Choosing a concealed carry holster is an extremely individual decision. A holster that one person swears by might not fit your body or your gun comfortably. We’re going to review five different holsters so that no matter your carry position or budget, you’ll be able to find the best 1911 concealed carry holster for you.
HOW TO CHOOSE A CONCEALED CARRY HOLSTER
In your quest to find the best concealed carry holster for your 1911, it’s possible that you’ll have a few hits and a few misses. If you’re new to concealed carry, you may not have decided where on your body you want to carry. You’ll probably need to try out a few different holsters to find a position that’s comfortable for you.
The type of holster that you choose may vary from day to day and season to season. A holster that conceals well under a suit jacket or sweatshirt may not work with shorts and a t-shirt. Your activity will also determine how you carry and which holster you’ll want to use. When you’re sitting in your car or at the office, you may carry differently than when you’re outside playing with your kids or working out.
Some of the most important factors to consider when choosing a holster are comfort, concealment, and accessibility. Before showing you our 1911 holster recommendations, let’s go over some of the factors you should consider to help you decide which holster style will be best for your needs.
If you’re serious about concealed carrying, you’re likely going to be carrying your gun most places you go on most days of the week. You’ll be standing, sitting, and bending, and your holster needs to move with you throughout the day. If your holster is in a position that causes it to dig into your body, you’re less likely to consistently carry your firearm.
If you’re new to concealed carrying, you can find excellent videos like the one above showing you various positions to consider, as well as the pros and cons of different carrying locations. Two very popular concealed carrying positions are appendix (also called 2 o’clock) and kidney (also called 4 o’clock), but the shape of your body and the way you move will affect which is comfortable for you.
The type of holster you’ll select will depend on where you want to carry your gun. Many holsters are designed for a single carry location, but there are some styles that allow you to carry in more than one position. Also, the shape of your body will determine where the most comfortable location is for your personal carry.
Some holster styles hug the body more than others, like the pancake style holsters. If you choose a holster that sits very tight against your body, you might prefer one with a sweat shield. The shield is simply an additional bit of material that comes up higher on the body-side of the holster so that the firearm doesn’t actually come in contact with your skin. This is important for comfort, but it also helps protect the finish of your gun.
The goal of concealed carry is to hide the fact that you’re carrying a weapon, or at the very least diminish the appearance of your gun. An appropriate concealed carry holster will have very little or no print, meaning that the outline of your gun should show very little or not at all through your clothes. The type of clothing you prefer to wear will affect which holster you can use.
Some holsters can be worn with a tucked-in shirt, but others require that your shirt is untucked to keep the gun concealed. Suit jackets and sweatshirts conceal firearms much more easily than casual or workout clothes because they obscure the print of your gun. Which you choose will depend on what you wear.
For women, some styles of holsters may not work as well. Appendix and kidney carry simply aren’t as easy to conceal on a smaller frame or while wearing form-fitting clothes as they are on a large man in a suit. However, belly band style holsters are becoming more popular for use with professional attire like a fitted skirt and loose blouse.
A third very important consideration for choosing a holster is whether your firearm will be easily accessible to you. Obviously, we all hope to never need to draw our weapon, but if you find yourself in a situation where you need protection, it’s essential that your weapon be easy to draw.
Carry position depends highly on comfort, of course, as you’ll be wearing your gun consistently. However, comfort matters very little if you can’t get to your weapon. Kidney carry is very comfortable for many people, but if you have a shoulder issue and can’t quickly draw from that position, it’s obviously not the right spot for your gun.
You’ll also need to consider which side of your body you prefer to carry. Many people choose to carry on their strong side, or the side of their dominant hand. Many holsters come in side-specific models, so a left-hand dominant person would purchase a different holster than a right-hand dominant shooter.
If you choose to appendix carry, you can carry on your strong side, or if you prefer to draw crossbody, you can also carry on your non-dominant side. It’s important to examine potential holsters to make sure they’ll be accessible with your dominant hand from wherever you choose to carry.
After accounting for the three important criteria above, you might also consider what material you prefer for your holster. Many people like the look and feel of leather holsters. One significant advantage they have over other holsters is that over time they soften and conform to your body and your gun, making them more comfortable to wear.
Kydex or other thermoplastics don’t change shape over time, so they should fit your firearm perfectly as soon as you buy one. This also means that they won’t get more comfortable over time, so if it’s uncomfortable right away, chances are it’ll stay that way.
