Best Shoulder Holsters

Handgun and firearm holsters are used to either hold or restrict the undesired movement of a handgun or firearm.

They’re usually attached to a part of your body from which it’s very easy to withdraw the weapon for immediate use, making the waist and shoulders the two most popular locations. Belt holsters are, perhaps, the most common, maybe thanks to the old western image of a cowboy.

However, shoulder holsters are hugely convenient and comfortable and are becoming the first choice for more and more people.

They are designed as a harness that attaches to your shoulders, and they can carry a firearm under each arm. (Although you can also just carry one firearm under one arm, and extra ammo under the other, it’s up to personal preference).

What’s great about shoulder holsters, is that they’re generally ambidextrous, so you can use them with whichever handedness works best for you. 

There are many different options of shoulder holsters available in the market, with different features and designs to suit any needs or preferences.

It’s very important that you buy a shoulder holster that is comfortable and fits well so that it’s well attached to you and there is no risk of anything falling out.

It’s also important that it’s designed with practicality in mind so that it is convenient, and above all, safe to use. If this is your first time purchasing a shoulder holster, you might have a tough time choosing the best possible one, as they all look very very similar.

To help make things a little easier, we’ve compiled a list with our top five picks for the overall best shoulder holsters.

In a hurry?

Buying a shoulder holster might seem like an easy thing to do, but it’s important that you choose carefully so that you’re getting the best possible product in regards to quality and fit to your needs and preferences.

It’s especially important to make sure it’s safe as well as convenient, to avoid any risk of accidents happening, as you’re handling firearms.

If you’re in a hurry to get it over with, we recommend you go straight for our number one top pick for the best overall shoulder holster: the UTG Deluxe Universal Horizontal Shoulder Holster. 

This shoulder holster is by a reliable and popular brand that proudly manufactures its products within the USA. The universal fit makes it compatible with most compact to full size pistols, as well as having a fully adjustable design that allows it to fit most body types.

This shoulder holster works around you, and not the other way around. The pistol slide lengths are also adjustable through the Hook-and-Loop straps. The Deluxe Universal Horizontal shoulder holster has an inverted dual magazine pouch with Hook-and-Loop closures that allow for quick speed reloads, which is highly convenient.

This product also has padded shoulders, for maximized comfort, and has reinforced stitching and seams to make it much more durable and resistant to wear and tear. 

Here are the main features:

  • Universal fit - compatible with most compact to full size pistols
  • Fully adjustable design - fits most bodies
  • Adjustable Hook-and-Loop strap for pistol slide length 
  • Padded shoulders
  • Reinforced stitching and seams
  • Quick speed reloads

Top 5 Best Shoulder Holsters

OUR TOP PICK

The UTG is a highly reliable and respectable brand that switched to manufacturing all of their products in the USA.

They pay close attention to the standard and quality of the products, to ensure they are the very best for each customer.

The Deluxe Universal Horizontal shoulder holster is an excellent and high-quality option. It has a universal fit which makes it compatible with most compact to full size pistols.

It also fits most body types, as it has a fully adjustable design, making it an incredibly versatile shoulder holster. 

It features a Hook-and-Loop strap that is adjustable for different pistol slide lengths. UTG believes that the shoulder holster should work around you and your needs, and not the other way around.

It features padded shoulders for enhanced and maximum comfort, as well as having reinforced stitching and seams for higher durability against wear and tear.

This shoulder holster also features an inverted dual magazine pouch with hook-and-loop closures for quick speed reloads, which makes it extremely convenient. 

Pros

  • Universal fit - compatible with most compact to full size pistols
  • Fully adjustable design - fits most bodies
  • Adjustable Hook-and-Loop strap for pistol slide length 
  • Padded shoulders
  • Reinforced stitching and seams
  • Quick speed reloads

Cons

  • Retention may be slightly inconsistent

EDITORS CHOICE

The NcSTAR VISM Ambidextrous Horizontal Shoulder Holster is another excellent top choice for those looking for a versatile shoulder holster that will adapt to your needs and preferences.

As the name indicates, it is an ambidextrous shoulder holster, so that you can draw a pistol from either side with the same ease and convenience.

It’s completely adjustable for both a left and a right-hand draw. The double magazine holder attaches to the harness, and this holster also features an adjustable thumb break for different sizes of pistols.

