Being a concealed firearm carrier comes with many decisions. What type of rounds to use, what to wear, what to carry, how to carry it and what to carry it in. Each decision should be researched well before you commit to carrying. But as research filled as the process is, consistently carrying concealed can come down to an emotional decision. And at the heart of the issue is one question: how does it make you feel? So, if you are carrying concealed everyday how does it feel? No, I don’t expect you to lay down on the couch and tell me how you cried at the end of ‘Old Yeller’. Instead, tell me if you cringe when you think about putting on your holster. Tell me if you are excited when you get home and can finally take it off again. Tell me if the discomfort of wearing your holster for more than a few hours makes you think twice about putting it on.
In my previous article I touched on how my full Kydex IWB holster was uncomfortable. I would put it on and go about my business. Sitting down in my vehicle was the first place that I noticed that it pinched. I would have to move around for it to feel comfortable as I drove. I was always aware of it. The material was always pressed firmly into my skin, uncomfortably so. I remember returning home on a few evenings and stripping it off as soon as the door was closed behind me. I was happy to get it off and my sore skin had the impression of the Kydex to remind me that I’d been carrying. It was that uncomfortable feeling, after hours of having the appliance pressed into my skin, that made me less likely to carry when I could. It wasn’t the weight of the full frame pistol, it was the unforgiving shape of the holster. After months of feeling miserable while carrying concealed I began to carry less. I wasn’t happy with the decision but carrying seemed to be an uncomfortable choice.
I’m sure I complained about it more than a few times to Sean, sorry Sean. Then, right before SHOT Show 2017, Sean mentioned that Crossfire Elite Shooting Gear wanted us to try out some of their products for review. I sent them an email explaining that I wasn’t happy with my current holster and was wondering if they had something that was more comfortable because I wanted to see if I could carry all day, every day. A few weeks later I received a package in the mail. I had received one of their Tempest holsters and another holster called The Alaskan. Unfortunately neither was sized to accommodate my Glock 22. It was a mix-up that I’d resolved to fix after SHOT. At SHOT, Sean mentioned my disappointment to our media consultant liaison, who in turn mentioned my dilemma to Terry Piper of Crossfire. Word made it back to me that I should stop by and introduce myself to Terry and tell him about the mix-up. I approached the booth, shook hands with Terry, and told him of my plight; two holsters that won’t fit. That’s when Terry asked for a moment to find something that I might be interested in. After he rummaged beneath the covered table for a moment he stood and presented me with a product that he said they had finished days before SHOT. It was their brand-spanking-new holster The EDC. Terry then proceeded to gush over this product as I turned it in my hands and admired it. It is a IWB holster that is half Kydex-half fabric. It’s designed to accommodate many popular handgun frames, from full size to compact. He then proceeded to show me how, while it didn’t have any straps for retention it still was able to hold on to a pistol. With a training mold of a pistol he demonstrated how the Kydex side of the holster was designed to allow the pistol to clip in as the fabric side of the holster and the pistol are pressed into the body. I was intrigued to see how well that feature worked in the real world. He then proceeded to demonstrate how the belt clip allowed for the holster to be canted to make it more comfortable. Sounded great, too bad I would have to wait until I got back home to try it out with my pistol. But that’s when it hit me, why did I have to wait until I got home? I could wear the holster inside my waistband as I walked around SHOT Show. And that’s what I did. The next day, I got dressed and fit the holster how I planned to carry. It felt fine but I could tell that I wasn’t experiencing the full effect since I didn’t have anything to carry inside. As it were, it didn’t bother me all day. In fact, I couldn’t tell that I was wearing it. I walked, stooped, sat and climbed stairs all day without it giving me a problem. This was promising.
When I returned home I was excited to try it out in a real life setting. My Glock fit well inside of it and didn’t seem to protrude any more than my previous holster. Putting it inside the waistband was pretty standard and clipping it to my belt did feel secure. It only slightly printed since the side of the holster that faces out is Kydex but nothing that concerned me. The portion that rides against the body is a soft, breathable material. Thick and padded, it feels as though it’s made of a nylon netting with a bit of foam backing. I donned the holster and went about my evening, grocery shopping and the like. Immediately when I sat down in my car I knew it was going to be a different experience. It didn’t pinch, instead it cushioned the pistol against my hip. As I moved, the fabric of the backside of the holster didn’t feel harsh or abrasive. The rivets that held the fabric to the Kydex didn’t dig into me nor were they even noticeable. A few times I found myself checking to make sure the holster and pistol were still there. I thought it was a fluke and decided to give it the full test and wear it all day. I got dressed for work and was able to wear a jacket to help keep everything concealed. In my line of work I find myself walking, stooping, and driving all day. The holster allowed for full range of movement without any discomfort. In fact, in the days that followed I wore it as much as I could to find a situation that felt uncomfortable. I wore it to work, to the movies, shopping, to dinner, while running errands, and sometimes just around the house.
It’s even allowed me to carry comfortably while doing light sanding and woodwork. I had more experiences where I felt as though I weren’t even wearing a holster. I would have to stealthily check to make sure it was still in place; it always was. Next, I wanted to check the retention of the holster. I took it to a range that permitted me to draw from a concealed configuration. I can now say without a doubt that the method of retention that this holster employs is adequate for what I feel I need. A few times the holster effectively hiked up my pants as it greedily clung to the pistol. I can also say that the belt clip is sturdy and will not be defeated by the retention of the holster. The belt clip kept The EDC in place and allowed the pistol to come free. This surprised me as the clip can be flexed to allow the holster to be put in place with a belt that’s already on. I had concerns that the clip would flex and the holster would come free with the pistol, but it doesn’t. I repeatedly holstered and drew to try and get the belt clip to turn loose, but my attempts were in vain.
It has now been more than two months since I began carrying with The EDC. I believe it lives up to its name. With this holster I can carry every day and it isn’t uncomfortable, it isn’t a chore, it isn’t noticeable. Instead, it’s so comfortable I actually forget that I’m carrying. Now I look forward to carrying and dislike the times that I can’t. Can you say that about your IWB holster? Now… tell me about how you cried at the end of ‘Old Yeller’.
(Editor’s note: The product in this article was provided at no financial cost, in exchange for an honest review. Crossfire Elite LLC is aware that we have no intention of gilding the lily, and if their product fails in any way, we are SOOOO telling on them. If you have any doubts regarding the ethics of any of the staff here at NBO, we will be more than happy to meet any challenge in a circle of equals. Bring your own sword.)