View Full Version : Kydex vs. Leather?

10-02-2003, 08:55 PM
Is there really a difference or is it just equipment?

Everyone has their preference. Is that all it is or does one hold a distinct advantage over the other?

John Silver
10-02-2003, 09:18 PM
I really like leather for holsters. But, I find kydex is much faster than a comporable leather holster.

The advantage of leather is that you can get a tighter to the body fit OWB and it won't wear on the finish as much. Also, I find IWB to be much more comfortable with leather.

But, man, the speed out of kydex is amazing. Kydex doesn't rot or lose it's tension on the pistol over time, either.

10-03-2003, 04:55 PM
In terms of appearance, some guns just look wrong in kydex. I really like the look of a quality leather holster. On the other hand, I agree that kydex is wicked fast.

Also, a new leather holster and belt creak a lot. I think under some circumstances that the noise of new leather is a possible indicator to others that you may be carrying. Kydex never creaks. It does make that "snik" noise whenever you draw or reholster, but at least you can move around without all the racket. FWIW my favorite plastic holster for my Glocks is the Glock sport/combat model.

10-03-2003, 08:56 PM
OK, so it is more than just a Ford vs. Chevy thing. There are advantages to the "newer technology" for lack of a better term.

Is speed the only thing? Are there other considerations?

Who are the best of the kydex makers? And what makes them better than the others?

10-03-2003, 09:14 PM

These guys are the best, no doubt, IMO.


These are good, too.

Orive 8
10-04-2003, 02:05 PM
In my opinion (for what it is worth) two of the finest holster makers are: Kramer Handgun Leather and Blade-Tech Kydex Holsters.

Both of these are top of the line.

10-04-2003, 02:49 PM
Comparing apples to apples, i.e. similar price, quality, same position, etc., so far I have found Kydex to be faster, but often less comfortable, not as easily concealed, and sometimes mars finishes. For range use, particularly competition and training, Kydex is very practical as far as repeated holstering and low maintenance under wet conditions. That said, I prefer good leather for all day CCW.

10-08-2003, 07:47 AM
I've owned 5 or 6 Kydex holsters from Comp-Tac and have never been disappointed with any of them.Greg is a top notch guy and the customer service is excellent.Unfortunately my new carry gun ia a 1911 and it just didn't look right in Kydex.I prefer leather against the body but it doesn't stop sweat from getting at the firearm.

Paul Gomez
10-08-2003, 08:08 PM
I switched to kydex when I switched to Glocks back in 1996. Since then, I've owned kydex from lots of different makers [Blade Tech, Mad Dog, Ky-Tac, SideArmor, Skunkworks, Springbock, Holsters Plus, Tac Pro and a few others]. My personal favorite maker is Gregg Garret of Comp-Tac. I use his standard paddle holster and mag pouch on a daily basis. Before I started carrying a Surefire E2e, I used his carrier for a Z3 or a 6P. Gregg has always been exceedingly prompt and polite whenever I order. I've never had to wait more than one week for an order to arrive and, without fail, my gear has to be made when it's ordered because I use a 1.75-inch belt and Gregg's standard stock is 1.5.

10-08-2003, 08:30 PM
Well I must say, Gregg Garrett and Comp-Tac have one heck of a reputation. I have never heard as much praise heaped on a holster maker, with the exceptions of Sparks and Alessi.

Paul, based on what I have read of Andy Stanford and OPS leads me to believe that you guys are high speed-low drag training. How does the paddle hold up to hard use? I had always heard paddles were only slightly better than clip on holsters about coming out with the gun.

Paul Gomez
10-09-2003, 05:44 AM

The Standard Paddle holster is my carry, teaching & training holster. I've got over 5,000 live fire reps from my tan Comp-Tac Standard Paddle Holster and over 20,000 dry fire reps through it along with carrying it on a daily basis since March of this year. I use Wilderness Company belts to support the holster and mag pouch and have had no problems with the gear. Prior to using the Standard Paddle, I carried a Locking Paddle from September 2001 until March 2003 and I couldn't even tell you how many reps I did with that set-up (hundreds of thousands, for sure). Gegg's stuff is the best kydex I've ever used.

Of course, it can't really compare to the excellant products of Fobus.;0

10-09-2003, 06:10 AM
Thanks for the feedback Paul.

Of course, it can't really compare to the excellant products of Fobus.;0

Ah yes. The Fisher-Price holsters are in a class all by themselves aren't they? :p

10-09-2003, 02:55 PM
Just want to echo the accolades for the Comp Tac stuff.

Fantastic gear, incredible customer service.

I have used the 'Gurkha' for my USP .45 for over a year, and it still
amazes me how comfortable and concealable it is with this large gun.

As for Fobus, they are all the rage with the guys at my agency. Why? Because they are CHEAP and cops (at least here in the North East) hate to spend a dime on anything police related. We still have an officer using his off duty holster that was for our previous issue gun, S&W 6904, for his Glock 22. He cut a hole in the leather near the trigger guard so the G22 would fit.
And yes, I have pressured him to purchase a new holster. He refuses, and asks "Why?".
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It's good to have a plan.

bill clancy
10-14-2003, 06:35 AM
I like the speed and retntion of Kydex, but prefer the comfort of leather.