6 Best 1911 Holsters Reviewed: Govt., Commander, Defender [IWB, OWB]

Best 1911 Holsters IWB OWB Concealed Carry 4 Commander 3.25 Defender 5 Government

My friends call me the “holster guy”.

I’ve owned over 50 different holsters in my life. And I’ve tried countless others that didn’t make the cut.

When we started working on this 1911 post for Looserounds, here’s how everything went down:

Side note: Yes, this took a lot of time and effort. We’re thorough like that.

  1. First, we picked up 23 popular holster brands for in-house testing
  2. Then, we wore and rated each 1911 holster on their: Comfort, Safety, Retention, Ease of concealment, Ease of draw, Build quality & durability, Customization & adjustability, Warranty, Price & value for money
  3. Finally, we narrowed the list down to 6 winners for each carry type

Note: We did most of our testing with the classical 5″ 1911 government model, but we made sure that the holster brands we chose also have models available for all popular 1911 models – govt., commander & defender. Railed & non-railed versions.

You’re probably in a hurry, so I’ll save you the scroll. Here are the results:

  1. Overall Best: We The People IWB (Concealed)
  2. Premium, Most Comfortable: Hidden Hybrid IWB (Concealed)
  3. Full Leather Pick: We The People Independence (Concealed & Open)
  4. Modular System: Alien Gear ShapeShift (Concealed & Open)
  5. Best Open Carry: Rounded Gear Concealment Express OWB Paddle (Open Carry)
  6. Best Belly-Band: CrossBreed Modular Belly Band (Concealed)

Keep reading for full reviews & to learn more about our testing methodology below.

Ready? Let’s get started…

Compare The Best 1911 Holsters

HolsterTypeCarryMaterialRetentionAdjustabilityLight/Laser CompatibleRed Dot/Optics Compatible1991 Models Compatible
1. We The People IWB Best 1911 Govt. Commander Kydex IWB AIWB Holster Concealed Carry1. We The People IWBIWBConcealed CarryKydexActive ClickRide, Cant, Retention-Yes3.5" Defender, 4" Commander, 5" Goverment
2. Hidden Hybrid IWB Most Comfortable 1911 Govt. Commander Concealed Carry Hybrid IWB Holster2. Hidden Hybrid IWB
IWBConcealed CarryKydex & LeatherPassiveRide, Cant, RetentionYesYes3.5" Defender, 4" Commander, 5" Goverment
3. We The People Independence Best Leather 1911 Govt. Commander IWB Holster3. We The People Independence
IWBConcealed CarryLeatherPassiveRide, Cant--3.5" Defender, 4" Commander, 5" Goverment
4. Alien Gear ShapeShift System Best 1911 Govt. Commander Modular Holster System4. Alien Gear ShapeShift System
IWB/OWBConcealed/Оpen Carry
Polymer & NeopreneActive & PassiveRide, Cant, Retention--3.5" Defender, 4" Commander, 5" Goverment
5. Rounded Gear Concealment Express OWB Best 1911 Govt. Commander OWB Belt Paddle Holster5. Rounded Gear Concealment Express OWB
OWBOpen CarryKydexActive ClickRide, Cant, RetentionYesYes3.5" Defender, 4" Commander, 5" Goverment
6. CrossBreed Modular Belly Band Best 1911 Govt. Commander Belly Band Holster6. CrossBreed Modular Belly Band
Belly BandConcealed CarryKydex & NeoprenePassiveRide, Cant, RetentionYes-3.5" Defender, 4" Commander, 5" Goverment

6 Best 1911 Holsters Reviewed For Concealed Carry & Open Carry

1. We The People IWB – Best 1911 Kydex IWB/AIWB Holster [Concealed Carry]

1. We The People IWB Best 1911 Govt. Commander Kydex IWB AIWB Holster Concealed Carry
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  • Affordable & beginner-friendly
  • Good retention
  • Good adjustability & comfort
  • Easy to conceal
  • Good safety & trigger coverage
  • Lifetime warranty


  • Only common optics cuts are available

Bottom Line Up Front

Out of all the IWB holsters we reviewed, We The People’s Custom 1911 IWB holster had the best value for money, without compromising on quality. It is a beautiful, comfortable kydex holster that is easy to wear and conceal. A simple, no-frills holster you just can’t go wrong with – a great pick for anyone looking to get into concealed carry.

Features & The Nitty-Gritty

Holster Type: IWBCarry Type: Concealed Carry
Holster Material: Kydex Holster Fit: Custom Fit
Retention Type: Active Click RetentionHolster Adjustability: Ride, Cant, Retention
Light/Laser Compatible: YesRed Dot/Optics Compatible: Yes
Made In: ✅ AmericaSafety: ✅ Trigger & Barrel Protected
Hand Orientation: ✅ Left & Right HandedWarranty: ✅ Lifetime

Looks, Feel & Durability: 5/5

The We The People IWB holster has a sleek appearance and feels built to last. The matte finish and sturdy 0.08″ kydex material ensure it doesn’t bend or give in easily. The durable plastic clip and solid hardware add to its overall durability. It’s designed to accommodate threaded barrels and suppressor-level sights. We The People offers a range of optics and laser cuts for various gun models, including the 1911. They also provide a wide selection of interesting colors and prints, catering to everyone’s preferences.

