Alpha Blog

Is a Holster With a Built-In Magazine Carrier Right For Me?

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All-in-one holsters (a holster with a built-in spare magazine carrer) are incredibly trendy right now in the Kydex industry, leaving a growing number of customers all asking the same question: is this kind of holster right for me?

Sure it looks cool, and it seems like almost every Kydex company offers it. Not to mention, you've probably seen dozens of reviews all over the Internet either proudly advocating for it, or firmly insisting it's all hype. 

We sincerely believe that while it's perfect for some people, it's definitely not the holster for everyone out there. 

We've offered this kind of design for several years now, having introduced our Minotaur Half-Breed IWB holster way back in June 2015 (photo below) and it's light-bearing version, The Centaur, back in October 2015.

The original Minotaur, which is no longer available for purchase

Photo above: The original Minotaur, which is no longer available for purchase. Please be aware that there is nothing wrong with the original Minotaur design - it is still 100% functional, safe and secure for use. 

But in the past year, we've continuously received overwhelming feedback that customers wanted to see our Minotaur holster with our concealment claw (featured on some of our other holsters designs, like The Phoenix, The Gryphon and The Centaur). 

So after careful thought and planning, we were finally able to make it happen. We spent several months updating that original design, testing it internally and then offering it up to testers across the nation, all to bring you an even better, more concealable Minotaur - called The Minotaur V2. Once we were certain that this newer design was something we wanted to add to our product line-up, we pulled the original design and stopped offering it. The new design is shown below.

Photo above: The Minotaur V2, which was released for order on Sept. 28 2017. 

The concealment claw is a small, separate piece of Kydex attached to the left side (right side if you're a left-handed shooter) of the holster. The concealment claw rests against the back side of your belt, forcing the grip of the gun further into the body than normal, aiding in concealment. This is something that most customers need to get used to, as it can be uncomfortable at first. Therefore, the concealment claw is detachable, in case you decide it’s something you’d rather do without.

Unfortunately, with the design of the concealment claw, we weren't able to attach it to the original Minotaur - the holster had to be completely redesigned to create an attachment point. This means that we're not able to retroactively attach a concealment claw to an original Minotaur that a customer may already own.

Hundreds of our customers have sworn by the original Minotaur for years, and the feedback we received from our V2 testers has been overwhelmingly positive. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best holster design for everyone’s body or carry preferences. 

While we do try to make our holsters as minimalistic and as comfortable as possible, comfort, concealability and ease of use is mainly subjective, and will vary from person to person. Some customers may find that an all-in-one holster is too bulky for their liking, or too large for them to find comfortable. Other customers may have a body type that hinders their ability to conceal this holster well, or their body type interferes with their comfort level when carrying this holster. Other customers have difficulty fitting the clips on the holster around their belt buckle (smaller guns such as the Glock 43, result in a smaller holster, which means there is less space between the two clips on the holster where your belt buckle would normally sit). While this can be alleviated by shifting your belt to the left or right about an inch, some customers find this annoying or aren't willing to make that change. 

As is the case with all of our custom products, we cannot accept returns or exchanges on The Minotaur or Minotaur V2, so we ask you to strongly consider the points we've mentioned before placing your order because we have a no-return policy. If you have any doubt, and are concerned about waisting money on a holster you won't end up using, we strongly urge you to consider purchasing two separate pieces - a holster, and a separate spare magazine carrier.

Making two separate pieces part of your EDC is a great way to get a feel for your comfort level and how concealable your handgun plus a spare magazine is. 

If you're gravitating towards The Minotaur V2 (or the light-bearing version, The Centaur), but you're unsure because you're new to appendix carry, new to Kydex, new to carrying a spare magazine, or just new to carrying inside the waistband, we suggest starting with two separate pieces - a holster, and a separate spare magazine carrier (pictured below). 

Having two separate pieces gives you much more versatility than an all-in-one rig, so you're able to move each piece around and determine which carry position each piece works best in for your comfort and concealability levels. If you end up deciding that appendix carry isn't the best position for you, your holster and Single Pistol Magazine Carrier will function just fine in any other carry position. But that's NOT the case with The Minotaur V2 or The Centaur. So we always say it's better to be safe than sorry. 

Photo above: At top, our Apollo Appendix IWB and a Single Pistol Magazine Carrier. At bottom, our original Minotaur IWB, which is the same footprint as the newly designed Minotaur V2. 

Below, we break down the pros and cons of our all-in-one rigs (The Minotaur V2 and The Centaur) versus two separate pieces of gear. The most comparable gear to our Minotaur V2 would be either our Apollo Appendix IWB holster, or our Phoenix Ultimate IWB holster, and our Single Pistol Magazine Carrier. And the most comparable to The Centaur would be either our Cyclopes Light-Bearing IWB holster, or our Gryphon Ultimate Light-Bearing IWB holster, and our Single Pistol Magazine Carrier.

  • Depending on the size of the gun you’re carrying, The Minotaur V2 can feel a bit bulky, while two separate pieces may not. The same is true of The Centaur, depending on the size of the light and handgun you're using.
  • The Minotaur V2 and The Centaur do come standard with a curved design, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be a perfect fit for your body type. If you’re carrying a bit more weight around your midsection, or are very lean, the curved design can actually be somewhat uncomfortable. None of our stand-alone holsters come with a curved design because they are more minimalistic, and it's not necessary.
  • The Minotaur V2 and The Centaur can only be worn in the appendix position. Both are best concealed in the middle of your belt, where the belt buckle normally sits. You’ll need to move your belt buckle slightly off-center in order to achieve this.
  • All of our other holsters can actually be worn in any position inside the waistband – so can our Single Pistol Magazine Carrier. This gives the customer more carry options than The Minotaur V2 or The Centaur would, since those two holsters can only be worn in the appendix position. 
  • All of our inside the waistband (IWB) holsters, and our Single Pistol Magazine Carrier come with adjustable retention. 

Photo above: Both The Minotaur V2 and The Centaur are best concealed in the middle of your belt, where the belt buckle would normally sit. 

Photo above: The footprint of The Apollo Appendix IWB and the Single Pistol Magazine Carrier is nearly identical to the footprint of The Minotaur V2 - there is simply more space in between the clips.

Regardless of the holster you’re using, if you’re carrying in the appendix position for the first time, it will take some getting used to. Check out this blog post for 5 Things You Need to Know About Appendix Carry.

If you're unsure at all, just give us a call at (412) 798-2629 before ordering, and we'd be happy to discuss it with you. It's always best to take your time with ordering, rather than jumping the gun, because we unfortunately cannot offer order cancellations or returns if you change your mind. 

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