If you are looking for the best shoulder holster, then you came to the right place. In this article, I will give you a thorough rundown of everything you need to know about these gun holsters and also review some of the top products in the market.
And considering the wide range of units you can find these days; you need all the help you can get. So, without further ado, let us dive in.
Table of Contents
Top 7 Best Shoulder Holster Reviews
A shoulder holster used to be the go-to option for many gun owners simply because of the style factor. Although the hype has died down quite a bit over the years, there are still hundreds, if not thousands, of products floating around the market.
However, not all of them offer the best performance. In the following section of the article, I will be looking at some of the best concealed carry shoulder holsters that you can find that ensures top performance and experience.
1. XAegis Adjustable Vertical Shoulder Holster
Check out this nifty shoulder holster by brand XAegis. It features top-grade materials and quality, making it a great choice for anyone looking for an excellent shoulder holster at an inexpensive price. The unit is constructed with heavy-duty ballistic nylon, providing stiffness and strength without compromising comfort. It’s also wear-resistant, ensuring durability during long-term use.
The adjustable straps ensure a perfect fit, and the holster can accommodate most firearms with barrel lengths between 3.5 to 5 inches. Thanks to the adjustable double thumb break snaps, the retention of your holstered gun feels excellent.
The unit has an ambidextrous design, allowing easy switching of pockets. One side holds the holster, while the other features a dual magazine pouch. Its decent concealment makes it an ideal choice for those who want to stay discreet.
- The ambidextrous design allows both-handed use
- Excellent retention to keep the gun stable
- Universal size with adjustable straps
- Compatible with a wide range of handguns
- The Velcro could be a bit longer
2. VISM by NcStar Ambidextrous Horizontal Shoulder Holster For Pistols
This budget-friendly shoulder holster by NcStar might not be the most popular option, but it offers great value for your investment.
Its ambidextrous design allows for easy use regardless of hand preference, and the tie-down straps provide some retention control, a feature not often found in high-end models.
The holster includes a double magazine holder on one side, with inverted magazine holders for a streamlined experience during high-stress situations. Adjustable thumb break snaps add extra security for your pistols or handguns.
The holster is compatible with a wide range of handguns, requiring little to no adjustments. It’s constructed with tough PVC material, making it lightweight and comfortable to wear. However, its durability may be somewhat questionable due to the material choice, but with proper care, it should serve well for a decent time.
- Comfortable and lightweight design allows for long use
- Ambidextrous design allows for both handed use
- A dual inverted magazine holder on one side
- Adjustable thumb break snaps let you use a wide range of firearms
- Not very durable but for the price worth it.
3. Aker Leather 101 Comfort-Flex – Most Comfortable Shoulder Holster
The high-performance handgun holster by Aker Leather offers several variants, each designed for specific types of guns, all at a similar price point and with the same set of features.
Constructed with high-quality genuine full-grain leather, this shoulder holster prioritizes your comfort. Its contoured design fits snugly along your body, enabling quick and easy access to your firearm. Despite its lightweight nature, it does not cause fatigue or strain during extended use.
The unit features a single holster on one side and a dual magazine holder on the other, available in various designs to suit different firearms. It offers models for both left and right-handed users, with two adjustment screws on the strap for a precise fit. Compatible firearms include 1911, Beretta 92, Glock 17/19, 20/21, S&W M&P 9/40/45, Sig Sauer P220/226/229, and Springfield XD.
For the best experience, avoid wearing it too low, as it could cause the gun to wobble in the strap when running. The holster allows for fast drawing, especially in a cross-draw position. While it may cost slightly more, its quality makes it a worthwhile investment.
- High-quality leather construction made in USA
- Allows for chests of up to 62 inches
- Fits a wide range of firearms
- Quick access to your firearm
- Not very affordable
4. UTG Deluxe Universal Horizontal Shoulder Holster
Next on our list is the universal gun holster by UTG, a brand known for its high manufacturing standards. This deluxe model comes with various desirable qualities.
