If you plan on concealed carrying your firearms via external carry, that is in a messenger bag, satchel, or purse, you are probably looking at three options. One: a "pocket" style holster thats purely meant to retain the firearm and cover the trigger. Two: a holster with "hook and loop" (velcro) style backing. Third is just carrying the firearms loose in the bag which is obviously a terrible, inexcusable idea. If I need to explain why or if you are calling me a safety nazi in your mind, you need to retake a safety course.
Without going into the obvious reasons why a firearms carried outside the body inside a bag, tote, etc need a proper holster, I will go right into my venture into getting a velcro-backed kydex holster for carry in my tactical messenger bag. The holster that comes with most bags designed for concealment are just strips of velcro and nylon, and are meant to be universally adjustable for all handgun types. The retention is really poor, and only good if your bag is perpendicular to the ground. If your bag angles in any way, chances are your firearms would become loose. If the velcro straps are too tight around the handgun, you may not easily be able to draw it when the moment of truth comes.
That's why I chose to get a kydex holster, with a leather backing and velcro. Of the holster shops out there, I chose to go with Crossbreed Holsters as their reputation and name are both well known in the industry. The Crossbreed Ohai Modular Holster, presumably derivative of a Japanese pronounced greeting which is my best ignorant guess. The retention of my selected gun is great right out of the box, as Crossbreed handfits each holster individually, not just grabbing one off the shelf that's been preformed in a batch process. The leather backing is only as wide as it needs to be so it will work in smaller bags, and or affix to velcro panels in other static locations. The beauty to the Ohai is it comes with a 6" x 7" velcro square that you can stick to anywhere. Under a desk, the side of a night stand, inside a vehicle center console. You can also order an Ohai Mag Holster from Crossbreed, which I also did. Same quality, same good retention of the kydex.
My only two qualms about these holsters is the sweat guard (elongated strip that follows the slide / rear of the gun. This holster is not designed to be worn on the belt or near the skin really at all, and if anything the extra height will prevent the holster from fitting in certain shallow locations. I guess CB had to put their logo somewhere, I may or may not trim it off for a better fit in my bag.
One more thing, the adhesive on some velcro does have a strength limitation. While the velcro on the back of the Ohai holster I have no doubt are mounted well and will not come apart from the leather, I do have experience with the "loop" panels (fuzzy side) coming apart from their adhesive backings when loaded with weight of a gun over a random amount of time. My advice would be to either not leave the holstered gun attached to the velcro panels for long periods of time, or use screws to create a more permanent mount.
Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points
Claim to Fame: The Ohai is a vast improvement over the floppy, cloth or nylon holsters found in CCW bags
Target Market: Concealed Carry Bag owners, or concealment around the home or office.
FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):
- Can also be mounted on various surfaces such as the underside of a desk or the console of a car.
- Prevents shifting around inside of bags and or purses
- Includes one piece of loop velcro for placement of your holster (Additional Velcro is available for purchase)
- Crossbreed Warranty: If holster should EVER fail during normal use, simply return it and will be repaired or replaced
What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: None but extra velcro and magazine pouch available
What others are saying?: “This holster works great for my day pack. It form-fits my G19 and allows me to carry with one in the chamber without fear of it falling out or shifting. It even comes with enough loop velcro to create a couple mounting spots for the holster. Some places Ive thought of are underneath your nightstand, or under your cars dash or in your middle console. Basically any flat surface that is about 8 x 8 would be a possible mounting spot for this system. Very versatile!" MidwayUSA Review
I need it now! Availability: Crossbreed Holsters
+ Fit and finish is great just like Crossbreed's reputation + Available with extra 8" x 8" Velcro panels for mounting in various places + Great retention of both gun and magazine
- The extra leather at the top of the holster is unnecessary for my compact pistol and may prevent proper fit in some bags. May need to be trimmed off.