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What is a Paddle Holster and How to Choose?

What is a Paddle Holster and How to Choose?

A paddle holster is a type of handgun holster just like the IWB holster and OWB holsters. Unlike the other types, this one secures the holster using stiffened leather or a curved piece of plastic to attach to the pants of the carrier. This holster is one of the best friction holsters that ensure that the pistol is safely secured. It also prevents the holster from slipping off during a high activity period.

In this article, we would be letting you know everything about the paddle holster including an exclusive buying guide to get the best paddle holster.

Benefits of Using a Paddle Holster

When considering a paddle holster, it is very essential that you ask yourself some hard questions. Why are you choosing the paddle holster over other types of holster? It is paramount that we define the benefits and some demerits that come with the paddle holster. 

One of the strongest advantages that the paddle holster has over other types is the ease with which the pistol can be withdrawn and replaced. Also, the holster can be attached quite easily too. This makes it very practicable for people who have a dynamic daily routine like the detectives. They shuffle through offices, fields and vehicles which allows them to daily strap on and off the holster conveniently.

So, with the paddle comes the convenient flexibility that other holsters may not be offering. Users can still carry it around the waist area without even putting on a belt.

Well, even the best things have their downside. In terms of security, the paddle may be good but not as great as the other holsters attached to the belt. The holster relies strictly in the paddle friction to remain in place. For him holders with high activities in their daily routine, you would need a holster that is more firmly held on your belt.

A big nightmare would be to suffer a slip-off while in the move. Another downside over other holsters is its size. This makes it hard to conceal the pistol because it easily prints. Unless you are wearing loose clothing, the holster is very hard to conceal.

How to Choose a Paddle Holster

Now that we fully understand what the paddle holster is and where it shines and doesn’t, it is time to give you a detailed buying guide. This would help you in making the best choice. It is advisable that you follow this guide to have the best experience. What you want is something durable and giving your money’s worth. So, what are those things to consider before making that final purchase decision?

  1. Paddle Grip

The different thing about the paddle holster is that you don’t need a belt to attach it to your clothes. When looking for a reliable paddle holster, it is advisable to look for a paddle holster with a paddle that grips hard enough to prevent any slip ups. While looking for a good grip, ensure that it also offers you that carriage flexibility. You would want something whose grip can be adjusted to your preferred angle.

  • Material Quality

Paddle holsters come in different prices and qualities. Some of the cheaper paddle holsters may not give you a high quality as the more expensive ones. However, you cannot assume that price denotes quality. When choosing a paddle holster, look at the material and not the price. The most durable paddle holster materials are leather and plastic. You could also choose between kydex, nylon or hybrid materials. Let’s take a look at these materials.


Leather offers comfort and flexibility. The paddle hold on your cloth is stronger than that from other paddle holster materials. It offers more friction which means that your pistol retention would be higher than would be with the other materials. However, it could be less easy to draw and replace your weapon into a leather paddle holster. The durability may also not be a s long as some other materials. You need extra care to ensure that it lasts longer.


With Kydex comes durability and flexibility. You can easily withdraw and replace your pistol using the Kydex paddle holster. Kydex materials last way longer than leather paddle holsters. This plastic holster is very readily functional immediately after unpacking. It just requires a little adjustment and you’re ready to go. They are very light in weight so you have no problem carrying it around.

On the downside, Kydex does not offer as much weapon retention as leather. Using this can cause some wear on your handgun overtime. Due to its harder edges, they are less comfortable to wear.


The nylon paddle holster comes in cheaper and more affordable than other materials. It is more dynamic that other materials because it fits a wider range of pistols. The downside to nylon is its low weapon retention due to lack of friction. To safely hold it in place, you would need an external retention strap or device. It is also the least durable of all the holster materials.


Most hybrid paddle holsters are made from a combination of Kydex and leather. Hybrid materials combine the advantages of both materials while eliminating the downsides. They are more comfortable, have high retention and offer you better flexibility. They are also very suitable for a wide range of handguns giving perfect fit. Nevertheless, they are not as durable as Kydex and do not offer a high retention like leather. They offer just the right amount of everything.

Some materials used in paddle holsters sometimes come with steel plates to increase the quality. Whether you choose to go with leather, hybrid or plastic material, you should be looking for the one that offers you the best support. 

  • Type of Pistol

Paddle holsters come in different designs to fit the different types of handgun. Before setting out to choose a paddle holster, run an online research in the kind of Pistol you own and see the specifications and product design. This would guide you on the types or brand of paddle holsters to focus on.

Consider the position with which you can carry the paddle holster. The thickness, length and size of your handgun determine the best position at which the gun should be carried. Consider your pistol and look for the best paddle holster that doesn’t interfere with functionality.

  • Concealed Carriage

One of the downsides that have been expressed over time about paddle holsters is their size. This enables printing which is not convenient for situations and places where you need concealed carriage. Still, there are some brands that have created designs that give less printing and encourage concealed carriage.

When looking for a paddle holster that would not print, consider the designs that offer adjustable carriage angle and retention. If you can properly wear your paddle holster, the chances of getting prints would be low.

  • Retention 

We can’t stress enough about the need for safety while carrying a handgun. The holster you choose should give you enough friction to retain your weapon on your body. For example, if your daily routine requires high activities, the last thing you would want is to be separated from your weapon in the process.

If you are in need of high retention, you should consider the leather paddle holsters. Some can be customized to give your pistol an actual fit making it held more securely. 


Paddle holsters are the answer to an increasing need for flexibility and security. Paddle holsters may be different from the other types of handgun holsters but they have their upside. If you want to get the best paddle holster for your pistol, we have made sure to create a straightforward guide on getting a more functional and lasting option. You would sure make the right decision.

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