What Is A Pancake Holster? All That You Need To Know

What is a Pancake Holster?

The pancake holster is a popular category of gun carriers, similar to IWB, OWB, or shoulder holsters. This unique product is composed of two main parts, connected by brass or steel hardware, giving it the appearance of a pancake. Typically worn on a gun belt, pancake holsters provide a concealed carry option.

Pancake Holster

Originally invented by Roy Baker 60 years ago, pancake holsters serve as a discreet way for users to carry and conceal their weapons. These holsters consist of two flat pieces molded into the shape of a gun, featuring two or three belt slots for secure attachment to the belt.

Unlike traditional belt loops, the belt slots ensure a tight and stable fit without any wiggling. Additionally, some pancake holsters come with removable metal or plastic belt clips for added convenience.

Made from materials such as Kydex, leather, or plastic, pancake holsters are available in various sizes, designs, and styles. Their clip placement is the main difference from IWB holsters, as pancake holsters have the clip positioned on the outside.

The Advantages of Pancake Holsters

More Carrying Slots

A gun belt typically has multiple wearing spots, allowing users to wear more than one pancake holster simultaneously. This feature is especially beneficial for individuals carrying multiple firearms. Wearing multiple holsters distributes the weight evenly on the waistband, preventing discomfort or strain.

Less Retention and More Comfort

Placing a gun carrier between the waistband and pants can be time-consuming and uncomfortable. Additionally, direct contact between the holster and pistol may pose a risk of accidental triggering. Pancake holsters address these issues by being securely attached to the gun belt worn around the waistband.

This design allows for quick and easy access to the pistol when needed, making pancake holsters ideal for bodyguards and law enforcement officers. Additionally, a pancake holster reduces the weight and pressure on the waistband, providing comfort during long periods of wear. Some models even feature an additional thumb break for increased retention.

Lightweight and Concealable

Compared to other holsters, pancake holsters are significantly lighter, making them an excellent choice for individuals carrying firearms throughout the day. The lightweight design helps reduce stress and pressure on the waistband, ensuring user comfort. Pancake holsters can be worn openly or concealed, depending on personal preference and the situation.

Moreover, the position of the holsters on the gun belt can be easily adjusted to suit different circumstances. This allows for covert carry by positioning the holsters under a shirt, effectively concealing the weapon without drawing attention.

How to Use a Pancake Holster

To ensure a proper fit, it is crucial to select the right size pancake holster for both your firearm and body type. Experiment with different wearing positions on your gun belt to determine the most comfortable and accessible option. The chosen position should enable quick and easy drawing of the firearm, align with your carry style, and complement your attire.

Once you’ve found the ideal wearing spot and holster size, prepare for holster dressing. A gun belt, specifically designed to support pancake holsters, is necessary for proper functionality. Regular or leather belts are not recommended as they may wear down quickly and cause the holster to sag.

Consider concealment by wearing a suitable outer layer, such as a sweater, T-shirt, or coat, that effectively hides the pancake holster and firearm from view. Avoid excessively loose or long clothing, as they may draw unwanted attention. Additionally, ensure that the chosen outer layer does not impede your ability to draw the firearm swiftly, especially in emergency situations.

Pancake Holster

How to Choose the Right Pancake Holster

With hundreds of product lines available, choosing the perfect pancake holster requires careful consideration. Here are some factors to help you make an informed decision:


Before purchasing, verify that the holster’s specifications and size match your firearm and carry style. An ill-fitting holster can cause inconvenience and lead to scratches or damage to your weapon.


Opt for leather pancake holsters if you desire a classy and visually appealing option. Leather holsters are durable and can withstand years of use without wearing down. For beginners or those on a budget, Kydex or nylon holsters offer affordability without compromising on aesthetics.

Pancake Holster

Who Benefits from Pancake Holsters?

Pancake holsters are suitable for individuals of all body sizes. They provide exceptional comfort, especially for those who prefer lighter holsters that do not exert excessive pressure on the waistband. If you have a history of lower back, hip, or joint pain, pancake holsters offer a low-profile and affordable solution. They are also a versatile option for individuals with budget constraints.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of using a Pancake Holster for concealed carry?

Some benefits include:

  1. Comfort: Even weight distribution across the body reduces discomfort during extended wear.
  2. Concealment: Sits close to the body, making it easier to hide under clothing.
  3. Accessibility: Quick and easy access to the firearm when needed.
  4. Versatility: Can be worn in different positions, such as hip or back carry.
  5. Durability: Made from high-quality materials to withstand regular use.

Are Pancake Holsters suitable for all firearms?

Pancake holsters are designed for specific firearm models. It is crucial to choose a holster specifically tailored to your firearm to ensure a proper fit and secure retention.

How does the design of a Pancake Holster impact comfort?

The design of a Pancake Holster plays a significant role in wearer comfort. Factors such as placement on the body, materials used, and stitching pattern can influence the fit and feel of the holster. A well-designed Pancake Holster evenly distributes the weight of the firearm, preventing discomfort or fatigue during extended use. Additionally, a good design allows for easy access to the firearm while keeping it secure.

What factors should be considered when choosing a Pancake Holster?

Consider the material, size, retention mechanism, comfort, and concealment when choosing a Pancake Holster. Opt for durable materials like leather or kydex, ensure the holster fits your firearm properly, select the best retention mechanism for your needs, prioritize comfort, and choose a design that allows for easy concealment under clothing.

What are the advantages of using a pancake holster for concealed carry?

Advantages include comfort, concealability, stability, accessibility, and versatility. Pancake holsters are designed to distribute the weight evenly, making them comfortable for extended wear. They sit close to the body, making them easy to conceal. The two-piece design provides stability, and the open-top design allows for quick and easy access to the firearm. Pancake holsters are also versatile and can be worn in various positions.

What materials are commonly used to make pancake holsters?

Pancake holsters are commonly made from leather, Kydex, nylon, and other synthetic materials.

How do you properly fit a pancake holster?

To properly fit a pancake holster, choose a holster designed for your firearm make and model. Adjust the retention screws for a secure fit. Wear a sturdy gun belt that can support the weight of the holster and firearm. Position the holster on your hip, adjust the cant to your preference, and ensure a snug fit against your body. Practice drawing and reholstering your firearm to ensure a comfortable and efficient fit.

Final Thoughts

Pancake holsters, with their unique design and advantages, provide a reliable and comfortable concealed carry option. The lightweight nature of pancake holsters, along with their concealability, makes them ideal for individuals carrying firearms for extended periods. Consider the factors discussed above to choose the perfect pancake holster for your needs. We hope you found this guide helpful!

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