Low-profile IWB holsters that minimize printing

Man wearing an IWB holster—Low-profile IWB holsters that minimize printing.

Written by Mark Buff, GunZee founder and CEO.

If you carry your gun inside your waistband (IWB), you know that printing is the worst. You feel self-conscious, and it seems like everyone notices that you’re packing heat. Whether they actually do or not, you’re psychologically uncomfortable. 

Quick links:

Factors to minimize printing

Roundup of low-profile holsters

Best holsters for fat guys

The right IWB gun holster goes a long way to minimize printing. True, it can’t make a full-size pistol thinner than it is, but if you’re packing subcompact or compact pistols, your holster can make or break your concealment.

Holster factors that minimize printing

Your choice of inside the waistband holster affects printing (or the lack thereof). Here are seven ways the right holster setup can minimize printing:

  1. Holster material: most folks opt for a KYDEX holster because it’s rigid and holds the gun close to your body. The one downside to KYDEX: it’s not nearly as comfortable as a leather or hybrid holster—unless you deploy our holster padding. The GunZee memory foam pad will make any KYDEX gun holster wear like a dream, without adding bulk.
  2. Ride height: a lower ride height places more of the gun below your waistline. For many of us—depending on body type—a lower gun prints less. Downside: if you carry your gun too low, you may have trouble getting hold of the grip in a hurry. Get a concealment holster with adjustable ride height and experiment to find the right balance between concealment and accessibility. 
  3. Forward cant: a forward tilt tucks the gun’s grip closer to your body. The right amount of forward cant for one body type may not be the best for someone with a different-shaped body. Get a holster with adjustable cant and dial it in to the perfect angle for your body type.
  4. Holster profile: if concealment is your top priority, go with slim, minimalist gun holsters. Skip extra features such as magazine pouches because they add bulk. Brands such as Tenicor, Concealment Express, Vedder Holsters, and Tier1 make slim holsters; try different holsters and brands to see what works for you.
  5. Belt clip design: the belt clip's shape, size, and adjustability impact how close the holster sits to the body and how well it conceals. Some clips are designed to be more discreet or to provide greater stability.
  6. Concealment claw or wing: this accessory attaches near the trigger guard and presses against your belt or waistband, keeping the grip close to your body.
  7. Wedge: some shooters add a small wedge to the back of the holster near the bottom. The wedge pushes the gun’s grip toward your body.

There’s no universally perfect holster, but if you keep the above seven points in mind, you’ll be well on your way to finding the holster that’s perfect for YOU. 

Now, let’s look at some specific holster models that minimize printing.

Which concealed carry holsters print the least?

We’ve rounded up the IWB holsters that minimize printing. There’s a wide range of IWB holster types represented, and what works best for someone else may not be optimal for you. If you know of any others that should be on this list, shoot us a message and we’ll be happy to add them.

  1. Vedder Holsters LightTuck. This slim holster is made from Kydex and offers a close fit with adjustable cant and ride height. You can customize it to your body type for minimal printing. It includes a full sweat guard.
  2. Tulster Profile. This gun holster has a minimalist design with adjustable tension and a slim profile. Made from Kydex, it holds the gun close to your body for maximum concealment.
  3. Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.5. This hybrid holster has a neoprene back for comfort, adjustable cant, and adjustable ride height. 
  4. StealthGear USA Ventcore IWB Mini. The Mini has ventilated backing for comfort, and a slim design to reduce printing. Its hybrid materials provide both rigidity and comfort.
  5. Crossbreed MiniTuck. A hybrid gun holster with leather backing and Kydex shell, the MiniTuck combines comfort with minimal bulk. 
  6. JM Custom Kydex AIWB. Slim Kydex construction, designed for appendix carry with minimal printing. Adding a GunZee memory foam pad enhances comfort.
  7. Raven Concealment Eidolon. This holster has a modular design with claw and wedge attachments that press the grip toward your body. The Kydex material holds the gun close.
  8. Tier 1 Concealed Axis Slim: Slim profile with integrated magazine carrier, adjustable ride height and adjustable cant. Made from Kydex.
  9. Tenicor VELO4. Built for appendix carry with a wedge design to push the grip inward. This is one of the most comfortable holsters for sitting and offers fairly quick access. 
  10. Dark Star Gear Orion. A minimalist Kydex holster with a slim profile. Adjustable retention allows you to have a smooth draw while keeping your firearm secured. Designed to hold the gun close to your body.
  11. Henry Holsters Spark. This minimalist holster is made from Kydex with an adjustable cant and adequate retention.
  12. T.Rex Arms Sidecar. A popular choice for shooters who like to carry an extra mag. Its integrated magazine carrier, slim profile, and KYDEX construction make it a great choice for AIWB concealment. 
  13. Phlster Pro Series. With adjustable cant and ride height, plus a built-in wedge, this Kydex holster provides a rigid hold and customizable fit.
  14. Clinger Holsters No Print Wonder. This holster features adjustable cant and ride height, with a modular design. It’s made of a combination of Kydex, leather, and steel. Adjustable metal clips allow the holster to be worn in a wide range of configurations: inside the waistband, outside the waistband, or as a right-handed or left-handed holster. 
  15. Hidden Hybrid Holsters Single Clip. A hybrid design with a single metal clip for minimal bulk and good concealment. Combines the comfort of a leather holster with the excellent retention of Kydex.
  16. Concealment Express IWB Kydex. This thin Kydex holster has adjustable retention and cant, holding the gun close to your body and reducing printing.
  17. CYA Supply Co. IWB. A minimalist holster with adjustable retention and Kydex construction.
  18. Black Arch Protos-M. This hybrid holster combines comfort and rigidity with adjustable retention and modular attachments. It has a slim profile for deep concealment.
  19. Bravo Concealment DOS. With a minimalist design and thin Kydex construction, this holster offers adjustable retention to keep the gun close to your body.
  20. G-Code Incog Eclipse. This slim Kydex holster features a tactical fuzz coating for comfort. It has a close fit and minimal printing.
  21. Rounded by Concealment Express IWB Kydex. Slim Kydex design with adjustable retention and cant, providing a close and comfortable fit.
  22. Crucial Concealment Covert IWB: Thin Kydex material with adjustable cant and ride height, minimizing bulk and printing. Its minimalist design sits snugly in the waistband.
  23. Crucial Concealment Covert Appendix. Specifically designed for appendix carry, this slim Kydex holster includes an integrated claw to reduce printing, ensuring the gun stays close.
  24. Rounded by Concealment Express Tuckable IWB. Allows for shirt tucking, which obviously helps with concealment. This gun holster has a slim profile and excellent retention (adjustable).
  25. JX Tactical Wingman: A minimalist holster for appendix carry, with an integrated magazine carrier. Designed to reduce printing and provide a slim profile.
  26. DeSantis Slim-Tuk gun holster. Made from rigid Kydex for a slim profile and minimal bulk, this ambidextrous holster features adjustable cant, a tuckable belt clip for deep concealment, and a partial sweat guard to protect both firearm and skin.