Comfort: 4.5/5

Wearing this holster for hours is comfortable to the point where you might forget it’s even there. The holster’s smooth and rounded edges eliminate any sharp corners that could cause discomfort. The open muzzle end doesn’t prod or bother you during wear. While the ride height and angle are adjustable, I found the default settings to be comfortable without any adjustments needed.

Retention: 5/5

This holster passes our retention test with flying colors. I can confidently turn it upside down, and my M&P remains securely held in place. The positive click retention provides a satisfying and crisp sound when holstering the gun. Unlike cheaper holsters, the retention remains strong over time. It’s also easy to adjust the retention level using the tension screw, allowing for a tighter or looser fit as desired.

Safety & Protection: 5/5

When holstered, both the trigger and barrel of my 1911 are fully covered, ensuring the trigger cannot be manipulated. The rigid kydex material offers reliable protection against bumps, dirt, and drops. The inner sweat guard protects both the gun from sweat corrosion and my waist from any rough edges. Additionally, the sturdy belt clip prevents accidental detachment from the belt, ensuring secure and safe carry.

Ease Of Concealment: 5/5

I experienced no issues with printing while wearing jeans and a flannel shirt with this holster. It hugs my 1911 closely and effectively conceals it. The low-profile design keeps the handle flush with my body, eliminating any protrusions that may give away the presence of the gun. For those planning to appendix carry, I highly recommend the optional claw addon, which brings the gun even closer to the body, enhancing deep concealment.

To summarize, for most individuals, this holster provides easy concealment with a 1911. However, remember that your own ease of concealment may depend on factors such as body type, concealed carry experience, and the specific clothing you’re wearing.

Ease Of Draw: 5/5

Drawing my 1911 from this holster was a breeze. I consistently achieved a proper, ready-to-shoot grip from any position, and even sub-2-second draws were effortless. The retention mechanism does not hinder the draw in any way. The adjustable ride height and cant allow for customization, ensuring an optimal draw position that suits your personal style and body shape.

Warranty & Returns: 5/5

All We The People holsters come with a lifetime warranty and have a one-year return policy for a refund from the day the order was placed.

Keep In Mind

While the We The People IWB holster is quite comfortable for a full kydex option, it may not feel as soft against the body as the leather-backed Independence and Hidden Hybrid models reviewed below.

Please note that the available optics cuts and modifications are somewhat limited. If you have a more unique modification on your 1911, you may want to consider the Hidden Hybrid holsters, which offer a broader range of cuts, albeit at a higher cost.

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Read our full We The People Holsters review

2. Hidden Hybrid IWB – Most Comfortable 1911 Concealed Carry Hybrid IWB Holster

2. Hidden Hybrid IWB Most Comfortable 1911 Govt. Commander Concealed Carry Hybrid IWB Holster
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  • Most comfortable IWB holster we tested
  • Premium build & hardware
  • Any laser/light/optic combo you can think of
  • Good concealment, adjustability, and retention
  • Safety & trigger coverage
  • Lifetime warranty


  • Slightly bulkier than full Kydex holsters
  • Premium pricing
  • Delivery time (since they’re handmade)

Bottom Line Up Front

Hidden Hybrid’s Single Clip is the most comfortable 1911 holster on our list. It’s one of the best hybrid holsters on the market. A solid choice if you’re looking for something more comfortable than a full Kydex holster, and don’t mind the slight increase in overall holster weight & size (as well as the premium pricing).

Features & The Nitty-Gritty

Holster Type: IWBCarry Type: Concealed Carry
Holster Material: Kydex & LeatherHolster Fit: Custom Fit
Retention Type: Passive RetentionHolster Adjustability: Ride, Cant, Retention
Light/Laser Compatible: YesRed Dot/Optics Compatible: Yes
Made In: ✅ AmericaSafety: ✅ Trigger & Barrel Protected
Hand Orientation: ✅ Left & Right HandedWarranty: ✅ Lifetime

Looks, Feel & Durability: 5/5

The HH Single Clip holster combines a Kydex shell and a thick Amish leather backer to securely hold your gun. The custom-molded Kydex shell ensures excellent retention and protection for your 1911. The soft leather backer conforms to your body over time, providing superior comfort compared to holsters made solely of Kydex.

Out of all the hybrid holsters I’ve tried, this one stands out as my favorite. The Amish leather is thick, yet soft, with a suede back. It contours to my body without stretching out. The use of 0.093″ Kydex adds extra durability compared to the standard 0.08″ thickness. The holster features beautiful stainless steel hardware and a well-designed, durable clip.

In terms of looks, feel, and durability, this holster is simply exceptional. It’s the most visually appealing and comfortable holster on this list. Additionally, it accommodates threaded barrels and suppressor-level sights, making it compatible with a wide range of firearm configurations.

Comfort: 5/5

Wearing this holster for hours is a breeze. Once the leather breaks in after a couple of weeks, the comfort surpasses that of full-Kydex holsters. This is particularly noticeable when sitting for extended periods. Hidden Hybrid has truly nailed the comfort aspect with this design. The padding is soft, contours to my body, and avoids any discomfort. I give it a solid five stars.

Retention: 5/5

Rest assured, this holster provides excellent retention. It passes the upside-down test without the gun falling out. The retention is tight, ensuring there’s no shaking or rattling with my 1911 securely holstered. While the retention starts off on the tight side, it loosens up as the leather breaks in while maintaining a comfortable level. The retention adjustment feature allows for easy customization according to your preferences.

