The Best IWB Holsters: 2018 Buyer’s Guide

Inside the Waistband (IWB) holsters are extremely popular and commonly used for concealed carry. They may have their up and downs, but there's a reason these holsters so well-known.

In this article, we'll outline some of the best IWB holsters currently on the market. We've rated and reviewed each to help you pick one out with ease. 

Best IWB Holsters Comparison Chart

Product

Our Rating

Price

CYA Supply Co. IWB Holster

CYA Supply Co.. IWB Holster Fits: Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9MM/.40 S&W - Veteran Owned Company - Made in USA - Inside Waistband Concealed Carry Holster

Best IWB Holsters

Belly Band Holster For Concealed Carry | IWB Holster

Belly Band Holster For Concealed Carry | IWB Holster | Waist Band Handgun Carrying System | Hand Gun Elastic Holder For Pistols (Right-Handed)

Best IWB Holsters

Runner-up

Q-Series IWB Minimalist Concealed Carry Stealth Holster

Q-Series IWB Minimalist Stealth Holster for Glock 17 - 41

Best IWB Holsters Second Runner-up

Concealment Express IWB KYDEX Holster

Concealment Express IWB KYDEX Holster: fits Smith & Wesson M&P SHIELD 9/40 - Custom Fit - US Made - Inside Waistband - Adj. Cant/Retention (BLK, Right)

Best Kydex IWB Holster

Alien Gear Holsters Cloak Tuck 3.0 IWB Holster

Alien Gear Holsters Cloak Tuck 3.0 IWB Holster (S&W M&P Shield 9mm, Right)

Best Alien Gear IWB

Galco KT224B Kingtuk Inside the Waistband Holster

Galco KT224B Kingtuk Inside the Waistband Holster - RH, Black, fits Glock 17,19,22,23,26,27,31,32,33

Best Galco IWB Holster

Concealed Carrier Universal IWB Holster For Concealed Carry

CONCEALED CARRIER (TM) Universal IWB Holster For Concealed Carry | Inside The Waistband | Fits all firearms S&W M&P Shield 9/40 1911 Taurus PT111 G2 Sig Sauer Glock 19 17 27 43 (Left-Handed)

Best IWB Magazine Holster

Relentless Tactical The Defender Leather IWB Holster

Relentless Tactical The Defender Leather IWB Holster - Made in USA - For S&W M&P Shield - GLOCK 17 19 22 23 32 33/Springfield XD & XDS/Plus All Similar Sized Handguns – Black – Right Handed

Best Leather IWB Holster

Benefits of Wearing an IWB Holster

IWB holsters are well-known for being great daily carry options. There are some primary benefits behind this type of holster we want to cover.  

Concealment

There’s no doubt that IWB holsters offer excellent concealment. They work well with T-shirts, untucked shirts, jackets, and coats, and are difficult to see if positioned properly. 

This design allows users to carry their firearm in public without flaunting it. IWB holsters are also great for self-defense as they provide users with an element of surprise.

Prevents People From Losing Their Weapon

IWB holsters are intended to be secured at the hip and tucked into your waistband. Since the holster is squeezed between your body and apparel, this prevents the gun from falling out. Additionally, this safeguards your weapon from being stolen.

Easy Movement

Another benefit is that these holsters don’t obstruct your movement. Other holsters have a tendency to get in the way and can be awkward while sitting down or bending over.

Quicker Draw

IWB holsters also offer an incomparable draw time.

Designs like deep concealment shoulder holsters, belly bands, fanny packs, or ankle holsters offer high concealment, but are time-consuming to draw.

Drawbacks to IWB Holsters

Now we are going to shine light to some of the drawbacks associated with IWB holsters. 

Limited Wardrobe

As mentioned, IWB holsters are exceptional for concealed carry. Though, they do not work well with fitted clothing.

IWB holsters often print an outline on clothes, thus revealing that you're carrying. If you intend on wearing tight clothes, IWB holsters may be a no-go.

IWB Printing (source)

Discomfort

IWB holsters can be uncomfortable in several positions. When you sit or drive, a 12 o’clock or appendix position might poke into your pelvis -- especially if you're carrying a mid or full-sized gun.

Furthermore, they may not be a good option for people with full-rounded bellies. Some IWB holsters do not feature proper sweat guards or padding, which can lead to rashes.

Difficult to Draw and Re-holster

Although IWB holsters have quick draw times, they can still be difficult to draw and re-holster.

The reason being is because you have to squeeze your fingers between your belt body, which may cause fumbling.

However, as with anything -- practice makes perfect.

Qualities of the Best IWB Holsters

IWB holsters must have several qualities to be considered good for use. Keep an eye out for these qualities while reading our product review section. 

Durability

A top pick must be durable. Needless to say, the holster is useless if you can't depend on it for years later.

A durable holster will not only save you money, but it will also perform well.

As a good rule of thumb: leather and Kydex models are always a safe bet.

