An appendix IWB carry (AIWB) style holster means that the holster is either to the left or right of the belt buckle. In this style, you’ll be able to conceal your pistol, firearm, or revolver under a pull-over sweatshirt, a hoodie, or any other outer garment without any problem. That is why the best AIWB holster is becoming more and more popular among gun owners.
Subcompact and compact pistols are perfect for a concealed carry holster in the appendix carry position. Having that said, larger guns may not be ideal for an appendix carry holster especially if you sit a lot.
Now if you’re searching for a good holster for appendix carry, I’d understand how you may be feeling confused with the wide selection from different brands manufacturing appendix carry Kydex holsters, nylon holsters, or leather holsters.
In today’s guide, I’m featuring our top picks for an appendix holster and a buying guide to understand what to compare.
What is an AIWB Holster?
Good question. An appendix carry style is a popular choice for gun owners looking for a quicker access to their weapon when compared to other carry methods.
An appendix inside the waistband (AIWB) means you’re carrying your gun inside your waistband, positioning your holster in front of your body. With the appendix style carry, your gun covers your appendix.
Right now, the appendix carry is growing in popularity for shooters of all levels, from beginners to seasoned ones for reasons.
This best appendix carry holster or rig makes it extra easy to keep a gun out of sight versus the other options of IWB carry style that sits on one’s waist. This hides a firearm fully because it can hide lumps on your side, too.
In addition, an appendix carry allows for a faster draw than those hidden at the back, making a weapon easy to access and reach. It also offers better retention because your weapon will be harder to take by other people, potentially by an attacker or assailant. This is valuable especially in close quarter combat.
However, having the right holster for the appendix method of carry and concealment is crucial. It must be comfortable, offer support, and keep your gun within easy reach for a quick draw when the situation calls for it.
In the next section, I’ll help you compare and choose a good appendix holster that matches your needs and preferences.
What makes a good AIWB holster?
The appendix carry style is one of the most effective concealment methods for a firearm. But while there are many benefits that an appendix carry holster can offer, it takes a wise decision to get the most out of it, and this begins by choosing a good concealed carry holster for the appendix carry style.
But then, let’s get one thing straight. An appendix carry doesn’t really belong to an inside the waistband or in between your waistband carry position because you’ll be carrying your gun in the front of your abdomen, and it will be on the side if you’re carrying inside the waistband.
Also, this style of concealing a firearm is not for everyone, like for the bigger guys, and does require thought and practice to master.
And then, knowing the features like adjustable retention, belt clip, belt loops, full length sweat guard, leather material, and holster shell, to name some, isn’t enough without knowing the most vital aspects about what really makes a good AIWB carry holster. Here are some of them.
There is no one-size fits all formula for the best concealed carry holsters, but one thing is for sure. We all need a durable one for longevity of use of the most popular appendix holsters. This department has to do with the material used in the manufacturing process.
Kydex is a common material for quality holsters because it’s tough, versatile, and innovative, primarily using special thermoplastic acrylic-polyvinyl chloride. It’s great for custom molding a holstering device for a certain gun/s, like in the case of those with optics or red dot sights.
A special thermoplastic acrylic-polyvinyl chloride is also more durable, easy to clean, and is waterproof. And unlike leather, it doesn’t need special care and maintenance.
However, unlike leather holsters, Kydex appendix carry holsters aren’t as comfortable. It also tends to scratch the finish of a gun.
On the other hand, you’ll find a comfortable IWB holster made of leather, which is also durable and still reigns as the preference of a lot of people for reasons aside from a comfortable wear. It’s a lot easier to break in than Kydex and offers a silent draw, too.
On the downside, leather holsters are a bit sensitive in that they need special maintenance to keep them looking good and functional. You’ll have to buy lotions and creams to maintain their aesthetically pleasing appearance.
The best appendix carry holsters also have a trigger guard to avoid any negligent discharge when you’re moving. Look for this one when comparing appendix carry holsters.
This pertains to the ability of the IWB holsters to hold and keep your firearm in place, ensuring it doesn’t fall out for the safety of yourself and other people around you.