Safety & Protection: 5/5

The holster offers comprehensive coverage for the trigger and barrel, preventing any accidental access to the trigger. The leather backer doubles as a sweat guard, shielding the gun from corrosion. It also provides reliable protection against bumps and scratches, ensuring the firearm remains well-protected. The clip is thoughtfully designed, tight, and difficult to dislodge from your belt, even in challenging situations.

Unlike cheaper hybrid holsters, Hidden Hybrid’s Single Clip ensures safe and rapid one-handed reholstering. The design eliminates any risk of the leather backer folding inside the holster shell, thus avoiding any compromise to trigger safety. The thick and rounded leather construction lacks sharp edges, minimizing the chance of the holster getting snagged.

Ease Of Concealment: 4.5/5

Concealing this holster is a breeze. It remains inconspicuous under jeans and a plaid flannel shirt, thanks to its slim profile despite the additional layer of leather. The height strikes the right balance, preventing excessive grip printing while still allowing for comfortable access. I highly recommend the optional claw kit for appendix carry, as it provides deeper concealment at an affordable price.

Ease Of Draw: 5/5

Drawing from this holster is effortless. The leather is precisely cut around the handle, allowing for a secure and ready-to-shoot grip from any position. Achieving sub-2-second draws poses no challenge. Both the cant and height are adjustable, though I found the default settings to be ideal out of the box. The retention mechanism does not hinder the draw in any way.

Warranty & Returns: 5/5

All Hidden Hybrid Holsters come with a lifetime warranty. They also have a 30-Day “One Question Return Policy” where you only have to answer how they could have done better.

Keep In Mind

While Hidden Hybrid holsters may come with a higher price tag compared to others, the quality justifies the investment. Keep in mind that customized modifications, such as laser/light cuts or red dot optics compatibility, incur additional costs and may result in longer production times.

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Read Our Full Hidden Hybrid Holsters Review

3. We The People Independence – Best Leather 1911 IWB Holster

3. We The People Independence Best Leather 1911 Govt. Commander IWB Holster
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  • Custom-sewn double-layer leather shell
  • Premium build & hardware
  • Adjustable cant & ride height
  • Great comfort
  • All boxes checked on safety, trigger covered


  • Premium pricing
  • Limited optics & light options

Bottom Line Up Front

In our opinion, WTP Independence is the best commercially-available full leather holster you can buy at this moment. It is a newer product and the only full-leather holster that made it to our 1911 holster picks list. Its adjustability, build quality, and attention to detail make it stand out compared to the other leather holsters.

Features & The Nitty-Gritty

Holster Type: IWBCarry Type: Concealed Carry
Holster Material: LeatherHolster Fit: Custom Fit
Retention Type: Passive RetentionHolster Adjustability: Ride, Cant
Light/Laser Compatible:Red Dot/Optics Compatible:
Made In: ✅ AmericaSafety: ✅ Trigger & Barrel Protected
Hand Orientation: ✅ Left & Right HandedWarranty: ✅ Lifetime

Looks, Feel & Durability: 5/5

This holster is well-made with thick, sturdy, and durable leather. The adjustable clips are solid and don’t easily bend. The contouring to the shape of my 1911 is the best I’ve experienced with a leather holster. The stitching is top-notch, ensuring long-lasting quality. It comes in brown and black leather, featuring the WTP logo.

Comfort: 5/5

After about 2 weeks, the leather fully contoured to my body, providing a comfortable fit. From that point on, it was smooth sailing. The comfort level is comparable to hybrid holsters and slightly better than full kydex models. The softness of the leather against my body effectively reduces any sharp edges on my 1911. It’s the only leather holster on the market that allows you to adjust the ride and cant.

Retention: 4.5/5

I can confidently turn the holster upside down without my 1911 falling out. This level of retention is not common for leather holsters. It fits my 1911 perfectly, providing a secure hold. Keep in mind that the retention is initially tight, but it loosens up over time as you wear it.

Safety & Protection: 4.5/5

When holstered, the trigger, safety mechanism, and barrel of the gun are fully covered, ensuring good protection. The clips are sturdy and tight, making it difficult to dislodge the holster from the belt during intense situations. Both the inside and outside of the holster feature grain-side leather, which safeguards the gun against wear and tear that can occur with rougher suede leather commonly used in leather and hybrid holsters.

Ease Of Concealment: 4.5/5

I’m pleased to say that my 1911 remains concealed without printing or protruding under jeans and a plaid flannel shirt, whether in side-carry or appendix-carry positions. The holster has a compact footprint and is slim enough for easy concealment, although it is slightly thicker than kydex. It’s worth noting that this model doesn’t have a holster claw available.

Ease Of Draw: 5/5

Drawing my 1911 from this holster is effortless. I can confidently obtain a solid grip, ready to shoot, in no time. Once the leather has worn in, I experienced no issues achieving sub-2-second draws. The ride height is satisfactory, and if needed, it can be adjusted using the clips.

Warranty & Customization Support: 5/5

We The People offers a lifetime warranty, and a one-year return policy for a refund from the day the order was placed. The holster works with threaded barrels & suppressor level sights.

