Sticky Holster Product Line Testing and Review

sticky holster

Sticky holsters have been around for quite a while now and the brand has become established and reputable. Despite that, I've gone many years now essentially ignoring them. I walk past their booth at trade shows and I think to myself something like “there is no way I'm ever going to try that.”

Well, I proved myself wrong this time. Sticky sent a few products over to our review team here at ConcealedCarry.com and I found myself volunteering to give it a shot. I wore my primary EDC gun in a Sticky Holster for a little more than 10 days and spent about 6 hours on the range with it. What follows are my personal thoughts.

Does it Stick – IWB Carry?

Yeah, it sticks. It doesn't fall out the bottom of my pants. However, as you would intuitively assume, it does require a certain degree of tension on the waistline. I tried loosening the belt a few times and eventually tried removing my belt altogether and with a lose enough waistband the holster will give and fall. So I wouldn't recommend this with your sweats, gym shorts, or yoga pants.

I wore this primarily AIWB and after a few days it was really well adapted as the “wing” of the pocket started to bend and conform to my body.

p365 holster

In traditional IWB, 4 to 5 o'clock on the waistband, it performed adequately well.

How Well Does it Fit The Firearm and Allow For Good Draw?

A big pet peeve of mine are holsters that get in the way of a good draw. Sticky Holsters come in over 30 SKUs but collectively fit over 100 guns so I wasn't sure if I would be disappointed in the fit. I got the SM5 model which is listed as the best size holster for the Sig P365.

The P365 fits perfectly well in the SM5 holster. When I say it fits perfectly well I mean the holster doesn't get in the way of a good draw. There is space where the trigger guard meets the grip to establish your strong hand grip and while the trigger guard is fully covered the cut of the holster is such that it doesn't cover up the top of the grip or the rear sights at all making it easy to establish your grip without the holster getting in the way.

Since Sticky holsters are “one size fits many” your experience may vary with how well it fits your firearm.

No issues with the holster coming with the gun during a draw either. I ran a lot of drills on the range with this holster and it never once left the pant during a draw.

One issue to address is that the holster tends to rotate on me in the same way that a single clip holster might. I place the holster in my waistline so as to ensure some space between the grip of the gun and the top of the pants. This is important so that I can establish my grip immediately as part of my draw. Give it 20 minutes of movement and the holster will have effectively rotated and/or slid slightly such that the grip of the gun is resting on the top of the pant. This for me is a deal breaker. The inability to actually get my hand on the gun immediately for a good draw means I can't use this holster.

If you use any single attachment point holster and especially if that holster has a clip that is bigger than the belt then you will likely have that same issue. It is also possible that a larger Sticky holster with a larger gun may not have the same issue.

Here you see what I mean about the grip sitting right on top of the pants. Oh… and I guess my fly was down slightly… good to know.

And Retention?

How does the holster retain the gun? Well, about as well as you would like to think it would. This is not a Kydex holster. This holster does not have any sort of retention device or strap. But the holster does seem to fit the guns in a snug way that creates some natural retention, even more so when in a waistband.

If I put the gun in the holster and turn it upside down and shake I can get the gun to fall out with a forceful enough shake. Does this bother me or make me concerned with using the holster? No, it does not. I may choose to forego doing backflips at the club on the weekends but otherwise would feel confident with the natural retention the holster provides when using it with a quality belt.

What About Reholstering?

This isn't the holster's strong point. Frankly, it sucks. When you draw from this holster and go to reholster the gun you SHOULD remove the holster from your pant, reinsert the firearm and then place the entire rig back in your waistline. Anything else felt unsafe, difficult, forced, and overly time-consuming. Is this a deal breaker? Well, it certainly is a pain in the neck when you are running drills, taking a class, or otherwise engaging in training but as to normal everyday carry it doesn't bother me in the slightest.

After you draw the holster naturally collapses making reholstering very difficult and even dangerous. Remove the holster from your pants in order to reholster.

Is It Comfortable, Convenient, and Economic?

Yes, Yes, and Yes. This holster is comfortable. It doesn't have any extra bulk, the material is soft, and I find it very comfortable.

It is hard to beat this holster on convenience. Each morning I opened the safe, grabbed the gun in the holster and placed it inside my waistband. Presto and done. Reverse steps at night. No clips, no straps, no nada.

