Kenai Chest Holster

chestholster

A good holster is an important piece of equipment and there’s a ton of different kinds on the market. From the odd rifle rail mounted GripShot holster to vehicle mounted holsters to budget priced Kydex holsters for competition use or concealed carry. The folks from Gunfighters Inc have a pretty interesting holster design called the Kenai Chest Holster. As the name implies it’s a holster on your chest held in place with a harness. It’s aimed at hikers, fishermen, hunters etc. Their holster harness system was designed to be comfortable for use all day no matter what you’re doing.

They placed their buckles to be out of the way of any backpack straps to minimize rub spots and they’ve designed it to have a generous amount of stretch webbing for comfort and increased mobility. It’s fully adjustable for most body types so you can wear it higher up or lower on your chest. Their harness is made out of US made nylon and is hand sewn here in the USA as well and is waterproof coated. The holster itself is made out of Kydex and is available for Glocks, Smith and Wesson revolvers, Ruger Revolvers, 1911s, Springfield handguns, Sig Sauers, Smith and Wesson semi-autos, Taurus, HK, FNH/Browning, Ruger semi-autos, Berettas, Walther, CZ, Colt revolvers, and Kahrs. They retail for $150 and are actually available on Amazon where they seem to be highly rated.

IMG_2479

front (3)

IMG_2619

IMG_2462



Ray I.

Long time gun enthusiast, archery noob, Mazda fan, Sci-Fi nerd, Whiskey drinker, online marketer and blogger. My daily firearms musings can be found over at my gun blog ArmoryBlog.com and Instagram.

Shoot me an email at ray.i@staff.thefirearmblog.com


Advertisement

  • A Fascist Corgi

    A hip holster is still the best way to carry a pistol. This would get in the way of my Ribz front pack.

    • Bear The Grizzly

      “Best” is relevant to the situation.

    • Shankbone

      I can adjust mine to ride above the Ribz, but at 6′ 2″, I have a little more torso than some.

    • AirborneSoldier

      Not in a turret. Hard to reach around crap and draw, imho.

  • gunsandrockets

    Very interesting.

  • Bill

    I really like the concept of the chest holster, but have a difficult time figuring out how to draw the handgun without muzzling up my reactionary hand.

    • kirk_freeman

      Bill, at #1 lan sao (forearm up, horizontal above the pistol) the reactionary hand. This allow one to draw without muzzling one’s hand. Hope this helps.

      • Bill

        Interesting idea, I’ll have to try it, unfortunately I have a zillion reps of bring my reactionary hand into my abdomen that I’d need to overcome.

        • kirk_freeman

          Not an idea. It is the technique used to draw from shoulder or chest rigs so you don’t shoot yourself in the hand/arm/elbow.

          Many guys will buy shoulder rigs without studying the proper techniques for using them. In their draws the “reactionary” hand is either dead or wrapped around the muzzle. Ouch!

          HTH.

    • iksnilol

      Use it one handed, it is a handgun after all.

      • Bill

        As Katie A pointed out, it looks like you have to use your reactionary paw to hold the rig in place to draw. If not, I’d still have to put my left arm above my head or behind my back or go through some other weirdish contortions to get the gun into action, which I probably wouldn’t do if I was about to get et by a bar, nor would I want to put a round into my left bicep or nipple, even if I don’t need it.

        Like I said, I really like the concept, seems way better than a shoulder rig for many uses, and just need to figure out if the advantages outweigh the safety issue.

        • iksnilol

          What if you grab the holster from beneath? And when drawing, draw the gun so that it points upwards.

          EDIT: my suggestion would require the gun to be held at a straighter angle in the holster. By the picture you could hold onto the holster from the top and point the gun downwards when drawing.

          • Bill

            That could work, though I’m not sure I’m willing to experiment at 150.00 beans. I haven’t had this issue with chest packs like the Hill People Gear style before, though now that I think about it, it’s really no different.

            For long road trips seated in a car I’d really like this to work, under a baggy shirt, but then i’d probably wind up muzzling up the Tiny and the Twins or my femoral artery.