Keep In Mind

Please note that currently, this holster does not offer optics or laser cuts. Full leather holsters have their downsides, which may not make them ideal for beginners. These downsides include not being waterproof, requiring leather care and maintenance, lack of click retention, difficulties in finding optics or Streamlight/laser cuts, and a higher price point. However, if you’re specifically looking for a full leather holster for your 1911, it will be challenging to find one better than this option.

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Read Our Full We The People Holsters Review

4. Alien Gear ShapeShift System – Best 1911 Govt./Commander Modular Holster System

4. Alien Gear ShapeShift System Best 1911 Govt. Commander Modular Holster System
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  • The polymer shell is built like a tank
  • Great retention
  • 4 different carry options, all work
  • Easy adjustability – carry positions, height, cant, retention
  • Good selection of clips


  • Neoprene “alien skin” fabric is not as durable as leather
  • Slightly bulkier than full-kydex models
  • No light/laser support

Bottom Line Up Front

Alien Gear Shapeshift is the right system for you if you want versatility, and/or are interested in trying different carry styles to see what works best for your 1911. The ShapeShift works as:  

  1. An IWB holster  
  2. An AIWB holster  
  3. An OWB paddle holster
  4. And an OWB belt slide holster 

Alien Gear also sells different expansion packs for this system that allow you to turn it into a drop-leg/thigh holster, ankle holster, and more.

Features & The Nitty-Gritty

Holster Type: IWB/OWBCarry Type: Concealed & Open Carry
Holster Material: Polymer & NeopreneHolster Fit: Custom Fit
Retention Type: Active ClickHolster Adjustability: Ride, Cant, Retention
Light/Laser Compatible:Red Dot/Optics Compatible:
Made In: ✅ AmericaSafety: ✅ Trigger & Barrel Protected
Hand Orientation: ✅ Left & Right HandedWarranty: ✅ Lifetime

Looks, Feel & Durability: 5/5

So it’s a holster kit. You attach the holster shell to different parts to build your IWB or OWB holsters. When you first open the box, the ShapeShift system may seem a bit like IKEA/Legos for holsters.

Honestly, the whole package was a bit intimidating at first. With all the parts and screws laid out there. But once you get the hang of it, adjusting between different carry styles is easy and intuitive. It doesn’t take much time either.

ShapeShift feels more durable than typical kydex holsters. It’s made of injection-molded polymer, which is harder to bend and break compared to Kydex.

I’ve tried it in both IWB and OWB, and everything works as it should. The instructions and usability are well done. Check out the video below for more details.

Comfort: 4.5/5

Being a hybrid holster, it’s softer to wear than full kydex models. Instead of leather, they use their own neoprene fabric for the backer. The fabric is soft and pliable, so the holster is ready to go right out of the box.

Retention: 5/5

The retention is good and passes the upside-down test. The sturdy polymer shell is custom-shaped for your chosen 1911 version. The kit includes an ergonomic thumb release for active retention in the OWB mode, keeping your 1911 secure.

Safety & Protection: 5/5

The trigger and barrel are fully covered when the gun is holstered. The polymer provides good protection against bumps and drops.

Ease Of Concealment: 4/5

The neoprene gives it a slightly larger footprint than minimalist kydex holsters, but it’s still easy to conceal in the IWB configuration. It doesn’t print with jeans and flannel, but I deducted a point here due to the extra size.

Ease Of Draw: 5/5

The grip of my 1911 is easily accessible in all carry configurations, and the draw is smooth. No issues with 2-second speed draws. The retention doesn’t hinder the draw.

Warranty & Returns: 5/5

Alien Gear offers a 30-day test drive, free shell trades for life, and a forever warranty. It’s some of the best customer protection in the industry.

Keep In Mind

The ShapeShift system is priced higher than other holsters. It makes sense if you need multiple carry styles in one rig or plan to use this holster with different gun models.

For the price of a ShapeShift system, you can get a premium holster of your choice (Hidden Hybrid, Tulster, Vedder) or two good holsters (We The People IWB + We The People OWB). It’s up to you to decide if the versatility is worth it for you.

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Read Our Full Alien Gear Holsters Review

5. Rounded Gear Concealment Express OWB – Best 1911 OWB Paddle Holster

5. Rounded Gear Concealment Express OWB Best 1911 Govt. Commander OWB Belt Paddle Holster
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  • Good retention
  • Safety & trigger coverage
  • Strong paddle, built to last
  • Affordable
  • Fastest delivery times on the market


  • Sweat guard protrudes slightly above the holster, not really an issue

Bottom Line Up Front

Rounded Gear (Concealment Express) OWB Paddle holster is a simple and durable open carry holster that is custom-molded for 1911. We picked it over other OWB holsters on the market because of its value for money and simplicity. It’s a good pick if you’re looking for a good & simple open-carry holster that gets the job done.

Side note: Rounded Gear currently offers the fastest shipping in the Kydex holster industry.