With any of these holsters, you’ll want a good gun belt to support the firearm’s weight and a wardrobe that helps with concealment. Tight clothes are out, and looser clothes are in. 

IWB holster with a gun—Low-profile IWB holsters that minimize printing.

What’s the best IWB holster for fat guys?

Large-bodied fellows have different pressure points and issues than other concealed carry enthusiasts. Guns just fit differently, and they need a holster designed for those differences. Here are some holsters that fat guys tend to love:

  1. JX Tactical Fat Guy Holster. This holster features a deeper ride height to prevent the gun from digging into the abdomen, and a slim profile to minimize printing.
  2. Crossbreed SuperTuck. This hybrid holster combines a large leather backing with a Kydex shell, providing a comfortable and flexible fit against the body. The wide base distributes the weight evenly, reducing pressure points and improving comfort for larger body types.
  3. Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.5. With adjustable cant, ride height, and a neoprene backpad, this holster is designed for maximum comfort and customization. The hybrid design ensures the gun is held securely while the soft backing molds to the body for less chafing.
  4. StealthGear USA Ventcore IWB. This holster features a ventilated backing and a flexible design that conforms to the body for excellent comfort and breathability. The adjustable ride height and cant allow for a customized fit for larger individuals.

If you’re a big dude and you have a favorite holster, drop us a note and let us know!

Holster FAQ

Where is the best place to concealed carry?

The best concealed carry position depends on your body type and personal preferences. Many people find the appendix position (front of the waistband) or the strong-side hip (behind the hip on your dominant-hand side) to be the most comfortable and concealable.

Can you sit with a concealed carry holster?

You can sit with a concealed carry holster, especially if you choose a holster designed for comfortable sitting, such as the Tenicor VELO4. Look for holsters with a slim profile and adjustable ride height to minimize discomfort while sitting.

What is the best carry position for a fat guy?

For larger guys, the best IWB carry position is often the 3-5 o'clock position (behind the hip on the dominant-hand side). This position allows the holster to sit comfortably without digging into the stomach or love handles. Holsters with a deeper ride height, wide base, and flexible backing can further enhance comfort in this position.

What is the most concealable IWB position?

The most concealable IWB position is typically the appendix carry (AIWB), which places the gun at the front of the waistband. This position allows for better concealment, as the gun is tucked close to the body and the grip is less likely to print.

Is shoulder carry better than IWB?

Shoulder carry and IWB each have their advantages. Shoulder carry can be more comfortable for some people and allows for easy access while seated. IWB carry is generally more concealable and allows for a wider range of movement without the gun being exposed. But, the final choice is only up to you and your personal preferences.

About the Author

Mark Buff is the founder and CEO of GunZee. He is an ardent firearms enthusiast and has been carrying concealed for more than 15 years. He created GunZee to solve his own problem: that of uncomfortable KYDEX holsters. His patented GunZee memory foam holster pad makes inside-the-waistband carry super comfortable.

Further Reading

What are the most comfortable appendix carry holsters?

What is the most comfortable concealed carry position?

What are the best CCW guns for big hands?

The best concealed carry tips for skinny guys and gals

What are the best single-stack guns?

What are the best CCW holsters for micro-compact guns?

What is the best full-size gun for concealed carry?

What is the best concealed carry caliber?