Alien Gear IWB review


1911 guy
July 22, 2014, 06:11 AM
I carry a 5" 1911 and my preferred holster is a Galco Concealable. Second behind that is an IWB frankenstein I made of a Galco holster body and Desantis belt attachment because the original design sucked. The IWB is more concealable, but lacked any cant. The pistol sat straight up and down. The several other holsters I have should have stayed on the store shelves and we'll leave it at that. Lived with these two holsters for several years, pondering which IWB to replace my franken-holster with.

Settled on an Alien Gear IWB. Having a little experience with metal belt clips, I ordered the optional leather belt loops with the new holster. Holster, loops and shipping came to just under fifty dollars. When i placed my order, they quoted 4-6 weeks. At week seven i sent a polite e-mail. Got a polite response immediately. They got behind with sudden demand, my holster would ship within the week. They must have shipped it that same day because i had it in hand before the week was out.

Customer service, IMO, very good.

The holster itself is typical for the type, a hybrid. The backing is relatively thin, yet strong enough to support and distribute the weight of a handgun across the belt. A kydex shell, also made thin to keep profile to a minimum, attaches to the backing by threaded grommets and screws. There are small rubber spacers to both allow for some degree of fitting and more importantly, keep tension on the screws to prevent them from loosening. Keep in mind that over tightening the screws merely pushes the handgun into the leather backing. It wasn't designed to be an active retention holster, though.

Design, very adequate for its intended purpose.

The kydex shell was immaculate, no marks from molding, no scratches around the holes from tooling. The leather backing had normal marks from being made of cow leather. The finish (one side only) was even, not blotchy. The edges are cut cleanly. The hardware is installed cleanly, also. No tool marks around the attachment points, no scuffs from missed punch strikes, etc. All the threaded grommets were installed fully, none protruding more or less than any other. There are three points at which to attach the belt clips or loops. The clips came installed on the middle set and I have left them there. The difference in ride height between attachment points is about 1/2 inch, for a total adjustment range of about 1 inch. Might be a bit more, i didn't actually measure.

Execution was excellent, in my opinion.

The holster came with extra hardware. There are enough screws and rubber spacers to re-do the entire holster at least once, probably twice. The rubber spacers are cut to different lengths, although the difference between shortest and longest is probably only 1/16th inch. The spacers are made of what seems to be automotive grade hose. Frankly, i give them kudos for making an existing item work, rather than making a similar "gun item" and then upping the price to reflect additional manufacturing cost. An Allen key was included in the bag of hardware.

Points for supplying hardware which may be lost and saving me a buck in the manufacturing cost.

I have worn this new holster every day for six days now. Day one was rough. The backing had not yet broken in and it made my pants feel as though they were heading to the floor. Thank goodness for Perry suspenders. Day two was an entirely different story. The backing, being rather thin, took only about 12 to 15 hours of constant use to break in. The second day felt like an entirely different holster. Very comfortable. Not exactly "I forgot it was there" comfortable, but I don't expect that with any holster. It's a two pound service pistol, after all. Day three was even better as I slightly adjusted the holster position on my belt.

Now the optional loops i bought with the holster. They're good. No problems with them. But I wasted my eight bucks. The clips on the Alien Gear are that good. Made from what i believe to be spring steel, they are in every way superior to every other clip I've used on every other holster. While they fit my belt great, they also have enough of a lip on the bottom edge to grasp the pants themselves. Even after my belt was removed, the holster had to be pried off the pants. The downside is that it's impossible to adjust the position of the holster while you're wearing it. The upside is that when you get it in the "sweet spot", it's not going anywhere. Put it where you want it before you button your pants up. It does NOT slide around when you yank on it, the gun, or it and the gun at the same time.

Bottom line, I'm liking this holster. It's not pretty. It's not fancy. It's a hunk of leather and plastic. If you stand on your head, the gun will fall out. However, moving around, a little jogging after my kids and some standing, bending, sitting, walking, contorting around machines, etc. at work has seen no issues. I'm sure a lot of that is the soft leather backing pushes against the pistol and squeezes it between the kydex when the belt is snugged up.