Features & The Nitty-Gritty

Holster Type: OWBCarry Type: Open Carry
Holster Material: Kydex Holster Fit: Custom Fit
Retention Type: Active Click RetentionHolster Adjustability: Ride, Cant, Retention
Light/Laser Compatible: YesRed Dot/Optics Compatible: Yes
Made In: ✅ AmericaSafety: ✅ Trigger & Barrel Protected
Hand Orientation: ✅ Left & Right HandedWarranty: ✅ Lifetime

Looks, Feel & Durability: 5/5

The kydex shell is strong, giving a solid feel to the holster. The paddle is reinforced and sturdy. These parts are crucial in a paddle holster, and this one delivers. The holster is designed with an open muzzle end to accommodate threaded barrels and offers support for suppressor-level sights. You can also find models with the more common optics/laser cuts. I have it in matte black, but there are different color options available on their website.

Comfort: 5/5

Comfort is a major advantage of open carry. The holster sits outside the waistband, minimizing contact with your body. Once you get used to the weight, it’s easy to forget it’s there. It doesn’t limit your clothing choices, allowing you to wear tight pants or slim shirts if you prefer. If concealment isn’t a priority, this holster is your go-to for unmatched comfort.

Retention: 5/5

Rounded Gear holsters have always provided excellent retention. The fit is snug, ensuring the gun doesn’t rattle when holstered. Even when turned upside down, the gun remains securely in place. You’ll hear an audible click when holstering, giving you the assurance that your firearm is safely held. While the retention is already good, there’s a tension screw for further adjustment according to your preference.

Safety & Protection: 5/5

This holster offers superb coverage and protection for your gun’s trigger. Once holstered, there’s no access to the trigger. The shell is durable, shielding your firearm from bumps and scratches should it accidentally fall. The robust plastic paddle ensures strong retention, making it extremely difficult to remove the holster from your belt, even in a physical altercation. Additionally, a full-size sweat guard protects your gun from corrosion.

Ease Of Concealment: 1/5

OWB holsters are generally not intended for concealed carry. However, if you choose to conceal it, you can do so by wearing a hoodie or untucked shirt to cover it. Keep in mind the legal requirements in your state, as maintaining continuous concealment throughout your day can be challenging and could lead to serious legal consequences. Make sure you are aware of and comply with the regulations.

Ease Of Draw: 5/5

This holster excels in draw speed and accessibility due to its outside-the-waistband design. Your draw speed will be consistently fast and reliable. The adjustable ride and cant options allow you to customize the positioning to match your body type and preferred drawing style.

Warranty & Returns: 5/5

Rounded Gear Holsters come with a lifetime warranty. They also have a 30-day exchange & return policy.

Keep In Mind

The sweat guard slightly extends above the gun’s slide. While this won’t pose a problem for most users, it’s worth noting.

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Read Our Full Rounded Gear (Concealment Express) Holsters Review

6. CrossBreed Modular Belly Band – Best 1911 Belly Band Holster

6. CrossBreed Modular Belly Band Best 1911 Govt. Commander Belly Band Holster
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  • Kydex shell protecting the trigger
  • Pockets for phone & 2 clips
  • Anti-slip, anti-microbial band
  • Comfortable & easy to wear
  • Great for running, sitting, driving
  • Comfortable draw
  • Lifetime warranty


  • Better for smaller guns
  • Takes time to get used to
  • Can get sweaty in warmer states

Bottom Line Up Front

CrossBreed Modular Belly Band is one of the few belly band holsters with proper safety & protection features. Your 1911 lives in a hybrid holster shell that is attached to the elastic belly band – giving you all the benefits of a belly band without the safety issues. In addition to safety, comfort features such as an anti-slip surface & adjustable ride/cant make CrossBreed’s Modular Belly Band stand out from the competition.

Features & The Nitty-Gritty

Holster Type: Belly BandCarry Type: Concealed Carry
Holster Material: Kydex & NeopreneHolster Fit: Custom Fit
Retention Type: Passive RetentionHolster Adjustability: Ride, Cant, Retention
Light/Laser Compatible: YesRed Dot/Optics Compatible:
Made In: ✅ AmericaSafety: ✅ Trigger & Barrel Protected
Hand Orientation: ✅ Left & Right HandedWarranty: ✅ 1 Year

Looks, Feel & Durability: 4/5

The hybrid kydex-leather shell attaches to the band with a 3″ velcro strap. The Velcro is strong and sticky. You wrap the band over the holster for extra security. Everything stays tight. The durability is good for a belly band, but neoprene will wear out over time. This one is rated for 25 washes.

Comfort: 4/5

The band is easy to put on and comfortable in most situations. It’s also easy to adjust and reposition on the go. You won’t forget that the band is there, but your gun won’t poke, prod, or cause any discomfort. The anti-slip surface keeps the band from sliding sideways while you wear it. The band comes in small, medium, and large sizes.

Safety & Protection: 5/5

The shell is solid and keeps your gun secure. Both the trigger and barrel are covered, and the shell cannot be pulled off the belly band when properly fastened. Safety and protection are excellent, comparable to waistband holsters.

Ease Of Concealment: 4/5

Concealing this rig is easy. The band keeps the holster close to your body, making it great for deep concealment compared to other belly bands. With a smaller-sized gun, it would likely be even better. Although the grip of my 1911 does protrude slightly, it still works well.

Ease Of Draw: 5/5

Getting your hand inside the elastic waistband for a proper grip before drawing is easy. Pulling up your shirt does not hinder access to your firearm. The height and angle of the holster shell can be adjusted via Velcro, allowing for customization. Overall, drawing is straightforward with no obstructions.

Warranty & Returns: 5/5

All CrossBreed holsters come with a lifetime warranty. They also offer a 30-day exchange and return policy.

