Guns & Weapons

Best Shoulder Holster: Looking for Comfort, Style, And Practicality

Best Shoulder Holster
David Dawson
Written by David Dawson

If you are shopping around for a shoulder holster or holster of any kind, you should already be authorized to carry a concealed weapon in public. Different countries, States, and cities have different legal requirements which is why it is essential to take this into account before you start shopping around for the best shoulder holster for your firearm.

There are a number of different designs and materials from which to choose. Your final decision will depend on several factors including specific needs, personal preferences and budget of course. The wearer also needs to consider the type of firearm he intends on holstering. These items are made to suit specific gun types and it is certainly not a case of one size fits all.

Shoulder holster benefits

The benefits of such an item are obviously what attract gun owners to this particular style.

Shoulder holster

Some of the top advantages include:

  • Fast and easy access to your firearm while in a sitting position. This is particularly important to consider if your daily activities involve you wearing some kind of seat belt. A shoulder holster still allows fast access even with a seat belt fastened in place.
  • You can grab hold of your weapon in a far more inconspicuous way. It is, therefore, easier to get a strong grip on your gun before revealing it and/or your intentions in a potentially dangerous or unpredictable situation. Being the fastest draw makes all the difference!
  • Your firearm might not seem all that heavy, but it can place a substantial amount of pressure on your back. This pressure and weight are emphasized even further if you carry your gun for several hours each day. By using a holster of the shoulder variety, it will relieve your lower back of this pressure, and you would be stuck with excess weight constantly tugging on your belt.
  • This item accommodates your gun and ammunition that makes it easier and faster to slip on than those that require the use of a belt.  By carrying extra magazines or something useful of similar weight, you can balance out the weight of the gun so that you don’t feel “lopsided” or put off balance.

Potential disadvantages

It would be naive to focus on the advantages without addressing the disadvantages of this type of item as well. When deciding between different gun holders, both the pros and cons need to be considered in order to ensure the wearer makes an informed decision. Some of the main drawbacks include:

  • The wearer will need to cover the holder with an additional garment at all times. However, this can be said for most (if not all) holsters.
  • A holder worn around the belt offers a faster draw, but this does not take into account other factors such as the way in which a shoulder holster allows the wearer to access their weapon in a more inconspicuous manner. Your decision also depends on the type of clothing you are wearing. For example, if you are wearing a zipped-up jacket in winter, a shoulder holster will allow for quicker access. However, if you want an appendix holster, we do have a great set of reviews here.
  • This type of gun holder forces the gun to point at objects behind you. This could prove to be a safety issue. That said, the direction in which your gun is pointing (even in a belt holster) can be altered or shifted depending on your stance and if you accidentally bump into somebody.

Shoulder holster retailers

When shopping around for a suitable shoulder gun holder, you have several options. Most shoppers these days will turn to the internet in order to conduct research and find out what sort of price range they can expect to pay. Shopping online is made easy thanks to sites like Amazon.com, and there are also plenty of specialized holster and firearm retailers who sell such accessories through their own online store. For those who prefer shopping in physical stores, it’s good to visit at least a couple of stores that specialize in military and security equipment and apparel.

Pro pak horizontal shoulder holster

Comparing prices and quality is all part of the shopping experience. Keep in mind that you might find a great product at your local retailer but at an even better price when making the purchase online.

Different materials

Due to the important function of a holster, it is essential that only the best materials be used. Durability is a key factor that helps ensure safety as well as value for money. For this reason, manufacturers choose materials that will live up to this standard.

One of the most popular materials is leather, and it has been so for many years. Leather holsters come in various styles and colors that can help gun owners see their holster as an accessory more than an eyesore.

Ballistic nylon is becoming increasingly popular due to its tough nature and certain molded plastics (like Kydex) are tough yet cost effective. We also have a great piece on how to make your own Kydex holster if you are interested.

Top selling shoulder holsters

Deluxe Universal horizontal shoulder holster

This product is designed for comfort, versatility and from a practical standpoint. It is fully adjustable and suitable for both left- and right-handed users. The soft lining of this PVC holster ensures that your firearm will not be damaged and is kept securely in place.

Deluxe Universal horizontal shoulder holster

In terms of the price is concerned, this item retails in the region of $20 which makes it an affordable option.

