The best chest holster is becoming a popular holster for carrying a firearm among outdoor enthusiasts, backpackers, and hunters. It’s their go-to choice when they can’t wear a more traditional belt type holster.
A chest holster has become their solution for outdoor carrying in the wild, which is full of unknown creatures. It helps carry a gun securely while outdoors, especially that it can be dangerous when they encounter a creature lurking in the dark or predator preparing to attack.
It is the reason that hunters, backpackers, campers, and other outdoor enthusiasts in bear country get their chest holsters, which can help them prepare for the adventure. But a little note: A comfortable chest holster is not for concealed carry.
However, the market can be saturated with choices for chest holsters, which can come in different styles, materials, pricing, and brands. In today’s buying guide, I’m featuring the top six picks of chest holsters, people who should wear one, and frequently asked questions.
By the end of this, I do hope that you’ll be able to make a decision on which to buy to meet your needs and preferences for the most comfortable chest holster.
WHO SHOULD WEAR A CHEST HOLSTER?
The concealed style of carrying a gun is still more common than an open carry. However, there are undeniable advantages of wearing chest gun holsters for open carry.
One is comfort. Open carry Kydex, ballistic nylon, or leather holsters are beneficial for those carrying a big bore.
They can help prevent fatigue especially if you’re carrying a pack because chest gun holsters have sternum and shoulder straps, or a torso strap, which enable the body torso to support the gun’s weight instead of the belt. This also allows for quick access to the pistol.
People looking for a comfortable holster that offers a snug fit should also wear a chest holster that can make firearm retention easier and safer because it prevents anyone from just grabbing your firearm.
Hill people who need a quick access to their firearm while carrying their kit bag when outdoors also wear a chest holstering gear or a shoulder holster.
Although carrying this way needs some practice and mastery for people who are more familiar with IWB or OWB carry, hunters and outdoor adventurers choose a chest holster that allows drawing from different positions especially when an angry mountain bear approaches and they need to make a quick draw of their firearm.
So generally, people who should wear a chest holster for safety, comfort, and quick access to their guns are those who plan to hike, fish, hunt, and do another outdoor activity. They can wear it comfortably with other gears they have in their body.
Other people who should be wearing a chest holster with a harness and comfortable fit are not only those who love hunting or plan wearing their pistol or weapon on their chest but also disabled shooters on a wheelchair.
But again, a chest rig or holster is designed for people in countries, states, or areas where open carry is allowed. That’s why you should check your local laws before going out in public wearing your holster.
Quick glance of who should wear chest holsters:
- Users who want to move freely and comfortably, such as when doing mountain climbing activities because they don’t want a holstering gear limiting or obstructing their movement
- People who need safety when doing outdoor activities like jogging, camping, or fly fishing
- Those who need a backup to their long gun
- People who want to use a chest holster that can be hidden under a shirt or clothing
- Hill people who want to be prepared when exploring the wild and bear country
- People who are backpacking and hiking and they can’t wear a shoulder or belt holster because of their kit bag, backpack, or hiking gear
Things to Consider
A chest rig can be a better option than a hip carry or belt worn holster when hunting, backpacking, and hiking as well as backcountry traveling and fly fishing.
However, you need to consider certain factors to help you select a sturdy and awesome chest holster for your needs and to carry a gun securely.
So, whether you’re eyeing to buy a Man Gear Alaska holster, Kenai chest holster, Great Alaskan shoulder system, or a Galco Kodiak Hunter holster, or any other branded and super comfortable chest holsters, check out this buying guide for help in the selection.
Most chest holsters are designed and made for open carry, but some can manage well in that they can be hidden and kept out of sight.
But if you’re looking for deep concealment, a chest holster might not be the right option for you, though. It is because they can cause printing issues and drawing from under your shirt can become a hassle, too. So if you’re looking for really concealed chest holsters, you should really plan what to wear.
You should also definitely think of a good fit when choosing a chest holster, whether it’s a Kydex or smooth leather holster, especially if you’re planning to wear your gun all day.
Otherwise, wearing your holster for long hours can be really uncomfortable especially with a poorly designed harness.
And then, you should consider body types in that the harness must be able to fit your chest and if you have broad shoulders, or the holster can become a real obstruction as it can get in the way.
Chest holster types
Before looking for a chest rig with modern materials and quality build, learn about the types of chest holsters used by an army veteran, civilian, shooter, or any other individual types looking to carry in their chest and when they have other gear that it would be inconvenient to belt carry.
