As a longtime gun owner and military veteran who also happens to be a bigger guy, finding a comfortable, concealable, and high-quality holster used to be a challenge for me. The typical holsters on the market often just aren’t designed with larger frames in mind.
However, through extensive testing and research over the years, I’ve identified the top holster options for fat guys that check all the boxes – they’re comfortable, durable, easy to conceal, and make your weapon easily accessible when needed.
In this comprehensive guide, I’ll share my picks for the best fat guy holsters based on key criteria like comfort, concealability, accessibility, durability, and cost. For each option, I’ll provide a detailed review of my own experience and weigh the pros and cons.
I’ll also offer tips for what to look for when shopping for a plus-size gun holster. With the right holster, carrying and drawing from concealment can be easy and effective regardless of your body type.
My Credentials and Experience
Before we dive into the holster reviews and recommendations, allow me to briefly introduce myself and describe my background in firearms and concealed carry.
I served for over a decade in the Marine Corps infantry. During that time, I gained extensive training and experience with a wide variety of pistol and holster setups for both duty carry and concealed carry applications.
I currently own a variety of handguns from brands like Glock, Sig Sauer, Smith & Wesson, Heckler & Koch, and more. I am constantly evaluating new holster offerings and experimenting with different carry positions and holster styles to test comfort, concealability, and accessibility.
Additionally, I have trained hundreds of civilians on best practices for concealed carry. Through my experience and experimentation, I have expertise in finding holsters and carrying solutions that work effectively regardless of body type.
Now that you know my background and credentials, let’s get to discussing the top holster options for big guys!
Best Holsters for Big Guys – My Top Picks
After extensive testing of numerous holsters over my many years of concealed carry, I’ve identified the top options on the market for us plus-size folks.
I’ll provide an in-depth review of each holster’s standout features along with any drawbacks I experienced while evaluating them. Let’s get to it!
Houston Gun Holsters specializes in making high-quality holsters designed specifically to fit larger individuals. I’ve used their Tactical Pancake holster for my Smith & Wesson M&P 9 consistently over the past two years due to its supreme comfort.
This all-leather holster has a “pancake” design that hugs your body tightly to keep your weapon concealed and secure. It attaches to your belt only on one side, allowing the backside next to your body to flatten out.
The leather perfectly molds to my body over time, while the rounded edges prevent any skin irritation when carrying it all day. It fits my M&P like a glove, keeping it locked in place while enabling smooth, fast draws.
The sweat guard along the entire length of the slide protects the weapon from perspiration and contact with your body. The leather construction is thick and durable, maintaining its shape even after years of use.
For a comfortable leather option with a slim profile perfect for big guys, Houston Gun Holsters delivers an exceptional pancake holster. The quality and workmanship justify the premium price.
- Extremely comfortable fit and feel
- Moldable leather custom fits over time
- Allows close body contact without irritation
- Excellent sweat guard protection
- Quality construction and durability
- Long break-in period to soften leather
- Only accommodates belt carry on one side
- Higher price point
Belly band holsters are often a perfect choice for bigger gentlemen needing a highly adjustable, flexible holster option. The Ghost Concealment L Belly Band is by far the favorite I’ve tested.
This belly band uses a lightweight, breathable elastic material with a Velcro closure that can stretch to accommodate a waist up to 54 inches. It provides the custom fit so many of us large-framed shooters need.
The interior features a Kydex holster pocket that holds your weapon securely in place while remaining comfortable against the body. I can fine-tune the ride height and angle as needed, enabling perfect concealment at any position.
Drawing from the holster is smooth and natural, with the stretchy band allowing my hand to break the grip easily. The elastic material stays put reliably, keeping my weapon concealed and stable regardless of movement or position. For flexible casual carry, Ghost Concealment delivers.
- Highly adjustable fit up to 54″ waists
- Lightweight breathable belly band material
- Customizable Kydex holster pocket
- Comfortable for all-day wear
- Allows natural drawing motion
- Less durable than all-Kydex holsters
- Sweat can penetrate the band after prolonged wear
- Not suitable for rugged activities
Alien Gear is one of the most popular holster manufacturers in the industry, with the ShapeShift 4.0 being their latest iteration of the innovative modular holster system. I was highly impressed by its adjustability and comfortable carry.
The 4.0 adds a soft neoprene backing that conforms to your body for stain-free, irritation-free all-day comfort. An inner skeleton helps it hold its shape perfectly while remaining flexible. The moldable foam padding enables you to custom-fit the contour precisely.
The ShapeShift truly shines due to its modular mount and shell system. Swap components like waterproof shells, belt clips, mag carriers, and more in seconds without tools. Holster shells are available for hundreds of handguns. I’ve used it to carry everything from subcompacts to full-size options comfortably.
For the ultimate in comfort, customization, and versatility from a high-quality holster, Alien Gear is tough to top. The premium price gets you a premium product built to last.
