What’s Wrong with Hybrid Holsters

They show up in our classes like bad pennies – a hybrid holster using a leather (or worse, neoprene) backer with a kydex outer shell. There are a variety of makers who sell these to the unsuspecting public, but Alien Gear is probably the best known.

These holsters have several fundamental flaws, and we’ve watched students struggle with them time and time again. Some of these issues are annoyances, but many of them can lead to dangerous conditions.

The “Sweat Guard” – that flap at the top that sits between your pistol and your body – will, in a short period of time, wear out and start to flop over. When you draw your gun, the sweat sheild will flop over and block you from re-holstering.

Many folks who don’t know any better (but should) use the muzzle of their gun to open the holster up. THIS IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. You’re better off to use your weapon-hand thumb while keeping the pistol pointed towards the ground. Better still, dump this holster for something more rigid that won’t close when you draw the gun.

In addition to the sweat guard collapsing, then entire holster can collapse when you draw the gun. If not properly cleared, material can get into the trigger guard of your pistol and fire then gun when you are re-holstering, causing serious, potentially fatal injury.

Many of these holsters ride too low to get a proper master grip while drawing. Experience has shown us that if you have to adjust your grip between drawing the gun and firing your first shot, you’re probably going to miss that shot. Worse yet, drawing with a poor grip can easily cause the middle finger or other fingers to slip onto the trigger as you re-position the gun. You should never grab a pistol in any other manner than a correct master grip.

We’ve also seen the clips on these holsters fail to secure the holster inside the waistband, causing the holster to lift out (or even fall out) on the draw. We’ve even seem them break off.

Injury caused by a hybrid holster




So if you shouldn’t buy Hybrid, what SHOULD you get instead?

Modern holsters made from injection molded or Kydex material are the best choice. Reputable makers include PHLSTER, Bawidamann, Keepers, Dark Star Gear, JM Custom, and Raven Concealment.

What to look for:

The pistol’s trigger guard and trigger must be completely covered.

The holster should not close when you draw the gun, and allow for easy one-handed re-holstering.

For Inside the Waistband (IWB) holsters, the ride height shouldn’t be too low to allow for a proper master grip.

The mounting system that keeps the holster is place should be solid and not shift.

If you have questions about what holster to get, please drop us a line, we’re happy to help you out!

Erik is the owner and founder of QSI. He has over 35 years of experience as a firearms instructor, including military, security, and law enforcement.