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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.

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  1. Although most of the time I carry IWB, I have a Comp Tac paddle holster for an XD45 compact that I use from time to time. Very good holster and thanks for the review.

  2. I don’t always carry outside the waistband, but when I do I prefer a comptac paddle holster.

      • Given a choice between a beautiful piece of leather and an ugly piece of plastic, who would ever choose plastic?

        • ^this
          kydex IWB OWB whatever the case, just doesnt feel as soft and padded as leather. Especially if youre a wheelie- Yow!

        • I choose Kydex for OWB because its fast on the draw and creates a “click” retention vs. friction. I can tell a huge difference in my MTAC (half leather, half Kydex) and this holster. As a concealed carry guy (Texas doesn’t do OC), my holster could be covered in glitter for all I care. Nobody should be looking at it.

        • 1. Concealed means concealed. It’s going to be hidden under my shirt where neither I nor anyone else is going to see it, so who gives a rip how pretty it is?

          2. Retention. Kydex can be formed so the trigger guard clicks in and you get some positive retention without compromising the draw.

          3. Wear. Kydex is rigid and won’t get soft like leather. There was a case where a guy shot himself when his leather holster got soft, poked into his trigger guard, and snagged the trigger on his Glock. Less of a concern on the XDm, but not a concern at all on a kydex holster.

          4. Price. Kydex holsters are usually less expensive than leather.

  3. The $20 digital camo print option eliminates the need for a cover garment?
    (no, I’m not serious)

  4. I’m always slightly reserved when I hear guys talk about how well any OWB holster conceals under an oxford. Sure on OFG, but their shirts are more like size of a poncho. I’m not saying you need to do a fashion show for me, but I’m a see-and-believe. Or in this case don’t-see-and-believe.

    • You may get your wish. Nick and I are always looking for new video content. But until then, I wore a 15 1/2 – 32/33 oxford today and had no difficulty concealing my gun in this holster.

      • very patiently waiting for you to do a leather review, half kydex/half leather doesnt count either bud, I wanna see the whole sha-bang. Since your state doesnt allow concealment, which I am sorry over, I am genuinely concerned you wont get the “comfy feeling” of smooth leather pressed against smooth skin. WAY better than roughed up plastic, trust me.
        Just try one and review it.

  5. I just ordered a new OWB holster as I am tired of buying pants\shorts large enough for IWB carry. Where I live printing is not a big deal (hint: I don’t live in TX), so I prefer OWB with a light t-shirt.

  6. Tyler, Carlos,
    Its not about draw, clicks, clocks, $, etc… its about feel
    Leather feels better for me, and kydex sucks for me, sorry if you got your feelings hurt on my comment, and no I wont be sprinkling glitter on my holsters, but sorry I really just like my guns in leather. Just my .02

  7. Carlos,
    I also bought my leather sig 229 holster which is formed to all my controls, rail, trigger guard, for much less than Cheaper Than Dirt offers things like their blade-tech holsters for $70+.
    Again, my leather Winthrop draws fine, fits in to place (i can jump around with it on, turn it upside down and shake it and it wont fall out).
    1.) Concealed means concealed, I didnt even bring that up but my leather holster fits flat and conceals my chunk-o-metal very well.
    2.) Retention- see above where I can move about/run/jump/shake/rattle/roll, with no problems in a leather holster.
    3.)Wear- while your story seems a little bogus, I am not concerned with any of that mess as I wear quality holsters and pay attention to stitching. (Was this one just to bash on Glock?)
    4.)Price- Go to Cheaper Than Dirt, look up BladeTech, and tell me I cant find a nice quality leather holster for less than that… c’mon…

    • brigo50,

      First, no hurt feelings on my part, we’re just chatting. The question was asked why kydex would be preferred over leather and we answered.

      1. This point wasn’t about concealment, it was about looks. No one ever said you couldn’t conceal a leather holster. It’s just that the looks are irrelevant if no one will see it.

      2. Okay.


      4. And they can go for less as well. There are $70 Blade-Tech holsters and there are $30 Blade-Tech holsters. There are $45 leather holsters and there are $120 leather holsters. It’s been my experience that leather’s more expensive.

