Embracing the concealed carry lifestyle oftentimes comes with more gear than simply your firearm. Along with your wallet and keys, everyday carry gear (EDC) becomes essential. One piece of gear, aside from a good gun belt and your best holster, that you may end up carrying is an extra magazine. And the easiest way to carry your additional ammo is in a magazine holster or mag carrier.

Simply put, a magazine holster is a specialized carrier designed to securely hold extra ammunition magazines for your concealed carry gun. The primary purpose is to provide easy access to additional rounds, enhancing your readiness in potential self-defense shootings. In a worst-case scenario, having extra rounds could be the difference between life and death.

Consider what can go wrong in a gunfight: You run out of ammo, you accidentally drop a magazine out of your gun, you accidentally open the cylinder of your revolver and the rounds fall out, you experience a pistol malfunction and so on and so forth. Better to have an extra magazine and not need it than to need it and not have it

If your preferred concealed carry gun is a single-stack, without additional rounds tucked away in a mag carrier, you often have less than 10 rounds. Adding a reload to your carry gear can be as simple as dropping a spare magazine in your pocket. But a belt-mounted pouch or carrier that keeps the reload at the ready, near your weak hand is a better option. A magazine holster ensures you have a readily accessible and organized way to carry spare ammunition. 

What Is a Magazine Holster

Mag holsters are typically tailored to fit specific magazines or specific sizes, such as either single-stack or double-stack 9mm. Precise fit will vary from magazine to magazine. The majority of magazine holsters are crafted for use on the waistband. Belt clips may be included on some designs or omitted from others. Some designs also include active retention features, such as retention straps.

Like concealed carry holsters, there are several designs of magazine carriers. Magazine carriers and gun holsters share common design features, as both are made to keep an object in place. For example, there are outside-the-waistband (OWB) and inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster options for both your gun or your spare magazine. Materials used in mag carriers mirror those of gun holsters, ranging from leather, Kydex or other polymers to hybrid designs combining soft materials against the body with harder materials to retain the magazine. 

Some holster manufacturers are now integrating the magazine carrier with a holster, often referred to as the “sidecar” design. While the concept has its positive attributes, real-world usability is limited. Sidecars are primarily effective in the appendix concealed carry position but tend to be uncomfortable.

How to Choose a Mag Carrier

With a plethora of options on the market, selecting the right mag holster can be overwhelming. Consider factors like comfort, accessibility and concealability. A good mag holster should securely retain your magazine while allowing for a smooth and quick draw. Look for durable materials and an adjustable fit to accommodate different magazine sizes. Remember, the best mag holster is the one that seamlessly integrates into your daily carry routine.

Not sure whether to go with a single or double mag holster? One way to decide is to consider the total number of rounds you want on your person. If your carry gun is a double stack, you might be good with a single magazine reload. If your carry gun is a single stack, two magazine reloads might be appropriate. Not sure whether to go with leather or plastic? This is just a matter of personal preference. Both have their strengths and weaknesses.

Mag Holster Options

Galco Double Mag Pouch, $102

Galco Double Mag Pouch

In the case of a single-stack 9mm, two reloads are better than one. Though the chances of needing a reload while using a handgun are relatively low, it’s better to have the extra ammo on hand. The fact that Galco’s Double Mag Pouch has been around for a while proves what a successful design it has been and continues to be. It can be slid on like a belt loop or it can be easily put on and taken off with the double snaps.

The leather is made of Galco’s premium steerhide and comes in tan, havana brown or black. Tension screws allow the user to adjust the ease with which the magazines are drawn from the pouch. Favorite feature: Two single-stack 9mm magazines ride safely and securely on the weak side while providing a counterbalancing weight opposite the gun.

Multi Holsters Elite Quick Ship Mag Holster, $33.99

Multi Holsters Elite Quick Ship Mag Holster

The two tension-adjustable screws allow the user to put just the right amount of friction on the magazine to keep it in the holster but also relinquish upon a smart draw stroke. The durable plastic allows the Multi Holster to take a beating as it rides outside the waistband. The robust plastic clip goes over a gun belt with a push and stays on unless the clip is intentionally pulled away from the belt.

Prefer to wear it inside the waistband? Go right ahead. Just remember to turn your magazine so that the bullets face forward. Favorite feature: OWB carry is easily hidden under a T-shirt and is solid with a real gun belt.

Alien Gear Dual Cloak Mag Carrier, $64.88

Alien Gear Dual Cloak Mag Carrier

There’s a lot going on with this rig. To start, the holsters can be adjusted to fit more than one size of magazine. The Alien Gear mag carrier can use either a belt slide or a paddle. The paddle is well-designed, provides a stable platform and installs relatively easily.

While this rig can be used for concealment, it really shines when used for training and on the range use. Switch to a single mag carrier for concealed carry. What’s interesting about this holster is that it’s made up of two individual single mag carriers. You can remove one of them, install a comfortable backer and belt clip and carry it inside the waistband. Favorite feature: versatility.

Kramer Double Magazine Pouch Horsehide, $118

Kramer Double Magazine Pouch Horsehide

This magazine holster from Kramer is incredible for two reasons. The first is the horsehide. Stiff and extremely durable, horsehide will last a lifetime. The second is the belt slide. No snaps, just solid horsehide cut with a single belt loop and molded to wrap around the hip while carrying two magazines.

Available in black, mahogany and tan, the Kramer double is an instant classic, one you won’t mind stringing your belt through for the day’s carry duty. Favorite feature: horsehide, because it feels like it will outlast just about anything else.



NeoMag, $49.99


While other magazine holsters wrap around a magazine, the NeoMag grabs a magazine with magnetism. The minimal design and metal clip allow it to be carried in the pocket. It hides the magazine deep enough to be unseen but high enough that it can be grabbed and easily deployed. When the magazine is drawn out, the clip stays attached to the pocket.

While there are several sizes of NeoMags, one size will fit more than one size of magazine. The one you see here is a medium, and it’s hanging on to a 1911 magazine with 9mm rounds on board. This skinny 1911 magazine is a perfect match for a NeoMag. Favorite feature: innovative pocket carry.

JOX Loader Pouch $100

Revolvers are still viable concealed carry guns, and whether yours holds five rounds or eight, carrying a reload is a very good idea. Pouches for revolver reloads have been around forever, but JOX proves there’s still innovation to be enjoyed in this market. The JOX Loader Pouch is simple, lightweight, eminently durable and easy to conceal. It clips to a gun belt and hangs on tight — even with eight rounds of .357 Magnum in a moon clip on board. Putting it on and taking it off are a chore, but you’re rewarded accordingly: The rounds in tow ride above the belt, pulled in close to the body.

Maximizing Preparedness

In many jurisdictions, carrying spare magazines is generally legal, but it’s essential to check and understand local regulations. Some areas may have restrictions on the number of rounds a magazine can hold, so familiarize yourself with the laws in your area.

A magazine holster, or mag carrier, is a fundamental accessory that enhances your ability to respond to potential threats effectively. Remember to choose a mag holster that suits your needs and stay informed about legal considerations. Coupled with the right concealed carry gun, best caliber for your preferences and a reliable gun belt, you’ll be well-equipped to face whatever challenges may come your way.


This article is a compilation of previous blog posts authored by George Harris and Mark Kakkuri.

How do you carry a reload? Let us know in the comments below.