DeSantis Gunhide Question of the Day: Got Kydex?

I don’t know whether or not off-duty Ohio police officer Darryl Jouett was wearing a Kydex holster while attempting — and failing — to re-holster his firearm. But it’s been my experience that Kydex holsters are a lot better for re-holstering than leather.

desantis blue logo no back 4 smallThey don’t collapse when you remove your gun. They don’t wear out or change shape over time (as long as you don’t leave them to bake in the car during summer’s heat). And the sound the gun makes when it slides into a Kydex holster tells you it’s well and truly in. What’s not to love? Got Kydex? Where from?


  1. avatar Nanashi says:

    Only cops should have guns.

      1. avatar Kevin in CO says:


  2. avatar TyrannyOfEvilMen says:

    I’m not sure I agree here. A high-quality leather holster properly constructed to stay open when the firearm is withdrawn can be just as effective as a Kydex holster.

    In any case, re-holstering Is a skill that needs to be practiced in order to be maintained. Also, unholstering for no good reason is not a safe gun-handling practice.

    1. avatar JoshFormerlyinGA says:

      Under stress? What stress? The stress of dropping those doughnuts if he messes up the reholster?

    2. avatar Pascal says:

      What practice? Simply sloooow down. Hand the box to the wife, have wife move coat to side, keep finger off trigger. There is so much stupid in that video.

    3. avatar JasonM says:

      Or a leather lined kydex holster. It’s firm and adjustable like kydex, but is nicer on the gun’s finish.

      Other unsafe gun handling procedures are: pointing a gun at your own stomach, handling a gun while distracted by a conversation and trying to balance a box with your other hand, pulling the trigger while reholstering, and touching the trigger at all when not actively engaging targets.

      1. avatar pieslapper says:

        Don’t forget spinning it around your finger before you reholster.

    4. avatar J- says:

      I agree 100%. I hate kydex holsters. I find them to be very uncomfortable. There is no reason to re-holster without looking at what you are doing like sticking car keys in your pocket. It isn’t the holster, it is the handling that was the cause of this incident.

  3. avatar Ralph says:

    So stick your Tupperware gun in a in Tupperware holster? Pffft. Kydex is an abomination. Many years from now, gunnies will be asking themselves about Kydex, “what the hell were we thinking?”

    Real holsters are made of real leather. There’s nothing more reassuring than the feel of dead animal on your hip.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      I have to agree. Several years ago, a customer was raving about Kydex when I was commenting on the cost and leadtime of a good (really good) leather holster rig.

      After having one look at Kydex, I thought “There are even worse things a gun made of cheez-whiz, and this is it.”

      1. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

        Cool story bro. Glad to hear there’s still a generation telling these half the weight, half the bulk contraptions to get off their lawn. 🙂

        1. avatar Ryan says:

          I’m curious if he’s just cranky and needs to change his depends

        2. avatar Ralph says:

          @Ryan, maybe DG just knows what you don’t. And I’m willing to bet that of the two of you, you’re the one who more recently wore diapers.

        3. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

          Old enough to know leather, young enough to learn better. 🙂

          ETA: For the shell of course. I use a Crossbreed IWB with nice soft leather inside. Best of both worlds!

        4. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

          Oh yes, and Crocs are real shoes that I’ll wear while going hunting… (eyeroll)

          Want to know what leather does that Kydex won’t? Breath.

          When I’m wearing a gun rig, it’s much nicer to deal with leather than anything synthetic – just for the sweat factor. I like leather holsters for the same reason I wear real leather boots (like White’s Boots) or a leather belt (a real leather gun belt): leather breathes. Plastic? Nowhere near as comfortable, especially when comparing plastic to broken-in leather.

          Does leather cost more? Yup. A pair of White’s boots costs me about $400 – over 10X as much as Crocs. White’s boots also last – I’ve two sets of White’s that I’ve had for over 20 years, and they’ve both been rebuilt/resoled.

        5. avatar 16V says:

          If one could get a custom Kydex molding with an Alcantara (synthetic suede) lining, then maybe I’m interested.

          Otherwise, it may be the greatest thing for your disposable appliance Glock, but anything else…

          (Don’t get me wrong, it’s a valid metric, but one to which I do not subscribe.)

