Posted in Protection, Random

The Quest for the Perfect Holster part 3

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Click here for Part 1

Click here for Part 2

Continuing my search for a conceal carry holster, I tried 3 new options, the Femme Fatale Lace Soxxx, Flashbang Ava Hybrid IWB Holster and Alpha Belly Band.  Here are my thoughts below:

Femme Fatale Lace Soxxx

The only picture that I took of the Lace Soxxx, I disliked it so much and found it unsafe so I quickly packaged it up to mail back.
The only picture that I took of the Lace Soxxx, I disliked it so much and found it unsafe so I quickly packaged it up to mail back.

Pros: very feminine and cute, no bulk

Cons: sizing is not adjustable at all, tight fit if you don’t have skinny calves, difficult to adjust position once on, good retention but gun slid a little, better for smaller gun, it felt dangerous with my Ruger Lc9s.

When I first researched Femme Fatale I read reviews for the Ankle Soxxx that said that you put it on just like a sock so I thought that this would just be a lacy version of that, I was wrong. The hook and eye closure was very difficult for me, it’s like putting a corset on your leg but the angle is all odd and difficult and it’s so tight that you can’t just put on and then rotate.

I know that the holster has to be snug to work but it felt too snug. It fit perfect at the bottom where the measurement was taken for sizing but very tight at the top so I guess that it’s designed for women with skinny calves as I had a slight “muffin top” on my calf and it had left a deep indentation on the skin after only a few minutes of use.

I did not like that the safety on my gun was flipped off when putting it in the holster. The large difference in weight between my legs made walking odd, I felt like people could tell that I was walking differently. Due to me having bad knees from a previous injury I could tell that extended walking would be torture. Ankle holsters are not for me. It’s a shame as it concealed very well on yoga pants. It would be a good thing to try for someone with good strong knees and a very small gun.

 

Flashbang Ava Hybrid IWB

20160616_104926 I had been wanting to try a hybrid holster for a while. I had been torn between the Crossbreed Mini Tuck and Alien Gear3.0 IWB and had planned on buying Alien Gear due to price, reviews and awards but life had other plans.

When it was time to exchange the ankle holster the vendor that I used didn’t carry either of those options available so I chose the Flashbang Ava instead.

Pros: the leather is truly buttery soft, contours well to my curves, distributes weight of gun over a bigger area, good retention, height/cant/retention adjustable. Combat cut, Conceals better than single clip IWB holster.  Left hand version available.

Cons: clips feel loose and are big, time consuming trial and error adjusting clip position in 25 possible variations.

flashbang collageThe holster is very comfortable and conceals better than my single clip Rawdog Tactical or TWAW IWB. Not all positions were equally comfortable or concealable though. I still can’t carry on my back due to the same problem with my curves where there is a big gap between the gun’s grip and my back so I have a bulge on my lower back.

Side carrying is comfortable and conceals well as long as I am wearing a “regular” t-shirt and not a “women’s” t-shirt. Carrying appendix is the most concealable across the different outfits that I’ve tried but when I sit down the top of the leader “pinches” my muffin top which requires a quick adjustment; this is not a big deal at home but when in public that movement can draw attention to that area. I can’t lower the rise for deeper concealment because then I would stab my thigh when sitting down.

The holster overall looks very well made but the clips leave a lot to be desired. They are the worst clips of any holster that I’ve tried so far. Too flexible and pop off too easily for comfort even when using a gun belt. I have tried carrying around the house and one of the clips slides up and stabs me in the stomach, when I look at it it’s halfway off my pants. The clips are very big to accommodate a wide belt but that just means that there is about a 1/2″ protrusion that stabs my skin. This has happened repeatedly with both jeans and cargo pants. For this reason, I can’t wear this outside the house because I can’t trust the clips to keep the holster in place.

I will be replacing them with Ulticlips to fix that problem (waiting on shipment to arrive) and I expect that to fix those issues. Once the clips are changed I expect that will be my holster of choice for anytime that I wear jeans and pants with belt loops.

