Many Americans conceal their firearms in one of three traditional ways. These include wearing a shoulder holster, waistband holster, or ankle holster. 

While those who wear custom holsters may sometimes prefer an inside the waistband concealed carry holster, or IWB, there are times when an outside the waistband holster, or OWB, may be the better option. Consider the following circumstances when it may be a good idea to have an OWB holster in addition to your IWB holster:


  1. You don't have to worry about waistline size
    Carrying a custom inside the waistband holster is convenient for concealed carry gun owners, but it can be challenging to size your pants correctly. This is because an interior waistband holster will take up a decent amount of space in your waistline. As a result, you'll need to wear pants that are typically one size larger than normal. With gun holsters located outside the waistband, you don't have to worry about the size of your jeans.
  3. Not all courses and ranges allow IWB holsters
    To reduce the risk of liability, many gun ranges have a series of rules that may include the prohibited use of IWB holsters. Having an OWB holster makes it easy to follow the rules of any gun range you visit without being asked to leave. Additionally, an OWB holster may be a safer option than setting your firearm down on a table away from you.
  5. OWB holsters can be used for concealed carry
    Believe it or not, you can wear your holster outside the waistband while still managing to conceal your firearm. Wearing the right kind of jacket or shirt enables you to wear your holster comfortably on your waistband without openly carrying your firearm.
  7. OWB holsters work best for when you're at home
    Some Americans who carry firearms work from home, are retired, or work on farms, meaning they don't often have to conceal their firearm in an IWB holster. While an IWB holster is great to have for those times when you're out on the town, OWB holsters make more sense when you're on your own property and have no need to conceal your firearm.


Custom waistband holsters are great to have to show off your personal style, but you don't have to own only one type of holster. For optimal comfort and more style options, consider purchasing an OWB holster in addition to your IWB.