Gear Review: Comp-Tac Paddle Holster

When I first started carrying, I was hell bent on an IWB holster. Nick and RF told me that I’d ditch it soon in favor of a OWB model. Sure enough, like the certainty of death, taxes, and a SWAT team shooting your dog, they were right. And you are looking at the one that did it . . .

On the surface, the Paddle Holster from Comp-Tac might not look like much more than a weirdly folded bit of plastic, and in reality, it isn’t much more than that. One piece of Kydex shaped and cut in just such a way as to be everything right and nothing wrong. Compared to my MTAC , this is the very definition of minimalism.

There are a few things I want to draw your attention to on the Paddle that really put me over the edge. The first is the little teeth-like tabs jutting out of the paddle portion. These help grip my ultra awesome Comp-Tac belt on the draw. That keeps everything right where I left it.

Second is that ultra smooth Kydex finish on the inside which lets my gun sliiiiiide right out without damaging the finish for the other 99.99% of the time that it sits tucked away on my belt. Third is the massive cut that allows me to mount all kinds of red dot optics and big chunky rear sights on my gun and slip it into the Paddle.

And because some guns are created more equal than others, the fourth is the adjustable tension system that allows me to tune the level of retention from loosey goosey to 80’s leather pants tight. Fifth and final is the perfect cant (FBI in this case) that makes my gun absolutely disappear under an untucked Oxford shirt.

Yes gentlemen (ladies, too, can find a holster for them here), this is the OWB holster for me. Sure, I can’t conceal my nearly full sized XD(m) under a t-shirt like I can with the MTAC. But in exchange for dressing up a bit, I get a WAY more comfortable holster that draws much faster. I honestly can’t complain about that deal.

So the formula is simple: when I know I’ll be clipping and unclipping my holster a lot, I sport the Paddle. When I want to carry all day with the highest degree of comfort possible, I take the Paddle. When I want to deep conceal a nearly full sized pistol, I strap on my IWB MTAC.

$57.50 gets you a solid, concealable OWB holster for a variety of different guns in several colors, left or right handed, with two separate cants (straight drop and FBI). Wait about a week for Comp-Tac to make it for you and allow a few more days for it to arrive at your door. Clip your piece in with an audible snap, don a nice collared shirt and you’re carrying about as comfortably as possible.

Specifications: Comp-Tac Paddle Holster

  • Type: OWB 3 o’clock
  • Materials: Kydex
  • Adjustment: N/A – can be built with either straight drop or FBI (15 degree forward) cant
  • MSRP: $57.50 as tested. Add $20 for a digital camo print.

Ratings (out of five stars)

Fit and Finish  * * * * *
Absolutely top notch work from the guys and gals at Comp-Tac. This holster is hell bent for stout and built to last just like all the other gear I’ve seen from them.

Customization  * * * 1/2

You can customize things from the factory (cant, color, open/closed end, left/right side), but after that, no more adjustment is available to you.

Comfort  * * * * *

The big wide paddle distributes things nicely across your hip and there are no sharp edges. Additionally, you can rotate the whole rig around your waist to keep things out of a bind when you’re driving. And you don’t need to buy a bigger set of pants like you would with an IWB holster.

Concealability  * * * *

The Paddle is working as hard as it can to suck your gun up close to your body. It does a very good job, but there’s really no substitute for an IWB holster when it comes to concealability. That said, my gun is super close to my body and the FBI cant softens all those edges that tend to print, making it virtually disappear under an untucked collared shirt.