Some of us are required to carry a concealed firearm for our job; some of us prefer to carry a concealed firearm. The law allows us to carry a concealed firearm as long as we keep it concealed. Some of us will be wearing uniforms, others will be wearing skirts, jackets, and a suit and tie. Some of us will need to be carrying a concealed weapon wearing nothing more than a bathing suit or a strapless evening gown. If you are considering a belly band holster, read on. Here is a review of the best belly band holsters, along with a buying guide.
The Basics Of Belly Band Holsters
The best belly band holster is a band of neoprene, elastic or mother material that is designed to be worn around the abdomen with the option of wearing it higher up on the poor so like a shoulder holster or lower down the hips to accommodate shape or concealment. The holster is highly adjustable, comfortable to wear and above all conceals the weapon. While belly band holsters can be worn outside the waistband (OWB) or open carry, their intended to be worn underneath clothing in such a fashion that the outline of the weapon will not be imprinted underneath clothing.
Why Choose A Belly Band Holster
The best belly band holster is one that provides absolute concealment of the firearm. It is also designed to be compatible with a low profile clothing such as that which is worn for jogging, running, dancing, and even formal wear. Picture if you will, a female in a slinky evening gown; she has no pockets, no purse, and no sleeves, yet she may be carrying a lethal weapon around her waist.
The best belly band holsters are ones that can be carried in multiple positions on the body and have multiple positioning options for the firearm. Cant, or the angle of the firearm as it writes in the holster, need to pretty much take a backseat when speaking of belly band holsters. There is one way to get around cant dependency in terms of using a bad belly band holster; PRACTICE. Practice wearing it, practice your draw and all the other skills that need to be practiced with such frequency to become muscle memory.
Disadvantages Of A Belly Band Holster
Even the best belly band holsters are not perfect. While they offer a lot of advantages, they have disadvantages. The number one disadvantage is comfort, especially in hot weather. You really will need to give comfort its due when deciding on a belly band holster. Think about sweat. If it is not comfortable, you're going to be looking for reasons to take it off.
Even the best belly band holsters are very difficult to re-holster. That is just the nature of a concealed elastic band being worn around your torso. Hand-in-hand with re-holstering is the fact that the front site gets snagged on the lower margin of the holster as it is being drawn. Clothing matters when considering the purchase of the best belly band holster. If you have to unzip, unbutton, and unlace clothing to get to your weapon, then you have defeated the purpose of having a weapon. Thin people and females will have to give a second thought to their wardrobe.
Big people are at a disadvantage for finding the best belly band holster. Only one of our models could accommodate people larger than a size 44. We believe there are other models out there that can accommodate large people. The other thing though, is that depending on your shape, having even the lightest material rubbing up and riding up is going to become a nuisance and very uncomfortable. There are few things that are worse than a big person on a hot day having to deal with sweat soaked elastic that it has creased, rolled up and pinched the flesh, and all with hours of wearing to go.
Your Buying Guide To Belly Band Holsters
Carrying a concealed weapon is serious business. You have a legal obligation to carry the weapon in such a manner as to prevent printing under clothing such that other people know that you are carrying a firearm. More than that, however, you have an obligation to yourself, to do your due diligence and carefully choose a holster you must be able to reflexively draw from in the blink of an eye, and drawn in such a manner as to acquire your target and defend yourself or others or apprehends suspects in the line of duty. You will want to consider at least three broad categories when you are choosing a belly band holster.
What we mean by comfort here is the wearer's comfort. If the best belly band holsters are not comfortable, then it won't be long before the user is looking for some other way to conceal their weapon. Measure around the stomach at the level of the umbilicus or measure around your hips, whichever size is larger. It is not recommended to go by your pant size. If you are a half size, always go up one size of the measurement. You must also consider how the holster is secured around your waist. Ask yourself this: would you rather have Velcro that you can get into and out of easily (although not silently), or some strap, buckle, or belt set up that may cost you precious time?
If you have never experienced summer and in hellholes like Texas and Louisiana, then you may not comprehend how important material is until heat, humidity, and sweat become significant to consider. The best belly band holsters have breathable, expandable material that can stand up to heat and sweat without losing its shape or elasticity. Neoprene and breathable elastic are good choices.
You must think about exactly where on your body this belly band holster is going tobe positioned, sometimes for hours on end. Men have variations on the V-shape; women have variations on the hourglass design. The best belly band holsters that advertise riding low on the hips for men may be riding on the female body right where measurements are the widest, causing a size increase.
