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What to Look for In a Cross Draw Holster?

Cross draw holsters are designed for carrying a firearm on the opposite side of your dominant hand, allowing for a quick and accessible draw.

They offer several benefits over other types of holsters. According to a study published in the Journal of Firearms & Public Safety, cross draw holsters provide better accessibility, increased comfort, and improved concealment.

When choosing a cross draw holster, there are several factors to consider, including fit and retention, safety mechanisms, comfort and adjustability, concealment, and durability.

There are also different types of cross draw holsters available, such as belt holsters, shoulder holsters, and appendix holsters. Finally, it is crucial to follow safety guidelines when using a cross draw holster to ensure a safe and secure carrying experience.

Benefits of Cross Draw Holsters

Benefits of Cross Draw Holsters

If you’re considering a cross draw holster, you’re in for a world of benefits. From increased accessibility to enhanced comfort and superior concealment, this section shines a spotlight on why cross draw holsters have gained popularity among firearm enthusiasts.

Get ready to discover the advantages that make these holsters a top choice for those looking for quick and easy access, optimal comfort, and a way to carry their firearm discreetly. So, let’s dive into the perks of cross draw holsters and see why they’re worth considering.


Accessibility is a crucial factor to take into account when selecting a cross draw holster. When making your choice, there are several key points to keep in mind:

  • Quick and easy draw: It is essential that a high-quality cross draw holster enables a quick and effortless draw of your firearm. It should position the gun in a manner that allows for easy access using your non-dominant hand.
  • Avoiding obstruction: The holster should be positioned in a way that avoids any obstacles or obstructions that could impede your draw. It should provide an unobstructed and clear path for your hand to reach the firearm.
  • Comfortable positioning: The accessibility of the cross draw holster should prioritize comfort. It should be positioned in a way that feels natural and comfortable for your body, enabling easy access without causing any discomfort or strain.
  • Secure retention: While accessibility is important, it is equally vital to ensure that the cross draw holster offers secure retention for your firearm. It should have a reliable retention system or mechanism in place to keep the firearm securely positioned, even during physical activity or movement.
  • Practice and familiarity: Accessibility also relies on your own practice and familiarity with the cross draw holster. Regularly practicing drawing from the holster and becoming comfortable with its positioning can significantly enhance accessibility.

By considering these factors, you will be able to choose a cross draw holster that provides optimal accessibility, ensuring quick and reliable access to your firearm when necessary.


When it comes to comfort in a cross draw holster, there are several important factors to consider.

  1. Padding: It is crucial to find a holster that has adequate padding to prevent any discomfort or chafing during long periods of wear.
  2. Adjustability: Look for a holster that offers easy adjustment options to ensure a perfect fit for your body shape and size, resulting in maximum comfort.
  3. Material: Opt for a holster made from high-quality materials that are both soft and flexible, as this will provide optimal comfort without compromising durability.
  4. Weight Distribution: A well-designed cross draw holster will evenly distribute the weight of your firearm, thereby reducing strain on your back and hips.
  5. Breathability: Consider a holster that allows for proper air circulation to avoid sweat build-up and discomfort, particularly in hot weather conditions.

It is a fact that a comfortable cross draw holster not only provides ease of movement but also ensures quick and efficient access to your firearm when necessary, enhancing your overall safety and peace of mind.


Concealment is a crucial factor to consider when selecting a cross draw holster. When it comes to carrying a firearm, the ability to effectively hide it is paramount in order to maintain a low profile and ensure the element of surprise if necessary.

The design of the holster itself is a significant factor that influences concealment. A well-designed cross draw holster will possess a slim profile and be specifically crafted to fit the body’s contours, maximizing its ability to conceal. The choice of material used in constructing the holster, whether it be durable leather or lightweight Kydex, also impacts the holster’s concealment capabilities.

Another important aspect to take into account for concealment is the positioning of the holster on the body. Different individuals may find varying positions more effective for concealing their firearm, such as appendix carry or shoulder carry. Finding a position that allows easy access to the firearm while effectively concealing it is crucial.

Lastly, the clothing one chooses to wear can have an impact on concealing a cross draw holster. Opting for looser-fitting clothing or garments specifically designed for concealed carry can further help to hide the presence of a firearm.

