What Is The Best Appendix Carry Holsters In 2020?

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If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best appendix inside the waistband (AIWB) holster is for 2020, our evidence supports the Concealment Express’s IWB Kydex Holster as the best AIWB holster.

Over the past several decades, appendix carrying has gone from a rarely seen phenomenon in the gun community to one of the most common ways to conceal carry.  Why, you ask? Because appendix carry or appendix inside the waistband (AIWB) carry is one of the most dangerous ways to bear arms. So has everybody gone mad or is there a correct and safe way to carry in this position? Just like everything else that deals with guns, you need the right equipment for optimal performance and safety. So kick back relax and check out our AIWB holster reviews below.

We’re going to review the following AIWB holsters

  1. Concealment Express IWB Holster (Best overall) 
  2.  CYA Supply IWB Holster
  3. Tulster IWB Holster 
  4. BLACKHAWK! Ambidextrous AIWB Holster
  5. Relentless Tactical Defender IWB Holster (Most Versatile)
  6. Vedder IWB holster
  7. Bravo Concealment IWB
  8. ComfortTac Ultimate Belly Band (Most Economical)
  9. Alien Gear’s ShapeShift Appendix Holster

Guide to Appendix Carry

Appendix Carry is the method of carrying your firearm concealed inside the waistband at the front and towards the center of your body . Right-handed people that want to appendix carry will carry in the 2 o’clock position or between your right hip bone and your belly button. This is right in front of your appendix….. if you still have one that is…..and the reason it is named appendix carry.  

Left-handed people will carry at the 11 o’clock position or between the left side hip bone and the belly button.   In order to wear an AIWB holster at the 11 o’clock position some people like to wear their belt backwards or move the belt buckle to the far right to make room for the rig.

What Are The Pros Of AIWB Carry?

Seriously what could be the benefit to having a pistol pointed directly at some of your most “critical areas” ? Well for one our arms are naturally positions to hang towards the front of our bodies, meaning you should be able to draw your gun faster from appendix position than other IWB carry positions in theory. Also, it allows you to guard your weapon better while carrying. Other benefits are it enables you to conceal your gun better as well, and many people find it more comfortable when sitting compared to other carry positions. 

What Are The Cons Of AIWB Carry?

As we have said before the firearm is pointed at some pretty important stuff on your body in this position. There is no way around this fact. More specifically, your groin area and your femoral artery. For some, this means appendix carry is out of the question, and at the surface, we would agree. However, let us think this through is it really that more dangerous than other IWB carry positions? The answer is no. Now, before you call the men with a straight jacket let us explain.  

Imagine you have your pistol in an IWB holster behind your hip bone or at the 4 o’clock position for right-handed people, and the 8 o’clock position for left-handed people. When you go to draw your gun the muzzle in this position will typically come out at an angle facing you.   Even more disturbing, while you pull the gun from the holster to the shooting position, you are potentially exposing a large surface area of your body to the muzzle of your gun. If an accidental firing of your weapon happens during this time, you are looking a considerable amount of bodily harm!

The truth is there is no 100% safe way to carry a gun. When we decide to conceal carry, we must realize we are taking a risk and must educate and train ourselves to minimize this risk. Proper education and training on skills like trigger discipline, holstering and drawing your firearm until it is second nature are critical.   

Another con is some find the AIWB carrying position downright uncomfortable to wear when sitting or bending down. This is common in people with a larger stomach. However, there are few ways that people with a larger stomach can try to counteract these issues with appendix carry holster.

How To Appendix Carry With A Larger Stomach

Option 1 

Find a deep appendix carry holster with more of its length below the waistline. You might ask how that helps, and it is pretty simple; usually, a more significant gut will push on top of the rig. This results in the gun and holster above the waistline being pushed out . The muzzle and lower part of the holster is then pushed into the body below the waistline. By lowering the top of the rig to the waistline, you lessen the force of the gut on it. In turn,  we see a reduction of the bottom of the holster being pushed into the body.  

