Concealed Carry Holster, Leather Vs. Kydex

You have decided on the best-concealed carry firearm to meet your needs, and now you need to decide on a holster in which to house it.  Depending on the individual you ask, you will receive different answers and opinions on which holster is best.

For this article, we will compare the pros and cons of a Kydex holster versus a Leather holster.  With this information, you will be able to decide for yourself which features of which holster will meet your desired needs and preferences.

Kydex Holsters

When compared to leather, Kydex is relatively new to the market for holsters. Initially designed for use by the airline industry on the interior of aircraft, Kydex is a plastic-like composite material.  Manufactured in thin sheets, Kydex has the capacity of being heated up and then molded around almost any shape.  When used to make holsters, this molding will allow the holster to fit perfectly around the firearm, almost like a skin.  Once cooled down, the Kydex retains the shape and becomes both durable and rigid.

One of the most significant results of this process is that of retention.  When inserting your firearm into a Kydex holster that has been quality crafted, you will both hear and feel the firearm snap perfectly into place.  You can take the holster, turn it upside down, vigorously shake the holster, and the firearm will remain securely in place.  Because a Kydex holster will retain its shape for a significant amount of time, you have the extra added benefit of easy reholstering.  Due to the properties of the rigid material, reholstering one-handed is significantly easier.

The two chief complaints about the Kydex holster is comfort and accessibility.  The rigid nature of the holster makes it somewhat uncomfortable to carry.  There is also the problem that finding an “off the shelf” holster to will accommodate your firearm could be somewhat tricky.  You may very well have a considerable amount of expense from a custom made holster.

Leather Holsters

Ever since gun owners have felt the need to holster their firearm, leather holsters have been around.  The reason that leather is a viable, dependable choice for gun holsters is that they walk the perfect line between comfort and durability.  The advantage of a well-made leather holster is that it is more than strong enough to protect your weapon, yet comfortable enough for day to day wear.  Leather holsters also maintain their good looks over time.  You can find leather holsters over 100 years old in museums today, that still exhibits like-new appearance.

Unlike Kydex, when it comes to leather holsters, you will find that you have several options of choice.  The two main options are suede and bull hide holsters.  Suede holsters are not only light and straightforward, they protect the gun as well as the trigger.  These benefits make them much easier for concealed carry.  Bullhide holsters are thicker leather, which provides snug retention for the firearm.  Again, unlike Kydex holsters, leather holsters will accommodate similar-sized guns.  If you are one that likes to rotate their daily concealed carry, then a leather holster is your best choice.

When it comes to complaints about leather holsters, the most mentioned are those of price and retention.  Prices for leather holsters have become much more competitive over the last few years, helping to drive down their costs.  As far as retention, if you choose not to use a retention strap, you will have to forgo some retention with a leather holster.

The Take-Away

What this all boils down to, in a nutshell, is your personal preference.  If you are looking for retention and reholstering, then Kydex holsters are your best bet.  Leather holsters, on the other hand, come out on top with comfort and style.  Your choice of holster is an important decision, as it will be with you day to day.  Make sure that you choose one that will keep your firearm where you need it when you need it