Gear Review: CS Holsters IWB Kydex Holster

 

CS Holsters proclaims on their website that “we make concealed carry more comfortable.” For a person who has made the switch from an “inside the waistband” holster to an “outside the waistband” holster for comfort reasons, that’s a pretty tall order for an IWB holster. Naturally we had to try one out ourselves to see if it really was as good as they claimed.

Over the last couple years, the construction of an inside the waistband holster has more or less standardized. Either you use a completely leather holster with a snap or two on the back, or you have a slab of leather with a kydex bit in the center and clips on the end. The kydex design especially is a pretty popular design and seems to meet with most people’s approval, especially given the benefits over a leather holster. Specifically, the kydex material allows you to easily draw and re-holster your gun without fiddling with the holster at all.

The overall design is familiar, but it’s the details that complete the package.

CS Holster, c Nick Leghorn

Some holsters have a plain leather backing and call it good, but CS Holsters tacked a foam backing to the side facing your body. It’s a nice touch that definitely adds some comfort to the holster above and beyond the normal design. Other than that, it’s pretty much bog standard. The clops can be moved to change the cant of the gun. The holster is flexible enough to work anywhere you want to put it. And, of course, if you have tight pants it might cause some circulatory issues.

That padding and flexibility means that the holster is pretty comfortable to wear around all day long. Compared to a leather only holster, the difference is night and day. Plus, the padding keeps the leather from chaffing on your skin if you’re running without a shirt between you and the holster.

CS Holsters, c Nick Leghorn

As far as function is concerned, the holster works fine. The gun disappears into my waistband, drawing the gun is a breeze, and re-holstering is quick and painless. Not quite as quick and painless as an outside the waistband holster, but for what it is it’s not bad. And while the gun is tucked securely into the holster, there’s no way the gun can become dislodged without a significant and injury producing application of force to your body. So as long as you don’t plan on flying head-first into a brick wall at 60 miles an hour, you’re fine. And if you do, you have bigger issues than firearms retention.

Overall, it’s a good inside the waistband holster. It has the same features as the big boys, works great in terms of retention, and is right in the same price range as a Comp Tac MTAC. In short, if you want an IWB holster, I can’t think of a reason not to buy one of these. Other than the fact that it’s an IWB holster, and I don’t like ‘em in general.

Specifications:

Model: CS Holster IWB Comfort Carry
Price: $76.99

Ratings (out of five stars):

Comfort: * * * *
I generally don’t like IWB holsters, but this one was less uncomfortable than the others I’ve tried. So I guess that means it gets high marks compared to the others.

Value: * * *
It’s about the middle of the range. The Comp Tac MTAC holster is the one I always think of when someone says IWB, and that runs only a few dollars cheaper.

Concealability: * * * * *
You can’t tell I’m wearing a gun unless you know it’s there. Then again, I always wear a gun…

Overall: * * * *
It’s a good holster at a good price. Not the best I’ve ever tried, but in the IWB range it’s among the best.

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About Nick Leghorn

Nick Leghorn is a gun nerd living and working in San Antonio, Texas. In his free time, he's a competition shooter (USPSA, 3-gun and NRA High Power), aspiring pilot, and enjoys mixing statistics and science with firearms. Now on sale: Getting Started with Firearms by yours truly!

16 Responses to Gear Review: CS Holsters IWB Kydex Holster

  1. avatarOddux says:

    Oh good, another crossbreed clone, but now with a small piece of foam worth apparently 15-30 bucks depending on what clone you’re comparing it to.

  2. avatarA-Rod says:

    What? No Glock review to go with the holster?

  3. avatarJavier says:

    I really don’t get the comments about leather holsters not being comfortable or not allowing easy reholstering. Which leather holsters have you been using? Ever since I finally got my grubby hands on a Milt Sparks VM2 for each of my Glocks, I’ve used nothing else when I carry IWB. Phenomenally comfortable with or without a base layer, super stable, and reholstering is a breeze.

  4. avatarJonathan -- Houston says:

    I use a cheap rawhide Academy special IWB for my G26, maybe 15 bucks, so I’m probably not the target market. I have two other specialty holsters in the $60 ballpark or so (a completely enclosed OWB and a back pocket wallet style holster), but generally I put the money in the gun, not the accessories. That said, this looks good and probably is a solid product, but it solves a problem I don’t have at this time.