All types of holsters for chest carry are made with adjustable straps, which can be made of leather or nylon webbing. They may also feature a design with a three-point harness looping over one of the shoulders and under both arms.
Chest holsters made from nylon usually come with a thumb strap. Typically, these are designed with a universal size for revolvers as well as semi-autos. However, I won’t recommend a nylon holster because it can be cheaply made.
Meanwhile, there are leather holsters that typically feature an open top that is strategically positioned on a 3-pt harness. They’re made for large frame revolvers and still offer easy access to the firearm even if users would be wearing a kit bag.
If you’re buying leather, you might also find models that have a flap or thumb snap retention type.
Hybrid holsters are also in demand. Like shoulder holsters, IWB holsters, and appendix holsters, and other carry style holsters, a hybrid chest holster is a combination of materials.
You’ll find it has a molded retention shell and a soft backing material. It has straps attaching to the base while the shell is going on top. For example, you might be able to find a Kydex holster with a Kydex retention shell and nylon web straps.
Nevertheless, the best chest holsters are designed for large frame revolvers or a semi auto, which are in most cases brought into the woods. A few of these are the 1911 and large frame Glocks.
When buying holsters, fit is another important factor for consideration. We don’t want using a poorly fitting holster that will be really an inconvenience and a hassle at the same time. The chest holster should fit perfectly over the trigger guard to prevent anything from slipping inside and reaching the trigger.
A revolver or gun holster should also have enough retention in that it can accommodate and hold your gun securely. Retention styles can be a shoulder strap, lock, or clamshell friction. This system should still work even when it’s positioned upside down. So regardless of the orientation you’ll be using it for, the holster should securely keep your pistol in place.
Meanwhile, I’d like to recommend a retention strap or a thumb lock if you’re working in security. This strap can maintain the position of your gun and prevent it from slipping or falling out, while making it hard for an attacker to snatch it especially in close quarters.
A great holster for revolvers or semi automatic guns should be made of quality materials because it has to be durable and dependable to keep up with the pressure and situations that it’s going to meet in the wild.
For the most part, it can be either made of Kydex or thermoplastic or leather. They are known not only to carry your gun well but also durable to resist wear.
Fully Covered Trigger Guard
For utmost safety, an important consideration is the trigger guard protection. This will keep your clothing, pens, fingers, and anything that might pull the trigger and cause unintentional firing.
There must be nothing to reach and come in contact with the trigger guard especially that the most of us are now carrying with a loaded chamber. It’s really important to have a fully covered trigger guard to also avoid accidental firing at yourself.
6 Best Chest Holster: In-depth Reviews
1. Best Chest Holster for 1911: Kenai Chest Holster For A 1911 Government
If you’re spending a lot of time outdoors and want to be prepared in order to save your life from a mountain lion or bear, you need a dependable chest holster like this Kenai holster from Gunfighters.
I liked that this holster is carefully designed for convenient and comfortable carrying of a gun in the mountains and predator-packed environments like the Rocky Mountains and Alaska. These places are where the possibilities of encountering a bear are higher than in other places.
This holster is versatile enough for carrying a 1911, a large frame Glock, or a magnum revolver especially in situations when it could be inconvenient and almost impossible to carry a shotgun or a rifle.
Another thing I liked about this Kenai holster is its good design of having flat and wide straps that offer comfort when I am carrying a backpack. This is also made with a low profile design for all day wear and durable nylon materials for long-term use.
Wearing this, I know that I’ll always be prepared no matter what is out there.
The holster can also hold and secure a 1911 perfectly well, so I don’t have any problem in this department, and that adds to the security of using it.
This can allow for a quick access to the gun and no difficulty at all fitting it inside the holster. The right-hand orientation holster also has straps and buckles, which can increase the security in keeping the gun in place.
It has buckles that are designed not to be obstructing the pack straps, while also minimizing any rub spots. This product is also suitable for different users and offers versatility for wearing on low or high on one’s chest.
Overall, this Kenai chest holster is one of the best chest holsters on the market today. You’ll love its design that gives all day comfort.
