An in-depth examination and test of popular Glock 19 holsters as part of a mission to identify the best option out the for Glock 19 owners.
There are a ton of articles plastered across the internet claiming to review the best Glock 19 holster. Unfortunately, most of these articles are heavily influenced by affiliate relationships and free sample products. In our experience, many of the most popular holsters on the market gained a good portion of their following through biased reviews.
It’s frustrating that the endorsements of so many gun industry influencers are so easily bought with free merchandise and cool t-shirts. Backing a sub-par product does more than just put an influencer’s name on the line. It could potentially put the lives of their followers on the line, especially when it comes to holsters.
Unfortunately, a good number of the best-selling holsters for the Glock 19 aren’t worth the gunpowder it would take to blow them across the street.
That’s why I wanted to write a real review of quality Glock 19 holsters for real, everyday carriers like me. These recommendations aren’t slanted by free products, cash, or trendy clothing. None of these companies sent me any samples or incentives in exchange for positive reviews.
Have other companies tried to woo me with free stuff? Yes. Yes, they have.
However, we value integrity. I also think your safety and the safety of your family are too important to recommend a holster based on how many freebies the company dropped in my mailbox. Nope. These are all holsters we trust enough to put our stamp of approval on. We also trust them with our lives.
What to Look for in a Glock 19 Holster
If you’ve been carrying your Glock for some time, there’s a high probability that you’ve test-driven a few different holsters. You might even have some of the best-selling options listed on marketplace websites. You probably also tossed a few of those holsters into a box or drawer, where they rarely (if ever) see the light of day.
Holsters are expensive. It sucks to invest a bunch of money into a holster only for it to be too frustrating to wear. I feel your pain, and I have a junk drawer full of barely-used holsters to prove it.
Hopefully, these reviews will help save you some cash and some space in that junk drawer.
When you look at this list, my holster biases are incredibly apparent. I know not all carriers share my preferences, but it is impossible for these reviews not to be at least slightly influenced by mine.
IWB (Inside the Waistband)
First, I’m coming at this from a concealed carry perspective. Are there great OWB holsters for your Glock 19 out there? Absolutely! I have a fabulous paddle holster that I use when I’m bowhunting, just in case I come across something nefarious in the woods. However, if you picked a Glock 19 over the Glock 17, odds are good you wanted something you can conceal.
An OWB (outside the waistband) holster is ideal when accessibility is everything and concealment isn’t a priority. However, in the world of civilian carry (at least when you aren’t running around in the woods), concealment is king, and it’s worlds easier to conceal a Glock 19 in an IWB holster.
In a life-or-death situation, I don’t want to fiddle with straps or thumb breaks to gain access to my weapon. The holsters on this list all use passive retention, which means the molded shape of the holster holds the weapon in place until you need to draw.
Functional, low-maintenance, sturdy, and lightweight, Kydex (or Kydex-like materials) are currently THE best way to protect your EDC sidearm.
Kydex is a trademarked thermoplastic, so not all holsters can boast the name. For example, Safariland uses its proprietary thermoplastic alloy called Boltaron.
However, in today’s world, Kydex is to holsters what Kleenex is to facial tissues. The word has become a generic catch-all term for all things thermoplastic.
Best Glock 19 Holster Reviews
We’ve evaluated each of our favorite Glock 19 holsters in six categories.
If a holster isn’t comfortable, you’re going to be tempted to leave the whole setup at home. Any handgun worn on your person is better than the one you left in the gun safe.
A good holster is comfortable enough that you can wear it for hours and almost forget it’s there. Holster comfort means different things to different people, so we tested these holsters on two very different body types (which are admittedly two opposite ends of the body-type spectrum).
- Me – AKA a small-framed, 5’4” female who weighs 125 pounds after a big meal.
- Daniel – My son, who measures in at 6’2” with 230 pounds of rock-solid muscle.
Retention is simply the holster’s ability to hold on to your Glock. The base test for retention is inserting the handgun into the holster and flipping it upside down. If the gun falls out, the holster fails the retention test.
