5 Things You Must Know About Chest Holsters
Are you looking for an ideal outdoor carry option? Do you want to find out more about chest holsters? The you’re in the right place and this article is just for you.
Last year mankind entered a new era - the one of social distancing. The human activity became very limited and the pandemic regulations put a “do not enter” sign on many doors. Clubs, bars, and restaurants were closed and many other places we used to hang around at became no-go zones.
However, one place hasn’t shut down and its doors will always be open to us - that of mother nature. I’m sure you love to visit it, as nature indeed is the source of endless beauty, peace, and inspiration. However, it’s also very wild and full of the unknown, and if you’re not cautious enough, it can become very dangerous. That’s why it’s imperative that you stay prepared not just when you are walking the streets of a shady neighbourhood, but also when you set on an outdoor adventure.
Having your firearm at the ready can turn out to be crucial if you encounter a wild predator or something else lurking in the woods. Not sure how to achieve it? Well, chest holsters might be the best answer.
#1 - When to carry a chest holster?
Chest holsters have recently become very popular. And although people started getting them for many different occasions and situations, all of them have one thing in common - they take place outdoors.
Whether it’s hiking, fly fishing, or a bit of exploring - activities which at first glance might seem quite safe - you can never know what is hiding in the shadows of your surroundings. You just have to keep your eyes wide open and always be ready to meet the unexpected.
At the same time, these activities require you to move around a lot and take many things with you. So, in these situations, you can’t really rely on a standard belt or shoulder holster, which obstructs movement quite a lot and takes a lot of room that you could otherwise utilize for some other important stuff.
And that’s exactly what made chest holsters so popular and supposedly the best way to carry your handgun when spending time outside. They don’t obstruct movement at all, they don’t take much space, and they always keep your gun at the ready.
Thanks to these features and many other (which I’ll cover in a bit), chest holsters are ideal when:
- When you want to stay safe when enjoying outdoor activities such as fly fishing, camping, jogging
- When you’re hiking or backpacking and you can’t afford to carry a belt or shoulder holster as you need room for other important things such as backpack, water bottle, hiking pack
- When you’re doing activities such as mountain climbing, when you need to be able move around freely without the holster obstructing your movement and carrying your gun on your hip is a bit inconvenient
- When you need to be prepared when you’re hunting or exploring the bear country and you need a quick access to a backup to your long gun
If you ever take part in such activities, you’ll definitely be safer and more prepared if you strap on a chest rig. But don’t think chest holsters are useful only when you set out on a journey to the bear country. As most chest holsters can be easily hidden under a shirt or jacket, they are a viable concealed carry solution for urban environments as well.
#2 - Which guns to get a chest holster for?
Just like shoulder rigs, chest holsters can be used for a high variety of handguns. If you set out on a hunting trip, your main gun will most probably be a rifle. This means you’ll need a holster for your backup gun, something like the SIG P365, which can serve you well to scare away any potential predator. For such a tiny gun a chest holster is a much better choice then let's say a shoulder rig.
On the other hand, a chest holster is a very good choice for your primary carry gun, even if it's a full size 1911 or any other modern pistol and revolver.
If you want to roam freely and safely around a bear country, then you should probably get a Ruger Super Redhawk, Taurus Raging Hunter or any other similarly strong .44 magnum revolver. However, such big guns would definitely make you feel uncomfortable if carried in a hip holster. So this is another type of gun for which chest holster is a much more ideal option.
To sum it up, chest holsters are a great carry option for guns of all sizes, but you need to make sure the chest rig you get is a well-fitting one, allowing easy access to your pistol or revolver.
#3 - How to mount a chest holster?
There's really no science behind proper mounting of your chest holster. If you've ever carried a shoulder rig, putting on your first chest holster will be just as easy (if not, first read our shoulder holster guide including attachment instructions). Simply put, mounting a chest rig is almost as easy as putting on a T-shit or a shoulder holster without a counterbalance. And as most chest rigs come in a very similar design, you can rely on these instructions:
- First of all, make sure that the holster part is facing the outward direction and that your gun ends up resting on your chest, not your back (that would be quite awkward, right?)
- Raise the system above your head
- Slowly put your head through the biggest loop, the same way your put on your favorite T-shirt
- If you're a right-handed shooter, slip your left arm through the loop on the left side of your chest system, so that the shoulder strap runs across the shoulder of your non-shooting arm (if you're a leftie, do the opposite)
- See how well the holster fits your body. If the fit is there, you're done
- If the system feels too lose, then just take it off, adjust the strap and repeat the process
#4 - Benefits and drawbacks of chest holsters
I've already suggested how good chest rigs are, but there's much more to them than that. Let's now have a look at a quick summary of the biggest benefits of a well-made chest holster:
- they don't obstruct your movement as much as for example hip holsters do
- they are an ideal carry choice for outdoor activities such as hiking, hunting, climbing, camping and many more
- they allow very quick access to your handgun
- they are very easy to conceal
- they retain your gun very well
- the shoulder strap and back strap can be adjusted to pretty much anyone's build
- no one will carry your firearm away from a chest holster
- they are a great choice for backup carry
- if properly adjusted, they are very comfortable
- they are a good option even for the biggest pistols and revolvers
- and many more ...
On the other hand, there are also some problems that chest holsters come with, the most notable being:
- they could be difficult to get used to
- they aren't ideal for concealed carry if it's too hot outside
- they aren't the best option for people with shoulder injuries or breathing issues
- and I can't really thing of some more ...
Although there are definitely some other benefits and issues associated with chest carry, it's safe to say the pros of chest holsters outweigh the cons and I advise you to at least give chest holsters a try next time you go to the woods.
#5 - What are the best chest holsters?
Chest holsters indeed offer many great advantages that you wouldn't find with the more frequent carry options. But they need to be very well-built and fit your gun as well as possible to become really useful and fulfil their purpose. Luckily, we've recently introduced 2 great chest holster options that deliver everything a great chest holster should - great carry comfort, easy adjustment, high retention, and quick access to your gun. Moreover, these chest holsters are handmade and built on the exact replica of your firearm (even the biggest ones), which grants them a unique feel and perfect, glove-like fit.
This classic Alaskan style chest holster is made of genuine Italian leather (mahogany or black) and its double-stitched. Its shoulder strap is equipped with spare ammo holders or a mag pouch. It's very comfortable and you'll carry it positioned right below your chest, in the abdomen area. The holster has a removable thumb break, offering high retention for your firearm. This is the ideal choice for anyone who loves Alaskan style of carry and it's available for both right and left-handed shooters.
This chest holster is made of a highly durable nylon material. The holster features a security strap covered by a flap, resultimng in high retention and safety. The holster is very easy to attach and ideal even for the biggest guys. Moreover, it is equipped with a MOLLE system, which allows its attachment to any gear featuring a MOLLE platform. The holster is available in black color and its semi-universal design means it will fit any handgun in the same size category as yours is.
So, this was the list of 5 things you simply must know about chest holsters. And it should be now quite obvious why they have recently become one of the most popular carry styles for those who love spending time outdoors. Apart from offering high carry comfort and no obstructions to your movement, these holsters deliver the most essential thing - a quick access to your firearm. Something that could save your life upon meeting an unexpected predator when you social distance yourself in the woods.