Guns & Weapons

The Best Appendix Carry Holster for Comfort And Concealment

Appendix carry holster
David Dawson
Written by David Dawson

So you’ve decided to go ahead with concealed carry. You’ve gone through all the required training, looked over all your options, and made your choice as to what gun you want. But don’t forget, when thinking about concealed carry, you have to decide where you want to carry.

Different people have different favorites when it comes to their choice of holster but many are looking for the best appendix carry holster (ACH). Why is that? Well, if you’re not familiar with this item, you should know that it fits in front of the body which makes it more accessible.

Appendix carry holster

The ACH is sometimes known as an inside waist band (IWB) concealed carry holster. However, IWBs can be worn in the front or the back, over the kidneys or in another position other than over the appendix.

The ACH is worn underneath clothing, inside pants. To keep this from being too uncomfortable, some wearers opt for pants that are at least an inch bigger in the waist than what is normally worn.

Features That Recommend The Ach

While you are deciding on the type of holster, you have a few different factors to consider when making the choice (for instance, comfort and ease of concealment). Here are a few important features that make the ACH one of the best choices:

  • Comfort: Such a holster must provide you with comfort while carrying the firearm for long periods of time. Considering that the holster is close to your skin the comfort factor is of absolute importance.
    Those who are fans of the ACH would say that they are not only comfortable to wear but make their gun easily accessible – extremely important when you are concerned about personal safety.
  • Ease of access: the holster must allow you to draw the gun quickly without any risk of injuring yourself in the process. The right ACH is great for easier drawing, compared to other holsters.
    When you do need to grab your gun, it is a natural movement – all you have to do is drop your hands down. A hip holster, on the other hand, means you have to make an effort to draw, and it makes it tough to draw if you are in a tight space where it is difficult to get your elbow up behind you.
  • Safety: the holster must keep the gun firmly in place without creating any discomfort.
  • Concealment: appendix holsters are easy to conceal, as they can fit right under your shirt – your gun doesn’t have the obvious bulge that comes with a hip holster (and most people won’t be specifically looking at your waist, anyway).
    Most people won’t even realize you have a gun. And, if someone does realize you have one, the fact that it is positioned right in front of your body means it is easy to protect it if someone decides to make a grab for it – not so if the gun holster is at your side or on your back.

A few drawbacks that need to be mentioned

Of course, we can’t fully discuss the ACH if we don’t mention the problems that might come with this type of carry. Users who don’t really like this type of holster say that it is uncomfortable, as it is located right at a point where you bend your body. However, you could get either a gun with a short muzzle or a holster that rides high to try to solve this problem.

Cons for appendix holsters

Another counter argument would be that the odds go up of shooting yourself on a draw or while re-holstering — but you can solve this by choosing a holster that protects the trigger. And, as always with firearms (and with any holster), you should be paying close attention to what you’re doing, and you should also be making an effort to be very deliberate with your movements.

One point that is a little more difficult for many to get over though, is that, when holstered, a gun in the ACH points at the groin, and beyond that, at the femoral artery – which can be a lethal hit if something does go horribly wrong. If you don’t feel safe with a gun attached to your waist, take a look at our list of holsters for the ankle area.

At the very least, perhaps these items are not for the new and inexperienced.

An Array Of Achs To Consider

When looking for an appendix carry holster, experts say you shouldn’t automatically choose the cheapest model. You should get a good quality holster that will move as you do, is comfortable, hangs tightly to your waist, and makes for easy drawing and re-holstering.

Below we gathered a list with the best products on the market so take a look and let us know if any of these fits your needs.

5.11 Tactical Appendix IWB Holster

5.11 Tactical Appendix IWB Holster

Material: Nylon

Price: from $29.99 to $42.47

Design: Inside-the-pant

Best Use: it can be used in the appendix or kidney position, inside the pants

Special Features: extremely comfortable, conceals very well, can be used even without a belt

Description: This 5.11 Tactical Appendix IWB Holster has a reasonable price and it is made from a polymer that is heat, grease, and oil resistant. Also, the belt clip has space to accommodate a tactical light.

One complaint about this holster is that, because it is designed for multiple guns, it can get uncomfortable (depending on the gun you have), and can dig into the skin after a few hours of wear. The size and type of pants you wear can make a big difference.

