Holster Adjustability & Customization: A Short Guide

Holster Adjustability Options

In our reviews, we talk a lot about the importance of holster adjustability.

In short, an adjustable holster will let you:

If things didn’t quite work for you from the get-go, that is.

This post is a quick list of the most common holster adjustments you’ll find on products today.

A short introduction, of sorts. And a very quick read.

Ready? Let’s get started.

Adjustment 1: Cant Angle

Cant Angle: The cant angle is the angle at which your holster sits on the waistband. Many holsters these days come with adjustable cant. Especially the Kydex models.

Adjusting the cant affects your:

  1. Carry comfort
  2. Draw speed & comfort

Related: Our comprehensive guide on holster cant, and how it influences your carry.

Adjustment 2: Ride Height

Ride Height: The ride height is basically how high your holster sits on your waistband. Most kydex holsters these days come with an adjustable ride height.

Adjusting ride height affects your:

  1. Concealment
  2. Draw speed
  3. Comfort

Related: Our comprehensive guide on holster ride height, and how it influences your carry.

Adjustment 3: Retention Strength

Retention: The retention of a holster refers to how secure the gun is inside of the holster. Most kydex holsters have adjustable retention, allowing you to make the retention tighter or looser to suit your needs.

Adjusting retention influences:

  1. Your draw speed (looser = faster)
  2. Your gun security (tighter = more secure, but you shouldn’t go too tight)

Related: Our comprehensive guide on holster retention, and how it influences your carry.

Adjustment 4: Carry Position & Modularity

Carry Position: Some holsters are designed for multiple carry positions – for example, an IWB holster can usually be worn in an AIWB position as well.

Modularity: Some holsters have modular designs, for example, Alien Gear ShapeShift. By adding or removing components, your holster can work both as an IWB and an OWB holster.

Adjustment 5: Mounting Options & Mods

Mounting Options: Holsters can be mounted to the waistband using a variety of mounting options, such as clips, loops, or hooks. You can choose the mounting option on some of the models, but it’s less common on cheaper holsters. Some holsters also have mounting options for accessories, such as a magazine carrier or a light attachment.

Adjusting mounting options influences your:

  1. Concealment (for example, using a tuckable clip)
  2. Comfort & security (for example, using loops or a metal clip)
  3. Backup ammo & accessories: Using a mag carrier
  4. Gun mods: Using a light-bearing holster, or an optics-cut holster

Adjustment 6: Hand Orientation

Hand Orientation: Some holsters can be used for both right and left-sided carry. Tulster Oath is one example that allows you to do that.


That’s all you need to know about holster adjustments.

A holster’s cant, ride, and retention are the main things you’ll be messing around with if you get yourself a model that accommodates those adjustments.

Stay safe folks.

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