What is The Best Paddle Holster?

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If you do not have time to review our guide then our research suggest that the BLACKHAWK’s Serpa Sportster Holster is the best paddle holster on the market still to this day in 2021.

You know you have chosen the best paddle holster for your concealed weapon when it fits snugly against your hip. The smooth surface rests comfortably against your body. Despite your movement, the holster keeps your firearm in place. Choosing a paddle holster, whether you are a civilian or a law enforcement agent, means researching the best materials and design. 

Luckily we have decided to go ahead and do the research for you. After all, we are still social distancing, so what else were we supposed to do? My grandmother would not test the holsters out, because she is practicing social distancing and threaten to taser me if I tried to come to her house. As a result, our examination comprised of our reliable analytical methods starting off with our literary search and speaking with experts in the field. Our results are documented below.

Best Paddle Holsters

What to Look for in Paddle Holsters

When looking for a holster that will be comfortable, sturdy, and provides discrete protection for your sidearm, certain qualities are essential. SOFREP Military Grade Company breaks down the vital features of a quality holster.

One of the best features is that the holster can be removed quickly and easily. Paddle holsters are a good choice because they can be concealed and carried under outerwear. In fact, paddle holsters that ride higher on the body that carry a smaller gun may even be concealed under a tee shirt.

The key to a good holster is the paddle. This is how the holster attaches to your waistband. This system will determine how securely your sidearm stays connected to your body. The paddle is critical in that it must be of sufficient durability and quality. This ensures your weapon will be locked in place and ready to be accessed quickly and easily. 

Fit and gun retention are other essential features. The holster should be rigid enough to keep a single pistol securely against your body as you go about your daily life. High-end holsters made of plastic have retention shells that have been made from a mold for your firearm. These are more expensive but provide an excellent fit. 

The material from which your holster is made will have its benefits and drawbacks. To determine which holster will be best for your needs, consider the advantages and disadvantages of the production materials. 

Holster Materials

Gunner’s Alley lists the most popular materials currently used to manufacture paddle holsters, which are leather, Kydex, nylon, and molded plastic. 

Based on our research, each of these materials has benefits and limitations. Below is what found as the features that make these materials a good choice and their pros and cons.


Muddy River Tactical explains that leather is one of the most popular choices and is a standard material for holsters. Leather has been a mainstay material for paddle holsters by police and military for many years.


  • Durability 
  • Reparability
  • Wears well 
  • Comfort 
  • Draws quietly 
  • Availability 


  • Can be expensive
  • Maybe harder on a gun’s finish
  • Holds moisture
  • May take 6 months to get a non-production holster



  • Thin 
  • Light
  • Switchable Attachments
  • Durable
  • Fast and consistent draw
  • Doesn’t collapse


  • Appearance
  • • Not particularly comfortable
  • Will bend in high heat



  • Durable
  • Layered
  • Adjustable
  • Quick-release
  • Inexpensive
  • Light-weight
  • Comfortable


  • Not fitted like hard plastic
  • Requires a retention strap

Molded Plastic


  • Excellent fit
  • Molded 
  • Waterproof
  • Comfortable


  • Expensive
  • Firearm specific
  • Trigger release on draw

Best Way to Wear Paddle Holsters

Here are our practical tips for wearing a paddle holster. 

  • For concealed weapons, select a subcompact handgun
  • Check to make sure the safety works on the gun you will use
  • Check your rigs set up to determine to ensure your holster is fully functioning; this includes if it has a modular design and will need switching done. 
  • When placing the gun in the holster ensure it is properly seated

Now consider when wearing paddle holsters the effect on comfort and performance.

  • Always wear a belt as it will prevent the holster from pulling out and provide a raised contour for better drawing action
  • Carry your weapon at a 15-degree forward cant which allows for a better grip when drawing
  • Know if you have a passive or active retention system or a combo and learn how to use that system
  • Watch this video for tips on making adjustments to paddle holsters

Paddle Holsters for Everyday Carry is an informational YouTube video on wearing paddle holsters. 

Precautions for Using Paddle Holsters

One of the sources of contention with paddle holsters is the retention system. Passive retention uses friction between the firearm and holster to hold it in place. Some passive systems use retention screws to secure the handgun.

Active retention systems use a mechanism to hold the firearms in place. These can include pushbuttons, thumb straps, twist locks, and Velcro holsters. Active retention systems hold handguns in place but require practice to use the release mechanism quickly and efficiently.

Some of the disadvantages of paddle holsters include the following:

Security – paddle holsters can be dislodged if not worn properly and are easier to remove when someone tries to steal your gun. A quick search on Youtube will show you videos of this happing.

Limits wardrobe – paddle holsters need to be worn under loose shirts or jackets to be concealed.

Large size – some people find the size of paddle holsters a disadvantage, especially for slender people.

Product Reviews

Here are our reviews on paddle holsters from each category of material. Each has its pros and cons based on experts’ and customers’ reviews. 

