Buyer’s Guide for Belly Band Holsters

Figuring out which type of holster to buy for conceal carrying can be overwhelming. There are seemingly infinite varieties. You can go for the always popular waistband holsters like OWB, IWB, or AIWB. You could choose “police” inspired holster like the shoulder or ankle. Or, you could choose one of the holsters we discuss today: the belly band holsters.

As we will get into below, both of these types of holster provide some real advantages and disadvantages. We also provide a few of our top picks for each type of holster, in order to make the decision a little easier for you.

What are Belly Band Holsters?

belly band holster

A belly band holster will provide a strip of material that goes around your stomach. This material has multiple pockets for one or more firearms, and often extra magazines. You can even use the magazine pouches to store extras like a flashlight, cell, or knife.

Belly band holsters usually use elastic in their design, which creates a holster that moves with your body. Their secure fit makes them popular with runners, cyclists, and hikers. Read on to learn more about the important features and our picks for the top models of belly band holsters.

Important Features to Consider

Material

Belly band holsters come in a variety of materials, the most popular are plastic and leather.[1] Each of these materials comes with their own pros and cons.

Plastic belly band holsters tend to run cheaper than those made with other materials. However, because the plastic is worn touching your body, the plastic can warp if it gets too hot.

Leather holsters do not provide this problem and can actually be re-shrunk easily. But, they are not water-proof, which because of the large surface area they cover can create uncomfortable chaffing.

Size

Every person comes with unique dimensions, and belly bands are supposed to snuggly fit your unique body. This makes it imperative that you buy a belly band holster that is the correct size for you. Experts recommend measuring your waist and hips before buying.[2] Because they attach with Velcro, you will not need a custom-made belly band holster, but knowing your dimensions will help you find one that will conform to your body.

You will also need to make sure that you buy the correct size holster for your gun. An advantage of the belly band holster is that they tend to be able to hold a multitude of gun types. Make sure that you buy a belly band holster that will fit and conceal your specific model of the gun easily.           

Adjustability

Belly band holsters offer a large amount of adjustability. Most are ambidextrous, which means you can wear them to draw cross-body or from your strong side. You can also adjust the ride height on your waist. Most people create maximum concealability by wearing them lower so that only the top of the band and holster appear over the top of their pants. However, you can choose to wear them higher on your waist, which is especially important for women. 

Retention

Because you can move so much in a belly band holster, you do not want your gun or magazine to slip out of its pouch. This problem is easily solved by buying a holster with a clasp or thumb break.[3]

Top Models

Below we’ve provided our top four picks for belly band holsters. We’ve included a brief discussion of the unique features of each along with a few pros and cons.

ComfortTac XL Ultimate Belly Band Holster for Concealed Carry | Black | Fits Gun Smith and Wesson Bodyguard, Glock 19, 17, 42, 43, P238, Ruger LCP, and Similar Sized Guns | For Men and Women


ComfortTac has created a flexible and durable belly band holder that fits a wide variety of gun sizes and types.                                                           

Pros

  •       You can choose a right or left-handed draw option.
  •       This holster can accommodate all of the carry options: OWB, IWB, AIWB, cross body, Back, 5 o’clock, or even shoulder.
  •       Fits up to 54-inch stomach.

Cons

  •       Some problems with the band rolling have been cited, especially for larger frames.
  •       Some guns do not fit as well as they should

Carrygear Advanced Breathable Belly Band Holster for Concealed Carry| For Men and Women | Right and Left Hand Draw


Carrygear’s belly band holster fits stomachs up to 53-inches around and is suitable for men and women.

Pros

  •       Carrygear uses neoprene instead of the more common leather. Neoprene is a breathable fabric, which will not cause sweat to build up.
  •       It uses an adjustable thumb break on its gun pouch, which can be removed by people wanting less retention.

Cons

  •       The material gets hot when worn all day, especially in the summer.
  •       It may not conceal well if you wear the band too low or too high. 

AlphaHolster Belly Band Hand Gun Holster - Abdomen Holster - Cross Draw - Any Gun - Any Clothing - Right or Left Hand - Men or Woman

alphaholster belly band gun holster

Alphaholster provides a lightweight belly band holster the comes in sizes small to XXX-large. This holster has two gun pockets and two extra magazine loops.

Pros

  •       Alphaholster claims their belly band holster fits all gun sizes and types, even revolvers.
  •       You get ultimate flexibility with this holster, for it can be worn OWB or IWB and has ambidextrous draw options.

Cons

  •       The magazine loops run small, so do not fit all sizes of magazines.[4]

Our final choice for the top belly band holster, Concealed Carrier, LLC has created a product that will fit almost any body type and any size of pistol.

Pros

  •       If versatility is what you want, then this is the holster for you. It is one size fits all, conceals any pistol size or type, and can be worn in any position on the waist or shoulder.
  •       Includes an extra pouch that holds a magazine, keys, cell, or small knife.

Cons

  •       The retention strap does not work as well as advertised. It sometimes doesn’t snap off correctly, which hinders your draw.
  •       The strap of the band is quite narrow, which can cause problems holstering larger guns.

Why choose a belly band holster?

Are you an active person? Do you want to be able to conceal carry your weapon while also performing activities you love? Then a belly band holster may be right for you. They are an extremely comfortable option that provide excellent concealability. Depending on the color you purchase—black, white, and brown are common—they can be worn under dress shirts, with jeans, skirts, or t-shirts. This flexibly in both material and usage make them a great option for the everyday carrier.

Now you can Compare these to our top pics for fanny pack holsters in 2018 

[1] “How to Choose the Right Belly Band Holster?” The Outdoorland.com (April 7, 2017), https://theoutdoorland.com/choose-right-belly-band-holster/ (accessed 3/27/18).

[2] Norman Turner, “Best Belly Band Holster Reviews,” The Gun Zone (February 10, 2018), https://thegunzone.com/best-belly-band-holster-reviews/ (accessed 3/27/18).

[3] “How to Choose the Right Belly Band Holster?” The Outdoorland.com (April 7, 2017), https://theoutdoorland.com/choose-right-belly-band-holster/ (accessed 3/27/18).

[4] Howard, “Belly Band Holsters Overview and Top Choices,” Holster Hero, https://www.holsterhero.com/belly-band-holsters/ (accessed 3/27/18).

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