A pro to this holster is that the gun fits securely, and the clip that holds it to the pants holds very well, even when not wearing a belt.

Blackhawk! Leather Inside-the-pants Black Holster

Blackhawk! Leather Inside-the-pants Black Holster

Material: leather

Price: ranges from $22.00 to $144.33

Design: a unique, speed-cut design

Best Use: It can be used for middle-of-the-back, strong side, appendix, or cross-draw carry.

Special Features: Comes in two versions – for right and left-handed people. It features a superior draw technique and it makes an audible click upon re-holstering.

Description: The Blackhawk! Holster fits Beretta 92 and 96. It has an angle-adjustable belt loop that helps maintain stability, an adjustable tension screw that lets the user choose the level of retention, and a shirt shield that protects clothing, increases comfort, and keeps the opening unobstructed.

Although many users are impressed with the quality of leather used, other users note that the belt loop sticks out too far and basically advertises that you are carrying. Another complaint is that the holster comes with the weapon when drawing. However, most agree that it is comfortable to wear.

Galco Stow-N-Go Inside The Pant Holster For Glock 26, 27, 33

Galco Stow-N-Go Inside The Pant Holster For Glock 26, 27, 33

Material: Natural Premium Center Cut Steerhide

Price: $29.99

Design: right and left-hand design

Best Use: great for Glock 26, 27, 33 and goes on belts up to 1 3/4″. It can be used in various positions

Special Features: supports fast draw due to the open top. The holster carries the gun in a vertical position, with any cant or angle

Description: The Galco Stow-N-Go Inside The Pant Holster For Glock 26, 27, 33 is designed with a reinforced mouth for an easy return to the holster.

A nylon clip secures the holster to the belt, at a vertical orientation. It can be used for appendix carry, strong side, or crossdraw and was designed to be used for semiautomatic pistols and double-action revolvers.

Users say it is lightweight and a good value for the price, and that Glocks fit in just right, after the leather has had some time to adjust to the shape of the gun. The belt clip is strong and dependable, keeping it securely against the waistline. Because it is made out of rigid leather, it is easy to reholster with only one hand.

Everyday Holsters Glock 17, 22 And 31 Hybrid Holster

Everyday Holsters Glock 17, 22 And 31 Hybrid Holster IWB Right Hand

Material: Premium Leather & Kydex

Price: about $35

Design: slim design, fully adjustable for cant and ride height

Best Use: great for Glock 17, 22, and 31

Special Features: Lifetime Warranty

Description: While the Everyday Holsters Glock 17, 22 And 31 Hybrid Holster IWB Right Hand is considered pretty uncomfortable by some users, there are also positive voices.

According to actual users, you will have to get used to it, but once you do, you’ll love it! The slim design and the comfy material allows for perfect concealment and great fit.

Sadly, the negative voices say that it never gets broken in and never becomes comfortable. Others complain that the grip on the weapon is too tight and the belt loops are open-ended, which results in having to rip the holster out of the pants every time you draw.

Vedder Holsters Lighttuck IWB Kydex Gun Holster

Vedder Holsters Lighttuck IWB Kydex Gun Holster

Material: 08” Kydex

Price: around $70

Design: LightTuck feature for easy access

Best Use: Glock 26, 27, 33

Special Features: sweat shield to protect the gun, offers amazing concealment due to the slim design

Description: This handmade Vedder Holsters Lighttuck IWB Kydex Gun Holster is molded to fit the gun, and makes it easy to carry in different positions – forward cant, appendix carry, or cross draw.

The holster and the belt clip are made out of Kydex, a durable material designed to hold up to extreme conditions. The clip fits belts up to 1 inch wide.

This holster can be easily concealed by tucking in your shirt. Comes with retention screw that allows you to loosen or tighten the retention, to your preference. The LightTuck is handcrafted to fit your specific gun model and backed by a 30-day money back guarantee and a lifetime warranty.

Overall, users are very impressed, saying it fits very comfortably, is easy to conceal, and is of great quality.

