Best Kimber Holsters Available On The Market

LAST UPDATED: August 4th 2017
GUIDE: Chris Browning

Kimber make an amazing range of pistols. They are perhaps best known for their iconic range of 1911 pistols, but their sub compact and pocket-sized pistols are also becoming very popular amongst gun owners.

Each Kimber weapon is almost totally made in the US, and these guns represent some of the highest quality workmanship available today. Given this, if you already own one of these fine guns it is worth getting a similarly premium holster to carry it in. Getting a good holster not only protects you and your weapon, but can also add value to your gun and improve your marksmanship.

Unfortunately, choosing the correct holster can be more difficult than it sounds. We all have different requirements when it comes to carrying our weapons – some prefer a holster that offers good concealment, others value a quick draw. With the sheer number of holsters available on the market today, choosing the one that is right for you can be difficult.

Luckily, I’ve looked into it for you. After reading hundreds of reviews, talking to loads of people who take their Kimber really seriously, and trawling through seemingly endless forums full of people discussing the pros and cons of various holsters, I think I finally know which holster you should buy for your Kimber.

In my humble opinion, you should get the Fobus Standard Paddle Holster. This polymer holster fits most Kimber 1911 guns really well, ensuring good weapon retention whilst not impeding your draw. In comparison to more traditional leather holsters, the draw offered by this holster is super quick, and the polymer construction will also last longer than most leather holsters.

As long as your draw technique is correct, this holster offers a smooth and fast draw. The unique retention system used here means that the only point of contact your weapon makes with the holster is around the trigger mechanism, meaning that drawing the weapon out is a joy.

This does not mean, however, that you are sacrificing weapon security. The fit around the Kimber 1911 pistols we tested was so good that we’re confident your gun will never be loose in this holster. Added to the fact that this is a paddle holster, with all the extra security that entails, means that your gun will always be precisely where you need it.

In short, this holster contains all the features you would expect in a premium item, and is a great choice for any Kimber 1911 pistol. If you are looking for a holster that will last as long as your gun, and allow you to attain the maximum possible performance from it, this is the holster to get.


Our Review Process

For this review, I read hundreds of other reviews. This means that you don’t have to just take my word for the recommendations I’m making today – they opinions here represent the accrued and combined knowledge of hundreds of gun enthusiasts from all over the country!

There are thousands of people who take their choice of holster for their Kimber pistol extremely seriously, and here at GND we seek to use their expertise to come up with the best recommendations for you. After trawling through dozens of forums on Kimber pistols, and speaking to people who had owned and used them for years, we first compiled a short list of what the community thought were the best holsters for Kimber.

Then we ordered a batch. It is one thing to read and hear the praise and annoyances of the community, but in our opinion unless you have used a holster for yourself you cannot claim that it is any better or worse than another. After drawing various Kimber pistols from all these holsters, and walking around all day with them strapped to us, we think we know which are the best.

So, without further ado, let me tell you about what we regard as the best holsters available for your Kimber pistol at the moment.


The Fobus Standard Paddle Holster – Is It For You?

Probably. For most people most of the time, this holster will be perfect. It offers all the features you would expect of a premium holster, and is not too expensive. In fact, we think that if this holster was available for more handguns, rather than primarily Kimbers, it might make our top pick in some other reviews.

That said, there are a few things to bear in mind if you are considering buying this holster, because it will not be perfect for everyone.

First and foremost, it is a paddle holster. For my purposes, paddle holsters are actually great in most circumstances, but I also know that many people hate this holster configuration. And so, to state the obvious, if you do not like to carry your Kimber in a paddle holster, have a look at some of the other holsters I am recommending today.

Secondly, I know that many Kimber owners love the retro look and feel of their pistol, and therefore will only really consider a leather holster to carry it in. I sympathise, loving the look and feel of leather myself. That said, the plastic used here does not feel cheap, and has another huge advantage over leather – the draw speed. The smooth surface means there is very little friction between your weapon and the holster, so it slides out very easily.

Lastly, if you are looking for a holster that will allow you to carry your Kimber in the deepest concealment, this is not the holster for you. This type of paddle holster is notoriously difficult to conceal, though on the other hand it does hold your weapon precisely where you want it, and more reliable than an IWB concealment holster.

All in all, if you want a leather holster, one for concealment, or hate paddles, don’t get this holster. Otherwise, it is a great item that will really make the most of your Kimber pistol.