Option 2 

Another method for AIWB carrying with a larger stomach is a foam wedge at the bottom of the holster.   For this to work, place the foam wedge at the bottom part of the holster facing the body. This compensates for the force of the stomach on the top portion of the rig, and keeps the bottom part of the holster from pushing into your body.

Showing how to appendix carry for larger people

Is AIWB Right For You? 

You are the only person that can decide if AIWB carrying is right for you. To decide, you need to look at the pros and cons specific to your needs.   If the pros outweigh the cons, then give it a shot. Ask a friend if you could try their appendix holster out for a day or two, or make sure to purchase a holster with a decent return policy when you try it out for your first time. Then practice practice practice.

What Are The Best Types Of Guns For AIWB Carrying? 

Again we are looking at a very subjective question. Many people differ on which they think is best for AIWB holster. However, the short answer is any gun that is good for regular concealed carry is suitable for appendix carry. More specifically guns with the following traits are the ones we suggest you look at: 

  • Smaller width– The smaller the width, the less print you will see.
  • Shorter length– Shorter length means the muzzle is less likely to dig into you while going about your daily task. For example, when you are bending over or squatting. 
  • Rounded back profile– A rounded back profile will be more comfortable when pushed up against your stomach while carrying.

Pistols with these features are compact or subcompact (single stacks preferred). You also need to look for striker fire pistols, or revolvers with bobbed or shrouded hammers.

How To Train?

If you want to try out appendix carrying go to the range and practice with an outside the waistband holster first in the 2 or 11 o’clock position. Check out this video from Personal Defense Network to see this in action.  

Safety Tip: After firing your pistol, take a deep breath and for 5-10 seconds, think about what the process of holstering your gun is. This will minimize the chances of something going wrong when re-holstering your firearm. 

What To Look For When Buying An AIWB holster?

Trigger Guard

The holster needs a secure covering of the entire trigger to prevent accidental discharge

Firearm Retention and Protection

The holster must have enough retention to ensure the the gun does not fall out, but not too much that it is a struggle to draw your firearm. The good news is , most appendix carry holsters have adjustable retention to allow you to determine the setting you prefer.

A good AIWB holster must also offer protection to the gun while in the rig. One of the features used to protect your firearm are sweat guards that will come in handy in the summer months. Now, as far as attaching the holster to the belt, there are two commonly used methods by gun holsters. 

  • Snap-on clip (seen in a lot of high-quality holsters)
    • Pros
      • Secures your holster better to your belt.  
      • Last longer 
    • Cons
      • Hard to put on and take off 
  • Clips 
    • Pros
      • Faster to put on and take off
      • Could use without a belt if needed to 
    • Cons
      • Holster may come dislodged while wearing
      • The clips tend to break and not last as long at the snap-on.   

Comfort

No matter how “great” people claim, a holster is, if it is not comfortable to wear, then you will not use it. One way most AIWB holsters keep comfort a top priority is by adding the adjustable cant feature to the holster.  

Another critical issue many people overlook is if the holster is rounded off at the bottom just below where the muzzle of the firearm goes when in the rig.

If the holster is not rounded off in this area you can see a decrease in your range of motion of your legs, and if you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to use a gun, you want as much range of motion as possible.

Concealment 

Any IWB holster should conceal well under clothes (minimal print). Some appendix carry holster will increase concealment by adding a wedge to the holster towards the muzzle location. Also, the “footprint” or size of the holster plays a crucial role in how well a holster allows you to conceal.  

Ease of Use

The holster should allow the gun to be drawn and re-holstered easily while wearing. Holsters that enable the person to get a full grip of the handle of your firearm are the easiest to draw from. The most common way people injure themselves with a holster is when they go to re-holster. If the holster collapses when you are trying to re-holster this puts you at a higher risk of misfire.

The preferred thickness for IWB holster is 0.08” inches. However, some have a thickness of 0.06,” and while this helps with concealment, it has a high chance of collapsing.

Durability 

The holster must be able to endure daily use without breaking down. Normally, the most durable holsters are Kydex holsters and high-quality leather holsters. 

