7 Best Pocket Holsters: Simple, Comfortable, and Effective

by Travis Pike

September 13, 2023

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I have an odd relationship with pocket holsters. In the past, I often carried in my pocket when I first started carrying, and after a while, I began to dislike small guns. As time went on I moved towards bigger guns and figured they were more capable. Recently I’ve come back to the world of pocket holsters. I see the value in small guns and deep concealment. When I came back to pocket holsters, I came with a bit more knowledge than I ever had before. 

I took what I learned about holsters from years of concealed carry and applied it to trying out a variety of pocket holsters. I’ve decided to take that experience and turn that into an article. We are in the golden age of concealed carry, and picking out a good pocket holster can go quite far. You be asking, why exactly do I need a holster if I’m dropping a gun into my pocket? 

Pocket Holsters – A Requirement 

Pocket holsters are a must-have if you’re throwing a gun in your pocket. Why? Well, a good pocket holster is a safety measure, first and foremost. We always stress safety with guns. Tossing a gun in your pocket is kinda like pulling the pin of a grenade and holding down the spoon. 

It might be safe…if you trust the spoon and your thumb. If you keep a gun in your pocket without a holster, the trigger is exposed, and an exposed trigger is one that can be easily pressed. A holster protects the trigger and protects you and others. Pocket holsters go beyond safety. 

They protect the gun. People sweat, pockets get gunk in them, and having a pocket holster protects the gun, especially if you forget and toss your keys in your gun pocket. Something I do once a week. Pocket holsters orient the weapon for a clean draw and make retrieving your weapon easy and quick. It will always be gripped up and oriented for a quick and efficient draw. 

What Makes A Good Pocket Holster

Having a holster is one thing. Having a good holster is an entirely different argument. Like any holster genre, there are a variety of pocket holster options out there, and not all are equal. Let’s talk about some of the features you should look for in a pocket holster. 

First, let’s address retention. Holster retention with your typical holster is typically finding the right degree of tight retention that allows for an easy draw while also preventing the gun from falling out. With pocket holsters, you want a looser retention. This allows you to remove the holster without it always bringing the holster with you. The pocket provides your retention. 

You generally want a holster that fits the gun. A few of these holsters are typically not molded directly for a gun, with other holster styles that are typically not acceptable. Pocket holsters come in both molded and quasi-universal options. Quasi-universal options can be great holsters, but your gun still needs to fit the holster. 

The holster should have some feature that prevents it from leaving the body. Most use some form of wing that either helps the holster stay in your pocket, or you can use the side of your pocket to remove the holster as you draw. Other features include concealment pads that secure the holster, as well as rough textures to help secure it. 

You also want a holster that fills your pocket. You don’t want it rotating and ruining the orientation of the holster and gun. Most fit, but plenty suck and will slide or rotate, making it tough to retrieve when needed. 

Gun University’s Choices of the Best Pocket Holsters

Best Pocket Holsters

Desantis Nemesis
  • Ambidextrous Design
  • Made for a Wide Variety of Guns
  • Wing and Texture For an Easy Draw
Buy on Amazon
Desantis Superfly
  • Concealment Flap
  • Viscous Texture
  • Integrated Claw
Buy on Amazon
Alien Gear ShapeShift Pocket Holster
  • Part of the Shapeshift Family
  • Adjustable Retention
  • Polymer Claw
Buy on Amazon
Vedder Holsters Pocket Locker
  • High Retention
  • Integrated Claw From Drawing
  • All Polymer
Buy on Amazon
Desantis Trickster
  • Wallet Style Holster
  • Palm Out Draw Required
  • Flap to Protect Your Gun
Buy on Amazon
Kramer Leather Pocket Gun Holster
  • Beautiful Leather Work
  • Polymer concealment pad
  • Exposed Grip
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Alabama Holsters Deep Cover Pocket Holster
  • Perfect For Larger Guns
  • All Polymer Design
  • Integrated Concealment Panel
Check Price

Best Pocket Holsters Specifications

Below is a table of the specs for each pocket holster.

HolsterMaterialPocket PositionOrientation
Desantis NemesisNylon Front Pocket Ambidextrous
Desantis Superfly Nylon Front Pocket Ambidextrous
Alien Gear ShapeShift Pocket Holster Polymer Front Pocket Right or Left Handed
Vedder Holsters Pocket LockerPolymer Front Pocket Right or Left Handed
Desantis Trickster Leather Back Pocket Right Handed
Kramer Leather Pocket Gun Holster Leather Front Pocket Right or Left Handed
Alabama Deep Carry Pocket Holster Polymer Front PocketRight or Left Handed