Keep In Mind:

In summer, sweating, heat, and weight distribution can be challenging with this setup, particularly in southern states.

The belly band may ride up when you sit down since it lacks a clip to keep it in place like a waistband holster.

Check Latest Price

Read Our Full CrossBreed Modular Belly Band Review

Competition & Honorary Mentions: Other 1911 Holsters We Tested

Holster Brands
  • Vedder LightTuck – Very similar to Tulster. Because we could only pick one, we picked Tulster. But Vedder makes great holsters and you won’t go wrong with them.
  • Tier 1 Concealed Xiphos V2 – T1C is another premium kydex holster maker and we only had space for one premium kydex pick in the list. They’re quite pricy, and not for everyone.
  • Dara Holsters – DARA is a well-known premium kydex holster manufacturer that we couldn’t include because of limited space in this review at this time.
  • Craft Holsters IWB Concealed – Their leather holsters are good, but not as good as WTP’s Independence.
  • Versacarry – Versacarry have different models both kydex and leather, but the lackluster trigger guard on some of them and a dubious reputation (them recommending you to carry your gun unloaded) make this brand difficult to recommend.
  • Sneaky Pete – Sneaky Pete makes small holster “boxes” or “bags” that you put your gun into. We’d recommend going with DeSantis over them.
  • Galco Gunleather – Probably the most well-known leather holster manufacturer on this side of the ocean. WTP independence and Hidden Hybrid are simply better for most people.
  • Urban Carry – Urban Carry G3 is a BWB – below the waistband – holster with the gun being located below your waistline. Slow & dangerous draw is the main reason why we can’t recommend it.
  • Boraii – Boraii makes minimalist kydex pocket holsters. Can’t recommend because of unnecessary printing.
  • JM4 Tactical – JM4 has done some innovations with their magnetic holsters, but we didn’t include them at this time because of controversial reviews.
  • Bravo Concealment – Known for affordable kydex OWB & IWB holsters, we can’t recommend them at this time because our research revealed durability issues on certain models.
  • Alien Gear ShapeShift Rig – It’s a good rig that does everything you want. We chose not to include it because you’ll get better value for your money going with individual holsters.

Side Note: We’re also building the biggest list of holster brands on the internet, if you’re interested in learning more.

How To Choose A Good 1911 Holster: Buyer’s Guide

Side note: We tried to write in an easy way, but if there’s still something that you find difficult to understand, here’s a quick list of holster terminology for beginners.

Why You Should Trust Us: We Know Holsters

To learn more about how we work and earn our living, read more about who we are or take a look at our editorial guidelines (work in progress!)

I have some knowledge about guns and concealed carry. My friends even nicknamed me “the holster guy.” Over the past six years, I’ve been involved in the gun industry and community, and I’ve been carrying concealed for nine years. I’ve taken several courses on advanced concealed carry, home defense, and advanced handgun training to stay updated on the latest industry trends, including legal aspects and new gear releases.

Throughout my life, I’ve tried around 50 different holsters with various firearms (that’s a considerable investment, I admit). I’ve also experimented with different clothing options, carry positions, and accessories, although most of them didn’t work as expected.

Through personal experience, I’ve figured out what works well for me and have gained insights into what generally works for people in both open and concealed carry. As a writer for Looserounds, I’m happy to share my knowledge and help you avoid the mistakes I’ve made along my journey.

How We Picked & Tested Holsters

Here’s how we narrowed down our search for the best 1911 holsters.

We narrowed down the initial selection using our staff’s experience and trusted sources like YouTube channels, online magazines, and Reddit concealed carry communities that keep up with the latest holster releases.

We focused on holsters made of hard plastic, hybrid models, and occasionally included full leather options that exceeded expectations. We excluded full nylon designs, small of back holsters, and Blackhawk SERPA holsters. We also added one belly band pick to cater to specific preferences.

The chosen holsters had to be custom-molded for the 1911 handgun, durable, and meet essential safety requirements like trigger guard coverage.

With the list narrowed down, we ended up with 22 holsters.

For this review guide, I personally tested each holster as I would in real-life situations. I wore them with various outfits at home, outdoors, during my commute, and even while working out.

Each 1911 holster we reviewed was assessed and rated based on comfort, safety, retention, ease of concealment, ease of draw, build quality and durability, customization and adjustability, warranty, and price-to-value ratio.

Our 1911 Holster Evaluation Criteria

Holster Comfort

A good holster should be so comfortable that you can wear it for hours without even noticing it. If your holster isn’t comfortable, you’ll likely leave it at home. Remember, it’s better to have your handgun on your person than leaving it in the gun safe.

To ensure comfort, I conducted thorough tests with the holsters. I sat with them for hours, drove long distances, went on runs and exercised, and even did grocery shopping. I wore different clothing, but mostly jeans with a flannel or jeans shirt over them.

Since everyone has a different body, I didn’t rely solely on my own experience. I also had Dave from marketing try them out. Dave is a bigger guy, weighing 240 pounds. If either of us experienced any significant comfort issues with the holsters, we removed them from the list.

Holster Safety

Your 1911’s safety is a top priority, so the holster should always cover the trigger completely to prevent accidental discharge. It should also be firm, with no possibility of manipulating the trigger by pushing through the material. Each holster we reviewed ensures full trigger coverage.