Cost

The price does not break the bank. 

Pro tip: Always adjust the retention of your holster while wearing it. If you adjust the holster outside the waistband, you are not taking into account the natural retention on both the holster and gun while inside the waistband and could result in the retention not being where you need it to be. 

Our Top Appendix Carry Holsters

1. Concealment Express (Outdoor Methods Top Pick) 

If you are serious about appendix carry, then you need to take a hard look at this holster. Concealment Express IWB holsters are Kydex holsters that can proudly say “Made in the USA” using high-quality material. The holster also has a thickness of 0.08”, which means it will not collapse after you withdraw your firearm. However, it is also one of the lightest on our list weighing in at just at 3 oz. The ability to adjust the holster’s retention and cant from 0-15 degrees are just a few of the features this holster can offer.

The only downside to this holster is a”cheap” plastic clip that has been known to break.   However, this holster has a lifetime warranty, and Concealment Express is known for its excellent customer service. Therefore getting a replacement clip should not be difficult. What is more impressive is how well this holster performs at such a low price. 

Pros:

  • Easy to Use
  • Sweat Guard
  • Posi-Click Audible Retention Lock System
  • Adjustable Retention and Cant
  • Comfortable
  • Low Profile (less chance of printing)
  • Durable
  • Price
  • Trigger Guard

Cons:

  • Belt Clip
  • Ride Height Not Adjustable

**Check Price On Amazon**

2. CYA Supply IWB Holster 

The CYA Supply IWB Holster just like the Concealment Express Holster is a 0.08” thick holster. Meaning it will not collapse after drawing your firearm. It’s cant is also adjustable from between 0-15 degrees. The CYA Supply IWB holster is rounded off with smooth edges making this an extremely comfortable holster.

One area this holster is lacking in is the belt clip that has a width of 1.5”. However, you can purchase a 1.75” clip if needed to fit your belt.

Another issue is the holster’s lack of ability to adjust the ride height, and the rig tends to ride higher than most holsters, which may result in less concealment. So if you are looking for a low profile holster, the CYA Supply IWB holster is not for you. With all that said, this is a solid holster that gives you the quality of a high-end at a much lower cost.  

Pros:

  • Audible Retention Lock System
  • Adjustable Retention and Cant
  • Can Handle Aftermarket Sights
  • Sweat Guard
  • Rounded Edges
  • Good Handle Grip When Drawing
  • Durable
  • Price
  • Trigger Guard

Cons:

  • Belt Clip
  • Ride Height Not Adjustable

**Check Price On Amazon**

3.  Tulster IWB Holster 

Tulster is a well put together Kydex holster with a thickness of 0.08”. So we know the holster will not collapse when drawing your firearm. Its minimalist design allows for very little printing when wearing in the 2 o’clock position. It also has smooth edges that are rounded for maximum comfort. Unlike the first two holsters on this list, this rig has a 1.5 “ injected belt clip with stainless steel screws. This makes the holster’s clip very durable. The clip also allows for a 0-15 degree cant adjustment. 

It is worth noting that you can also upgrade this holster with soft loops.  This rig comes standard with adjustable retention as well.

What we do not like is how you can press the magazine release button on your firearm while it is in the holster. We believe the risk of the magazine accidentally being ejected without the wearer’s knowledge outweighs any benefits you might see from it.

While Tulster dose make an excellent holster for appendix carry, it is not higher on our list due to pricing and the ability to eject the magazine of the firearm while holstered. Still, we recommend you take a serious look at this holster.

Pros:

  • Audible Retention Lock System
  • Adjustable Retention and Cant
  • Can Handle Aftermarket Sights
  • Sweat Guard
  • Sturdy Clip (option of soft loop)
  • Good Handle Grip When Drawing
  • Durable
  • Trigger Guard

Cons:

  • Price
  • Magazine Can Eject While Holstered

**Check Price On Amazon**

We also think you should check out Tulster’s IWB Mag Carrier as well. 