Your weapon(s) may or may not be the tool of your trade but one thing is for sure; if you do not take care of your weapon that will not be able to take care of you. This is the one thing that is, without exaggeration, a matter of life or death; yours.
Because you are law-abiding citizens with respect for the law and for those around you, you want to choose the best belly band holster that will conceal your weapon. Those around you, even those who know you are carrying a weapon, should not be able to see that you are concealing a weapon. A no-brainer, but sometimes concealment is harder to achieve than you think. Small and thin people and those who will need to conceal their weapon under less than optimal clothing must focus on the aspect of concealment.
If you are like most gun owners, not only have you invested in a quality weapon, but you have respect for your personal protection. The best belly band holsters are very good at protecting the weapon in terms of holding the weapon securely so that it doesn't wiggle, jostle, fallout or get pulled out by an attacker. Holsters that are made from neoprene or another lightweight, breathable and/or padded materials will prevent firearm from being scratched.
Those of us who carry a concealed firearm does not want the firearm to fall out if we run, jump or fall, any more than we want a delay in drawing a weapon due to the retention strap. Retention straps need to have a metal snap, rather than a button or Velcro, and the strap that is attached to the metal strap needs to be elastic enough to swing away and clear the firearm as it is being withdrawn from the holster. You may choose not to use a retention strap at all, so you will have to decide how you are going to ensure that your firearm stays in the holster until you remove it.
The position we refer to here is the position of the firearm relative to the body axis. Positions are referred to as IWB, OWB, the 5 o'clock position behind the hip, the small of the back, the appendix (AIWB) area, 12 o'clock right in front of your umbilicus or high up the torso like a shoulder holster.
Cant refers to the angle at which the gun rides in the belly band holster. A weapon that is carried straight up vertical in the holster is said to have a 0° of cant and is in the neutral position. The FBI likes a cant between 10 and 20° forward; cross draw angle is typically in a negative or reverse angle, tilted back. It takes time to determine at which angle you prefer your weapon to ride. It is crucial to find a belly band holster that can accommodate the cant that either you prefer or are willing to practice with while wearing the belly band holster. Users who want to use the belly band holster will need to learn to live with little cant.
Accommodation in this instance refers to the belly band holsters ability to accommodate magazines, spare magazines, cell phones, knives and keys. At the basic level, the best belly band holster needs to be able to accommodate one magazine, even though the usual and customary is to have two spare magazines. As for the ability to accommodate cell phones, knives, and keys, you must decide if you really need a holster to carry other things besides a weapon and one or two magazines.
The more accessories that you have riding around your waist, the less room you have for mobility, the more weight in heat you will be carrying, and the more things to get dropped. That said, if you are working undercover in a bathing suit or evening gown, a belly band holster may be the only place you can store accessories.
A final cherry on the top of any buying guide is returns. No one will accept material that has been worn to where sweat and creases are apparent. It would be nice if you could try it on in your home with your weapon in it for the amount of time it takes to determine that the holster isn't going to work for you.
How We Reviewed
The following products were reviewed based on the following parameters: design and fit, holster, draw and cant, magazine and accessory accommodation, comfort and support. We randomly picked five belly band holsters to provide an unbiased “best of” list. Then we went out on the Internet and searched using Google, read product reviews from verified users, and finally, got opinions from those we know who carry a concealed weapon in a belly band holster.
Overall Price Range
The best belly band holsters we reviewed are inexpensive. The products we reviewed are all made of lightweight material because let's face it: things get hot as the day wears on. While there are plenty of concealed carry holsters that are made of leather and composite materials, it makes sense to wear a belly band holster with neoprene and/or elastic materials not only for comfort but to prevent the loss of mobility or flexibility that comes from wearing leather.
Holsters We Reviewed
MISMXC Ultimate Belly Band Holster
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Key Features of this product includes one size that fits up to a 44-inch waist. The holster is one size fits all, made of surgical grade elastic, and will accommodate the subcompact all the way up to full-size pistols and revolvers. There is one spare magazine pocket for accessories and one movable spare mag pouch that can be placed anywhere on the holster. And there is an optional use metal snap firearm retention strap provided for extra support. The material is a breathable, lightweight, durable neoprene.
This product provides for either a right or left hand drawn and is versatile enough to be worn in any position; IWB, OWB, cross draw, anterior, posterior and high up like a shoulder holster or concealed carry shirt.
Where To Buy
Vbestlife Belly Band Holster Ultimate Waist Gun Holster
Key Features of this product includes one size that fits up to a 44-inch waist. The holster is one size that fits all and will accommodate the subcompact to full-size pistols and revolvers. There is a non-movable pouch that will accept spare magazines or other accessories. There is an optional use metal snap firearm retention strap for extra support. This holster is made of advanced me of neoprene fabric is nonabrasive, lightweight, breathable and durable.