According to customer reviews, the adjustability makes it even more comfortable to wear and, at just 12 ounces, it is wonderfully lightweight too. On the downside, customers have noted that the shoulder padding does not extend all the way to cover the area where the straps meet at the back, and this can cause some discomfort. Some might say that it is not well balanced, but this really is a matter of opinion. It largely depends on the type of gun you’re holstering and how you balance it out with ammo and other accessories.

If you like this product you can find and buy it on Amazon.

VISM Ambidextrous horizontal shoulder holster

This one can be adjusted to suit left- and right-handed users. It is fully adjustable with a double magazine harness that attaches to the harness itself. For added security, it is fitted with double thumb break snaps. This item usually retails for less than $20 which makes it extremely affordable, and it is extremely lightweight at less than 9 ounces. The PVC material from which this product is made is to thank for keeping it as lightweight as possible without sacrificing durability.

Customers are pleased with the level of comfort they enjoy while wearing this holster. However, for some, it is difficult to adjust the holster to get the perfect fit. It should also be mentioned that this one is not suitable for larger handguns, and it is important to know the size of your firearm as well as the size of the gun holder before making a purchase. Also, users need to feed the trigger guard in or the firearm will not be properly seated.

If you like this product you can find and check its price on Amazon.

Tactical Cross draw shoulder holster-black

This item is suited for left- and right-handed users. The firearm is holstered on the left and, to maintain balance, there is a double magazine ammo pouch. It is made from Ballistic Polycloth and weighs less than 5 ounces! It is also in the affordable price bracket at less than $20.

Customers love how it really keeps your firearm in place even while running and the way in which it can be adjusted for a comfortable fit. For professionals who need to wear a gun holder on a daily basis and require fast access to their firearm, this might not be the best bet, according to reviews.

Tactical Cross Draw Shoulder Holster

The Velcro strap over the snap on strap that holds the firearm in place can cause a delay in unholstering, but it does offer added security against somebody trying to unholster your weapon without consent.

If you like this product you can find and buy it here.

Crosman AirSoft shoulder holster

Like most holsters, the clips and straps make it possible for both right- and left-handed users to enjoy this product. In just a few clicks, this product can be adjusted to suit the needs of the wearer. The quick-release retention straps are fully adjustable, and it includes a pouch that will hold two additional clips. It retails for under $20 which is impressive given the design and comfort that it offers.

Crosman AirSoft shoulder holster

It is essential to note that, as the name suggests, this item is designed to hold AirSoft firearms, and it is not recommended for holstering real guns. Although AirSoft guns are modeled after real guns, there are differences in terms of weight and other design elements. On the downside, the clips can cause discomfort if you plan on rolling around during your gaming experience.

If you like this product you can find and check its price here.

Black Nylon 5″ concealed carry shoulder holster

This one has a very different design to the holsters mentioned above. It retails for less than $40 which means that it is slightly higher-end than the cheaper models but not completely unaffordable. The most significant trait is its discreet straps. While one loops over your shoulder, the other wraps around your chest. These straps are adjustable so the wearer can obtain a comfortable fit. It is simple in its design and fits a variety of firearms.

Black Nylon 5concealed carry shoulder holster

However, this product is best suited for people with a narrower frame. For larger people or even those with a broad back or shoulders, this item might be a bit too tight for their liking. Of course, the slim design means that it is that much easier to conceal under your clothing which means that your firearm will also be that much less noticeable.

If you like this product you can find and purchase it on Amazon.

ActiveProGear deep concealment shoulder holster

For wearers who are looking for a sturdy holster that won’t stand out like a sore thumb, this may just be their best bet! It has been designed in such a way that it allows the user to wear a suit and other similar clothing without revealing that they are carrying a weapon. It is fully adjustable and fitted with additional padding on order to protect the firearm from perspiration while making it even more comfortable for the wearer. Apart from holding your firearm snugly in place, it also has space for two magazines.

ActiveProGear deep concealment shoulder holster

This product also keeps the muzzle facing directly down in the event of an accidental discharge. Some of the disadvantages reported by users is that you really do need to wear a shirt under this holster, or it may cause discomfort. Since it is a deep concealment style holster, it is to be expected that you will not be able to access your weapon as quickly as you would with another type of shoulder holster.