Since your 1911 will spend most of its time in the holster, it’s important that the holster offers reliable protection against bumps, falls, dirt, and sweat. All the holsters we included provide a secure, custom fit for the 1911 and effective coverage against these elements.

When evaluating hybrid holsters, we made sure the leather backer couldn’t bend or slide inside the kydex shell during rapid reholstering. For safety reasons, we didn’t include fabric nylon holsters, Blackhawk SERPA holsters, or small of back holsters. You can find more details about why in our post on holster safety.

Lastly, one aspect often overlooked in online reviews is the holster’s attachment system, typically the clip. If the clip is weak, your entire holster may come off when you bend down to pick up your child or pet a dog. I’ve experienced this myself. Therefore, I thoroughly tested all clips for durability and strength to ensure that the holster remains securely attached to your belt.


Your holster’s retention is simply how well the holster holds onto your 1911. To test retention, you can holster your gun and flip the holster upside down. If the gun stays put, the holster passes the retention test. All holsters on our list passed this test.

Good retention is important because defensive situations are unpredictable. You may encounter scenarios where you fall, run, crawl, bend over, or climb obstacles to escape danger. With proper retention, even if you stumble or fall, your gun remains secure. Here’s a quick overview of different levels of holster retention:

  • Level 1: Passive Retention & Click Retention – This applies to concealed carry and relies on the friction between the holster and your gun. Most holsters allow you to adjust the tightness of passive retention. Kydex holsters produce a satisfying “click” when your gun is inserted, indicating a secure fit.
  • Level 2, Level 3, and Level 4: Duty Holster Retention – These holsters feature additional retention devices like manual straps, covers, or thumb breaks for extra security. They are commonly used by law enforcement and are referred to as duty holsters. While they may slightly slow down your draw speed, they provide added protection against someone attempting to use your gun against you.

Ease Of Concealment

A good holster for concealed carry will easily disappear under your clothes. However, whether your gun shows or not depends on your body shape, clothing, holster type, and daily activities. Loose-fitting clothes work well with any holster. If you prefer tighter clothes, a small IWB holster carried in the appendix position (AIWB) is your top choice.

To test a holster’s concealment, we kept it simple. We checked if each holster was visible under a pair of jeans and a regular flannel shirt. If a holster showed through this clothing combination, it was removed from consideration.

If you’re considering AIWB carry, adding a holster claw can improve your concealment. Here’s a quick overview of the pros and cons of using a holster claw and when it’s best to use one.

Ease Of Draw

The best 1911 concealed carry holster will you to efficiently and smoothly draw your firearm with a proper, ready-to-shoot grip (also called positive grip) from any position with one hand.

I did speed draws on all of the holsters we tested and noted if anything hindered my ability to get my gun out quickly. But no matter how good your new holster is, you’ll need to practice your speed draws and threat focusing to make everything work efficiently.

Holster Material

Hard plastic holsters, like Kydex, Boltaron, or Polymer, are the top pick for most 1911 users. They offer durability, affordability, and customization options compared to leather and fabric holsters. These holsters are typically custom-molded to fit your gun perfectly and provide a wide range of features and adjustability. We thoroughly assessed the Kydex thickness and clip quality for each hard holster included in our review.

Leather holsters, while softer than plastic, conform to your body over time. A high-quality leather holster, crafted from thick leather, can be just as effective as Kydex for your 1911, but it may come at a higher cost. It’s important to break in a leather holster by performing around 100-150 draws. However, a well-made, albeit expensive, leather holster will last you for years.

Hybrid holsters combine two materials, often featuring a kydex shell for secure gun housing and a leather backer for enhanced comfort. Our evaluation focused on assessing the thickness of the kydex and leather, as well as the quality of hardware and clips to ensure their reliability.

Full fabric holsters, typically made of nylon or polymer, are inexpensive but not recommended for 1911 carry, or any other gun for that matter, unless you specifically opt for pocket carry. These holsters can compromise trigger safety and often have inadequate retention.

Side note: For a comprehensive understanding of holster materials, including in-depth comparisons and pros and cons, be sure to check out our complete holster materials guide.

Holster Adjustability & Customization

Differences in body size, hand size, and personal preferences can make or break how well a holster works for you. Holster adjustability allows you to customize the cant, ride height, and retention to suit your individual needs. That’s why we prioritized choosing adjustable models for our list. We also rated the manufacturers who have optics & laser cuts available higher in our scoring system.

Warranty & Returns

We only included holsters that are made in the USA with a lifetime warranty in our list. Fortunately, most companies fit the bill these days. Most also offer 30-day no-questions-asked returns.

Price & Value For Money

We tried to keep our picks at a manageable price point – most land somewhere between $50 and $150 — and offer different types of carry. As a rough rule of thumb, I don’t recommend holsters cheaper than $50 for 1911 or any other gun. All premium-priced holsters included in the list had to justify their premium price (and they did).

Overview Of Different Holster Types Suitable For 1911

IWB/AIWB (Inside The Waistband / Appendix) Holsters are a great pick for concealing your 1911. You can carry them strong side (4 o’clock) or appendix (1 o’clock). These holsters are reliable, easy to hide, lightweight, and provide quick access. Check out the pros and cons of IWB vs AIWB carry for more insights.