Safariland’s ALS Concealment Paddle

ALS features the simplicity and security of a top-opening design. Your weapon secures automatically as it holstered but can be drawn naturally and with ease with a swipe of the thumb release. Constructed from a nylon blend, the ALS will not scratch your firearm and is moisture resistant.

Safariland Concealment Paddle is reasonably priced and has received 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Over a thousand customers have rated this holster. 81% of the reviewers rated this product 5 stars.


  • Automatic locking system secures the weapon
  • Fast draw
  • Conceals easily with a close fit
  • Non-abrasive nylon blend protects firearm finish
  • Comes with concealment paddle belt loop
  • Fits Ruger American .45 and similarly sized firearms


  • Some reports that there was a tight fit for recommended firearms
  • Plastic is light and thin

**Check Amazon for Price**

BLACKHAWK’s Serpa Sportster Holster

The very affordable Blackhawk Serpa has over 3,500 reviews with an impressive 4.5 stars. The patented Serpa design was developed for range and civilian use. Its injection-molded holster is constructed with a traditional polymer. 

Weighing 8.8 ounces, Blackhawk Serpa is lightweight and versatile and comes with an interchangeable belt loop rig. The cant of the holster adjusts to suit your needs. The molded polymer makes this a hardy holster, gives a smooth draw, and keeps the weapon safe with an auto-lock system. 


  • Paddle platform makes for easy placement and removal
  • Multiple options for securing this holster
  • Affordable
  • The design makes it easy to conceal
  • Auto-lock 
  • Quick and straightforward retention button
  • Durable and lightweight


  • Reports that the grab hook on the paddle hinders its removal
  • Toggle switch to release pistol may take some work to use quickly
  • Not an excellent choice for hard use

**Check Amazon for Price** 

Galco’s Paddle Lite Holster

If you are searching for a proven belt-lock copolymer injected mold paddle design, the Galco is a comfortable and efficient product. The Galco is a comfortable holster and has a forward cant for an easy and fast draw. The retention strap keeps your weapon secure, and the thumb break feature allows a quick and easy release.

Affordable and lightweight, this holster is ideal for smaller guns. For those that love leather holsters, the robust design and quality leather will hold up for years. It comes with great reviews from Cabela’s.


  • Belt-lock injection-molded paddle
  • Secures with a thumb break retention strap
  • Made of quality materials
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Affordable
  • Good for open carry


  • Not suitable for concealed carry
  • Some reports of not fitting firearm well
  • Fit is tight at first, material needs use to stretch

**Check Cabela’s for Price**

Concealment Express’ OWB Paddle Holster

The Concealment Express OWB is a highly rated, affordable option for those looking for a holster with adjustable cant and posi-click retention. Made in the US, the Precision Aluminium Molds are made and designed in-house to ensure quality and a perfect fit for your weapon. 

OWB conceals easily and fits comfortably. It is designed for being carried high on the hip. The posi-click feature keeps the gun in place, and the click lets you know the weapon is secured. The OWB is higher priced than similar products but still very reasonably priced for the quality.


  • Worn comfortable on the waistband
  • Easily conceals weapons
  • Made from quality materials and very durable
  • Undercut Trigger Guard
  • Accommodates threaded barrels and clears sights
  • Posi-Click retention and cant
  • Guaranteed for life


  • Some users not happy with its concealment
  • Secures to the inside of the waistband
  • Doesn’t fit as tight to the body as reported

**Check Amazon for Price**

Masc Premium Leather OWB Paddle Holster Open Top

This elegantly designed Masc holster was handcrafted with the finest quality leather. More expensive than its counterparts, Masc has world-wide attention for its high quality and innovative design. Reviewers love the quality, comfort, and classic leather look.

Wall thickness of the holster retains its strength and durability for years. The leather is free from chemicals, and all the non-leather accessories are made with quality materials that are safe for the gun, clothing, and skin.   


  • Made from premium grade leather
  • Hand molded for the perfect fit
  • Adjustable tension screw for customized retention
  • Movable polymer paddle for adjustable carrying cant
  • Easy on and off design
  • Can be used with or without a belt
  • Quickly switches between the vertical and horizontal stance


**Check Amazon for Price **

The Best Paddle Holster

When it comes to the best paddle holster, the Blackhawk Serpa has the most positive reviews and the best performance. Lightweight and versatile, the adjustable cant of the holster allows for an easy and smooth draw. The weapon is secured safely with an auto-lock system. It is comfortable to wear, easy to get on and off, and conceals a gun well. 

With over 3,000 positive reviews, the Blackhawk Serpa meets the standards of a quality holster with easy-to conceal design and a quick retention button. The button is easy to use, doesn’t interfere with drawing. This holster offers soundless, fast, and smooth operation. The unit is easy to put on and take off. It provides multiple options for securing and will meet and exceed your expectations all at a reasonable price. 

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