Letter Re: Concealment Holster Recommendations for a Humid Climate

I need to get some concealed holsters for myself and my wife for our Glocks. What do you guys recommend? Thanks, – SF in Hawaii

JWR Replies: For concealment, I generally prefer Milt Sparks brand holsters. However, in your high-humidity climate, anything made of leather is probably a mistake, especially for everyday wear. High humidity means a constant battle against rusty guns and moldy leather. (In Hawaii, nothing ever seems to get really “dry.”) So in your circumstances, I recommend Kydex.

We have been very happy with the Blade-Tech brand Kydex holsters and magazine pouches. We use them extensively here at the Rawles Ranch for our M1911s. We started using them about two years ago, soon after we saw how prevalent they were, when The Memsahib and I went to take a four day defensive handgun course at Front Sight.

See this SurvivalBlog post from March of 2007 for more about holsters in general, and Blade-Tech in particular. Their Inside the Waistband (IWB) model is probably best for concealment. Although their standard holster with a paddle conversion might work too. I have found that people either immediately love or hate paddles, but most folks like IWBs. Remember to get a thick, stiff, and fairly wide belt, regardless of your choice of holster. The belt that you use is crucial for keeping a holstered pistol stable and secure. you don’t want to have it flopping around. When I shop for clothes, one of the first things that I now look for is large belt loops to accommodate a thick, wide belt.

And, FWIW, I’m a big believer in getting stainless steel pistols for everyday carry, especially in humid climates.