    2. avatar HandyDan says:

      Yeah! And soon they are going to stop making guns or of polymer and go back to steel, the way God and John Moses Browning intended! Yeah! I hate progress, and believe only the old stuff I like is good enough.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        I like progress. I just haven’t seen any. Sh1t is still sh1t even if it’s new.

    3. avatar Mark N. says:

      I have never purchased, and have no plans to purchase, a kydex holster. There is nothing that beats a high quality leather holster. and they are prettier too.

    4. avatar CarlosT says:

      What performance advantages do you see in leather over kydex? This isn’t a challenge or anything, I’m honestly interested to hear your reasons and experiences.

      So far, I’ve used a hybrid IWB holster, and wasn’t really enthused with how the leather held up. I moved on to a plastic (not kydex) OWB holster, which I’ve liked a lot. I haven’t ever tried an all leather holster, so I’m really interested to hear your thoughts.

      1. avatar DefaultSam says:

        after my 3rd leather holster bit the dust after the elements and my sweat all but wrecked them (2 of said holsters being high quality), I’ve switched to kydex and never looked back. They’re still kicking years later. They might put more wear on a finish and not be as flashy, but a gun is a tool and so is the accoutrements for it. It’s the same reason I got away from most bluing finishes, they get eaten up no matter how much TLC I give them, just the environment here. Anything with bluing, wood, or leather in my safe is a range queen and nothing more.

  4. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    While I love Kydex, I do not use a Kydex holster because they are too bulky for my taste.

    I use a somewhat flimsy holster between my belt and pants in a configuration that we could call, “outside-the-wasteband, inside-the-belt”. This configuration minimizes printing of my full-size (with double-stack magazine) handgun. However, it means that you cannot safely re-holster with one hand, without looking. Thus, I have to look and use both hands to re-holster.

    Regardless of how well your holster maintains its shape, I would never re-holster without using your off-hand to clear your cover garment out of the way … and use your eyes to make sure there are no unexpected objects in your holster that could actuate the trigger.

    1. avatar Matty9 says:

      but……..that means you’re in a shooting situation, and you have to take your eyes off of, well…..the situation.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        You plan to reholster in a shooting situation?

      2. avatar HandyDan says:

        If you’re reholstering and the situation requires you up keep your eye on something, you are putting your gun away way to damn soon. If type just shot someone, or the police are on their way for any reason, and it is safe to do so, put the gun on the ground and step away from it.

      3. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        LarryinTX and HandyDan both addressed what some might initially claim is a shortcoming of my soft-ish holster. I tip my hat to you both.

  5. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

    I just saw the second open carrier I have ever seen in MN. My wife who thinks I don’t try hard enough to conceal mine looked right at the guy (in Sams club) and didn’t notice. I wish I had said something like “Good show old man!” even though he was a young man. Oh and to get back to the topic, he was using leather.

    1. avatar Old law Prof says:

      A patterned shirt will distract a quick glance from most black guns especially with an IWB holster to hide the vertical barrel. The horizontal grip blends into your holster. Don’t be touching it and no one will notice.

  6. avatar Shire-man says:

    I do. I prefer leather though. It’s more comfortable and conceals better.
    Plus, I’m not a jackass who draws for no reason and I always look and use both hands if necessary when I re-holster. Holstering is not a race.

  7. avatar larrylarry says:

    honestly, if I’ve just shot someone and I’m sure the threat is over, I’m just as likely to un-ass the area, take off my holster and stick the gun back in it at that time. I have no intention of giving first aid or cuffing the guy on the ground, so I don’t need my hands free. When the cops get there, I don’t want any mistakes, and they are going to probably want the gun anyway. I should probably practice re-holstering, but I just don’t see myself in a real life situation where it would be that important.

  8. avatar Warlocc says:

    So Fumbles McStupid takes out his gun for no reason, then tries to holster it through his coat, while fondling the bang switch?

    And these people get carve outs when it comes to gun laws.

    1. avatar Ranger Rick says:

      To misquote Forest Gump “Stupid is as stupid does.” Officer Darryl Donuts gad no good reason to draw his pistol and can’t keep his booger hook off the trigger. He paid a price for his stupidity, he’s lucky he didn’t tag an artery.