There aren’t many opportunities for a holster to wind up completely upside down during everyday activities. However, defensive situations are usually dynamic. That means you’ll need your sidearm to stay put until you draw it, even if you have to run, crawl, roll, or climb a fence to evade danger.
You also need your Glock to stay securely inside your holster while you’re doing everyday activities like driving, bending over, climbing stairs, and even dropping your drawers to use the restroom.
Still, too much retention can be a bad thing. You don’t want to fight the holster to draw your weapon when you need it. Most holsters allow you to adjust the retention, so you can find your one personal sweet spot.
There is another type of retention that isn’t always discussed in online holster reviews – how well the holster stays attached to the carrier. A holster doesn’t do much good if the whole thing, pistol and all, falls off when you bend over to pick up your kid or pet a dog.
Because your Glock will spend most of its life riding around in your EDC holster, that holster should offer plenty of protection from bumps, thumps, dirt, and sweat.
For safety, a quality holster will also offer ample trigger protection. Your Glock’s entire trigger should be covered by the holster to prevent accidental discharge. Every holster on our list provides complete trigger coverage.
A top-notch concealed carry holster will virtually disappear under your clothing. However, there are tons of factors that impact concealability, including the carrier’s body structure and clothing choices. Keeping that in mind, we tried to compare apples to apples as much as possible. That means we monitored the printing of each holster under a similar outfit of jeans and a plaid flannel shirt.
Ease of Draw
Nothing is worse than having to grapple with your holster when you need to get your weapon into a fight. The best CCW holsters will allow you to efficiently and smoothly draw your Glock with a proper, ready-to-shoot grip from any position.
It’s worth pointing out here that no matter which holster your Glock rides around in, the best way to gain confidence and proficiency with your weapon is to practice. That includes drawing and holstering your weapon. Don’t wait until you find yourself in a life-or-death situation to work out the kinks. Work some practice into your everyday routine.
No two shooters are exactly the same. Differences in body structure, hand size, and personal preferences can make what one shooter considers pure paradise absolute Hell for another. Holster adjustability helps solve that problem by allowing the shooter to customize cant, ride height, and retention to suit individual needs.
There are few holsters you can pull straight from the packaging that feel perfect on your body. However, a quality holster will allow you to do some fine-tuning to find that nearly flawless fit.
The Best Glock 19 Holster – Our Top Picks
There’s nothing flashy about this holster. It’s simple and unpretentious, and yet somehow manages to be the most comfortable IWB we’ve tested to date.
It might be voodoo magic, but we think it more likely has to do with the rounded edges that not only hug your Glock, but also hug your body.
We ordered the Valknut with a closed-cut holster bottom, and it makes a huge difference in comfort. The rounded edges don’t dig into soft body parts, and there are never any startling cold brushes of the slide against warm skin.
We also ordered the Valknut with the high back sweat guard. We’re firm believers in sweat guards, mostly because the Glock 19’s rear slide serrations can be pretty uncomfortable rubbing against your midsection, especially when you’re carrying all day.
The retention on this one was near perfect right out of the gate, and it didn’t loosen with use. It also provides a very positive lock when holstering your Glock, so there’s never any doubt that your sidearm is firmly seated.
The retention is also super easy to adjust.
The Valknut is made from thick, sturdy Kydex and tough, rugged hardware.
The rounded lower edge not only keeps a cold muzzle from pressing against your skin but also protects your barrel from laundry lint and thigh sweat.
We also highly recommend ordering the Valknut with a high back sweat guard.
Odin’s Modwing Claw will cost an additional ten bucks, but it is well worth the investment. It changes the angle of the handgun, pushing the grip closer to the body to reduce printing.
Ease of Draw 4.5/5
This one rides a smidge high compared to most of the holsters we tried, but the ride height and the streamlined cut make it super easy to get a solid grip on your Glock.
Although retention is simple to tune, the Valknut doesn’t offer a ton of adjustability. The cant can be adjusted from 0 to 15 degrees, but you’ll have to make do with the ride height. Lucky for both of us, it feels damn near perfect as it is.
