Featured Best Pocket Pistol Holsters [2023 Buyer’s Guide] Megan Kriss July 27, 2022 Join the Conversation POCKET PROTECTORS MIGHT BE FOR NERDS, BUT PROTECTING YOUR POCKET PISTOL IS A FUNDAMENTAL TO SAFE CARRY With more and more people turning to pocket-sized pistols for packable personal protection, it’s becoming practically paramount that you procure a proficiently portable pocket holster package. Or, in less alliterative terms, if you’re going to carry a pocket pistol, it only makes sense to choose a solid and dependable pocket holster. But which one to choose? As the market for small, easily-pocketable pistols has exploded, so too has the number of manufacturers making holsters for them. Of course, as with anything, quantity has vastly outpaced quality, and a lot of what’s out there isn’t worth your time and money. To help separate the wheat from the chaff, and the good from the bad (and the ugly), we tested as many of the most popular pocket holsters on the market to find the best ones out there right now. Let’s talk about how we chose these holsters, and which ones ended up being the best of the best. CHOOSING THE PERFECT POCKET HOLSTER When choosing a pocket holster, whether you’re deciding from our list of great options up above, or you decide to order off-menu, there are a few things you need to keep in mind to ensure you’re happy (and safe) with your purchase. TRIGGER COVERAGE Next up, is a safety concern that’s even more concerning than usual with a pocket holster: full trigger guard coverage. Complete trigger guard coverage is an essential safety feature for any holster, but especially for a pocket holster. We're not crazy about this gap… If there are gaps in the coverage around the trigger guard, anything from a loose thread to that chapstick you stuck in the wrong pocket and then forgot about could work its way to trigger and cause a negligent discharge. Not a great situation obviously, and one that’s easily avoidable with a high-quality holster that properly fits your firearm. All high-quality manufacturers know this, and none of them will sell you something that doesn’t completely cover the trigger guard, so it’s only really an issue with lower-end holsters and universal fit models that cover a broad range of pistols. RETENTION Another important safety consideration is retention. Any good pocket holster should be able to hold your pistol firmly in place until you go to draw it, and should hold itself in place when you move around, or draw your pistol. The last thing you need is for your holster or firearm to flop out of your pocket when you sit down in a restaurant or squat down to pick something up. Most pocket holsters use passive retention for holding the pistol in place, so it’s important to have something, be it a clip or a high-friction fabric on the outside of the holster, to keep the whole setup in place. For the most part, your pocket itself will keep everything in most of the time, that’s what they’re designed for after all. For both comfort and safety though, you really don’t want that holster sliding around in your pocket. Make sure the holster you get either has some sort of hook or clip to keep it steady in your pocket or is covered in a high-friction outer material that will do the same job. You’ll also want to make sure it’s made of durable materials that won’t wear out over time. COMFORT Comfort is less important than overall safety, but it can actually be a safety concern. After all, if your holster is uncomfortable, has sharp edges, or just doesn’t feel right in the pocket, you’re more likely to leave it tucked in the glove box or in a bedside safe. And, if your luck is anything like mine, of course, the day you decide that you don’t want that uncomfortable holster in your pocket will be the day you really wish you were carrying. To avoid this situation, make sure you get something that’s actually comfortable that doesn’t poke into you, or weigh your pockets down too much. If at all possible, get your holster from somewhere like Amazon that has a good return policy. Everyone’s physiology and clothing style will be different, so it’s hard to say for sure what will work and what won’t, so it’s important to try things out for yourself whenever possible. BEST POCKET PISTOL HOLSTERS Alien Gear ShapeShift Pocket Holster The Alien Gear ShapeShift is actually a platform of modular holsters of which the pocket holster is just one part. The way the ShapeShift platform works is that it contains a series of interchangeable holster shells and holster systems. You can purchase different shells for different guns that you can then attach to the different holster systems, allowing you to use the same shell with an IWB holster, shoulder holster, and more, and the same holster system with virtually any carry weapon as long as you have the shell. It’s a really cool platform that I find myself recommending a lot. Alien Gear ShapeShift Pocket Holster But today, I specifically want to focus on the Pocket Holster. It’s a slim, low-profile pocket holster that comes in left and right-hand draw versions. The pocket hook helps reduce printing while also keeping your holster in place inside your pocket when you draw. The thumb press makes it easy to release the gun from