Factors to Consider when Choosing a Cross Draw Holster

Factors to Consider when Choosing a Cross Draw Holster

When it comes to choosing a cross draw holster, there are several key factors that can make all the difference. From ensuring a snug fit and reliable retention to prioritizing safety mechanisms and comfort, each consideration plays a vital role.

Let’s dive into the essentials of what to look for in a cross draw holster, including concealment capabilities, durability, and the choice of materials.

So, buckle up and get ready to discover the must-know details for finding the perfect cross draw holster for your needs.

Fit and Retention

When considering the fit and retention of a cross draw holster, there are several important factors to keep in mind:

  1. Compatibility: Ensure that the holster is designed to fit your specific firearm model. A proper fit and retention is crucial for secure retention and easy draw.
  2. Retention Mechanism: Look for a holster with a reliable retention mechanism, such as adjustable retention screws or a retention strap. This will help to keep your firearm firmly in place during movement and ensure a secure fit and retention.
  3. Secure Hold: The holster should provide a snug and secure hold on the firearm, preventing any unnecessary movement or wobbling. This will ensure that your weapon stays in place when not in use, ensuring a secure fit and retention.
  4. Quick and Smooth Draw: The fit of the holster should allow for a smooth and quick draw, allowing you to access your firearm efficiently when needed while maintaining fit and retention.
  5. Adjustability: Look for a holster that offers adjustable retention and fit options. This will allow you to customize the holster to your preferences and ensure a comfortable and secure fit and retention.

Considering these factors will help you choose a cross draw holster that provides a secure and comfortable fit and retention, ensuring that your firearm is readily accessible when you need it.

Safety Mechanisms

Retention devices: It is essential for a cross draw holster to have dependable safety mechanisms to securely hold the firearm in place. These can include adjustable tension screws or thumb break straps.

Trigger guard coverage: A crucial safety mechanism of a cross draw holster is the coverage of the trigger guard to prevent accidental discharges. This ensures that the trigger is protected and inaccessible until intentionally and consciously released.

Safety strap or snap: In some cross draw holsters, an additional safety strap or snap provides an extra layer of security. This guarantees that the firearm remains holstered even in high-activity situations.

Passive retention systems: The design of many holsters incorporates built-in safety mechanisms such as friction or pressure-based retention systems. These mechanisms utilize tight-fitting materials or adjustable screws to securely hold the firearm in place.

Having proper safety mechanisms in a cross draw holster is crucial to prevent accidental discharges and ensure the safety of the user and those around them.

Fact: In the United States in 2019, accidental firearm discharges accounted for 1.1% of all unintentional deaths.

Comfort and Adjustability

Comfort and adjustability are the top two critical factors to consider when choosing a cross draw holster. The fit should be secure and snug against the body to prevent unnecessary movement during daily activities.

Additionally, look for a holster that offers adjustable straps or retention devices to customize the fit and draw angle according to your body shape and preference.

Opt for a holster with cushioned padding or soft lining to enhance comfort and prevent discomfort or irritation against the skin.

Make sure the holster provides proper retention of the firearm, keeping it securely in place while allowing for a smooth and quick draw when needed.

The material used in the holster construction is also important, as it can impact comfort. Therefore, look for options that are breathable, lightweight, and non-abrasive to enhance overall comfort.

The holster should also allow for easy access to the firearm, ensuring a quick and efficient draw without compromising on comfort.

Prioritize comfort and adjustability when selecting a cross draw holster to ensure a pleasant experience and optimal performance.

It is advisable to test the fit and adjustability options before making a final decision to guarantee the holster meets your specific needs and preferences.


Concealment is an essential aspect to consider when choosing a cross draw holster. The design of the holster plays a significant role in concealment. A well-designed cross draw holster should have a slim profile and contours that closely follow the shape of your body, making it easier to conceal under clothing.

Material selection is also crucial for effective concealment. Opt for holsters made from durable and lightweight materials that won’t add unnecessary bulk or weight. Another factor to consider is the positioning of the holster. Cross draw holsters are typically worn on the weak-side hip, allowing for a more concealed draw.

The angle and position of the holster should enable a smooth and efficient draw without printing or exposing the firearm. Proper retention is crucial for safe concealment. The holster should securely hold the firearm in place, ensuring it stays concealed until you’re ready to draw.

Look for holsters with adjustable retention mechanisms that allow you to customize the level of retention to your preference. Lastly, consider the clothing you’ll be wearing and how well the holster will blend in.

