Wait…that isn’t quite right. Safariland can make A holster, they just couldn’t make THIS holster. The company is practically synonymous with a wide range of very good retention duty holsters used by the military and law enforcement around the world. But an inside the waistband (IWB) rig, much less an appendix carry IWB, was far outside Safariland’s wheelhouse.
Enter Mr. Haley, the nerd, and his IncogX design.
If you’ve heard of Travis Haley it’s probably from his old and excellent Magpul Dynamics video series or his role in the widely documented Battle for Najaf. What you might not know about Mr. Haley is that, long before any of that happened, he was a Recon Marine who was staying up nights with a sewing machine.
Haley has been personally building the gear he and his teammates needed for decades, sometimes even during the deployments themselves. I can just imagine it now…Blackwater teammates cruising for chicks at the embassy pool while Haley is perfecting his box-stitch back in his hooch.
Haley’s motto is “thinkers before shooters.” He’s never stopped developing better tactics, better training, and better gear.
Haley came up with the first iteration of the Incog a full 10 years ago and has been tinkering with and altering it ever since. Using his incredible training facility in Scottsdale, Arizona (separate post pending) Haley has been able to develop and modify his designs on the spot and test them in a wide range of scenarios, practically in real time.
When it came time to mass produce a durable version of his dream appendix carry inside the waistband (AIWB) rig, he found an unlikely partner in Safariland.
The timing was right. Just as Haley was looking for a large manufacturer to produce the IncogX, Safariland was looking at developing a best-in-class civilian EDC holster, something they’d never done before. Lots of back and forth, and lots more tinkering and multiple iterations later, the Safariland/Haley Strategic Partners IncogX is finally available to the public it was designed for.
The holster and magazine caddy aren’t made of Kydex. Instead, the decision was made to use Boltaron. While it’s unfortunate that isn’t aTransformer, Boltaron is actually a much better thermoplastic material for EDC wear holsters. It’s far more durable and forms a more precise fit. The additional structural integrity means less movement of the gun inside the holster for a consistent, repeatable draw.
Both the holster and magazine caddy are wrapped in a soft microfiber suede for additional comfort. It looks nice, too.
The level of retention is user-adjustable on both the pistol itself as well as the magazine. These retention points are highlighted in red which provides a nice aesthetic, but if you can’t figure out that squeezing right there makes it tighter, maybe carrying a gun isn’t really for you.
There’s also an additional passive retention point at the trigger guard. I’ve run with it, trained with it, done plenty of handstands and headstands and subsequent falls with it. Neither the GLOCK or the magazine I was carrying left the holster and the holster never left me.
As simple as you’d think they are, everyone who wears a rigid EDC holster understands how important the clip design is. The IncogX clips aren’t just what keep the holster attached to your belt, but their position, material, and design are what determines the location of the holster on our body, and how likely it is to stay in that position. Haley’s put a lot of thought into all of that.
The clips themselves are a rigid polymer with a bottom opening. The small detail here is the finger tab at the bottom of each clip. Push the entire IncogX down and the clips snap right on. Pull the finger tabs and they release. Very easy.
Ride height and a small degree of cant angle can also be adjusted through multiple anchor points. The Safariland website says the clips will work with an up to 1 3/4″ belt, but it fits my 2″ Simply Rugged “Real Man’s Gun Belt” just fine.
Customization and consistent performance are often at odds with each other. The IncogX gives the user plenty of options, but keeps the core functionality the same. Don’t want the magazine caddy? Cool, take it off. Want the mag caddy separate from the holster? Again, not a problem (you’ll just need another clip). Want a different clip? You’ll find Haley designed it to accept several other brands. Don’t want to carry appendix style in front? Not a problem, just ditch the integrated strut clip for an additional simple clip and roll IWB wherever you want.
I keep mine at the 4 o’clock position because that’s what time Matlock comes on. Want it left-handed? Sucks for you, loser.
The IncogX features a user-customizable concealment strut in a variety of sizes. I’ve never used these before and the entire strut system seemed like it would just add more bulk in the front of my body. That’s not how it works, though. The strut pushes the grip of the pistol closer to the body for additional concealment. You can balance how closely it rides versus getting your thumb under the grip during the draw by swapping out the thickness of the strut shim.
The Safariland website lists the current array of firearms and light options, and more are being added. They’re all built to accept a mounted optic and suppressor-height sights.
There are some pretty big advantages with a holster giant as big as Safariland, and one of those is the economy of scale. For what you’re getting, the IncogX is surprisingly inexpensive. My rig, with all the bells and whistles, maxes out at $120. Dropping the mag caddy and light option brings it down to $90.
It’s great to see Safariland making the commitment to high quality EDC wear for the average citizen. With the IncogX, Safariland is stepping outside its normal comfort zone of law enforcement and military sales. That’s a much more diverse market with a more fickle consumer base, but the sheer size of the market usually rewards companies that listen to the customer and adapt.
That’s exactly what Safariland has done here, with Haley Strategic. The benefit to both of them is, I hope, boatloads of cash. The benefit to the rest of us is a great holster.
Specifications: IncogX IWB holster
Overall * * * * *
I trust just about anything with Travis Haley’s name attached to it, and the same goes for Safariland. The new IncogX rewards that trust. Two well-respected organizations have come together to make a rugged, well designed and exhaustively tested holster for the everyday carry civilian. The price is below what you’d expect for this level of quality and available options.