Best IDPA Holsters of 2020 – Ultimate Round-up

| Last Updated: January 14, 2022

IDPA stands for International Defensive Pistol Association. It is a Texas-based organization that has invented defensive pistol technique shooting matches.

They use this equipment to simulate scenarios of self-defense during their shooting contests.

In this article, we will mainly discuss holsters that meet the requirements of IDPA, and which of them are the top-rated options available. 

Comparison of the Best IDPA Holsters

  • Has a belt-loop and paddle platform
  • Quick draw and accurate target acquisition with the speed-cut
  • Best overall, which consists of auto-lock and auto-release technology
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  • Runner-up outside the waistband holster for both duty and concealed carry
  • Combination of a belt, belt drop offset, paddle and paddle drop offset holster
  • Designed with a passive retention device that is adjustable close to the trigger guard with a retention screw
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  • Very smooth and quick draw
  • Has an adjustable retention mechanism
  • Best for the money as it is light and comfortable to wear, but still sturdy
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  • Outside the waist holster
  • Comfortable to use and has high-level durability
  • Best Glock 34 holder made of Kydex with nylon 6 for belt loop
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  • Tek-Lok style gun holster
  • Best 1911 holster with stingray loop that is also adjustable
  • Can be used for different kinds of firearms, such as Glock, h&k, sig, Springfield, 1911, etc.
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What is IDPA?

The International Defensive Pistol Association is an organization that holds real-life simulated scenarios, which involves the use of defensive pistol techniques. Participants must use only those handguns that are acceptable for self-defense and holsters that can hide the weapon from the people present around them.

This competition was started in answer to the shortcomings of the events organized by the USPSA. The founders of the IDPA decided that USPSA competitions were far from the reality of defensive shooting situations, with the use of modified guns, handcrafted ammunition, and quick-draw holsters not made for self-defense. 

To keep running the competition with its own principles, IDPA has regulated legally allowable changes to the equipment. For instance, magazine capacity is now 10 rounds to give equal chances of winning to all competitors. 

Can Any Holster be Used in the IDPA?

No, the IDPA rule book at has a comprehensive and specific set of rules for holsters:

  • Your holster must cover the trigger guard.
  • It must be a holster used to carry your concealed weapon.
  • Any type of inside-the-waistband holster is acceptable, but it has to stay open after the draw so you can re-holster without using your other hand.
  • It must be at your waist because, unless you are an active law enforcement officer and wear your full duty rig, a drop leg holster is not acceptable. 
  • It should be almost vertical. The muzzle cannot point forward or radically backward. 
  • Women may use a ‘dropped-and-offset’ holster because a straight one will not be proper.

What Makes a Great IDPA Holster?

A great IDPA holster is one that meets all the requirements they list on their site and in their handbook. Some other factors that make a great option are:

Quick Drawing Mechanism

A holster with a quick drawing mechanism is considered ideal because, in a competition, you cannot be lagging behind, especially if it involves shooting. A holster that causes interference during the drawing of the firearm can lead to defeat in seconds.

Easy Target Acquisition

Easy target acquisition and re-holstering are also key features required, which is also possible because of the quick drawing mechanism. If a firearm is drawn quickly, it can be targeted, and the target shot at and re-holstered before you know it.

BLACKHAWK! SERPA CQC Concealment Holster

Good Manufacturing

Your holster still needs to be manufactured with quality material that makes it sturdy and durable, but not heavy. It should remain lightweight, so it does not strain your hand and is easy to hold while shooting. Also, materials that can withstand the elements, such as waterproof materials, are preferable. 


A holster with adjustable settings and attachments will be the most versatile, and therefore the best. Specifically, a modular mounting system is always preferred, along with adjustable cant options. This way, your holster can be customized to your liking and according to competitive rules; these setting should also make it easier for you to control your firearm.

Review of the Best IDPA Holsters

As we have discussed, IDPA holsters require a few features to qualify. Here are our reviews of the top options available on the market that will make a great investment.

Best Overall:
BLACKHAWK! SERPA CQC Concealment Holster

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  • Fits shoulder and other tactical holster platforms
  • Auto-lock keeps rookies safe from accidental shots
  • Design allows for quick shot-taking and re-holstering
  • Audible click can be heard upon re-holster for security purposes
  • Smooth draw makes it easy to con­ceal any sound that may be caused


  • Only useful for right-handed people
  • Not ideal for stealthy and hidden missions
  • Slightly bulkier in comparison to other holsters

What Recent Buyers Report

Customer reviews for this holster are mostly positive. It comes highly recommended as people have said that Blackhawk! is a high-quality ammunition and accessories brand; the product has lived up to the brand's reputation and met the requirements of IDPA competitions. It has been given numerous five-star ratings, with people saying that the fit of the holster is amazing and that it comes with guides so you can adjust the width of the slots on your belt.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This stands out to us simply because it is the best in its class. The quality and style of the holster are very good, plus the attachments and features it comes with are superior. In addition, it is quite flexible and fits well with its users. Overall, it’s a fantastic product that definitely deserves to be on the top of this list.

