I’ve been trending upward these days. Not in my investments, or my career per se. (Although both are doing well.) No, I’m trending upwards in the gun I carry every day. Meaning I’m carrying a larger and larger gun when possible. For a bit, I was carrying my MR9 from Magnum Research and I do love that gun. However, one I love slightly more is my CZ P09. To carry such a big gun I knew I needed a good holster and belt. The Folks at High Threat Concealment were happy to provide me with both. I went with the HTC Vantage and their Everyday Tactical belt.
I first ran into High Threat Concealment at Shot Show where they had their complete Low Profile system display. Buth Mark Miller and I were quite impressed and pleased to have an opportunity to work with them.
The HTC Vantage Review
The HTC Vantage comes in two varieties, a standard and light bearing. I went with a light bear model fit for the Streamlight TLR 1. Sometimes my quest to challenge gear leads me to go more extreme routes. I normally wouldn’t carry a light attached to my gun, but if I’m carrying a big gun with a rail why not? Plus is there really any better way to test the HTC Vantage and Everyday Tactical belt than by adding more weight and bulk to them? Plus right before the end of 2016, I made a big deal about wanting more light bearing options for a wider variety of guns.
The HTC Vantage is a polymer holster made from Boltaron. Kydex has become what’s basically a one all term for all polymer holsters, but kydex and Boltaron are a lot different. Boltaron is tougher, and less susceptible to thermal variances. This means, unlike an Eotech it doesn’t loosen when left in the sun. It’s also a lot better than kydex at withstanding extreme cold and not cracking under pressure.
Made to Order
Every holster from High Threat Concealment is made to order, and the HTC Vantage is no different. They can accommodate any of these light options: Crimson Trace Rail Master Pro, Inforce APL, Streamlight TLR-1 TLR-2, TLR-3, TLR-4, Surefire X200, X300, X400, Surefire RAIL-LOCK® System (A) X300, X300V, X300 Ultra, or Surefire T-Slot System with Thumb Screw (B) X300V, X300Ultra, X400, X400Ultra, or the Surefire XC1.
You can also specify if you have a threaded barrel or red dot sight to ensure that when the holster is made it’s cut to fit. The Vantage is an OWB holster made to be worn on the strong side. It uses two simple loops to attach to either a 1.5 or 1.75 inch belt.
Quality In Confidence
Just looking and handling the HTC Vantage I could tell it was well made and high quality. Trying it on confirmed it. It’s not easy to conceal a large gun, especially if you are a smaller person. I am fortunately 6 foot 5, but I’ll take every advantage I can get. The HTC Vantage has offset belt loops that keep the holster held tight to your body for enhanced concealment. The belt loops can be removed and lowered to increase concealment. That’s what I did. This causes the holster to ride higher, and makes it easier to conceal overall.
Going Full Sized
The HTC Vantage supports my loaded CZ P09 and Streamlight TLR-1 with ease. The holster snaps in smartly and stays in place. It presents a directly up and down grip, but HTC offers so optional hardware to cant the gun 15 degrees. The HTC Vantage does an amazing job at keeping the gun hanging tightly to my body and conceals surprisingly well. It’s a big holster and a big gun, but it positions the gun to ensure concealability under nothing more than a T-Shirt. The holster itself is thin and doesn’t add any additional, or unneeded bulk.
It positions the gun for a natural draw stroke and gives the shooter a natural grip presentation. In terms of comfort, the HTC Vantage has a healthy sweat guard that keeps the weapon from rubbing me raw during daily carry. The holster itself has no sharp edges or bulging portions that push into uncomfortable while sitting, driving, standing, etc.
Hittin’ the Range
In term of practical use I’ve had lots of time to practice being proficient with this holster system. Moving from compact to duty sized guns I had to rewire some of my muscle memory to get used to drawing a long gun out of a holster. Before I hit a rela range I hit the one in my kitchen. By that I mean I trained with the iTarget system extensively to ensure I would be able to competently and most importantly safely draw my weapon and engage a target.
The iTarget Quick draw mode was especially handy for this training. At the live fire range I had no issues drawing the weapon on the move, standing still, crouching and from behind cover. Getting it from belt to hand to full presentation was very intuitive and simple. Reholstering was also simple and intuitive and also safe. That is one of the great things about polymer, it doesn’t collapse.
We Can’t Do it Alone Though
Big gun + big holster + big light equals a heavy overall package. Tossing it on a Walmart special Dickies belt isn’t a realistic or rational option. It’s going to cause it to sag and be uncomfortable. The HTC Everyday Tactical Belt is a stuff and rigged gun belt designed to support your everyday carry items.
There are lots of good gun belts out there, but this is one of the lower profile models. It appears to be a simple fabric belt. However, the rigid reinforcement really sets it apart. The tail end has velcro and closes the belt via AustriAlpin style belt buck.
It barely squeezes through belt loops, but once in place it doesn’t move. It also supports the full weight of my CZ P09, 21 rounds of 9mm, Streamlight, the HTC Vantage, an extra mag, and even a nice sized knife. Normally I’m content with just my gun and pocket knife, but I figured I could run the belt through the ringer. Once I had everything in place I found that the belt held it all without sagging and supported the weapon damn well.
The only issue I had was when wearing 5.11 and Propper pants. The velcro loop system isn’t the best due to the super wide belt loops these pants utilize. Those belt loops are great for supporting the gear, but really get in the way where the hook meets loop. This belt is perfect for jeans and normal khakis, but the wide belt loops take up some of the room necessary to secure the belt to the belt.
High Threat Concealment offers a variety of different holsters, mag carriers and more on their website, and you can check it out here. I can’t speak for all of it, but the HTC Vantage seems to be a very well made piece of gear. It’s certainly suitable for concealed carry and has been a comfortable option for me. The HTC Vantage combined with the Everyday Tactical Belt is a high-quality system that makes concealing a large gun and light a possibility. If you want one, and you should, check ’em out here.