Clips Versus Loops For Kydex Holsters

Clips Versus Loops For Kydex Holsters

There is a long tradition in the firearms industry to argue about everything.  Rarely is there a “right” answer given that almost every choice is based on experience and varies with each situation.  If you are at the range and a Fudd tries to draw you into a debate about how to fasten your holster, I give you permission to ignore them.  Especially if they try to banter with you about clips versus loops because it isn’t really a debate.  There is no wrong move when deciding between the two.  This is true with a lot of things, not just how you fasten your Kydex holster.

Nerd Alert: Opening Chess Moves

Most guys are into cars, games, or guns.  Some are lucky enough to have all three as a passion, otherwise known as the “why I'm always broke trifecta”.  You can go super deep on all three topics and never run out of things to learn.  Sometimes I like to nerd out on one of the oldest games in the world: Chess.

Even though the game has been around forever, people still debate everything about it by defending whatever their favorite approach is.  Sound familiar?  Take the opening move for example.  The two most popular choices are moving either the king pawn or the queen pawn two spaces, known as e4 or d4.  There is no “right” answer as you can win the game with either strategy.

The key is to explore both options and then choose which one suits your temperament the best.  Don’t let someone trick you into thinking there is only one way to play the game.  The same is true for how you fasten your holster to your body.  Let’s take a look at two of the most popular choices with a battle royal of clips versus loops.  Spoiler:  They are both awesome in the right situation.

(There is one decision that always has a right answer and that is leather versus Kydex.  If you still are considering an old-timey leather option take a look atWhat You Should Look For In A Kydex Holster so you can safely join us in modern times.)

Clips Or Loops For Your Kydex Holster?

Let’s talk about clips first.  I can’t believe I have to say this but you don't have to wear a belt to secure your holster.  Yes, the clips are designed to go over a belt but they can also go over your waistband, a towel, or something else I don’t want to know about.  If a clip has something to grab onto securely, it will work.  Just worry about the function, not the form.

One of the best things about clips is that they are easy to put on and take off because you don’t have to remove your belt if you are wearing one. You can come home after a long day of work, take off your holster, and store your firearm without much fuss.  When you are wearing it, a good clip design will keep a low profile and can be concealed easily because you can tuck it inside your waistband.  There are a couple of things you have to watch out for with clips, however.  

First, if you are going to use a belt, you must find the right size belt with the right thickness.  You want a sturdy carry belt in order to make sure that the clips you have fit over and hook the bottom of the material.  When this is done properly, the retention will be just right and you can have a safe, smooth draw.  As I said before, you don’t have to use a belt with our clips but if the fashion requirements of the day call for one, make sure it is the proper width.  This is important when the SHTF.  You don’t want to be messing around with your holster in a self-defense situation.

Second, it is possible for clips to lose their “springiness” over time with a ton of use.  I don’t control the universe so sometimes they need to be replaced.  Clip adherents don’t really worry about this because they love the ease of taking them on and off.  If this bothers you, then you may want to consider the other option:  Loops.

Loops are probably the most secure method of fastening a holster to your attire.  Because you thread the belt through them, it is impossible for the holster to slip off.  Some people don’t like any uncertainty in their lives, so the loop option makes them feel comfortable with their EDC and range options. 

The downside of most loops is that you have to partially disrobe every time you use it.  Regardless of how attractive you think you are, taking your belt on and off always looks awkward to other people.  There is no smooth way to do it.  Sorry, it is science.  Still, some people love the support that loops provide and don’t mind the social awkwardness.  

The good news is that we have solved the “belt/loop” problem by adding in a snap for our loops so you don’t have to sacrifice security for convenience.  It does take slightly longer than the clip does but not as long as those other holster companies who have yet to join modern society and all its technological wonder.

Another way loops are superior to clips (but only a little) is in a struggle with an assailant.  Theoretically, someone could get a clipped holster off during a fight but they would have to have some Steven Seagal dexterity and be intimately familiar with how they work.  I haven’t seen a lot of criminals rocking holsters in any fashion during my doom scrolling on social media so take that for what it’s worth.

One cool thing about loops is that you don’t have to have a specific carry belt.  Loops will work with most belts and are less likely to damage clothing because they don’t have sharp edges like clips.  If you are rocking jean shorts and a braided leather belt because you are stuck in the 90s, this probably isn’t a big deal to you.  There are some who claim that loops are less comfortable than clips but again this has more to do with your personal preferences and your general tolerance levels.

At the end of the day, it all boils down to what fits your lifestyle the best.  If you value security then loops are probably your jam.  If you value convenience the most, then you probably are going to rock the clips.  Me?  I use them both because I am an adult who can handle ambiguity.  The good news for you is that here at FDO Industries we offer both options when you Forge Your Own Holster

Don’t overthink it and you will be just fine.

Have a good one,


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