Alien Gear Holsters has an innovative design concept that sets them apart from almost every other holster maker. It begins with a genuine commitment to modularity that comes in at an almost unbelievable price point. This is possible thanks to an incredibly simple structure. And if the price doesn’t convince you try this–they will let you test drive a holster for 30 days. If that weren’t enough, they guarantee all parts. And, my favorite, if you ever decide to change the gun you’re carrying, Alien Gear will trade out the Kydex shell.
Alien Gear’s basic design is easy to understand. A lot of holster companies have been moving away from a Kydex clam shell in favor of a half-shell, half something else. Leather is a popular choice, and Alien Gear makes a leather backing, too. This one is a combination of polymer and neoprene. It molds to the gun, proving a lot of friction to hold the gun in place, yet feel better on the skin than plain Kydex, and is waterproof, so sweat won’t soak through.
The Kydex half-shells are bolted onto the neoprene backing with only four bolts. At first, I wasn’t a fan of this, as I thought that the bolts could easily pull through the backing. And I’m used to holsters that are built like tanks, so the four connection points (for a 1911, especially) seemed a bit skimpy. But the bolts have wings on their backs that grip a wide surface area.
It would take a tremendous amount of force to pull them through. They function like many drywall bolts, or picture hangers and spread the force out over neoprene.
The molds are easy shape and finish. This is one of the ways Alien Gear is keeping down costs. Yet the simplicity isn’t a weakness here, either. The single sided Kydex is enough to hold the gun tight against the mailable polymer and neoprene. As these are IWB holsters, the belt and friction from the body snug it all up. There’s no way that the gun will come loose from this holster unless the gun is purposefully drawn.
Alien Gear has added extra bolts on the back of the clip that will allow you to sink the holster deeper, or raise it up, depending on your preference or need for concealment. changing the carry position is easy enough to do with a simple allen wrench. If these polymer clips don’t float your boat, there are steel clips available.
There’s a tangible benefit to Alien Gear’s design. I believe in only carrying one gun (or one type of gun) and making your modes of carry consistent with one type of holster that is carried in the same place, every time you carry. You may see a theme there. It is consistency. I may carry a full sized gun in the winter, and a compact in the spring and fall. With this one holster, I can get an extra shell or two. I could carry a GLOCK 41, 19, and even a 42–all from the same holster, just by buying additional half-shells. All of the guns would function in exactly the same fashion, and the holster would stay consistent, and it wouldn’t break the bank.
Some will balk at the idea of concealing a full sized 1911 IWB. Nuts to that. I do it all the time. A holster like this will pull the gun in very close. The most prominent feature of the 1911, when concealed in this manner, is the sharp end of the grip. But it tucks up nicely, and doesn’t print much at all. If you wear dark shirts, or shirts with wild, varied patterns, the gun will be even harder to detect. Thin linens, and light colored cotton shirts may not be a fashion option, but a little trial and error will provide a workable solution.
The Alien Gear can be worn in a variety of positions. The two most effective are strong side and small of the back, though I’d carry a smaller gun appendix style. The cant on the holster is steep, which makes small of the back very effective. I prefer a slight cant on a strong side holster, but I can work with this without having to retrain my brain.
Drawing from concealment is slower than drawing from an open carry holster, and the closer to the body the holster rides, the more you’ll have to train. Getting your hand to the gun, and making sure that it is uncovered and capable of being drawn, requires daily practice. If you carry, you need to practice. My first 50 draws from the holster were peppered with false starts, as I kept catching my shirt tail in my grip.
Alien Gear has nailed it. The simple design means the cost comes in below most other holsters–$35.88. New pieces and parts are available as needed. New Kydex shells, too. If you aren’t someone who owns a lot of guns, there’s always the shell-swap option. All told, this holster is comfortable, dependable, easy to conceal, and modular. I’d pay a lot more than $36 for that.