I’m always looking for women’s concealed carry holsters that can be worn on the waist without a belt. Women, with rare exception, do not wear belts and in many women’s clothing styles there are no belt loops. Finding a means to carry a holster whether Inside or Outside the Waistband is difficult. We want comfort and we want the holster to stay put when we draw our pistols.
The Fobus SP11 Paddle Holster was originally sent to me to test with my Springfield Armory XD 9mm. What I discovered is that the XD9 as a full-size pistol is harder to conceal on me and not as comfortable to wear on my waist unless I wear a belt with it. Its weight and its profile could not be adequately secured or masked on a belt-less waist. I was pleased to read on the packaging that this holster could also be used with my Taurus PT111 G2. The G2 is smaller and lighter, therefore it is easier to wear on my belt-less pants. So, this article will reflect my opinion based on a compact pistol which I can wear in this holster without at belt. If I ever choose to wear a belt, then my XD9 is my choice.
Fobus SP11 Holster
The SP11 is an Outside the Waistband (OWB) molded polymer holster. It can be worn at any position on the waist. For the purposes of concealed carry, I choose to wear it on my right hip or just behind my right hip. It can also be worn cross-draw if that is your desire. I tried the Appendix position, but due to my short torso, my thigh pushed the holster upward when I sat down. Of course, this meant that the grip of the pistol ended up pressing into my stomach and my rib cage. Obviously, this was uncomfortable and potentially dangerous. Any holster that is worn needs to be positioned for comfort, accessibility and safety.
The SP11 paddle slides inside your waistband. It is lightweight, close fitting and very comfortable. The innovative design of the holster has a spacer protruding from the back of the holster that locks with the front of the paddle. It sits just below the area allotted for a belt. The pressure of the pistol in the holster holds this spacer against the paddle and acts as resistance against the waistband when the pistol is drawn. The rifle cartridge points out the spacer in the photo.
The paddle has an insert made of a rubber material on the side which touches the body. While this might not be important to someone who wears a belt, for women or men without a belt, this grip insert acts as a resistor in holding the holster in one place. The rubber against bare skin or against cloth and the pressure of the spacer pushing against it creates a suction cup effect. This allows for the drawing of the pistol from the holster without it disengaging from the skin or material.
The ease or difficulty of the draw, and whether the holster remains attached to your waistband when you draw, will be affected by the tension adjustment screw located just below the trigger guard on the holster. Without proper retention, the pistol may drop out of the holster if the person bends, sits, or accidentally bumps it. Too much tension may lead to the inability to remove the pistol from the holster. The SP11 is a Passive Retention System. Therefore, the screw must be properly adjusted for your pistol and for your position of carry whether with or without a belt. The rifle cartridge points to the tension adjustment screw.
I wore this holster for several days with several different styles of pants. I wore it with high-rise, mid-rise and low-rise waistlines, all of them without a belt. I practiced drawing a fully loaded Taurus G2 from the four positions (cross-draw, appendix, hip and behind the hip). I am pleased that the holster remained behind when the pistol was drawn each time. I did notice that each pant style did have different waistband thicknesses which made the holster instable if it was too thin. I recommend that you take this holster and your pistol with you when shopping for pants if you choose to carry belt-less. And don’t forget this may also be worn with a skirt, which for many women is their professional mode of dress.
In conclusion, I’m very impressed with the Fobus SP11 Paddle Holster. Its design is attractive and functional. It’s light enough to be worn in several positions comfortably and it can be worn with or without a belt. The SP11 can also accommodate the following makes and models of pistols:
Springfield Armory – XD 9MM & .40, XDM 9MM & .40, HS 2000 9MM, .40,.357,.45, XD MOD 2 9MM, .40,.45/ Taurus – PT24/7 DS, PT111 G2, PT140 G2, PT111-PT145 Millennium Pro/ Ruger – 345/ H&K – P2000 9MM &.40.
It’s relevant that one holster is all you need to carry numerous pistols from your collection. Your only difficulty will be deciding which pistol to carry. Whether belt-less or not, it doesn’t matter with the SP11.