If you need to spend a lot of time in your vehicle traveling and want to carry your firearms for safety, an easy-to-install car holster can make your life a lot easier.
Though keeping your firearm on you is always the best choice, wearing your concealed holster while sitting in the car can be annoying and unconformable to drive. Your holstered guns may dig into your leg, hurt your belly or back and compromise your drawing speed, especially on a long drive. A car holster can also help you avoid such inconvenience and access your firearm faster and more efficiently when in need.
There is no one size for all car gun holsters. Each car holster can be specific to fit certain types of vehicles or gun sizes. We’ve researched dozens of different car holsters and reviewed their characteristics, mounting types, pros and cons to help you choose the best holster. Here are some of the best car holsters we picked for you.
Best Seat Strap: Alien Gear ShapeShift Driver Defense Holster
Best Strap Mount Car Holster
Allows you to select pistole size to custom fit your specific gun to ensure proper fitment and retention. Integrates seamlessly into any ShapeShift holsters from Alien Gear.
If you don’t like drilling your car, a seat strap car holster is the easiest and most convenient way to secure your firearm without any tools or hardware. Alien Gear ShapeShift driver defense holster is probably one of the best strap car holsters. You can effortlessly wrap around the seat and place the holster in between your knees so you will hardly forget your guns or other places with easy access. Also, You can easily remove the car holster without leaving any marks on the interior of your vehicle or transfer the holster to other vehicles with different car seats.
Instead of a universal holster, Alien Gear ShapeShift car holster allows you to select from dozens of pistol sizes to custom fit your guns to ensure optimal fitment and retention. To prevent the holster from slipping, which is a common issue with strap holsters, Alien Gear ShapeShift car holster use two adjustable textured nylon strap to provide grip and anti-slip backstop pieces that brace against the back of the seat to prevent unwanted holster movement.
What We Like
- Integrated easily with other Alien Gear ShapeShift holsters
- Available for many pistol models and brands
- Very stable and sturdy with excellent retention
- Made in USA, lifetime warranty with 30 days test
What We Don’t Like
- Still need to adjust the strap sometimes
Best Universal Strap Mount Car Holster
Depring IWB/OWB ambidextrous car holster fits subcompact, compact, medium to large handguns with a built-in elastic magazine slot. A great budget alternative seat strap, mount anywhere holster.
Best Car Mount: Highway Holster Multi-Mount
Best Car Mount Car Holster
No drilling required. Fits between seats or console gaps on most vehicles.
Don’t want to screw the car holster into the interior, damaging your car and the sticky mount type holster with adhesive tapes is not sturdy enough? The Highway holster multi-mount is an innovative mount type car holster that can amaze you. Only a screwdriver is needed for installation and it can fit next to the seats between the console with at least 1″ gap space. The holster is designed for holsters with 1.25″ x 1.75 “metal belt clips and provides a mounting base for other attachment such as cellphones.
You can mount any holsters with Highway multi-mount and this is very handy if you carry different sized firearms. You can easily remove the holster and reinstall it in another vehicle. If multiple drivers operate the car and you need to adjust the seat, the holster can be easily adjusted without tools and moves with the seat. The Highway holster is very discrete and does not interfere with the seat or console or leave any scratches.
What We Like
- No drilling, screwing or gluing required for mounting
- Adjustable mount that fits most vehicles and holsters
- Easy to conceal and access
What We Don’t Like
- The plastic structure is a bit flimsy
Best Sticky: TAFTACFR Concealed Carry Car Holster
TAFTACFR uses a hook-and-loop fastener to securely mount your firearm in the vehicle. What you need to do is to find an ideal hard surface in your car, clean the surface and stick the hook fastener firmly to it. Then you can stick the loop side of the holster to the fastener and that’s it. No drilling is required so no permanent damage will be caused to the interior of your vehicle.
The TAFTACFR car holster is universal and has been tested in all sizes from a full-size 1911 to a sub-compact .380. It can also be used ambidextrously on both left and right hand side with a 2.25″ metal clip. This holster also has an extra magazine pouch for more flexibility.
What We Like
- Stick anywhere, easy installation
- Universal holster compatible for most firearm
What We Don’t Like
- The fastener may not be firmly attached to the surface in hot temperature
Premium Sticky Car Holster
Alien Gear ShapeShift product line, custom fit to your specific pistol with VELCRO fasteners.
Best Magnetic: KEEPER MG Gun Magnet
The Keeper MG gun magnet holder has a sleek, compact, low-profile design to provide a concealed gun magnet mount for safety and protection. It comes with 4 self-tapping screws to firmly attach the magnet holder to the interior of your vehicle. The 35 lbs rated magnet is strong enough to hold most guns and can protect your guns from scratch from quick draw access with anti-scratch rubber coating.
