Kydex is one of the most popular materials for constructing concealment holsters. Its strength, thinness and light weight combined with low cost works very well for many concealed carry applications. It has been popular for use on both inside- and outside-the-waistband (IWB and OWB) holsters, and most major manufacturers offer Kydex holsters.
But Kydex isn’t leather. And as I’ve gotten older, I have found that Kydex doesn’t work as well for me, especially when it comes to IWB holsters.
Actually, no IWB holster is really comfortable for me anymore, be it leather or Kydex. But Kydex is especially uncomfortable against my skin — even when I’m wearing a T-shirt in between the holster and my body. This is due to the material’s thinness and lack of suppleness not molding to the body very well (nor does it insulate against the rough corners of the holstered gun).
When I needed a new concealment holster, I was looking for something comfortable that would also pull the somewhat bulky Glock 27 in as close as possible to minimize its print. While the Safariland 6376 that I reviewed with the Glock 27 in August can be concealed, I use it mostly for duty-related uniform carry. So I turned to DeSantis.
DeSantis has an extensive line of leather and Kydex holsters for concealment and has been making holsters for quite some time (40 years to be exact). It is also a family-owned company — a rare thing these days, especially for doing business on a national scale.
After some discussion with DeSantis, I decided to try out the Mini Slide holster. The Mini Slide is an open-top, open-bottom holster made of premium saddle leather.
It features a highly detailed molded fit, which is critical for keeping the holstered gun secure. The trigger guard, ejection port, slide, frame and even the area for the Glock takedown latch are sharply defined. In order to allow the user to adjust the holster fit to his or her individual gun and needs, there is a tensioning screw positioned below the trigger guard area.
The Mini Slide features double-stitching to maintain holster integrity. With reasonable care, a DeSantis holster should never wear out. The wide belt slots accommodate a 1.75-inch belt, and the holster curves to follow the contour of the hip. The curvature is what allows a properly constructed leather holster to be pulled in close to the body.
I received a tan Mini Slide, but black is also available. The edges of the holster are protected by a black sealant finish, which provides a nice contrast to the tan leather.
I have been wearing the Mini Slide off and on for the past three weeks or so and have been very pleased with it. The open holster bottom not only prevents the accumulation of lint and debris but also allows longer Glocks to be carried in it without modification. For instance, my Glock 17 also fits just fine in the Mini Slide, although the muzzle and front sight protrude through the bottom. If I were selecting a new holster for the G17 from DeSantis, though, I would select a different holster that protects the XS Tritium front sight.
Both of my Glocks are equipped with Crimson Trace Lasergrip Sights. The laser-aiming modules end up about 1/8 inch from touching the edge of the holster when I’m fully seated but are easily accommodated by the Mini Slide.
I really like the way my Glock 27 rides in the Mini Slide. It is comfortable and sits up high on my belt, allowing easy access to my right-front trouser pocket, which is important since I keep my knife and car keys there. This is why I don’t often carry a full-sized gun off-duty: The muzzle covers the front pocket opening. Today, full-sized guns are reserved solely for my duty belt.
An important aspect of carrying an open-top holster such as the Mini Slide is making sure that you have the holster tensioning device set properly. It needs to be tight enough so that if you are knocked down, your gun won’t go squirting out of the holster … and into the hands of your opponent. To check tension, hold the unloaded and double-checked gun in the holster and shake it over a soft surface to prove that it won’t drop out. Follow this test by mounting the holster on your belt and practicing your draw to make sure that the tension isn’t too tight.
The Mini Slide rides with a muzzle-rearward tilt. This means it will be difficult to remove by anyone who might try to grasp it from behind or pull it straight up in an attempt to disarm you. In order to reduce the risk of this, open-top holsters should be worn with a covering garment instead of out in the open (which is a bad idea anyway) since there is no additional retention device.
The Mini Slide is a great minimalist concealment holster and is typical of the fine products manufactured by DeSantis. MSRP is $71.99.
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