StealthGearUSA Onyx Tuckable IWB Holster and Magazine Carrier (MSRP $180)
My first exposure to StealthGearUSA was in a Gun Digest email endorsing the Onyx holster. The ad made the usual claims of comfort and quality with an unusual lack of leather product. I was intrigued and needed to see the product for myself.
The holster appears to start out as a piece of highly perforated rubberized material that lends the holster its rigidity. That rigid material is visible at the ends of the holster where the metal belt hooks attach.
Now that I have shown you the construction of the holster, let’s talk function. The Onyx is a tuckable IWB holster with adjustable ride height and angle based on the placement of the steel belt hooks. The holster fit is nothing less than perfect for my XDM. As usual, I’ve adjusted my particular ride height to its lowest setting to compensate for the height of my waistband leaving me with an average draw with an FBI cant.
So what really sets the Onyx apart from the IWB holsters we’ve looked at for the last 2 years? First, the quality. The holster uses Kydex material for the outer shell instead of “kydex-like” thermoplastic. The hardware is stainless steel for maximum corrosion resistance. Each stainless screw is accompanied by a rubber spacer allowing for tension adjustment and avoiding the problems that can develop with rivet mounted shells. Finally, after quite a long wear time with this holster I am convinced that it will hold up over time better than leather alternatives.
Secondly, comfort; the Onyx comes through on the claims. Having worn a ton of hybrid holsters and I prefer leather backings to the current trend of neoprene. When a leather backing is built correctly it can be quite comfortable but as evidenced by the stains on some of my leather the backing can make you sweat. When using neoprene, the backing is nearly guaranteed to be soft but the sweat really starts to build under the holster. That is why I have chosen to stick to natural leather backings. The Onyx changes all of that. The StealthGearUSA VentCore™ material allows the holster to breathe. You really can feel the difference with a coolness on your hip when wearing the Onyx. When the holster was empty, it was actually easily forgotten. The breathability of the holster is also found in the IWB magazine carrier. I foresee both items being EDC gear for a long time to come.
A warning for my plus size readers: The breathable material allows airflow but it can also allow moisture transfer. While the holster is designed to keep you from sweating, we know nothing will stop the sweat on a really hot day. If you are a heavy sweat person, like myself, you need to let StealthGearUSA know ahead of time. Once I noticed the issue I was having, StealthGearUSA provided a new holster with slightly different backing material and a wider non-perforated “shield” running through the center of the holster. This solved the issue instantly. To sweat the way I do is truly rare and most will not have the problem I had, but StealthGearUSA was ready for it regardless.
Overall, I am incredibly impressed with StealthGearUSA products and would recommend them to anyone.