    • Katie A

      I actually have one of these. You must use your off hand to hold the holster down as you draw. Your mentioning muzzling your hand is an issue, yes. The guys making these are extremely nice and incredibly helpful. However, the mechanics of using it are a serious problem.

  • Joseph Smith

    Add support for my left moob and I’m in!

  • Don Ward

    For all the tactitard grumbling, I think the key point that needs to be emphasized – again – is that this rig is generally for Alaska (or similar environments) given the name “Kenai” and seems particularly useful if one is wearing chestwaders or something similar.

    I work up in Alaska during the summertime in chest waders, in real Brown bear country around Brown bear “food”. This seems to me a useful idea.

    • politicsbyothermeans

      I carried on a chest rig as soon as I could and never had a problem with it. The ding dongs repeating all of the tired tropes, including going prone on a chest rigged pistol, are ignoring all of the other crap on the front of our plate carriers or IOTVs and, when pressed, often have to admit to never once carrying a pistol in combat.

      • Nicks87

        Chest always worked for me, I preferred it over drop holsters and hip holsters. I’m a big guy so it made it easier to get in and out of vehicles and I hate having to run with things hanging off my legs.

        • politicsbyothermeans

          Same here. I’m a big dude too and despised either getting thigh slapped by a pistol rig or having to tighten it down until I wouldn’t need a CAT on my right leg. I carried on a sub-load when I was dismounted but on my chest in vehicles.

      • Bill

        I despise thigh rigs and wear my slightly lower riding duty holster just fine with a chest rig or PC. Sometimes I’ll MOLLE a “normal” holster onto the far right side of the rig or use a mag pouch for a BUG or special circumstances as essentially a rib holster, just slightly up and forward of where it would normally be on a belt.

        • politicsbyothermeans

          The only way I carry a pistol when I am running plates is on a subload that approximates about what you’re talking about only it’s actually about my 4 o’clock. I had a radio and an IFAK at the 2 and 3 o’clock.

          • AirborneSoldier

            This man speaks from hard earned experience. The k8nd of posts that help.

          • Bill

            I never considered that, and will have to try it out forthwith. If I’m picturing it correctly, it would be located at roughly the same place I wear an off-duty holster, only somewhat higher. I have MOLLE on my cummerbund that’ll work perfectly. Thanks for the input.

      • AirborneSoldier

        If your in a turret, chest is the way to go imho. Dismo7nted, i still like a holster at the waist.

        • politicsbyothermeans

          As long as it’s not on a floppy drop leg that reminds me of canteen runs at Airborne school, I can live with it.

    • Nicks87

      It seems like a great option for the exact situation you described. My thinking was for carrying a big revolver and still being able to conceal it under a coat just like it shows in the pics. I think the price could be cheaper. You can buy a nice leather shoulder holster for about the same price but I think the chest rig would still be a better concealment option.

      • Don Ward

        Yeah, some of the other guys commenting here seem a bit annoyed about the price point. I’ve got no opinion. It SEEMS a bit high. But as another guy has mentioned, supply and demand.

  • Nashvone

    As a fly fisherman, I like the idea. How much am I going to hate it after a full day of casting though?

    • Shankbone

      You won’t. I don’t notice mine even fishing a switch rod.

  • Joey Jo-Jo Shabadoo

    Jesus-f*ck, how is that thing $150? $50 – *maybe*, but there’s no way there’s even $100’s worth of materials & craftsmanship in that.

    • gordon

      The cost of production does not determine price. Supply and demand do. I wouldn’t buy it either at that price though.

      • BattleshipGrey

        I’m guessing that there won’t be much demand. Depending on how thrifty they are with the production set up, selling just one of these holsters at $150 could practically pay for their entire equipment set up.

        • randomswede

          I wonder how many small businesses F themselves by either setting the per unit price too low and not being able to meet demand or setting the unit price to high and end up making less (units and money) than they could have.

        • Shankbone

          You know they’ve been selling these for a few years, right?

          • Joey Jo-Jo Shabadoo

            Not to me, they haven’t. I bought a beautiful, handmade, tooled, leather chest rig for my 686+ from El Paso Saddlery. $127 shipped.

          • AirborneSoldier

            Ill check that out too. Brown or black?