In general, holsters will either have an active or passive retention. Active retention refers to a device, commonly button or switch controlled, that contains your gun in place.
On the other hand, passive retention for concealed carry holsters pertains to retention that mainly depends on the custom fit or tightness of the holster to contain your gun.
Having some passive retention is crucial in finding the best holster for AIWB because it prevents the unnecessary shaking or moving of your firearm inside your holster particularly if you move, run, or do some movements. This passive retention that fits your pistol, revolver, or gun’s form is a quality of good appendix IWB holsters.
AIWB holsters are typically worn using snap closures or belt clips. Quality ones will have snap on closure styles. Although belt clip types aren’t bad, they might be prone to failure even if they can be easier and faster to get on or off your belt.
Just like when comparing options for other holsters like shoulder holsters, consider the material thickness of all the holsters you’re considering.
For example, the best appendix carry holster has enough material thickness, but really it depends on your preference. Some people want a thinner holster, and others go for thicker ones.
However, if you’re choosing a thinner holster, check out its quality. Otherwise, you might have a hard time holstering your gun in place.
But overall, I recommend practicing your draw and holstering no matter the thickness you’re going for because a lot of accidental firing incidents happen when holstering or re holstering. And if you’re doing a single-handed re holster, it can be more challenging, too.
Whether you’re getting a pocket holster or a hybrid holster, check that IWB holsters can offer you a firm grip and that it’s not bulky. A good holster is well designed with just the right thickness for a fast firearm draw.
In addition, a quality appendix carry holster offers enough retention, which isn’t too much or too weak. I suggest choosing an appendix carry holster that offers an adjustable retention to ensure that you’ll be able to adjust it based on your preference in force to take your gun out of the appendix holster.
A quality holster isn’t uncomfortable even if you wear it for extended periods of time, like if you’re in law enforcement. It isn’t bulky but has a sleek appearance and design. This will prevent your clothing from bulging out when you’re wearing a holster and can keep your gun totally out of sight.
A good holster is not a cheap universal holster with rough edges that can dig into your body. It is a well-designed one with round corners and can keep your gun in place, preventing any shaking or rattling as you’re moving around. Your gun will remain in position even if you move a lot.
You’ll find the most comfortable holster that comes with a spare mag that will allow you to have more rounds, while also keeping your holster feeling more secure. I believe that having a removable mag caddy is also good so that you will have an option to remove it if you choose to.
Is it a left-handed or right-handed holster? Look at appendix holsters that allow you to draw using your dominant hand. The same goes when buying any OWB holster.
Aside from looking for the right ride height and cant or a nice holster shell of your gun holster, check out its sweat guard. This feature would be nice to have especially if you’re living in hot climate areas.
When finding the best concealed appendix carry holster, look for its end style. If you’re shooting a lot and practicing or have an extended barrel gun, an open ended style may work better for you. This style also allows for nice ventilation, allowing the parts of your gun to cool faster.
Other features/considerations of what makes a good concealed carry appendix holster
It would also be nice for an appendix carry holster to have an audible click and a fully covered trigger guard to avoid accidental firing. In addition, deep concealment can also be an option if you’re putting safety first over speed of draw.
Pricing is another consideration when choosing among popular appendix carry holsters. Expensive isn’t always better. Check out our reviews of the best AIWB holsters available at different price points and for every budget.
8 Best AIWB Holster: in-depth reviews
1. CYA Supply Co. Base IWB Concealed Carry Holster
CYA Supply Co holsters are known in the concealed carry holster world. Unlike brands of most holsters, this one remains a consistent top choice for beginner and veteran shooters. This company is a veteran-owned manufacturer that knows what quality is all about in their product offerings, one of which is this AIWB carry holster.
If you’re looking for the best appendix carry holster, there is no doubt that this IWB holster will capture your attention and keep you hooked because the company takes a different route in the manufacture of their quality appendix holsters.
This particular model is not made of Kydex, which is common for other manufacturers. Instead, they go for Boltaron, a synthetic holster material. It’s recognized for its superior durability and being more resistant to the elements, pressure, and shocks.
