The small of back holsters is one of the best options for concealed carry. Easily hidden by suit jackets, coats, loose shirts, winter gear, sweatshirts, and more, a small of back holster keeps your firearm hidden from sight.
This style of holster can be found in two different configurations. One that is similar to an inside the waistband (IWB) holster and one that is similar to an outside the waistband (OWB) holster. Check out the list below to learn more and find the best small of back holster for your needs!
If you do not have time for the details, here are our top picks for Small of Back Holsters:
- 1Concealment Express Tuckable IWB KYDEX Holster
- 2HOLSTERMART USA Right Hand Small of Back Holster
- 3ComfortTac Ultimate Belly Band Holster
- 4Desantis Small of Back Holster
- 5Gould & Goodrich 806-195 Gold Line Small Of Back Holster
- 6FreedomTactical Magnetic Retention Gun Holster
- 7Advanced Performance Shooting Holsters ASOB
- 8Houston Gun Holsters Tactical Pancake Gun Holster
- 9Charter ARMS Pathfinder
- 10Relentless Tactical The Defender Leather IWB Holster
Table of Contents
- Two Small of Back Holster Configurations
- Is One Better Than the Other?
- Why is This Worth Mentioning?
- Small of Back Holster Pros
- Small of Back Holster Cons
- Best Small of Back Holster on the Market Reviews
- 1 Concealment Express Tuckable IWB KYDEX Holster
- 2 HOLSTERMART USA Right Hand Small of Back Holster
- 3 ComfortTac Ultimate Belly Band Holster
- 4 Desantis Small of Back Holster
- 5 Gould & Goodrich 806-195 Gold Line Small Of Back Holster
- 6 FreedomTactical Magnetic Retention Gun Holster
- 7 Advanced Performance Shooting Holsters ASOB
- 8 Houston Gun Holsters Tactical Pancake Gun Holster
- 9 Charter ARMS Pathfinder
- 10 Relentless Tactical The Defender Leather IWB Holster
- Putting It All Together
Two Small of Back Holster Configurations
As mentioned above, there are two main styles of small of back holster. There is the normal configuration or “palm out” (most similar to IWB) and the reverse configuration or “palm in” (most similar to OWB). There is an easy way to figure out which one makes the most sense for you.
Imagine that you are wearing a small of back holster. Now reach back with your draw hand and pretend you are drawing your weapon. As you do this, pay attention to if you naturally do this action with your palm and fingers facing out or facing in. This will dictate which style of small of back holster you should look for.
Is One Better Than the Other?
Although most people agree that this comes down to a personal choice, there are some in the shooting industry who believe that the palm in, or thumb draw method, is the most secure and appropriate style.
One of the reasons that palm in is usually preferable is speed. The palm in carry method only requires the shooter to push their thumb between their body and the gun unlike the four fingers required in the palm out method. This increases speed by reducing friction and minimizing the chance of getting your fingers tangled up in clothing or otherwise impeded on their way to the gun.
When using the palm in method, there is also less total movement necessary to get the gun on target. You will also naturally go through a close quarter shooting position on your way to full extension. This can be the difference between life or death in certain situations.
Shooters who choose the palm in method will also have more versatility in their purchased small of back holster. The palm in method calls for right-handed shooters to buy a right-handed holster. On the other hand, the palm out method requires a left-handed holster for right-handed shooters.
Why is This Worth Mentioning?
Put simply, right-handed holsters offer more versatility for other mounting positions for right-handed shooters. If you went palm out and bought a left-handed holster that would pretty much be the only use for that holster. However, if you switch to palm in and purchase a right-handed holster you could also use it in the appendix position or the cross draw position if you wanted to. Right-handed holsters also have an ideal forward cant angle which makes a palm even easier.
One last benefit of using the palm in method on a small of back holster is that obtaining a secure and trigger-safe grip is much easier.
Small of Back Holster Pros
Let’s take a look at some of the pros of using a small of back holster.
Carrying your side arm in the hollow of your back is one of the best places for concealed carry. Most non-fitted shirts are their most loose in the back. When you combine that with the slim profile of many small of back holsters, you get a holster system that has minimal imprinting. If you prefer to carry discreetly, a small of back holster is a great choice. If you're looking for other concealed carry positions, read our post for the top 10 concealed carry holsters from Alice.
When we run, walk, or move around, our hips move a lot. This can cause hip holsters to jostle and shift. A holster that needs constant readjustment gets old really fast. If you are very active when carrying, a small of back holster might be the best option for you.
Keeps Pockets Available
Some holster styles can make it difficult to reach into a pants pocket for other gear. With as much stuff as some people have for their everyday carry (EDC), losing easy access to a pocket can be a big problem. If your EDC contains a lot of items, a small of back holster will help keep all your gear accessible.
Small of Back Holster Cons
There are also a couple of cons to be considered. Luckily, they aren’t deal breakers for small of back holsters.
Having a holstered gun in the small of your back all day can lead to some discomfort. However, the same can be said about most holsters. One misconception that needs to be cleared up is that a small of back holster should be worn directly in the middle of the back at the 6 o’clock position. However, not only can that be very uncomfortable, but it can also lead to injury.
If you wear your small of back holster directly against your spine, you could sustain an injury in a fall or impact. The proper place to wear a small of back holster is in the 5 o’clock position for right-handed shooters and the 7 o’clock position for left-handed shooters. Wearing your holster in the proper position will greatly minimize any injury risk.
Now that you have more knowledge on small of back holsters, let’s dig into the top ten list. Keep reading to find out the best small of back holster for your needs and preferences!