Best Pocket Holsters

Here is our list for the best pocket holsters

  1. Desantis Nemesis
  2. Desantis Superfly
  3. Alien Gear ShapeShift Pocket Holster
  4. Vedder Holsters Pocket Locker
  5. Desantis Trickster
  6. Kramer Leather Pocket Gun Holster
  7. Alabama Deep Carry Pocket Holster

The Best Pocket Holsters – Reviews 

1 Desantis Nemesis Pocket Holster

DeSantis Nemesis Featured Image

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  • Comfort A
  • Concealability A
  • Retention B+
  • Durability A-

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A-

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Desantis Nemesis Specs

  • Material Type Nylon
  • Pocket Position Front Pocket
  • Orientation Ambidextrous

Desantis Nemesis Review

I started my pocket carry career with a Desantis Nemesis many years ago, and when I came back to pocket carry, I was surprised it was still the go-to choice. The Nemesis is as simple and as affordable as it gets. It comes in numerous sizes to fit all manner of firearms. There are both standard and cargo pocket models in case you got that 5.11 pants itch. 

The Nemesis is a soft holster made from a nylon-like material. It’s not universal, though, and the various sizes allow you to ensure you get a proper and safe fit for your handgun. It’s more partial to smaller guns for concealment, but they do make for guns like the P365, which I consider the biggest pocket-carry gun out there. Because it’s soft, it’s comfortable, and doesn’t press or prod. 

The outside of the holster features a shark skin-like material. It’s rough and a little coarse. It won’t rough up your leg, but it will ensure the holster stays put when you draw your gun. To back the material up, we have a wing-like device. This also helps ensure the holster stays put and doesn’t flop out when you draw your gun. 

The downside is that if you have tight pants or perhaps squat or sit, the outline of the gun might become slightly visible. If you don’t learn to pull slightly rearward, there is a chance the holster will come out of the holster. The Nemesis is long-lasting, comfortable, and quite affordable as a holster. It’s easy to draw, and your gun always remains oriented correctly with the trigger covered. 

Desantis Nemesis Pros and Cons

  • Affordable
  • Easy to Find An Option For You
  • Proven
  • Allows Some Printing

2 Desantis Superfly Pocket Holster

DeSantis Superfly Featured Image

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  • Comfort A
  • Concealability A
  • Retention B+
  • Durability B

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A-

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Desantis Superfly Specs

  • Material Type Nylon
  • Pocket Position Front Pocket
  • Orientation Ambidextrous

Desantis Superfly Review

I still like the Nemesis, but I recently moved on to the Superfly. The Superfly is essentially an evolution of the Nemesis. The same quasi-soft material is padded, comfortable, and poke-free. It’s also produced in a variety of sizes and shapes to fit a wide variety of different guns. We still get the typical wing that makes it stick in your pocket like Cheerios to the hands of a baby. 

The Superfly has two big differences, and it’s the two reasons why it replaced the Nemesis for me. First, we get this big flap to it. The flap attaches via Velcro and acts like a pad that prevents your gun from printing. Tight pants or a seated position show the outline of a square and not a handgun. It’s more like a cell phone than a gun in your pocket. I like that kind of disguise. 

The second upgrade is the rough type material used to coat the outside of the holster. This is like Nemesis texture, but rougher and more viscous, according to Desantis. It’s sticky and stays stuck. Pair that with the flap, and this thing has never left my pocket when I’ve drawn my handgun. It stays disguised with the flap, and the flap doesn’t get in the way of your draw, either. 

The Superfly is produced for a wide variety of guns, but it’s not been produced for the same amount of numbers as the Nemesis. However, it seems to be catching up with the Nemesis. It’s currently my go-to, so maybe you can call it the editor’s choice for a holster. 

Desantis Superfly Pros and Cons

  • Easy to Conceal
  • Comfortable
  • Great Retention
  • Not as Widely Produced

3 Alien Gear ShapeShift Pocket Holster

Alien Gear ShapeShift Pocket Holster Featured Image

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  • Comfort B+
  • Concealability B+
  • Retention A
  • Durability A

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A-

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Alien Gear ShapeShift Pocket Holster Specs

  • Material Type Polymer
  • Pocket Position Front Pocket
  • Orientation Right or Left Handed

Alien Gear ShapeShift Pocket Holster Review

I have some mixed feelings about the Shapeshift series. In one hand, I think it’s a cool idea and innovative as all get out. I even think some of the holsters are fairly nice. In the other hand, some are way too complicated, and some aren’t my style. However, the pocket holster is a spectacle to behold. The Alien Gear ShapeShift Pocket Holster is an all-polymer design that uses your normal Shapeshift shell but with a bonus attachment. 

The attachment is a polymer extension that acts much like the wing of most pocket holsters. The all-polymer design ensures the holster is custom fit with your gun. They produce the shell for tons of guns, and Alien Gear seems to be producing more and more shells all the time. There is plenty for the more popular guns on the market and even some not so popular. 