Hip Hugger Classic – Can Can Concealment Women’s Concealed

Hip Hugger Classic – Can Can Concealment Women’s Concealed

Material: Military-Grade Elastic with Hypoallergenic Non-Slip Tacti-Grip™

Price: $79

Design: In-the-Waistband

Best Use: made for women. Great for concealing large handguns and Service Issued Firearms

Special Features: comfortable for all day carry

Description: This Hip Hugger Classic – Can Can Concealment Women’s Concealed is a little pricier than other holsters and it’s made for weapons under 6.5” in total length. It has 4 holster positions, including 1 appendix and 2 on the kidneys.

It also has 3 additional pockets for magazines, tasers, knives, or pepper spray.

Two rows of hypoallergenic nonslip Tacti-Grip helps to keep the holster securely in place. Wearers get an adjustable, comfortable fit with gently tapered military grade elastic and all metal 3 row Hook and Eye closure.

The Hip Hugger Classic is reported to be very comfortable, even when worn under clothes, and even when jogging or exercising. It also works great for left and right handed shooters. It has been described as not only discrete but “sexy.”

Everyday Holsters Beretta 92/96 Hybrid Holster

Everyday Holsters Beretta 92 96 Hybrid Holster IWB Right Hand

Material: Premium Leather & 0.6” Kydex

Price: $35

Design: fully adjustable for cant and ride height

Best Use: Inside the pants use for Beretta Modell 92/96

Special Features: two-week trial period during which you can test and return the holster – no questions asked.

Description: This hybrid Everyday Holsters Beretta 92/96 Hybrid Holster IWB Right Hand is fully adjustable for cant and ride height, and comes with a lifetime warranty.

Users report this is one comfortable holster that nicely conforms to the body. The weapon feels safely secured and is completely out of sight. However, one complaint is that it holds the weapon too securely, which can make for trouble drawing.

Viridian Green Laser Sights King TUK IWB Holster

Viridian Green Laser Sights King TUK IWB Holster

Material: Premium Steer Hide and Kydex

Price: about $65

Design: inside the waistband

Best Use: designed for Viridian C Series-equipped Glock 17/22 and 19/23

Special Features: equipped with ECR technology

Description: This Viridian Green Laser Sights King TUK IWB Holster is specially designed for Viridian-equipped pistols. It is made of premium steer hide with heavy nylon stitching and lightweight Kydex for comfort.

It fits belts up to 2” in width and has tough aluminum clips for a secure belt hold.

Also comes with ECR (enhanced combat readiness) technology built in for automatic activation of the Viridian laser/light when the gun is drawn. Price is $63.83.

Users are impressed with the ECR technology – to use it, all you have to do is holster the firearm as usual but keep the laser/tactical light on the setting you prefer. When the firearm is slid into the holster the power button is depressed, which turns the lights off.

When drawn, the button on the firearm is released and the lights are ready to go. The leather and Kydex materials that make up the holster also get high marks – the leather is high quality and the Kydex shell maintains its shape so that drawing and re-holstering are all done in one smooth motion.

Uncle Mike’s Paddle Holster For Springfield XD Compact

Uncle Mike’s Paddle Holster For Springfield XD Compact

Material: Kydex

Price: between $10 and $25

Design: Paddle Holster

Best Use: great for confined spaces of for people with shorter torsos

Special Features: open top

Description: This is the most basic of holsters and runs. Uncle Mike’s Paddle Holster For Springfield XD Compact MD: 54271 is made of injection molded, high-quality Kydex and has an adjustable, semi-rigid paddle that molds itself to the wearer’s hip.

It was made to prevent moving around or pulling out when drawing a firearm.

The user can adjust it for butt forward, vertical, and muzzle forward carry. It can be worn behind the hip, as appendix carry, or crossdraw. The lead edge of the holster is cut down, making it easy to use in a confined space or by people with shorter torsos.

Users are impressed that it does stay in place when drawing and re-holstering, and that you can adjust the position and cant. The firearm remains secure, the holster stays stable because of the hooking system, and all of these benefits come with a comfortable fit.

Galco Triton Kydex IWB Holster for Glock 17, 22, 31

Galco Triton Kydex IWB Holster for Glock 17, 22, 31

Material: Kydex

Price: about $50

Design: inside the waist

Best Use: GLOCK 17, 22, 31

Special Features: sweat guard, smooth and easy draw and return

Description: This right-handed Galco Triton Kydex IWB Holster for Glock 17, 22, 31 is made of durable Kydex, and has a sweat guard to protect the gun and the user.

