Concealed Carry Corner: Hybrid vs Kydex Holsters

    When looking at switching styles of holsters, there are countless options on the market today. Now I know there will be some people who are screaming what about leather holsters. They are a great option for some circumstances but I get a ton of questions about hybrid and Kydex holsters so we are focusing on that today. It can be tricky figuring out what benefits each holster system offers if you haven’t used them before so let’s take a look at the hybrid vs Kydex holsters debate.

    Benefits of Hybrid Holsters

    Hybrid holsters offer the comfort of a leather holster with the retention of a Kydex holster. For some shooters, having a regular index holster can irritate the skin but with a leather backing, the hybrid cuts down on irritation. Typically hybrid holsters have a two-clip system which will help distribute the weight of your firearm. This makes carry for long periods of time extremely comfortable without certain parts of the gun or holster digging into your side after a long day. Hybrid holsters do take slightly more maintenance than the traditional Kydex holsters as well as a break-in period to get the leather more flexible. Most hybrid holsters will have a stiff piece of leather backing to help aid in comfort.

    Photo Courtesy of Crossbreed Holsters

    I remember talking to a rep from Crossbreed Holsters, and his advice to quickly break in a hybrid holster was to throw it on when you have a lot of manual labor and your body sweat and movements will help expedite the break-in period. It’s never a bad idea to occasionally condition your leather to keep it in good condition and your hybrid holster will last you a lifetime. One of my favorite times to wear a hybrid holster is for long road trips or when I’m going to be sitting for a long period of time. The leather backing helps protect your body from rubbing or having the firearm dig into your side if you carry strong side like I do most days.

    Photo Courtesy of Crossbreed Holsters

    Benefits of Kydex Holsters

    Kydex holsters have become somewhat of a standard in the market today. They are fairly inexpensive and if treated properly they will last the user a very long time. There are a number of variants when it comes to picking out a new Kydex holster. Most fall into the trap of high sweat guards which typically don’t offer a ton of protection and just make the holster uncomfortable. I always recommend going with a low sweat guard with a large singular clip along with some sort of claw device. Typically, this will give the two points of contact on the waistband just like the hybrid holster and will take up less real estate than other options as well.

    The biggest benefit to Kydex holsters is the ease of use. They are incredibly easy to throw on and off if you’re in a hurry and stay in the same spot when used in conjunction with a claw. Now I know some guys buy the cheaper versions without the claw arm and trust me, it’s well worth spending the few extra dollars to upgrade. Really the only maintenance you need to do with kids is a semi-regular cleaning and checking your mounting screws to make sure they are tight. Other than that, Kydex holsters are pretty simple to take care of and will last years if treated correctly.

    Picking What’s Best For You

    So now it’s down to the big question of which one is best for you. The biggest thing that dictates your holster choice is the amount of accessories you have on your carry gun. If you’re the type of person who carries a weapon-mounted flashlight or some sort of optic, it will be easier to find a Kydex holster for your carry gun than a hybrid holster. Crossbreed Holsters offer a light bearing model but it has a limited weapon and flashlight models so it’s important to consider that when choosing between the two.

    If you’re more active, a Kydex holster may be a better fit as well since it’s a smaller minimalist style holster. Typically I always ask people if they have a job where they can’t stand up often like driving a semi or working on a computer all day, it may not be a bad idea to take a look at a hybrid holster for overall quality of life and comfort.

    Overall Thoughts

    After all this discussion between hybrid and Kydex holsters, at the end of the day which one would I choose? Well, it has to be Kydex holsters for me honestly. They are so much easier to take on and off in a hurry, combine that with their lower profile and it’s just what works best for my lifestyle. Add in the fact Kydex is extremely easy to maintain and you really have something that can be used day in and day out without worry.

    Let me know what you guys carry on a daily basis. Do you prefer having that leather backing on a hybrid holster or do you prefer the minimalist approach of having Kydex? I’d love to hear what you guys think in the comments below. If you have questions about holsters or a general firearms question, don’t hesitate to shoot me a message on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there.

    TFB’s Concealed Carry Corner is brought to you by GLOCK


    I’m an avid shooter and love educating whether it’s at my job or in the shooting community. I’m an average joe that really loves talking with other people about firearms and other passions.
    I’m active on Instagram on @fridgeoperator.