You can use one magnetic holder for your handgun and one for the magazine. Or use two magnets for long guns like rifles and shotguns. If you don’t like drilling, you can try gluing the magnet holder to the interior. But for most of the time, it’s recommended to permanently fix the gun holder to the interior with the screws provided.
What We Like
- Strong magnet can firmly hold any type of gun or ammunition
- Very flexible mounting method
What We Don’t Like
- Not double magnetic as advertised
Best Magnetic Quick Load Car Holster
Supports quick load and draw. Hold your guns firmly in the holster. It can be attached with no drilling with the adhesive tapes included.
Car Gun Holsters Buyers Guide
Finding the best car gun holster can be very challenging. There are so many factors to consider when choosing the ideal car holster, such as visibility, safety, accessibility, quality, etc. Besides, you can mount the holsters nearly everywhere in your vehicle, like under the steering wheel, on the side of the seat, between the seat, under the seat, or even in the cup holder. How you like to mount and draw your guns is entirely up to you.
We’ve included this detailed guide discussing all you need to know when buying a car gun holster, such as legal info, common car holster types, and FAQs.
- Why Use a Car Holster
- Do You Need a Car Holster or Car Safe
- Types of Car Holsters
- Where to Place the Car Holster
- How to Choose the Best Car Holster
- Car Holster Legality
Why Use a Car Holster
If you need to carry a gun to help guarantee your safety while driving or traveling around, then a car gun holster is a must-have. Getting a high-quality car gun holster is vital for your safety and security and is the best way to conceal your firearm and prepare you to use the gun immediately for any emergencies.
Is a car holster really what you need? Yes, for the following reasons:
Quick Access to Your Firearm
If you are facing emergency situations and need to protect yourself or whoever on your car, the most crucial thing is to get your firearm as quickly as possible. You don’t have time to input combinations to open your car gun safe, even if it’s a quick access safe with fingerprint access. If you need to remove your loaded gun from a DIY normal holster, it can be too slow. You need a gun holster specially designed for cars that allows you to have fast and direct access to your guns.
Safety for You and Your Family
It’s always in a hurry when you need to use your gun in your cars. You need to unlock and remove the gun from far away places with a normal holster. And what you focus on is to get your guns asap to defend yourself, but at the same time, you are pointing your guns randomly at different angles, even at your family or yourself, that put their lives in danger, let alone an accidental fire may happen.
With a car holster, you can get your gun immediately, and the gun is well-positioned and will not point at your family when drawing.
Hide Your Guns
Whether it’s for personal privacy or safety reasons, you don’t want people to know that you are carrying firearms in your car. That’s obvious. A car holster is a great gun storage solution that can help hide your concealed carry. You can position or install the holsters nearly everywhere inside your car for concealability.
Protect Your Guns
If you love your firearm, you should take good care of them, keeping their value and beauty. Keeping your guns in a car holster can efficiently protect your guns from scratches.
Do You Need a Car Holster or Car Safe
Ideally, you need both a car holster and a car safe because they are interchangeable and they serve different purposes.
A car holster helps you to carry and transport the concealed carry weapon in your car. It gives you quick and easy access to your guns in the event of an emergency when needing your firearm quickly for protection. Car gun holsters are designed for temporary storage and you should not leave the guns unattended in the car holster. If someone sees you left a gun in the car holster, he can easily break your window and steal your firearm, especially when the holster is not well hidden from sight.
A car gun safe is designed for long-term, secure gun storage even when you are away from the vehicle. It provides slower access to your firearm, even with a fast-access fingerprint scanner, and is ideal for less urgent use cases. Say, even if you need to temporarily leave your car for shopping, you should carry the firearm with you or put it in the car safe.
Types of Car Holsters
There are various types of car holsters on the market according to how they are installed on your vehicle and how they hold guns. People have their own preferences for mounting methods, and their vehicles such as cars and trucks all have different conditions, so choosing the ideal car holster type is crucial. Some people do not prefer drilling holes in their vehicles, so they might want to look for non-drilling car holster types such as straps or sticky types. Some people prefer a permanent, firmly mounted holster to securely hold their guns, so drilling is not a problem.
Each type of car holster has its pros and cons. Here are the main types of car gun holsters available for your selection.
Strap Mount Car Holster
Strap mount car gun holsters use one or two long nylon straps to tightly fix the holster on your car. Strap mount car holsters are popular because they are simple to install, inexpensive to purchase, and most importantly, it does not require any modification or drilling on the car. You can transfer the seat strap and reinstall it on other vehicles without leaving marks on your existing car. Manufacturers have also come up with anti-slip methods to attach them firmly to your seat without the guns slipping.
Strap mount car holsters are usually strapped around the car seat, mainly placed in between your legs under the driver’s seat and sometimes between the seat and the console or on the back of your seat. Other locations are up or under the steering wheel.