- Comfortable harness design
- Fits a 1911 perfectly
- Made in the USA
- All day wear comfort
- Versatility for different user sizes
- Can feel a bit flimsy
2. Best Chest Holster For Glock 20/21/40/41: Kenai Chest Holster Glock 20/21/40/41
This adjustable and super comfortable holster is another of my favorites in this category because it does what a gun holster does. It can keep my gun secure well in place even when I am out there in the mountains for hours and doing outdoor activities like hiking and hunting.
As you know, we always have to be prepared in many situations especially when there can be predators lurking in the woods and ready to attack us anytime. I liked that it has an open end design, which can give convenient access to the gun.
It is also versatile for different Glock Models, including 20/21 as well as 40 MOS. A Glock 41 .45ACP can also fit this holster.
What’s even better is that it can accommodate guns with or without a micro red dot. However, do take note that this product will not fit other Glock models.
In addition, this great value chest holster is also designed for different activities, including hiking, fishing, hunting, and backpacking.
People who are on a wheelchair or are disabled can also opt for this one if they want to carry their firearm and secure it in a holster.
It is also adjustable so that it can be worn high or low on the chest.
Moreover, this holstering gear for a Glock is also handmade for ensured quality and form fit to your gun. It also has a great design that doesn’t miss on the details, including ergonomics and comfort.
Overall, this adjustable holster for Glock 20/21/40/41 is one of the finest in the category. It will not disappoint. You might want to check it out if your gun is compatible with it.
- Handmade for quality
- Designed for all-day comfort
- Strategic design and placement of the parts
- Wide and flat straps
- Adjustable to fit most body types
- Not for other Glocks aside from those mentioned
3. Best Kenai Chest Holster for a Glock 17/19/22/23/31/32: Kenai Chest Holster for a Glock 17/19/22/23/31/32
This Kenai holster is another go-to choice among outdoor sporting and hunting enthusiasts who always want to be prepared from an attack of a mountain lion, bear, or any other predator in the Rocky Mountains and Alaska.
It is also a top choice among Marine Corps, law enforcement, military, and even civilians for its comfort and reliability. But not to forget, this chest holster also offers quick and efficient draw, giving me the confidence that I need in tough situations when every second counts.
The holster is also made in the USA and all the materials are also sourced home, ensuring it can last for a lifetime even in the harshest conditions.
Just like other Kenai holsters, there are no threaded fasteners in this one, ensuring that nothing will be falling out or working loose over time.
The harness design and build is also comfortable enough to let me wear this holster for hours on end without feeling any inconvenience. All day comfort is real with this one.
Plus, I noticed that the buckles in the closure style of this gear are not blocking or obstructing the pack straps, while also ensuring minimized rub spots.
And whether you are on the broader side of life or not, you don’t have to worry because this is an adjustable holster that is designed to fit most body sizes. You can also choose to wear it high or low on your chest without any issues.
This Kenai holster is also suitable for different activities, such as fishing, hunting, and backpacking.
I also liked that it has a four-way stretch yoke for its harness, increasing comfort while ensuring mobility. Its yoke can sit flat in order to reduce any pressure points while carrying a backpack.
Overall, this chest holster is an excellent choice for people looking for reliable and comfortable holstering devices for a chest carry style.
- Flat and wide straps
- Reliable brand and quality materials
- Adjustable design to fit most body sizes
- Buckles and strap for a secure closure
- Suitable for most outdoor activities
- Can feel a bit tight initially
4. Best Chest Holster For Hiking: Slicker Pistol Universal Pistol Holster
This ambidextrous Slicker Pistol holster makes it to this list of the best chest holsters because of its features, including versatility and adjustability. For one, this holster offers you with leg or chest mounting options.
The holster and harness is also ready for mounting on the leg or chest. It comes with four different connection buckles that can lock into the leg mounting system or chest harness, allowing for fast conversion from a chest to a leg holster.
This product also features a waterproof neoprene material cover, which can offer both protection and concealment to your firearm while you’re outdoors. The cover also works perfectly in terms of protecting your weapon from any harsh weather conditions, all without blocking access to the gun.
It can also offer a quick but silent draw. That’s thanks to its design wherein the cover remains attached to its bottom plate to allow a quiet, smooth, and fast draw of the gun when it’s needed.
Moreover, the chest holster is also compatible to fit many pistols with up to four inches barrel, including a .44 magnum with a four-inch barrel. It also has an excellent design that allows for a balanced weight distribution.
I also appreciate the ambidextrous configuration of the leather holster, which allows for quick adjustments for a left or right hand configuration. This product also comes with fasteners, making it a complete and easy to use system.
