With its overall slim profile and large ammo capacity, the Glock 23 has excelled as a carry gun. As a .40 caliber, it has all the power you need. But none of that matters if you don’t have the best Glock 23 holster.
Having carried a variety of Glocks from full-sized down to the minuscule Glock 43 there are some traits that prevail in the best holsters. Whether you want to carry your Glock in an OWB holster or in deep concealment. There are specific features that will make your holster much safer and far better overll.
Having been a very popular carry gun for a couple of decades, most companies make holsters for the G23. You will have a ton of options to choose from. Choosing the correct holster for your needs can be a difficult decision.
Not all holsters are created equal. Some are made by reputable companies that sincerely care about how well their products function. Others are just out to make a buck and will sell you a crap holster for cheap just to make that dollar.
How do you know which holsters are worthwhile and which are not? Here is a handy guide that can help you distinguish between the crap and gold:
Table of Contents
Choosing a Glock 23 Holster
No matter what firearm you choose to carry, you will always need to consider these criteria.
Leather has always been a traditional option for holsters. After centuries of use to carry pistols, it is still one of the best materials out there. It has good retention and can be more comfortable than a hard plastic holster.
Not that those hard plastic, or Kydex, holsters are bad. They offer great retention if well made and tend to have the latest designs to make them more functional. They can be a little hard on you to carry though.
A new design has been the hybrid holster that blends both leather and Kydex. Most of these holsters are somewhat lacking in the qualities I would want from a holster but they are immensely popular. They have most of the comfort of leather with the improved retention of Kydex.
I avoid any other materials, especially soft-bodied holsters. They lack retention and can actually be a danger to the carrier if they happen to snag the trigger. The only exception is the rare pocket holster but a G23 is too large for that anyway.
You can carry a pistol in a variety of positions, each having their own benefits and drawbacks. The better positions for a pistol the size of a Glock 23 are OWB, IWB, and Appendix. Other less viable locations are small of back, ankle, and in a shoulder holster.
A pistol the size of a Glock 23 lends itself well to carry OWB (Outside Waist Band). For concealed carry, this may not be the best position unless you have a long shirt or jacket to cover your pistol. I concealed a G17 in this position concealed for a number of years but it was challenging.
IWB (Inside Waist Band) is the preferred location to carry for most people. It is the best for concealment though it can be a little less comfortable than OWB carry. Otherwise, there are few negatives to carry in this position.
A Glock 23 is at the upper limit of what I would want to carry Appendix. Still, this is a great position for a concealed carry holster. Depending on your body, it can be a very comfortable position to carry in. It is also the fastest short of open carry to access your pistol should you need it.
When it comes to the less popular positions, you may want to steer clear of them. It is perfectly viable to carry a Glock 23 in a shoulder holster but accessing your pistol can be very slow. This is an outdated method of carrying unless you happen to have clothing that will not allow you to carry any other way.
An ankle holster can be a great way of carrying smaller pistols but the G23 is probably a little on the large and heavy side to make it effective. You are welcome to try; some people have more luck than others. If you do carry ankle, realize it is the slowest position to draw your pistol from.
Small of back carry is a bad idea in general. I started out carrying this way and quickly changed. It is too easy to get your pistol pinned in a fight and can be difficult to draw and re-holster from. There are no benefits to carry in this location.
Briefly, pocket carry can be viable but not for a pistol the size of a Glock 23.
Regardless of the material you get or where you carry your pistol, there is a set of common traits that all pistols need to have to be effective and safe. Don’t neglect these or you could regret it!
If your holster fails at any of the above things, you need a different holster. The one you have is not adequate for carry.
Best Glock 23 Holster on the Market Review
1 Bianchi #57 Remedy OWB Holster
If you are looking to carry OWB, you need a holster that fits tight to the body. This is the preferred style for that and from a company that is very well known for the quality of their gear. I carried a Bianchi for years and loved it.
The fit of the holster is outstanding with great retention. This is easily the most comfortable way to carry your pistol. It works for nearly everyone and is easily concealed with just a long shirt or light jacket.
The molding is spot on for your Glock Gen3 or Gen4. I have not personally tried this holster’s fit with a Gen5 Glock and would hate to speak without knowing. Where the pistol rides high in the holster, it should work fine.
