Sticky Holsters Review
Recently one of my friends was at a show representing some ATN night vision products when he recognized a manufacturer (Sticky Holsters) who has an innovative approach to handgun holsters and convinced the manufacturer to send some samples my way for review and I'm really glad they did. There are lots of holster manufacturers out there, but I have to hand it to Sticky Holsters in their innovative approach to how the holster stays place when carrying your handgun. To sum it up, the sticky-ish (high friction) feel on the outside of the holster keeps the holster from moving around when tucked inside your waist band or pocket. If you are like me, I was initially skeptical about how well this method might work, but over the past two months I have been using the Sticky Holsters trying to get some firsthand data on their performance and I have been very impressed.
The photo below shows the items I received for review which are the LG-6L, MD-4 and MD-5 holsters along with a Sticky Travel Mount. These holsters fit my Ruger American Pistol, Smith & Wesson Shield and Ruger LCR and these handguns allowed me the opportunity to try out the Sticky Holsters on a full size pistol (9mm), compact single stack (9mm) and a compact revolver (38 Special). Packaging is very simple... zip lock bag, printed card and sticker label.
Because of the soft stitched design (as opposed to a hard molded holster), a single model holster may fit a variety of handguns. The photos below show the front and back sides of the cards that came with the holsters and they give you a good idea on the holsters currently available and the variety of handguns possible for each holster. Please note that you can click on these photos or any others in the review to bring up a larger photo showing the details. I do want to point out that this card shows the LG-6S fits the Ruger American Pistol, but I believe this is an error and this review shows the LG-6L with the Ruger American Pistol.
These next photos show the handguns inside each of the holsters and they give you a good idea on the fit. Overall I was pleased with the fit of the handguns in the holsters in all three cases. The two pistols had a slightly better fit because of how the holster supports the bottom of the trigger guard which is evident if you take a look at the stitching.
The MD-4 and MD-5 have a shape that would help the handgun stay in a vertical position if you you used these as pocket holsters. My guess is their SM-2 would be a great addition to a subcompact pistol like the Ruger LCP.
As you might expect by looking at these holsters, there is no positive retention of the handgun in the holster. I was able to turn the holster upside down and the handgun would slide out of the holster. For those desiring positive retention, you might want to consider Sticky Holsters' Kydex line which has a Kydex insert inside a Sticky Holster shell. For myself, I tend to prefer positive retention only on outside the waist band (OWB) holsters and do prefer no retention on inside the waist band (IWB) carry.
The photo below shows the details of the materials used in their holsters. The outside is made of some type of soft closed cell material that has a sticky feel (high coefficient of friction). The sticky feel is similar to that of gloves used for gripping footballs by receivers. The compression of your waist band or contact of your pocket created drag forces that prevent the holsters from slipping out of position. The inside of the holster is a woven cordura nylon like you might see in various soft cases. Sandwiched between the inner and outer layers is some type of foam product that adds softness and comfort to the holster.
Each of the three holsters weighed in at less than two ounces with the largest full size pistol holster being 1.7 ounces and the smallest one reviewed for the M&P9 Shield being 1.1 ounces. Basically, you hardly notice the additional weight of the holster.
More on performance... As I mentioned, I have been using these holster for about two months with a variety of clothing situations. I find the most challenging time for conceal and carry situations to be in the summer where I'm often not wearing a belt and many times I'm wearing athletic shorts with an elastic waistband. In all honesty I was shocked at how well my compact handguns stayed in place using the Sticky Holsters. I also found them to feel more secure holding your handgun in place around your waist because the sticky surface is on both sides of the holster which helps support the pistol at your waist against your body instead of acting like a weight on the elastic band of your shorts. Also, I found it easier to quickly adjust the position of the holster around your waist to maximize comfort with different body positions and seating situations. Although I wouldn't recommend it, I was surprised at how effective the holster was with the full size Ruger American pistol and gym shorts while I was testing it around the house. When used with regular shorts and a belt to get extra waist compression, IWB carry of the full sized Ruger American Pistol wasn't too bad and actually I might now consider it in the future when wearing a sweatshirt or jacket.
One more thing to note, the soft construction of the holster will cause it to collapse as the gun is drawn from a waistband carry position. For re-holstering, it is recommend to remove the empty holster, safely reinsert the gun to the holster and then return it to your desired carry position. This is not too different from other soft styled IWB holsters.
The cost of a basic Sticky Holster is $29.95 at their website and you can also find them on Amazon.com for $26.90 and free shipping for Prime members. Overall I would say that the Amazon this price seems to be fair when you consider the free shipping. Sticky Holsters makes a variety of other products with this same basic construction such as mag pouches, travel mounts (more below), ankle & garter bands, Taser holsters and more so make sure you checkout the Sticky Holsters website.
Another example of the innovation behind the Sticky Holsters is their Travel Mount. The Travel Mount is a pocket that you can adhere to various structures (ex. night stand, under desk, car console, etc.) and you can insert your current Sticky Holster into the pocket to hold your handgun securely in place.
The back of the Travel Mount has a hook & loop system (Velcro) which allows you to move the travel mount to other locations if desired. All you need to do is purchase more of the hook portion and stick it wherever you might want to have access to your handgun at different locations.
Once you have your Travel Mount in place, all you need to do is pull your handgun and holster from your pocket or waist and tuck the holster into the pocket in the Travel Mount. The stickiness on the holster holds the holster inside the pocket.
The Travel Mount also has a strap that can provide positive retention of your handgun if using this system horizontally where vibrations might be present. The Travel Mount configuration shown caters to a right handed person due to the angled portion on the pocket, but they also make an opposite handed Travel Mount for left handed people or other mounting situations.
I highly suggest checking out the Sticky Holsters website and watching some of their video on their products. They give lots of details on their products which may help you pick out the right holster for your gear and carry situations.
I'm impressed with the Sticky Holsters and can see purchasing more of them in the future. I was pleased with how well the holster stayed in place with even elastic band shorts and they were even more rock solid when wearing a belt. I could easily reposition the holster to fit a variety of carry locations and body position (sitting, standing, being active, etc.) and never had a case where I though the pistol was shifting out of position. Not only are these holsters great for carry situations, but they also make a great way to protect your handguns when transporting multiple guns in a bag or stacking inside a safe. For about $27 per holster, I recommend you giving one a try and forming your own opinion. My guess is your opinion will be positive. If you try one out, feel free to post your thoughts in the comments section below.