pros and Cons of Using an Appendix Carry Holster
There are various products for weapon maintenance that we’ve highlighted on our website and appendix carry holsters are undoubtedly one of the interesting ones. Appendix carry holsters, or AIWBs, are controversial and with no doubt a bit scary. This Is because the pistol muzzle scans a particular part of the body. But we tend to forget that every gun holster, especially when it is concealed carry that we are talking about, offers some sort of risks.
Concealed carry is not one hundred percent safe no matter where the weapon is on your waist. You could also feel uncomfortable while using such holster if you’re an owner of a larger full-sized pistol. It is needless to say that if your area of work requires long hours of sitting or bending a lot, this type of holster is not the one for you.
Still, appendix carry holsters offer good concealment and a faster draw when compared with behind-the-hip carry. Imagine you are in a car, try drawing a pistol from a behind-the-hip holster while sitting. Pretty hard, huh? Now try to do the same with an appendix carry holster- entirely different situation.
Someone grabbing your gun while you need it the most is not only scary but sadly – it is also possible. That’s why appendix carry holsters are the perfect choice if you want to protect your weapon from a gun grab.
Now, let’s revise:
- Easy concealment
- Fast draw
- Good grip
- Offers better protection form a gun grab
- Not suitable for larger pistols.
- Could be a bit uncomfortable, depending on your area of work
- Not as safe as other holsters due to the specific position it requires (over the appendix area)
Things to Consider When Choosing an Appendix Holster
Choosing a holster for appendix carry Is not the most straightforward task to undertake. Despite that, our team wants to do everything it can to help you! Let’s see the different things you need to think about before buying an appendix holster.
When speaking of appendix holsters, cant refers to the weapon’s tilt to the left or right, while it is completely flushed against the body. An ideal cant should allow your dominant hand to grip the firearm naturally, without any awkwardness or contortion. A proper cant should also allow a smooth draw stroke, without any excess movements. Specific holsters have built-in retention features that may be a bit dangerous during the draw. If your cant is too extreme, for example, fumbled draws and “stuck” pistols are something you may experience.
A proper AIWB holster should have a vertical or neutral cant. This way you could draw your firearm straight up from the holster and not across your belly. Your draw-stroke will be more efficient and safe, and the excess movement will be eliminated.
The abdomen of an average person is relatively oval. Pistols, on the other hand, are L-shaped and straight, so most of the times the butt of the gun sticks out when you carry it in the appendix position.
A proper AIWB holster should have some kind of a built-in tuck feature that will tuck the grip into the belly horizontally. Wedges beneath the waistband, wings, claws and offset loops are just some of the innovations. These features often get their tuck from utilizing the waistband itself, and if you want superior concealment, they are something you should look for.
If the weapon’s grip falls away from the body, concealment could still be a problem, even with the tuck. A wedge placed near the muzzle-end of the holster will counter the natural outward angling of the grip and will ensure the excellent concealment.
Some holsters have built-in wedges, but some don’t. Our advice to you is to look for a holster that either has a built-in wedge or allows for user customization via pads or add-ons. It is possible that you may not need a wedge at all as it depends on your size and shape; however preparation is the key to success, so each detail is important.
Remember that the trigger guard of your holster should be covered entirely. If you have a striker-fired poly-frame gun, this rule is essential! A lot of things – be it a shirt or whatever – have been the reason for unintentional discharges.
It is of no importance if we talk about the best IWB holster or the most comfortable OWB holster…holsters are holsters and retention is a factor that can be crucial! A proper appendix holster should be able to keep the gun inside and offer you good retention, after all, that is its purpose!
When it comes to factors of vital importance, comfort holds number one spot! We already mentioned that appendix holsters are not really comfortable if you have to bend or sit all through the day. Despite all that, this is a subjective aspect as everyone has different views to what “comfortable” is. Some people look for the **best ankle holster** because they find it the most satisfying, some people prefer ankle holster, and others think that IWBs are the most comfortable of all.
If appendix carry is what you desire to try, but AIWBs don’t look so tempting to you, a lot of people choose hybrid holsters. The pros and cons of hybrid holsters for concealed carry are also thought-provoking, so make sure you have read everything you can before deciding on them.
Fit and belt clips
A holster must be made to fit the gun you will carry with yourself and should be able to retain your firearm. Fit, retention, and cant are intimately connected, and when we talk about these factors, belt clips are also something that needs to be mentioned. Generally, appendix carry holsters come with a single wide clip or one or two standard belt clips.
