Deciding on an everyday carry (EDC) holster can become frustrating because of the many different features. But what about the number of clips it uses? Do you prefer a holster with one clip or two? Here are some considerations to help you decide what is best for you.
Foundational Holster Truths:
By remembering the primary purpose of the holster is so we can safely carry the gun on our bodies, the necessity of functioning holster clips becomes apparent.
Because of different features, some holsters facilitate this better than others.
At a bare minimum, your holster should:
- fits the gun appropriately so the gun won't fall out,
- protects the trigger guard completely
- fastens securely to belt, clothing, body, etc.
Of course, many more criteria make some holsters better than others. But let's narrow the focus to the third requirement of a holster. That it fastens securely to our belt. Now we are talking about the holster's clips.
I recently published a content piece describing the many common types of holster clips currently used by manufacturers. You may have already decided on the clip style you prefer. Moving to the next step, we determine if we want one or two clips on the holster.
One Holster Clip or Two?
The FOMI style clip is most common on a holster that has only one clip. However, plenty of people use other types of clips in a single clip configuration on their EDC holster.
One benefit of a single clip design is that you only pay extra in the cases where you want to upgrade to two clips. For super budget-conscious everyday carriers, this may be a consideration.
That said, the savings are likely less than a value meal at McDonald's. So if you want two clips but are also counting pennies, I recommend upgrading the clips and passing on the Big Mac.
Ease of use:
Holsters that use one clip are arguably easier to put on and take off the belt. Of course, it's debatable if this is always true. Nevertheless, I mention it because I have heard people make that argument.
Probably the most legitimate reason someone willfully chooses a single clip over dual clips for their holster is belt space and holster positioning. Doesn't it seem that a belt loop is in the exact place you want to clip your holster.
You end up slightly moving your holster, which in some cases causes discomfort. I find that this doesn't happen as much with one clip. And if it does, I don't have to move the holster much.
Performance in a Fight:
In general, using one clip on your holster isn't as secure as two clips. If we consider that many defensive gun uses (DGUs) begin with some physical confrontation, there is the potential you will be in a fight before even using the gun (if at all.) If you haven't been in a real-life, violent, no rules, winner take all fight, watch some videos of people who have been.
It quickly becomes apparent that there is much movement grabbing, pulling, twisting, striking, etc. The point is that we want our holster to stay put and not fall, break, or easily pulled off our belt. So one clip provides one attachment point, two clips…well, you get the idea.
Of course, during a fight, we want to avoid our holster coming off our belt before we need the gun or when the gun shouldn't come out.
One soft loop might secure the holster better than, say, two standard plastic clips. And holster retention is a technique that the person must employ, not just of holster clips. However, you likely won't ever complain after a fight that two clips overly secured your holster to your belt.
Another drawback of one clip is that the holster can twist or rotate on the belt. I am not even talking about during a fight, but rather during everyday activities. I find this movement results in some significant issues.
When the holster moves, it causes the orientation of the grip to change. All of this makes it difficult to achieve a consistent draw stroke. Sure the holster may move in a physical fight. That affects us on the range during training.
As mentioned above, we understand the holster may likely move during a fight. However, we want to limit the likelihood of it moving out of place.
Also, comfort can suffer if the gun orientation is constantly moving throughout the day. For example, if you continually need to readjust your gun, one factor may be the holster twisting as you move.
Of course, other factors could lead to you adjusting your gun during the day, but consider that one clip may be a contributing factor.
I know many people I highly respect that use only one clip on their holster.
The point of this post is to help you take your choice of one clip or two beyond simply what the holster manufacturer offers as their standard configuration. If you have only used one holster clip, I suggest you try a two-clip design. An option is to purchase a couple of clips from a third-party site and trying them out on your existing holster.
Then decide on what seems to work best for you.
For me personally, I never thought two clips made much of a difference until I started using a holster with two clips. I find they secure the gun well and keep it in a consistent place on my belt. In addition, it resulted in better comfort and more consistent draws.
Here are some other resources to help choose a good holster:
- Criteria For Selecting a Concealed Carry Holster
- Women's Concealed Carry Holster Options
- 4 Things an Appendix Carry Holster Should Have
- Claws and Wedges
- Off Body Considerations