For under fifty bucks, i might buy another just to have a spare. But i won't buy another set of belt loops.

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hariph creek
July 23, 2014, 05:59 PM
Thanks for the review.
I'm considering their 2.0 version. It's made with neoprene instead of leather.

July 24, 2014, 06:35 PM
Thanks for the review. I have been looking at their holsters for about a week now trying to figure out if I want to try theirs or N82 Tactical IWB holsters. Seems like a solid holster and might be the one I try for my first CCW.

July 25, 2014, 04:46 PM
If it can fall out of the holster when you are upside down, assuming your belt is properly tightened, then I would suggest the retention is insufficient.

July 25, 2014, 08:52 PM
I've got one of the original version for my SD9 and it's great. I have one of the 2.0's on the way for my Shield. Will be interesting to be able to do a direct comparison between the two.

Good through review!

July 28, 2014, 04:46 AM
Great write up! I have the same "problem"...I often hem and haw about which loops or clips I might wind up preferring so I often order several options.:o Most of the time I don't end up using the extras but it's nice to have the options to play with. I think the Alien Gear holsters have some great elements. Since the backing kind of distorts/shifts over time it's awesome that they include materials to adjust the fit over time. Nice!

For my body type I just haven't had much luck with hybrids. But the AG looks very good for the type!

July 29, 2014, 10:20 AM
I bought one for my SW99. I disliked the cut of the leather, which really interfered at the Web of my hand with getting a firm firing grip while holstered. It could have been trimmed, but i chose to return it and get a different holster.

The clips are doggone strong. However there was no leather between the top of the clips and my body, and the edges could irritate through a thin undershirt or if not wearing an undershirt. I was somewhat concerned about sweat rusting the clips, especially during the summer.

I ended up sending it back, though i have respect for the company. They were good to deal with. I have another holster that suits my needs now, but AG is an option in the future.

August 7, 2014, 10:57 PM
I just placed an order for one of the new 2.0 versions with the neoprene back, looking forward to giving it a try. I was quoted a 4-6 week wait time, we will see how long it takes.

August 21, 2014, 03:25 PM
Ordered mine today for a Smith and Wesson M&P Shield. I'll keep updates as far as shipping time frame and how functional it is when I get it and put some use to it.

August 31, 2014, 01:22 PM
Bad news. I had to cancel my order, apparently they are having issues with the molds for my gun (CZ P-01). If they get the mold issue straightened out I would still be willing to give one a try.

August 31, 2014, 03:21 PM
I still have mine on order. After 10 days, my account still says my order is processing so I'm interested to see how long it will take. Will keep everyone updated.

September 1, 2014, 12:41 AM
I'm looking at the Alien Gear conceal carry package and also the N82 professional for my sig 938. Is a hybrid style IWB holster like Alien Gear makes with the two clips appropriate for appendix carry? It seems like it would be too wide.

Thank you

royal barnes
September 4, 2014, 11:43 AM
I purchased an Alien Gear IWB for a 3" 1911. I have started carrying a Sig 938 almost exclusively. I tried it in the Alien Gear and it fits just fine. I wear it AIWB and it is very comfortable in that position. It is wide but that helps stabilize the rig. I have a 38" waist and the forward clip sits at 12:30 and the rear one at 2:30. No problems.

September 4, 2014, 06:59 PM
Thank you, Royal Barnes.

September 20, 2014, 02:25 PM
1911 Guy,

Thanks for the awesome and very detailed review.

I purchased a V2 for my 9mm Shield from AG and it took about 6 weeks from the time of ordering to delivery.

I've tried it on around the house and it seems comfortable, but since my CA CCW is still being processed, I've not actually dressed to conceal outside the house.

September 20, 2014, 04:34 PM
Thanks for this review. I ordered the 2.0 a week ago and can't wait for it to show up on my doorstep someday. :). I couldn't decide which one to get so I ordered 2 extra shells so I could switch it to the one I like the best. 1911,5905,XD40SC After I get mine I will definitely wear it around a few days before I make any judgements on comfort.