Who Will Use This Most

People who want to take part in IDPA contests and competitions should definitely try this product, but it is not limited to them. People who use firearms as part of their job will also find great use for it. Basically, people who like to take part in defensive shooting competitions and are obliged to use a firearm as part of their duty will find this to be most suitable.

Bottom Line

This is a grand holster that fulfills all the guidelines of the IDPA holster requirements. It is obviously for people who take part in IDPA competitions or use firearms professionally, under legal terms. People who are interested in shooting competitions should try this product out. They may end up using it over and over again.

Comp-Tac International Holster

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  • Kydex holster with a durable mounting system
  • Users can choose between any of the four attachments available
  • Cut right below the ejection port to help in drawing speed and getting the gun on target quickly
  • Consists of a passive retention device that is user-adjustable, close to the trigger guard with a retention screw
  • Modular mounting available with three cant options, the speed draw, the FBI cant, and the reverse/cross draw


  • Only one tab for the trigger
  • No audible click upon re-holstering
  • Too tight and has poor retention when used to hold some firearms

What Recent Buyers Report

The Comp-Tac International has almost always been given five-star ratings from customers and buyers, with some saying that it is a great race-style holster, especially for the price it is sold at. Meanwhile, others say that it is good at the retention level they need it, and changing attachments is surprisingly easy and fast.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This holster impressed us most with its four attachments. Hardly any other company offers such diverse options for a single product. Plus, there are three different cant options accessible to the user so that they can try all three and make do or choose the one they like the most. It is a quality product with good features, and it is recommended that you give this a try.

Who Will Use This Most

We would say that this is suitable for a number of different kinds of shooters. First of all, it is ideal for both concealed and duty carry. Secondly, its modular mounting provides users with greater versatility in use, so those looking for greater options from their holster will find it to be a great purchase.

Bottom Line

The Comp-Tac International is a great holster, fulfilling all the guidelines of the IDPA holster requirements. It is for people who take part in IDPA competitions or use firearms professionally, under legal terms. People who are interested in such activities should give this holster a try; they may end up becoming a fan.

Best for the Money: 
Uncle Mike’s Tactical Reflex

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  • Adjustable and stays how it is set up
  • Retention system works well for system drills
  • Quality material used for design
  • Wearing it is easy; it is not bulky at all, but rather very light
  • Draw is very natural and does not get stuck or require a lot of force


  • Trigger guard area is not fully protected
  • Affects the draw of the weapon because of loose hanging
  • Makes the firearm hang a bit unnaturally far away from the body

What Recent Buyers Report

The reviews for this product have been quite positive. Many people have said that this was exactly what they were looking for when it comes to a weapon for everyday use or competition. People say it is their go-to holster that does exactly what it says it will. All in all, it’s a good product if you are interested in shooting competitions or other legal uses.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Tactical Reflex stands out to us because it is a quality product at a very manageable price. The company has used good quality material in its construction, and it shows through its functionality and durability. It is also easy to adjust to your favored setting, and it stays that way, so the next time you use it, you will not need to reset it. These are simple things, but they elevate the product towards quality.

Who Will Use This Most

In our opinion, this seems to be a great pick for beginners. Not only does it provides value for the money, but it also has other features that make it highly suitable for those just starting out with IDPA holsters. Wearing it is really easy, and the draw is natural and doesn’t need too much force. Therefore, beginners can get started with this one.

Bottom Line

The Tactical Reflex is a good quality holster that meets all the requirements of an IDPA holster. It is obviously for people who take part in IDPA or shooting competitions or use firearms professionally. Plus, its features like natural draw and retention system make it a worthy investment.

Best Glock 34 holder:
Black Scorpion Gear OWB Kydex Competition Holster

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  • Direct and fast draw without interference
  • Durable when it comes to the functionality
  • Quick target acquisition from standing or seated position
  • Easy to clip on and comfortable to use because it is not heavy
  • Screws to change its default settings and adjustments to your liking


  • For right-handed people only
  • May not fit all types of firearms
  • In some cases, the firearms have stuck out of the bottom

What Recent Buyers Report

People who have bought this holster are usually satisfied with its working. People say that there is no interference when they go to grab their firearm and draw it out. They also say that targeting is very easy and quick because of the smooth draw. In fact, almost all users love it and recommend that others use it as well.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We were stunned by haw quick to was to draw a firearm out of this holster . In competitions, especially things like shooting, you need to be on your A-game. Getting a firearm stuck in a holster is not a good way to impress the judges or the audience; in fact, it might just get you out of the competition. Such a small feature can turn a normal product into a star.