- Incredibly comfortable and customizable
- Modular system works for countless guns
- Waterproof tactical finish options
- Easy to switch carry configurations
- High-quality and durable construction
- Higher price tag
- Not suitable for rugged tactical use
- No active retention beyond tension
For those needing an affordable everyday IWB holster option, CYA Supply Co. delivers. Their Base model holster lacks some bells and whistles but provides impressive quality concealment at a bargain.
The Base uses .08″ thick Boltaron thermoplastic that retains its shape. It’s available for both left and right-handed carry. I’ve found it fits me well, with adjustable cant, ride height, and retention to tweak weapon position.
The edges are smooth and non-abrasive, avoiding irritation during all-day carry. The sweat guard does its job of keeping moisture from reaching the gun. Drawing is smooth while still keeping my weapon secure when holstered.
For a simple, streamlined IWB holster that gets the job done on a budget, CYA Supply Co is a great choice. While not as flashy or versatile as premium options, the Base model provides quality concealed carry for minimal investment.
- Great value and price
- Durable, sweat-resistant construction
- Allows adjustable ride and cant angle
- Smooth edges prevent skin irritation
- Effective concealment and retention
- Limited adjustment compared to premium holsters
- Minimized sweat guard
- No active retention beyond tension
- Not suitable for large-duty pistols
We The People Holsters produce high-quality American-made holsters at reasonable prices. I found their IWB concealed carry holster provides exceptional comfort and retention.
This holster features a Shockwave padded backing that flexibly matches my body shape. The custom-molded Boltaron shell is contoured perfectly for my Sig P320 Compact, keeping it locked in while enabling smooth, fast draws under pressure.
Superb engineering allows the holster to “give” in all directions during draws without flexing out of position. This dynamic retention is unmatched compared to rigid holsters. The military-grade shock cord secures the weapon confidently regardless of movement or activity.
We The People backs their holsters with an impressive lifetime warranty. If you want a comfortable holster with proven durability, their IWB holster fits the bill at a mid-range price tier.
- Extremely comfortable with Shockwave pad
- Dynamic retention allows a natural draw
- Durable Boltaron construction
- Perfectly molded for specific firearms
- Great warranty and USA-made
- Limited adjustments compared to premium options
- Must order shell for specific gun model
For those wanting a basic Kydex IWB holster option, Warriorland delivers quality on a budget. I found it provides adequate retention and protection for compact to mid-size handguns.
The .8mm Boltaron shell is vacuum-formed to precise shapes that securely fit particular firearm models. The molding process enables smooth draws once broken in while keeping the weapon locked when holstered. Edges are smooth to prevent abrasion issues.
It includes a basic metal belt clip along with various hardware and spacers to enable ride height adjustments. While utilitarian, it allows the flexibility for you to tweak depth, angle, and retention to your liking.
For bigger guys needing an affordable but quality Kydex holster, Warriorland offers reliable performance for everyday concealed carry without hurting your wallet. Don’t expect premium qualities or versatility at this price, but the core functionality holds up.
- Great low price
- Precise fit for many popular handgun models
- Allows for basic retention and depth adjustments
- Durable Boltaron material retains its shape
- Limited flexibility compared to adjustable holsters
- No backing or padding for comfort
- Sweat guard could extend higher on slide
- The belt clip is small and basic
If you want the most discreet carry location possible, packing heat in the “possum pouch” is an intriguing option. Fortunately, the premium DTOM Crotch Carry Holster makes it comfortable.
Rather than cheap nylon like most crotch holsters, DTOM uses thick quality denim fabric with reinforced seams for durability and softness. An extended crotchal area allows your weapon to rest comfortably without grinding your tenders.
The holster features an adjustable waist strap and leg bands to stabilize your piece during movement while enabling smooth, repeatable draws. The denim perfectly disguises any printing and thwarts suspicions.
While awkward socially, the possum pouch offers unmatched concealment and accessibility. If you want ultra stealth carry, strap into the DTOM Crotch Carry Holster. Just beware of inadvertent weapon flagging!
- Extremely discreet carry option
- High-quality denim construction
- Draw motion feels natural with practice
- Keeps weapon stable during rigorous activity
- Potential safety issues with muzzle positioning
- Socially awkward placement
- Prolonged pressure can cause discomfort
- Stiff break-in period before optimal comfort
While ankle carry isn’t commonly considered by most, having a reliable backup hideout piece can provide insurance in dire circumstances. The DeSantis Die Hard Ankle Rig keeps a diminutive weapon discreetly handy.
The Die Hard uses wide 1.5-inch straps wrapping entirely around your ankle for stability, keeping your tiny mouse gun locked in place discreetly until rapidly needed. The padded sheepskin backing eliminates abrasion and hot spots during prolonged wear.
The molded exterior allows easy reholstering while keeping the weapon snugly in place, although drawing from this holster requires very deliberate practice. Fortunately, the premium comfort and durability justify the premium price.
For certain specialized roles where backup firepower is key, the Die Hard Ankle Rig offers premium concealment and accessibility without screaming “gun!” to observers. Just be sure to train extensively for competency.