A final factor to consider is your budget. If you’re just testing out holsters and you’re not sure yet where you want to carry, the cost can add up quickly. Also, you may want to find more than one holster that you like to use so you’ll have something that will work no matter the season or your attire. We have holster suggestions for numerous concealed carry positions and budgets, so you’re sure to find something that’ll work for you.
REVIEW OF THE BEST 1911 CONCEALED CARRY HOLSTERS
Once you know where you’d like to carry your weapon, you’ll need to figure out which style of holster suits you. Below, you’ll find our list of five of the best 1911 concealed carry holsters. We’ll review the pros and cons of each so that by the end you’ll have an idea of which will work best for you.
COMFORTTAC ULTIMATE BELLY BAND HOLSTER
- ONE SIZE FITS MOST - Neoprene band is adjustable and stretches to fit up to a 44" belly. (Measure hips or belly not pant size) Also available in XL size on separate listing. Soft and comfortable...
- ONE SIZE FITS ALL HOLSTER - Surgical grade elastic holster fits small subcompact, compact, and even full size pistols and revolvers. 380, 9mm, 40 auto, 45 ACP, 38 special, 357, and 10mm etc.
- CARRY IN ANY POSITION - Can be worn inside the waistband IWB, outside the pants OWB, cross draw, appendix, 5 O'clock (behind hip), twelve oclock, small of back, and even high up like a shoulder...
- RIGHT OR LEFT HAND DRAW - Bellyband Holster is available in right and left hand draw. Fits Glock 19, 23, 38, 25, 32, 26, 27, 29, 30, 39, 28, 33, 42, 43, 36, M&P Shield, Sig Sauer, Kahr, Beretta,...
- Spare magazine pocket for accessories and optional use retention strap provided. (you can cut off the retention strap if you prefer best speed over extra retention support) Also great for AirSoft.
This belly band style of holster would be a great option for beginners because it can accommodate appendix (strong side and crossbody draw), hip, kidney, and a variety of other carrying positions. You can even move it high on your torso for a shoulder carry.
The ComfortTac belly band holster can be worn with any style of clothing, as it doesn’t rely upon a belt or waistband to stay in place. This is a great option for women as it can be worn with fitted clothes, even by a small-framed woman, without a lot of print.
You can wear this holster as high or as low as is comfortable. If you wear it high, you may not need to size up the waistband of your pants to accommodate your pistol. However, it does add bulk around your entire waist, so if you decide to wear it IWB (inside the waistband), you may have to size up. It’s made of soft, lightweight neoprene material, so you can wear it while working out without irritating your skin.
This holster can be used with nearly any pistol, not just your 1911, and features snap retention to keep your weapon secure. If you wear the holster IWB, it can be challenging to undo the retention, so per the manufacturer, you may choose to cut the retention off the holster. It comes with a pouch for a knife, your ID, or anything else you want to have on hand, and comes with a removable magazine pocket so you can carry an extra clip.
This holster is extremely budget-friendly, and could make a great first addition to your holster collection, or could be a versatile piece to complete your collection.
Positives recap for this product
- Very budget friendly
- Beginner friendly – possible to carry in many positions
- Great option for women
Negatives recap for this product
- Can be challenging to undo the retention
- Adds bulk around your entire waist if you wear it low
CONCEALED CARRIER™ UNIVERSAL IWB HOLSTER
- RIGHT-HANDED MAXIMUM COMFORT GUARANTEE - Our IWB holster is made out of padded and breathable surgical grade elastic neoprene with air holes that allow ventilation for your legs - you'll forget you...
- COMBAT VETERAN OWNED BUSINESS - We are a team of U.S. military veterans using our combat experience with firearms to provide you with the most effective IWB concealed carry holster on the market. We...
- FITS ALL GUN SIZES - The universal inside the waistband holster was designed to accommodate any size firearm from a sub-compact Glock 27 all the way up to a full-size .45 1911. Don't believe me?...
- QUICK DRAW GUARANTEE. NO PRINTING GUARANTEE - Thumb break holster allows you to flick up the retention strap with the back of thumb to draw the firearm quickly and effectively. Also, you can walk,...
- EXTRA MAGAZINE, KNIFE, OR NON-LETHAL HOLSTER - We provide you with an extra neoprene belt clip holster that can be used for your extra magazine, a folding knife, or even some non-lethal equipment...
The Concealed Carrier™ Universal IWB holster fits any size firearm and comes in a left and right side option. It can be used for appendix, kidney, or small of back carry. The holster comes complete with button-style retention and a separate clip you can use for an extra magazine, a knife, or pepper spray.