4.  BLACKHAWK! Ambidextrous AIWB Reversible Holster 

 An Injected molded polymer material that is softer than Kydex and plastic holsters is used to make the BLACKHAWKS! to make this holsters for two reasons. The softness of the polymer allows for this rig to one most comfortable appendix carry holsters around, and shockingly the softness helps with retention of the gun.

The BLACKHAWKS! AIWB holster is just as durable as any other on the market, and will not buckle after drawing your pistol. This bad boy allows you to adjust the retention of the holster, and gives you the option to adjust its cant ride as well. 

Unfortunately, the retention screws have been known to loosen due to the soft characteristic of the holster. The same issues can occur with the cant adjustment screws so you need to check them routinely to ensure the holster is riding correctly. . 

Another problem is the low profile of the holster which means it does not act as a guide to the gun when you are holstering your weapon.  This can make it difficult to holster your firearm while wearing the rig, and a little dangerous. The low profile of the holster does not protect against sweat and does not protect the magazine release button, which can result in the magazine accidentally being ejected while wearing.

BLACKAWK’s AIWB may have some shortcomings, but all holsters do, and it’s simple yet effective design is worth you checking out.

Pros:

  • Designed for Pistols with a Rear Red Dot
  • Adjustable Ride Height and Cant
  • Can Handle Aftermarket Sights
  • Two Belt Clips for 1.5 “ and 1.75” Belts
  • Ambidextrous
  • Durable
  • Trigger Guard
  • More Comfortable Than Kydex
  • Adjustable Retention

Cons:

  • Clips Feel Cheap
  • Cant Changes While Wearing
  • Retention Screw Can Come Loose
  • Does Not Guide Firearm into the Holsterlement
  • Magazine can Eject While Holstered
  • No Sweat Guard

**Check Price On Amazon**

5. Relentless Tactical Defender Holster (Most Versatilely)

Next on our AIWB holster reviews is the only leather appendix holster on our list that is made by Relentless Tactical. This holster is made from real leather and has a firm metal clip that has proven to withstand the test of time. It is also very versatile, unlike a lot of holsters on our list, and will fit many concealed size guns not just one. 

However, its real claim to fame is how comfortable it is and many consider it the most comfortable appendix holster on the market. Unfortunately, it is not higher on our list due to its tendency to collapse when the gun is drawn from it, making it difficult to re-holsters. If you want a leather AIWB holster, this holster is hard to beat. 

Pros:

  • Retention of the Gun
  • Strong Belt Clip
  • Well Made Trigger Guard
  • Very Comfortable
  • Durable
  • Lower Ride Height

Cons:

  • Holster May Collapse After Gun is Drawn
  • Concealment
  • Cannot Adjust Cant
  • Cannot Adjust Ride Height

**Check Price On Amazon**

6. Vedder IWB Holster

Vedder struck gold with LightTuck IWB Holster. It is made from 0.08” high-quality Kydex that is very strong with minimal flexing. The sides of the holster are very smooth with edges that are rounded off.  These features help with comfort and concealability. It also has two options for the metal clip. Option One is a 1.5” clip and option two is for a 1.75” one. Yes, you heard that right a very durable metal clip, not a Kydex or some cheap plastic clip (Thank you Lord!). The clip also gives you the ability to tuck your shirt while wearing 

Pros:

  • 30-Degree Adjustable Cant for Appendix and Cross Draw (Forward and Reverse)
  • Strong Belt Clip
  • Adjustable Retention
  • Adjustable Ride Height
  • Trigger Guard
  • Durable
  • Sweat Guard

Cons:

  • May Not Clip Well to Belt Due To Clip’s Design
  • Challenging to Take Holster Off
  • Screws Seem Cheap
  • Slow Customer Service

**Check Price On Amazon**

7. Bravo Concealment Torsion IWB Gun Holster

The current Torsion IWB Gun Holster is Bravo Concealment’s 2nd generation. This new generation is designed with what Bravo Concealment calls,” torsion technology,” meaning the holster has a 10-degree inward angle. This 10- degree inward angle allows for better concealment, especially for a bigger pistol like the Glock 19.

