Belly Band Holsters-New to concealed carry Pt 3
In this post Im going to talk about a specific kind of holster, the Belly Band.
I , again, wrote to 7 manufacturers of this kind of holster and none responded to me. I bought these so I could write intelligently about the different types and how they work.
Why is this different? And why do I want one?
Belly Bands absolutely rock under a loose cover garment. A hoodie with a light tank top under, gun on your center line tucked into your pants works great. That’s how mine rides most of the time. When it gets too warm for a hoodie, a button down shirt untucked, with a light tank top (wife beater) is a great option.
Belly bands are different because they are a belt and holster in 1 package.
They are very thin and low profile compared to the majority of holsters on the market today.
They can be very inexpensive. My favorite is less than $20
They have choices between thumb break, tab retention and snaps, either magnetic or standard types.
They have debatable retention compared to other holster types but are not meant for open carry so this is usually not a problem.
And they don’t require specialized clothing like some holsters. You can carry a compact handgun under a T-shirt.
You can wash it in a bucket of water and some dish soap.
They are comfortable.
They are usually made from thin nylon, so having them tucked into your pants or under a tucked in shirt is a good idea.
IF your pistol has a prominent rail, like on my Colt CCU, the Belly band is NOT a good choice unless the rail is covered by a light. However, steel framed guns are not the best choice for a thin nylon holster either.
They can be hot
They can be irritating to wear for long periods
The Velcro can irritate skin if you don’t have it attached correctly
And the generic pouch for magazines, phone, hand cuffs etc will loose things at times unless it has an attached flap.
I bought 3 different types, which I chose based on the features they had and the differences as well.
So lets start with the one I grab first. Its not perfect but I like it for around the house/yard when I don’t want to put on the full battle rattle on my belt
Why do I like this one?
Its comfortable, and the retention is very well thought out. It doesn’t require me to have the belt on so tight I cant breathe to retain the pistol. It is slow to draw with the clip but since this is a deep concealment holster, or a second gun holster ( or could it be a 3rd?)
What don’t I like?
I find under a tucked in shirt with the holster on, if I don’t have it pulled tight the magazines will work themselves out. I find them inside the shirt. If you are in a restroom be careful when you open your pants or you might drop a magazine on the floor. Tension is everything with a belly band. This will not matter if you are carrying magazines on your belt and they are compatible with your primary and secondary handgun. Shown here, a G19 inside the waistband, and a G26 in the belly band.
Both guns with a button down shirt, tucked in.
Kaylle Belly band
I like this one as well, debatably as much as the first. The best feature of the Kaylle is the retention straps, the gun and magazines stay where you put them and the snaps are magnetic not the standard metal snap. Fast to draw, for a deep concealment rig and faster than snaps or tabs.
Just for arguments sake, this is actually easier to leave a pistol and a spare magazine in, to grab and put on quickly. A trip to the mailbox, or if someone comes to the door unexpectedly.
I bought this one because of its reversibility. If you need to change from a right hand to a left hand draw, you just flip this over and you can use it. No multiple holster decision to make at all.
The other advantage, if you have European cut shirts where the front overlaps and buttons opposite of American shirts you don’t need a new holster.
Yes there is more to life than hoodies and flip flops. Keep your ladies happy and dress like James Bond occasionally, with some sense of style.
Anyway, this holster is also different. It has 3 strips of Velcro and not 1 big one. I like it, for reasons not so obvious.
My shoulders are shot. So when I try to pull the Velcro loose on most holsters of this type, I’m in pain. With the 3 small strips, its not so hard to take it off or adjust it.
It may not make a difference to you but I get reminded of my sordid medical past every time I try to move
So which one do I like the most?
To be honest, they all have an advantage in some ways.
Wearing a hoodie, I like the idea of my magazines on my belt in proper holders, than in the elastic. This again follows in my layers concept and works well. And I’m not loosing magazines in restrooms.
If I’m wearing a button down shirt, tucked in the magazines are fairly safe inside my shirt, so I will carry a spare in the accessory pouch.
These holsters work best as deep concealment rigs, they are not speed draw rigs. You will never go through a shooting class and use it for 2-3 days. They wont hold up and they are very slow to re-holster your pistol. Most of them require 2 hands to holster.
Its just the nature of the beast.
They are very good, last ditch, hiding from a shooter holster. NOT a stand in the street, face to face quick draw contest.
For what they do, they do it very well. And for not a lot of money.
Belly Band Holsters-New to concealed carry Pt 3