Best Small of Back Holster on the Market Reviews
1 Concealment Express Tuckable IWB KYDEX Holster
The Tuckable IWB Kydex Holster from Concealment Express is one of the best options among the small of back holsters on the market today. It is available for just about any pistol including the M&P Shield, Glock 19, Glock 23, Glock 26, Glock 27, Glock 43 ( read this post for the best Glock 43 holster), and the Ruger LCP. Constructed from Kydex poured into precision aluminum molds, this small of back holster is lightweight and durable.
The Tuckable IWB Kydex Holster is highly adjustable for a custom fit. Shooters can adjust the ride height, cant angle, and retention. The fiber reinforced belt clip features a stealth design for seamless concealed carry. With a sweat shield and undercut trigger guard, this holster is equipped with plenty of extra features.
2 HOLSTERMART USA Right Hand Small of Back Holster
The HolsterSmart USA Right Hand Small of Back Holster is a versatile option for a concealed carry holster. The trio of belt slots offer both a vertical and forward cant draw position and this holster can be utilized as either a small of back holster or right hip holster. If you prefer to change up your carry position, a holster that can serve two purposes is a great choice.
This holster’s semi-universal design allows it to accommodate most medium to large autos and the adjustable snapping strap keeps your sidearm firmly in its place until it is needed. Although it won’t hold a gun with a laser sight, this holster is both comfortable and easy to wear.
3 ComfortTac Ultimate Belly Band Holster
The Ultimate Belly Band Holster from ComfortTac is a great option for shooters who want a universal holster that can be worn in several different positions. This style of holster is also ideal for holding extra gear such as an extra magazine or a multi-tool. It is also an option for people who don’t wear a belt.
The neoprene and surgical grade elastic construction allows this holster to accommodate both a variety of body sizes and pistol models. In fact, the Ultimate Belly Band’s elastic design allows it to hold virtually any pistol securely.
Neoprene and Elastic
4 Desantis Small of Back Holster
If you carry a Glock 26, Glock 27, or Glock 33, the Desantis Small of Back Holster is an excellent option for you. This high-quality leather holster securely holds those Glock pistol models and holds them in a butt-up position for a swift draw.
This leather holster can accommodate belts up to 1.5 inches wide and features an adjustable tension device. This low profile small of back holster causes minimal imprinting and keeps your weapon in one of the most discreet concealed carry locations on the body. The Desantis SOB holster is also available for other pistol models including 1911 variants. For those who are looking for the best 1911 holster, read here.
5 Gould & Goodrich 806-195 Gold Line Small Of Back Holster
The Gold Line Small of Back Holster from Gould & Goodrich is a serious holster for serious shooters. Compatible with most 4 inch and 5 inch 1911 models including those from Browning, Colt, Springfield, Para, and Kimber. Gould & Goodrich’s Gold Line of holsters are made from top grain vegetable tanned genuine leather for a years and years of reliable use.
With an adjustable tension screw and a 1.5 inch belt loop, this small of back holster keeps your handgun safely and comfortably concealed until it is needed.
6 FreedomTactical Magnetic Retention Gun Holster
For a different take on the small of back holster design, look no further than the Magnetic Retention Gun Holster from FreedomTactical. It’s unique design utilizes a pair of adjustable straps to hold the nylon-plastic plate comfortably on the back without pinching or skin contact. The ample size of the holster allows it to easily hold pistols such as the Glock 19 ( For the best holster for Glock 19, check this post ), M&P Shield, and Springfield XD.
If you prefer to have attachments on your carry pistol, such as a laser or flashlight, this holster was designed to securely hold those as well. Powerful neodymium magnets grab onto the frame of your gun and hold it in place until it is drawn with a sustained horizontal pull.
Adjustable Body Straps
7 Advanced Performance Shooting Holsters ASOB
Available for a wide variety of pistol models, the ASOB holster from Advanced Performance Shooting is a very well-designed option for many shooters. The handcrafted Kydex construction is extremely tough and features long-lasting durability.
Considered an “almost” small of the back holster, this concealed carry option is designed to be worn in the ideal small of back position. It can be purchased for both left and right-handed shooters and is made in the USA.
8 Houston Gun Holsters Tactical Pancake Gun Holster
With a reinforced belt clip system and a soft fabric interior that won’t damage your gun, the Tactical Pancake Holster offers shooters both durability and reliability. With a sweatproof and waterproof design, this small of back holster is comfortable to wear all day.
This lightweight holster can fit belts up to 1.75 inches in width and can easily and securely accommodate a large variety of pistols including the M&P Shield, Taurus PT111, and Ruger SR9 plus many more.
ECO Leather & Suede
9 Charter ARMS Pathfinder
Designed from the ground up as a small of back holster, the Charter ARMS Pathfinder is ideal for smaller pistols and revolvers such as the S&W Bodyguard .38. With an ambidextrous design, this holster is designed with the proper cant for a smooth draw from any position.
This holster is constructed from top grain leather and can also be used as a front wear cross draw holster.
Top Grain Leather
10 Relentless Tactical The Defender Leather IWB Holster
Relentless Tactical is known for making high quality leather holsters and The Defender continues that reputation. This holster is designed for subcompact 9mm pistols such as the Sig Sauer P938 and large .380 handguns such as the S&W Bodyguard .380 with the Crimson Trace Laser.
Made in the USA from durable and handsome leather, The Defender is designed to be worn inside the waistband. The large metal belt clip securely holds the holster in place and the low profile minimizes imprinting. If you're looking for other IWB options, check here.
Midnight Black or Whiskey Barrel Brown
Putting It All Together
The small of the back is one of the most discreet locations to wear a concealed carry holster. With a little bit of practice, it is also an easy location to quickly draw your weapon from. Small of back holsters provide a high level of stability compared to hip mounted holsters. They also keep your front pockets easily accessible. The list above will help you to find the best small of back holster for your specific requirements.