In fact, some like to say this is the best appendix carry holster for Glock 19, and they have some strong evidence backing this calm up. The Torsion IWB holster is very impressive with its trigger guard, firearm retention, pistol protection, comfort, concealment, durability, and ease of use.

Pros:

  • One-Handed Re-holstering
  • Adjustable Retention
  • Solid Polymer Injection Mold
  • Adjustable Rise and Cant
  • Durable
  • Sweat Guard
  • Trigger Guard
  • Price
  • Integrated 10-degree Inward Slant of the Holster for Better Concealability “Torsion Technology”

Cons:

  • Maybe Uncomfortable in the  Appendix Position
  • Cheaper Clips
  • Holster Material is not as Durable as Kydex

**Check Price On Bravo Concealment Website**

8. ComfortTac Ultimate Belly Band Holster for Concealed Carry (Most Economical)

No belt? No problem, the ComfortTac Ultimate Belly Band Holster is in a league of its own due to it not requiring you to wear a belt. It also has an ambidextrous design, which allows you to draw your gun with both your right and left hand.

This rig is a joy to wear owing to its soft, neoprene material craftsmanship that provides the right amount of ventilation, allowing your skin underneath to breathe easy, and is lightweight. The ComfortTac Ultimate Belly Band Holster is designed to accommodate most handguns up to a full size 1911 and is perfect for people with a waist size up to a 44”.  You can also consider this as an appendix holster with mag pouch.

What we do not like is that no matter how breathable the neoprene material your skin still runs the risk of sweating underneath. There also is no trigger guard and therefore puts the gun at a higher risk of accidental discharge.

However, this is a very cheap appendix carry holster, and could be a good holster for many different occasions.

Pros:

  • Made from Non-Itchy and Thick Neoprene Material
  • Can Fit Many Different Models of Handguns
  • Comfortable
  • Easy to Adjust Holster’s Position
  • Great for Different Dress Occasions
  • Has a Pouch for a Magazine
  • Can Wear Without a Belt
  • Price

Cons:

  • Potential to Stain Clothes
  • Can Cause Perspiration and Itching if Wearing for an Extended Period
  • Awkward Position of the Retention Strap
  • Smaller Guns May “Sink” into the Holster, so it is Hard to Retrieve
  • No Trigger Guard
  • No Way to Adjust the Cant

**Check Price On Amazon**

9. Alien Gear Holsters ShapeShift Appendix Carry Holster

Now, this holster for appendix carry is out of this world… Just like with everything they do Alien Gear’s ShapeShift Appendix Holster is a masterpiece. Alien Gear goes as far as calling it “the safest and most comfortable AIWB holster ever.”

The ShapeShift Appendix Holster has your standard “advice alien skin material” to retain the firearm in the holster. It also comes with a perforated neoprene back that goes against your skin. The neoprene is soft and allows the skin to vent, minimizing sweating just like the belly band holster. This rig has a single mounting point to your belt which allows for some flexibility in the holster. Alien Gear has also engineered an unique metal core that maintains the holsters shape while drawing. 

Pros:

  • Retention Lip on Clip
  • Trigger Guard
  • Durable
  • Comfortable
  • Audible Retention Lock System
  • Adjustable Retention

Cons:

  • Bulky 
  • No Adjustable Cant
  • No Adjustable Ride Height
  • Price

**Check Price On Amazon**

Conclusion

So there you have it.  Based on our extensive research, testing, and surviving the winner is Concealment Express Kydex IWB Holster for appendix carry.  These holsters are a very simple but brilliant design. It’s trigger guard, concealment, cost, comfort, ease of use, and firearm protection, and firearm retention are best in the class. 

The only area the rig scored somewhat low but is still respectable mark is in durability of its belt clip. However, with Concealment Express good warranty and great customer service you would be hard press not make this your new holster. Did we miss anything, or what comments do you have?  Let us know below and as always keep them straight.

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