IWB Kydex Holster (Source)

Falco IWB Leather Holster (Source)

Comfort

The IWB holster you choose must also be comfortable and not restricting. Moreover, your holster should be lightweight, so all you have to bear is the weight of your weapon.

Protection

Simple enough, a good IWB holster must preserve your weapon as well as your skin from scratches and bruises. 

Retention

An ideal option must feature a reliable retention mechanism to prevent your gun from falling out. 

Cant and Belt

Choose a holster wisely when it comes to the cant. Some people prefer FBI cant, whereas some like the straight drop version. Be sure to care for your holster too by wearing a quality belt. 

Quick Take - The Best IWB Holsters

Review of the Best IWB Holsters

Let's take a look at some of the best IWB holsters on the market. These holsters have been handpicked based on their exceptional qualities.

Best IWB Holster: CYA Supply Co. IWB Holster

CYA Supply Co.. IWB Holster Fits: Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9MM/.40 S&W - Veteran Owned Company - Made in USA - Inside Waistband Concealed Carry Holster

Pros

  • Durable Boltaron material.
  • Adjustable cant and retention.
  • Slim design offers high concealment.
  • Sweat guard covers full length of slide.

Cons

  • Only fits Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9MM/.40 S&W.
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    Right hand draw only.
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    Doesn’t work with attachments.

This IWB holster has been made from Boltaron, a thermoplastic similar to Kydex; some argue Boltaron even outperforms Kydex. 

Other parts of the holster are made from powder coated steel, making it durable and wear resistant.

The retention is hex key adjustable between 0 to 15 degrees and the holster features a posi-click audible retention lock system. This indicates when the gun is properly holstered.

This specific model only fits Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9MM/.40 S&W without attachments, and is a right-hand draw only. 

Bottom Line

This CYA IWB holster is a slim, highly concealable holster, and is perfect for everyday use. It has a proper slide lining for added comfort and offers user-friendly adjustment mechanics. 

Best IWB Holster Runner-up: Belly Band Holster For Concealed Carry | IWB Holster

Belly Band Holster For Concealed Carry | IWB Holster | Waist Band Handgun Carrying System | Hand Gun Elastic Holder For Pistols (Right-Handed)

Pros

  • Holds still while you move.
  • Comfortable neoprene design.
  • Elastic holster design with clasp.
  • Extra pouch.
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    Versatile carry options.

Cons

  • Sub-compact pistols might sit very deep.

Belly band holsters are an amazing option for IWB carry. These bands wrap around your waist, providing a secure holster for your weapon. 

The breathable neoprene fabric is extremely comfortable and soft on the skin. The holster is made from surgical grade elastic and can hold handguns of various sizes. 

The button-clasp thumb break retention adds even more security. Moreover, this holster is extremely versatile and can be worn in positions other than inside the waistband. 

As an added bonus, the extra pouch is wide enough to hold a few magazines or items such as a phone or wallet. 

Bottom Line

This belly band holster can be used for a number of different carrying options and is great for those who are constantly on-the-go. The holster is designed to stay in place even when you run or exercise. Overall, the holster is ideal for nearly every situation.

Best IWB Holster Second Runner-up: Q-Series IWB Minimalist Concealed Carry Stealth Holster

Q-Series IWB Minimalist Stealth Holster for Glock 17 - 41

Pros

  • Easy to conceal.
  • Very lightweight.
  • Adjustable retention.

Cons

  • Difficult to re-holster.
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    Uncomfortable while sitting.

This holster features a minimalist design and is a great option for those who are in search of something compact and functional. 

The holster is no bigger than a small cell phone and it's extremely easy to conceal. Made from Kydex, this holster sits close to the body and covers the trigger guard and half the slide of the gun. 

The retention is also adjustable and the metal clip is designed to snap firmly to any waistband or belt (up to 2-inches wide). 

The holster is available in multiple variants designed for different kinds of weapons.

Bottom Line

This minimalist holster features an exceptional, unique design and offers high levels of concealment. However, placing your gun back into place can be difficult. The bottom line here is that this is good option for occasional use, but maybe not everyday carry.

Best Kydex IWB Holster: Concealment Express IWB KYDEX Holster

Concealment Express IWB KYDEX Holster: fits Smith & Wesson M&P SHIELD 9/40 - Custom Fit - US Made - Inside Waistband - Adj. Cant/Retention (BLK, Right)

Pros

  • Durable and lightweight.
  • Adjustable retention and cant.
  • Lifetime warranty.

Cons

  • Not very flexible.
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    Not for skinny clothing.

This IWB holster is made from Kydex and can be used for appendix, hip, cross draw, small of back (SOB), and palm-out carry.

Buyers love that the retention pressure can easily be adjusted using screws near the base of the holster. The cant angle is also adjustable, which makes it even more versatile. 

Additionally, the full-length sweat guards makes it very comfortable and users are guided while re-holstering via the audible lock system. 

Keep in mind, this particular model is designed exclusively for Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9MM/.40 but there are other sizes available. 