Constructed with strong leather material, this holster is built for longevity and enhanced performance. Reinforced stitching and seams prevent wear and tear, even with rough use.
The padded shoulders ensure a comfortable experience, even during extended wear, and its fully adjustable nature accommodates a wide range of body sizes. It can fit most compact to full-sized pistols with ease.
The holster features an inverted magazine pouch capable of holding two extra rounds of ammunition. The design, combined with the hoop and loop closure system, provides quicker access to your ammunition, aiding you in challenging situations. It requires no break-in period, offering immediate comfort upon wearing.
- The padded design offers the utmost comfort.
- Fully adjustable
- Comes with reinforced stitching to enhance the durability
- The extremely affordable price tag
The retention is not very consistent with different weapons.
5. Gould & Goodrich B804-G17 Gold Line Shoulder Holster – Best Shoulder Holster for Glock 17, 19 & more
For a professional-level shoulder holster widely used in law enforcement, consider the B804 by Gould & Goodrich. Made in the USA, it features top-grain vegetable-tanned leather construction, making it a high-quality investment for carrying handguns.
Designed for user comfort and easy access, the vegetable-tanned leather construction is both durable and comfortable for daily use. The holster includes a pouch for carrying two extra magazines, and the upside-down design ensures easy access to the ammunition.
The thumb strap design allows for easy retention adjustment, ensuring a perfect grip on your weapon. The wide shoulder strap evenly distributes weight, reducing overall stress. You can adjust the tightness to minimize swaying during movement, providing a stable experience even during running or climbing in rough terrain.
Overall, the B804 is considered one of the best Glock shoulder holsters on the market, offering excellent performance and quality for law enforcement professionals and anyone seeking a reliable, high-performance holster.
- Can carry two spare magazines.
- Extremely adjustable and comfortable
- Does not leave any printing
- The overall design and glossy finish look stylish
- Does not come with a belt to holster connector
6. Galco Vertical Shoulder Holster System for 1911 5-Inch Colt, Kimber, para, Springfield
Galco Gunleather offers a fantastic 1911 shoulder holster, originally designed for law enforcement officials but suitable for commercial use as well.
While it prioritizes comfort with soft materials, it doesn’t compromise on durability. The spider harness ensures a secure fit when worn, with the holster positioned downward for safer weapon holstering and better control.
This holster is not ideal for concealed carry, as it’s meant for open carry, providing fast access to your handgun when needed. Manufacturers don’t recommend it for concealed carry, but it offers excellent accessibility for open carry users.
- Extremely comfortable material selection
- Supports a wide range of firearms
- Comes with dual magazine pouch
- Ambidextrous design allowing both handed use
- Not suitable for concealed carry
7. Bianchi X15 Shoulder Holster – Tan
Saving the best revolver holster for last, we have the Bianchi X15 vertical shoulder holster. Its versatility is unmatched, with availability in various sizes to fit different body shapes effortlessly.
Crafted from durable full-grain leather, this holster is built to last without showing signs of wear. Its even weight distribution across both shoulders enhances comfort during wear, and the plain tan finish adds a stylish touch.
The internal tension rod allows easy adjustment of retention, ensuring a perfect balance between retention and draw speed. The strapping harness is also adjustable, accommodating individuals with up to 48 inches of chest size.
Compatible with a wide range of firearms, from compact Glock models to 1911s, the X15 offers multiple size options for a custom fit. Its secure and comfortable design allows you to engage in rigorous activities like hiking or jogging with your handgun equipped confidently.
- Multiple size options
- Extremely secure and durable
- Does not impact the finish of the gun
- Can carry guns of almost any size
- Requires some breaking in
Helpful Tips For Choosing The Best Shoulder Holster For Concealed Carry
Without properly analyzing your own requirements and the specific features of the unit that you want; you will not be able to find the best one for your needs.
To help make the process easier, here are a few factors that you should consider when buying the best shoulder holster.
When choosing a shoulder holster, consider the construction materials. Leather is more durable than nylon but comes at a higher price. Ensure the quality of nylon holsters is decent enough to last for years.
