Paddle vs. Belt Holster – 2020 Ultimate Guide

| Last Updated: October 23, 2022

Holsters are incredibly important for retaining your weapon in place. Now, they come in a variety of shapes, shades, and sizes. But the debate of paddle vs. belt holster has been going on for a long time now.

In order to decide which will work best for you, it’s important to know the difference between the two as they help in securing your weapon differently.

Therefore, we present to you a detailed guide that will help you differentiate between the two and ensure you make the right choice. We even have some incredible product recommendations for you to look into. To find out more about them, keep on reading!

Comparison Chart of the Paddle vs. Belt Holster


Premium Leather OWB Paddle Holster

  • Best paddle holster
  • Available in two different color options
  • Fits up to 4.5 – 5 cm belts
View Latest Price

Alien Gear holsters Cloak Belt Holster for 1.5" Belts

  • Best belt holster
  • Can be customized to your specific pistol
  • Available in both left and right orientations
View Latest Price

What Do I Need To Know Before Buying?

There are certain factors that need to be considered prior to investing in either of these two holster types. These factors will ensure you get the maximum use out of your holster and are capable of investing in a good quality option. 


It is incredibly important to look for something that offers maximum durability. Holsters are incredibly important as they secure and protect your weapon. You want one that is durable and sturdy enough to hold your weapon confidently. The product you invest in should be made from high-quality leather, so it is long-lasting and is also able to age well without looking bad. The mechanical integrity of your holster also is a measure of its strength in securing your weapon well. Thus, this factor is incredibly important to consider. 

Premium Leather OWB Paddle Holster

Warranty and Orientation

It goes without saying that the product you opt for should have a good warranty. This enables the product to be reliable and make it a long-term investment. Nobody likes to invest in a holster over and over again. Thus, make sure the one you buy is the real deal. ​

The orientation of a holster is a very important factor to consider, but oftentimes, it is the one which is the most forgotten about. Make sure the product you buy is the right orientation for you, which means invest in a product that offers you left-hand draw or right-hand draw, depending upon whichever one works for you. 

Ease of Use

This implies that the product you invest in should be easy to operate, which means you shouldn’t have trouble withdrawing your gun. In a moment of emergency, when you immediately need to take your weapon out, a holster that doesn’t offer ease of retention can be dangerous. ​

Furthermore, you shouldn’t have to feel uncomfortable wearing it as it can be dreadful for those of you who are law enforcers or work a similar job that requires you to wear a holster to secure your gun for extended hours. 

Paddle vs. Belt Holster Comparison

It’s the age-old question of which type of holster is better. There are certain aspects of each type that outshine the other. Let’s take a look at them in detail so you can understand better which product will work best for you. 


Concealment matters a lot to some, whereas to others, it doesn’t matter as much. When it comes to these two holsters, one is a clear winner as it conceals ten times better than the other. We mean belt holsters!

Belt holsters carry a narrower design, which is simpler and more practical. This enables them to maintain a low profile and, therefore, offer better concealment. They are also easy to conceal due to their positioning, which can be very easily covered as they are slipped into the belt hoops, and a simple shirt over them is enough to conceal them. 

When it comes to paddle holsters, that’s not the case. The design of paddle holsters is somewhat bigger, which is why they don’t offer as much concealment. Furthermore, paddle holsters are a little difficult to cover up as they aren’t restricted to being positioned at the belt and often protrude out. 


Accessibility of a holster refers to its positioning, retention offered, and ease of withdrawal. Paddle holsters are generally tucked into the waistband as they do not require to be especially slid into belt hoops. They have adjustable retention and cant, which can be customized according to preference. This means that you can simply loosen or tighten the retention by tightening or loosening the screws. This allows paddle holsters to have greater ease of withdrawal and therefore be more accessible. 

When it comes to belt holsters, they are slid into the hoops of your belt, which is why they require you to wear a belt especially. Furthermore, as they are slid into the hoops, in order to detach the holster, you always need to undo your pants, which put them at a disadvantage. Furthermore, their secure mechanism makes the withdrawal of weapons tougher. Thus, they aren’t as accessible as paddle holsters. 


This refers to both the strength of the design of each product and its ability to protect your weapon. Belt holsters are a clear winner here. This is because when it comes to belt holsters, they offer greater security to your weapon due to their design. Their smaller design fits and snugs to your body, is harder to withdraw weapon from thus better protects your weapon. Plus, belt holsters constructed from leather have a protective inner lining that prevents the weapon from scratches and damage. Furthermore, they often have neoprene backing, which allows them to move easily with your body. 

However, when it comes to paddle holsters, they are designed in a way to give you an easy grip and thereby allow easy withdrawal. Furthermore, they aren’t particularly built for strenuous activity and are more inclined to damage. 


The comfort each holster offers refers to how easy it is in usage and how it would do if it was used for longer hours. Belt holsters offer a smaller design, which allows them to be more comfortable to wear all day if you are standing; however, that isn’t the case for most people. 

When you sit, a belt holster is likely to dig into your sides, and you’ll be uncomfortable; however, that won’t be the case with a paddle holster. Despite its big size, its positioning gives it a big advantage in being comfortable as it doesn’t necessarily need to be attached to a belt. 

Usage and Reliability

These two types of holsters are different in the security they offer, their retention, and their design; therefore, their intended uses are also somewhat different.