Bottom Line

Kydex holsters are very durable and easy to re-holster -- this holster is no exception. However, keep in mind this model is not very flexible.

Best Alien Gear IWB Holster: Alien Gear Holsters Cloak Tuck 3.0 IWB Holster

Alien Gear Holsters Cloak Tuck 3.0 IWB Holster (S&W M&P Shield 9mm, Right)

Pros

  • Very comfortable for IWB.
  • Great quality.
  • Perfect for everyday carry.
  • Doesn’t collapse when empty.
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    Good for deep concealment.

Cons

  • Fits only S&W M&P Shield 9mm.
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    Be sure to threadlock the screws or they may come out.

Alien Gear is a company renowned for manufacturing holsters. This model of theirs features a Kydex frame mounted to a cloak tuck neoprene base and is our top pick for the best Alien Gear IWB holster. 

The cant and ride height is easily adjustable and can worn in a variety of different carry positions. What separates it from other holsters is the base, which provides added comfort while in position.

Bottom Line

This holster from Alien Gear is an extremely comfortable option for everyday carry. The neoprene base one of the top selling points and the holster is built to last. During regular use, you may even forget it’s there.

Best Galco IWB Holster: Galco KT224B Kingtuk Inside the Waistband Holster

Galco KT224B Kingtuk Inside the Waistband Holster - RH, Black, fits Glock 17,19,22,23,26,27,31,32,33

Pros

  • Very comfortable especially after breaking-in.
  • Positive and proper retention.
  • Covers most Glock lineage.
  • Covered trigger guard.
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    Adjustable cant.

Cons

  • Right handed only.
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    No warranty.
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    Fits only Glock.
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    Clips might be problematic.

The Galco IWB holster features a napa leather base and Kydex body to securely hold your daily carry. This holster is exclusively designed to fit the Glock series, all the way from Glock 17 to Glock 33.

The base features two clips to attach to user's belts. The holster also adapts for several other Glock models with a sight attached.

Bottom Line

If you own a Glock or several weapons of the Glock series, this holster is perfect for you. The holster is comfortable and offers adjustable retention and cant. You’ll even forget about it once it breaks-in. Leather construction lasts long, however, the price might be a concern for some.

Best IWB Magazine Holster: Concealed Carrier Universal IWB Holster For Concealed Carry

CONCEALED CARRIER (TM) Universal IWB Holster For Concealed Carry | Inside The Waistband | Fits all firearms S&W M&P Shield 9/40 1911 Taurus PT111 G2 Sig Sauer Glock 19 17 27 43 (Left-Handed)

Pros

  • Very comfortable neoprene material.
  • Universal holster.
  • High concealment and no printing.
  • Separate holster and mag pouch.
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    Adjustable carry position.
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    Can be used with sights.

Cons

  • Less durable compared To leather or Kydex.

This pistol and magazine holster from Concealed Carrier features a universal fit for almost every small, medium, and large pistol.

The package is a combination of a pistol holster and magazine holster, which can be used for carrying lethal or non-lethal items.

The holsters have been constructed entirely from neoprene, making it very comfortable and soft to the touch. 

Both the holster and the pouch have a metal clip which can be attached any belt. The holster ensures little to no printing and fits most guns. The retention is secured using a thumb strap on both items.  

Bottom Line

This universal IWB holster is exceptional and offers great comfort and protection. The neoprene design eliminates any chance of printing and the holster is quite slim in design. As an added bonus, the separate holster and mag pouch ensure that the unit appear too bulky.   

Best Leather IWB Holster: Relentless Tactical The Defender Leather IWB Holster

Relentless Tactical The Defender Leather IWB Holster - Made in USA - For S&W M&P Shield - GLOCK 17 19 22 23 32 33/Springfield XD & XDS/Plus All Similar Sized Handguns – Black – Right Handed

Pros

  • Durable high-quality leather.
  • comfortable and breaks-in nicely.
  • Fits most guns.
  • Good protection and concealment.
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    Lifetime warranty.

Cons

  • No lock/retention mechanism.
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    No cant adjustment.

Leather holsters are often a high-end, classy product for firearm owners. They are durable and easy to break in. ​

The same can be said for this holster.

It is handmade in the USA and fits most full-sized and compact guns. Clips ensure the holster can be easily attached to any belt and there's no retention or locking mechanism. 

Designed as an open holster, this model works on the general principle of the leather’s ability to retain the weapon. Its good quality and precision may cover up any major flaws

Bottom Line

This leather holster from Relentless is for people who are looking for a reliable, long lasting holster. It is reinforced well and easily conforms to the shape of your body. It fits most weapons and is perfect for people who are sensitive to other material.

Conclusion

To wrap things up, a good IWB holster offers exceptional concealment, prevents users from losing your weapon, and is not restricting in use.

We hope this review has helped outline some of the best IWB holsters and put you on the right path. If you end up choosing a model from our list, be sure to check-in after you've put it to the test. We'd love to hear what you think! 

Best of luck!  

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