Skip to main content

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.

 
 

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

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Dealing with Subcompacts

Dealing with Subcompacts

Jim and Rich cover the benefits and the challenges presented by very small pistols.

Dan Wesson Kodiak 1911 10mm

Dan Wesson Kodiak 1911 10mm

The Kodiak is a long slide 1911-style semi-auto complete with 6-inch bull barrels and chambered in 10mm.

Teaching New Shooters

Teaching New Shooters

Julie Golob of Team Smith & Wesson guest stars, joining Jim and Scott for a discussion of how best to introduce new shooters to the sport.

Taurus 856 Defender

Taurus 856 Defender

Scott Rupp reviews the Taurus 856 Defender, a fine revolver with a variety of enjoyable features.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Simple pistol drills are good, and they're even better when they teach or reinforce a number of skills. This drill does just that, working on accuracy, speed, changing speeds and target acquisition.Practice the X Drill to Reinforce Pistol Skills: Here's How Training

Practice the X Drill to Reinforce Pistol Skills: Here's How

J. Scott Rupp - January 22, 2021

Simple pistol drills are good, and they're even better when they teach or reinforce a number...

HK's accurate, soft-shooting and customizable VP9SK is aimed at the concealed-carry market.Heckler & Koch VP9SK Pistol Review Reviews

Heckler & Koch VP9SK Pistol Review

Brad Fitzpatrick - December 09, 2020

HK's accurate, soft-shooting and customizable VP9SK is aimed at the concealed-carry market.

We all want to shoot better with a pistol, but what drills do we need to practice?9 Best Pistol Drills to Become a Better Defensive Shooter Training

9 Best Pistol Drills to Become a Better Defensive Shooter

Patrick Sweeney - September 24, 2019

We all want to shoot better with a pistol, but what drills do we need to practice?

If you're in the market for a 17-round, compact .22LR pistol that's feature packed, then the P17 is definitely an option for you.KelTec P17 22LR Pistol – Feature Packed, Accurate & Fun to Shoot Rimfire

KelTec P17 22LR Pistol – Feature Packed, Accurate & Fun to Shoot

Handguns Staff - August 14, 2020

If you're in the market for a 17-round, compact .22LR pistol that's feature packed, then the...

See More Trending Articles

More Holsters

The Sneaky Pete holster makes a great trail companion—discreet but at the same time really handy to use.Sneaky Pete Holster Review Holsters

Sneaky Pete Holster Review

J. Scott Rupp - March 12, 2020

The Sneaky Pete holster makes a great trail companion—discreet but at the same time really...

Blackhawk announced the release of a limited-edition T-Series Level 2 Compact (L2C) holster in recognition of National Police Week.Blackhawk National Police Week T-Series Holster Holsters

Blackhawk National Police Week T-Series Holster

Handguns Digital Staff - May 11, 2020

Blackhawk announced the release of a limited-edition T-Series Level 2 Compact (L2C) holster in...

Now Blackhawk has gone old school and introduced a new line of leather holsters in its CQC holster line.Blackhawk Leather Holsters Holsters

Blackhawk Leather Holsters

James Tarr - July 17, 2017

Now Blackhawk has gone old school and introduced a new line of leather holsters in its CQC...

The Threepersons holster is legendary leather that still has merit for today's handgunners. The ThreePersons Rig Holsters

The ThreePersons Rig

Bob Campbell - July 16, 2018

The Threepersons holster is legendary leather that still has merit for today's handgunners.

See More Holsters

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Handguns App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

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

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Handguns subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now