The Bottom Line
Scoring an impressive 4.5 out of 5, the Odin Valknut IWB ended up being our top pick
We tested this holster pretty much on a whim, partly because we like the company’s name and partly because we’d heard some positive chatter about it in a few gun circles. We’re so glad we did!
Although Odin Holsters is basically a no-name newcomer, with quality like this, they won’t be a no-name for long.
What We Love
Although we’re tempted to say “everything,” we also acknowledge that we’re still kind of in the honeymoon phase of our relationship with this holster.
We also really love their badass logo!
What We Would Change
Because there are so many customizable features, you can build the perfect holster right on the company’s website. If you get yours and there’s something you would change, you probably didn’t order it right.
Best Glock 19 Holster – A Close Second Place
G-Code Phenom Stealth – 4/5
I don’t think it’s possible to find an IWB holster with perfect comfort scores. However, this one comes pretty freakin’ close.
Kydex is well-known for being hard, cold, and uncomfortable. G-Code addressed the issue by covering the exterior of their Phenom Stealth holster in “Tactical Fuzz.” An almost suede-like coating, “tactical fuzz” is soft, making it perfect for those times you need to wear your holster directly against your skin.
The Phenom Stealth also has a high-cut backside that covers the entire slide, serving as a plush barrier between the cold metal of your Glock and the soft skin of your abdomen.
G-Code also built this holster with a rounded edge at the muzzle to prevent cold, hard metal from digging into your thigh. I was able to sit all day and almost forget I was wearing my Glock.
We love how easily the low-profile mounting system slips on the belt. That doesn’t mean the clip doesn’t hold the holster in place, it actually does that quite well. However, when you need to remove the holster, it comes off purposefully and easily.
The holster’s interior fuzz adds some resistance on the draw. You’ll need a firm pull to draw from this holster. While you can loosen the holster’s retention to compensate for the extra drag, it can be a little tricky. The retention screws also screw into the claw, and they threaten to fall out completely if you loosen them too much.
G-Code’s Tactical Fuzz lines the interior of the holster, providing a soft surface to reduce wear and tear on your Glock. This is a particularly handy feature if you have to regularly draw and re-holster your weapon.
The Kydex itself is sturdy and the clip is solid and obviously built to last. We also appreciate the high-cut Kydex sweat guard that not only prevents rubbing and pinching but also protects your Glock from corrosive sweat.
Have we mentioned the “Tactical Fuzz?” This stuff isn’t just for comfort. It also creates a matte finish that doesn’t catch the eye as easily as shiny black Kydex.
The holster lays fairly flat on the waist, thanks to G-Code’s patented MoClaw (a tension device that drives the butt of your Glock into your body to minimize printing). Although some internet reviewers claim this claw sits too low on the holster to be effective, we had zero problems with it. This holster laid flatter to the body than most of the other holsters on the list.
Ease of Draw 3/5
G-Code designed their Phenom Stealth with a streamlined cut of the Kydex that allows for a full grip and consistent draw. Getting a ready-to-shoot grip from this holster is no problem at all.
The Tactical Fuzz does produce some drag on the weapon during the draw stroke. The extra friction was a little unsettling at first and definitely took some getting used to.
G-Code claims the interior suede-like finish is there to deliver a “whisper quiet performance.” It’s true, and this holster earned the name “Stealth” fair and square. There is no scraping Kydex noise when you draw your Glock. However, we don’t think this is a major selling point for defensive shooting. There aren’t many scenarios where a stealthy draw is an absolute necessity. However, there are plenty where a fast, smooth draw would be a major asset. If I had to choose, I’d take fast and smooth over stealthy pretty much any day.
The Phenom Stealth offers five different angle options so you can adjust the cant to compliment your body mechanics, preferred carry position, and draw stroke.
The holster also offers adjustable retention. Loosening the retention can be a tricky affair as the screws seem to want to fall out of their slots.
The Bottom Line
The final score: 4/5
What We Love
- The soft exterior “Tactical Fuzz” coating.
- High-cut sweat guard.
- Rounded edge at the muzzle.
- Adjustable cant.
