Finding the Right Fit for Your Everyday Carry: IWB vs. Tuckable Holster
by Ben Jimenez7 min read
Once you’ve found the perfect pistol and enrolled in a certification course, it’s time to determine what type of holster will best support your reasons to conceal carry.
How to select the right gun holster is a common question, especially among new gun owners or experienced firearms enthusiasts who might be looking for a change. There are so many different options available today that it can be a little overwhelming. Currently, the most popular brand and style on the market are inside the waistband (IWB) holsters.
IWB Kydex holsters have become increasingly popular because of their ability to be easily concealed. The last thing those who conceal and carry want is for other people to know that they are carrying a weapon; that defeats the whole purpose. There has been a dramatic shift in recent years from outside the waistband holsters towards easily concealable IWB holsters.
Once you decide that you want an inside the waistband holster, you will find out there are two different options available: the inside the waistband or the tuckable holster. While they may look and sound similar, they are somewhat different. The user’s daily requirements will help determine which is the best fit for the individual.
BASICS OF INSIDE THE WAISTBAND HOLSTER
IWB holsters continue to increase in popularity for people who want to conceal and carry. It’s as simple as it sounds; the holster sits on the inside of your pants and is easily concealed with a shirt or jacket.
The traditional outside the waistband holsters may summon images of cowboys brandishing pistols on horseback. Most concealed carriers are moving away from the outside the waistband holster. In the current environment, they don’t offer what most modern-day carriers want: comfort and discretion.
The IWB holster is popular because of how easy it is to conceal, and the newer models on the market offer an unparalled level of comfort. That’s exactly what you need in an everyday carry holster. You’ll want to choose a holster that you can forget about unless you need it. An IWB holster that is properly secured with agun belt is the one of the best ways to conceal the firearm you’re carrying.
IWB CARRYING POSITIONS
The IWB is one of the most diverse options when it comes to wearability. There are a number of IWB positions, which is another reason the IWB has become so popular. You will not find a more concealable and diverse holster, making it great for any occasion.
Most of the carrying positions will come down to user preference. We’ll outline a few of the basic carrying positions that can help you improve your defense as well as your everyday comfort.
The most common carry position is the three o'clock position. This has the holster sitting directly on the hip. This allows quick access, and it is easy to conceal. In this position, the holster sits slightly in front of or behind the hip to increase overall comfort by taking pressure off your hip bone while still remaining out of sight. This is also the easiest position to pull your pistol because it’s the shortest distance from your dominant hand.
Another common carry is the kidney carry. This is where the holster sits further back at the 4 o’clock or 5 o'clock position. This position offers easier concealment, especially when worn under a jacket. It is a little harder to pull from this position because you have to reach farther behind you. Luckily, you can keep yourdraw time fast with a little practice.
One of the easiest positions to conceal — but the least comfortable — is the small of the back. The holster rests directly on your back, making it awkward for users to stay seated for most of the day. It can also be very uncomfortable to use while driving. Once again, this is another difficult position for a quick draw because the placement necessitates having to reach around the body.
IWB FINAL VERDICT
The IWB is a great choice for a carrier that isn’t required to tuck in his shirt. If you wear an untucked shirt daily, the IWB will cover the firearm completely and allow for quick and easy access.
It also offers a superior level of comfort. If the pistol is properly secured with a gun belt, the IWB will sit snugly against the user and allow them to carry on with their daily activity without having to worry about interference or being uncomfortable. This makes the IWB a great everyday carry choice.
Also, one of the great things about the KYDEX IWB holster is that it maintains its form over time. Unlike leather or other materials, a KYDEX holster will firmly support your gun, which makes drawing from the holster easier and quicker. You can’t go wrong with an IWB holster from Concealment Express.
THE BASICS OF THE TUCKABLE HOLSTER
The tuckable holster offers many of the same features that a regular IWB holster offers. It connects to your belt and sits on the inside of the pants. However, the key difference between the two is that this holster is meant to be covered with a tucked-in shirt.
This is the perfect holster for any dressier occasion. Maybe you have to wear a suit and tie to work, or you are required to wear a polo every day on the job. You can’t conceal an IWB holster if your shirt is tucked in.
This means that you could lose the element of surprise. Most carriers want to blend into a crowd when they conceal and carry because it offers them a tactical advantage if they ever find themselves in a dangerous situation.
The tuckable holster works like most IWB holsters. It has a clip that attaches the holster to the inside of a belt. The key difference is that you can tuck your shirt down to cover it completely. With a nice belt, the clip will be concealed, and nobody will be able to see the holster.
While you will be able to better conceal with a tuckable holster, it is also important to remember that you will lose some speed on your draw time. You will have to pull your shirt out from your pants, which will increase the overall time of your draw. It should only add a few seconds, but you should factor the draw time into your choice of holster.
With the loss of some speed, you will want to consider the pros and cons of the tuckable holster. It may be your only option if your job may has a stringent dress code. If that is the case, try a loose-fitting polo that isn’t difficult to untuck in a hurry.
TUCKABLE HOLSTER CARRYING POSITIONS
The same positions suggested for the IWB apply for the tuckable holster, but you have to remember that when you tuck the holster, it is going to take more time to pull your pistol. The most popular option is the 3 o'clock carry position. The 3 o'clock position offers the easiest access, and it’s comfortable to wear all day.
However, keep in mind that the handle of the pistol will bulge out when you tuck your shirt in. To make it less noticeable, try a shirt that is slightly larger to help camouflage the holster. Another good tip is to buy pants that are one to two sizes larger than your usual size. This will give you the added room to place the pistol and tuck your shirt around it.
Another popular carry position with the tuckable holster is the appendix carry. This offers the option to use a cross draw method to access the weapon. You can use your nondominant hand to untuck your shirt while simultaneously grabbing the pistol with your dominant hand. You should expect this to take two to three seconds longer than with an IWB holster, but with practice, you can cut that time down even more.
Many concealed carriers do not recommend the small of the back carry with a tuckable holster. While it is the easiest way to conceal the pistol with a tuckable holster, you don’t want to fumble around for a pistol if you ever find yourself in an active shooter situation. You will want to stick with the hip, appendix or kidney carry for easy access to the tuckable holster.
TUCKABLE HOLSTER FINAL VERDICT
The tuckable holster is the best choice for people who want to conceal and carry with a tucked in shirt. While there are some disadvantages to this style of holster, it is better than not being able to carry a pistol at all. It can result in a slower reaction time, but if you practice enough, it should only take a few seconds until you are able to respond to the threat.
It’s best to factor in all of the variables when you are selecting the right type of holster. Most carriers choose the traditional IWB holster. It's easy to conceal, and it’s very comfortable. It also allows for easy access in case of emergency.
The tuckable holster is a great option for people who are required to abide a certain dress code. It is important to remember that your response time will be slower with a tuckable holster by a few seconds. While this is a downside, you can still have a quick draw with proper practice.
Overall, it is best to carry, no matter what. Don’t let the situation dictate whether you are able to arm yourself. It is smart to have both an IWB and a tuckable holster, so you can carry at any occasion. The last thing you want is have aconceal and carry permit and not have your gun when it is needed.