  8. I’ve got one. It’s not even close to my IWB holsters (Crossbreed Supertuck or Whitehat Maxtuck) when it comes to concealability. The paddle holster (at least on my body) sticks WAY out. Waaaaaaaaay out. Even with a loose overshirt, I’m talking MAJOR “printage.”

    It IS well-made. I use it for “home carry” when I’m not using a Remora as a pocket carry at home. Of course, OWB is more comfortable, generally speaking.

    I like the adjustable retention. My G27 feels very secure in it. But, there’s no way I could wear this about town. It’s like I’ve got an outrigger pontoon attached to my right side.

    • Replying to myself… I’m used to it. 😉

      I wanted to add that my Supertuck and Maxtuck are what I would call “all-day-comfortable.” I’m sorta weird in that even though my very first holster (Supertuck) has been a resounding success for me, I still am intrigued by other holsters and end up buying some of them just to see how they work.

      I like the Comp-tac paddle, but the only place I can use it in practical manner is around the house. It would be OK for “open carry.” But, it’s not legal, and I’m not interested in doing that. But for concealed carry here in Florida? Gawd-no.

  9. “Concealed carry isn’t supposed to be comfortable, its supposed to be comforting.”

    I like kydex, and I like inside the waistband. I carry a full size GLOCK 17, and there is NO OWB in the world that will conceal a large handgun as well as an IWB design. Its just not going to happen. Sure, a loose shirt might conceal a OWB holster to an untrained eye. But anyone whos not a moron knows what a slight bulge on the hip means. Go ahead and try reaching something on a top shelf, or bending over to pick something up, and tell me your bulky fat ‘ol OWB holster doesn’t show. You’re mad to think it doesn’t. Or, you live in Alaska or my part of Washington state, where its heavy jacket weather almost all year.

    I don’t know why people complain about how the holster feels. You’re carrying a gun because you need it to protect your life, right? That means a fight. And those are always uncomfortable. Its good to have a holster on that you can feel. It lets you know that you still have your gun there, and that’s always a good thing. Honestly, carrying all day, every day, I sometimes forget its there.

    You need to be able to take a little bit of discomfort in order to operate at the right level. And if carrying a gun concealed for you is too unpleasant, just leave it at home and whistle Dixie instead.

    Its a slippery slope. A lot of people start out carrying a full sized gun in an OWB holster, find it conceals poorly, which it usually do, and then they move into a IWB holster, but find it uncomfortable, and then they buy a tiny mouse gun that they pocket, and carry it around like its a good luck charm, never practice with it, and end up being a detriment to society instead of a benefit.

  10. Check out Alabama Holster Company for minimalism (I use both IWB and OWB from them)

  11. For minimalism, I go with a belt slide. I’ve got a well made Bianchi I picked up a long time ago that does a great job of keeping the firearm close to my side. The only things it does not have are a body shield and full coverage for the firearm. But it is very comfortable.

  12. The foremost issue I’ve had with ANY holster is how high it carries, or maybe that’s just down to my orang-utan length arms.
    With a 1911, I find the pistol grip is always about 6″ higher than ideal for both fast drawing & re-holstering. Even a Hi-Power sits around 4″ higher than comfortable for me.

  13. You sold me on it. Plus, I’ll be supporting a Texas business. But I have to say, that cap has got to go!

  14. I just ordered my second Comp-Tac paddle holster. I am left-handed and find belt slide holster to be a pain to put on/remove. The only paddle holster I have found that conceals better than the Comp-Tac is the “ECP” from Rocketman Holsters ( As far as the leather/kydex controversy, either works for me. Unfortunately the leather holsters I like are too expensive and generally have very long lead times, plus I have not seen a leather paddle holster that conceals well.

  15. I just purchased the Comp-Tac International Holster for the H&K VP40. I made a interesting modification to the Holster for my particular use. Comp-Tac, if interested, contact me at [email protected] and I will send you some pictures of the modification.

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