I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: These are great days for handgun owners — especially those who carry on a regular basis. The past several years have brought a dramatic increase not only in gear, but also in innovation. The normal means for carrying a reload with a magazine holster has also benefited from these innovations. In one sense, magazine holsters are a fairly low-tech piece of gear. But they are important. Here are my top five choices in magazine holsters and what makes each of them a favorite.
Galco Double Mag Pouch, $75.00
When I’m carrying a single-stack 9mm, such as a Ruger LC9, I like to carry two reloads. While the chances of needing a reload while using a handgun are relatively low, it’s better to have the extra ammo on hand. In the case of a single-stack 9mm, two reloads are better than one. 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. I keep mine set at medium-high, meaning I have to give a very sincere tug to draw the magazines out. 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, $26.95
This is the holster I use when I’m carrying an Honor Defense Honor Guard or other similarly sized pistol. 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. Frankly, I find it a bit bulky for IWB carry. 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, $49.88
There’s a lot going on with this rig. To start, the holsters can be adjusted to fit more than one size of magazine. Since I use this rig mostly for training, mine is sized for a Glock 19 with a medium-light tension. 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, I prefer to use it for training and range use and 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. I 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, $99.00
If I could buy only one magazine holster, it would probably be this Kramer for two reasons. The first is the horsehide. Stiff and incredibly 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 my 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, including me.
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.
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. Personally, I like leather double mag holsters to allow for a little flex. Singles are good in plastic, but for training, I prefer a double in plastic. Whatever you use to carry a reload, be sure to get professional training on how to use it. And be sure to practice, practice, practice.
How do you carry a reload? Let us know in the comments below.