Economic? Yep, they sell these holsters for $29.95 each.

Does It Conceal Well?

The holster lacks concealment tools and principles that a lot of good holsters have. No way to attach a wing and no OEM support for a wedge for example. This means if your natural body shape “pushes” the gun out above the pivot point of the belt line this holster is going to print quite badly.

So I would say it may conceal well for you depending on where you carry it and your body shape but it doesn't provide tools to help it conceal for those with a more challenging body shape or clothing.

What Else Can You Buy With Your Holster?

Sticky Holsters also makes and provides mag pouches which you might consider. My experience with the mag pouch was not overly positive because I had the orginal mag pouches which are too deep for smaller magazines like the mags for the Glock 43 and Sig P365. Larger or even mid-size magazines probably would work fairly well. I understand they have expanded their product line and now have mini-mag carriers that would work better for my particular loadout. All around its something to consider.

Sticky Holsters also has an AnkleBiter rig which works together with your holster to essentially convert it into an ankle holster. If you are a person who owns a Sticky Holster then for an extra $40 you can have an Ankle holster as well. I don't think it is a bad idea for someone who is going to occasionally want to ankle carry but if ankle carry is your primary way of carrying I didn't feel this was the most comfortable or low-profile ankle holster I've ever tried.

Sticky Holsters also has a travel mount which essentially is a way to securely remove your holster from your body and place it in a “carrier” of sorts that is mounted to a part of your car or desk etc. The system works with a Velcro with a strong adhesive back. I would strongly discourage the use of this product. “Mounting” a gun in this fasion is in my opinion unsafe and not the best way to stage a gun for access.

Lastly, Sticky Holsters recently launched a new line of holsters that work with Kydex inserts for those of you who either think the original line doesn't have enough retention or trigger guard protection. For, me I don't see a strong need for the new line as it addresses things I don't think are issues while ignoring the few major issues I see with the product.

All in all, I wouldn't shame someone or think less of someone for using the Sticky Holster but I can't recommend it either.

About Jacob Paulsen

Jacob S. Paulsen is the President of ConcealedCarry.com. ConcealedCarry.com provides in-person and online firearm training for American gun owners. The Company is currently teaching in-person classes in 25+ states with a team of more than 55 instructors. Jacob is a NRA certified instructor & Range Safety Officer, USCCA certified instructor and training counselor, Utah BCI instructor, Affiliate instructor for Next Level Training, Graduate and certified instructor for The Law of Self Defense, and a Glock and Sig Sauer Certified Armorer. He resides in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado with his wife and children.

24 Comments

  1. Eric- Operations Manager for Sticky on October 22, 2018 at 5:32 pm

    Thank you very much for the open and honest review. We definitely understand the limitations of our holster but also feel it has many advantages that you pointed out. Like shoes there will never be one holster that will Work in every situation. A few corrections I would like to point out is the SM5 is recommended for the Glock 42 not the 43. That is why you had fit issues with that. Secondly we have released a series of mini mag carriers to fit just the mags you were mentioning. We even have a horizontal carrier called the belt slider that works really well and has been a hot item. Thank you again for the review. As always we are proudly 100% made in America.

    • Jacob Paulsen on October 23, 2018 at 6:54 am

      Eric, I can see why some people like to use the Sticky Holster in their holster toolbox. I will revise the above review based on your input about the SM5 and the mini mag carriers. Thank you!

      • Mikeusa on March 18, 2019 at 8:07 pm

        Got this holster for last 7 years and re holster the gun is always as easy as draw the gun. Don’t get it … why everyone always mentioned you need to remove the holster of your waistband to re holster. Just take my empty hand put one finger to open the holster and insert my gun soft and easy as cutting butter with the knife. Maybe you guys need to try and use common sense?

        • DES57 on April 10, 2019 at 9:19 am

          Common sense says to avoid a negligent discharge by getting your shirt, belt buckle, whatever pressing the trigger while reholstering. What’s the hurry during EDC? Just untuck it, safely slide in gun, retuck in waistband, and wiggle it into comfortable position. I agree, a day of competition shooting would require a rigid holster. I find these types of holsters very comfortable and have to check occasionally to see if I’m carrying.

