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Waist Holster – Outside Waistband Holster

Updated: 12/26/2023
Owb Outside Waistband Holster

When most people think of gun holsters, they think of waist holsters or outside waistband(OWB) holsters. They are the widely recognized icon of gun holsters. But overall, they aren’t the best method of concealed carrying a weapon unless you are wearing heavy winter clothing that could probably hide a full length rifle on your person. These types of holsters are much more common with open carry situations, like on hikes or hunting, places you would want your weapon readily available in case you need it.

A few waist holsters have been designed to be more easily concealed because they hold the guns higher and at a different angle, but overall, it’s not a great way to conceal. But we will still go over OWB outside waistband holsters as a concealed carry holster.


OWB holsters are probably the most comfortable method of carrying a weapon that you can get. Nothing really intrudes on your person, and after wearing it for a while, you will probably forget your gun is even there. These holsters also keep the gun at a great draw angle, so it is easily accessible and in a natural shooting position once drawn. 

These holsters also usually have some sort of lock or strap that will keep the gun in place through movement, so it will not fall out or cannot be easily taken from you. That thumb break can be both a pro and a con.


Trying to conceal a weapon on your hip is probably this holster’s biggest con. Unless you are wearing very heavy and very baggy clothing, keeping this thing out of the side will be difficult to do. 

The OWB holster was meant for open carry situations, and that is probably where it should stay. But you will have to look at your individual situation. If you wear a 3-piece suit to work every day, it might not be as hard to strap a small handgun to your hip, which would be concealed under your jacket. But even then, if you bend wrong or unbutton your jacket, the gun will be exposed in the open or pressed against your jacket, letting everyone know you have a weapon. 

Waist holsters also usually come with some kind of lock, such as a strap or lock button that will keep the gun from falling out or being taken. This can be a good thing for a cop, but in the world of concealed carry, you probably don’t want to mess around with trying to free your weapon in the only times you really need it. Another reason is that I’m a Glock fan for concealed carry. If you are in a situation where you need your weapon, you don’t want to worry about safety being in the right position. You just need your gun to shoot. The only function a concealed gun should need to do.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is that using a waist holster or OWB holster for concealed carry is generally not a good idea. The weapons are too hard to hide from sight and won’t be feasible in most daily carry situations. While they do provide a great draw angle and gun accessibility, the clothing you would wear if you were able to carry it would hinder that draw anyways. It’s not easy to dig through heavy winter clothing to get to the gun on your hip. 

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