You want to carry concealed, but you want to wear an OWB holster. Can these two go together? Some naysayers say they can’t. Don’t believe them. Professionals have been doing it for years.
What is the best OWB holster for concealed carry? Our top pick is the Fobus Paddle Holster.
This holster weighs just 2 oz. and is low profile, so this will do the job when it comes to concealed carry, outside the waistband.
It’s virtually maintenance free, and Fobus stands by their product with a lifetime guarantee.
Table of Contents
- 1 Choosing The Right Holster
- 2 OWB For Concealed Carry
- 3 Concealed Carry Vs. Open Carry
- 4 Alternatives
- 5 Top OWB Holsters for Concealed Carry
- 6 Conclusion
Choosing The Right Holster
Choosing the right holster is a very personal decision. There are some guidelines, however, that can help you decide which holster will work the best for you.
How To Carry
The first thing to consider is how you want to carry. If you want to carry on your hip the two primary choices are IWB (inside the waistband) and OWB (outside the waistband).
One thing this decision will be based on is your wardrobe. IWB is easier to conceal because most of the gun is actually tucked down inside your pants. You will need to wear pants a couple of inches bigger, in the waist, then you normally do. OWB can be more comfortable and can be concealed by wearing a long shirt.
The material your holster is made of is purely personal preference. As much as manufactures want to say their holster material is best. Whether you choose leather or kydex, it still needs to fit good and be maintained. Comfort is the deciding factor in this area.
A well made holster has no sharp edges, sealed screws and attachment points, strong stitching, and be made from quality materials.
OWB For Concealed Carry
If you prefer OWB for concealed carry, there are things to consider to make things easier on yourself.
Your average department store belt will not work for OWB holsters. A belt may not seem as important as the gun or the holster, but the fact is a good belt is a cornerstone in your concealed carry tools.
The next thing to consider is the holster, itself. OWB holsters are high, mid, or low riding. Mid and low riding are the hardest to conceal because the muzzle will be well below your beltline. You can conceal with a mid or even a low riding holster, you just increase your need for an outer garment, like a jacket.
Concealed Carry Vs. Open Carry
It is every American’s right to openly carry a gun, while in public. This is actually one of the reasons people who open carry site when asked why they open carry. However, there are certain states where open carry is against the law or restricted. Obviously, where you live will play a big part in choosing to carry open or concealed.
Many businesses have taken an anti-gun stance and have asked their patrons not to bring their firearm into their business.
Advantages Of Concealed Carry
Concealed carry has a lot of advantages. The number one advantage of concealed carry is that your gun is not in plain sight where it could be grabbed by an adversary. Not that a good holster couldn’t prevent someone from taking your gun. It is just a good idea to avoid this circumstance all together.
Open carry will generally lead to more potential encounters with law enforcement. Most people are oblivious. They are more interested in looking at their cell phones than they are trying to figure out if you are carrying a gun concealed under your shirt. If you are open carrying, there is an increased chance of an anti-gun person calling the police on you or making a scene. A lot of people who carry a gun for self defense like their privacy and don’t necessarily want people to know if they are carrying a gun or not.
Concealed Carry Training
One thing that is as important as choosing a good gun or holster is concealed carry training. Some states require handgun safety courses when you apply for your concealed carry permit. If your state doesn’t require training, it is still a good idea. The NRA offers classes all across the country.
Dealing With Police While Carrying
Always know your state laws. This will help you in so many ways. This will set you apart from the criminal who is carrying. Not only in your home state but in any state you are traveling to. Are you allowed to take your gun into a bank? Are you allowed to take your gun into a bar? Are you required to inform any police officer if you get pulled over?
Police are people. Some of them love that citizens exercise their second amendment right to carry and some don’t. If you are pulled over, be polite, stay calm, and follow all commands the officer gives you. Just following those three things will save a lot of grief and may mean the difference between a confrontation and a regular traffic stop.
Here’s a great video from a police officer about how to act during a traffic stop, while carrying a firearm.
If you find that carrying concealed with an OWB just isn’t for you there are plenty of alternatives for concealed carry.
Top OWB Holsters for Concealed Carry
Let’s get to our top picks, in OWB holsters for concealed carry.
This holster doesn’t leave any printing with a light, untucked shirt over it. It is slim and lightweight, carries high, and has a low profile. This OWB holster is great for concealed carry.
- Maintenance free
- Lifetime warranty
- Steel reinforced rivet attachment system
- Paddle version
- Weighs 2 oz
- Conceals great
- Easy to put on/ take off
- Easy draw
- Right handed only
- Retention screw may not tighten enough
- 9mm doesn’t fit good
This is a really nice, affordable, concealable OWB holster. It rides high and close to the body so you can conceal with an untucked shirt.
- Made in USA
- One year replacement guarantee
- Form fitted to over 125 handguns
- Fits close to body
- Well made
- Good retention
- Hard to thread belt through the loops
- Belt clips are only for 1.75 inch belts
- Some sharp edges need some sanding
This holster features a unique speed cut design to allow for quick and easy draw. The CQC is a great level two retention holster that works great for concealed carry.
- Reinforces full master grip and superior draw technique
- Right and left hand versions
- Belt loop and paddle system
- Retains well
- Smooth draw
- A little hard to get on and off belt
- Sits out a little further than is ideal
- Difficult to put together
This holster ha a rigid back plate with multiple mounting points so you can adjust cant. Belt slide or paddle attachment is another option this holster comes with.
Not only is there a lifetime guarantee, but there is a lifetime shell swap. If you trade in your pistol for a different model, you can swap out the shell and continue using this holster.
- Belt slide or paddle holster
- Adjustable cant and retention
- Open mouth
- Spring steel flexplate for added retention
- Smooth draw
- Smooth re-holstering
- Fits close to the body
- Good quality
- Right and left hand options
- Takes bigger clothing to conceal
- Takes some time to figure out adjustments
- Paddle has a little wiggle room
As you can see, it is very possible to carry concealed with an OWB holster. OWB is very popular because it is a very comfortable way to carry. Choosing a holster that rides mid to high and is thin and lightweight will help you when you concealed carry.
There are plenty of holsters to choose from. We know you are looking for one that does a great job concealing, is affordable, and provides the basic functions needed for safety.
That is why we chose the Fobus Paddle Holster. It is super lightweight, rides great, and conceals well. Not only is it durable and will last a long time. It is virtually maintenance free. No need to oil, just wash with soap and water, and it won’t sweat, so your firearm stays clean and dry.