Review: Bravo Concealment Holsters
Eve Flanigan 08.30.18
Lack of comfort and printing (that telltale bulge) under clothing are two major reasons many people opt to go unarmed away from their home or vehicle. Bravo Concealment aims to overcome these and other EDC obstacles with their own interpretation of inside waistband (IWB) and belt-borne (OWB) holsters. Recently a friend and I tried out both models to see whether the Texas-based company has successfully met these challenges.
There are major structural differences, of course, between these holsters. But there are also similarities in the way they work. To avoid repetition of those similarities, they’re listed here separately where differences matter, but overall performance is described near the end.
Torsion IWB holster
We tested an IWB holster for a sizable gun where IWB is concerned: a Glock 19. The torsion aspect of the name comes from the combination of a slight forward cant that’s part of the mold, as well as the shaping of the Kydex which flattens the profile of the gun’s barrel and frame against the body while lightly pressing the grip end inward.
Noticeable at first inspection is the slight curve molded into this holster. It’s shaped to match the arc of a waist rather than being straight. It comes with two 1.5-inch belt clips which are a bit wider than the stated measurement, to allow for some cant adjustment when the holster is worn.
Unique to Bravo Concealment, as far as I’m aware, is this holster’s ability to have one clip removed and ride with just a single clip, making it “tuckable,” e.g. a shirt can be tucked into the waistband, however loosely, over the gun. It thus eliminates the need for separate dress and casual wear holsters.
The holster stays solidly in place on the belt when a draw is done with a proper snatching motion, and assuming the clip(s) are well secured to the bottom of the belt.
I carry in appendix position, and that’s where I and my test partner tried this holster. Bravo Concealment’s promotional video for this holster emphasizes that it can be worn anywhere on the waist.
The Glock 19 sits well into the waistband with this holster, but with the grip entirely accessible. Short-waisted, short-ish me finds it entirely comfortable when standing. Sitting down, I was thankful for the ability to budge the belt loop to angle the gun, with quite a lot of change in angle being required to sit without the muzzle poking me in the thigh. This I’ve come to expect with many IWB holsters, and certainly the size of the gun contributes to the problem.
The other person in this test, a male over six feet tall and over 250 pounds, finds wearing this holster entirely comfortable with no adjustments required for standing up or sitting. In fact, he describes it as the second most comfortable holster he’s tried—and that’s a large sample group. The reason for second place is his preference for a softer material, like leather, next to the skin, especially in summertime.
BCA OWB Kydex holster
It’s a regular thing for me to wear a full-size pistol OWB, but in this case I changed it up and tested the Bravo Concealment OWB holster with a Glock 43. Like the IWB, it’s Kydex. Unlike many holsters in this genre, it comes molded to fit a threaded barrel and red dot sight—and works just the same if your gun doesn’t have these features.
The BCA OWB comes standard with screw-on belt loops that can be moved to make the holster ride higher under a jacket or sweater. For even better concealment, and assuming you’ve got the bodily real estate to handle it, the company’s pancake style belt loops extend to each side of the holster, allowing it to lay even flatter against the body.
I’m impressed by the ease with which this holster fits, especially when in small spaces such as driving. It fits very close to the body, even with the regular belt loops. It was a pleasant discovery that drawing is not more difficult than a full-size belt-worn holster, thanks in my case to the shorter frame and grip of the G43. A larger gun, or adjusting the holster to ride higher, would result in having to raise the grip almost to my armpit to clear the holster—a problem many short-waisted women and a few men can relate to.
As form-fitting and comfortable as the BCA OWB is to wear, I still experience significant printing from the grip under shirts and jackets. This is thanks to the breadth of my waist and ribcage being smaller than that of my hips. I think most men and perhaps women of substantive build would find it easy to conceal a gun yet have near-instant access to it with this holster.
What the IWB and OWB models have in common
Sweat protection: The Kydex on the skin-facing side of each holster is molded in a high profile to protect the gun from sweat. It doesn’t cover the rear of the slide entirely, but it’s close.
Retention: This is one of my favorite traits of both Bravo Concealment holsters. Retention is completely reliable, yet drawing Is easy. The fit is solid and there’s no rattling when the gun/holster combo is handled together.
Firing grip: There are some compromises required to carry concealed every day, but in this case, the ability to establish a firing grip on the gun while it’s still holstered isn’t one of them. I love the confidence this lends to my EDC rig.
Flexible/comfortable: Thanks to the use of thin, well-molded material which feels to me more like Boltaron than Kydex, as well as the choice of low-profile attachments, Bravo Concealment has gone far toward meeting their goal of reducing obstacles to daily carry. No one will carry for long with a rig that causes blisters, chafing, or pain. They’ve overcome that and still make holsters the wearer can access on short order.
Despite my own body dimension-related issues with these, I feel they can be a safe and ideal choice for many people. They’re flexible enough to be comfortable for most, and the retention is ideal. To top it off, they’re American made. The only shortcoming, to my mind, is the limited range of guns they’re made to fit. My own EDC, a Sig Sauer P365, isn’t available now. Regular prices are $53.99 for either one. As of this writing, a 20 percent off sale is underway.