Most Inside-the-Waistband (IWB) holsters need to be clipped to a sturdy belt to maintain holster, gun and pants in the preferred, non-San Quentin upright position. The Remora “No Clip” Holster is unique. As its name hints – or rather, bellows – the Remora don’t need no stinkin’ clip. Most of the time it don’t need no stinkin’ belt, either. As Farago is fond of asking, what could possibly go wrong? For the answer, read on . . .
I was driven to try the Remora Holster because the very thought of compromise makes me break out in hives. I was starting to hate even the waistband holsters that I thought I liked, because they all demanded compromise. I carry at home and away, wherever and whenever I legally and practicably can. Full-time carry presents certain issues for a retired gentleman, or even a retired non-gentleman like me. Having no place to go most mornings, like Hugh Heffner, I prefer to remain in my pajamas until I’m thoroughly fortified with strong java and caught up on critical national events courtesy of SportsCenter.
When I finally gear up for everyday tasks such as grocery shopping, piano moving, shoveling snow or re-shingling the roof, I wear jeans. Later on, I may switch to sweatpants to wear around the house. My other waist holsters don’t work for all those applications; each of them requires a belt. So, I had to compromise firepower by carrying my .38 snubbie in a pocket holster when I was sans ceinture, switching to my preferred .40 when I was avec.
My current residence complicates the issue. I live in a concealed carry state where concealed really and truly means concealed. Although the Bay State has no specific statute prohibiting open carry, even a minor gun exposure can be a major problem. “Flashing”—not to be confused with a more southerly kind of exposure—can lead to a stern lecture by the constabulary, confiscation of the handgun, arrest or even shots fired in one’s very personal direction. While I haven’t known many Massachusetts police officers who are trigger-happy, it would only take one to perforate me like a wedge of aged emmentaler.
Unfortunately, my gluteus is a bit too maximus for outside the waistband concealment at the preferred 4:00 position, so I’m forced to carry IWB. Which means that when out and about, I have to cram a couple of pounds of unyielding metal into my trousers. I must be frank: if I listed all the things that might be jammed into my pants, I’d rank a hunk of metal as one of my least favorites, exceeded only by a nest of fire ants.
My overriding problem with concealed carry involves more the carry than the concealed. Most holsters that I tried seemed to do the latter fairly well at the expense of the former; in other words, holsters that concealed well were not entirely comfortable to use. During a long day of schlepping the .40, either the gun poked at me like the finger of righteous indignation, or the rig chafed. After a while, I was squirming like Mel Gibson at a Mossad marksmanship competition.
Indeed, wearing the “wrong” holster wasn’t just a physical nightmare, but a sartorial faux pas as well. I’ve grown weary of asking my honey, “Does my ass make this gun look big?” And I’m sure she’s tired of conning me by saying “certainly not, oh love of my life” when she really meant “your butt is big enough to screen Avatar in 3D.” I refused to accept that I should have to compromise both my comfort and my pride, which is why the Remora seemed worthwhile when I perused the Remora website. After all, it looked flat and smooth and it claimed to be grippy.
A remora is a fish, and a damn ugly one at that. So why would anyone name a nice-looking holster after a singularly unattractive fish? Well, the remora (the fish, not the holster) has a trick up its sleeve. Or to be anatomically correct, it has a trick on the back of its piscatorial noggin. The little fish sports a suction device so it can stick like a tick to a big fish, such as a Great White shark, and hitch a transoceanic ride by wearing carcharodon for a hat. It’s like the remora has its own personal bus pass, which is very good for the remora and doesn’t seem to inconvenience the shark even a wee bit. Who knows, maybe the toothy fish likes the company of his flat-headed pal? Next time I’m face to face with a big shark, the first thing I’ll do is ask.
Alan Bogdan, the honcho of Florida-based Remora, says that the holster is a made-in-the-USA sandwich of three non-absorbent layers, like Pampers but without the messy cleanup. The internal membrane is closed-cell foam, enabling the Remora to keep its shape and break up the outline of a gun while molding oh-so-sinuously to both gun and body. The inner fabric is a denier. I have no idea what a denier is, but whatever it might be, it has enough texture to hold a gun effectively while slickly facilitating a quick and effortless draw. The outer skin is made of non-slip rubber, and that’s where the magic happens.
Unlike the remora fish, the holster uses not suction, but friction. Anyone who has a pocket holster made with neoprene or other non-slip material may think they know about non-slip, but they’d be wrong. My non-scientific testing revealed that the outer skin of the Remora has a coefficient of friction that kicks a racing tire’s ass from Sonoma to Daytona and back again.
After using the Remora nonstop for a month, I found that it worked just fine with drawstring sweatpants, elastic waistband pajamas and shorts, and probably would work with a bathing suit if I ever need to pack more than lunch along South Beach. It worked with jeans and a heavy work belt when I was laboring in the yard and I’m sure it would acquit itself equally well were I to audition for a Village People revival while wearing the same ensemble. It worked with my best cashmere slacks and a narrow belt whether I was dressing for a night at the opera or a screening of A Night at the Opera. And in every waistband position and cant that I tried, the Remora was just dandy.
So what could go wrong? For me, nothing. Worn under a drawstring or elastic-waistband garment that applies even a teeny-weeny bit of pressure, the Remora had kung fu grip when it was in contact with flesh. In fact, I had to position the holster carefully, because the Remora preferred to stay where I put it, which was a good thing. Not to worry about skin contact, though. The Remora was as comfortable and comforting as a mother’s kiss.
Worn under a belt, the Remora clung to my clothing. It held so fast that I could run, I could jump, I could crawl on my belly like a reptile and the Remora and my gun stayed where I put them. A word of warning, though. Since the Remora needed something to hold itself in place, shower carry was out of the question. I think it was Descartes, the great French marksman, who said, “lavo ergo sum madidus.” Which raises another existential question: is it possible to dry fire in a shower?
For those who live in sunnier climes than I do – which seems to be almost everyone except a few seal-eating Inuit – the Remora is available with an optional sweat shield. Those who fear being pantsed while demonstrating their queeks-draw, or feel the need for one-handed reholstering, can order their Remora with a reinforced top. For everyone else, there’s the thin Plain-Jane model that worked just great for me. Fit was spot-on, workmanship was high class, and delivery was fast.
Concealed carry holsters are supposed to conceal the gun, enabling it to be carried comfortably, safely and securely, while facilitating rapid deployment when and if necessary. Rarely, a holster like the Remora comes along that does everything it’s supposed to do, and at a great price.
Ultimately, I don’t have the vast holster knowledge of the noble Krell so I can’t promise that the Remora will work for everyone. I used it to carry a midsize compact, so I don’t know how well it will work with a different gun. However, I do know that Remora has a very fair return policy, so there’s a remedy available if the holster doesn’t do the job. My guess is that, like the Great White shark, anyone who sticks with a Remora Holster will enjoy its company for a long time.