It's time for another inside the waistband holster review, and fortunately for me the quality of the holsters I get to try just keep getting better and better. This time around I get to take a look at some premium holsters made by StealthGearUSA. SG makes holsters using unique materials that elevate the comfort and longevity of the product far above the conventional holsters of the past. Let's be honest, buying a IWB holster is absolutely brutal.
With every Tom, Dick and Harry cranking out holsters, all claiming to be "the best," it can be really hard to shop for the right one. You have to decide for yourself, if you are looking for a quick solution that will get you by in a pinch, or a quality rig that's more advanced and comfortable than the rest... which will help you WANT to carry that sidearm everyday.
What makes StealthGearUSA holsters stand above the crowd is the use of a breathable, laser-cut ventilation mesh in combination with an integrated moisture shield and padding cells. They call this patented tech VentCore, and it adds up to a more comfortable carry with reduced sweating and irritation after a full day packing heat. The platform's ventilation allows my skin to breathe, keeping it dry and pretty comfortable. This design, and really the whole company, was born out of frustrations from inferior quality IWB holsters. After field testing a bunch of competitor's holsters that each claimed to be the king of comfort, the owner of SG wanted to create a holster more comfortable than a Kydex shell riveted to a piece of leather.
All our AIWB holsters now ship with the second clip kit installed on the holster. All VentCore items are handmade to each specific order, we will not sacrifice quality for quantity. Due to high demand, all VentCore items are shipping within 25 days of the order being placed. In the StealthGearUSA™ Appendix Carry IWB Holster we’ve focused on a new level of comfort for smaller handguns and when absolute minimal weight, minimal bulk and minimal printing is required.
The only thing that troubled me was how easy is it to pry the backing away from the trigger guard and frame, exposing the trigger and posing a risk to the carrier. While its not likely to happen in the real world, especially if you conceal well and draw your firearm before an assailant is in tickling distance, it still bothered me that it was easy to uncover the trigger while the guns still fully seated in its kydex shell.
The Appendix IWB polymer belt clip is mounted above the sight channel, at the edge of the holster. This allows the holster to be rotated slightly up and away from the leg when sitting for long periods of time, or when squatting. With the clip mounted to the side of the main Kydex® body, there is no extra bulk and the print of the holster is significantly minimized. The VentCore® breathable platform in the AIWB holster is custom designed for each individual handgun.
FIREARMS INSIDER REVIEWS – 8 KEY POINTS
Claim to Fame: When seconds count, your holster will perform.
Target Market: Concealed Carriers specifically interested in appendix carry
FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):
- Ventcore breathable mesh backing
- Rhinomesh front layer
- Black Oxide hardware
- Polymer 2 position clips (Comes with two clips, even though the website shows only one)
- Width: 4 inches
- Height: 7.25 Inches
- Weight: 3.60 oz
- Custom designed fit for each handgun model
- 30+ components
What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Black, Flat Dark Earth, OD Green
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING?:
"Got my AIWB holster from SGUSA yesterday afternoon so I haven't really put it through the ringer, but I wanted to post my initial thoughts after spending a day and a half with it. I carry pretty much right at 1:00, Im 6'0" and about 190. I wear a tucked polo or fishing shirt with an undershirt and jeans or shorts. Got the holster 21 days after ordering. Initial thoughts Immediately after putting it on I could tell the mesh backing would be awesome and super comfy. Once I put it in my belt and put my gun in I noticed the second clip over the trigger had to go, it blocked me from being able to grab the grip a lot, so much so that I didn't think I would be able to draw at all. Maybe using an Ulticlip or something would fix that but with the poly clips they provide it was really in the way.
Once that was off I got it back on my belt and decided I needed to adjust the ride height. Their clips have two holes so I set it to the absolute highest ride height possible and it was perfect for me. It prints a little more like this but it is still practically invisible on me. I can easily get a full grip and it is out of the way when sitting. Once I got that adjusted I went on with my day. I ran a few errands in my truck and pretty much forgot it was there. No problems getting in and out of the truck, very comfortable while sitting. I can tell this thing really lets some air move. My old holster would be warm after 45 minutes or so and it would cause me to sweat and get sweat on my gun, didn't happen with this one. At the end of the day when I unholstered there wasn't any sweat at all on my gun, a first for me.
Today I put it on first thing and wore it most of the day. It just kept getting better. I laid on the hardwood floor on my stomach to play with my kids and it wasn't uncomfortable at all. I really like it having a single clip up front that will shift as I sit and stand and walk. There is a spot on my groin that needs to get used to having something right there but that is to be expected and isn't painful at all. Again no sweat after wearing it all day.
I'll put it through the ringer over the next few weeks and post a month in review. Right now I say if you are on the fence and carry AIWB (can't we just call it AC?) then I say 100% get it. It is worth the money. TLDR summary: have worn for 36 hours and it's amazing. You know that feeling when you dig something out of your eye or something and everything is suddenly right with the world and its sweet sweet relief? That is this holster from the second you put it on. 10/10" - Reddit User Review
- MSRP: $94 standard, $119-$134 for the AIWB+ holster w/ integrated mag pouch
I NEED IT NOW! AVAILABILITY:
- Combines lightweight breathability with strength and retention
- Cant adjustable
- Website makes selecting gun make, model, light/laser accessory and left/right hand super fast and easily.
- Because design omits an anchor point under the trigger guard, the backing and shell can flex apart revealing an uncovered trigger and an accidental discharge possibility (foreign object gets wedged, or if a struggle results in opponent reaching for gun in holster)
- Mesh fabric on backing can fray from aggressive use during training. This is a carry holster, not necessarily a training holster.
- Current lead times are 25 days due to demand, materials / production time