If you own a Springfield XD-S handgun, you already know how great these compact 9mm pistols are. To have all of the features of a larger gun packed into a polymer pistol that only weighs 23 ounces is a technical breakthrough. The small size of the XD-S also makes it an ideal choice of conceal carry gun owners.
Once they have their gun, one of the first things that Springfield XD-S owners look for is a quality holster to go with it. But with so many different makes and models of holsters on the market today, choosing the right one can be a challenge even for experienced gun owners.
To help cut through the confusion, I looked at a number of the most popular and well-reviewed Springfield XD-S holsters, and my choice as the best overall value is the Concealment Express IWB Kydex Holster. This inside-the-waistband holster combines rugged Kydex polymer construction, good retention, superior concealability, and it’s comfortable to carry even for extended periods.
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Things to Look for in a Holster
There are any number of things that shooters look for in a holster. First off you want to make sure the holster fits your gun, and also matches your carrying style. Beyond that, there are two concerns that always seem to rise to the top with gun owners: concealment and security.
If you conceal carry, you’re obviously interested in a holster that’s going to hide your weapon. As mentioned before, the Springfield XD-S is a compact pistol which makes concealment easier.
The main concern when concealing a handgun is the issue of printing, which occurs when your holster and firearm show through your clothing. This is typically more of a problem during the summer, or in hot climates where people tend to wear light clothing.
Security is another important factor for today’s gun owners. People want to know that someone can’t just walk up and take their weapon, also that the gun won’t discharge accidentally. These are balanced against the fact that most shooters want to be able to access that weapon quickly in an emergency.
All holsters offer varying degrees of retention. Many models also use audible locking systems that hold the gun securely in place, but can be released quickly on the draw. Look for holsters that have fully adjustable retention so you can adjust the grip of the holster according to your preferences.
Another safety feature to look for is a trigger guard. These help to avoid accidental discharges by covering the entire trigger mechanism while the gun is holstered.
For this article I’m going to focus on the two most common types of holsters: the inside-the-waistband, or IWB holster, and outside-the-waistband, or OWB. While there are many other options with a compact gun like Springfield XD-S – such as ankle or pocket models – the holsters worn around the waist are by far the most popular choice for today’s gun owners.
Inside the Waistband
IWB holsters are extremely popular for concealed carry. Having your Springfield XD-S tucked away inside your waistband keeps it out of sight, but also close at hand when you need it. Most IWB holsters clip or slide onto the belt, are thin and lightweight, and they can be worn in a variety of positions from small-of-the-back to the appendix.
These holsters are typically made of leather or one of the polymer plastics such as Kydex, which has become increasingly popular in recent years. One potential problem with the hard plastics is that they can rub and irritate bare skin, so you might have to wear a tee shirt beneath your holster if this becomes an issue.
Outside the Waistband
Pretty much everyone is familiar with outside-the-waistband holsters, as this is the oldest and most common type of holster. OWB holsters are generally very comfortable, and they offer easy access to your weapon. The drawback of course is they’re not as easy to conceal as an IWB holster.
Although some of the newer paddle-type OWB models are quite thin, and ride close to the body, and if you carry a compact weapon like the Springfield XD-S then you can easily hide your gun beneath a loose untucked shirt or jacket. OWB holsters can be worn in a number of positions, although many shooters seem to prefer on or behind the hip.
Holster Reviews for Springifeld XD-S
This Springfield Armory paddle holster is the factory holster for XD-S, so you don’t have to worry about whether or not it will fit your pistol. This is an OWB holster is molded plastic and is rugged enough for even everyday carry.
- This Springfield holster is made from polymer plastic, and it is molded to fit the XD-S, so the fit and retention are top notch.
- The paddle design keeps the holster low and close to the body for better concealment. This helps to keep the handle/grip of your handgun from “printing” through your shirt or other clothing.
- This minimalist holster is comfortable to wear even for extended periods, and you won’t have to worry about his rubbing and irritating your skin as with many of the IWB models.
- Because the holster doesn’t have a retaining strap or internal locking mechanism, you gun can slip out under some circumstances. If security is your primary issue, you might look for a holster with a safety retaining clip.
This carbon fiber Kydex holster from Concealment Express is a minimalist IWB model designed for right-hand shooters. It is molded to fit the Springfield XD-S 3.3″ 9MM/40SW/45ACP.
- This IWB holster is only .08” thick, and it only weighs 2.5 ounces, making it an ideal choice for concealed carry.
- It has fully adjustable retention pressure and cant (carry angle) from 0-15 degrees, so you can tailor it to your carry preferences.
- Concealment Express uses an audible retention lock system that gives a distinctive “click” when your weapon is properly holstered. There’s also a fully integrated sweat shield to keep your weapon dry even when you’re not.
- Holster is made entirely in the USA, and comes with a lifetime warranty.
- The one flaw in the design of this holster is the fact that the rubber eyelet around the retention adjustment screw is quite hard, and can scratch your gun’s finish over time.
- As with all polymer IWB holsters, the hard plastic body on this model can rub and irritate exposed skin. The simple solution is to wear a tee shirt beneath the holster, but this could be an issue during the summer or in hot climates.
This Blackhawk! OWB holster is molded from polymer plastic, and is designed for right-handed shooters.
- These Serpa holsters are quite popular with military and law enforcement personnel, so you know they’ve been put to the test in real-life emergency situations.
- Rugged polymer construction will keep its shape even under extreme conditions, and will withstand years of everyday use.
- This holster features two levels of retention, so you know your handgun will be secure. The patented Serpa auto lock system gives an audible click when the gun is properly holstered, while allowing the weapon to be drawn smoothly with an index finger release.
- The Blackhawk! comes with either a belt loop or paddle, depending on your preference.
- This holster is larger than the other holsters reviewed here, and it doesn’t conceal as well as a result. Using the paddle does help it to ride closer to the body, which keeps printing to a minimum. If you plan to open carry than this won’t be a problem, of course. But if you’re intending to conceal carry during the summer or in a hot climate, you might want to choose one of the other holsters on this list.
All of the holsters listed above offer a good range of safety features, comfort and quality. Much of the decision regarding holsters comes down to the individual gun owner’s needs and preferences. With that being said, I picked the Concealment Express IWB KYDEX Holster as the best choice for everyday concealed carry.
This holster is made from rugged Kydex that requires no break-in period (unlike leather), it’s the easiest to conceal, and the fully-adjustable retention and cant make it adaptable to almost any carry style. Plus it has a lifetime warranty, and is made the USA, which are always added selling points in my book.