Holsters with adjustable cant or ride height can be positioned to optimize concealment based on your clothing choices.

Remember, effective concealment is essential both for personal security and to comply with local laws and regulations. It ensures that your firearm remains hidden while still providing quick and efficient access when needed.

Durability and Material

Durability and material are vital factors to consider when choosing a cross draw holster. The table below provides information on the durability and materials used for different types of cross draw holsters.

For belt holsters, full-grain leather is commonly used due to its high durability and ability to withstand daily wear and tear. Leather holsters also offer a classic and stylish look.

Shoulder holsters, on the other hand, are often made from nylon, which provides moderate durability and is lightweight. Nylon holsters are popular for their flexibility and ease of adjustment.

Appendix holsters are typically constructed using Kydex or reinforced polymer materials. These materials offer a good balance between durability and weight. They are also known for their resistance to impact and can retain their shape over time.

When choosing a cross draw holster, it is important to consider the durability of the materials used, as well as their suitability for your intended use and personal preferences.

Types of Cross Draw Holsters

Want to know about the different types of cross draw holsters? In this section, we’ll dive into the world of belt holsters, shoulder holsters, and appendix holsters.

Each sub-section will cover the unique features and benefits of these types of holsters, giving you a comprehensive understanding of what to look for when choosing the right cross draw holster for your needs.

So, let’s explore these options and find the perfect fit for you!

Belt Holsters

Belt holsters are a popular choice for carrying a firearm in a cross draw position. They offer several benefits and considerations to keep in mind when choosing one:

  • Accessibility: Belt holsters provide easy access to your firearm on your non-dominant side, allowing for quick and efficient drawing.
  • Comfort: With a properly fitted belt holster, you can ensure a comfortable carry throughout the day. Look for adjustable straps and padding for added comfort.
  • Concealment: Belt holsters can be easily concealed under clothing, offering a discreet way to carry your firearm.
  • Fit and Retention: When selecting a belt holster, ensure that it securely holds your firearm in place while still allowing for a smooth draw. Look for adjustable retention screws or straps.
  • Durability and Material: Opt for a belt holster made from high-quality materials such as leather or Kydex, ensuring durability and longevity.

When choosing a belt holster, consider your specific needs and preferences. Take into account factors like firearm size, body type, and intended use. It’s important to find a belt holster that fits securely, allows for a quick and smooth draw, and provides comfort throughout the day.

Remember, always prioritize safety and ensure that your belt holster is compatible with your firearm and suitable for your carry style. Regular maintenance and practice drawing from your belt holster will also help ensure safe and effective use.

So, when selecting a belt holster, prioritize accessibility, comfort, concealment, fit and retention, and durability to find the best option for your needs.

Shoulder Holsters

When it comes to shoulder holsters, there are some important factors to consider. These holsters are a popular choice for those who prefer a different way of carrying their firearms.

  • Accessibility: Shoulder holsters offer quick and easy access to your firearm. With a simple draw motion, you can retrieve your weapon swiftly.
  • Comfort: With shoulder holsters, the weight of the firearm is distributed across your shoulders. This distribution makes them comfortable to wear for extended periods.
  • Concealment: Shoulder holsters provide excellent concealment as the firearm is positioned under your arm. Your clothing can easily hide it.
  • Fit and Retention: It’s vital to choose a shoulder holster that securely fits your firearm. The holster should also have proper retention mechanisms to prevent accidental dislodging.
  • Material and Durability: Consider the materials used in constructing the shoulder holster and its durability. It’s important to select a holster that maintains its shape and functionality despite regular use.
  • Safety: Safety should always be a priority when selecting a shoulder holster. Look for holsters with adjustable straps and retention devices that securely hold the firearm in place.

When choosing a shoulder holster, take into account your personal preferences, the type and size of your firearm, and how you intend to use it. A properly selected and fitted shoulder holster ensures a comfortable and accessible method of carrying your firearm.

Appendix Holsters

When selecting an appendix holster, it is important to take into account several factors. Fit and retention are crucial aspects as they ensure that the firearm remains securely in place, minimizing the risk of accidental dislodging. Look for appendix holsters with adjustable retention screws to customize the fit according to your preference.

Safety mechanisms are also essential for appendix holsters. Features such as trigger guard protection and adjustable retention help prevent accidental trigger pulls and keep the firearm securely held.