      1. avatar Rusty Chains says:

        Yep the Gump quote is dead on!
        Why was this idiot pulling out his gun in the first place?

        Sure he fucked up the putting it back part (keep the damn finger off the trigger) but the holster material is compleatly immaterial here. This twit pointed the gun at himself and pulled the trigger. Yeah if it had a thumb safety that would have saved him some pain….this time. Stupid has a genius for making bad things happen!

    2. avatar FedUp says:

      I thought he pulled it out of Mexican Carry to switch to Coat Pocket Carry, but, being a cop, can’t draw a gun without fingering the trigger.

  9. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    1. Don’t play with your gun.

    2. The “saw his own reflection, black guy with a gun, and his police training kicked in” comment was hilarious.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Yeah, that’s when I let out a *snicker*… 🙂

  10. avatar MamaLiberty says:

    I don’t like kydex, so I don’t have any. Gave away the horrible kydex holsters that came with my Springfield XD .45 and 9mm. I carry only in solid leather holsters, custom made to do the job well. Draw fast (only when needed), reholster very slowly, with great care. And yes, finger off the trigger. Duh.

    BTW, so many of these videos are too stupid to believe. And why anyone at TTAG would want to compare their technique (in anything) to a cop… I’ll never understand.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      (in anything)

      Donut selection?

  11. avatar Josh in TN says:

    Glock 19 in a Phlster Skeleton is the most concealable, comfortable set up I’ve run. Since I carry at work (construction), kydex helps keep sweat from sitting on the gun all day and helps reduce weight and bulk. Can’t speak highly enough of that holster.

  12. avatar scooter says:

    I snagged a Spectre Concealment IWB for my 9mm Shield. Love it!

  13. avatar Mikeoregon says:

    I own 4 Kydex holsters, 6 leather and 2 nylon. They all work but I doubt I’ll buy nylon again. I bought my first Kydex holster because the only left-handed IWB production holster I could find for a S&W M&P40 pro 5″ was a Blade tec nano. Yes they are hard on the finish but they work, great concealment, very fast, smooth draw. So I bought 2 others for different guns.

  14. avatar js says:

    If you think that leather holsters collapse, clearly you’ve never handled a properly made leather holster. Hint: they don’t sell them at your gun store, and you probably have never heard of the good brands. Same as with good speakers; they aren’t in your local store, and the companies that make good ones don’t make other goods.

    Kramer, Milt Sparks, Mitch Rosen and so forth. You will have to wait for them to make your holster, and they are not cheap. But worth every penny.

    I’ve yet to see a kydex holster than comes close to good leather in comfort and concealment.

    1. avatar Darkstar says:

      +1 on Milt Sparks. After trying many, many holsters I grabbed up a Sparks Summer Special. It’s the last holster I have purchased. Going on 6 years now of EDC in nasty heat, damp, cold , you name it. Still as firm as it was the day I bought it and still perfectly shaped. Best holster I have used flat out.

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        And Mitch Rosen, Kirkpatrick, and Wright all make solid holsters. The prettier they get, though, the higher the price. You can’t get a kydex in exotic hides. I’ve always wanted one made from shark. Shark is practically indestructible.

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          Mark, there are Kydex composite holsters that have leather where it contacts *your* hide…

  15. avatar strych9 says:

    It depends. I have mostly leather holsters but I do have a few Kydex holsters too.

    One’s junk. However, a high quality hybrid is perfectly fine. The Black Arch ACE1 Gen 2 I have for my USP is fantastic. For IWB have I have say I prefer the hybrid style of holster. For OWB or a shoulder holster full leather from a good company is the way to go.

  16. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    Nothing against leather, but I only carry plastic (with the exception of ankle or pocket) holsters, and I’m not looking back.

  17. avatar TXGunGal says:

    Life is too short to carry an ugly handgun in an ugly holster on an ugly gun belt

  18. avatar Pat Mcgroin says:

    To me it looks like the jackwagon was trying to put it in his coat pocket. Either way he’s dumber than a box of rocks.

