I’m a somewhat recent convert to the world of appendix carry and while I agree that it isn’t the most comfortable method of carry, it does win out in the categories of concealability, retention, and speed on the draw. You may or may not agree, and that’s fine. But for me, AIWB is my preferred method of carry. Normally, I carry my piece in a CompTac 2 O’Clock AIWB holster. At $60, its a good buy, but money’s tight these days, so a less expensive option is always worth consideration. Enter NorCal Kydex’s Humboldt Hideaway AIWB holster . . .
When NorCal’s owner, Ori Wheeler, offered to ship me a holster for a review, I sent him the info on my pistol, but Ori didn’t list the XD(m) as a model on his website. I wasn’t about to ship my pistol to California, so I offered to send him a blue gun (a 4.5) that Farago had loaned me for the mold.
Once the blue gun arrived and my holster was complete, Ori asked if he could keep the blue gun for future molds. I gave him the go-ahead and a few days later, my HH showed up in my mailbox. Now it seems that Ori has extended the offer to everyone. Check out his blue gun trade-in offer if you’re interested in a holster for a gun he doesn’t currently make.
The HH itself is a finely made piece of kit. NorCal claims to use .080 Kydex in their holsters, and it’s evident placed side-by-side with the CompTac which uses the thicker thermoplastic – CompTac. But that relative thinness doesn’t seem to compromise rigidity at all, and one-handed reholstering is still very easy to accomplish. And what it allows is a slightly slimmer profile that weighs just a bit less than a thicker holster might.
As you can see, the HH has no trouble concealing my XD(m) 3.8 Compact. The HH maintains an adequate ride height, but like most AIWB holsters, it sits a tad low for us younger guys who don’t wear our pants just under the navel. This really only becomes a problem when seated, so I usually hike up my pantaloons a bit before I sit down.
Also worth noting, my HH came with a 1.75″ belt clip. It’s pictured here on a CompTac Kydex Reinforced Belt which is 1.5 inches wide. Ori offers 1.5 inch clips, but for some reason, I forgot to specify that. By bad. It isn’t the end of the world, but it does mean that retention of the holster/gun combo isn’t quit as secure as it would be with a 1.5 inch clip. Be sure to order the right one.
- Type: Appendix IWB
- Belt Clip: Overhook (1.5″ & 1.75″) as well as Pull the Dot
- Color: Black, Coyote Brown, OD Green, Storm Gray, Carbon Fiber, Arctic White
- Price: $40 (optional features extra)
Ratings (out of five stars):
Fit, Finish, Feel * * * * *
If this holster were priced in the $100 range, I’d probably give it four stars, but at $40, you’d be hard pressed to find a better built holster. Ori does great Kydex work evidenced by the nicely fitted seams, rounded edges and near-perfect fit for my XD(m). I really don’t have any complaints other than the oversized belt clip, and honestly, that’s on me.
Comfort * * * * *
The only more comfortable AIWB holster I’ve used is a leather Don Hume H715. As far as Kydex AIWB go, this has been the most comfortable for my body type.
Concealability * * * * *
I never had any issues with printing other than the whole rig moving around a bit due to that oversized belt clip. Have I mentioned that it was my fault?
Overall Rating * * * * *
This is a fine holster, and perfect for those who just want to try AIWB or those already committed to the practice. I’d highly recommend Ori’s work.