I liked that this one can withstand different weather conditions, too. In fact, I think that it can handle a super hot or cold temperature, meaning its integrity will remain the same no matter what.
I also appreciate that it allows for a smooth draw and believe this has to do with the good design. CYA ensured cutting away around the holster’s slide release and catch areas to offer that benefit.
In addition, this AIWB carry holster has a full length sweat guard, which can protect your firearm and yourself from sweat especially if you’re out all day in the field. This is an important feature that I believe is important in a holster for comfort.
I’ve discovered that this CYA Supply IWB holster also offers a good retention. It uses a posi-click, letting me know that my gun is already secure in place. The retention is also easy to adjust. I can just use the screws that come with every purchase to do it. Plus, there is no need to use any special tools.
If needed, I can also adjust the holster’s cant to my desired degree level to ensure my holster can give me the right drawing speed. This model also fits Mossberg MC1sc and right handed users, too. However, it’s not for guns with a laser or light attachment.
Overall, this CYA Supply AIWB holster is one of the best appendix carry holsters on the market today for its comfort and concealment features.
- Compatible for Mossberg MC1sc
- Adjustable retention pressure and cant to 15 degrees
- Sleek and compact finish
- Positive click retention
- Thick .08″ Boltaron material
- Not compatible for gun with attachments
2. CrossBreed Holsters The Reckoning Holster
Crossbreed lives up to the expectation of its loyal customers in the world for its solid quality and build holsters that meet expectations and surpass expectations.
One of its finest offerings for an AIWB carry holster is the Reckoning inside the waistband holster. This product is a part of the Reckoning Holster System that features both reliability and innovation in design and construction and has the versatility for wearing in a crossdraw or appendix position. This is a feature that you cannot encounter every day with just about any holster on the market right now.
So, if there are days when you feel like wearing the appendix carry method holster in crossdraw positions, there will be no problem.
What’s more is that the Kydex and leather holster can be quickly converted to an OWB holster in a cinch. You can easily do it with the included hardware in the holster.
This can give you more options on how you want to wear your Reckoning holster, which is compatible and custom molded for the 1911 four-inch model.
Also, it is noticeable that this holstering device isn’t only pleasing to the eyes but also comfortable for the body. I appreciate that it can be adjusted easily for its multiple points of retention that I can expect from a holster in this series.
This AIWB carry holster is also a hybrid holster that people can count on for its performance and quality. Like mentioned, this holster features different retention points of adjustment, and this gives me the perfect firearm retention all the time.
I can also easily attach and tighten the mounting screws in the Kydex pocket to the holster’s soft leather holster backing. The retention device is positioned directly to its trigger guard, which is something that makes things even easier with the Reckoning holster.
CrossBreed Holsters like this Black cowhide holster have a sleek and compact design having dimension measurements of 12.01 x 10.43 x 1.61 inches (LWH). It is not bulky at all in that it is perfect for concealment. Just take note that the 1911 four-inch model is what fits this holstering device.
How about concealment? This best concealed carry holster also receives positive ratings in this department. You can also wear it for hours without even noticing that it’s there. Thanks to the soft leather backing material. It feels comfortable.
- Can be converted to an OWB holster quickly
- Comfortable to wear for hours
- Multiple retention points
- Concealment effectiveness
- Kydex and leather combination for the best of both worlds
- Speed belt clip or polymer belt loops for OWB not included
3. MIE Productions Javelin AIWB IWB Holster
This Kydex appendix carry holsters from MIE Productions can offer very minimal bulk, so there will be fewer printing issues depending on the garment you’re wearing.
I can rely on the maximum concealment from appendix carry holsters like this one, too. To increase concealment, its Conaw can help push the grip inward. It definitely deserves to be a part of this list of the best AIWB holsters on the market because it’s a clear winner for concealment, which is the primary reason we’re using a holster for concealed carry, anyway.
Now, I can confidently walk around, move, and do what I have to do with the holster with me, keeping my firearm secure and hidden from other people’s sight. This can give me and them the safety that everyone deserves.
