Holsters: Kydex vs. Leather vs. Hybrid

In today’s society, there are literally thousands of holster manufacturers and tens of thousands of holster options. It goes without saying, there is a ton of speculation on which holster type is the superior option. There are generally three basic types of holsters that manufacturers produce: Leather holsters, the newer kydex holsters and there are hybrid holsters. All three types have there up sides and their down sides.

Leather holsters are a great option to consider. They are comfortable, flexible and generally will mold to your body type after the holster gets broken in. One drawback with a leather holster, especially in an IWB (inside the waistband) configuration, the holster will tend to collapse after the firearm is drawn. This will make it significantly harder to re-holster a lot of the time. Leather can also bleed coloring onto some light colored shirts, especially in an IWB configuration where heat is more of a factor.

Kydex holsters are becoming more and more popular and are another great option. They are more rigid, they are thin and very light and they do not collapse when the firearm is drawn. These are a great option for IWB set-ups as well as for OWB (outside the waistband), and are usually preferred for duty configurations. They are very durable, and allow for ease of draw and re-holster in high stress situations. They are also very easy to clean and many times they have interchangeable holsters for the same platform. They do not allow any flex for the holster to mold to your body type however, so it is imperative to find a holster that fits comfortably from the start since the form will not change.

Hybrid holsters are another option, however usually not as popular due to some of the draw backs that come along with this type of holster. Hybrid holsters are usually some type of re-enforced leather holster as to reduce the possibility of the holster collapsing after the firearm is drawn. The reason these holsters are usually not as popular is the simple fact that you can go with a kydex holster for a significantly reduced cost. The kydex option is going to be thinner and lighter than the hybrid as well as having no possibility of color bleeding onto clothing.

There are a lot of options to consider from, most gun shops will let you open holsters to check the fitting for your firearm and try it on briefly inside the store to make sure it is comfortable. When looking at holsters online, it is advisable to check with local retailers first to see if they have something similar in stock that you can try on before purchasing.

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