With all the kydex and appendix carry rage going on, everybody is repping their favorite blaster carrier. Over the years I’ve owned, trained and carried various kydex brands. Most of them I really enjoyed and found met my needs adequately, some were terrible bulky masses of hard plastic that just didn’t cut it. Recently I’ve jumped on the bandwagon of 12-1 o’clock carry but after several kydex variants, to include several Raven Concealment Systems holsters, I’ve returned to a good old-fashioned leather IWB holster.
Primarily I’ve decided leather is a lot more comfortable than kydex especially when carrying appendix. Not only does it have some flexibility but also given the contact points, it rubs less. This holds especially true when getting in and out of my vehicle or when I have to sit for extended periods of time. Specifically, where the edge of a kydex holster would rub or dig into my leg, the leather holster does not, due to its malleability. It also cushions against contact points where my stomach is. Another reason connected to the aforementioned issues and solutions is that I prefer to carry a full size handgun. Whether it’s a G17, 1911 GI, or some other full size variant they tends to be cumbersome when paired with a rigid holster.
Price is probably a huge factor for me as well, while I can pick up a very nice leather holster for $20-30, a quality kydex holster often costs upward of $60. Sure there are some cheap ebay kydex sellers, and backyard makers out there; and while there are some very talented producers, most do not meet everyday carry standards if the price tag doesn’t add up. The holster featured in the headline picture cost about 25 dollars and is incredibly well made.
As a concealed carry holster, it meets my personal requirements and I find it to be incredibly efficient in this role too. I can throw it into my waistband and it clip over my belt in an expedient manner. Conversely it can be removed with relative ease, but only when I intend since the belt clip has an incredibly positive lockup. It weighs very little and again, not to beat a dead horse, with its flexibility, is a highly manageable method of carry. Drawing the firearm is fast and smooth with enough retention for my day-to-day needs while re-holstering should be done carefully and can be accomplished with ease. All in all, I find it to be a practical solution to concealed carry that meets my needs at a basic level.
On top of everything, leather is stylish. It comes in a wide variety of colors and finishes, plus it can be incredibly well crafted based on the designer’s level of skill. Much of the leather-working and molding is done by hand, all the way down to the stitching; so it kind of has a personal touch that kydex just doesn’t. I’ve come to greatly appreciate what goes into a well-made leather holster.
Of course there are some cons to leather holsters just like anything else. Primarily the biggest problem is wear and tear, leather holsters lose shape and get compressed out of form over time due to pressure and soaking up moisture or sweat. This makes it difficult to re-holster at times, and often times replacing it is the best option. Second, leather holsters tend to be slightly thicker than kydex holsters, because using less material sacrifices rigidity. Overall I find the pros outweigh the cons, and I will continue to utilize them until they no longer suit my lifestyle.