September 20, 2014, 09:04 PM
They had a 2 for 1 special going the other day so I ordered a standard and a neoprene, both for a j-frame. Will let y'all know which one I like better when I get em.

September 22, 2014, 06:02 PM
Just called ….shipping is $8.95 and they do not include return shipping if you decide to return it. You pay both ways.

September 26, 2014, 10:09 AM
I just received one of the new 2.0 versions with the neoprene back. When I get some more time with it I'll report back. I actually had one of their leather back versions that I never bonded with. The holster itself was made very well, but it just didn't work.

F-111 John
September 26, 2014, 08:37 PM
I placed an order on September 6th and my confirmation email said that the wait for the Cloak Tuck 2.0 was 4 to 6 weeks.

On Sepember 20th, I got an email saying we haven't forgotten you.

Here on the 26th and I'm still waiting. But knowing how much I love my Old Faithful Holsters, and that the owner of Alien Gear is the same guy, I'm sure it will be worth the wait.

September 27, 2014, 02:00 PM
I recently received my Aliengear 2.0 and three extra shells after about a five week wait. I have been wearing it around the house quite a bit and it is very comfy and conceals very well with my Walther PPQ. I did change to smaller rubber spacers and now the retention is much better for me. I can hold it upside down and shake it and the PPQ stays in place. Scores of draws and reholster with it and no marks on the finish of the PPQ yet either. Not as easy to reholster as my OWB Raven Concealment Phantom (which is to be expected) but not bad at all. (

September 29, 2014, 01:31 AM
I received mine on Saturday, September 27. It took mine from August 21 (Date of Order), to September 27 to be at my front door and so far I'm pretty pleased with my order. I'm carrying a M&P Shield in mine.

October 1, 2014, 09:06 PM
I got my e-mail from alien gear today telling me that they haven't forgotten about me or my order. Nice touch and it makes the wait a little bit more bearable. Thanks A.G. :)

BP Hunter
October 9, 2014, 12:47 PM
Of all the holsters I have had and used (we've all been there), the Aleingear holsters are the most comfortable and lowest priced holsters out there. I am also very happy with the customer service. I traded in my shell for a Stoeger COugar, that I sold and traded it in for a 1911 commander. As promised I only paid my shipping one way and got brand new shell for free. I have 2 of their holsters; one for my Glock 19 and 1911 Commander. I have stopped searching to IWB holsters.

F-111 John
October 10, 2014, 01:36 PM
I just received my second "we haven't forgotten you" email. Hopefully, some day my holsters will come. Their two holsters for one low price offer must have been VERY popular!

October 15, 2014, 07:59 PM
Got my second e-mail yesterday. Can't wait to get this holster.

October 15, 2014, 09:01 PM
Solid review, very well put together.
I have no experience with Alien Gear personally though.

October 15, 2014, 10:07 PM
Has anyone tried driving with their AG holster yet? Thanks in advance for any responses.

F-111 John
October 20, 2014, 06:53 AM
I just received my third "we haven't forgotten you" email. I'm hoping for a Christmas present at this point.

F-111 John
October 20, 2014, 05:44 PM
...And then this afternoon I received a shipment notice. Review to come!

October 28, 2014, 11:39 PM
Ordered on Sept. 16 and got my third e-mail today. I hate to wait :)

F-111 John
November 2, 2014, 07:55 AM
I have been carrying my Cloak Tuck 2.0 with a Glock 26 for close to two weeks now, so here are my initial impressions.

I have been using Old Faithful IWB Hybrids for over a year with my G26 and with my Smith and Wesson Model 60 J-Frame, and since Alien Gear has absorbed Old Faithful (or visa versa, I'm not sure which,) it was impossible not to compare the Cloak Tuck 2.0 with the Old Faithful leather and kydex IWB hybrid.