OWB (Outside The Waistband) Holsters are worn outside the waistband, either on your belt or between the belt and your body. You can openly carry OWB, but it’s also possible to conceal one under a long shirt or a jacket. The pros of OWB holsters include better durability with thicker materials and faster draw speed for your 1911. Belt, paddle, and pancake holsters are types you can consider.

A belly band holster is a wide neoprene belt that wraps around your body to attach your gun. It works well with a 1911 in certain situations like running, the gym, or when a belt carry is not feasible. It’s also suitable if you have a work uniform that restricts easy IWB holster carry.

Shoulder holsters, often made of leather, can be challenging to set up correctly. They’re not the best choice for most people seeking concealed carry options for their 1911. As a result, we haven’t included a shoulder holster for the 1911 at this time.

Chest holsters are worn on your chest instead of under the shoulder. They are easier to set up than shoulder holsters but more difficult to conceal. They offer easy access to your gun without hindering movement, such as during motorcycle rides or hikes.

Thigh/Drop Leg Holsters are open carry holsters with the 1911 positioned on your thigh. They provide easy access and a good draw speed while moving the weight of the gun away from your waist to your thigh. Drop-leg holsters are preferred by law enforcement and the military.

Ankle holsters are not ideal for the 1911 due to its size. They work better for carrying smaller backup guns if needed. However, ankle holsters have several downsides, including slow draw speed, difficulty drawing while moving, concerns with dust and dirt, and the need to wear long pants at all times.

Related: We made a list of literally every single holster type you can buy right now (even the ones you shouldn’t!)

1911 Concealed Carry Tips

Concealed carry is not easy. You will need an adjustment period unless you want your license to get revoked for some stupid stuff.

You’ll need to:

  • Review the clothing that you wear day-to-day
  • Find a holster that works for you and your lifestyle (IWB for most)
  • Pick a concealed carry position that works for you (usually IWB or AIWB)
  • Get used to having your gun on you in public places
  • Review the activities you do while carrying

Note: Here’s a short list of F.A.Q.s to give you the rundown on concealed carry, and take a look at our ccw tips as well.

Then there’s practice. To use your gun effectively when the need arises. That includes:

  • Regular maintenance of your gun and ammunition. Many folks carry the same magazine for 2 years, not realizing that primers and powder are susceptible to extreme heat, cold, and moisture. Changing carry ammo every 6 months is a good rule of thumb.
  • Proper grip while drawing
  • Practicing basic extraction and reholstering
  • One-shot drills
  • Accuracy practice
  • Speed draws
  • Threat focusing


Is 1911 Good For Concealed Carry?

When considering the 1911 as a concealed carry gun, there are a few factors to keep in mind. The 1911 has been around for over a century and has a reputation for being reliable and accurate. Its slim profile works in its favor when it comes to concealed carry. However, whether or not the 1911 is a “good” CCW option for you depends on your individual needs and preferences.

There are some downsides to concealed carrying the 1911. It is relatively large and heavy compared to other popular ccw guns. This can make it more difficult to conceal and carry comfortably for extended periods. Additionally, the single-action trigger and manual safety may require additional training and practice to use effectively in high-stress situations.

That being said, many people swear by the 1911 as a concealed carry gun and find it to be a dependable and effective choice. It’s important to keep in mind that the best gun for concealed carry is one that you feel comfortable using and that meets your specific needs.

There are different models of 1911 available, which is something to keep in mind when choosing a holster:

  1. Colt 1911: Colt was the original manufacturer of the 1911, and their models remain some of the most popular on the market.
  2. Springfield Armory 1911: Springfield Armory is known for producing high-quality 1911s in a range of configurations, including the TRP, EMP, and Range Officer models.
  3. Kimber 1911: Kimber is a relatively new player in the 1911 market, but their pistols have quickly gained a reputation for quality and performance.
  4. Wilson Combat 1911: Wilson Combat specializes in customizing and tuning 1911s for maximum accuracy and reliability.
  5. Smith & Wesson 1911: Smith & Wesson offers a variety of 1911 models, including the popular E-Series and Performance Center models.
  6. Dan Wesson 1911: Dan Wesson produces high-quality 1911s in a range of configurations, including the Valor and Specialist models.

What Are A Holster’s Ride & Cant? Which Cant Is Best?

Holster ride height cant chart
Chart source

The holster’s cant is the holster’s angle. There are 3 main holster cants/angles that you should know about:

  1. Neutral Cant: The top of the holster is directly above the bottom of the holster. This cant is great for carrying on the side of your hip and on your strong side. Drawing from this position is a natural movement and is comfortable.
  2. Positive/Forward Cant (also known as the FBI cant): The grip of the holster is angled forward. This is best used on your strong side, usually in the 4 o’clock or kidney position.
  3. Negative/Reverse Cant: The grip of the holster is angled backward. This position makes gripping your gun easier when carrying cross-draw or appendix. The grip will be shifted toward your hand for easier drawing.

Holsters’ ride is the holster’s height.

  • A higher ride will usually give you a faster draw. The downside is that it potentially compromises on comfort & concealment.
  • A lower ride can be better for concealment and comfort. Especially with appendix carry.

Parting Shots & Loose Rounds


We really went overboard with this one.

So I’ll be brief here.

Hope we helped you find the best holster for your 1911. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions.

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