Another benefit is that the seat strap holsters are usually adjustable because they are basically gun holsters with straps. The holster can be expanded to fit more items – some contain a magazine pouch for auto-pistols and some can fit many small to medium-sized guns with lasers or Tac lights.
Car Mount Car Holster
Car mount car holsters are generally holsters that need to be mounted to the interior of the vehicle to securely hold your carry. They can be either a car mount holster that can directly hold your gun, or they can be a plastic or metal dock or other similar devices that can directly hold your holster, which is very convenient for people who carry different guns that need different sized holsters, so this one car mount dock can fit all your holsters.
Most of the car mount holsters need to be screwed into the surface. There are still a few car mount holsters that can be mounted without drilling.
Magnetic Mount Car Holster
Magnetic mount car holster or gun magnet typically refers to how the holster holds your gun using a strong magnet. However, the holster itself still needs to be attached to the interior of the vehicle using screws or sometimes adhesive tape.
Gun magnets are probably the most popular car holster types nowadays. They are smaller in size, easier to conceal and can hold your gun for quick and easy access. You can place the magnetic holster nearly anywhere you like in the car. The magnets are so powerful that they can even sometimes scratch your guns when not operated properly, even though they all have an anti-scratch rubber coating for protection.
Sticky Mount Car Holster
Sticky mount car holster is another good option if you don’t want to drill any holes in your car. Usually, sticky mount car holsters come with a sticky pad or hook and loop fastener that you need to first attach to a clean hard surface in your vehicle using adhesive tape. Then you can stick the holster to that sticky pad or fastener.
Generally, sticky car holsters are not able to hold heavy guns and do not perform well on hot days that the pad or your gun might drop. But at least it saves you from leaving holes in your cars. You always have the option to try another strong adhesive tape or car holster without damaging your new car.
Modular Car Holster
Some manufacturers provide modular holsters that you can easily switch and attach the holster within the same product line. One example is the Alien Gear ShapeShift holsters. You can easily attach the ShapeShift holster in your home or in your car with other ShapeShift devices.
DIY Car Holster
Finally, you can modify and attach your own DIY holster to your cars with screws or adhesive tapes, just like the types of car holsters mentioned above. It’s a personal choice at the end of the day. As long as you have taken retention, left-hand, right-hand and other adaptations into consideration and well-tested before mounting, I don’t see there is a problem.
Where to Place the Car Holster
Finding the right location to place and mount your car gun holster is very important. Though it’s a personal preference and you can place the gun holster anywhere in your car, different location has diverse concealment, accessibility, and effectiveness. Here are the common places where people place or hide their gun holsters.
By Your Knee
By your knee holster is mounted on your driver’s side near the floor on the side of your console. It allows easy access to your pistol as you simply reach down with your strong hand. The downside is that it is close to your gas pedal foot. If you get in and out of your car frequently, you may hit it often, especially if the foot area of your vehicle is rather small.
In winter, because of the snow and salt, the carpets on the driver’s side are always wet and full of slush and salt and it’s not a great place to keep your expensive pistol. While it is concealed pretty well, you would have to make a downward movement in your car to reach down and get it, then a bad guy may know what you are doing. Also, if you are on the heavier side, reaching down that far may be like doing a sit-up in your car.
In the Console
If you have a large center console such as in many full-sized SUVs and trucks, you have a couple of options on how to mount this in your console holster. It can be mounted on the cover. Some owners prefer to mount it barrel down inside the console box as it is easy to get to your gun. You can often lock these consoles for added security in the place of a vehicle pistol safe. The downside of this application is if you keep lots of junk in your console, your gun may not fit. Plus, if you are sitting in your vehicle, every bad guy is going to see you open your console.
Between the Seats
Between the seats holster is a variation of the by your knee install, but better. Again you have quick access to the gun, but you can be more discreet about it. Being able to use this mounting is going to depend a lot on the layout of your vehicle. Some have a large amount of space between the seats and will make this easy, especially if you rarely have someone riding in the passenger seat. If your car has limited space between the seats, you can also mount it more forward of the seat on the side of the console, but even further forward.
On the Seat Back
On the seat back holster is mounted around the base of the seat itself. I am sure you can understand why I think this is the least desirable mounting point. The gun is effectively behind you and in between the door and seat. You would need to draw across your body pretty far to get this gun out, and I suspect that your seat belt may prevent you from making that motion. You can easily test this position by using an old belt or nylon tie to mount your existing holster around your seat.
