Which Holster Should You Choose: OWB or IWB?

Getting started carrying a gun? You may wonder how to choose between the OWB and IWB holsters. Meanwhile, many relevant questions may occur to you:

Which is better, IWB or OWB holster?
Are OWB holsters good for concealed carry?
Should I get a OWB holster?
Which is the most comfortable IWB holster?

Well, OWB and IWB holsters differ from each other in comfort, accessibility, concealment, and drawing-out speed. After reviewing this thorough and explicit guide, you will have answers to these questions on your mind.

What Is IWB and OWB Holster?

First of all, both IWB and OWB holsters share the same placement of strong side carry on your body, which means that they can be carried on your dominant side in the 3, 4, or 5 o’clock position. Despite this commonality, they also have significant differences.

IWB Holster

Specifically, IWB, or Inside-the-Waistband, allows you to carry a pistol in a well-concealed way under a tucked-in shirt and inside your pants while sticking out the grip above your waistline for easy drawing and shooting. Generally, it is made of different materials, like Kydex, leather, nylon, polymer, etc., and accommodates a wide range of users and handgun.

Usually, IWB holster can be carried with or without a belt system. You can attach it to your belt system with either clips or loops or directly to your trouser’s beltline. Here is a bunch of IWB holsters for carrying without a belt system.

OWB Holster

OWB or Outside-the-Waistband, as its name implies, can be held outside your pants via a belt and multiple carrying platforms, like Paddle, Belt Loop, MOLLE, etc. Likewise, OWB holster also comes in various materials, including fabric, leather, polymer, Kydex, nylon, etc.

IWB VS OWB: Pros & Cons

Is IWB or OWB better? It’s hard to say which one is better since many different factors contribute to their distinct characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages, such as wearing environment, clothing requirements, training intensity, comfort requirements, etc. Here, we concluded some pros and cons for each.

Pros & Cons of IWB

IWB Holster Pros:

  • Far more concealable to carry under your shirt
  • Stable and not easy to move around
  • Even make you to forget the firearm with you
  • Multiple carrying positions, like appendix carry, strong side hip, and small back carry
  • Support various dress-code, including tucked-in shirts, T-shirts, tank tops, blouses, polos, etc.
  • Free you from jackets or button-up shirts
  • Most office-friendly option
  • Secure and well-hidden
  • Compatible with virtually any pistols, including small-sized, medium-sized, or even full-sized handguns
  • Very comfortable to carry
  • Most popular business attire holsters

IWB Holster Cons:

  • Not always comfortable to carry depending on your body shape and clothes you are wearing
  • Sometimes, it requires one size larger pants to accommodate the pistol
  • All-day-long wearing may develop red marks and rashes on your skin
  • Relatively slow and difficult to draw out the handgun without sufficient practice
  • Less safer for its closeness to your body
  • Physical limitations for potbellied people

Pros & Cons of OWB

OWB Holster Pros:

  • More Comfortable to carry for most people
  • Much faster and more consistent to draw out the pistol
  • Easy access to pistol
  • Able to carry large gun sizes
  • Reduce body contact between the holster and gun
  • Don’t restrict dress code
  • Multiple carrying platforms and wearing cant
  • Much safer to carry because it is far more distant from your body
  • No physical limitations
  • Suitable for walkaround carry or packing a pistol on the trail

OWB Holster Cons:

  • Only concealable to carry under long T-shirts, loose costs, flannels, or woolen overcoats in cooler weather
  • Cannot avoid carrying it in 3 or 9 o’clock positions for chubby hips
  • Require a sturdy belt to avoid stretching or sagging


Mega-Fit Holster Gen 2 (Item No. UHFSG2)

Mega-Fit Holster Gen2 is an upgraded universal OWB holster that fits 150+ popular full size and compact semi-automatic pistols worldwide, such as Glock, Ruger, Beretta, Browning, etc. Similar to the previous universal holsters, it attaches to 10 carrying platforms with tooth gear (paddle, R-Quickads loop, R-Quickads clip, MOLLE, low ride belt loop, MagicPlate, drog leg platform, sholder harness, etc.) and the carrying cant can be adjusted 360 degree.

Apart from that, Mega-Fit Holster Gen2 has also made several obvious improvements compared with the preliminary version:

  • Lower the thumb-index web incision to be compatible with red dot
  • Increase the front sight space to support more original and foresight-refitted pistols
  • Upgrade rhombic release button to enlarge the contact area
  • 4-screw tension adjustment
  • Elevate the height of top front for aesthetics and stability

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Conclusion: Which Is the Right Choice?

As you can see from the above, both IWB and OWB holsters have their merits and demerits. Generally, if you are a new shooter, OWB holsters will be more suitable for you to accommodate around the range or home. But if you need to perform an urgent and concealed task, IWB holsters may be better. Thus, the best solution to the problem is to own them both.