Hybrid holsters- Honest opinions

Hybrid holsters- Honest opinions

This is a discussion on Hybrid holsters- Honest opinions within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; This thread IS NOT about which brand of hybrid holster is the best. Everyone has their own opinion about which holster they love and how ...

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Thread: Hybrid holsters- Honest opinions

  1. #1
    Member Array houser52's Avatar
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    Hybrid holsters- Honest opinions

    This thread IS NOT about which brand of hybrid holster is the best. Everyone has their own opinion about which holster they love and how it hides an AutoMag under just a t-shirt.

    I have been shooting handguns for almost 40 years. Competed in IDPA for 10+ years, CC on and off since NC first passed our law, 15+ years ago. So, I'm not a rookie.

    During that time I have tried lots of different IWB holsters, Sparks, Kramer, Fist and cheaper stuff.( Got a bag full of holsters) I've also tried concealing all sizes of guns, 1911s, Glocks, Kahr, Kel Tec, etc. The closest I've come to being really comfortable is a Kel Tec in a custom wallet holster. I'm now ready to try a bigger gun once again.

    One holster I've never tried is the hybrid. I have had the opportunity to handle only one and it was big, heavy, bulky and it looked hot. It was not a flea market hybrid but one from a well known maker that I see on here a lot. I wasn't impressed.

    Ok, with that out of the way let's get down to it.

    > With the way they're made and wraps around your body, does it not have too much bulk under your waistband? Does it feel like you're wearing a blanket underneath your pants? I've seen pics of guys wearing them and they brag on how comfortable it is but their clothes look slouchy and not neat.

    > With the big leather backing, does it not get extremely hot in the summer? Doesn't it smell like BO?

    > Does the wide clip spacing cause problems getting it positioned correctly between your belt loops?

    >Does the high leather sweat shield not get in the way of a full grip when drawing quickly?

    Convince me why I need to try one and saying they're comfortable is not a reason. Comfort is subjective.

    Thank you for all opinions.


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    Yup, I hate them too, for all the reasons listed, plus a couple other ones.
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    I am not a big fan of hybrid holsters (I have tried several different brands) for the following reasons:

    - Most of them take up way to much belt real estate (there are exceptions).

    - Most of them use a single thickness of leather which will stretch over time loosening the retention, and very few have any tension adjustment to compensate (again, there are exceptions).

    - The sweat shield can hinder getting a full grip, but this is not a major issue. Most makers will offer a "combat grip" or you can trim the leather yourself.

    I do have one hybrid that I like and use for winter carry. However, it is an OWB holster, the DeSantis "Intimidator". It does not have a tension adjustment, but has a backing which is made from a leather/polymer combination that is glued and stitched, so (I think) It will be less likely to stretch.
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    Member Array CPO 15's Avatar
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    1. Not more bulk under waistband, just one thickness of leather; same as any other IWB. Maybe a small blanket feeling, but I do not notice it anymore.

    2. I haven't noticed heat or odor.

    3. Yeah, the wide spacing needs a work-around but is easy to do.

    4. The sweat shield does not hamper the draw but; with some holsters and with some guns, the safety may be moved on or off.

    I like a full leather IWB most, but for guns with which I don't mind the wear from kydex, the hybrid works well.

    I know you didn't want brand recommendations, but Whitehat offers a standard leather backing to which you may attack kydex for many different guns (buy a different shell for several guns, use the same leather and clips).
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    I carried a Glock 23 using an MTAC holster for two years. The holster was comfortable. Concealment using the holster was good. My biggest problem with it was stability. The holster would shift around on my waist while I was wearing it. I like to carry at 3 o'clock. When I would sit in the car the holster would typically shift back to 4 o'clock. I found that annoying. Draw was smooth and clean, no hang ups. The positioning of the belt clips spread the weight of the pistol over a wider area. The leather backer smoothed out the profile of the pistol and decreased pressure points. The holster mouth did collapse a bit and re-holstering wasn't super easy one handed. Overall, it was a decent holster. I don't plan on spending $90 for it again, but I may spend $30 on an Alien Gear holster and try that out. I currently use a Blade Tech Eclipse and carry a full size M&P every day. You can read my review of that holster here: Yankee Defense: Blade Tech Eclipse Holster