It comes with a belt clip for quick on and off capability, and a firm body that allows for a smooth and easy return of the firearm after the draw.

Available in black, the holster fits belts up to 13/4”.

Reviews are generally positive for this holster. Users say it is light, thin, and easy to conceal, with a nice cant angle and good retention adjustment.

Hip Hugger— Big Shebang Women’s Holster For Large Firearm

Hip Hugger—the Big Shebang Women’s Holster For Large Firearm Concealed Carry

Material: Military-Grade Elastic with Hypoallergenic Non-Slip Tacti-Grip™

Price: $85

Design: In-the-Waistband

Best Use: made for women. The snug fit supports and distributes the weight of the gun evenly throughout the unit

Special Features: Patent Pending tabs for safe, Heads-Up Re-Holstering™, designed with a size extender

Description: This Hip Hugger—the Big Shebang Women’s Holster For Large Firearm Concealed Carry promises all day comfort, and provides 3 holster positions: 1 appendix and 2 kidney. It also has 3 additional pockets for magazines, phone, knife, or a taser.

Users can adjust the fit with an all-metal 3 row Hook and Eye closure and the general design is very feminine.

Users love this holster for its comfort and how easily it conceals firearms and accessories. They also love that it is made for women by women – some users even comment that it is sexy and feminine.

It stays in place, can be worn comfortably for a long period of time, and works no matter your body size or shape.

Everyday Holsters Ruger Sr9c/sr40c Hybrid Holster

Everyday Holsters Ruger Sr9c sr40c Hybrid Holster IWB Right Hand

Material: genuine leather

Price: about $30.00

Design: Inside Pants Holster

Best Use: for Ruger SR9C and SR40C (not designed for outside pants or small of back carry)

Special Features: handcrafted and hand dyed. Easy to re-holster.

Description: This Everyday Holsters Ruger Sr9c/sr40c Hybrid Holster IWB Right Hand is fully adjustable for cant and ride height, handmade in the USA, and comes with a lifetime warranty.

Users say that, for the price, this is a great holster, but comment that it works best after a period of breaking in, which can take 1 or 2 weeks.

After the breaking in period, the holster will become so comfortable that you’ll even forget you’re wearing it. The design is quite versatile and allows the holster to mold to the body well.

One feature we liked is represented by the clips which allow you to tuck the shirt in while wearing the holster.

Everyday Holsters Sig Sauer P226 Hybrid Holster IWB Right Hand

Everyday Holsters Sig Sauer P226 Hybrid Holster IWB Right Hand

Material: Premium Leather and 0.6” Kydex

Price: $35.00

Design: Inside the waistband

Best Use: for larger persons

Special Features: adjustable retention screws

Description: This Everyday Holsters Sig Sauer P226 Hybrid Holster IWB Right Hand is made in the USA and comes with a lifetime warranty. Made from 9/10 ounce premium leather and .06O Kydex, it is fully adjustable for cant and ride height, easy to conceal, and comfortable. Runs at $45.00.

Users’ opinions vary. Some consider it a cheap knockoff while others rave about the quality for the price. Generally, it is considered to be comfortable, with the added bonus that it is adjustable to cant and height preference. The firearm stays where it’s supposed to when drawing and re-holstering.

Before You Get Holstered

When it comes to where you want to carry your concealed weapon, you have a lot of choices. The good news is that you also have a lot of choices once you decide on an ACH. Look for one that is comfortable, especially if you will be wearing it for long periods of time – you don’t want one that will be digging into your abdomen all day.

Choose your Appendix carry holster

You should also look for one that makes for easy drawing and re-holstering, and for one that won’t come out of place when you draw. Ask around, read reviews, and you will be able to find the best appendix carry holster for you.

About the Author
David Dawson
David Dawson

David Dawson is a retired security specialist with over 20 years of experience. He worked for a secret manufacturing facilities and hospitals in Illinois. David's responsibility was to protect people in case of any disaster or cataclysm that might occur. Now he keeps on doing it through teaching others about how to prepare and survive flood, earthquake or even war.