the holster, and the holster features tool-free adjustable passive retention. Finally, unlike most pocket holsters, the ShapeShift Pocket Holster has a hard Kydex shell that provides complete trigger coverage. This makes it one of the safest pocket holsters on the market. It’s also durably made, thoroughly tested, and comes with Alien Gear’s Forever Warranty. DeSantis Nemesis Pocket Holster The DeSantis Nemesis Pocket Holster elevates the sleeve style holster. The exterior has a grippy texture so it grabs onto the interior of your pocket, keeping your holster firmly in place when you draw. To further enhance that, the inside has a smooth, soft, low friction slick pack cloth lining. Nemesis pocket holster In short: this pocket holster grabs what you want it to and releases what you don’t. To address printing, DeSantis has added foam padding between the interior and exterior layers of the holster. The holster is also flexible and slender, so it won’t add a ton of bulk. It’s also ambidextrous, so it’s great for either right or left-handed shooters. To really get the most out of it, I suggest also getting the DeSantis Mag Packer to stow a spare magazine in your other pocket. Sticky Holsters Pocket Holster Sticky Holsters advertises that they make “the best concealed carry holster.” While I don’t know that I’d go that far, I will say that their holsters are definitely excellent. Sticker holsters have, as the name suggests, a sticky exterior that grips to skin and fabric, holding the holster securely in place, with just a little pressure. Since there are no clips or other hard pieces, Sticky Holsters are lightweight, low profile, and very comfortable. Sticky Holsters Pocket Holster They were originally designed for IWB use, but their small sizes can also be used for pocket carry, essentially giving you two holsters in one. In fact, Sticky Holster also makes some modular systems that you can also pair with your holster, allowing you to use it with their belly band, Guard Her Belt, Anklebiter, and more for expanding your options even further. Vedder Pocket Locker Many Kydex pocket holsters are bulky or bizarrely complicated, but the Vedder Pocket Locker shows that that doesn’t have to be the case. This pocket holster has a simple, slender design with three main features: First, there’s a retention hook. Like with the Alien Gear ShapeShift Pocket Holster, this hook catches the inside of the pocket if the holster is lifted, keeping the holster inside so that your gun can be drawn. Vedder Pocket Locker The second is the optional thumb release, which gives you a place to push against to make drawing even easier. Finally, this holster has an attachment point that allows the holster to be mounted in a bag for off-body carry. While I never recommend off-body carry for normal carry, because it makes it much harder to stay in active control of your weapon, it is nice to know that you have the option if it’s ever absolutely necessary. Though off-body carry is already not great, you never want to have your firearm loose in a bag. Galco Front Pocket Horsehide Holster Galco Gunleather is well known for their high-quality leather holsters, so it’s hardly a surprise that they make a great leather pocket holster. This holster is made of premium horsehide with a smooth, soft interior and a rough exterior for retention and to minimize your holster moving around within your pocket. Galco Front Pocket Horsehide Holster To further aid retention, this holster uses a double hook shape so there are two places that grab onto the pocket when you draw from the holster. This keeps the holster in the pocket and helps to ensure a clean draw every time. The soft leather and full coverage design help soften the shape of your carry weapon so there’s no clear print while also providing complete trigger coverage for safety. It’s also totally ambidextrous. Crossbreed Pocket Rocket The Crossbreed Pocket Rocket makes use of the hybrid design that Crossbreed is known for with a leather panel and a Kydex shell. However, on most Crossbreed holsters, the leather goes on the side of the wearer, providing a barrier between them and the gun for comfort. Crossbreed Pocket Rocket With the Pocket Rocket, on the other hand, the leather panel goes on the outside, preventing printing and creating the appearance of a wallet in your pocket. It’s great for not just pants, but also jackets and coats. The hard Kydex ensures trigger protection and makes re-holstering your weapon simple, while the leather panel has a sticky backing to keep it firmly in place within your pocket. The Pocket Rocket is not ambidextrous, but there are versions for both right and left-hand draw. There are also versions for a ton of the most popular carry weapons (though there are some notable exceptions like Glock) including versions that accommodate various popular lights and lasers. The Pocket Rocket also comes with a lifetime warranty. LOOSE ROUNDS Now that you’re armed with the know-how to find the best pocket holster for you, get out there and give some a try. While pocket carry isn’t right for everyone or every pocket-sized gun, it does offer a simple and convenient way to carry daily. Ready for some more? 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