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    VIP Member Array LimaCharlie's Avatar
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    No hybrid holsters. No plastic holsters. No nylon holsters. Quality leather on the belt holsters or pocket holsters.
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    There is more than just one kind of hybrid. I have an Alien Gear I infrequently wear for most of the reasons you cited. I prefer the single clip N82 Tactical Pro carried at 3-4. But mostly I carry smaller pistols in my pockets (front or rear).
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    > With the way they're made and wraps around your body, does it not have too much bulk under your waistband? Does it feel like you're wearing a blanket underneath your pants? I've seen pics of guys wearing them and they brag on how comfortable it is but their clothes look slouchy and not neat.

    I carry an XDs45 with no issues in my regular sized shorts/pants. I think with a thicker gun it would be more noticeable and I'd have to get a larger size to make it work better.

    > With the big leather backing, does it not get extremely hot in the summer? Doesn't it smell like BO?

    I recently wore mine all day while out fishing and I honestly forgot I had it on. When I did get home the undershirt I wore was soaked from sweat but the leather did it's job and protected the gun from most of it except the grip because it has the "combat cut". As for smelling....it hasn't yet. I leave mine out at night to let any moisture that may have been absorbed to evaporate.

    > Does the wide clip spacing cause problems getting it positioned correctly between your belt loops?

    I have not had any issues getting it positioned the way I wanted it (3:30 to 4 o'clock).

    >Does the high leather sweat shield not get in the way of a full grip when drawing quickly?

    Mine has the "combat cut" and I can get a full grip.


    My only complaint is that it can be a pain to take off/on quickly. I find myself using my hybrid only if I know I will have it on ALL day. I will use an all kydex iwb clip holster for those days I need to take it on/off quickly.
    If you intend to wear the hybrid holster with no undershirt then look into one that has a soft backing (suede,neoprene etc) vs all rough leather. I've worn mine without an undershirt and it was an issue. Got some A-shirts and problem solved. Get one of the lower cost ones and see if it is something you like. It's just another tool for the tool bag.
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    Thanks for the replies. So far there are more negative comments than positive on the hybrid.

    I know that I said no brand names but one hybrid that I saw that looked to be not as big as some of the others was the SHTF. Yes I have also looked at the MTAC too. Both seem to provide a full grip when drawing and are not as bulky looking.

    For winter carry I've been using the Sparks Summer Special II and my Springfield Ultra Compact. It conceals well under a light jacket. I also tried the Sparks Versa Max and the EX Companion but didn't like them as good as the SSII.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by v1k1ng0 View Post
    > With the way they're made and wraps around your body, does it not have too much bulk under your waistband? Does it feel like you're wearing a blanket underneath your pants? I've seen pics of guys wearing them and they brag on how comfortable it is but their clothes look slouchy and not neat.

    I carry an XDs45 with no issues in my regular sized shorts/pants. I think with a thicker gun it would be more noticeable and I'd have to get a larger size to make it work better.

    > With the big leather backing, does it not get extremely hot in the summer? Doesn't it smell like BO?

    I recently wore mine all day while out fishing and I honestly forgot I had it on. When I did get home the undershirt I wore was soaked from sweat but the leather did it's job and protected the gun from most of it except the grip because it has the "combat cut". As for smelling....it hasn't yet. I leave mine out at night to let any moisture that may have been absorbed to evaporate.

    > Does the wide clip spacing cause problems getting it positioned correctly between your belt loops?

    I have not had any issues getting it positioned the way I wanted it (3:30 to 4 o'clock).

    >Does the high leather sweat shield not get in the way of a full grip when drawing quickly?

    Mine has the "combat cut" and I can get a full grip.


    My only complaint is that it can be a pain to take off/on quickly. I find myself using my hybrid only if I know I will have it on ALL day. I will use an all kydex iwb clip holster for those days I need to take it on/off quickly.
    If you intend to wear the hybrid holster with no undershirt then look into one that has a soft backing (suede,neoprene etc) vs all rough leather. I've worn mine without an undershirt and it was an issue. Got some A-shirts and problem solved. Get one of the lower cost ones and see if it is something you like. It's just another tool for the tool bag.
    You posted while I was so I just saw this.