  19. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    I love leather. My go to outfit is Ted Blocker for those needs. Good folks who always come through with my funky ideas.
    Kydex is tough to beat in really wet weather though. Sometimes it rains here.
    No care. No maintainence. My forest carry is nylon and kydex from Gunfighters inc. the Kenai chest harness.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “Kydex is tough to beat in really wet weather though. Sometimes it rains here.”


      The steambox of central Florida in summer is like being in a sauna.

      Kydex and and a ‘Tupperware’ gun like a Glock go very well together when you’re sweating like Hillary being questioned under oath by the DOJ…

  20. avatar Sad88 says:

    I use leather almost exclusively except when the temp climbs into the 90s. Then it’s Stealthgear which stays nice and cool and keeps the gun dry.

    1. avatar rc says:

      Yeah, it’s Stealthgear for me year-round…super comfortable and secure. I forget the gun is there most of the time…which is good, ‘cuz I’m not tempted to touch it unless I need it.

  21. avatar Ray says:

    This is why some people should carry in condition 3.

    Drawing his gun for no reason, holstering while not looking, using the barrel to push his coat aside (he muzzled himself)… all of this is just a perfectly awful set of behaviors.

    Worst of all is his finger moved onto the trigger.

    And I watch this and think that in spite of all of the care and precautions I take, I also run the risk of a negligent discharge. In fact, I carry in condition 3 precisely because I think my odds of a negligent discharge are greater than my odds of needing to draw in a self-defensive situation. I’m human, and sometimes I don’t give 100% of my focus to what I’m doing. I don’t think I’m alone, just based on the fact that I see people driving 70 mph while looking down at a cellphone.

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      His problem wasn’t that he was carrying with one in the pipe.

      His problem was that he’s an idiot who unholstered his pistol for no damn reason. What happened afterwords was the natural course of being stupid with a pistol. His unholstering it in the first place was just a symptom of what is likely to be a terminal case of stupidity over a longer time frame.

      I have never, ever, unholstered my pistol during the course of daily activity like this. Not once have I ever said “Oh, look I’m in an elevator with one of my hands occupied it’s time to pull out my pistol and make sure the stampings on the side haven’t changed”.

      1. avatar Ray says:

        lol – yes, I know what you mean. My point is a negligent discharge can happen even if you’re not this stupid.

        1. avatar strych9 says:

          I generally carry a SA/DA pistol with one in the tube hammer down and safety off. But I also carry a Glock from time to time with one in the tube. If I need that thing I need it to go bang right now, not have a brain fart and pull a gun on someone when the gun’s not going to go off.

          Personally I think it’s perfectly safe. You’d have to be some sort of special to “accidentally” fire a pistol when it’s in SA mode and if it’s staying in your holster until you can apply both hands to it the Glock isn’t any more sketchy to me.

          Keep your booger flicker off the bang switch and insure that the path to reholstering is clear and you’ll literally never have a problem.

  22. avatar Sad88 says:

    I use leather holsters almost exclusively except when the temp climbs into the 90s. Then I use Stealthgear. It stays cool and the gun stays dry.

  23. avatar Tim the Teacher says:

    Badger State Holsters IWB. One of the best kydex holsters you can buy. A good kydex holster only adds 1/8″ total to the gun width, it slides our easy while keeping retention and it is easily cleaned out. I love leather but if the leather gets wet at all, your gun will sit against wet leather until you have a chance to switch holsters or let the leather dry out. That’s no good while out in the woods.

  24. avatar Rusty Chains says:

    Quite aside from McStupid above and his immaterial holster material. I like Kydex, mostly for IWB holsters, especially in the heat of summer in HOTlanta. In truth Kydex will never have the beauty of well made high quality leather for open carry, especially with some of the exotics like shark or stingray. For everyday concealed carry with one of my striker fired plastiguns it is IWB Kydex or similar all the way

    1. avatar Mikial says:

      Agreed, But I don’t buy an IWB holster because it looks good, I buy it because it does the job I need it to do. Period. I know that with my Crossbreed I won’t be one of those internet examples of a leather holster sagging and getting into the trigger guard to cause an AD.