When it comes to paddle holsters, they are currently the most popularly used. The reason behind this is that they offer easy withdrawal and somewhat less security. This allows them to be widely used for self-defense, tactical operations, at ranges, by law enforcers, etc. This is because these operations require the weapon to be easy to take out and put back in, and the paddle design offers that.

Whereas when it comes to belt holsters, they are a different story. Belt holsters offer way more security and therefore do not allow the product to come out easily. Instead, they make withdrawing the weapon harder. This is the sole reason why these types of holsters aren’t predominantly used but are considered better for when need to be taken on a hike, to travel, hunt, etc., which is when your weapon doesn’t need to be withdrawn quickly. 

When it comes to which is better in the category, paddle holsters clearly win as they are more popularly used and seem to be more reliable in day-to-day scenarios. 

Paddle vs. Belt Holster Differences

There are certain factors that differentiate between the two types of holsters. The differences are responsible for their different functionalities and features. If you are still on the fence about which one to choose, then perhaps looking at these will give you a better idea about which one to invest in. 


These two drastically differ in design. Generally, paddle holsters are bigger in size and feature a paddle section that fits inside the waistband. On the other hand, a belt holster is simply fitted into the loops of your belt. Belt holsters are generally smaller and carry a low-profile. The design of these two types of holsters are responsible for the difference in their functionality. 


This is also a major difference between the positioning of these two types of holsters. Paddle holsters offer a design that enables them to be simply tucked on and worn without needing a belt. However, belt holsters, as the name suggests, are tucked inside a belt and cannot work without one. 

Intended Use

Paddle and belt holsters are used under different circumstances as they are different in their design and construction. Paddle holsters are more widely used by law enforcers, at ranges, etc. as they offer a quick withdrawal. However, belt holsters are better if you don’t require quick withdrawal. That is, they are better to be used when one intends to go on hikes and travel as they offer better security and ensure that your weapon will be protected from getting caught on things. 

Quick Take: 
Our Top 2 Choices

In a hurry? Here's a snapshot of the best paddle and belt holsters:

Review of the Best Paddle and Belt Holsters

There a plethora of products out there in the market, which makes it hard to narrow down your options and make a singular choice. But worry no more! We’ve got you covered. We have an incredible product for each type of holster to help you with the buying process. 


  • Made from premium genuine leather for utmost durability
  • Features sight rail space that protects the leather and muzzle sight
  • Offers adjustable retention, thus can be loosened or tightened to preference
  • Offers high concealment and is available in two different colors to choose from
  • Polymer paddle can be switched from vertical to horizontal stances and vice versa using two screws


  • Only available in a right-hand configuration
  • Some buyers complained that the product was slightly loose

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers are very happy with the construction of this holster due to its incredible durability, sturdy construction, and great structural integrity to protect and secure your weapon. Furthermore, it is incredibly convenient to use and is available in two different color options to choose from. All of this combines to make it a consumer favorite product.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This product caught our attention due to multiple reasons. Firstly, it features an incredibly durable and sturdy design because it is constructed from premium quality genuine leather. Furthermore, it features adjustable retention, which can be loosened or tightened according to personal preference. Plus, the product also offers high concealment.

Who Will Use This Most

This product is available in two different color options; thus, you can pick one according to preference. Furthermore, it is pretty budget-friendly as well. This allows it to be more accessible to people on a tight budget. Furthermore, it has customizable retention that allows it to be adjustable to your preference as well. 

Bottom Line

All in all, the Premium Leather OWB Paddle Holster is a pretty excellent product. It is very meticulously designed and its clever construction enables it to be such sustainable and convenient. The overall construction is sturdy and durable, plus it is convenient to use as well, which makes it a great investment. 


  • Features a simple and practical design
  • Custom-fit according to the weapon you own
  • Neoprene backing allows the product to be flexible to move and form with your body
  • Made from a sweat-wicking material which ensures it's not irritable and remains comfortable to wear
  • Features completely adjustable retention as the screw can be tightened or loosened according to preference


  • Some buyers thought that the product was slightly bulky
  • Some buyers complained it didn’t give the retention expected from it

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers are very impressed with this unit for a number of reasons. Firstly, it comes from an incredibly reliable brand that offers excellent customer service and quality products. Furthermore, it has a very durable and comfortable design, which not only makes sure it is a long-lasting investment but also enables it to be a comfortable one. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This product caught our attention due to its incredibly durable design, which is created from the best quality materials. Furthermore, it has neoprene backing, allowing it to be flexible to move and form with your body without losing its shape for re-holstering. 

Who Will Use This Most

This product is an incredible investment for anyone looking for a decent belt holster. It is available in both left and right orientations, making the product accessible to all. Furthermore, it has a very simple and practical design, which ensures this product isn’t overly complicated to work with, enabling quick retention and easy re-holstering as well. 

Bottom Line

Overall, this product is an excellent choice. The pros it features largely outweigh the cons and enable this product to be a great investment. Furthermore, it features a very durable and reliable design with an incredible construction; it is undoubtedly a consumer favorite product thanks to the fact that it is lasting longer and being comfortable


Investing in a good quality holster is very important. Thus, knowing the product that will work out best for you is crucial as well. Hopefully, by the time you reach this section of the post, you’ll have a good idea of which type of holster works best for you and why. 

We aimed to make this post as helpful for you as possible by providing you a greater insight into the function of both the holsters and the differences between them without too much excessive information. 

However, at the end of the day, it is all personal preference. Whichever of these products works best for the conditions you intend to use a holster in, choose that type. It’s important because one product might not work well for everyone, and that’s perfectly okay!