When it comes to choosing an OWB holster, the sheer number of options out there may dazzle us. Actually, the best OWB holster depends on your requirements and preferences. If you have tried everything like shoulder holsters, chest rigs, belly holsters, thigh holsters, and ankle holsters but fail to gain the best user experience. You can have a try of the OWB holsters.
This post leads you through the top-ranking OWB holsters on the market. After browsing this review, you will know how to choose the best OWB holster for your favorite handgun.
Part 1. FAQs about OWB Holsters
Below are a list of questions you may be concerned about the OWB holsters.
Q1. What Is an OWB Holster?
OWB holster, or Outside the Waistband holster, is an old-school way of carrying a pistol outside the pants and ensures comfort and accessibility from a standing, seated, kneeling, prone, or lying position. Compared with its counterpart the IWB holster, it is less secure and harder to conceal.
Q2. Can you conceal carry an OWB holster?
Yes, you can conceal carry it under a long shirt or down coat, but it can be more challenging.
Q3. IWB VS OWB: Which One Is Better?
Both IWB and OWB have highlights and challenges, it completely depends on your mission and intention. You can check here to learn more regarding OWB and IWB holster.
Q4. Is OWB Open-carry?
Yes, it can be, but not always.
Q5. Is It Legal to Use an OWB Holster?
As long as you have a permit to open carry your handgun, it is legal to use an OWB holster. However, most handgun owners only have a concealed carry permit in reality. So you need to make sure whether your firearm is concealed properly even if carrying with an OWB holster.
Besides, some competitions may have specific holster requirements. Thus, it’s hard to say whether it is legal to use an OWB holster.
Part 2. Advantages of an OWB Holster
Nothing is more comfortable to carry than an OWB holster. Although an IWB holster is more concealable to hide your weapon, but placing a leather or Kydex holster closely against your body may chafe your ribs or hipbones when carrying for a long time. Therefore, an OWB holster well reduces rubbing, prods, or annoying push to your skin and even makes you forget you are wearing an OWB holster.
Speed and Easy Access
OWB holster ensures a fast draw and re-holstering and easy access to your pistol while standing, walking, kneeling, or running.
OWB holsters or rigs are essential when wearing plate carriers, battle belts, backpacks, or other tactical gear because other holsters will not function well.
No Dressing Code
Generally, OWB holsters don’t confine your dressing clothes. Whether you are wearing loose T-shirt or straitjacket, gown or short sleeve, you can easily wear an OWB holster without any pressure.
Part 3. Challenges of an OWB Holster
The primary shortcoming of an OWB holster is that they are relatively harder to conceal or disguise than an IWB holster. You need to wear an appropriate cover garment and mind your movement to effectively conceal an OWB holster.
Exposing your weapon to the outside of your pants also makes it more easier to fall out or someone to yank it from the holster if the holster is not perfect fit for your firearm. To this extent, it is less secure than an IWB holster.
Part 4. Quick View of The Best OWB Holsters
1.Cytac Mega-Fit Holster Gen2
Mega-Fit Holster Gen2 (Item No. CY-UHFSG2)
What features should the best OWB holster have? Maybe it’s wide compatibility, comfort, high-quality material, and affordability. Cytac Mega-Fit Holster Gen2 is a universal OWB holster that fits 150+ popular handguns, such as Glock, Sig Sauer, Smith & Wesson, Beratta, Taurus, CZ, etc. Compared with our previous universal OWB holsters, the latest version has lowered the thumb-index web incision for red dot and increased the front sight space for wider compatibility.
Moreover, this OWB holster is made of military-grade polymer, cheaper, more flexible, more comfortable, and more gun-friendly than Kydex material.
- Lower the thumb-index web incision to be compatible with red dots.
- Increase the front sight space for both foresight-refitted and original full-size & compact semi-automatic pistols.
- Upgraded rhombic release button for better comfort and quick index finger release.
- 4-screw fast tension adjustment.
- 360 degrees carrying cant adjustment.
- Left/Right hand available.
- Support 10 carrying platforms: Paddle, R-Quickads Loop, R-Quckads Clip, MOLLE, MagicPlate, drop leg platform, shoulder harness, etc.
- Retention: Active
- Material: Polymer
- Unlocking: Index
- Comfortable to carry
- Widely compatible with 150+ popular pistols
- Consistent to draw out and re-holster
- Easy and quick access to pistol
- Carry large gun size
- Multiple carrying platforms available
- 360 degrees carrying cant adjustment
- Durable, wear-resistant, water proof, and thermal-resistant
- Most cost-efficient on the list
- Relatively not concealed enough to carry
Safariland 7378 is an OWB holster that can do everything for you. Manufactured by Safariland, it is well-made, rugged, durable, safe, and of high-quality. Besides, it adopts ALS locking system, meaning automatic locking system, to lock your gun automatically once it drops in the holster and drawing out the gun by naturally falling your thumb onto the release button. Worth to mention, Safariland 7378 is made of a proprietary Dupont nylon blend material – SafariSeven that is tough, durable, waterproof, thermal-resistant, and rub resistant to the gun’s finish.
