Kydex is an amazing material. Since being invented in 1965, it has been used for an extremely wide range of applications, finding use in everything from aircraft bulkheads to sheaths for knives.
Kydex IWB holsters are a great choice for the firearms enthusiast. Kydex is hard wearing, meaning it will both protect your weapon and last for years. The fact that it can be molded to an really close fit around your weapon also means that it is great for IWB holsters, because these holsters generally have a very slim profile and therefore offer superior concealment properties.
But with so many Kydex holsters on the market today, choosing the perfect one can be difficult. That’s where we come in.
After reading hundreds of reviews and talking to some real Kydex enthusiasts, we recommend the Concealment Express Range of Kydex Holsters. These versatile holsters are available for a very wide range of weapons, and offer a great compromise between concealment and safety features.
If you are looking for an IWB Kydex holster that will perform in even the most difficult conditions, this is the one to go for.
How to Choose A Kydex IWB Holster
One of the reasons Kydex has become such a popular material for IWB holsters is that it can be molded to almost any shape. This is great when making holsters, because the precise weapon the holster is made for can be used as a template for molding a holster which fits the pistol like a glove.
In fact, Kydex is so easy to work with that you can even make your own holster. This is great if you own an unusual weapon for which finding a good fitting holster can be a problem. For the rest of us, however, getting a Kydex IWB holster specially designed for our particular firearm is not a problem.
Today, we’ll take you through our favorite Kydex IWB holsters. Note, however, that not all the holsters we review today will fit every weapon, and that you should check that your weapon will fit these holsters before investing in one.
Beyond this, when choosing any holster, you should keep in mind the following:
With any holster, including Kydex IWB holsters, the first thing you should look for is weapon security. The consequences of accidental discharge, or of dropping your gun, can be severe.
Most high-end Kydex IWB holsters now come with fully adjustable retention screws. These mean that it is possible to adjust the tightness with which the holster grips your weapon.
It is also very useful if you are setting up a holster for competition, because you can adjust the level of weapon retention to your purpose.
Another thing to look for is the trigger guard mechanism. The guard on your holster should ideally cover the entire trigger mechanism, to avoid accidental discharge.
Type of Holster
There are several different positions in which you can carry your pistol – inside or outside your waistband, on your hip, or even in a pocket holster. Today, we are looking at IWB Kydex holsters.
That said, if you are new to carrying a weapon regularly, it is worth reading up on the differences between IWB and OWB, as different people prefer different styles.
Typically, those who like to carry their weapon IWB are looking for a good level of concealment, and we have prioritized this in our choice of recommended Kydex IWB holsters.
Ease of Access
Ideally, you want a holster that holds your weapon securely, whilst also allowing you to draw it really quickly. In the real world, though, there is a slight compromise to be made between security and ease of draw.
In general, though, draw speed is more dependent on practice than on the type of holster you use. Hours spent practicing your draw are more productive in this regard than hours spent looking for holsters which promise a quick draw.
Another feature to look for is variable cant – the angle at which your weapon sits when in the holster. Different people prefer different cants, and you can even adjust this angle depending on the situation.
If you carry your pistol concealed, it goes without saying that you want a holster that hides your weapon well. Though some Kydex IWB holsters offer a good level of concealment right out of the box, it is also worth reading up on how to conceal your weapon to get the best from any holster.
If you live in a hot climate where light clothes are standard, printing can be a problem, where the shape of your weapon shows through your clothes. Though some people worry unduly about this, it can be a problem with any type of concealed carry.
Last, but of course not least, look for a holster that will provide years of reliable service. If you choose a Kydex holster, of course, this should not be a problem. This material is one of the most hard-wearing available, and can deal with even the most extreme conditions.
Kydex IWB Holster Reviews
As the name suggests, Concealment Express prioritize concealment in their range of holsters. Whilst this may sound like a simple case of making holsters as small as possible, in reality the science of concealment is complex.
This range of holsters are very well molded to whatever weapon you own, meaning that the fit of the holster around your weapon is second to none. If you are new to Kydex holsters, the way in which your pistol sits in these holsters will be a revelation.
Whilst these holsters are admirably small, they have not compromised on safety features, and also come with a great range of advantages:
- First and foremost, the safety features on these Kydex IWB holsters are great. There is a “Posi-Click” retention system which emits an audible sound when your weapon is safely stored, giving peace of mind.
- The retention pressure on these holsters is also widely and easily adjustable, meaning that you can find the perfect strength of hold for your pistol.
- The holster’s profile is very thin, and the .08” Kydex used here is the perfect thickness for a holster – thin enough to offer good concealment, and thick enough to give a good level of protection for your weapon.
- These holsters are also made, from start to finish, in the USA, so you can be sure of a high level of workmanship.
- As for disadvantages, in truth we can find very few. Whilst these holsters are not available for every single hand gun on the market, the range is huge, and we are sure that most people will be able to find the correct variant of this great IWB Kydex holster.
In addition, Outlaw Holsters offer holsters for perhaps the largest number of handguns. This means that if you own an unusual weapon, and are finding it difficult to find a Kydex IWB holster that fits, this range of holster is a good bet.
In addition, these Kydex IWB holsters come with some great features:
- They are extremely durable. The people we talked to for this review reported that they and their friends had owned this holster for years, and that it put up with the worst treatment without letting them down.
- This is reflected in the one year replacement warranty on this range of holsters. It is nice to see that Outlaw Holsters put such a level of trust in their products.
- The fit on these holsters is great. It is clear that Outlaw Holsters have invested in a wide range of molds for their holsters, because every weapon we tested in this range of holsters fitted extremely well.
- As for disadvantages, there are very few for the price. This is not the most slimline of holsters, but its range of other features more than makes up for this.
That said, if you own a M&P Shield, this is the Kydex IWB holster to get. This is the model we tested, and it worked great. The fit around the weapon was secure, whilst also allowing a quick draw, and overall the holster felt well made.
In addition, these holsters come with a range of extra features:
- The adjustable cant on this holster is a feature that is quite unusual on this type of Kydex IWB feature, which is a shame. The ability to carry your weapon IWB, whilst also adjusting the carrying angle, means that you don’t have to compromise between draw speed and concealment.
- The lifetime warranty on these holsters speak volumes about the commitment to quality over at Blue Alpha Gear.
- As we said, these holsters are not available for every handgun out there, but it is worth checking if Blue Alpha make a holster for your gun, because in our opinion this is simply a great Kydex IWB holster.
The focus with these holsters is comfort, and this really shows through. Even after long periods of carry, you will hardly know you are carrying your pistol, even if you have a large firearm.
In addition, this holster has some great features:
- The material used here is 0.08” Kydex, which is thin enough to offer a good level of concealment whilst also being thick enough to fully protect your weapon.
- The fit, on the handguns we tested this holster on, is pretty solid. If anything, these holsters fit a little too tightly around your pistol. Whilst this may make your draw a little slower, the positive side is that you can be damn sure that your pistol will not fall out of the holster.
- As for disadvantages – like many Kydex IWB holsters, this one is not available for unusual weapons just yet. As the popularity of Kydex IWB holsters increases, though, we are sure that these holsters will be available for more unusual handguns.
What you should look for in a Kydex IWB holster depends, to a great extent, on how you use it. All of the holsters we have reviewed today offer a good compromise between safety features, comfort, and concealment.
That said, we recommend the Concealment Express Range of Kydex Holsters. These versatile holsters are available for a very wide range of weapons, and offer a great compromise between concealment and safety features. If you are looking for an IWB Kydex holster that will perform in even the most difficult conditions, this is the one to go for.