- Discreet comfortable backup option
- Sheepskin prevents rubbing and hotspots
- 1.5-inch straps keep the holster stabilized
- High-end materials and craftsmanship
- Drawing requires extensive practice
- Limited to very small weapons
- Premium price tag
- Can restrict blood flow if strapped too tight
Key Considerations for Plus-Size Gun Holsters
While the typical off-the-shelf concealed carry holster works great for average-sized people, we big guys have some additional considerations when selecting a holster:
Comfort: Comfort should be priority number one. If your gun digs into your side or the holster rubs your skin raw, you’re not going to want to wear it often. Prioritize options with soft, flexible materials and quality edges that won’t irritate the skin.
Adjustability: An adjustable holster that can conform to our larger frames is ideal. Whether through multiple ride height settings or a moldable shell, an adjustable holster will fit better from the start.
Coverage Area: More surface area on your body means more coverage from a properly fitting holster. Look for holsters designed specifically to be worn by bigger guys, with dimensions sized accordingly.
Sturdy Build: A holster worn daily needs to stand the test of time. Durable materials like Kydex or leather that hold their shape after repeated use are vital. Sweat guards and sight protection add useful longevity as well.
Ease of Access: While concealment is key, being able to smoothly draw when needed is non-negotiable. Prioritize holsters that keep your weapon securely in place while allowing you to establish a proper firing grip quickly.
Keep these factors in mind as we review holster options for fat guys! Getting the right holster makes all the difference in effective concealed carry.
Advantages Of Appendix Carry
- Faster draw: When you carry your firearm in appendix style, it’s really easy to turn it into a press-out for a draw. This position makes for a much quicker draw. Also, in the appendix position, your hands won’t travel so far to pull out your gun. That also results in a quicker draw
- Easier to reach: if you get attacked you want to be able to reach your firearm very quickly and easily. When you carry in the appendix position, you can reach out for your gun with either hand. Whether you’re entangled on the floor or standing and scuffling for your weapon, it’s much easier to reach your gun in the appendix position than others like the strong side hip position.
- More comfortable for carrying big guns: If you have a big gun and still need to carry concealed, the appendix position is possibly the best for hiding your firearm perfectly. The sharp edges of a pistol will be hard to conceal at the curvy edges of your side. But your large gun will hide wonderfully when placed at your much less curvy torso. This is one reason why an appendix-style holster is the best holster for fat guys.
Although appendix carry has all these great advantages, it can also go bad fast. Without proper training and practice, you won’t learn proper reholstering methods. Even when using the best appendix holster for big guys, you will probably point your firearm toward your femoral artery when you re-holster.
You surely need to learn proper reholstering methods so you don’t accidentally discharge your weapon and blow off that large blood vessel. Although this disadvantage sounds frightening, it shouldn’t scare you away from carrying your gun in the appendix position. With plenty of alterations and practice, you can get appendix carry right and enjoy its advantages while avoiding the possible disadvantages.
Tips and Considerations for Plus Size Shooters
While finding a quality holster designed with big guys in mind is paramount, optimizing comfort and concealment requires adopting some specialized best practices. Here are my top tips:
Prioritize Comfort – If a holster digs, rubs irritates, or generally bothers you, chances are you’ll avoid wearing it. Seek options using quality flexible materials molded to fit your body shape. Soft fabrics with reinforced opening edges are ideal.
Dress Around Your Carry – Choose wardrobe options like patterned button-down shirts or untucked polos that help break up your weapon’s shape. Square bottom shirts and dark colors also help conceal imprints and bulges.
Use Proper Gun Belts – A quality gun belt ensures reliable holster stability and positioning. Look for stiff leather or polymer options 1.5 to 1.75 inches wide with metal-reinforced holes for consistent anchoring.
Balance Security and Access – While retention keeps our weapon secured when covered, compromised accessibility undermines its life-protecting utility. Strive for the right balance enabling safe holstering yet easy drawing.
Finding your optimal concealed carry holster and clothing ensembles will involve some experimentation. But with the right gear choices and best practices, effective discreet carry is achievable regardless of body size!
Selecting a comfortable, durable, and concealable holster designed specifically to accommodate plus-sized shooters makes carrying far more practical. Chances are the options that work great for your average build buddy just don’t cut it.
Based on extensive testing and evaluation of holsters over my many years of carry, the options reviewed above provide exceptional performance for fat guys based on critical factors like comfort, adjustability, coverage, accessibility, durability, and pricing.
While personal preferences, carry positions, clothing choices, body shapes, and intended uses ultimately determine what holster works best for you, the options here encompass a variety of designs tailor made for heavier gentlemen.
Hopefully these reviews and recommendations save you some research and experimentation in finding your perfect fat guy holster for secure, accessible concealed carry. Just be sure to responsibly practice extensive live fire draws from concealment to ensure you can smoothly deploy your defensive weapon when life depends on it!