Gear Review: Blue Ridge Holsters Urban EDC Hybrid Holster

P1310191

Finding the right holster is like finding the right pair of shoes — it takes time to find the one that fits you and your style. Blue Ridge Holsters is a relatively new player in the holster game and they’re coming out swinging with a nifty outside-the-waistband hybrid holster design that incorporates both hard kydex and soft leather to try and give you a “best of both worlds” kind of experience and all for $55. They sent me one to review and after a couple months of carrying with it I’m finally ready to voice my opinion . . .

When it comes to outside the waistband carry, there are three basic styles: the traditional all leather construction holsters, the slim kydex plastic rigs and the mammoth “tactical” retention holsters. Each one has their benefits and weaknesses, fitting a specific purpose and carry style best. Blue Ridge Holsters, with their Urban EDC Hybrid design, has tried to bring together the best features of each in the hopes of making a superior firearm carrying device and, in general, it works as advertised.

P1310184

The kydex material is perfectly formed to fit your desired firearm and securely hold it in place. In the case of my 1911, they went the extra mile to mold in a tab and an indent for the manual safety. It’s a nice touch, and really helps keep the gun securely. The real benefit to a rigid holster material like kydex is that the holster retains its shape after the gun is removed, making re-holstering a breeze. It also allows the gun to “snap in” to the holster, giving it some retention in addition to relying on pure friction as with a leather holster.

The benefit of some level of retention is big on my checklist for a holster. If it were feasible, I’d run a Safariland ALS holster for every gun I carry. But when you’re trying to not draw attention to yourself, the ALS holsters don’t really fit the bill. There’s a trade-off between holster size and level of retention that you need to make with your choice of rig and for concealed carry kydex hits the nail on the head.

While the hard plastic shell is great for retention, it’s not so great for comfort. Specifically, the holster can rub against your body if you don’t wear anything between your heater and your hip. That can chafe and get annoying. It wasn’t bad enough to want to make me stop wearing the Urban EDC, but it was present enough at times that it was noticeable. Then again, you’ll get that from wearing any kydex style holster.

P1310193

The biggest drawback with a kydex holster is that it doesn’t flex. So if you’re using an all-kydex design and you want to sit down, your holster won’t bend to accommodate your new position, and that hard plastic will start to dig into your body. That’s why people lean toward the leather. Blue Ridge tried to fix this by adding leather panels to the sides of the hard kydex sheath, allowing it to flex like an all-leather holster while still having the rigidity to hold the gun securely.

The only problem with the leather sides is that they allow the holster to droop a little more than I’m used to. The single layer of leather attached to each side isn’t quite rigid enough to hold the gun – especially one like a full-size 1911 – in place as firmly as I’m used to. That’s not to say that it flops around like a freshly landed trout, I just prefer my holsters to feel like the gun is welded to my side rather than more loosely attached.

P1310187

Nevertheless, the holster still keeps the gun nicely concealed even when wearing tight shirts. It keeps the gat in place even during moderate physical activity. And it allows for a smooth and easy draw stroke when you need your gun in a hurry. In short, where it counts, it’s an excellent holster.

I’ve only seen one or two other companies take this route in an OWB design and Blue Ridge Holsters’ offering is on par with anything else out there. It’s an interesting combination and for those who want the security of kydex with the flexibility of leather it’s a great option. That said, ultimately it’s not for me. I can’t put my finger on any specific reason, but it just isn’t my style. In the same way that you’ll never see me in a pair of bright pink pumps, this holster just isn’t my cup of tea. But if this holster sounds like your dream come true, at $55 the price is right to give it a try.

Specifications:

Model: Urban EDC Hybrid
Colors: Black, green, brown, tan and tan-ish ACU pattern.
Price: $55 from Blue Ridge Holsters

Ratings (out of five stars):

Comfort: * * * *
While it wasn’t for me, it was definitely comfortable. When I sat down in my car it needed significantly less adjustment to be comfortable than my other holsters. That said, it did have a tendency to rub against me at times and it was a bit loose for my tastes.

Value: * * * *
Price-wise, it’s right in the middle of the range. There are pure kydex holsters that go for much, much more than this one.

Concealability: * * * *
The gun disappears… mostly. There were moments when my 1911 flopped around a bit that I worried it wouldn’t be as stealthy as I wanted.

Overall: * * * *
While it wasn’t my cup of tea, the Urban EDC Hybrid holster is a well-made and nicely designed piece of kit that would serve well in its designated role. For those so inclined, give it a try.

comments

  1. avatar Jan Pierce says:

    When I saw these featured on a video by Jeff Quinn, I ordered two right off the bat. The workmanship was great, the design unique, and the service top notch. I figured that even if they didn’t become my EDC rig (nothing has yet, but that’s because I’m not carrying every day…yet). Even if you’re not sold on this design, it’s worth taking a look at their website for their other offerings which might.

