Grip Hugger Clipless Holster
At the gun shows, for this very popular class of compression style clipless holster, I’ve been carrying Remora Holsters (previously), and currently, the Camille Conceals Grip Hugger holster.
What is a Clipless holster?
The Clipless Holster style is one of the simplest holster systems I’ve personally seen. Most holster systems rely on a series of one or more clips to attach the holster. The clipless holster does not have any clips at all. The Grip Hugger has an outer shell of very “grippy” material being put until some compression by the inside the waist position and the clothes you are wearing.
At first, this sounds a bit hard to believe. This is why, at the gun shows, I don’t even attempt to tell people how it works. I find out what gun they are looking to conceal, snag an aluminum dummy of said gun, put it in the holster, and let them try it for themselves. Trying is believing.
The outer layer and the edge is a grippy waterproof PVC material. The lining is a Cordura nylon material. The inside layer is 1/8″ closed cell foam.
How they work
Put something inside your waistband and pressure is exerted on it. Even if you have a fairly loose waistband, there is some pressure there. This pressure is what the “Grippy waterproof PVC material” uses to keep the holster in place.
What can I wear and use this?
Most basic outer clothes I’ve seen work well with this style of holster. What can be fun to wrap your head around, is that a lot of “lighter weight” clothing, such as gym shorts and sweat pants, can work with a clipless holster as well. So long as there is enough compression to keep the pants on your hips, you are probably fine.
There is one material, though, that I’ve found to not work well with this. And that would be Silk. If you commonly wear silk pants, then the Grip Hugger Clipless Inside the Waistband holster, may not be for you.
Luckily, I’ve only seen one person wearing silk out in public, at least at a gun show.
This is not a “one size fits all” item. Because you want the gun to fit in snug, there are actually a number of sizes available, which needs to be specified when getting one of these holsters.
Lasers, Lights, and Rails, Oh My
Adding rail mounted devices such as laser sights and tactical lights are an increasingly popular option to many concealed carry guns. With hard molded holsters such as saddle leather, kydex or plastic, the holsters often need to be specifically made for the gun and device combination.
This is not the case with either the Grip Hugger Clipless holsters. There are special fittings to accommodate such options, but they don’t need to be made specific to one gun and one light/laser combo. Make sure to specify what you have when you order, if you aren’t buying at a gun show and can see right then if it works.
Cant? Can Do!
Most IWB style holsters are pretty much made for sitting at one particular angle, often referred to as the “cant” of the holster. If the barrel is straight up and down, that would be a “0 degree cant”. If you, as a right handed person, tilted it forward so the back of the slide is point at, say, the 11:00 position, that’s approximately a 15 degree cant.
One of the nice things about the way Clipless holsters work, is that you can pretty much put the cant at whatever angle you like within reason. Do you want a backwards cant to use for cross draw? No problem. Want to use the 15 degree forward cant for the FBI position? There you go.
True Ambidextrous Holster
The Clipless holster is a true ambidextrous holster. The Grip Hugger works for both left handed and right handed people. Put the holster where you need it and at what angle you prefer, and away you go.
Inside the Waistband holsters aren’t typically known for being comfortable. Shove a hard object (a gun) inside another hard object (a typical IWB holster). Now shove that combo between your belt and your body. Now bend around a bit and see how much you like that.
The Grip Hugger is not only far thinner than a typical holster, it’s padded and it bends a little. This makes it easier to put up with when you start moving around.
Damage to the finish of the gun
Many people worry about the damage that a holster will do to their gun. In the past, this was a very serious concern, and we all have seen guns with “hard holster wear” on them over the years.
Modern gun coatings are far, far more tough than their yesteryear equivalents. Some modern finishes were originally developed to coat rock crushing drill bits. I’m thinking that if it can drill through rock, your holster probably isn’t a major issue.
It’s more often the dirt that accumulates in a holster than the holster itself that causes wear and tear, especially in a modern holster. Keep the particulates cleaned out and you shouldn’t have much issue.
This design of holster simply does not cause holster wear under normal circumstances. I can say this with certainty, because I kept a Smith & Wesson M&P40 full sized gun in one of these holsters, for five years solid. No holster wear, no rust.
Let me expound on that. I had a S&W M&P40 (first gen) in one of these holsters. For five years. Continuous. The gun only came out to show people the finish, and to demonstrate how it worked.
Care and Feeding
On a related note, if you get this holster dirty, it’s very easy to clean. Just take it to the sink, rinse it lightly, a little dish soap and scrub, rinse it lightly again, and dry it. Ready to roll.
Alternatively, at the gun shows, if they got too much skin oil, hand lotion, or whatever on them, I just grabbed an alcohol prep pad and wiped them down.