 

Alpha Belly Band holster

Pros: Inexpensive, good concealment, no extra muffin top, Made in the USA, ambidextrous

Cons: rough against skin, very wide, velcro on empty holster is noisy in completely silent environments

I had been planning on trying TWAW Breathable Belly Band Holster but due to money constraints I hadn’t been able to order. At almost twice the cost, the Crossbreed Modular Belly Holster was out of the question for the foreseeable future as far as my budget was concerned.

As I struggle with concealing in the horrible Florida heat I decided to search for a cheaper alternative that would hopefully tide me over for a couple of months. I came across an article comparing several belly holsters and the Alpha Belly Band had a pretty decent review talking about it’s breathable elastic and a price ($16.95 shipped) that couldn’t be beat so it was an inexpensive effort to try it out.  The fact that it’s sold by Amazon and I had account credit available was a plus.

Not bad for a $17 holster. I don't consider this a permanent solution but a good starter holster if on a tight budget
Not bad for a $17 holster. I don’t consider this a permanent solution but a good starter holster if on a tight budget

Some Amazon reviews complained about the inaccuracy of the sizing but I found it to be true to size. I measured to wear it above my natural waist as I am tired of hip and waist holsters riding up. The band is much wider than I anticipated but it still fits in my short torso and I don’t expect it would be too bad for other people.

The holster is designed as a “one size fits most medium and large guns” and my gun is on the smaller range of the scale so there is a lot of space for a longer muzzle. The velcro retention strap is something to get used to but necessary. It looks and feels like a medical brace and I guess it’s not too far off since the company that manufactures it a medical products company and they probably use the same materials.

The elastic feels very rough on my skin so I need to wear a tank top underneath, having that extra layer of clothing and the fact that it’s so wide makes it too hot for the Florida outdoors in the summer but it’s suitable for indoor use and the cooler time of the year. The elastic is supposed to be breathable but I haven’t haven’t found that to be very much so.

Magazine or knife holster is convenient
Magazine or knife holster is convenient

The holster is designed for “crossdraw” which isn’t as odd as I feared and it’s actually helpful to me since I’m cross dominant. Like with any other soft holster, re-holstering is a 2 handed job. I don’t know how well a Kydex insert would fit on this although the elastic is stretchy enough that it would probably work. The magazine holster looks too small to fit any magazine at first glance but it’s stretchy enough that it holds my gun’s magazine and knife.

As much as I love black, I ordered a beige one in hopes that what they say about lighter colors being cooler is true, there is no way that I could do white.

Concealing in a regular t shirt or loose printed top is great but I get too much printing on a juniors and women’s size shirts so I won’t be able to use this for those outfits.

Going to the bathroom is super easy, the same as not carrying. Draw time is much slower than carrying in the waistband but it’s better than not carrying at all.

After a long day wearing it, it started to ride up but it was stopped by my breasts so it mostly stayed in place although it bunched up a little at my bra line.  After many hours of wearing it felt hot and a little uncomfortable by the evening. By the time I took it off I was relieved and discovered a slight heat rash in my stomach that cleared up quickly after I cooled off.

While it won’t be part of my EDC, I’ll keep it on hand for occasions where no other holster will work for my outfit.

 

The Final Verdict:

After trying 8 different holsters, while I did not find THE ONE, I think that I have some good choices to wear with different outfits. I may try other holsters in the future such as the TWAW Breathable Belly Band but I won’t be in a rush to do so.

So what did I choose?

For jeans/cargo pants- Flashbang Ava Hybrid with Ulticlip
For yoga pants, leggings and skirts- Fancy Pants Original Holster
For when nothing else works with the outfit- Waist Holster Bag

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Author:

White collar hippie, Pagan tree hugger and crunchy mama living in Florida with her husband and 2 sons. She works part time as a breastfeeding counselor, freelance virtual bookkeeper, and web designer along with homeschooling her children.

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