If you like this product you can find and buy it on Amazon.

Triple K Deluxe leather shoulder holster brown

Since this one is made from leather, it is understandably heavier than those made from other lightweight materials. It is also on the higher end of the price scale at around $80. Of course, leather has been used to make holsters for many years, and the durability speaks for itself. This item is fitted with snap closures and can be adjusted to fit. It can hold your firearm along with two additional clips and reviewers love its balanced design. It will require some assembling at first, and users are advised to read the instructions carefully in order to help with this process.

Triple K Deluxe leather shoulder holster brown

Unlike some other holsters, this one provides a comfortable fit even if you are heavyset or have broader shoulders than most. While the price might seem like a negative point, it is important to understand its durable nature as well as the fact that anything made from leather will cost more than a synthetic alternative.

If you like this product you can find and check its price on Amazon.

Brown leather US M7 Paratrooper shoulder holster

This unique design allows this item to offer every wearer a comfortable fit. Even if the wearer is larger, has a broad back or broad shoulders, it can be adjusted to provide maximum comfort.

This item retails for less than $40 which makes it affordable and relatively cheap for a leather shoulder holster. Its design means that your firearm will be kept securely in place for easy access, and reviewers really enjoy just how durable and thick the leather is.

Leather US M7 Paratrooper Shoulder Holster

The only real disadvantage is that, like any holster, it is important to make sure that it will fit your firearm. This one is only suited for certain handguns, but this is to be expected. The upper strap that runs over the shoulder is fitted with extra padding (much like a duffle bag or sports bag) in order to ensure comfort and reduce any friction.

If you like this product you can find and buy it here.

Important considerations

When choosing a gun holder for your handgun, it is important to take your time and consider all of your options. Even if you have a somewhat strict budget, it could be worth spending a bit more for a superior product with added benefits. These are some important points to consider:

  • Try the product on and move around to feel just how comfortable it is.
  • Make sure that the holster protects your handgun when you are inserting or removing it. It should never result in the accidental movement of the hammer, release of the safety mechanism or accidental trigger.
  • The product you choose should be compatible for your specific make and model gun.
  • It should protect the wearer by preventing anyone other than him or her from removing their gun. There are many holsters that have hidden retention devices for this exact reason, but these are often custom made for the particular type of gun.
  • Ensure that your holster and gun are easy to conceal beneath an additional item of clothing.
  • It should not cause any damage to the gun.
  • The wearer should have fast, easy access to their firearm.
  • The holster must be made from a durable material.
  • Choose a rigid holster for speedy reholstering of your gun. Flexible ones will require the use of two hands to reholster.
  • Various parts of the holster should provide means for adjustment in order to ensure the perfect fit.

Making your own choice

With so many different products on the market, choosing the perfect should holster might seem like a tough task. Provided you take the points mentioned above into consideration, it can be less complicated than you think. A great bit of advice, particularly for first-time buyers, is that they should conduct a fair amount of research online before placing their order.

If there is ever any doubt, it might be best to try the item on before buying. It is also a good idea to look into the possibility of a money back guarantee or exchange policy just in case you are not entirely happy with your purchase.

Vertical shoulder holster

While the price is usually one of the most significant points, many will argue that you simply cannot put a price on quality, comfort, and safety. Both the safety of the wearer and those around them should be the top priority.

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.

  • Bobby L. Keiser

    I have the Black Nylon 5″ concealed carry shoulder holster; it was worth the price. It is flexible and adjustable, fits me like a glove. It is comfortable, and secure. I move a lot, but I’ve felt less discomfort that I thought I’d have. I believe that it also makes a great gift for friends.

    • David Dawson

      In fact
      you can obtain a comfortable fit by adjusting the straps of the Black Nylon 5″.

  • Richard

    I bought the Deluxe Universal Horizontal Shoulder tactical holster a couple of days ago and in that short time, I found that its quality is worth every penny I paid. I can carry both my Colt and my Gloc smoothly with this holster with no issues when drawing the gun during a quick-draw.

    For my size, it fits me like a gem and although I haven’t tested its durability as I’ve only had it for two days.

  • Richard,

    Thank you for sharing your experience. Take your new holster for some rounds in a shooting gallery and see how well it will serve it’s purpose.

    David

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