This product also features tie-down straps that can secure your shoulder holster to your belt or belt-loop, so that it’s extra attached to you and it doesn’t move around at all.

For an added safety feature, which is always important in any equipment that handles firearms, this shoulder holster has double thumb breaks for optimum pistol security.

Made from tough PVC material, the NcSTAR VISM holster is highly durable and resistant to wear and tear, while remaining pretty lightweight and comfortable. An overall great choice of holster!

Pros

  • Ambidextrous - adjustable for left and right-hand draw
  • Double magazine holder
  • Adjustable thumb break for different sized pistols
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Double thumb breaks for optimum security

Cons

  • Not as adjustable for different body types and sizes

BEST VALUE

The Uncle Mike’s Black Kodra Vertical Shoulder Holster is another option available in today’s market that offers a great standard of quality, and it is one of the absolute best when it comes to weight distribution.

It’s available in different sizes for a comfortable and good fit and is lightweight enough to allow for easy movement while wearing it.

It’s highly adjustable and it features a self-centering backpiece so that it always sits comfortably. It features nylon web shoulder straps that have an adjustable offside tie-down to carry two different belt accessories at the same time.

It also has a belt loop to hold it down, ensuring it doesn’t ride up when you move around.

For added security, the Black Kodra shoulder holster features a nylon web safety strap with an adjustable buckle and snap. The firearm retention is extra snug, and the vertical design makes it ideal for active pursuit and a lot of movement.

It’s well built and makes an excellent job of keeping the pistol secure!

Pros

  • Excellent weight distribution
  • Available in different and adjustable sizes
  • Comfortable fit, with a self-centering backpiece
  • Nylon web shoulder straps and tie-down straps
  • Safety strap with adjustable buckle and strap
  • Ideal for active pursuit

Cons

  • It’s tricky to adjust
  • The trigger might be left exposed

RUNNER UP

If you’re looking for a shoulder holster that is not only efficient and comfortable but looks good, then you might want to take a look at the Aker Leather 101 Comfort-Flex shoulder holster.

It is made in the USA using the finest and highest-quality vegetable-tanned cowhide and raw materials, to create a tan or black leather with a slight gloss finish that makes it look premium and fancy.

The horizontal rig is designed to leave the weapon pointing behind you, and the open-end design allows for both compact and full-size pistols to fit in the holster, making it versatile.

There is a good weight distribution in this shoulder holster thanks to the wide straps, making it a highly comfortable product that allows for movement.

It’s sturdy and manufactured to last a long time, making it highly durable. It has also been tested by law enforcement and federal agencies around the world, so you’re 100% guaranteed that it is safe to use and meets high standards of quality.

As it has a rear-open design, it accommodates several weapons at once, which is highly convenient!

Pros

  • Excellent looking design - very fancy
  • High-quality vegetable-tanned leather and raw materials
  • Rear-open design - multiple weapons at once
  • Tested by law enforcement and federal agencies
  • Highly durable and comfortable

Cons

  • A bit stiff

RUNNER UP

The Gould and Goodrich brand is very well known and is most famous for creating holsters for cops, so you know that their products are extremely safe to use and high-quality enough to be used on duty.

The Gold Line shoulder holster is made from vegetable-tanned leather for high-quality and is extremely comfortable which makes it ideal for everyday carry.

It comes with a spare magazine carrier so that you can have two extra magazines with you. These magazines are also held upside down, for very quick access, and held firmly in place with thumb strap retention devices.

This shoulder holster is even more comfortable thanks to how adjustable it is, meaning it is also very easy to conceal if needed or wanted.

The top quality leather it is made from also means it is highly durable, and made to resist any wear and tear.

Overall, it is an excellent choice that is recommended by many professionals and experts, as well as being great for every-day use. 

Pros

  • The brand is known for creating holsters for cops - highly reliable
  • Made from vegetable-tanned high-quality leather
  • Two extra magazine carriers, upside down for quick access
  • Highly adjustable and comfortable
  • Durable and very easy to conceal

Cons

  • No belt to holster connecting strap included

Best Shoulder Holsters Buying Guide

A shoulder holster is one of the most convenient and comfortable ways in which to carry your weapons with you, and it rivals the popularity of the belt holster more and more every day.