    • C Turner on May 1, 2023 at 1:10 pm

      I have a sticky holster for every gun I own, and as the article said, I use them frequently in place of kydex holsters that are uncomfortable and eventually dig into your skin. Havig said that, I find I’d love to have a sticky holster that had a clip to retain it in a specific position. I find myself having to re-position the firearm frequently (like when getting in and out of a car) which can “out” you pretty easily. Also, although I’ve never been successful in managing to activate the trigger through a sticky holster, there’s always this thought in the back of my mind that not having a safety on a firearm with one in the chamber might be a bit more risky with a sticky holster, especially once it gets a bit worn.

      What I wish you made (and I do realize you make some like this that aren’t custom sizes) is that you had material you would sell that can be cut by the user to back kydex holsters. I have a T1C holster with a sidecar I love, but it’s the most uncomfortable thing to wear because it will eventually grind the kydex into your body when sitting. If it had a backing like a sticky holster, I think it would be perfect. I wonder if I cut a piece of foam if you could do a custom pad for me for my T1C holster?

      I’d love to see Sticky holsters in the future with the following features:

      1) A clip to secure them to your belt
      2) internal kydex trigger guard material.
      3) Custom padding options for other holsters.

      Still, I love my Sticky’s and recommend them frequently to people. But until some of those features are available, they probably won’t be the only holster I use.

  2. Thom.Stackhouse on October 23, 2018 at 6:20 am

    Good Morning Jacob, You forgot to mention using your Sticky Holsters in your right or left front pants pocket. This is where they really shine. I alternate between the three I have, (1) Colt Cobra .38 special revolver (small); (2) Colt Commander 9mm pistol (medium); (3) Colt Government .45 ACP (large). The two smaller guns conceal just fine in my pocket, however the full size 1911 shows the handle a bit. I am very comfortable while carrying and I urge you to give Sticky another try this way. Chaplain

    • Jacob Paulsen on October 23, 2018 at 6:59 am

      Thank you for your comment Thom! I’m just not a guy who does pocket carry though certainly I recognize it as a great option for many people. I’m grateful for your comment as it helps others see the Sticky Holster in that light. Cheers!

  3. Jason on April 10, 2019 at 8:01 am

    According to active self protection the sticky holster are no good. I can’t disagree more. I hat his channel and unsubscribed to it.

    Fact of the matter is, like EVERYTHING else gun related, you need to TRAIN. He uses videos of GUN IDIOTS to support his bullshit claims. He literally has concern about something entering your pocket, somehow magically getting in between the holster and the trigger, hooking the trigger, then pulling the trigger. SERIOUSLY??? I have a better chance of a unicorn poking my pocket and shooting my gun.

    • Don H on February 26, 2023 at 10:10 am

      He is also the same guy that says he never cleans his gun even after “THOUSANDS OF ROUNDS!! Just oil it!”

  4. LL on April 10, 2019 at 9:14 am

    I love ALL my Stickys and they allow me to change clothes for the occasion/weather changes with absolutely no concern and rapid use. They forgot to mention that these holsters are perfect for pocket carrying with zero printing and full retention upon a draw. I also love the travel mount with retention strap that i’m confident would hold my weapon in place should a vehicle collision occur. Love my Stickys, the most universally useful system out there!

  5. Timothy Craig Goforth on April 10, 2019 at 10:44 am

    I have a Sticky pocket holster for a Colt Mustang Pocket lite 380 and it is the best way to conceal my weapon in my front right hand pocket!!!! It draws slicker than glass!!!! Love it wouldn’t use any other kind of holster!!!! I highly recommend it to anyone else!!!!

  6. Hugh on April 10, 2019 at 1:42 pm

    All of my carry pistols ride in Sticky Holsters. I carry Glock 26 and 43 and Kahr CM9. Since the holsters are ambidextrous I sometimes carry one in each front pocket, and they also work in back pockets.They are comfortable, cover the trigger and stay in my pocket. I never appendix or IWB carry so I don’t have experience with that. I also have some mag carriers and holsters for my tactical pen and Micro Spy Tool. I have never had any problem with any of them and highly recommend!