Check whether the holster is designed for left or right-handed use. Some models have an ambidextrous design, suitable for both preferences.
A good shoulder holster should be adjustable to provide a custom fit for your body size. Proper adjustments prevent the gun from being too loose or too stiff.
Check the holster’s angle and basic safety features. A 90-degree downward angle is considered safer, providing better control and preventing anyone from snatching the gun.
Proper retention ensures efficient drawing of the gun. Test the retention level with different guns to ensure it is appropriate.
The cant angle affects draw speed and smoothness. Look for a slight curve in the holster’s design to facilitate easier gun retrieval.
Comfort is crucial in a shoulder holster. The material and harness design play a significant role in determining comfort levels.
Shoulder holsters are not the best for concealment, but some models offer better concealment under casual jackets.
Consider added features like extra magazine pouches or built-in knife sheaths for added utility.
Determine your spending limit before browsing the market, as shoulder holsters typically cost more than other types of holsters. Be smart in your investment to find a suitable unit within your budget.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a Shoulder Holster
Although shoulder holsters are not as popular as they used to be, it holds many benefits over other forms of gun holsters.
To be fair, there are no perfect holsters in the market and there is always a trade-off when going for one over the other. With that being said, here are a few advantages that you get from the best shoulder holsters.
Can Carry Heavy Weapons
The best thing about shoulder holsters is that they can carry heavier weapons. Since the design of this type of gun holsters allows it to distribute the weight evenly across your shoulder, they are suitable for all day wearing. It is still one of the prime choices for law-enforcement officials.
It also provides a good balance reducing the sway from your weapon. With a typical OWB handgun, running might be difficult since the gun can jump out of the holster and fall off if the retention is not set properly.
However, with a shoulder holster, it is highly unlikely. For this reason, if you are planning on doing a lot of running or hiking, a shoulder holster is the way to go.
Comfortable For Anyone
Typically, a shoulder holster is more comfortable to use. Most units are made using softer materials like leather, or nylon to ensure the best experience for your use.
In addition, when you are sitting down, a shoulder holster will not interfere with your drawing or comfort. An IWB holster or an OWB holster can cause discomfort when you are sitting down.
Extra Space For Magazine
Most shoulder holsters also feature extra pockets to carry ammunition. This feature is extremely handy as you do not need to waste time extracting magazine from your pocket.
Some units even feature inverted magazine holders that enables you to draw the magazines faster. With the advantages out of the way, some of the issues with using a shoulder holster are:
Not Suitable For Concealed Carry
A shoulder holster is not really suitable for concealed carry. Unless you are wearing a jacket over your cloth, you will not be able to keep it out of view. However, for people who regularly wear suits, concealment is not all that difficult.
Moderate Draw Speed
Despite being an open carry holster, the draw speed is not that impressive with a shoulder holster. Furthermore, you will only be stuck with cross drawing when you are using it.
Other Alternatives to Shoulder Holsters
Now that you have a decent idea of shoulder holsters, you could look into some of the other types of gun holsters. With different holsters, you can expect your comfort and experience to be drastically different.
So before settling on a single type, it is good idea to know about the different units available in the market. Here are a few variants of gun holsters that you can find on the market.
The most commonly used commercial holsters in the market might be IWB holsters. These are a great option for people who want to discreetly carry a handgun with them anywhere.
This type of gun holsters attaches to the beltline, or belt using clips and the overhang from your shirt completely concealed the gun when holstered.
However, the main disadvantage of this type of unit is its draw speed. Since the gun stays hidden under your shirt, you need to spend a few extra seconds retrieving it.
Re-holstering the weapon also takes some time, especially if the holster does not have any metal or rigid material in its storage location.
OWB holsters or over the waistband holsters are people who want to carry their guns openly. Concealment is not an option with this type of gun holster. For this reason, they have the advantage of a faster draw and a more comfortable overall experience.
These types of holsters are typically worn by law enforcement officials. Since you wear it outside your pants on the strong side, these holsters are also generally more secure.
