OWB holsters are generally a faster access method of carrying a pistol and concealment takes a back seat with a heavier focus on access, speed, retention and comfort. Well, once upon a time we said the guys at StealthGearUSA were trying new things with new materials and new processes. The FLEX is a fine example of trying new things.
The FLEX holster is one of, if not the ONLY OWB holsters we have seen that has gone a different direction with mounting. There have been many iterations of loops and hooks made of metal and plastic. We have seen kydex loops and molded/injected nylon, we have seen larger offset paddle styles and even larger and wider “wing” type belt mounting styles all in efforts to smooth out on the hip. Be more low profile and sit closer to the hip and waist. The main difference between the FLEX and all the other ways we have seen is, instead of mounting a different type of loop to the same location, StealthGearUSA has changed the location and method of attachment. Instead of being on the backside of the actual holster, the “wings” are actually mount in a lifted position on the front of the holster and spaced with some flexible spacers or elastomers which allow a deeper level of (wait for it) FLEX in the mounting to your belt.
With trapezoidal belt loops that can accommodate the more common 1.5” belts all the way up to 2” belts. This method of attaching actually brings the holster much closer to your torso than anything else due to the loops in conjunction with the elastomer spacers. Because science. In my opinion this is an OWB holster suited ideally for anyone needing fast access that an OWB holster provides but with very limited printing or exposure you commonly see from OWB holsters. I don’t know for fact but I would think a lot of professionals in the LEO and private security realm would really benefit from this holster. The amount of printing or the lack thereof I should say, for an OWB holster the FLEX provides is pretty epic. Good retention is also a nice by-product of the holster with this type of mounting system as it utilizes a lot of the same forgiving yet rigid materials the ONYX IWB uses.
The materials are similar to the Onyx IWB StealthGearUSA makes that we already reviewed but locations and amounts have changed due to the wear and rigidity locations necessary for the different carry method. High abrasion resistant as well as limited slip materials are in “high traffic” areas like where the holster rides on your belt while still including the vent and padding technology up in the sweat guard. Firm, breathable and built to last for a long time it is true utilization on modern materials and methods to provide a holster of great value to the end user.
The only negative we found was something similar to what we see in a lot of holsters and little can be done about. Screws loosen and especially in dealing with things like these rubber spacers it will create a squeaking sound. Regular inspection and maintenance of your carry gear is always recommended and perhaps the squeaking created by this can be viewed as a positive. A good reminder perhaps that you need to address wear and tear issues like walking screws from everyday use. Also, a dab of Blue Loc-Tite never hurts either.
All in all we highly recommend SGUSA holsters. Check them out at http://stealthgearusa.com