What We Would Change
We would leave off the interior Tactical Fuzz. It produces too much resistance on the draw, and since we aren’t ninja assassins, it feels unnecessary.
T.REX Arms Sidecar Holster – 3.4/5
We had some major comfort issues with the T.Rex Sidecar. The first is T.Rex’s signature Raptor Claw. Basically a metal wing, the Raptor Claw is designed to push against your belt and drive the grip of your firearm into your body at a more concealable angle.
Daniel had issues with the bottom point digging into his abdomen, especially when he was driving. It was aggressive enough to cause some minor bruising and uncomfortable enough for him to toss this holster into the infamous “Bin of Unusable Holsters”.
My issues weren’t with the Raptor Claw at all, but with the long double clip design of the holster. Some dudes obviously designed this one for dudes. It’s far too wide for my narrow torso, and when I appendix carry, it spans my entire abdomen. Not only do I need to shift it pretty much any time I move, but putting it on requires a complicated dance between clips, belt loops, zippers, and belt buckle.
There just doesn’t seem to be enough room on my waist for everything that’s going on here, and I almost have to move my Glock over my belly button for it to ride right.
I will admit that this one is easier for me to carry at 4 o’clock, but I really want T.Rex Arms to bring back their discontinued, single-clip Raptor IWB. It worked way better on my small-framed body.
Retention on the Sidecar is super easy to adjust, although this one came out of the box nearly perfect. It offers a nice balance between that audible “click” and the friction feel when both holstering and unholstering your Glock.
Also, the double clip design keeps the holster snug on your belt. We can’t imagine a scenario where this one would fall off.
The T.Rex Sidecar gets high marks in protection because it uses the thickest Kydex of any of the holsters we’ve tested. It also uses heavy-duty hardware. It is one solid holster, and there’s no doubt this one is going to last, even with frequent use.
We took a half point off because we really wish the Sidecar had a sweat guard.
Are we allowed to have a love/hate relationship with the Raptor Claw? Because we do.
Although this thing is an absolute curse against all things comfort, it freakin’ works miracles for concealability.
I still had some printing, but it’s mostly because this holster doesn’t fit my slim, female body structure all that well. It almost disappears on Daniel.
Ease of Draw 3/5
Daniel and I had mixed results in this category. Daniel had no problem with the draw and said it was one of his favorite holsters to draw from.
My issues with drawing from this holster are based on where I’m forced to wear it. It doesn’t sit well over my appendix, and since I’m not practiced with drawing from one o’clock or 4 o’clock, my draw is slow and my grip is somewhat contorted. I’m not a fan mostly because I’m being uber particular, and I want to draw from 2 o’clock.
This is just one more category where it feels obvious that this holster works better for bigger guys.
There are dozens of ways to adjust this holster, although you’ll need to remove the screws on the clips to adjust ride height and cant.
While the original Sidecar had an integrated mag holder that only accommodated appendix carry, the updated model is more modular and can also work in the 3 o’clock and 4 o’clock carry positions.
This version also accepts a variety of attachments, including pistol or rifle mag holders, a tourniquet holder, and a handcuff carrier.
The Bottom Line
Going into these reviews, we really wanted this one to come out on top, mostly because we’re die-hard fans of both their podcast and YouTube channel. In the end, we discovered that we love the company (slightly) more than we love their holster.
While this isn’t our favorite holster, it still easily ranks near the top with a 3.4 out of 5.
(And T.Rex Arms, if you’re listening…please bring back the Raptor. Thanks!)
What We Love
You can add a mag carrier!
What We Would Change
While the Raptor Claw makes the Glock grip virtually disappear against the body, we would change its shape in a heartbeat. We’re tempted to Dremel off the bottom point to make it more comfortable.
Safariland uses an ultra-thin thermoplastic for this IWB holster. While there are some drawbacks to the thin design, it has some obvious comfort advantages. The thinner profile is much easier to stuff in your waistband, and it doesn’t feel like you’re lugging around a large package in your pants. (Unless you are… in that case, carry on)
We also really like the high back sweat guard on this holster. Although it’s designed to protect your Glock from corrosive sweat and body oils, it also keeps the edges of your gun from digging into soft body parts.