Who Will Use This Most

Like all the products on this list, people who want to take part in present or future IDPA shooting competitions would find this to be the greatest pick. Meanwhile, those using firearms on duty or for training purposes can also find this to be a great choice. However, it is only for right-handed people and might not work with all firearms, so make sure to factor that in before you make a purchase.

Bottom Line

This solid OWB holster agrees with and follows all IDPA requirements. Given its quick target acquisition, durability, and the ease with which it can be clipped on, you won’t regret investing in it! Plus, you can change its adjustments according to your preference, making it one of the best for Glock 34s.

Best 1911 Holster:
Blade-Tech Signature Holster

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  • Holster is RMR compatible
  • Speed cut for quick draw and target acquisition
  • Adjustable retention allows for a customized fit
  • Positive lock trigger guard with an audible click to show that your firearm is secure
  • Strong blend of polymers allows for precision-mold of the holster with impeccable accuracy


  • Only available for right-handed people
  • Slot clearance is too narrow for a double alpha belt, so the ASR belt attachment is required

What Recent Buyers Report

According to reviews, buyers are very satisfied with this product. People say that it holds more securely because of the Tec-Lok style. Also, they like that it is very sturdy and very well-designed with all the improved attachments and features, especially for the price that it is sold at. Overall, people have really liked this product and actually recommend it to others as well.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The reason this product stands out to us is because of its excellent build. It is sturdy, but not heavy. At the same time, it is easily concealable and is light and easy to handle. Plus, it has an adjustable clip to fit on a wide variety of belts, not just one. It is a good product that surely everyone will want.

Who Will Use This Most

We find this option to be suitable for both professionals as well as beginners. It is ideal for beginners since it is light, and handling it is easy. At the same time, it is best for professionals and especially those that look for versatility from a product since its adjustable clip allows it to fit on various belts. However, left-handed users need to look for a different unit.

Bottom Line

All in all, it is one of the best holsters for 1911, made particularly for right-hand users. Made of a blend of polymers, it molds to the holster just like a second skin. Meanwhile, with its adjustable retention, it promises a great customized fit. Therefore, purchasing this would be a worthy investment!

Advantages and Disadvantages of IDPA holsters

While IDPA holsters are efficient at what they do, they bring along some disadvantages as well. Knowing both sides of the coin will ensure that you are completely sure of your purchase. 


An IDPA holster is designed to offer the following benefits:

Easy Access

With an IDAP holster, it is easy to gain access to a firearm that is situated at your waist than at your thigh or lower, which is why IDAP has rules regarding how low a holster can be on a person. Also, it is easy to draw the weapon with a single hand as you are not allowed to use your support hand.

Inside the Waistband

IDAP holsters should be situated at any place inside the waistband, meaning you can see where it would be most comfortable for you in case of a single-handed draw. In other words, they ensure the utmost comfort and ease.


Such a holster ensures that your weapon is placed in a way it is easily concealed. This makes sure that only you know where it is, and someone cannot sneak up on you and pull it from your holster. 

Straight Muzzle

It is easier to conceal a firearm when its muzzle is vertical rather than radically forward or backward, which makes it stick out and be easily spotted. An IDAP holster makes sure to keep your weapon’s muzzle vertical. 


Meanwhile, IDAP holsters come with their shortcomings, which include:

Possible Retention Problems

Some people believe that the waist placement of the holster causes poor retention in the case of drawing of the firearm from that position as it makes it easier for someone to grab it or try to take it that way. Therefore, they might not be suitable for all firearms or all kinds of users. 

Can You Really Find a Quality IDPA Holster That’s Affordable? 

That is the one thing that everyone wants to know, whether or not it is possible to find a good product at a low price. It is normally believed that cheap products have low quality, but in almost all the products that we have showcased above, it is clear that the customers who bought them thought they were exceptionally good at their function, especially given the low amount they had to pay.

It is a common misconception that every product that is of high quality can only have a jaw-dropping price and that lower-priced or cheap products are not all that durable. But that is simply not always true. Sometimes it is the “cheap” product that beats the odds, as we have stated above. If you get a bad quality product at a high price, you will be very disappointed, and if you get a good quality product at a low price, you will be pleasantly surprised, not that both of the things are mutually exclusive. So yes, it is possible to find a quality IDPA holster that is also affordable.


IDPA defensive shooting competitions are a great way to attain a new skill and have a hobby if you are a beginner. But it is also important to have good equipment to have an equal playing field among all the competitors, which was getting lost in the USPCA. The holsters mentioned in this article are all IDPA-approved, and some of their best-rated, which is no small feat. Each is unique in its own way, so be sure to try them out in case you ever get interested in shooting competitions or want to be the best in law enforcement.