  7. john blanchard on April 10, 2019 at 8:28 pm

    I carry Ruger p89 9 mm tell me what model for p89 will buy it

  8. Robert on April 11, 2019 at 4:57 am

    Worthless holsters that don’t even last a year. Very cheaply made.

    • Joshua Gillem on April 11, 2019 at 8:39 am

      Wow, really? I’ve had mine for almost 3 years and it’s still going strong.

  9. Dennis on April 25, 2019 at 10:21 am

    I’ve used a Sticky Holster with my Springfield Mod 2 .45 for better than three years and love it. One big plus for me is that since waistline compression is what holds it in place, there is no weight pulling your belt/pants down. With holsters that use a belt clip, I find myself regularly having to hitch my pants up. Not so with the Sticky! Also, living in a climate with very cold winters, it’s easy to slip the holstered gun into a heavy winter coat pocket and know it is safe.

  10. IAN HOWARD on November 29, 2020 at 3:06 pm

    I bought two Sticky Holsters and then saw this warning:

    Warning: Cancer and Reproductive Harm

    Does this mean that Sticky Holsters are made with cancer causing elements? If yes, I would not want that pressed up on my body. What do you think?

    • Joshua Gillem on November 30, 2020 at 7:31 am

      While I don’t have a very knowledgeable answer, I can say that certain states require labels like that if certain elements in a product have been found in animal studies to potentially cause cancer. It is also my belief that many products these days have those labels to appease officials in states like California.

      I personally put a Sticky Holster in my pocket for certain small guns when I’m around the house and don’t worry much about it.

      I hope this helps.

      Josh

      • Larry O on October 21, 2022 at 10:55 pm

        Everything causes cancer in California. Glad I don’t live there. 🤣

    • Don H on February 26, 2023 at 10:12 am

      Your firearm comes with the same California warning

  11. John on December 19, 2022 at 11:51 am

    Jacob, I’m new to concealed carry. I just got my EDC, a Sig P365 XL in 9MM. Looking forward to going to the range. In the meantime I’ve gotten lost in the quagmire of holsters. But I stumbled on your review of the Sticky holster. Clearly a very honest, accurate and unbiased review. The cons you mentioned were things I wondered about. But after reading your review, I’ve settled on the Sticky Holster.
    Thanks
    John

  12. John Peace on March 26, 2023 at 5:29 am

    I have been a Sticky Holster EDC guy for over 11 years. I carry, Glocks, Diamond Backs, Taurus, Sig, Browning. Large and Small pistons/revolvers. I started out with a Charter Arms Snub nose 38 special. Right front pocket carry for about 8 years. I eventually had to get a new Sticky Holster for that guy…I totally wore it out. Not once did the holster come out of my pocket when I pulled the gun out. Holster stayed in place, gun did not snag and always came out of the pocket smoothly. Shape of the holster kept me from printing too. I began to loose weight, and instead of buying smaller clothes, I began IWB carry with Sticky Holsters. I Have a holster from Sticky Holsters for ALL OF MY GUNS. Regardless of size. I have however had to resize a few. I don’t like the rear sights to slip into the holster. I keep the trigger fully covered, and the sight slightly exposed. Never an issue. Yet when the holster gets a lot of wear, if your rear sights are within the holster, you will get a snag. New holsters it’s not an issue. But after a year or so of EDC, make sure those rear sights are not covered.

  13. Brian on December 30, 2023 at 4:35 pm

    What I have found is that people tend not to carry if the carrying becomes uncomfortable. I carry a Glock 43X and have tried many, many types of holsters and found them difficult to keep on an entire day and evening because they would become uncomfortable. Then my son-in-law showed me his Sticky holsters and I ordered one for my Glock. It has absolutely got to be the most comfortable holster on the market in my opinion and that includes belly bands that are touted for being so comfortable. I can wear my Sticky holster from getting dressed in the morning till bedtime and sometimes forget I even am carrying. I will concede, with no safety, I’m not keeping a round chambered. But I absolutely recommend a Sticky holsters!!!

  14. Steve Sr on June 30, 2024 at 8:55 am

    Interesting review along with the comments added. Thanks to all.
    I’m considering buying a Sticky holster to add in rotation and I’m pretty positive it will be useful.
    God Bless, stay safe.

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