Before buying yourself, an appendix carry holster, make sure that you did your homework on “Appendix carry and whether it is safe?”.
Appendix carry is considered one of the most dangerous methods of concealed carry as you literally walk around with a weapon pointed at your important arteries and genitals. The number of people suffering negligent discharges and life-altering wounds is not low at all.
When you conceal carry, it is of great importance to take every precaution possible- make sure that your finger doesn’t touch the trigger, that the muzzle doesn’t cover your body and that you are not rushing when putting your gun back in the holster. Most self-inflicted gunshots wounds happen precisely because of that! Rushing, especially with appendix holsters could be lethal.
Discharges as the result of clothing or spent brass falling into your holster are also something you should be careful with. Always look for an AIWB that has an entirely covered trigger guard and good passive retention! Adjustable cant, tuck, and wedge, as we already said, are also extremely important!
Which are the Best Guns to Use for Appendix Carry?
When you pick a gun for concealed carry, you have to look for the rear profile. A sharp profile doesn’t bode well with appendix carry because the gun jabs in the belly as you bend forward. Hammer-fired guns, for example, are guns with a sharp profile that are not suitable for this method.
Of course, it is up to you to decide, as we don’t say that there aren’t people who use a hammer-fired gun for appendix carry. On the contrary, there are, but we are sure that their area of work is not connected to leaning forward all day long. The bobbed hammer guns would be a good option here because they lack a sharp profile.
Revolvers and semi-autos are also not a good choice for appendix carry as their wheel configuration might make them bulge more. Be careful with the tail of the slide as some Beavertail grips could make you feel as uncomfortable as a hammer-fired gun would.
By now you probably wonder “Which gun Is then suitable for appendix carry?” The answer is simple and when you think about it – logical. You need a model with a thinner width and a shorter barrel. That way it would be easy for you to slide the weapon into the holster and take it out immediately when you need it. You can always opt for Glock 26. M, M&P9 Compact or any other slimmer gun that will not have a protruding rear.
Appendix carry – Hacks and Tips
- Find a good gun belt and a properly designed holster; the most comfortable appendix carry holster is out there. You just need to find it – this may not exactly be a tip, and you may feel like we said that a hundred times already, but as Zig Ziggler said: “Repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment.”
- Look for an appendix carry holster that is made of Kydex as a soft backer could easily collapse and make the re-holstering super difficult.
- If you don’t want to feel the rubbing of your pistol on your stomach you could always use an undershirt. If you have a slick compression shirt use it, as it makes it easier to clear your cover garment.
- If the printing of the pistol is super visible, you can always try to put the undershirt (you will need a larger one) over the gun. That way you will have a dual layer effect. Bear in mind that if you do that, the drawing will be a little more difficult. Just make sure that you practice extensively and you wouldn’t have a problem.
- When you choose a position for your pistol, make sure that you are able to place your foot up on a chair and tie your shoe. If you can do that, then you have enough space to feel comfortable. However, you may need to experiment with the position to find the perfect one. Placing the side at twelve thirty works best for most people.
- Don’t overtighten your belt! It is not only more comfortable to have a loose belt, but it is also useful as some slack would allow the rig to ride up when you sit. Still, we don’t want the belt to be too loose because it will flop outwards, print poorly and it will be harder to draw your gun.
How to Holster?
We already mentioned that rushing is something you definitely should NOT do! Let’s go through a short checklist of what you should do before you holster:
- Get your finger off the trigger!
- Use your off hand to clear the cover garment.
- Make sure that the holster is clear.
- Keep your gun angled away from your body.
- Put your thumb over the back of the slide. After that, place the rear sights against your stomach and rotate the gun’s slide. Do that until it touches the sweat guard.
- Press downwards.
Here we are at the end of our buying guide to getting the best appendix carry holster. If you have read carefully, you now know how many different things you have to consider before getting yourself an appendix holster. We do hope, though, that with our appendix carry holster reviews, we have helped you find the most suitable item for your needs.
The feedback from our readers is essential to us, therefore don’t hesitate to send us an email or leave us a comment. Also, show this piece to your friends and family. Аs people say: “Spread knowledge, illuminate the world”!
When you are a gun owner, there are a lot of different items you may like to buy to feel safer. So if you found our buying guide useful, don’t forget to check our other pieces on how to find the most suitable product for your personal needs. Thanks for reading, and as always – stay put!