Best Kimber Holsters Picks

Product Specs

Manufacturer:
Fobus

Type:
Paddle Holster

Material:
Polymer

Product Features

Lifetime warranty

Great Draw

Paddle attachment

Choosing a winner for this review was really difficult, because it seems that Kimber owners have a really wide range of great holsters available for their guns. I know that many people, and especially those who own a classic Kimber 1911 pistol, prefer the feel and look of leather in a holster, but to my mind this type of polymer holster is superior in several respects.

The focus with this holster is on reliability and long-lasting construction, and I think for most people this gives it the edge over the other holsters I’m reviewing today. Before I get into how this holster is to use, it’s worth saying first that the polymer used here is incredibly tough, and unlike leather can be cleaned easily.

In addition, the lifetime warranty that comes with this holster is a mark of how much confidence Fobus have in their products, and gives you great peace of mind. Kimber pistols are famous for lasting for years, and so you want a holster that will keep going as long as your gun.

The second major reason why I’ve chosen this holster is the draw. Obviously, the draw on any holster is more dependent on practice than the holster itself, but this holster performed very well in our tests almost straight away. The polymer only holds your gun by the trigger mechanism, meaning there is very little friction when it comes to drawing out your weapon, and giving you that split second advantage that can make all the difference.

In addition, this holster is my choice for the best Kimber holster for a number of other reasons:

  • To my mind, the kind of paddle attachment that is utilized in this holster is one of the best ways of securing a handgun. It avoids the complications that can be caused by different sizes of gun belts, and holds your weapon securely against your body, ensuring that your firearm is always where you think it is, no matter what you are doing.
  • If you go out hunting, the ruggedness of this holster is a great advantage. The polymer used here will, Fobus assure me, stand up to the worst treatment without becoming damaged. This not only protects your handgun from damage, but also means that the holster stays safe after years of use.
  • The minimal design used here actually offers pretty good concealment. It doesn’t break up the outline of your gun like some nylon holsters, but the wholse package is small enough to be easily hidden. This is quite an achievement, given the size of Kimber 1911 handguns, and is another reason why I recommend this holster.
  • I know some people will feel that I’m laboring the point, but to my mind one of the primary things you should look for in a holster is safety features, and this kind of nylon holster often falls down in this regard. This item, by contrast, offers a great level of protection for the trigger mechanism of your Kimber, and for that reason, amongst the others above, comes highly recommended.

Though this is my favorite holster for Kimber pistols at the moment, as with any holster it does have some cons:

  • First, this holster does not have the variable cant offered on some more advanced items, and nor does it have a locking mechanism. For this reason, if you are looking for a holster for your Kimber for tactical use, I would look elsewhere.
  • In truth, that’s it. Though in some respects a basic holster, this one does everything it should very well.

Overall, in my opinion this is the best value holster for Kimber pistols around at the moment. The weapon fit is great, the draw is fast, and if you are looking to conceal your Kimber, this holster will not disappoint. It comes highly recommended for most Kimber owners.

Product Specs

Manufacturer:
Relentless Tactical

Type:
IWB Holster

Material:
Leather

Product Features

Very good fit

Strong Belt Clip

Comfortable

A more classic style of holster than the Fobus, this holster is entirely composed of leather. TO my mind, this is the best value leather holster available for your Kimber at the moment, for a number of reasons.

First, and perhaps most importantly, the leather used here is amongst the thickest I have encountered on any holster, and I’m therefore sure that this holster will provide a lifetime of reliable service. The lifetime warranty that this holster comes with is proof of how much confidence Relentless have in their holsters.

The build quality here also adds to the ruggedness of this holster. The stitching throughout the holster is professionally done, and the people I spoke to for this review reported no problems with this coming loose even after a while of heavy use. This holster is also entirely made in the USA, and quite apart from the partiotic reasons to buy American, this means you can be sure that the quality of workmanship here is second to none. It also means that if you have a problem, you can call the guy who made your holster.

All that said, there is no locking mechanism on this holster, and for that reason I have some hesitation in recommending it for inexperienced gun owners. Make sure you know what you are doing before getting a holster like this.