The pocket wing means you have to pull back slightly on the holster as you draw the gun to make sure it doesn’t flop out with your gun. You can also adjust the retention of the holster, which is rare for a pocket holster. I’d run it slightly loose, so it is easier to draw from the pocket. The Shapeshift system works well as a modern pocket holster. 

What’s the downside? Well, it’s expensive. Pocket holsters are typically fairly cheap, and the Shapeshift is a bit pricey. With that said, it’s well made, durable, and can be adapted to work with the other Shapeshift holster systems. 

Alien Gear ShapeShift Pocket Holster Pros and Cons

  • Custom Molded Holsters
  • Adjustable Retention
  • Easy To Draw From
  • Expensive

4 Vedder Holsters Pocket Locker

Vedder Holsters Pocket Locker Featured Image

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  • Comfort A-
  • Concealability B+
  • Retention A+
  • Durability A

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A

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Vedder Holsters Pocket Locker Specs

  • Material Type Polymer
  • Pocket Position Front Pocket
  • Orientation Right or Left Handed

Vedder Holsters Pocket Locker Review

Vedder makes great holsters, and they tend to lean more toward the modern side of the market. They invest heavily in polymers, and their pocket holster certainly leans more toward modern holster design. The Pocket Locker is made entirely from kydex. Kydex is a tough and durable material that doesn’t rip or tear. It doesn’t crack, and it takes quite some time to wear out. It’s weatherproof, which means it’s sweatproof, which is great because pocket guns get sweaty. 

The Pocket Locker uses a single sheet of kydex that’s modeled specifically for each gun. It’s simple but a very effective holster design. Having a specific molded holster design ensures great retention and a long-lasting holster. The Pocket Locker is molded with a wing that secures it in your pocket as you draw. This does require you to catch the wing at the back end of your pocket every time you draw. 

If not, the holster follows the gun. It does require some practice, but you really should be training with whatever specific setup you plan to rock and roll with anyway. The Pocket Locker will certainly work best when the user is well-trained. The holster conceals and centers the gun, and the full-length sweat guard rides up both sides of the gun. It’s a smart design. 

The fatal flaw in my eyes is that it’s super tight in terms of retention when first received. You need to commit to a lot of dry draws and practice draws. This will help it loosen up slightly and needs to be done several times before the retention loosens enough to carry it. 

Vedder Holsters Pocket Locker Pros and Cons

  • Modern Design
  • Low Profile
  • Comfy to Wear
  • Super Tight Retention

5 Desantis Trickster Pocket Holster

Desantis Trickster Featured Image

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  • Comfort A-
  • Concealability A-
  • Retention B+
  • Durability A-

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A-

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Desantis Trickster Specs

  • Material Type Leather
  • Pocket Position Back Pocket
  • Orientation Right Handed

Desantis Trickster Review

Yep, our third Desantis holster. What can I say? They make lots of pocket holsters. The first two were front pocket holsters. This final Desantis is a wallet holster. It’s designed to fit in your back pocket rather than your front pocket. The Trickster gets its name from the fact you look like you’re reaching for your wallet when in reality, you are going for your gun. The Trickster is a discrete carry option that allows you to slap on some steel with no one being the wiser. 

Unlike the other Desantis pocket holsters, it’s made entirely of leather and not a nylon design. The Trickster really only fits smaller guns, like real pocket pistols. This isn’t an option for the P365 or even a J-frame. It’s aimed at the LCP, the Keltec P32, and similar ultra-small firearms. The design looks like a wallet because it puts a wall of leather between the gun and anyone scoping your butt out. 

The leather pad keeps the gun from printing and provides a pad to protect the gun from the outside world. It’s a smart design, and it’s surprisingly cheap for a name-brand leather holster. One thing that is tricky with the Trickster is the draw. It’s a palm-out style draw that might take a moment to master. By a moment, I mean a few days’ worth of dryfire draws and practice. 

Desantis Trickster Pros and Cons

  • Hides With Ease
  • Does Give You The Element of Surprise
  • Affordable
  • Tricky Draw

6 Kramer Leather Pocket Gun Holster

Kramer Leather Pocket Gun Holster Featured Image

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  • Comfort A-
  • Concealability B
  • Retention B
  • Durability A

Our Grade

B+

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Kramer Leather Pocket Gun Holster Specs

  • Material Type Leather
  • Pocket Position Front Pocket
  • Orientation Right or Left Handed

Kramer Leather Pocket Gun Holster Review

When it comes to leather holsters, there are some makers that really stand out. Kramer Leather is one of those masterful artisans of animal hide. Kramer Leather makes a number of different holster designs, and they make one of the best pocket holsters out there. Their Pocket Gun Holster is no different, and you’ll certainly pay for the quality. 

