Most people think of holsters as something that is either worn inside or outside the waistband, usually depending upon and from a belt. But what if I told you there are some holsters out there that not only require no belt, but in some ways make more sense in terms of location? We’re going to look at four unorthodox holsters, and the logic behind each of them.
You’ve heard of a boot knife. Now you can have a boot gun! Roper makes several pairs of boots suitable for boot carry, even with a 2A design! Each boot has its own holster, so regardless of what hand you shoot with, you’ll be good to go. It even has an extra pocket in each boot shaft for either a spare mag or another valuable. The holster also has a snap strap to secure the gun (though it’s not necessary if you keep your feet on the ground).
Boots this sturdy take a tad longer to break in, but they need to be stiffer to support the weight of a firearm and extra items. In my personal experience the boots fit true to size, but depending on the style and how large of a firearm you intend to carry in the boot, the gun can rub against your leg as you walk—which can be uncomfortable. But a minimal amount of discomfort is worth the extra peace of mind I have knowing I’ve got a backup gun or spare mag if necessary. eroper.com; MSRP: Starting at $234.99
This one is probably the closest to a standard carry method, simply because it involves a pocket. While most people typically carry their firearm at their waistband, pocket carry is the next best thing. But that carry position is normally in a front pocket or a cargo pocket. So why carry in the back pocket? The thought process goes like this: What do most criminals want? Your wallet. What rests in your back pocket most of the time (at least for most guys)? Your wallet. What are they least expecting you to draw out of your back pocket? A gun!
This carry method allows you to maintain the element of surprise until after you present the firearm, rather than needing to draw, revealing you have a firearm before you can get it pointed at the criminal. The downside of this carry method is, of course, if you’re seated, you’ve got to make some awkward moves to draw the gun. This carry method is reserved for the kinds of micropistols you’ll find in the .380 ACP category. Talon Holsters offers several in different colors. talonholsters.com; MSRP: $54.99
I’m a big fan of magnetic holsters. Not only do they have built-in retention, but they can pull double duty when you’re not carrying on your body. Apply a piece of steel anywhere you want—your car, by your bed or on your favorite recliner, under a table—and voilà! You’ve just secured your gun via magnetic holster placement and therefore, gained easy gun access.
JM4 Tactical holsters makes one of the strongest magnetic holsters out there, and its design lends itself not only to a convenient placement of the holster, but also provides retention to the firearm that is so strong your gun likely won’t fall out even upside-down. That’s not to say the whole holster, gun in tow, won’t slide down a surface due to gravity, but given a proper point of adhesion, you shouldn’t have any issues. This concept makes a lot of sense for home defense if you want to keep your gun within arm’s reach but don’t want to actually carry the firearm around your house. jm4tactical.com; MSRP: Starting at $54.97
For those who travel a lot with items like laptops or books, a backpack is the way to go. It holds all the items that you normally need to take with you throughout your day while giving you an extra space to carry your defensive tool(s) of choice. 511 has just launched a new line of concealed carry packs, and two of the best are the LV18 and LV6 (purchased separately). The neat thing? The LV6 can be attached to the LV18 to provide additional carrying capacity, and detaches when a smaller, more discreet fanny-pack is more useful. Available in three colors, the bigger LV18 looks like a normal bookbag and has a space for your laptop, a plethora of smaller pockets, and special hidden side-zipper pocket (accessible on each side by a separate zipper) with an entire inside with hook-and-loop backing to attach your favorite holsters. It also has a strap to strap down a compact firearm like an SBR or AR pistol. The LV6 has a hidden hook-and-loop tab that pulls open for quick, easy access to a handgun, as well as a few other pockets to store things like a wallet and keys for simple, compact EDC. 511tactical.com; LV6 Waist Pack 2.0 MSRP: $42; LV 18 Backpack 2.0 30L MSRP: $145
Car Lock Box
This one isn’t so much a holster as it is a place to store a firearm while traveling, especially for those who prefer something larger than a handgun. Many small safes are designed with vehicles as an option, but most don’t make the vehicle the primary storage location. SecureIt Gun Storage’s Fast Box is not only the most secure option on the list, but it comes with pre-drilled holes to bolt it down into a vehicle. Accessed via a key or the keypad, the SecureIt Gun Storage Fast Box comes in two lengths—a 40- and 47-inch variant—and weighs just over 40 pounds.
It’s also capable riding both vertical and horizontal, so whether you mount it in your car, under a bed frame, in a closet … you can make it work for you. The box measures just under 7” wide (when placed vertically; 7” tall when placed horizontally), and is nearly a foot deep, meaning you can fit a carbine rifle inside the Fast Box. It even comes with two straps and internal padding so your firearm won’t slide around, and if it does, it’s cushioned to prevent scratches. To quote a dad anytime he’s using a ratchet strap, “That’s not going anywhere.”
The ideal situation for a “holster” like this would be in cases like camping or overlanding, where your vehicle is your best friend, and you may run into something that needs to be hit with more than a 9mm. For a truck (or Jeep gun, as tested here) storage location, it doesn’t get any more secure than the Fast Box. secureitgunstorage.com; MSRP: Model 40 $299.00; Model 47 $349.00