The biggest comfort issue I had with this holster is the extra half-inch of plastic that extends beyond the muzzle. Because I spend a large portion of my day sitting behind a computer screen, that extra plastic dug into my thigh leaving some pretty nasty red marks. I admit the issue was exacerbated because I am short (it didn’t seem to be an issue for Daniel). However, if you spend a lot of time sitting, either behind a desk or behind the wheel, this might not be the best option for you.
One of the things we love about this holster is the clip. The unique J-shaped clip slips between your pants and your belt and then hooks under your belt. This thing isn’t going anywhere, and the design makes the clip almost invisible, even when you tuck in your shirt. However, the design makes taking the holster off an absolute pain in the butt.
Both of us were fairly satisfied with Safariland’s out-of-the-clamshell retention (it has a deep contour in the trigger guard that holds nicely until you draw). However, there’s no way to adjust the retention for those who feel more secure with a little extra grasp.
This IWB holster is made from Safariland’s exclusive, ultra-thin Boltaron thermoform material. It is by far the thinnest thermoplastic used in any of the holsters on our list.
Why did Safriland use such thin material? To minimize the profile for easier concealment.
Unfortunately, the ultra-thin Boltaron feels flimsy. You can compress the holster just by giving it a gentle squeeze with your fingers. Although the Boltaron is stiff and hard, it isn’t nearly as sturdy as the other holsters on this list. That means there’s not a lot of plastic surrounding your Glock for impact protection.
The Safariland is also made from two separate pieces of thermoplastic stitched together rather than a single folded-over piece. We can’t help but worry that the stitched construction won’t start to come apart over time.
The 17T model is also designed to be “tuckable”. That means a shirt can be tucked over the pistol and between the clip and the holster, giving shooters another level of concealment.
While the ultra-thin Boltaron doesn’t seem to offer much in regard to pistol protection, it has plenty to offer for concealment. The Glock 19, with its double-stack design, is kind of a chunky monkey in the world of concealed carry. Add a thick holster to the mix, and effective concealment becomes almost impossible. Safariland attempts to address the issue by using a thin, flexible thermoplastic.
It works in theory.
The biggest issue we have with this holster is how far the grip pokes out. Without a claw or some other feature to press the grip into the body, the Safariland made it look like I had an alien baby ready to burst forth from my appendix.
Printing was terrible for both of us. While some of that could be at least partially addressed with wardrobe choices and some strategic tucking, there was no way not to telegraph my Glock in this holster against my small-framed body.
Ease of Draw 5/5
This holster ranks high in ease of draw, partly because of the adjustable cant and partly because the thin material isn’t really doing much to grasp that Glock.
The 17T model allows you to adjust the cant. Adjusting retention and ride height are a no-go.
The Bottom Line
Overall, this holster earns 3 out of 5 stars. For both of us, it was our least favorite on the list. However, we admit we love how smooth and easy this one is on the draw.
It’s also the least expensive model on our list (by more than half in some cases), so if you don’t have a ton of cash to invest in a holster, this one offers better-than-decent performance at a price point that won’t abuse your bank account.
What we Love
The high sweat guard on the back of the holster. It keeps the rear slide serrations of the G19 from digging into tender belly skin.
The clip slips between your pants and your belt and then hooks under your belt. Once you have it in place, it’s going to stay put.
What We Would Change
We really wish this one was made from thicker thermoplastic.
The Glock 19 is the go-to concealed carry weapon for many defensive shooters. Not only is this polymer pistol the most popular CCW on the market today, but it is also the standard-issue sidearm for law enforcement agencies and military organizations around the globe.
Choosing the right holster is just as important as choosing the right pistol when it comes to concealed carry. After all, your weapon will spend most of its life riding around inside that holster. But when you need it, that holster should allow you quick and easy access to your weapon.
We acknowledge that no one holster can be all things to all shooters. However, we confidently recommend the models on our list of Best Glock 19 Holsters based on our personal experiences. Hopefully our data helps you find the holster that is best for your body type and expected use.