Holster Shopping for Women

Holster Shopping for Women
Not all holsters are created equal. Aside from the safety/retention aspect, it's important to consider your daily activities, surroundings and preferred way of dressing to select the rig that's right for you.

The firearm industry is practically doing backflips to meet the whims and needs of female carriers, and the number of options increases every year. But that doesn't mean every option is a good one.

To be acceptable, a holster must cover the trigger guard so nothing can get in there. That means testing, or if you're shopping online, envisioning yourself carrying or wearing the holster on a typical day. Is there anything on your clothing or in your environment that could get inside the trigger guard and cause the gun to fire?

For example, an economical soft-sided, belly band holster with stretchy elastic around the firearm, worn around the waist, is a safe setup for a day at the office. But when carrying my wiggly dog with his stiff toenails, it's not at all safe.

Your holster must also keep the gun secure until you draw it, and the holster itself should not be able to break away or fall from its hiding place.


For instance, the clipless, inside-the-waistband holster I often carry is secure in most situations, including jogging and riding a horse. But on those rare days when rock climbing or playing on gym equipment, this type of holster could allow the gun or gun and holster to fall out. In these cases I choose a different holster with retention devices.


Another important consideration in holster selection is efficiency- both in deploying the gun and also the ease of donning and shedding the holster every day. Some holsters can add significant time to your routine. If you're the type who dashes toward the front door with coffee spilling from one hand, keys in the other, don't choose a holster that takes more than a few seconds to add to your daily attire. If you do, you'll end up not wearing it at all.


In terms of accessibility, waist-region concealment is tops, although it often requires use of a belt, taut drawstring waistband or skin-tight spandex. A feminine profile and garb are still achievable with a holster carried inside the waistband. Popular fit-and-flare tops, in darker colors or patterns- long enough at the bottom to keep the gun hidden- are easy to clear during the draw.

Ankle carry is a viable option for pants wearers who are willing and able to bend deeply or hike a leg during the draw. One of the most discreet methods is when it's worn on the inside of the support-side leg with flared or boot cut pants- a great method for people who work in close proximity to others. Plan on using a subcompact firearm for this.

Garter-type thigh rigs are on the market and could appeal to dress-wearers. Retention of the entire holster and comfort, especially for women with varicose veins, could be concerns. As with any method, test this one extensively at home- with an unloaded gun- before venturing out in public.


3 Rules for Holster Selection

Safety

The holster must cover the trigger guard and provide sufficient retention for your lifestyle. There is some leeway here. For instance, some soft-sided holsters that are, by themselves, insufficient in terms of protection might be acceptable under stiff fabric worn tightly- like jeans- because the fabric itself provides a stiffening layer of protection

Efficiency


The holster has to be compatible with your daily routine. If it's too hard to put on or take off, you're less likely to wear it. The holster also has to allow you easy access to the gun while achieving a proper firing grip.

Comfort

If you're not comfortable packing a loaded gun in it, it's not right for you.

 
 

Recommended for You

The number of accessories and aftermarket upgrades for the SIG P320 is only going to increase. Accessories

SIG P320 Accessories and Upgrades

James Tarr - December 14, 2017

The number of accessories and aftermarket upgrades for the SIG P320 is only going to increase.

I don't have a distinct recollection of the first time I reloaded a cartridge – it's been a long Ammo

To Cast a Good Bullet

Bart Skelton - June 28, 2012

I don't have a distinct recollection of the first time I reloaded a cartridge – it's been a...

The CTS Targets 2x4 X Base Pro comes with four X-base segments, the base itself, a target hanger and a target. Accessories

CTS 2x4 X Base Pro Kit with AR500 Steel Target

J. Scott Rupp

The CTS Targets 2x4 X Base Pro comes with four X-base segments, the base itself, a target...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Handgun Basics

Handgun Basics

SIG Academy's Hana Bilodeau joins Rich and Jim to discuss the essential skills all handgunners should master.

Performance Center M&P Shield M2.0

Performance Center M&P Shield M2.0

From Smith & Wesson, the M&P Shield M2.0 is a great option for a carry gun with optics option.

Kyle Lamb and Eric Poole talk SIG pistols

Kyle Lamb and Eric Poole talk SIG pistols

G&A Editor Eric Poole and Viking Tacticals's Kyle Lamb talks about 2 new pistols from SIG Sauer and a Lipsey's Special of the P365.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Available in .38 Super, 9mm and .45 ACP, the Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander offers a terrific balance of weight, power and shootability. 1911

Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander 9mm Review

J. Scott Rupp - May 08, 2019

Available in .38 Super, 9mm and .45 ACP, the Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander offers a...

While some modifications require an experienced gunsmith, the average shooter can install most parts in just minutes.
Instead, the curtain-rod engineer with a Accessories

8 Popular Drop-In Glock Mods

Dusty Gibson - July 17, 2013

While some modifications require an experienced gunsmith, the average shooter can install most...

According to a recent report from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), a lawsuit against 2nd Amendment

Judge Postpones Oral Arguments to Stop California Microstamping Law

Handguns Online Staff - May 07, 2014

According to a recent report from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), a lawsuit...

See More Stories

More Holsters

Gun holsters come in all different shapes, sizes and designs. Some gun holsters are more suited for Holsters

17 Premier Gun Holsters to Consider

Brad Fitzpatrick - February 25, 2016

Gun holsters come in all different shapes, sizes and designs. Some gun holsters are more...

2015 saw the introduction of a wide range of concealed carry holsters, duty holsters and other carry rigs for the concealed carry permit holder. Holsters

12 Quality Concealed Carry Holsters

Brad Fitzpatrick - December 14, 2015

2015 saw the introduction of a wide range of concealed carry holsters, duty holsters and other...

Comp-Tac has expanded many of their holsters to fit the new CZ P-10 Subcompact and CZ P-10 Full Size weapons including: The MTAC, The eV2 and The International. Holsters

Comp-Tac Releases Holster Fits for New CZ P-10 Variants

Handguns Online Editors - March 13, 2019

Comp-Tac has expanded many of their holsters to fit the new CZ P-10 Subcompact and CZ P-10...

See More Holsters

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.