I’m also particularly impressed with the appendix carry holster’s ability to be used for different carry positions. This allows me to use and wear it how I want it, and that’s absolute versatility that makes it a great holster.
The appendix holster, which is made in the USA, is also incredibly not difficult at all when it comes to drawing my firearm from it. As who knows, there can be situations when we need a really quick access to the gun.
Another thing I’ve discovered about this MIE Productions IWB holster is that it can accommodate guns with red dot sights or optics, and that’s a cool addition to a versatile holster. What’s more is that it can also support suppressor height sights. Not all holsters can do that.
This model that fits Sig P365 P365X with TLR-6 is one of the best appendix concealed carry holsters in terms of comfort, too. It is designed with a full sweat guard, fully covering the gun’s backside and trigger. I believe that this can offer a really smooth, no-hassle draw speed.
That’s not all because this sweat guard can also prevent the side of the pistol from sweating. The bottom of the holster is also closed, preventing objects and lint from getting into it.
Kydex appendix carry holsters from this brand makes use of lightweight, durable, and slim profile 0.080 Kydex material. It is one of the most innovative holster materials that can keep its shape unlike nylon, increasing safety while allowing quick re-holstering.
Not to forget, this model offers an adjustable ride height and cant and can fit belts up to 1.5-inch. And in order to adjust retention, the holstering device comes with additional hardware, ensuring you’re getting the right fit all the time.
Overall, it is a great holster that you must consider if you’re looking for a holster to use for a long time.
- Adjustable ride height and cant
- 0.080 Kydex offers durability
- Allows easy re holster
- Easy gun access and smooth draw
- Compatible for guns with optics
- A bit pricey
4. Raven Concealment Eidolon Holster
The Raven Concealment Eidolon holsters are another excellent IWB holsters to check out if you’re looking for a durable and no maintenance concealment accessory for your firearm. This particular model fits a Glock 19.
This appendix carry holster is a result of more than three years of research, development, and design to come up with a functional and reliable AIWB holster.
Eidolon holsters are particularly known for its holster shell, which is fitted specifically for the weapon on its inside. However, it’s not only form fitting the gun but also flawless and soft on its exterior to increase wearer comfort. I liked that it can work pretty well with my gun belt and shirt, and that is in almost any position or style of carrying.
This is something that you should be looking for when finding good holsters because it can make a huge difference when it comes to concealment and comfort.
But it’s not all because the shell can also serve as points for attaching different accessories, adding to its functionality. If you’re looking to attach accessories to your holster, then you may want to check out this model. For its versatility and functionality, it can surely meet any needs.
The shell also has an adjustable retention, separating the tension on the trigger guard’s front only. What it does is give me a smooth and clean feel when trying to holster or draw, and this is with minimal adjustment. This is more convenient when compared to other holsters with an adjustable retention.
In addition, I find that the shell is versatile in that it is compatible and can be used with extended controls, any MRDs mounted right behind the ejection port, any sight’s brand and size, and many threaded or extended barrels.
Getting the basic Raven Concealment IWB kit, shooters can have a basic IWB kit that is compact and tuckable, which is perfect for use with only one or two gun belt clips or attachments, while allowing for quick and easy ride height and cant adjustments unlike other holsters.
Every purchase of this one comes with a pair of belt clips, a tall spacer, instruction manual, and all the necessary hardware.
- Adjustable retention
- Smooth and clean feel holstering and drawing
- Can accommodate gun accessories
- Compact and tuckable system
- Includes all needed accessories
- Can feel a bit stiff
5. Bravo Concealment Holster for Glock 17 22 31
This IWB holster for Glock 17, 22, and 31 is an excellent appendix carry holster for its solid features and performance like no other.
It is packed with solid features that every shooter and gun owner would love to have for their appendix concealed carry holster.
For one, it has an adjustable ride height and cant, allowing me to adjust it based on my needs. I can just adjust the belt clip and position it to my desired level for the right fit.
This appendix holster is designed with an adjustable retention that requires no use of any special tools. I can set it to my desired level of retention, either lighter or full. It’s so easy with just a Philips screw. In this case, I can always select whatever will work best for me without any hassles.