          • Joey Jo-Jo Shabadoo

            I bought brown, with a pig-skin lining. Obviously don’t want to use for extended periods if it’s wet, but it’s very comfortable.

          • greasyjohn

            This was the point I wanted to make. By and large, this is a non leather version of El Paso’s 1942 Tanker holster, which will be on sale in a month or so.

    • Bill

      I’ve said it before – the price of these “high-end” Kydex holster is madness. I can’t be convinced that material cost is near that of leather, nor the level of craftsmanship of a quality leather rig.

      • AirborneSoldier

        You a socialist now?

        • Mark

          Really? Recognizing price-gouging is “socialist”? As if capitalists and distributists have no understanding of value? Go figure.

          • iksnilol

            These “capitalists” always get on my nerves. We ex-communists will always be better at their own game than them.

            Like, they start whining about arms deals and whatnot. I mean, capitalism is buying and selling. Who buys what doesn’t matter as long as you can sell it to them. Of course, in the Western world that is seen as “problematic”. Hypocrites I say.

          • Mark

            Indeed. I am both sad and amused when I hear the amoral avowed enemies of religion cite chapter and verse of their “Austrian” prophets as they worship money and the “free” market, the latest weaponization of money.

          • iksnilol

            What has religion got to do with money?

            What has any of this got to do with a holster? Man, we derailed this big time 😛

          • Mark

            Complaining about the price gouging for this holster was called “socialist.” I pointed out that even distributists and capitalists can be concerned about value. You said, “Who buys what doesn’t matter…,” except that to people with morals it does matter what is being sold, at what price, and how it is used. I merely noted that there are some people who have no morals who claim to have no religion, but actually worship money and the “free” market. You ask, “What has religion got to do with money?” Answer: All the “Abrahamic” religions have much to say about the use of money. In this context, an over-priced product merits a return to the fundamentals, consideration of just prices. Fundamentals, not derailment 🙂

          • iksnilol

            Man, I like you.

          • Mark

            I have noticed on several other threads that we are often in agreement. 🙂

          • RocketScientist

            #Iamfourteenandthisisdeep

      • raz-0

        I dunno. I can get a good Kydex holster at ~$50 maybe $70 if it is made by hand for an odd pistol. I can get a sling more complex than their harness made of more material and hardware of similar properties for ~$50. Both US labor. The sling definitely US materials.

        Both of those are from companies maintaining fat margin rather than chasing maximum volume.

        $150 is way overpriced. By at least 20%.

        • Neil Fiedler

          These rigs are in no comparison to other kydex. I hunted all year with the Kenai, Archery and rifle. I have not seen such attention to detail in a holster rig.
          The company also focuses on using high grade USA materials and are built in Washington State by good hardworking locals.

          • raz-0

            Yes, and my comparison prices are us labor and materials and good quality manufacture.

            It’s about 20% overpriced even considering that.

            If the 20% surcharge on materials and labor is for a product they consider niche and nobody wants to serve, fine. But it’s enough margin that someone will likely come along and under cut them by 10% or more with us labor and materials. Unless the customer base is really that poor. With small but earnest demand you can usually charge a significant premium to supply that demand.

          • raz-0

            and to quote the company “Our typical customer owns multiple $2000 – $3000 rifles, has a $1000 pair binoculars and wears $1000 – $1500 worth of clothing when recreating outdoors, so for them, the $150 (or $120 at a dealer) isn’t that much for a high quality, US made holster”

            So yeah.. about 20% overpriced, so their retailers can discount them.

    • AirborneSoldier

      How much is your life worth.

    • Budogunner

      If they are a small shop they may not have machines to automate much. Your paying for time, materials, and profit. If they get big, mass production could drive costs down.

      I defend them this way while still making fun of Wilson Combat math because this isn’t nearly as extreme.

    • Mark

      Jesus is not a curse word. Sad that you realized the f-word was unacceptable so edited it, but you were oblivious to your intensely offensive use of the name of Jesus.

  • Porty1119

    I would absolutely love something like that for woods and mine work! Not $150 levels of love, though. Youch.

  • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

    I like something like this. Would I pay $150 for one, no. I might make one though. I just made a leather single shoulder cross draw holster for a friends Ruger Target .22 (for use as a snake gun) and this wouldnt be too much different.

    • Bill

      Sometimes you can find old-school military tanker holsters for a pittance that might work.

  • iksnilol

    Good rig for wilderness stuff.

    Personally I like under-shoulder holsters, easily covered with a jacket (even an unzipped one).

    • AirborneSoldier

      Except in combat.

      • iksnilol

        I am not in combat.

        So kinda irrelevant for me.

  • AirborneSoldier

    I live in mo now. Had a aggressive black bear on a hunt not long ago. I will try one of these. Just wish they had a holster for bear spray that held it as positively. Ill figure something out.

  • Nocternus

    I have been looking at a chest rig for carrying when backpacking. The belt on the backpack prohibits carrying on the waist line and I wan’t the firearm to stay on my person when I drop the pack. A chest rig or a drop leg seem like my only options. I am leaning more towards the chest rig Kit Bag from Hill People Gear though as it is a little more concealed for the Liberals I am likely to encounter on the trails.

  • Captain Obvious

    Good stuff is nice to have but chest rigs are not rocket science. Been fishing and backpacking in Alaska a couple of times. The last time for 4 weeks. Carried a 5.5″ bbl Redhawk in a cheap generic nylon “tanker” type holster both times. Carried it every day, all day. I also used it while hunting every fall for the last 10 years. It was considerable cheaper than $100 and has held up fine. I might also suggest that the common M9 Bianchi pistol holster has a shoulder rig available which can be used as a chest rig. It works with a number of pistols and revolvers.

  • Vizzini

    The one-rivet attachment on the two lower straps seem like weak points.

  • Vizzini

    I’ve got an El Paso Saddlery tanker holster I adore. Very durable and comfortable.

  • Ian

    Wow, I can’t believe how much whining I’m hearing!
    Gunfighters has been making great holsters for a long time, and this is just another example of their simple well thought out designs. If you are one who thinks that all kydex holsters are the same, It’s because you’re too cheap to buy a quality holster, and have never taken the time to appreciate the difference.

    • Woody Dixon

      Thanks Ian!

  • AK™

    Alaskan here on the Kenai Peninsula. I’ve heard of guides using this and the Diamond D leather holster. Very useful and not as cumbersome as a Remington 870 or Mossberg 500 series 12 gauge shotgun.
    No one freaks out over seeing a guide walk around with one of these one. It’s Alaska. You could run down by a moose in the Safeway parking lot..

    • A.WChuck

      Up vote for the mental picture of a moose running someone down in a parking lot.

      • CupAJoe

        When I lived in AK I got a front row seat to see a moose step on my best friend’s dog’s chain to hold it still as it was punted into the afterlife… Don’t mess around with the moose. 🙂

  • uisconfruzed

    I’ve been looking for a chest hunt rig to carry and protect my Anaconda.

    • CupAJoe

      Something like this?

  • Woody Dixon

    Hi. I’m the GM for GunfightersINC.

    This holster was designed for people fishing, hiking, backpacking, etc in wet environments. Leather is great but for our specific customers (most of whom have used a lot of Leather and Nylon chest/guide holsters) they prefer our rig. Kydex, Leather and Nylon all have their place and I’m not here to argue one way or another. That’s right up there with 9MM vs .40SW vs .45 ACP.

    Yes, I agree our prices aren’t for everyone. We prefer to sell less holsters but have the time to put 100% worth of effort into every piece of gear that goes out the door. There is definitely “good” kydex gear and “bad” kydex gear, just like anything else, and if you ask other established Kydex companies about our products, I am willing to bet most who know our product won’t have anything bad to say. And yes we have some margin built into the price, but it also allows us to pay our employees (60% of them are GWOT vets) who build the gear enough to support their families on a single income vs barely scraping by. It also allows us to periodically offer sales that have a significant discount. It allows us to offer a discount to Active and Retired LEO and Military. It allows our dealers to sell the product at a discount, and still be able to keep the lights on. We also have a no questions asked, lifetime replacement/repair policy. And everything is not only US made, but also US sourced.