Overall, I find this holster as one of the best holsters that money can buy. It offers a quick and silent draw, is made of durable materials, and has a sleek and compact design.
- Easy switching from a chest to a leg holster
- Made of premium leather material
- Classic and elegant look
- Nice fit for multiple guns
- Comes with all the fasteners
- Not for big guns
5. Best Chest Holster For Running: Galco Classic Lite Shoulder Holster System
This Galco holster is compatible for different Glock models, including models 17, 19, 22, and 23, among others. However, its benefits don’t end on its versatility but also durability.
It is made from premium steerhide that works well for a chest holster because of its durability. The exterior of this gear doesn’t also show any scratches or scuffing.
While it may not be that affordable when compared to other holsters on this list, its sturdiness is an excellent feature to look for when buying a holster.
I also appreciate that this Shoulder System can offer similar comfort, stability, and security of other Galco’s shoulder systems. This product also features a swivel back plate.
For its design, it’s using a tool-less fastener system that can offer users with quick assembly and better security. This can also reduce any chance of losing any fastener when compared to other systems on the market.
I also liked that this chest holster is 100% modular, coming with a harness, holster, and a single magazine carrier.
The magazine carrier is also designed with a secure flap making it suitable for autos. Plus, it comes with a double drop pouch that is ideal for revolvers.
And for a comfort and secure fit, this model also includes harness fasteners and screws.
This product is also available for right or left orientation.
Overall, the Classic Lite holster, which is specially made for semi automatic guns and double action revolvers, is one of the best choices out there that you should not miss. And while it’s using center cut premium steer hide, it is not that expensive versus other holsters with the same materials.
- Premium quality leather material
- Comes with a magazine carrier
- Right or left hand draw
- Tool-free fastener system
- Perfect for semi autos and double action revolvers
- A bit expensive
6. Compact and good for money: AIKATE Deep Concealment Shoulder Holster
If you’re looking for a comfortable chest and shoulder holster, you might want to check out this AIKATE holster. For an overview, it’s perfect for both men and women and can fit both subcompact and compact guns.
One of the things I liked about this product is the quick draw that it can offer without any printing issues. I can also carry discreetly without worrying about my firearm making any print on my shirt. Truly, this is a compact holster.
Comfort is also never a question with this holster. I’ve tried wearing it for hours without experiencing any discomfort. I noticed that it has a breathable neoprene base that can fit against the body perfectly. It also has a narrow edge design, which can also add to its convenience.
You can also choose from two available sizes, either the 39-inch or the 45-inch models.
I’d also like to add that the shoulder holster can perfectly accommodate almost all pistols, although I think it can be a bit small for bigger guns. Still, it is designed for compact, subcompact, and other gun sizes.
The AIKATE holster is also available for left or right hand draw.
When it comes to versatility, this one is also superb. I can use it for superb concealment under my arm pretty well. In addition, it gives me the option to remove the shoulder strap if I want to.
Plus, I can carry this one inside or outside the waistband. Surely, this holster is one of those offering great value for money for the plenty of carrying styles that it can accommodate.
- Allows for left or right hand draw
- Quality neoprene material
- Universal fit for multiple handguns
- Can be used for concealed carry
- Underarm or waist carry
- Tends to slip down
What is the best chest holster for backpacking?
I recommend the Slicker Pistol Universal Pistol Holster if you’re looking for a good backpacking chest holster because it’s versatile enough for chest or leg mounting options, so you can choose which one works for you, like when you’re carrying a pack or wearing a backpack. It also holds the gun in place well even with plenty of movements while hiking, fishing, and doing any other outdoor activities.
What is the best chest holster for concealed carry?
The AIKATE Deep Concealment Shoulder Holster is what I recommend for concealed style carry holsters that you can rely on and use for your outdoor activities and all day comfort carry. It causes no printing issues and is good for deep concealment, although may hinder a quick draw.
The best chest holsters are definitely for you if you’re planning to use a reliable holstering device for your outdoor adventures, like fly fishing, hunting, hiking, running, and mountain climbing.
They are comfortable gun holsters that also allow a fast access to your firearm, which is an important factor to keep you safe in the wild where there are a lot of unknown and dangerous creatures that you must prepare for.
Hope this guide can help you compare your choices so that you can make a sound decision on which holster to buy for your semi auto or revolver. Good luck and enjoy your outdoor pursuits!