The number of gun owners carrying their concealed guns in the appendix position is increasing as the benefits become more evident. Several companies have expanded their lines of holsters to include holsters specifically for the appendix position, to include Brave Response who recently released one, as well.
It does not come as a surprise that I am a writer for ConcealedCarry.com. I point this out only because the company also sells the Brave Response Holster, in addition to other brands of holsters. But this fact in no way influenced my review of the product, as I continue to hold my integrity above anything else. I personally do not make any money or receive any compensation for giving positive reviews of any product, regardless if ConcealedCarry.com sells it or not. Now we can get into the review of the holster.
The Brave Response Holster Line:
It has been about four years since Brave Response came out with their original holster. The design was to have the holster attached to a band that wrapped around the wearer's body, instead of attaching it to a belt. This would allow the holster to be worn even if the person was wearing athletic clothing or any clothing without a belt. The holster was also produced to be a universal holster that held nearly any semi-automatic handgun that wasn't fitted with a light or laser. The original design included 3 pouches for things like spare magazines or a knife. While the band was obviously adjustable, the holster which had a forward cant was not. This meant it was set up ideally for a strong side hip or small of the back method of carrying.
Because the holster was made with quality velcro and materials, I found it to be very comfortable, and a great option for when I needed to carry my gun while wearing sweats or basketball shorts, which I often wear. The problem was that I carry in the appendix position. Although ideally, an appendix position holster will have zero cant, I made the forward cant of this holster work.
Naturally, when I was told an appendix version of the holster was in the works, I was excited to test it out.
Brave Response Appendix Holster (BRAH):
The appendix version of the holster is similar to the original in its concept: A holster that can accommodate nearly any semi-auto pistol, sans laser/light and worn independently from the pants. When comparing the two, I found the same high-quality Velcro from the original was also used in this version. The materials of the holster portion also remained unchanged. I did notice that the backing material that rested against the body felt softer and more durable than my original.
Brave Response addressed a concern that some had in the original design. That of the material around the trigger guard not being thick enough. A thicker piece of material is sewn into the area around the trigger guard, putting some of those concerns to rest.
This version allows for 1 spare mag or knife to be carried alongside the gun. Many noted that carrying the magazine on the strong side of the body was not ideal, as it required a cross body magazine draw. This becomes a non-issue in the appendix position though.
I was initially puzzled with a short elastic and velcro piece that was included in the package. As it turns out, the strap is used to twist the grip of the gun back toward the wearer's body in the same way a claw/wing device works on other holsters. It does not have to be used, however, I found it did make a difference in concealment.
Another point of improvement is reinforcement around the mouth of the holster. Many people desire a holster that will not collapse once the gun is removed. This allows the person to re-holster using only one hand. I am not exactly sure what type of material gives the holster its form, but it withstands the pressure of a belt and certainly doesn't collapse with the elastic waistband of athletic clothing.
I ran through roughly 100 reps of one-handed re-holstering. The action never caused my trigger to be pushed to the rear. However, like other holsters, because the holster is so close to the body, it is easy to muzzle oneself when inserting the gun. This is why I am a proponent of deliberate reholstering with any rig.
Check out this short video I put together showing it off a bit:
All in all, I found the appendix version of the Brave Response to have the same benefits as the original design. The company made improvements in the backing material, reinforced the trigger area even more, and finally made an appendix specific model. As with any other holster selection, it is a highly personal choice. For me, the original will be replaced by this because of my mode of carrying. This is not my everyday carry holster because I typically am wearing a belt and like the benefits of a holster that clips to my belt.
However, like the original, this holster will be my go-to holster at times I am wearing sweats or athletic clothing. It is incredibly and deceptively comfortable and versatile.
The holster is assembled in the States, and all materials are sourced here as well. It has a 60-day return policy and is priced $10 less than the original at $60 dollars. If you need the versatility of carrying without a belt, this may be a great option for you.