    1. avatar Jan Pierce says:

      Got interrupted at the office and didn’t finish my thought. That should have been: “I figured that even if they didn’t become my EDC rig (nothing has yet, but that’s because I’m not carrying every day…yet), it would be a great holster to have in the lineup.”

  2. avatar Eric Siebert says:

    Curious, what gun is that pictured?

      1. avatar Bob H says:

        {drooling} I keep looking at those but there is always something else to spend 3k on.

  3. avatar Mark N. says:

    One word: Ugly. Or maybe two: hideously ugly. For an OWB, I want a really nice piece of leather showing. There are several ways of reinforcing the throat to prevent collapse besides kydex. On top of all that, I think they should have a continuous piece of leather across the back of the kydex shell, just like the innumerable IWB versions typified by the CrossBreed; it would be more comfortable and look less like it was someone’s shop project. And I would dump those metal belt slots for stitched hole slots, eliminating four screws that can loosen up and look bad to boot. I guess these guys don’t have a sewing machine that is needed to reinforce leather slots.

  4. avatar JLR84 says:

    I’m a big proponent of leather/kydex hybrid holsters for INSIDE the waistband carry, the Comp-Tac MTAC being the best example on the market, but attempts to convert these holsters for OWB use generally fall short.

  5. avatar Nigil says:

    Uncle Mike’s $10 IWB foam-ish. Comfy, when worn appendix, secure. Also, small pistol.

  6. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

    Remora Holster.

  7. avatar G8tr lc8r says:

    After seeing a review on another site, I ordered the Hybrid Urban EDC (Flat Dark Earth w/black leather) for my 19. I spend most of my time driving from location to location and needed a holster that was more comfortable than the stock Blackhawk I had been using. Nothing wrong with the Blackhawk-it just was too rigid for me. I have to say, the Blue Ridge holster is the most comfortable holster I have found so far. It rides a little higher and fits tight to my side (I carry strong in the 4 o’clock) and doesn’t bind when I get in my truck. I am also very impressed with quality of materials, retention and workmanship. I have an FNP-357sig that I also carry from time to time and plan on ordering another from Blue Ridge soon for it.

  8. avatar DCM says:

    Nick, thank you for the honest and spot on review. FULL DISCLOSURE: Although I’ve never had previous contact with Nick Leghorn, nor am I the one who submitted this product for review, I am one of the principles of Blue Ridge Holsters. Although we have many pleased past customer’s who have ordered the UEDC for the 1911, we agree that, when paired with such a large heavy gun, the design of this particular model lends itself better to service size (4″ barrel) and smaller frames. That said, I (we) appreciate the constructive criticism and , as always, will strive to improve on areas as needed. And considering the source, we’ll take 4 OUT OF 5 STARS ANYDAY!!!!
    Additionally, we’re always seeking advice from our customer’s, professionals and anyone else who wants to lend their two cents, in order to provide the best quality products at a fair price. We understand there are many options in this category and ours might not be for some. However, for those in the past who have purchased a Blue Ridge Holster, we’re thankful for their loyalty, business, and in many, many cases, repeat business.
    A few other things I would like to point out about us and our holster’s:
    -We are a small multi family business that supports the Second Amendment, American Exceptionalism, Capitalism, free enterprise, freedom of speech, religion, choice and everything else in the past that made this country great.
    -Our holster’s are worn and used daily by several (that we know of) professional firearms instructors, both locally and nationally.
    -We support and give to non-profit military & law enforcement causes and our local public service members.
    -We offer discounts for fire, police and military personnel (active or retired).
    -All of our product’s are custom made, to order, right here in the good old USA.
    -We purchase all of our raw material’s from American owned business.
    -Although we think our product’s are quite good looking, as do our customer’s, they’re designed with function over fashion in mind. Our product’s are designed for the person who doesn’t want to advertise to the bad guy and the world that they are armed.
    -Although much more expensive, our belt loops are fabricated for us (locally). They are CNC milled from 6061 T6 aircraft grade aluminum (46,000 pound tensile strength). Most other manufacturers use plastic or Kydex. Your belt might just break before our loops fail.
    -Where possible, we use mil-spec hardware. All fasteners are sealed with Loctite. They’re not going anywhere.
    -All of our leather is vegetable tanned and oil dyed. No harsh chemicals to come into contact with the firearm.
    -Maximum 15 business day turn around.
    -Shipping is included (Continental USA).
    -Starting at $55.00. Compare us to others charging almost twice for similar products.
    -And no, we don’t own a sewing machine, and probably never will!

    Conceal.Carry.Confidence.

  9. avatar Bob says:

    Simply the most comfortable holster for my 9mm shield. And they were great to work with. They sent me a picture of my holster when it was done and ready to ship

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email