This holstering system is also tuckable, letting me tuck it in my shirt or clothing in a cinch.
This Bravo Concealment IWB holster also features torsion technology that works by letting my gun be positioned closer to my body.
The brand has achieved this through integrating a 10-degree inward cant that is located inside. This gives a more comfortable fit that I can count on for all-day carry.
This device is also compatible with different Glock models that also include Gen 5 Glock 19 and 17, and so many more.
However, be sure to check if this particular holster will accommodate your gun before buying to avoid any fitting issues.
The Bravo Concealment holster also comes with a 30-day money back guarantee, giving anyone the peace of mind that they deserve. According to the company, users are always covered as long as they own the holster. They’ll replace it if they cannot fix it.
This model also comes with a sweat guard to protect you and the firearm’s surface from wetness and moisture. It will also keep your bare skin and clothing from being in contact with the slide of the gun.
I liked that it also features a threaded barrel clearance (max .6320″), red dot sight cut out, and tall sight clearance (max .355″ Inches).
Nevertheless, this Bravo Concealment holster is definitely a must consider option for a quality appendix carry holster.
- Compatible with different Glock models
- Adjustable cant
- Adjustable retention screw
- Durable material for long-term use
- 30-day money back guarantee
- Needs some breaking in
6. BLACKHAWK Ambidextrous Appendix Reversible Carry Holster
This ambidextrous and adjustable Blackhawk A.R.C. Appendix Carry Holster is another favorite among shooters from all levels. For one, it is from Blackhawk, a reputable brand selling affordable and quality holsters on the market. They sell basic and functional holsters offering both comfort and convenience.
This affordable holster definitely deserves to be one of your considerations because it performs and delivers what we actually need. Although not very pricey, it possesses the basic concealment and comfortability components to look for.
When it comes to material, this holster is impressive because it is made from an injection-molded polymer combined with a faux-leather surface. It is an impact-resistant material that can withstand pressure and heavy abuse and use.
Deep concealment is another benefit that this holster for the Glock 17/22/31 can offer. It is an important feature in terms of safety and security especially if you’re using a compact handgun.
I also liked that I can easily adjust the height and cant through the two cant and ride height belt clip included. And using a Philips screwdriver, the retention pressure can also be adjusted. The installation process is also easy and quick. I can just attach the belt through one nut and bolt.
The BLACKHAWK Ambidextrous Appendix Reversible Carry Holster can fit belts from 1.5 up to 1.75 inches, adding to its versatility. And as it is ambidextrous, it can also be used for either the left or right hand.
Another good thing about this holstering device is that it is ready for mounting a rear mounted red dot sight because it has an open top and back.
However, it has no sweat guard, which can be an issue for those living in hot climates. The sweat guard is what protects the firearm’s slide from moisture and sweat and some users feel uncomfortable without it.
Overall, this ARC holster with passive retention is one of the best AIWB holsters to find because it is easy to use, ambidextrous/reversible, and made of high quality materials, although it doesn’t have a sweat guard.
- Great ambidextrous design
- Easy adjustments for retention, ride height, and cant
- Superior performance and easy to use
- Ready for red dot sights
- Durable polymer construction
- Lacks a sweat guard
7. Vedder Holsters LightTuck Holster
If you’re looking for a reliable and rugged holster to deal with any situation and help you effectively conceal your firearm, take a look at this Vedder Holsters LightTuck Holster.
LightTuck Vedder holsters are handmade to ensure that they conforms to the shape of your pistol or gun, while also delivering a slim and sleek profile that doesn’t cause a bulge in your clothing or belt. They have a precise fit, which can also be alerted by the audible click. This will help you know that your gun is fully secure in it.
I also discovered that the appendix carry holster comes with three different adjustable settings for its ride height and has generous cant adjustments of up to 30 degrees of forward and reverse angle to meet your desired position. It works perfectly for three to five o’clock carry positions, crossdraw, and appendix.