In addition, this holster has several big advantages over the competition:

  • The fit on the Kimber 1911s we tested was really good, in contrast to some other leather holsters. The holster requires some breaking in, of course, but after a few weeks it will mold itself to your gun.
  • The belt clip on this holster is also strong, which is especially useful if you own one of the bulkier Kimber variants. When paired with a solid gun belt, this holster stays remarkably secure, ensuring that your gun is always where you need it should you find yourself in a dangerous situation.
  • In terms of concealment, this holster performs pretty well, considering its size. It is definitely bulky, because the leather used here is thick, but on the other hand this means that the holster does a pretty good job of breaking up the outline of your weapon, reducing printing.
  • And of course, leather is one of the more comfortable materials for IWB holsters. This is because it is naturally breathable, unlike some polymers, and so automatically absorbs sweat. If you are lucky enough to live in a hot climate, this is a real advantage, meaning you can carry your Kimber on even the hottest days.

All that said, as with any holster, this one has some cons also:

  • Note that this is an IWB holster. I know that some Kimber owners say that it is better to get an OWB holster for a powerful 1911 gun, because OWB holsters generally offer locking retention systems.
  • If you have a smaller Kimber variant, this holster might be a little large for your gun. It is designed to accommodate full sized 1911 pistols, and therefore there will be some extra, unused space if you have a compact.

All in all, this is a great holster, and offers good value. If you are looking for a leather holster for your Kimber, this is the one to go for. It offers the advantages of classic leather holsters – improved comfort and long lasting construction – at the price of a nylon holster.

Product Specs

Manufacturer:
Relentless Tactical

Type:
IWB Holster

Material:
Suede Leather

Product Features

Suede leather

Low price

Small holster

I’ve recommended this holster before for a few guns, because it represents a great example of a minimal, suede holster. Whilst the minimal design means that I can only truly recommend it for experienced gun owners, its size gives it a few advantages over the competition, especially at this price point.

If you are looking for the best concealment possible for your Kimber, this is the holser to go for. The holster is compact, and fits inside your waist band, making it really easy to hide. In addition, the suede used here forms itself to your body, reducing printing without making you uncomfortable.

To my mind, suede is a much underused material in holster design, in that it offers the felixibility of nylon and the ruggedness of leather. If you want a leather holster, but cannot afford the price nor the break-in time, suede is a great option.

At this price, these features would be enough on their own, but there are also a number of other reasons why this holster makes our budget choice for today:

  • Whilst some holsters are designed to specifically reduce printing, this holster takes a more direct approach to concealment – it’s really small! Using suede has allowed Relentless to cut down the profile of the holster, ensuring that even in light clothes it does not feel like you are carrying around a heavy item.
  • The trigger guard here is basic, but does the job. The suede is cut to cover the trigger of your Kimber almost completely, helping to limit the possibility of shooting yourself when drawing. That said, because the suede is not the most rigid of materials, make sure you know how to draw properly before using a minimal holster like this.
  • The lifetime warranty that comes with this holster is rare in a non-polymer item, and means that if the holster starts to develop signs of wear you can quickly swap it for a new one.
  • The draw … is OK, I guess, for the price. This is where the suede is not so good, because if you are used to a polymer, nylon, or leather holster you might find this holster wants to hold onto your gun a little too tightly. That said, if you practice a lot with this holster, I’m sure that you can get good at drawing with it.

As with any holster, this one has some cons also:

  • Well, I’m not sure that the stitching used here is going to last for a lifetime. Still, at this price I guess you can afford to get this holster, use it for a few years, and then get another one!
  • Perhaps not recommended for tactical use, due to the lack of locking mechanisms on this holster. Without meaning to scare you, with this kind of holster it is pretty easy for an experienced attacker to grab your weapon from you, so if you think you are likely to be in this situation, get another holster.

For the price, very good. If you are looking for a pretty basic, dependable holster that does all the basics well, you could do worse than this one. Of the budget holsters I looked at for this review, this one came out on top because of the comfort offered here – if you are lucky enough to live in a hot part of the country, and want to carry a concealed weapon on the hottest days, go for this holster.

Product Specs

Manufacturer:
Galco

Type:
Belt Holster

Material:
Leather

Product Features

Premium Leather

Long Lasting

Custom Molded

This is a classic leather holster that looks and feels great when used with a hefty 1911 Kimber. There are a couple of reasons why holsters like this were the standard way to carry powerful handguns for so many years, and this holster is a great example of these.