  25. avatar Joel David Chewning says:

    I don’t own kydex. I don’t like it. Will I ever own it? Maybe for a certain specialty situation. The weight difference brings to mind a trialogue I had in Cabela’s a couple of weeks ago. I was looking at the Smith 69, which I really like, a lot. A guy next to me was looking at the 329. I suggested he take a look at the 69, which is smaller and 10.7 ounces heavier. The salesman says, “Yeah, but the 69 is heavier.”. I said,” I weigh 260. I’ll never notice that 10.5 ounces on my hip, but I’ll sure notice it missing in my hand”. There was total silence as I exited stage left

  26. avatar jwtaylor says:

    The vast majority of Kydex holsters out there are absolute crap, and people just don’t know what a quality holster is like.

  27. avatar Larry says:

    1911 commander in 20 year old OWB Bianchi hi ride leather. Have Springfield XDms in Kydex

  28. avatar Charlie says:

    I very much dislike hard plastic holsters. I bought a Kydex holster for my P-226 sight unseen, and the handgun went into it exactly once. Then I sold it to an optimist (or someone who didn’t care that the damn holster scraped the finish off his handgun).

    Boo, Kydex!


  29. avatar Mikial says:

    My Crossbreed is the only holster I will use for my EDC. I have Crossbreeds for my G21, 1911, XD and Jericho. The combination of the leather backing and the Kydex holster is foolproof and I swear by it every single day.

  30. avatar DMD says:

    Proof that only cops should have guns!!! DMD

  31. avatar VF 1777 says:

    Are we blaming this on Leather somehow? It doesn’t look like he even got the gun back to the holster. It looks like he had his finger on the trigger when trying to fish for his holster. He didn’t shoot himself in the leg, as he would have if the trigger got caught up while re-holstering (with kydex OR leather).

    As for the whole Kydex vs Leather… ‘What Ever’. Same as Glock vs 1911, 300 AAC vs 77g SMK’s, 40 vs 9mm, AK vs AR, Hammer vs Striker… whatever floats your boat. They all have their pros and cons. Reality is a zero sum game and their aint no such thing as a free lunch. No magical solution for everything and everyone. I like em all myself.

  32. avatar FedUp says:

    Did anybody see any evidence that there was a holster involved?
    I just assumed he had it stuffed in his pants, and decided it was uncomfortable, so he tried to move it to his coat pocket while balancing a donut box on his left hand.

  33. avatar Jay says:

    Not sure if anyone else said this yet or not….. But I found it quite funny that this “opinion piece” about how kydex is better for re-holstering than leather, was sponsored by a leather holster company. Lol.

  34. avatar Ben S. says:

    Mmm. We each have our own opinions, hopefully based on experience, not reading the internet all day. In my experience, synthetic holsters are MUCH easier to get your gun into than leather, and last much longer in normal use. I started out with several leather holsters for my first couple handguns, and over time, the leather stretched, sagged, and usually closed after you drew the weapon, requiring two hands or breaking focus and looking down for a few seconds to reholster, slowly and deliberately. Would a seventy- or a hundred-dollar, top-name-brand leather holster with multiple layers of reinforcing fix this? Maybe. Then I bought a Fobus. For $25. What a world of difference! Today I use Fobus, Blade Tech, Safariland ALS, Sig Sauer, and Bianchi holsters regularly, all synthetic, as well as one custom kydex one. I love them! They just work.

    I do have one leather holster that works well for me that I use semi-regularly: a Galco IWB for my Glock 27. Know why? That one doesn’t get drawn from regularly, and bakes in the heat of my truck (not a good idea to leave kydex out there). It’s my throw-on for CCW if I’m running into a store on my way home from work. It’s also made very well and provides a secure carry option that hasn’t changed over time with limited use.

    Modern, high-quality synthetic holsters just work better and cost less than similar leather holsters with similar retension, ease of use, and ease of donning/doffing would. They’re easy to train with, comfortable to carry all day, and provide me with peace of mind that getting the gun out or back in is intuitive, and that’s worth something in a stressful situation.

  35. avatar Greg G. says:

    I carry almost exclusively in a We Plead the 2nd kydex holster. I have a hybrid for situations where my shirt needs to be tucked in, but those are few and far between.

  36. avatar Luke Yarasheski says:

    Dara. That’s where. Not as comfortable but worth the sacrifice

Write a Comment

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

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
DeSantis Gunhide Question of the Day: Got Kydex?" title="Email to a friend/colleague">
button to share via email