I also liked that this model can offer me an adjustable retention pressure that can make sure of the exact fit that I need. This gives me more confidence in carrying exactly how I want with this Vedder holster.
In addition, it has a sleek and slim profile, which makes wearing it on and off very easy. In fact, I don’t even have to undo my pants whenever I have to put my pistol on it.
This affordable holster with a good design also offers a consistent retention whether on or off my body, keeping my gun fully secure even when it’s in storage.
Moreover, this holstering device features a sturdy 1.5-inch spring steel belt clip, which is also tuckable. This means that there will be a very minimal bulk and that there’ll be no printing along the beltline.
So when it comes to concealability, no question that Vedder did well in this holster’s design. I think this also increases safety and security, knowing that I can keep my gun totally out of sight.
Overall, this appendix carry holster is one of the best I’ve tried so far. While it doesn’t cost a fortune, it is a high quality holster with an excellent design and comfort features, which are what I exactly need.
- Different adjustments for ease of use
- Custom molded for the perfect fit
- Made in the USA
- Superior concealability
- Sweat shield protects the gun and keeps it sweat-free
- Not for right hand users
8. MIE Productions Artemis Holster for Shadow Systems DR920
The Kydex holsters for Shadow Systems DR920 is another top consideration not to miss out when looking for a dependable holster system. Like other MIE Productions products, this holstering device is one of the best for effective concealment and less bulk, like a good Concealment Express kydex holster.
It can also allow users for different carry positions based on their needs, while also keeping a full firing grip. This holster offers more flexibility and options for every user based on preference.
I also liked that it is handmade for quality and is made in the USA. That’s not all because this system is also compatible with red dot sights and optics. In addition, I discovered that it allows clearance if you’re using taller sights, another great feature it has.
What’s best is that it is much suitable for supporting suppressor height sights. There is so much versatility in it that you might not be able to find in other holsters.
The right orientation appendix inside the waistband holster allows me to carry with confidence because it gives total concealment, while not also hindering a draw when needed as well.
It is also versatile for belts with up to 1.5 inches and has an adjustable angle, so finding the right fit for you won’t be a problem. I also noticed that it comes with additional hardware that will help in adjusting the retention.
These Kydex holsters have a concealment claw that can help in pushing the grip inward, increasing the concealment it can offer. I also discovered that the company is using a membrane-less vacuum when forming the CNC molds, resulting in precision of the holster they produce.
For this particular model, the resulting piece is a lightweight and slim holster that is made of strong 0.080 Kydex.
This material is known for its strength as well as safety. It can perfectly keep its shape and offers quick and easy re-holstering, too.
This Artemis Holster is also designed with a full sweat guard. This component works in completely covering both the backside of the gun and the trigger. Not only does it protect the firearm but also offers users a smooth draw. It can also keep sweat off the gun slide.
- Sweat guard to keep moisture off the slide of the gun
- Quick and easy re-holstering
- Adjustable cant for the right angle
- Nice concealment claw adds concealability
- Ready for red dot sights and optics
- A bit stiff
Can I use IWB for AIWB?
No, you can’t and you shouldn’t. A durable holster meant for inside the waistband carry shouldn’t be repurposed for an appendix carry. For your safety, use only a dedicated and specific AIWB holster, which is designed and made for appendix carry.
Where do you carry AIWB?
You carry an AIWB inside your waistband, around the 1 o’clock position for right handed users or beside the belt, and at the front of your body.
If you’re on the broader side of life, you should give more thought before buying an appendix IWB holster because it can be uncomfortable. But for most guys who want a great IWB holster for an appendix carry, there are a lot of quality holsters like those I’ve highlighted in the holster reviews.
Each of them is unique with specific features for an appendix carry, like deep concealment, spare mag, leather or Kydex material, and other characteristics that get them on this list of the best AIWB holster.
Nevertheless, take your time to study your options and compare them well using the buying guide featured here. And at the end of the day, think of the 3Cs – concealment, comfort, and convenience. Choose a holster based on your preference and offers you a quick draw, easy access to your gun, and comfort even when wearing for an extended period of time. Good luck!