Between Your Legs
I am divided on this style of car seat handgun holster. On the one hand, between your legs car holster would be very easy to draw this gun discreetly as you can have your hand in your lap and easily reach the gun. Since the gun is right in front of you and you’ll have to move your leg over it to get out, you aren’t likely to forget your gun in the car. It is hidden from view if someone looks into your vehicle better than all the mounts except the console holster. On the downside, I am not sure if you want to sit on the strap that holds it in place. Plus, just like the by your knee holster, I suspect you would hit that thing every time you get in your vehicle and getting it dirty would be both frustrating and irritating.
Under the Seat
Under seat car holster works like a bedside holster or under mattress holster that you can place under your car seat. It’s universal, sturdy and easy to install and remove.
In the Cup Holder
A specific cupholder holster is required to hold your firearm in the car’s cup holder. It’s not recommended to use a cupholder holster for rough off road use. In addition, know your local firearms laws regarding open carry in a vehicle before purchase.
In the Glove Box
The glove box is a traditional location to conceal your firearm. Simply putting the gun holster in the glove box without mounting can leave scratches on your weapon while driving. Even when it’s fixed, it’s very inconvenient to access your guns in an emergency.
On the Door
You can mount the holster on the door of your car but it’s not recommended. The guns are not secured and may move or wiggle when you open and close the door. And it’s very inconvenient for most right-handed people to draw the gun safely, and it may cause accidental misfires.
Under Steering Wheel
Under steering wheel is an ideal place to mount your car holsters. There is plenty of space there and you can nearly fix all types of car holsters securely under the steering wheel, such as car mount, strap mount or magnetic car holsters.
As you can see, finding a car handgun holster is really a personal choice. It depends a lot on the type of vehicle you have and frankly your physical build. Take some time to play with your options by even taping an old standard holster in place and see if you like the position.
How to Choose the Best Car Holster
Finding a working car holster is not difficult, but choosing the best car holster can take you some time. It’s important to know what you are looking for before purchasing your ideal car holster. Here are some important factors to take into consideration.
Fast and easy access to your firearm with a quick draw is curial for every car holster you buy. You should be able to easily and quickly draw the weapon with your dominant hand while seated, buckled up, in the case of an emergency without much warning. You should test in different situations and get consistent, good results. The accessibility also depends on where the car holster is positioned and how it is designed, so you need to pay attention to other factors as well. Under steering wheel, between your legs, and between the seats are all excellent places for quick access.
The safety of gun owners is always a top priority. When it comes to car holsters, the first thing is to ensure your gun is always firmly and securely in place, without any movement or wiggling, no matter how fast you drive on a tough road. A holster with good retention or a retention strap is a bonus to keep your gun from coming loose from the holster.
Make sure the gun is always pointing at a safe direction and ready to use. If the car holster is not well-placed and not well-designed, there are chances that when drawing the gun, you will point the gun at several random directions that may misfire and hurt yourself. A car holster with trigger guard is also a good consideration for added safety.
All of these above can prevent the gun from accidentally misfiring to keep the owner safe at all times. And the design for safety should not compromise accessibility.
If concealed carry is important to you, you should look for a car holster that can hide your weapon out of sight from intruders or thieves outside the car. It’s always good not to let people know that you have a gun, and some states prohibit open carry in a car. Some types of car holsters are not designed to conceal your carry or they are mounted in obvious locations. So choose specifically for car holsters that can provide you with good concealment.
As mentioned earlier, there are types of car holsters that can be attached to your car in several ways and they all have their advantages. A rule of thumb is to always consider screwing the holster into the interior if you don’t mind making holes in your car. If you don’t like drilling or you need to remove the holster later, consider a sticky or strap type holster. Some car mount holsters have special installation requirements for your vehicle, so make sure they are compatible and have enough space.
Most car holsters are only compatible with a certain range of gun sizes and models according to their design. If you need to carry multiple different guns, the car holster should be universal and accommodate all of them.
The material of the car holster is one thing you should not neglect. Car holsters can be made from various materials, from rough steel, plastic, magnets, straps and so on. What you want is a durable material that lasts long on your vehicle, lighter in weight, and the surface should not scratch your firearm.
Car Holster Legality
The first question before buying a car holster is: can I carry a gun in my car?
Gun laws vary from place to place. You must know and obey all your state and local laws and those states you will be driving through before carrying a gun in your vehicle. Some states require a concealed carry permit for carrying a gun in your car, and some states may not honor your home state CCW permit. Some states require the firearm to be concealed and not visible from the outside. Some states do not allow carrying a loaded gun in a vehicle. Some states do not allow a firearm in the main cabin of the car. All these different gun laws and regulations will affect whether you can and how you should mount your car holsters.
A car holster is definitely a good idea and it can keep you comfortable and secure while spending a lot of time on the road. There are various types of car holsters and mounting methods, but in the end, it’s up to you to decide which one can best suit your needs. Remember, buying a car holster is not a simple set-and-forget one-time job. You need to constantly practice your draw speed till you can quickly and safely fire your weapon with your newly bought car holster.