The holster has a small form factor, simply clipping over the waistband of your pants. This may be problematic in a quick draw situation, though, as the holster could come out with your gun because it’s not wrapped securely around a belt or your waist like other holster styles.
This IWB holster is made from neoprene like the ComfortTac, so it’s breathable and soft against your skin. You may find this advantageous compared to leather and thermoplastic holsters which can cause sweating.
This style of holster requires a pant style that has a sturdy waist but doesn’t require a belt. Your firearm sits securely against your body on the inside of your waistband with minimal print. The weight of the holster and gun are centralized, so you may find it inconvenient for working out.
A major disadvantage of this holster is that, because it’s designed to be universal, the holster does not accommodate the full length of a 1911 barrel, leaving the end of your gun sticking out of the fabric. This can be problematic when you draw if you have a front sight because the sight may get stuck on the fabric.
Positives recap for this product
- Soft neoprene material is comfortable to wear
- Can be used for multiple carry locations
- Small and easy to conceal
- Extremely budget friendly
Negatives recap for this product
- Holster may come out with the gun when you draw
- Front sight may catch on the holster when you draw
RELENTLESS TACTICAL THE DEFENDER LEATHER IWB HOLSTER
- GET THE CUSTOM MADE FEEL AND WORLD CLASS QUALITY WITHOUT SPENDING A FORTUNE! You don't have to wait months and spend hundreds to get a perfect fit. Why settle for a cheap nylon or imported leather...
- BACKED BY RELENTLESS TACTICAL'S LIFETIME WARRANTY! Carry the best leather 1911 IWB Holster with confidence, for the rest of your life. With quality American Made construction comes great durability....
- FITS MOST 1911 STYLE HANDGUNS WITH ANY BARREL LENGTH! Kimber, S & W, Colt, Remington, Browning, Ruger, Taurus, Sig Sauer and More! If it doesn't fit yours you can utilize our 100% Satisfaction...
- HANDMADE BY AMERICAN CRAFTSMEN, FROM GENUINE USA BULLHIDE LEATHER! American made with American Pride, No synthetic materials or cheap, mass-market production
- DESIGNED FOR OPTIMUM PERFORMANCE AND MAXIMUM COMFORT! Sturdy, dependable, and form-fitted for easy, effective concealment and quick, reliable access to your sidearm.
The Defender by Relentless Tactical is an American made leather holster that comes with a lifetime warranty. It falls in the center of our price range, so it remains affordable despite offering attractive, high-quality leather.
Of the options we’ve looked at so far, this may be the most seamless for holstering. Leather makes a sturdy holster that doesn’t collapse, so getting your gun in and out is quick and easy. Also, leather softens and conforms to your body and your gun over time, so this holster will get more comfortable to wear the more you use it.
Since this leather holster is designed to snugly fit your firearm, there’s no need for a retention strap. However, if your 1911 is a newer model with an under barrel rail to attach tactical equipment like lasers and lights, this holster may be too snug to accommodate it.
Like the Concealed Carrier™ holster, the Defender may cause drawing problems if your barrel extends past the end of the holster. With a ramped sight or a shorter barrel, you should be able to draw easily, but if the sight is squared at the end, it could get stuck and wear out the leather at the end of the holster.
This holster is designed to be worn IWB, but the clip makes it versatile enough to work for OWB carry. It comes in left and right side varieties, so pay attention to which you purchase to make sure it’ll work with where you’ll wear it and how you’ll draw (strong side vs crossbody).
Positives recap for this product:
- Comfortable, soft leather
- Snug fit, so no need for a retention strap
- Easy to draw and holster
- Designed for IWB, can be also be worn OWB
Negatives recap for this product:
- Too snug for 1911s with an under barrel rail
- Long barreled guns with square sights may get stuck in the holster
FOXX IWB HYBRID HOLSTER
- 9 oz. Premium Leather & Black Kydex with Black Spring Steel Belt Clips (fits up to 1-3/4" Belt)
- Precision Molded Kydex to fit Specific Firearm
- Adjustable for Ride Height & Forward Cant including 5 Adjustment Holes
- Easy to Conceal, Comfortable for Everyday use & Tuckable too
- Proudly Made in the USA!!
The FoxX IWB Hybrid holster is a pancake style holster with a leather back and a Kydex shell. The leather will soften over time and conform to your body, while the Kydex shell comes from the manufacturers already perfectly fitted to your gun. This holster is designed to be worn between 3 and 5 o’clock, at the hip or at the kidney, but it’s also possible to use this for appendix carry.
