Home - Blog - OWB Holsters - Pros and Cons

OWB Holsters - Pros and Cons

A man carrying an outside the waistband holster A man carrying an outside the waistband holster A man carrying an outside the waistband holster


Any real gun lover is well familiar with the term OWB. Outside the waistband holsters have always been one of the most favorite holster types and a very popular carry style, even nowadays, when concealment is a must, mainly due to ever stricter gun laws. In this article, we’ll have a brief look at what makes OWBs stand out, especially in comparison with other carry options, and I’ll also show you a couple of OWB holsters that Craft Holsters can offer you.




As the full name suggests, outside the waistband holsters are worn around one’s waist area. More specifically, these holsters are attached to one’s belt, from the outside. OWBs represent one of the biggest holster groups and they are a direct alternative to IWB holsters (inside the waistband). Based on the name, one might think that the only difference between these holsters is the fact that they are attached to the opposite side of pants, however, this is far from truth. These holster groups differ also in many other aspects, such as concealment level, draw and re-holstering time, comfort, capacity, accessibility, security, etc.




Accessibility, draw speed, personal security as well as comfortable carrying – all of these are probably the biggest pluses of these holsters. The first two benefits are quite obvious. If you don’t have to reach for your gun under your garments, it becomes more accessible. Accessibility is the key when it comes to unexpected situations in which you need to get hold of your gun as quick as possible. Unlike IWBs, you don’t carry an OWB holster tucked inside your pants, which grants a much easier access to your gun. And the more accessible your gun is, the faster it can be drawn. Another great plus of OWBs is that they are carried quite comfortably also when seated, which is ideal for people with office jobs and drivers.

Although your gun can be snatched more easily than when carried IWB, overall personal security is much higher than in case of holsters attached on the inside of your pants, such as IWB or appendix holsters. The reason is quite logical, as there is no risk of you getting accidentally shot by your gun when re-holstering on the outside (but you still need to be careful!). In order to render the downside of your gun being exposed when carried OWB nearly insignificant, most of OWB holsters come with various retention devices, such as screws, snaps, or thumb breaks. All of these prevent your gun from being taken from you easily and they also make it nearly impossible for your gun to slip out when holstered, no matter the cant angle.


Dsiadvantages of OWB holsters


Probably the biggest downside of these holsters is the mentioned concealment level and various restrictions that have been imposed recently, known as CCW laws. However, if you want to carry your gun OWB, your only option isn’t applying for a duty job. Many OWBs can be concealed if you wear appropriate clothing, or if you pick holsters that are closefitting and of low profile, such as our OWB holsters.




At Craft Holsters, we currently offer almost 30 different OWB designs. I’ll show you a couple of them that feature all of the advantages mentioned above, but also compensate for the disadvantages of OWBs, thanks to the special features these holsters offer.





The Open Top Leather Pancake Holster a.k.a. Panther is one of the best OWB holsters on our offer. Featuring wide belt loops, Panther is your no.1 option in terms of safety and attachment. Although the leather is quite thick and robust, the holster’s slim profile enables for very easy concealment under any garment, so there's no concealment issue. Another benefit is the sweat guard it comes with, protecting your gun from corrosion and your skin from abrasion.


Open Top OWB Holster - Panther - in mahogany color for a semi automatic pistol


#2 - Belt side holster


Belt Side Holster for OWB carry, mahogany color, semi-automatic pistol


If you are not a fan of pancake holsters, don’t worry, there is this stylish Belt Side Holster waiting for you. This tight fitting OWB holster is best carried on one’s dominant side, however, it also enables you for cross-draw carry. The holster is made of thin Italian leather and it has a partial cut out in the trigger guard area, lowering the draw and re-holstering time. The thumb break and snap are designed to make you feel much safer about your gun.



#3 - Comfortable Belt Holster



Just like its name suggests, the Comfortable Belt Holsters will grant you unmatched carry comfort. Thanks to the thumb-break strap, the holster offers excellent retention and the strap further boosts carry safety. Sure thing, the strap makes draw time a bit slower, but it's easy to get used to and its benefits significantly outweigh the slightly longer draw time. The holster's slim profile lets you conceal it quite easily.


Comfortable Belt Holster for OWB carry in mahogany, for semi-auto pistols




The answer to this question is quite simple. On duty professionals, such as law enforcement officers, security guards, or army members, can make use of any OWB holster, as they don’t have to face concealed carry restrictions. However, even if you are just a regular citizen, you can carry our OWB holsters too. All of the holsters listed above can be easily concealed, and not just in winter.

As long as you get one of these holsters, all coming in low profile, you will be just fine even in states with stricter concealment law, just don’t forget to put your shirt on. BTW, if you are a law enforcement officer, we have good news for you. As we have all the respect for on duty professionals, we introduced a special Law enforcement discount just for you.




Now that we’ve been through some pros and cons of outside the waistband holsters, you can do the math and decide whether they are the right choice for you. If yes, then look through our selection of custom OWB holsters or just compare the holsters I suggested you to above and see which one is the best for you.

Our OWB holsters are available for over 2,500 gun models (old and new, popular and rare) and they all come with Lifetime warranty. So just pick yours, get ready, and draw!



Do you fancy some more light reading? Then carry on with these articles


Top 5 Before You Buy Taurus G2c Reviews
Springfield Hellcat Review [2021 Edition] - Number 1 Concealed Carry Gun?
5 Things You Must Know About Chest Holsters