  • RockinU

    International waistband?! You sure about that?

  • Ty

    Great article, very informative and useful until the parts about the actual holsters. Seems to me that they’re mostly for the strong side hip, around 3 to 5 o’clock carry. Rather than appendix. Especially those with a large amount of leather backing against the skin. Also, the Vedder holster picture is the wrong model as what’s described. If that matters.

    • David Dawson

      We will remember to add more content on appendix concealed carry. As for the image; well, we will check and rectify the mistake. Thank you for your observation and remarks.

  • Mike Miller

    I would highly recommend using the little foxx hybrids if you are looking for an affordable tuckable holster providing comfort as long as you wear it. You can buy its basic model in $35-$40, a j hook option is also available in it with for an extra $5-$8. I personally use it for my g23 and g43.

    • David Dawson

      The hybrid holster is built for comfort and concealment. Yes, it is tuckable too! As well as precision molded Kydex to fit the specific firearm listed. It is indeed the best at an affordable price.

  • James Turner

    Indeed a great article covering a great collection of holsters. I am particularly looking for a belt holster that fits on a fat man. I could not find it in the marketplace so I had to get a customized. Can you help me with that?

    • David Dawson

      Large body size and shape have a big impact on concealed carry. Therefore, if you are big-bodied, you need a bit of an overhang. The SmartCarry Holster System should do just fine.

  • Wanda Griffin

    You won’t be disappointed with The Hip Hugger Classic. It is very well-made and hasn’t loosen despite my extensive use =). It fits perfect and is super comfortable (even if you are on the plus side). It is one of the most secure holsters I have ever used. Your gun won’t fall off even when you wear it for running. You don’t have to wear baggy tops. It also conceals even when you wear a dress or a more snug semi-fitted shirt.

  • David Dawson

    The Hugger Classic is indeed a resourceful hip concealed carry. It fits perfectly and holds everything snugly in place.

  • Nate

    What is the holster shown in the image with the XDs and the extra mag?

  • David Dawson

    It is referred to as GCode INCOG IWB Holster. The XDS along with the spare magazine fit very snugly and there is a reassuring click when inserted.

  • Donaldson Philips

    What is your choice of a concealed carry holster? Different people have different favorites when it comes to the choice of a holster. However, your favorite should have the best appendix carry holster (ACH) and short muzzle that can fit into it. Some of the peculiar features to consider when selecting one should be comfort, ease of access, safety, and concealment. Some of the best holsters you can find in the market are everyday holsters glock, blackhawk, galco triton kydex, and gun holster-hip hugger for women.

  • Jakes Jones

    Do you want to buy the best concealed carry holster? If your answer is yes, then, you should study this article and understand the salient features of the best ones in the market such as easy drawing and re-holstering. Some of them come with a lifetime warranty like everyday holsters sig saver P226 hybrid holsters IWB holsters right hand, etc. You will enjoy full benefits more than the value.

  • David Dawson

    The choice depends entirely on your preference. However, there are a few considerations that you must make when choosing the best ACH, which are: comfort, ease of access, safety, and most importantly concealment.

  • David Dawson

    Thank you Jakes for joining our community. In addition to what you have said, the best ACH is one that combines easy concealment with fast access.

  • Andrew

    David, I think you’re doing people a disservice with some of the information you put forth here.

    While I agree with the basic information you have in the “why” and “pros and cons” section, your holster recommendations come off as a sales pitch.

    Starting as a teenager working in a sporting goods store, to 8 years in the Army SOF community and even now as a LEO in a major metropolitan area, I’ve never met anyone serious about CCW or firearms in general, who used a 5.11, Blackhawk! or uncle Mike’s.

    Further, you overlook brands almost universally respected for AIWB such as GCode, JMCK, Frike and CCC. Even some options from Raven are better than a Blackhawk! or 5.11.

    I find the key to successful AIWB carry is a holster made specifically for the firearm being carried that offers premium features (rolled kydex edges, adjustable retention and ride height), and even then some experimentation is needed to get it right.

    Best.

  • David Dawson

    These are useful observations, Andrew. We will make necessary adjustments and include the most ideal brands in our next posting.

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