    Our typical customer owns multiple $2000 – $3000 rifles, has a $1000 pair binoculars and wears $1000 – $1500 worth of clothing when recreating outdoors, so for them, the $150 (or $120 at a dealer) isn’t that much for a high quality, US made holster that is extremely comfortable and designed specifically with the niche of carrying while backpacking or fishing in wet coastal/nw environments.

  • Chaz Fournie

    I do not own the chest rig YET, but i plan to. I have another holster by these guys and love it. The quality is top notch and so is the companies dedication to making innovative, practical, concealable, and just really cool products with a great warranty and made in the good ol’ U.S.A.

  • John Swinkels

    I have wanted a L.H. chest holster for a S W 6” competitor with a aimpoint h1 on top for the last 2 years.No one in America could be bothered to make one apparently us left handers are evil bastards.they are probably right.

  • John Mood

    I don’t have a problem with the holster and it’s positioning (that’s good) per se, but having a holster without a retention strap/thumb break seems insane. I never carry without something to keep the weapon in the holster. With a little work, it might be a nice Huckleberry style, riding lower, nearer the hip.

    If friction and tightness of the molding is all that holds it in, IT WILL EVENTUALLY COME OUT, when you least expect it. (One of Murphy’s laws.)

    Can these be had with a retention strap?

  • Steve

    It is not a bad idea for field and backpacking use however $150 is outrageous for a rig like that.

  • OldGringo

    Interesting comments….after 40+ years of carry for 4 law enforcement agencies, and 23 years military, I have my own bias…..my last degree is an MBA and in advanced marketing we learned how to set a crazy high price and then convince people that a product is actually worth the extra price, even though the price was just set arbirarily high for no reason other than to psychologically convince people there must be extra value in the product …I once toured the Dole pinapple plant in Hawaii and watched them put thousands of pinapples in cans….some were labeled Dole and some were store house brands…but they were sold for twice as much just because of the Dole label, point being, Kydez is a really cheap product and easy to mold….I doubt there is more than $5 in the holster including rivets, not including the harness which is just a nylon belt……if you want to pay $150, have at it….and by the way, I have built several Ars and 1911s, that are totally reliable and accurate in every way and none were ever over $1k in cost, but if you want to bragg to your buddies about your $3K AR or $2K 1911, then have at it……and you can be the first on your block to bragg about paying $150 for one of these…..just my opinion…

  • Paul Prochko

    That’s a nice concept and it looks rugged, but I would not own such a rig without a thumb brake. Supposedly the gun won’t fall out when you bend over or work stooped over…but I wouldn’t want to risk it. Otherwise, looks rugged.

  • Not a good idea to point your gun at your off hand as you draw. Just sayin’…..

  • Lyle

    Too bad there are no photos showing the wearer from the back, and I still don’t see how the over-the-shoulder strap keeps from interfering with a backpack strap. I like the concept real well, I just don’t quite see it for what it is.

    Also some option for attaching it to a waist belt would be good for facilitating a one-handed draw. I have a leather rig similar and it has a small strap for that purpose. In observe that in the top two photos the wearer is supporting the draw using the weak hand.

  • Mark

    The only people I see complaining about this holster is people that haven’t spent time in the backcountry of Alaska carrying a large bore firearm. When you’re carrying a 50lb expedition pack, it has a hip belt. If you’re wearing a hip belt, it’s darn near impossible to strap on a .44 mag in a hip holster. Some people like me, don’t like thigh holsters and find them uncomfortable.
    This is a very specific, high quality piece of kit that fits a very specific niche. Doing it right costs money. I’m one of those customers Woody Dixon speaks of. If it works well and solves my problem of carrying a big bore pistol easily while wearing an expedition rated pack, I not going to have a problem dropping $150.
    I agree Don Ward, the name “Kenai” should have been a hint.

  • scaatylobo

    Dont know where y’all buy your leather holsters and from whom.
    I buy from custom holster maker and pay about 110 to 150+ for all my holsters.
    And a custom kydex holster maker does me a favor and keeps my bill at about 65 per holster.
    So I do not see these as pricey at all.
    ANY chest / shoulder holster will run at least 150 !!.