This article is about the Ulti-clip, which TFB’s own Ray covered at SHOT 2017.
No Social Media, No Marketing Budget, No Problem:
Every town has a place that doesn’t look like much from the curb, but locals will tell you that it’s worth checking out. It’s usually cash-only, probably uses a chalkboard menu or one of those white signs that you press the little red and black plastic numbers and letters into. It might smell like cigarette ashes and flat beer between the cracked linoleum floor and the sagging ceiling tiles. But damn if it isn’t pretty good, and inexpensive. In a world that’s awash with Starbuckses and Chipotles, places like this are few and far between anymore. (For the record, the Half Moon in Uptown New Orleans and Pegleg Pete’s on Pensacola Beach, Florida are my picks).
Similarly, the holster market has gotten pretty crowded. Kydex holsters are great for CCW and fairly easy to make, so you have a lot of shops pushing out the same product. With the lack of innovation, the smaller brands that tend to succeed usually set themselves apart with slick marketing, Instagram followers, and social media “ambassadors.” But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t lesser known companies pushing out a great product, and usually for less money than their high-speed, low-drag brah-thren.
Some of you have good sense and morals, while others of you watch TFBTV Mailroom. If you fall into the latter category, you may know that part of what I do on Mailroom is offer smaller companies a place to showcase their product. If you’re an up-and-coming manufacturer and you want me to open something from you on air, read a short letter about it, and post a link in the video description, send it in (address below). I’ll then usually take the item and give it to our Patreon supporters (patreon.com/tfbtv).
That’s what Darrell from Justified Warfare Solutions (“JWS”) did. He emailed me after watching my “Top 5 Summer Carry Methods” video to say that he had a solution for guys (or ladies) who don’t wear belts but still want to have a good Kydex rig. He was referring to his holsters with an Ulti-clip. In that video, I mention that if I am not in the office, I am wearing shorts and a t-shirt 75% of the year, so I have to resort to methods other than a traditional, belt-dependent holster. The video discusses these alternatives in detail, and Darrell thought he had a better option for me.
I was skeptical of Darrell’s pitch, and the skepticism didn’t subside when I checked out JWS’s website. While it’s probably better than something I would make, the JWS site wasn’t plastered with the flashy marketing and Instagram models that I need to convince me that I’m about to get a worthwhile product. If there isn’t a juiced up ex-cop with a full operator beard and a pair of M-frames and/or a former arena league football cheerleader wearing an American flag snuggie telling me to buy your holster, you better get your bullshit Kydex gunwrapper out of my face.
So I set up for Mailroom last week. I pulled all my camera gear outside, I asked my wife Lindsay to check the framing on my shot, and carefully removed this week’s Mailroom beer of choice from the fridge – a Strawberry Canebrake (laugh all you want, Canebrake is the jam). That’s when I opened the holster from Darrell. Lo and behold, just another Kydex holster. But it was kind of him to send it in and I was going to give him his free exposure for a minute, and probably give the holsters away on Patreon.
It wasn’t until I shut the camera off that I realized that Darrell was right, and this was indeed the holster I was looking for. And it won’t be given away.
The Ulti-Clip and the JWS “Cloak”:
Darrell sent me two of “The Cloak” – one for a SIG P365 and one for a Glock 43. Both in my favorite color, OD green. Yes, it was a regular Kydex holster. Well…it’s tension adjustable and user configurable. And you can change your clip/mounting preference. Oh, and it was tuckable.
So maybe it was a little more than a regular Kydex holster, but nothing that was going to keep me from using my belly band. I figured I’d try it out on Monday anyways. And that’s when the Ulti-clip shook me up.
A few of the TFB SHOT Show gang were talking about checking out the Ulti-clip booth at the show in 2017. I have to confess, if it isn’t a gun, I almost never check it out at SHOT, if anything because of a lack of time, not a lack of interest. But I heard about the Ulti-clip and summarily forgot about it until Darrell’s Cloak brought it back into my attention. The Ulti has two metal tabs – one is a J-clip that is against the holster. The second tab is just a metal tensioner and, when you close it – which takes some exertion – it locks into place and puts pressure on the J-clip.
Step 1: put the holster inside your pants/shorts/trunks/Ranger Panties. (Yes, it even works with Silkies, I checked). Make sure both clips are on the outside of the waistband. Step 2: Shut the tensioner tab. Even without a belt, the holster is securely fastened to the waistband. When you draw, the holster stays put, but the gun glides out of concealment. Again, the tension tab squeezes the J-clip against the holster (and the material between the holster and the J-clip) so tightly that the holster is secure. This would work on any number of things, like inside pocket of a purse or a backpack interior pouch. Essentially, anywhere where you don’t have a means of fastening to a cord or belt but would like your holster to stay put. All you need is enough fabric for the Ulti-clip to grab onto.
Is it Worth a Try?
I have carried the JWS Cloak with Ulti-clip for a week at the time of writing, and I am officially impressed. Like my favorite dive bar of holsters, JWS doesn’t have a marketing budget and runs a barebones site. But Darrell makes ‘em good – and cheap. His holsters run between $37 and $55, and The Cloak splits the range at $45. Darrell surprised me with a coupon code for TFB readers and viewers: Code “TFBTV” will get you 10% off at checkout. And if JWS sold $3 Miller Lites and had free hot dogs like any good under-the-radar establishment should, I’d probably visit, spend a few hours there, be woken up and politely asked to leave and never come back. But until Darrell gets that going, I’ll just take my holster. (Sorry – I’m not giving these away, but you guys do have a coupon code now.)
I noticed in Ray’s 2017 article, my buddy Harry @ Harry’s Holsters left the following comment about the Ulti:
I sell a lot of ulticlips. They are a good product but you have to understand the limitations. They did a great job with their mounting pattern.
Your waistband must be tight enough to to support the weight of the gun. If you normally wear a 35 waist and it fits perfectly then you should wear a 34 when carrying with the ulticlip. If you don’t your gun and holster will move around side to side creating potential printing and an inconsistent/slower draw. You could run two ulticlips but that will hinder ease of use.
If your gun wouldn’t stay in place using Mexican carry then the pants are probably to loose to carry using the ultliclip. I read a study that said most american men wear their pants to tight so this won’t be an issue for a large percentage of the male population.
If you are wearing it with a belt the belt won’t help support the gun like it would with a normal holster.
The UltiClip isn’t ideal as a daily carry for most people and the way they dress. If they are willing to buy their pants around the holster and don’t wear a belt then it works quite well. It also works great for dress clothing with the right holster and positioning.
(Thanks for weighing in, Harry.)
So if you buy pants that fit – like a grown adult – you’re good to go. Baggy pants might not work because, yes, you are relying upon only your waistband (i.e., not a belt) to support your rig. In my experience, The Cloak has worked with jeans and shorts that I have now. Shorts with an elastic waistband and/or drawstring help, too. I’m also carrying single-stack 9mms and .380s, which are lighter guns. If you need 40+ ounces of two-time-world-war-winning champ 1911, then you may want to continue wearing your usual holster that attaches to the belt that’s likely somewhere between your navel and your nipples.
Are you a small manufacturer or retailer who wants some free publicity? Send a product and a letter to TFBTV Mailroom at:
TFBTV Mail Room
PO BOX 52288
New Orleans, LA 70152
If you want your product back, please include a return shipping label.