First, and pretty obviously, this holster is going to last forever. It’s 100% thick leather, and as a result feels very sturdy. The people I spoke to for this review reported that holsters like this will last as long as you need them to, so perhaps think about the high(ish) price of this holster as an investment!

Second, this holster is custom molded. This is pretty unusual for a leather holster, but is a great feature. Not only does it ensure an excellent fit around your weapon, but it also reduces the time required to break in a hefty leather holster.

In short, this a premium leather holster which will last for many years, and only get better with age. If you love the look of your 1911 Kimber, and want a holster that will really bring this out, this is a great option for you.

In addition, this holster has several huge advantages over the competition:

  • The butt-forward cant on this holster actually means it has good concealment properties for such a bulky item. It’s pretty hard to adequately conceal a hefty, full-sized 1911 Kimber, but this holster tries and almost succeeds. Whilst it will be pretty obvious if worn with a light shirt, in cold climates you should be able to hide this holster, and your Kimber, quite well.
  • The draw speed is excellent for a leather holster. I think, though I am not sure, that this haas something to do with the custom molding – the top of the holster is a little wider than non-molded designs, and this gives you a little extra room to grab your Kimber.
  • The people I spoke to for this review reported that even after extensive use, the fit of this holster on their Kimber stayed pretty good. Even after thousands of drawings and re-holsterings, the thick leather used in this holster did not stretch or bend out of shape.
  • Whilst it might not seem like it on such a bulky holster, the comfort offered by this one is pretty good. It manages to hold your Kimber just slightly away from your body, without making it feel bulky.

All that said, as with any holster, this one has some cons also:

  • Well, the price. This is one of the most expensive holsters we came across, but still within the reach of most people. Though this is the “luxury” option today, it still represents excellent value.
  • That’s it. In all other respects, this holster does everything you would expect from a premium leather holster.

If you are looking for a classic leather holster, this is the one to go for. At this price point, you should expect a holster that will last a lifetime, and I’m certain that this holster will do that. In addition, the fit around your Kimber is amogst the best I’ve seen, rivalling molded Kydex in this respect. Whilst the Fobus holster above is the best value holster available for Kimber pistols at the moment, this one is the best.


Frequently Asked Questions

Will these holsters fit my Kimber pistol?

This is a very difficult question to answer, because of the numerous variants Kimber pistols come in. The best approach, to my mind, is to phone the manufacturer of the holster you want to buy, and check directly. This is especially true if you have an unusual gun, or have fitted aftermarket accessories.

How are these holsters in terms of concealment?

Some are good, some are bad. Normally, I would talk a little more about concealment in a review like this, but in my experience the size of a Kimber 1911 pistol, which is the variant most people own, means that any holster is going to have a hard job concealing it. The best holster above, if you want concealment, is the Relentless suede holster.

Will my scope / sight / red dots fit in these holsters?

No. If you’ve got aftermarket accessories like these fitted to your Kimber, you won’t be able to carry them attached to your gun. I know this is a disappointment to some people, but ultimately you should look for a holster that holds your weapon really well on an everyday basis, and save your advanced accessories for the range.


Conclusion

Of course, everyone has different needs when it comes to holsters for their Kimber, and any recommendation I make is not going to suit everyone. That said, and as with all my reviews, I’ve tried to recommend the holster that will fit the requirements of most people most of the time.

Today, this is the Fobus Standard Paddle Holster. The fit offered by this holster, around the Kimber pistols we tested it with, was simply the best of the holsters we tested. This fact on its own, even without the other features offered by this holster, would be enough for use to recommend it. To our mind, weapon retention is best achieved the old fashioned way – by using a holster specifically molded to your gun, rather than with complicated and unreliable locking systems.

In addition, the draw on this holster is pretty good. If you haven’t used a paddle holster before, this is a great place to start, because it sums up what is making this type of holster more and more common. With the rubberized paddle resting on your leg, the holster stays precisely where you want it at all times, ensuring that after a bit of practice your draw will be reliably fast.

I know that a lot of people prefer to carry their Kimber in a leather holster, but the polymer used here may make them think again. It does not feel cheap, does not promote sweating even when carried all day, and actually improves draw speed by reducing the friction between weapon and holster.

All in all, this holster offers all the features you would expect from a premium item, and when used with most Kimber pistols offers good weapon retention and draw speeds. If you are looking for the best holster for your Kimber pistol, I highly recommend giving this one a look.

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