This product can be worn in any location on the body and can serve as an IWB or OWB holster.
Where To Buy
AlphaHolster Belly Band Hand Gun Holster
Key Features of this product include one size which fits up to a 44-inch waist. The holster is one size that fits many but does not advertise how small or how large the holster can accommodate, It has a right and left barrel exit for an ambidextrous draw. This product comes with dual magazine pockets and a cell phone pocket. There is an optional use retention metal snap firearm retention strap for extra support. This holster is made of a CoolVent perforated neoprene base.
This holster can be rotated for writer left hand drawn and can be worn IWB, OWB, cross draw and any position around the body, including high up like a shoulder holster.
Where To Buy
Relentless Tactical Hidden Agenda Belly Band Holster
Key Features of this product includes sizes from 28 inches to 64 inches. The holster is actually a pocket that can accommodate small, medium or large frame handguns. There is a space where two magazines can be accommodated and held with Velcro straps. There is a safety strap fastened over the back of the gun. There are two slots for either right or left to draw or two firearms. This product is made from the ventilated elastic and secures with Velcro.
This holster sits high on the hips and can be worn either IWB or OWB.
Where To Buy
Can Can Concealment Hip Hugger Classic Woman’s Holster
Key Features of this product includes sizes between 33 inches and 38 inches. It is an actual band that has pockets rather than holsters that provide countless positions of carrying, including the 45° cant. This band can accommodate spare magazines and other accessories. It sits low on the hips to increase comfort, is 4 inches wide and made of breathable elastic.
This belly band holster is best for IWB or for OWB and is especially useful for those who prefer a 45° cant.
Where To Buy
Best Belly Band Holster
We settled on the ComfortTac Ultimate belly band holster. This was a hard decision because none of the belly band holsters we reviewed provided everything we wanted. To review, when looking to purchase a belly band holster, look for as many of the following qualities:
The AlphaHolster belly band has the most sizes to choose from. The material is thin, and definitely prone to being soaked with sweat. Positioning works well, the weapon is properly concealed, adequately protected and retained. There is a place for two weapons, accommodation of accessories is good, there is not a wide range of positioning and there is no cant. The big problem is the front sight snagging on the thin material as the gun is drawn.
The Four Way
The Four Way belly band only fits medium waists, but the material is definitely comfortable, light and airy, and fits well on those medium waists. The weapon is properly concealed and there are options for positioning and cant. The weapon is minimally protected, there is no retention strap, and for some, the forward site snags on the material as the weapon is being withdrawn.
The UTrust belly band can accommodate waist up to 44 inches. The material is not as light as some others, but the material is breathable and durable. This band fits well for both males and females, conceals even the largest firearms; the weapon is well protected and safe with a retention strap that can be worn in all the positions except for high under the shoulder and there is no cant.
The Bravobelt belly band can accommodate waist up to 44 inches, it is comfortable, and has lightweight breathable material. The holster sits well on both male and female frames. The weapon is concealed, protected and secured with a retention strap. This belt can accommodate all positions but does not provide cant. In terms of accommodation, it has plenty of storage space. It only accommodates smaller sized weapons, and we don't feel the need to keep our cell phone under our shirt.
That leaves the ComfortTac Ultimate belly band holster. While it only accommodates waist up to 44 inches, it's breathable neoprene material is exceptional. It accommodates all sized weapons and conceals well. The weapon is protected, has a retention strap, can be worn in all positions, but doesn't have cant. It has space to accommodate magazines and perhaps a knife. Some users believe that the mag pouch is not stable.
We chose the ComfortTac Ultimate because it has a removable pouch, it can be worn in all positions including up high like a shoulder holster, and for the breathability of the material. We would rather have more of a size selection on all of these products. All of these products run the risk of snagging the front sight as the gun is being withdrawn. We know that there are plenty of other brands out there so a final suggestion to you is to keep looking; there are plenty of other products to test in choosing the best belly band holster.
Since some of us are required to carry a concealed firearm, and others of us choose to carry concealed protection, it's a good thing that there are options out there like the best belly band holster. If you like the advantages of a concealed waistband holster, then we certainly suggest you do your research and due diligence and follow our buying guide. Read some reviews and choose a product (or two) that will allow you to return the item if a quick trial turns out negative. Hopefully, you will find the perfect belly band holster to meet your concealed carry needs.