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Inside the Waistband vs. Outside Concealed Carry

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After getting a concealed carry license, you’ll need to settle on a holster. When browsing the market, you’ll find IWB (inside-the-waistband) and OWB (outside-the-waistband) hip holsters. The most notable difference is in the name; one rests inside your pants, and the other rests on the outside. However, there are quite a few more differences worth learning. To help you make a choice, we’re pitting inside the waistband vs. outside concealed carry holsters.

Advantages and Disadvantages of IWB Holsters

First, let’s start with inside-the-waistband hip holsters. These are strong-side hip holsters that you wear inside your pants. So, what are the pros and cons?


The most significant advantage is that an IWB holster is more concealable. If you want to go about your day without giving away that you’re carrying a weapon, you’ll love IWB holsters. Your gun and holster will disappear inside your pants so that you can go about your business.

Another perk is that you can carry these types of holsters in a few different positions. For example, if you don’t prefer wearing the holster on your hip, you can hang it near your appendix or lower back. Lastly, IWB holsters are very stable. That means your gun won’t move around as much, and you may even forget that it’s there.


The biggest con is that IWB holsters aren’t always very comfortable. Since the gun rests inside your pants, you’ll need room to accommodate it. Many IWB holster carriers buy pants that are one size larger in the waist for this reason.

Advantages and Disadvantages of OWB Holsters

As you can see, IWB holsters can be perfect in the right scenario. Now, let’s look at OWB holsters. Simply put, you keep these on the outside of your pants by your hip on your strong side.


In terms of comfort, OWBs are very accommodating because all you have to do is strap them to the outside of your pants, and you’re good to go. Thus, you won’t have to worry about red marks from your gun pressing into your skin all day. The most significant advantage is that it’s far easier to draw your firearm with an OWB holster. If you find yourself in danger, your gun is right there on the outside of your pants.


Now that you know the pros, what’s the con? The primary disadvantage is that an OWB holster is harder to conceal. Thus, you’ll need to wear a long t-shirt, jacket, or coat to cover it up.

Closing Thoughts

As you can see, comparing inside the waistband vs. outside concealed carry holsters is invaluable when browsing the market. At the end of the day, the choice comes down to personal preference. However, there are various additional factors to consider before buying concealed carry holsters, so choose wisely. With this guide by your side, making the right choice will be much easier.

What do you think?

Written by Henry Johnson

Photo by Mert Kahveci on Unsplash

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