Furthermore, you do not have to struggle as much when re-holstering your weapon. But if you only have a concealed carry license, it is illegal for you to carry your gun this way.
Pocket holsters are another type of concealed carry holster that has gained some popularity over the years. It does not attach to any part of your clothing specifically but instead goes inside your pocket.
Typically, it is only suitable for compact handguns. As you already might have guessed, the main limitation of this type of holster is the gun size.
You cannot go with larger handguns as it might not fit the pocket of your pant. The draw speed is also not quite as fast as you would want in a high-stress situation.
However, it is a good option for people who just want a way to bring their handgun along with them securely.
Belly Band Holsters
Belly band holsters are an excellent type of IWB holsters, but they offer multiple carry positions and greater comfort. It looks like a waistband and comes with pockets to hold your handgun.
The best thing about this type of unit is that they are extremely comfortable. Additionally, this type of holster can usually handle multiple firearms, which is great if you want to take two or three guns with you.
You can even wear a belly band holster on your hip, appendix, or even use it as a shoulder holster. However, the draw speed is severely low even for an IWB holster.
Finally, we have the ankle holster, which is not that popularly used. It is more of a secondary holster rather than a primary one. People often use it in addition to a primary gun OWB gun holster. It goes inside your socks under the pants where it can hold a small and compact handgun.
As you might guess, this type of holster is all about the concealment. They are usually made of leather or nylon and extremely lightweight. Drawing the gun from a neutral position is impossible with this holster. Unless you bend down like tying your shoelace, you will have a difficult time retrieving your gun.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What do I need to know about using a Shoulder Holster?
A shoulder holster is a straightforward tool for carrying a firearm in a concealed manner. Handling your firearm with a shoulder holster is quite simple, but there are some essential practices to ensure a safe and secure experience:
1. Double-check after re-holstering: After putting your firearm back into the holster, ensure that it is safely concealed behind your jacket.
2. Properly adjust the holster: Make sure the holster is adjusted in a way that allows easy access to your gun.
3. Consider size: Choose a holster size that fits your body perfectly to ensure effective concealment. Avoid going for a bigger size, as it can compromise concealment even when wearing a jacket.
2. How do I break-in a leather shoulder holster?
A common issue with a new leather shoulder holster is its initial stiffness. Over time, leather naturally becomes softer and more comfortable. To expedite this process, wear the holster as much as possible, even during house chores. The more you wear it, the faster the fibers will loosen, resulting in a better fit to your body shape. Constant wear will make it feel smoother and more comfortable.
3. What type of guns can fit in a shoulder holster?
The compatibility of a shoulder holster with a gun depends on two factors: the gun’s design and the holster’s design. Manufacturers usually specify the types of guns or specific models that the holster is suitable for. Some guns also come with recommendations on how they should be carried.
Shoulder holsters typically accommodate compact to regular-sized pistols and handguns without any issues. In some cases, they can even hold snub-nosed or sawed-off shotguns. If you’re unsure whether your gun will fit the holster, it’s a good idea to ask a friend who owns one to try it out for yourself.
4. Are shoulder holsters safe?
Shoulder holsters are considered one of the safest forms of carrying firearms because the barrel of the gun points away from the body. When worn under a suit or jacket, they offer additional safety and concealment. However, the overall safety of the holster ultimately depends on the user.
It is essential to adhere to all safety laws and guidelines when carrying a gun to prevent accidents with your firearm. While the possibility of someone snatching your gun from the holster is highly unlikely, accidental discharge can occur if proper care is not taken while drawing the weapon, similar to other types of holsters.
The Bottom Line
Despite what many people may believe, shoulder holsters are a valid and practical way to carry your handgun. Law enforcement officials, even to this day, widely use this tool to carry their handgun securely.
If you are careful and responsible with your handgun, concealment is also not very difficult to achieve with this type of shoulder holster.
We hope you found this article on the best shoulder holsters informative and helpful in your research. You should now be able to confidently go and figure out which unit would best serve your needs without any difficulty.