  5. avatarJandrews says:

    I have IWB holsters for my carry guns for when I wish to carry concealed in the summer. That’s about it. Otherwise I’ve given up and gone to IMI Defense Roto holsters for OWB carry when carrying open or when the lovely transition seasons and winter allow for concealed OWB.

    Quite frankly, there is no good way to shove a gun into your pants line and retain comfort. Even if it’s ok while standing and walking, everything then goes to shit once you sit because you’re either on it, or the holster doesn’t do the same thing your pants do once your body moves into the seated position.

    IWBs are a necessary evil, and everyone should have one for each of their carry guns. But I don’t blame you one bit if you prefer not to use it.

  6. avatarJustin R says:

    Would love to have Dan or Nick do a comparison of this with the Stealthgear Onyx IWB. Definitely would help me see any minor pros/cons between such closely competing products if the same guy reviewed or compared them.

    • avatarCharms says:

      I have both and have to give the edge to Stealthgear…the CS foam is more comfortable than leather, but isn’t breathable like the stealthgear. When the weather gets hot it isn’t close

  7. avatarMediocrates says:

    I carry all day in an Old Faithfu, and I will keep the extra 35 dollars.

  8. avatarTyler Tulchinsky says:

    I’m so glad to see CS Holsters getting a review. I have 3 of their holsters (owb) and they are fantastic. What’s even better is their customer service. I had a warranty claim and they worked with me to get the issue solved quickly and painlessly. After emailing them with a warranty concern they had a new holster made and shipped out THE SAME DAY. A++++

  9. avatarJay in Florida says:

    If you have a “gut” like I do.
    Nothing but the softest possible leather is at all comfortable for someone like myself.
    A 15$ piece of foam might just do the trick??
    Ive found and Ive tried a few dozen over the years.
    Most IWB holsters seem to made from some pretty stiff leather.
    The only one I can wear all day long under just a tea shirt.
    Has been a Crossbreed imitation made from some pretty glove soft leather.
    Ive had 4 other holsters from the same manufacturer made and some are absolutely unwearable due to being so stiff.
    What I end up doing is soaking the holster in rubbing alcohol to soften it up.
    Rub in some Vaseline.
    Then wear it wet for a few hours as it dries back to its former hard as a rock self.
    Cut away what isn’t needed too.
    At least then it conforms somewhat to my body shape and is wearable.
    Not 100% comfy by any means but at least useable.
    Ive spoken personally to a few makers. Their idea of soft and mine are 3 different things.

  10. avatarLHZ Armory says:

    I don’t get the fascination with Kydex. Sure it’ll last forever. But the finish on your pistol won’t. A quality leather holster will (like Milt Sparks) will last forever and never remove your finish. As for the comfort in these cookie cutter mass produced holsters. Good luck. They don’t do anything to make the leather more wearable. Burnishing the edges would go a long way towards that. Foam may help. But it won’t last. Not on everyone.
    Holsters like guns are very subjective. What one person loves another will hate. The problem is how do you know till you’ve used it for a while?
    I make custom leather holsters. So I know what I’m talking about.

    • avatarJake says:

      I carried in a high quality leather holster for almost 2 years and the finish on my M&P was trashed. The Glock I carry in a RCS Phantom is completely untarnished. The process to seal the slides is almost identical for these pistols, so that wasn’t the problem. I think the natural material absorbed salt, water, sweat, dirt, and other particles and held them against the slide, damaging the finish. Leather holsters are beautiful and classy, but I would never wear one for any type of serious work, including daily carry. :D

      • avatarRickP says:

        I’ll take a leather IWB holster all day over the hybrid or all kydex holster. Yes, the gun might get sweaty if the leather is not taken care of but most of these hybrid holsters have leather on the back which “leak” too. Some *might* use something to block the sweat but most don’t. Milt Sparks puts a moisture barrier in some of their leather holsters as well to avoid the moisture problem.

        Oh, well, I know not to come to TTAG for holster reviews but rather for information about manufacturers instead. There are just too many variables in personal preference and body bloat to use it as a definitive reference.

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