With a molded throat that stays open, a low-profile, and one of the best belt carry positions, this is a solid holster that will do anyone well. If you are an OWB carrier, this is a holster you need to check out. It is my best rated holster on this list.
2 CYA Supply Co. IWB Holster
At its most simple, this is what a Kydex holster should be. It is effective, durable, and easy to carry. The retention is probably the best out there for any type of holster. Starting out, you could do a lot worse than this IWB holster.
CYA Supply is a newer manufacturer of quality holsters but what they made is top notch. They have experience in concealed carry to have done everything as well as they have. The design is just what it should be with nothing extra and little in the way of flaws.
These holsters will hold your weapon no matter what happens but will allow it to come free with a firm tug. You can adjust the level of retention with just a few Allen screws to get it right where you want it. It may take some fiddling with to get it where you prefer but you will get that custom fit you need.
This holster can also serve as an appendix holster if you adjust the cant a little. This may not be the most comfortable holster for it but it is effective. No matter how you carry, this is a safe, well-made holster for an amazing price.
3 Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB Holster
If you are looking for a very comfortable concealed carry holster that will hold up, Alien Gear’s hybrids are a good choice. The construction makes all the difference and they have set themselves apart by going with a whole new material.
The backing isn’t leather but a neoprene and nylon blend. While it isn’t as rigid as leather, it will hold its shape longer than leather ever could. This means a year down the road you are going to need a new leather holster but the Clock Tuck will still be going strong.
Holster made this way are generally he most comfortable to carry to begin with and with the added softness of the neoprene, this is among the most comfortable holsters to carry. It may make you sweat a little more than leather but its not as bad as a belly band or some other option.
A f inal selling point of this holster is the ability to customize it to just how you want to carry. That means the retention, cant, and ride height can all be set for you and what is comfortable for you to draw from. For the price, this is one of the best hybrid holsters ever made.
4 Relentless Tactical Defender
If you are looking for an IWB leather holster, Relentless Tactical has made quite a good one and offers it for an unbeatable price. I would give negative marks to it not being specifically molded for a Glock 23 which does hurt its retention somewhat.
Still, it has a reinforced throat that makes re-holstering safe. Carried as a standard IWB holster, your belt will supplement the retention somewhat. As an appendix carry holster, it is a little trickier but can be pulled off if done correctly.
Made of bullhide leather for optimal strength and longevity, this holster has the feel of quality. It has the classy look of a leather holster and uses nothing synthetic. Just leather, steel, and genuine American craftsmanship.
Overall this holster is quite comfortable and easy to carry all day should you need to. There may be better holsters out there from custom makers but none that can offer a Glock 23 holster this cheap. It even has a lifetime warranty should you ever need it.
5 Fierce Defender Kydex IWB W/Light
If you are looking for a holster capable of carrying your pistol with light, check out this novel Kydex holster from Fierce Defender. Designed with every feature you could want on a good carry holster for your Glock 23, this is about the safest you could make a holster.
It has amazing retention and is fully adjustable should you want it a little easier or harder. You can also adjust the cant of the holster from 0 to 15 degrees to fit your body style and preferences. It even has a full back cover to protect your pistol from sweat.
With a slightly flared opening, re-holstering is quick, easy, and above all safe. The trigger is fully covered and the Kydex is specifically molded to fit your firearm. These are all of the best features packed into one holster.
As I said, this will carry a pistol with a light attached. Depending on your light, you may have to make some adjustments but holsters for a Glock 23 that will fit a light are rare. Getting one this high quality is even rarer. Definitely a company worth looking at.
There is no doubt that your Glock 23 is a quality carry gun. It would be a shame to pair it with a less than quality holster. This is a sure sign of an amateur.
If you ponied up the cost for a Glock in the first place, you owe it to yourself and anyone around you to have a pistol that does the job correctly and safely. At some point, your health and safety may depend as much on your holster as your pistol. Have the proper tools to do the job.
A good gun, good holster, quality belt, and proper ammo are the recipe for concealed carry, with a Glock 23 or any other gun. Don’t settle for less when your life or the lives of your loved ones may depend on it. Buy the best Glock 23 holster you can, that way you never have to buy it again.