Note: We are not sponsored by any of the holster companies in this post. This is my genuine opinion as an average consumer who wasted money on cheap holsters from Amazon.
Note**: Also my opinions on these holsters are primarily based on carrying a compact 1911. I don’t claim to be an expert on all holster types.
Holsters from Amazon.com
I want to cover four holsters that I purchased from Amazon over the months. Most of these holsters I did use for some time as an IWB CCW holster. The only one that I never used and have no intention of using for IWB is the DTOM Holster.
- Azula Ultra Carry 1911 Holster
- Barsony Nylon IWB Holster
- Uncle Mikes Nylon Holster
- DTOM Premium Leather Universal Holster
There’s no surprises here, if you want to carry a compact 1911 (or other .45 pistol) the Azula IWB holster is my top pick! I use it as my daily not only for my Kimber Ultra Carry II, but also for my other smaller caliber pistols as well. (Depending on what kind of clothing I’m wearing.)
4. DTOM Universal Holster – $20
Let’s start with the first holster I purchased for CCW purposes, and also my least favorite!
Now, I understand that this holster was not designed for 1911 carry, and I was using this holster BEFORE I was using my Kimber 1911 anyways. The primary reason that I do not like it is due to how fat this holster is.
Yes the leather definitely is “premium” thick leather. I have no doubt that this holster could last a lifetime! That being said, even when wearing loose jeans, I still find this holster to be the least comfortable holster I’ve ever worn!
When we’re out camping in the wilderness, I have used this holster outside the waistband and it is a little more comfortable. So if you plan on getting this holster, I would use it only for OWB use.
Of course, there are plenty of 5 star reviews on this holster. So I guess this is what you get for having specific needs and purchasing a “Universal” holster. My advice, pass on this one.
3. Uncle Mikes IWB Holster – $12
When I first got this holster for an amazingly low price of $12, I actually really liked this holster a lot! I still did not have much experience with conceal carry having only carried for a few weeks at this point, but there were some things I definitely appreciated about this holster.
- Very thin and soft against the skin
- The extra flap to keep the 1911 metal from touching the skin
- The price!!!
Being a cheap-o consumer, I’m always looking to get my hands on the best products at the lowest price, and I really felt like I got a good deal with this one (at first!). However, after using it daily for about a week, I was able to notice some issues that make me dislike this holster.
You get what you pay for! The plastic belt clip is extremely cheap. For me, this holster would not stay in one spot. If I went from sitting to standing, I had to constantly readjust the position of the holster.
I also had an experience in the desert when we were cleaning up camp, after picking up something heavy and carrying it to the car, the holster (and my freshly cleaned 1911) fell straight out of my waistband and onto the desert sands…
This was the final straw for me and I decided that from now on, any holster I bought needed to have not only a metal clip, but also a strong support behind the clip!
This holster will never be used by me for IWB CCW again. While I truly loved the design and feel of this holster, I understand why it was priced so cheaply.
This is the cheapest holster on this list, with 4 star average review and over 900 reviews on Amazon, so some people are definitely liking this holster! In my opinion though, it’s a bad holster, even for non-1911 carry I wouldn’t use it. Sorry Uncle Mike!
2. Barsony Nylon IWB Holster – $18
I don’t hate this holster at all! It’s actually a pretty good holster for carrying anything BUT my 1911. Of course, the main reason I purchased this holster was because it features a sturdy metal clip with a leather backing to support it.
The material that the rest of this holster is made out of wasn’t necessarily relevant to me, as long as it stayed strongly on my belt!
Of course, the one big disadvantage of this holster is that it does not have an extended flap to protect against large metal beaver tails. The reason I don’t hate this holster is because it works perfectly for my other non–1911 guns!
On my quest to find the perfect IWB Holster for 1911s, this holster did not satisfy me after only a few days of use! The material itself is also not the most comfortable, it’s hard and grainy and rubbed against my skin the entire time.
1. Azula Ultra IWB 1911 Holster – $35
This was the holster that most changed my perception on CCW holsters. I was hesitant for making this purchase since it was more expensive than any holster that I have bought before. I admit it, I’m cheap! I was reluctant to buy a $35 holster to carry my $900 1911.
I absolutely LOVE this holster. It exceeded my expectations and I’m surprised it wasn’t priced higher. The quality of this holster, the ruggedness of the belt clip, and the fact that it has the extended flap to cover the metal 1911 makes this the best holster I’ve bought so far!
The belt line is something I didn’t go over previously, but after using these four holsters, it has become another factor I look for when buying holsters. In my opinion, the lower the gun sits within the belt line, the more comfortable and concealed it is. (Of course, without the handle getting too deep and sticking into your side….)
It is actually the Barsony holster that sits the lowest. The Azula sits a little higher but due to the extended flap, it’s 10X more comfortable than the other holsters for 1911 carry.
The money I wasted on the other cheaper holsters is something I do regret. I should have bought this one to begin with. I know there are more expensive holsters on the market as well, so this is no where near the most expensive holster in the world, but it definitely does show that expensive can mean better!
One of my biggest concerns with using a leather holster was comfort. Does it breathe well and won’t it stick to my skin?
No, it definitely doesn’t “breathe.” So on a hot day, sweat can get down there. Of course, the flap protects my 1911 from getting wet. Another thing to consider is that the leather won’t really absorb the sweat, so if it cools down, unlike nylon materials, the leather will dry up quicker. *(Just a realization I had, not trying to sell you this holster!)
Yes it does stick to my skin, however, while at first I believe this was going to be an issue, actually it makes the holster even more comfortable to wear! The gun sticks to my side so it doesn’t rub against me as I walk or drive. I can also rely on the gun being in the same orientation and position as I walk, so in my opinion, it’s actually a good idea. No wonder there’s so many expensive holsters out there that are leather!
The clip is sturdy and so far, after using this as my daily not only for my 1911 but my other guns as well, I don’t expect the holster or my guns to come falling out of my pants anytime soon.
One thing you might notice about this holster is the additional “flap” near the bottom of the muzzle. It sticks out and makes this holster a little wider than the other holsters. What exactly is it for?
To be honest, I don’t know what it exists for, but I have an idea that it might be there for balance or to keep the gun from twisting? I do notice that this holster, while it does stick to the skin, just remains a lot more steady and in place. So I believe that this flap has something to do with helping to keep the holster in place on my side.
You get what you pay for! Obviously, on Amazon, the best selling products are usually the cheapest and crappiest products. When it comes to IWB holsters, I have found this to be no exception. The people who leave 5 star reviews on their $12 holster might genuinely like them at first and be compelled to leave a great review for such a good return on their money…
If I could re-do my purchases over again, I would have bought TWO of the Azula holsters!
One thing is for sure, as a consumer I did learn my lesson about cheap crap on Amazon. I’m never buying a holster that costs less than $35 and I’m probably going to stay away from Nylon from now on as well.