    I have just started wearing t-shirts made from a synthetic material when carrying my M&P Shield in an IWB kydex and it has worked out good. Keeps the gun off my skin.

    If a hybrid is hard to take off/on I guess you could just lock the gun in the vehicle when going into the post office, bank or other gun free zones.
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  11. #11
    Member Array Strmwatch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YankeeDefense View Post
    I carried a Glock 23 using an MTAC holster for two years. The holster was comfortable. Concealment using the holster was good. My biggest problem with it was stability. The holster would shift around on my waist while I was wearing it. I like to carry at 3 o'clock. When I would sit in the car the holster would typically shift back to 4 o'clock. I found that annoying. Draw was smooth and clean, no hang ups. The positioning of the belt clips spread the weight of the pistol over a wider area. The leather backer smoothed out the profile of the pistol and decreased pressure points. The holster mouth did collapse a bit and re-holstering wasn't super easy one handed. Overall, it was a decent holster. I don't plan on spending $90 for it again, but I may spend $30 on an Alien Gear holster and try that out. I currently use a Blade Tech Eclipse and carry a full size M&P every day. You can read my review of that holster here: Yankee Defense: Blade Tech Eclipse Holster

    I ended up swapping out the C-Clips on my MTAC for heavy duty metal clips...the sliding/shifting issue is now gone.

    With regards to Alien Gear...they're extremely well made, however they take up more more "real estate" than the MTAC. I made a thread a couple of weeks back and posted pictures of the size difference between the two.

    I personally think the Alien Gear holster is better for larger frame IWB and the MTAC for the smaller framed ones.

    Bottom line is they're both good quality.

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    I have become a big fan of the hybrids over the last couple of years. I have had some big-name and big-dollar IWB holsters and while they are beautiful works of craftsmanship, here is my issue with them: they are molded to the gun. Therefore, they are not smooth and have different levels/bumps/layers.

    This, for me, causes pressure points and then it all becomes uncomfortable after a while. The hybrids are basically a smooth, one-level, one layer backing that conforms to you and is smooth against you. For me this distributes the weight and pressure and eliminates the pressure points.

    They are also the only style holster which allows me to tuck and hide reasonably well without looking as if I have a brick inside my belt.

    The smooth draw from kydex is also a big plus factor for me.

    The size, spacing of clips, and heat are not an issue for me. In fact the width makes the tuck factor much more workable as I mentioned.

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    VIP Member Array Taurahe's Avatar
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    Not all hybrids are created equal. I personally have tried just about everything out there. I always come back to shtf gear holsters. I am a good bit of er weight and the most common answer to your questions is no. It's not too bulky, it's not too hot, I have had some of my holsters for several years now and they have not stretched, I can present a very neat appearance even with a tucked in shirt.

    Not every one likes hybrids, but you are going off assumptions and not fact. If you are that curious, by one and try it out. If you don't like it resell it. If you do... Awesome.

    Beating a product up over maybe and what if, s serves no purpose

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    I have had good luck with hybrids. I use mine with a couple mid-sized hk pistols, a bobbed steel frame commander, and an m&p shield.

    As other posters have said, I find the hybrid to be a good choice if I will leave it on all day. It is not convenient for a quick on/off.

    I use one of the brands that does not have a huge rectangular slab or leather up against my body....it is more of a tapered/ formed profile.

    I have had no issues with feeling excessively sweaty/hot/etc....but maybe that is because I am in houston, so a guy wearing a speedo and flip flops is going to get hot and sweaty.

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    OP to all of your questions, No. I can wear my alien/old faithful all day with no problem at all and I live in deep south a Texas where it's always hot and humid. Maybe it's my body type, 5'11" at 210lbs but I find them very comfortable once broken in. Break in for me was about 4 days and the leather backing was molded to me. My Ruger SP 101, not a light or small revolver disappears under a fitted t shirt and is actually the most comfortable pistol that I own to carry. I always recommend old faithful and alien gear to anyone who ask for my opinion. I do own leather and full kydex owb holsters and honestly they mostly sit in the "box". Will they work for you?? About 35 bucks to find out from alien or old faithful.
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