Shoulder holsters can be concealed or not, as they can be worn over or under shirts as preferred or needed. They can often carry more than one firearm, averaging out at one under each arm. They’re also great for distributing the weight and making it easier to carry the guns throughout the day if that is needed.

Shoulder holsters also tend to be highly adjustable, which makes them a lot more versatile in their use, and very diverse in options. They also tend to be suitable for either left or hand-draw hands, making them ambidextrous in most cases. 

However, when buying a shoulder holster, there are different factors that you should take into consideration so that you’re making sure you’re buying the best possible product and one that is the most suited to your preferences and needs.

There are different types of shoulder holsters, and within the different types, the shoulder holsters can feature different things to enhance either comfort, convenience, or safety.

You need to take into account the type of use you’re going to be giving your shoulder holster, and what things you’re prioritizing and looking for.

To help you out with the very basics, we’ve compiled this small buyer’s guide.

Types of Shoulder Holsters

There are three main types of different shoulder holsters, each of them named after the way in which the gun is held under the arm and carried.

The types are: horizontal, vertical and angled. Here is a short explanation of what you should know about each type:

  • Horizontal Shoulder Holster

For the horizontal shoulder holster, the firearm is held horizontally, pointing towards the back behind the carrier. It’s one of the most common types and is highly comfortable.

It provides a very fast draw, which is convenient. However, if you’re wearing the holster in a concealed manner, you can only fit shorter barreled firearms, as otherwise, the muzzle will peek out of the back cover garment you wear. 

  • Vertical Shoulder Holster

For the vertical shoulder holster, the firearm is held vertically, usually pointing downwards towards the floor. This type provides the slowest draw, but it is the safest to use and it also allows for bigger firearms, as it is not constricted by space.

It is the preferred type of shoulder holster for active pursuits, as it is completely safe to use with a larger amount of movement. 

  • Angled Shoulder Holster

For the angled shoulder holster, the firearm is held at an angle, usually pointing upwards towards the armpit of the carrier.

It’s very fast to draw, but it is also the most dangerous holster type to use. You must take extra precautions with this type of holster, to avoid pulling the trigger and firing the gun at your armpit as you retrieve it.

Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Shoulder Holster:

There are a few different basic factors that you should consider when purchasing a shoulder holster, to ensure that it is suitable for your needs and preferences, and to ensure it covers all the basics of what a shoulder holster should have.

  • Adjustability and Fit

One of the most important things to consider when selecting a shoulder holster is the fit. It’s important that the holster fits you comfortably and sits firmly on your body so that it doesn’t slide around when you move.

Most shoulder holsters are adjustable, so they adapt to your body size and type. However, not all of them do. Those that don’t should preferably come in different sizes, and you should then select the one that fits the best. 

  • Gun Compatibility and Versatility

Before buying your shoulder holster you need to think about what firearms you’re going to carry in it.

For example, the length of the firearm might determine whether it’s suitable for a certain type of shoulder holster or not. 

Most shoulder holsters are able to carry two firearms, but some can carry several more, so this is something you should look out for if that is what you need. 

  • Accessories

Look out for any added features that a shoulder holster might have. The most important ones are any safety or security features, such as specific safety straps that have been added in. 

You can also look out for shoulder holsters that accommodate extra accessories through magazine or cuff pouches.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are shoulder holsters dangerous?

Like with any other equipment designed around firearms and carrying guns, there is always a risk of accidents happening.

Shoulder holsters are slightly more dangerous than other holsters, such as best holsters, because of how directly in contact with your body the firearm is, and of how the firearm is drawn. 

Most accidents happen while drawing the weapon, and accidentally shooting as you do so, resulting in a self-inflicted injury.

However, if handled correctly and with the necessary precautions, shoulder holsters should be perfectly safe to use and are in fact used by many professionals and on-duty workers such as cops. 

What is the best shoulder holster for concealment?

Shoulder holsters are very versatile in their use, as they can be worn over or under your clothes, and therefore can be openly visible or concealed.

The best shoulder holster for concealment will vary on the type, the brand, and the design. If you’re specifically interested in concealing your shoulder holster, you should look out for a thinner or smaller design, that’s less bulky and allows for easy concealment. 

However, you should always check the laws in your state to be aware of whether or not it is legal to wear your shoulder holster concealed.

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