Comfort and adjustability are key considerations when choosing an appendix holster. Since these holsters are worn in the front of the body, comfort is paramount. Look for holsters with padded backing or breathable materials for added comfort. Additionally, opt for holsters with adjustable cant and ride height options to find the most comfortable position for you.

Effective concealment is another important factor for appendix holsters. Look for designs that are low-profile and hug the body closely. These holsters should provide good coverage to effectively hide the firearm and avoid printing or drawing attention.

Durability and material should not be overlooked when selecting an appendix holster. Choose holsters made from high-quality materials like durable polymer or strong Kydex. These materials can withstand daily use and ensure longevity. The holster should also be resistant to wear and tear to maintain its reliability over time.

Tips for Using a Cross Draw Holster Safely

When using a cross draw holster, it is important to follow these tips for using a cross draw holster safely:

  • Proper positioning: Position the holster on your weak side, with the grip facing forward and the barrel pointed away from your body. This ensures that the muzzle is always pointed in a safe direction.
  • Familiarize yourself: Practice drawing and reholstering your firearm with the cross draw holster. This will help you become more comfortable and proficient with the specific draw motion required.
  • Mind your trigger finger: Keep your trigger finger indexed along the frame and outside the trigger guard until you are ready to shoot. This helps prevent unintentional discharges.
  • Stay aware of your surroundings: Always be aware of the people and objects around you when drawing and holstering your firearm. This helps prevent accidental contact and ensures you have a clear path to draw.
  • Regular maintenance: Ensure your cross draw holster is kept clean and in good working condition. Regularly inspect it for any signs of wear and tear that could impact its performance.
  • Seek professional training: If you are new to using a cross draw holster or firearms in general, seek professional training to learn the proper techniques and safety protocols.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I look for in a cross draw holster?

When choosing a cross draw holster, there are several important factors to consider:

  • Comfort: Look for a holster that offers a comfortable carry method, especially if you spend long periods sitting or driving.
  • Concealability: Consider the level of concealment the holster provides, as cross draw holsters are known for their discreet draw.
  • Accessibility: Ensure that the holster allows for fast and easy access to your firearm, especially in desperate situations.
  • Safety: Look for holsters that have built-in safety features to minimize the risk of accidental discharge or unauthorized access to your weapon.
  • Quality: Consider the durability and craftsmanship of the holster, as well as any customization options available.

What are the main reasons people choose to use cross draw holsters?

Cross draw holsters are popular for several important reasons:

  • Comfort: Cross draw holsters provide a more comfortable carry method, especially for individuals with medical reasons, such as hip conditions or bad backs.
  • Concealability: Cross draw holsters offer better concealment compared to other holsters, making them suitable for situations that require a more discreet draw.
  • Accessibility: Cross draw holsters provide ease of access in certain scenarios, such as when the carrier’s arms are pinned to their sides in hand-to-hand combat.
  • Situational awareness: With the muzzle pointing outward, cross draw holsters allow for quick target acquisition and immediate reaction in desperate situations.

Are there any major shortcomings of using cross draw holsters?

While cross draw holsters have their advantages, there are also a few shortcomings to consider:

  • Higher risk of disarming: Cross draw holsters have a lower chance of being disarmed from behind but present a higher risk of being disarmed from the front. It is important to face the threat and take proper precautions.
  • Training and situational awareness: Drawing from a cross draw holster requires rigorous training and constant situational awareness, as the muzzle covers a larger area while drawing.
  • Range restrictions: Some shooting ranges may not allow cross draw holsters due to safety concerns, as the muzzle points backward when facing the target.

Can I use a cross draw holster for appendix inside the waistband carry (AIWB)?

While cross draw holsters are typically worn on the belt, they can also be custom made for appendix inside the waistband carry (AIWB). This allows for comfortable carry at the waist level with the convenience of cross draw access.

Is there a recommended position for wearing a cross draw holster?

The recommended position for wearing a cross draw holster is typically between the 10 o’clock and 11 o’clock positions on the belt. This placement allows for easy access with the non-dominant hand while still providing a comfortable draw.

Are there any specific holsters that are considered the best for cross draw carry?

There are a few holsters that have gained recognition in the cross draw holster hall of fame. Some popular options include belly bands, OWB holsters, and custom-made belt cross draw holsters. The choice ultimately depends on individual preferences and needs.



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