One drawback of the FoxX’s Kydex shell is that it won’t stretch or change shape over time. That makes it suitable for fewer models of 1911 gun, so check the specifications carefully to ensure that your model will fit this holster.
The FoxX Hybrid Holster is adjustable so you can get the right fit for your preferred carry position. There are five different positions you can choose from to find the perfect height, or ride, and forward angle, or cant. This holster is also tuckable, so you can wear it with casual or formal attire.
Pancake style holsters have two clips rather than one like The Defender. A single clip holster may shift as you move, changing the cant of the gun and making it more challenging to draw. Some people may prefer the two clips of the FoxX holster because it isn’t able to shift on your waist as easily. A drawback of the pancake style holster is the added weight, which can make for an overall hefty concealed carry for a larger gun like the 1911 style.
Positives recap for this product:
- Adjustable ride and cant
- Soft leather that conforms to your skin over time
- Two clips to keep the holster locked in place
Negatives recap for this product:
- Larger form factor adds weight and bulk
- Kydex shell limits the number of gun models it can fit
RELENTLESS TACTICAL THE ULTIMATE LEATHER GUN HOLSTER
- PROUDLY HANDMADE IN THE USA! Made from genuine US cowhide leather.
- VERSATILE 3 SLOT PANCAKE DESIGN! Use straight drop or butt forward cant. Wear strong-side, cross-draw or behind-the-hip comfortably.
- SAY NO TO CHEAP NYLON HOLSTERS! Highest quality leather belt holster pleases even the most demanding gun owner.
- EFFECTIVE CONCEALMENT WITH MAXIMUM COMFORT! Pre-curved to fit close to body while still providing easy access.
- THE BEST LEATHER GUN HOLSTER ON AMAZON! FITS MOST 1911 STYLE HANDGUNS WITH ANY BARREL LENGTH! Kimber, S & W, Colt, Remington, Browning, Ruger, Taurus, Sig Sauer and More!
The Relentless Tactical Ultimate Leather holster is a pancake style holster like the FoxX, but the entire holster is made of American leather. This has the benefit of conforming and softening over time to be more comfortable against your body, coupled with the ability to fit many more models of gun. This holster also comes pre-curved, helping it sit close to your body without a break-in period.
This holster is designed to be worn with a belt and has three slots so you can choose to wear the holster upright or with a forward cant. It can be worn on the hip, the kidney, or on the appendix for a crossbody draw. The design of the holster includes a sweat shield, increasing wearer comfort while also protecting the finish of your firearm.
The cost of this high-quality leather holster is more than the rest on our list, but it’s still in a reasonable price range for many gun owners.
This holster is open at the end of the barrel to accommodate a variety of gun lengths, but because of that, it has the same drawback as other open-ended holsters: depending on the style of the sight on your barrel, it may be difficult to draw your gun.
Unlike most of the other holsters on our list, this is an outside the waistband, or OWB, holster. OWB holsters are comfortable but restrict the type of clothing you can wear if you want to conceal your weapon.
Positives recap for this product:
- Adjustable cant
- Leather construction conforms to wearer and weapon
- OWB may be more comfortable for daily wear for some gun owners
Negatives recap for this product:
- Long barreled guns may get stuck in the holster
- OWB holsters restrict attire you can wear if you want to carry a concealed weapon
When selecting the best 1911 concealed carry holster for your carrying location and weapon, keep in mind three major factors: comfort, concealment, and accessibility. A holster should meet your needs for all three.
Comfort is essential for daily carry. You may decide that you like a neoprene holster like the ComfortTec or the Concealed Carrier™, or you may find a leather holster like the Relentless Tactical or FoxX options more comfortable. It might take a few tries to find one that works for you.
Some holsters only suit certain carrying positions, while others like the ComfortTac belly band can be used for nearly any torso carry position. The ComfortTac is very beginner friendly specifically because it can carry in so many different ways. Also keep in mind your typical style of dress and which style of holster will be easiest for you to conceal.
When choosing a holster, you’ll need to make sure that it’ll fit the length of your barrel and the type of sight on your gun. Some options on our list will work better than others for certain models. If you have a newer style 1911 with an under barrel rail, your choices may be more limited.
Whether you choose to own multiple holsters for different situations or seek to own just one that will work in any situation, we hope you found the best 1911 concealed carry holster for your needs on our list.