I ordered my Cloak Tuck 2.0 with the Kydex clips for my Glock 26. I had two sets of metal clips from the Old Faithful Holsters and hated them so I knew I didn't need a third set of metal clips. So far I really like the Kydex clips. They go on easily, stay put all day, and come off easily. My issue with the standard metal clips is the end of the metal clips stick out just enough that I was always gouging my wrist on the clip when accessing my front pocket. I had switched out both of my Old Faithful holsters to the leather loops which I found much more comfortable, but I think I like the new Kydex clips even more.

The good part of the Neoprene composite backer is that it is much more comfortable against the skin than the leather backer. This will be very nice in the warmer months, but not as much of an issue in winter months when you wear a tee shirt under a polo shirt, for example. The bad part of the Neoprene is that it is broken in from day one and that's as good as it's going to get. It is much more comfortable on day one than my leather IWB hybrids were on day one, but on day 365 the leather has conformed to my love handles perfectly, while the Neoprene still kind of pokes here and there. Long term, I think I'll be switching back and forth between the two depending on season and dress.

The Kydex of the Alien Gear was molded well and retention on my G26 is slightly better than the retention of my Old Faithful. However, the Old Faithful Kydex was better finished, with nicely polished and radiused edges, where the Alien Gear Kydex has sharp edges that I had to sand down myself. Given the high volume that Alien Gear is trying to fulfill, this is understandable, especially at their price point.

I also purchased the clip assortment with leather loops option, and I must say that of all of the included Kydex clip shapes, the original clips that came with the holster work best for me and my 1 1/2" gun belt. However, I was severely disappointed with the leather loops. The leather loops are constructed of a Kydex backing tab that screws into the holster T-clips, and a loop of leather with a directional snap. The loops I received for my Old Faithful holsters were of a very stiff leather, and worked nicely. The leather of the Alien Gear loops are of a thin and very floppy leather, and because of this are extremely difficult to snap off with the directional snaps.

Also, the leather loops suffer from the same design "flaw" that the Old Faithful leather loops had. The Kydex backing of the leather loops is about the same length as the loop of leather. If you put one of these loops side by side with any of the other clip options, it is obvious that this causes the holster to ride higher with the leather loops than with the other clip styles when using the same T-nut location. You end up having to use the next hole up on the holster with the leather loop than you do with the Kydex or steel clips to get the holster down in your waist. I wish that Alien Gear would lengthen this Kydex tab on the leather loops so both styles of clips are the same overall length.

Lastly, a small nit to pick. Both the Old Faithful and the Alien Gear backings have the now universal "combat cut" so that there is backing material that protects the slide of the gun from touching your skin, but the grip is open for an easier draw. On the Old Faithful, there is plenty of room to get your fingers around the frontstrap of the grip without interference, but with the Alien Gear the gap between the front strap and the backer at the trigger guard is only 3/8", so your middle finger knuckle has to push away the material of the backer to get a full grip before drawing. Not difficult, but just sligtly annoying. And since the backer material is a two piece sandwich that is stitched together, you can't trim the backer like you can with a full leather backer. (I did a lot of trimming on my Old Faithful J-Frame backer.)

The biggest advantage the Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 2.0 has over my Old Faithful holsters is that the Old Faithfuls were semi-finished kits, where the Alien Gear is fully finished and ready to use. For the price point, I would strongly recommend the Alien Gear Holster to anyone looking for a nice IWB holster. I would also highly recommend the Kydex clips over the steel clips, but that is a personal preference.

My ideal holster would be to have a leather/Kydex hybrid like the Cloak Tuck 1.0, then have the thin Neoprene material from the Cloak Tuck 2.0 glued to the back of the leather after the T-nuts were pressed into place. This would be the best of both worlds, with a comfortable Neoprene surface against your bare skin (that also covered up the back of the metal T-nuts,) and the comfort of a leather backer that over time molds comfortably to your body.

If anyone would like pictures to clarify anything, just ask. Otherwise I'm too lazy to drag out the camera and post them.

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