- Retention: Active
- Material: SafariSeven
- Unlocking: Thumb
- Compatible with Safariland accessories
- Durable, waterproof, and rub resistant
- Hard to conceal large-sized guns
3.Blackhawk T-Series L2C
As one of the minimalist OWB holsters on the market, Blackhawk T-Series L2C hits the list without surprise. It combines modular and modern design, while reducing size to be lightweight and minimalism. Plus, this OWB holster is compatible with red dot and allows you to change belt attachments and adjust the cant and ride height to meet your demands in different conditions. What’s more, the small lever behind your gun disables retention, allowing you to draw your pistol when needed.
However, it only supports its own belt loops and aftermarket, users preferring to make use of attachments from other companies would get rather frustrated.
- Retention: Active
- Material: Polymer
- Unlocking: Thumb
- Red dot compatible
- Lightweight and minimalism
- Silent draw and re-holstering
- Support limited mounting options
- Incompatible with accessories and attachments from other companies
4.Fobus Paddle Holster
With a low-profile design, this OWB paddle holster doesn’t leave any printing under a light shirt and has a good concealment. Besides, it is made of plastics softer than Kydex and best to use with a belt and paddle.
Anyway, the biggest downside of the OWB holster is that it is only made for right-handed people and doesn’t fit 9mm handguns.
- OWB holster for concealed carry.
- Right-handed mode only.
- Incompatible with pistols with 9mm caliber.
- Loose retention screw.
5.Bravo Concealment BCA 3.0
If you have a tight budget, Bravo Concealment is a better option for you. With a standard and light-bearing design, this OWB kydex holster accommodates threaded barrels, red dots, and suppressor height sights. On top of that, it also has a minimal bulk for concealed carry and allows you to adjust 10-degrees of cant.
- Tight-to-body design.
- Comfortable and concealed carry.
- Offer a locking retention system.
- The material is not soft enough.
- Unsightly design.
Part 5. What to Look For When Buying an OWB Holster?
The above options are my sincere recommendations about the best OWB holsters you should buy. Here, I also want to give you some useful suggestions as to how to choose the best OWB holster for your reference.
- Fitment: make sure the holster perfectly fit your pistol without looseness or gaps and allow for a full range of motion to draw and reholster your gun.
- Holster types: Consider the holster types that suita your gun best, such as paddle, belt, pancake, etc.
- Draw Speed: A better draw speed is able to react to any situations quickly. So, the unit you are buying should not obstruct your hand motion.
- Comfort: An OWB holster that is not comfortable to wear is not worth buying. Thus, check whether there are rough edges or irritating surfaces on the holster that may rub your sensitive skin.
- Retention: Retention is the ability to secure your gun in the holster and draw your gun without issues. Make it one of your main considerations when choosing an OWB holster. Generally, there are two retention types: Passive and active.
- Craftsmanship and Material: The construction craftsmanship is very essential when purchasing an OWB holster. There are also different holster materials and each has advantages and disadvantages.
– Leather: OWB holster with leather material is good-looking and comfortable, but is prone to water damage and requires more maintenance.
– Kydex: OWB kydex holster is durable and water and heat resistant. However, it is hard to clean and not as comfortable as other materials.
– Nylon: OWB holster with nylon material is durable and budget-friendly. However, it is not that waterproof compared with other materials.
– Polymer: OWB polymer holster is tough, durable, and thermal-resistant. Moreover, it is cheap, comfortable, and gun-friendly to carry.
- Cant and ride height adjustment: You must not overlook these essential elements when picking an OWB holster. The best OWB holster should allow you to carry the gun in any preferred angles and best ride height.
- Gun compatibility: If you forget to check the gun compatibility of the OWB holster when buying, it may fail to fit your favorite but niche firearms.
- Price: If your budget is limited or you prefer to get a holster on a reasonable budget, you have to consider the price. Please set a realistic budget for your firearm before going to the market.
OWB holster maximize comfort and accessibility these days but usually underrated. If you are a big fun of OWB holster, refer to the above recommendations and suggestions to get the best OWB holster yourself. As on our list, Cytac Mega-Fit Holster Gen2 is worth a try since it fulfills all your expectations for an OWB holster.