The Kramer Leather Pocket Gun Holster is leather molded for the individual gun, and boy, do they make it for some obscure guns. I’m talking about guns like the AMT Backup, which hasn’t been produced in decades. It’s made for guns like the LCP, which are traditionally called pocket pistols, as well as the micro-sized Seecamp, all the way up to the P365 from SIG. 

The molded leather holds the gun nicely but doesn’t make it tough to draw. It protects you and your pocket from the gun and keeps things comfy. While the holster is mostly leather, a piece of plastic acts as a concealment device to break up the gun’s outline. The portion pushing against you is made from horsehide and is quite comfortable. 

A wing allows you to draw and defeat the holster on the draw and ensure you get a smooth and easy transition out of the pocket. Kramer cuts the holsters low and tight to make it easy to get a grip and get your draw on. It’s an excellent holster if you want just one holster to carry with you for years. With the money it costs, it makes sense to carry it for years and years. 

Kramer Leather Pocket Gun Holster Pros and Cons

  • Expertly Crafted
  • Easy to Draw From
  • Ultra Comfortable
  • Expensive

7 Alabama Holsters Deep Cover Pocket Holster

Alabama Holsters Deep Carry Pocket Holster Featured Image

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  • Comfort A-
  • Concealability B
  • Retention B+
  • Durability A-

Our Grade

B+

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Alabama Holster Deep Cover Pocket Holster Specs

  • Material Type Polymer
  • Pocket Position Front Pocket
  • Orientation Right or Left Handed

Alabama Holster Deep Cover Pocket Holster Review

Alabama Holster is one of those smaller shops that’s becoming quite well known for their masterful concealment carry holsters. In fact, pocket carry seems to be what they are most known for, as far as I can tell. They make several pocket carry holsters, and my favorite is the deep carry holster. This is a modern take on an old design and does give the end user a rather nice option for a multitude of carry guns. 

The Deep Cover Pocket Holster does tend to work very well with larger pocket carry guns. This includes the P365 or Hellcat pistols. It’s designed to sit the gun deep in the pocket. A nice deep spot makes it easier to conceal and allows for a good grip with a larger gun. The deep carry portion comes from the fact this holster has a large flat panel that faces outwards. This cuts down on the printing aspect of the holster and gives you a nice flat look. 

The Deep Cover Pocket Holster is a molded holster made individually for each gun. Options include the ability to add a laser, or even some very small lights, specifically the TLR-6 from Streamlight. Alabama Holster also acknowledges red dots exist as well and will cut the holster to accommodate it. 

Drawing from the holster is simple, and the big panel makes sure it sticks in the pocket as you draw. The downside to this rig is its overall size, which makes it a little bulky, and it presses deep in the pocket. 

Alabama Holster Deep Cover Pocket Holster Pros and Cons

  • Conceals Easily
  • Is Quick To Draw
  • Molded for Accessories if Desired
  • Bulky in Size

The Benefits of Pocket Carry 

There are a few benefits to pocket carry. First, it’s easy and comfortable. Nothing pokes or prods while you carry. Guns disappear and conceal easily with a good holster. There are no clips, loops, or other considerations to make. Drop it in and forget all about it. 

Another big benefit is that you can carry in nearly any type of clothing. It’s not finicky to formal clothing or to work clothing. A pocket carry rig certainly doesn’t mind the clothes you carry. As long as it has pockets, you can drop your gun in and forget all about it. Plus, it won’t mess with the lines of your suit. 

Convenience shouldn’t be a major consideration when you get into the weeds of personal security. Plenty of people will argue it should be comforting, not comfortable. However, real life says differently. We all like convenience, and sometimes it’s a lot easier to put a gun in your pocket, and if it’s easier, you’re more likely to do it. 

Finally, one of the tactical benefits of pocket carry is what I call the pre-draw. With a normal holster, if you reach for it, you’ll be brandishing the weapon. With pocket carry, I can stick my hand in my pocket and grip the gun with no one being the wiser. If my spidey sense goes off because maybe someone is following me, or maybe someone is acting erratic, I can reach in my pocket and have my gun ready. It’s a tactical consideration and a valuable one. 

The World of Pocket Carry

Pocket carry can be an invaluable tool and technique for the average concealed carrier. However, it requires the right gun, the right holster, and of course, plenty of training. Pocket carry is just another tool for the box and another method to ensure you are your own bodyguard. If you dont feel pocket carry is best for you, maybe a belly band holster, IWB holster, or shoulder holster would be better for you.

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About Travis Pike

Travis is a former United States Marine Corps Infantryman and currently a firearms writer, instructor, and works in Emergency Management.

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