Nowadays, holsters can be found in a very wide range of materials. Nylon and plastic models are amongst some of the most common, and the cheapest. However, choosing the right material for you is almost as important as picking the right holster to begin with. There are drawbacks and benefits to each type of material in terms of durability and wear, cost and comfort. Examining holster reviews can help to choose a specific product, but selecting the right material is often the first matter of business.
Leather holsters are considered premium options, and this is furthered by those that are made with top grain leather, which comes from a specific part of the animal hide. These types of holsters are almost always at the top end of the cost spectrum, but do have some benefits. Holsters made from top grain leather can and often do last an entire lifetime and they’re incredibly durable. They also can be repaired in the unlikely event that they do need some attention. In terms of flexibility and comfort, many users find them to be the absolute best because they mold nicely and shape to the body well. Be warned, however, some holsters are advertised as leather but are not top grain, they are actually split grain. This is a much poorer quality leather that will often lead to durability issues quickly.
Kudos to Kydex
Kydex holsters are those that are made from a tough plastic material. Holsters made from Kydex are quite durable and reasonably priced because the cost of their manufacture is so low. These key elements make them a popular choice because they can last a long time and are very tough. However unlike top grain leather, they offer nothing in terms of flexibility and don’t mold to the body. Hence, some users find them impractical for all day wear especially if a lot of movement is expected. They’re known for a secure hold and solid retention but definitely not comfortable and long term wear. But, given their often substantially lower price point, they remain a very popular choice.
Pick your Battles
It’s important before choosing a holster material to decide what is most important to you. If comfortable and long term wear is valuable, then top grain leather might be the way to go. If value and security are your top priorities, the space age plastic known as Kydex might fit the bill. Regardless, a holster should considered as important of a purchase as the firearm inside to ensure safe and reliable usage everyday if needed.