This article was originally posted on Guns.com
The proliferation of concealed carry has led to a increase in the number of holster types and brands on the market. Among them is the Comfort Cling by Clinger Holsters, a new interpretation of the clipless sheath, made for inside-waistband (IWB) carry. I’ve been wearing one for a few days so far, comparing it with another clipless brand and judging its suitability for EDC for my life.
Clinger Holsters is understandably unwilling to publish its secrets in terms of material. What is known is the Comfort Cling is a three-ply sheath. The outer layer has a slightly rubbery finish, which provides friction to hold the holster inside pants without clips. In the middle is a layer of a gel-like material. Inside, a weave-finish, non-abrasive, ballistic nylon liner hugs the firearm.
The two sides of the holster are bound together by a strip of nylon webbing, secured with zig-zag stitches. Clinger boasts that zig-zag stitching won’t catch the rear sight when drawing the pistol like straight stitches can. So far, I’ve found that to be true. There’s an opening at the muzzle end of the holster. Though the Glocks in this test don’t reach the opening when fully holstered, it does make me wonder if some models might stick out and poke the wearer’s abdomen.
Instructions for the holster say it’s best worn under a waistband secured by a belt, but can also be worn inside drawstring pants, pajamas, and the like. So far, I’ve successfully worn it with cargo pants and jeans secured by an Exos gun belt, as well as with no belt. The jeans I’m testing with are relics of the 80s that survive in my closet–snug, high-waist “mom jeans,” and high-waist riding breeches. All of these kept the gun, a Glock 43, secure when doing typical activities around the property like brush-cutting and riding horses.
What didn’t work, for this short-waisted tester, was wearing the holster beltless in low- or mid-rise pants and in no-drawstring tights of any type. The gun was either so insecure as to risk falling out (in tights and low-rise jeans), or riding such that it leaned outward and printed rather dramatically (in mid-rise jeans and riding breeches). I’ve worn a similar product, the Sticky Holster, for many years, and this is exactly the experience I expected. Long ago, I made the decision to adjust my manner of dress to accommodate the gun. I do get away with some of the methods that didn’t work with the Comfort Cling by wearing a smaller gun in those kinds of garments.
At no time did I feel like the gun would fall out of the holster, nor did the holster feel insecure inside my waistband, when the waistband/belt were sufficiently tight. I do find myself adjusting it from time to time, usually when I get into or out of the car. This is the same experience I’ve had with the Sticky. Part of mastering my own EDC has been making holster adjustments in a manner that’s unnoticeable to all but the most educated or prying eyes. When the user takes responsibility for this holster staying in place, it is secure and discreet.
Trigger guard protection
Along with retention, protection of the trigger guard should be top of mind in selecting and wearing a concealment holster. With my thumb putting greater than moderate pressure against the trigger guard with the holstered 43 on a hard surface, I was able to feel the inside outline of the trigger guard, but not the trigger. Of course, a human body isn’t as rigid as a pine table. I feel completely secure with the Comfort Cling’s level of trigger guard protection for my daily life. It’s a secure setup, again assuming the waistband is snug enough.
Comparing trigger guard protection between the new Comfort Cling and an aged Sticky Holster, they’re about the same as they are right now. I make a habit of monitoring the condition of my holster’s trigger guard protection at least a couple times per week as I don or remove the rig. Ignoring excessive wear there could cost my own life or be the first step on a long, painful injury and recovery experience. I can’t emphasize this enough!
Here again, I found much in common with the Sticky, but an important difference. The draw, in my estimation, seems easier and more efficient with the Comfort Cling. With the Sticky, unless my belt is cranked really tight, the holster sometimes draws right out with the gun. It’s a bad tendency on Sticky’s part, and I’ve only put up with it because it’s so convenient and comfy. With the Comfort Cling, no such thing has happened thus far, which is kind of a striking difference considering the G43 rests in the sheath with the entire slide covered, which a bit of slide is exposed in the Sticky. In a defensive encounter, this is an obvious advantage!
Reholstering does require removing the holster from the waistband and carefully re-sheathing the gun. The Comfort Cling is soft, and simply collapses inside the pants when empty. It’s a trade-off for its comfort. In this way, it’s the same as the Sticky.
Final impressions, comparisons
The Comfort Cling is a little bit bulkier than the Sticky brand, thanks to a little extra material at the muzzle end. Sizing is also more generic; double and single stack are the only choices. Some gun owners will surely find this holster fits some guns better than others. I was surprised at the near-total coverage it gives the Glock 43, and quite relieved to note that I probably won’t be suffering from summertime contact dermatitis using this holster, as it prevents all gun metal-to-skin contact, at least with the G43.
As for safety, this holster has sufficient retention and trigger guard protection for my lifestyle. It’s up to the individual wearer to insure their waistband is tight enough and their activities don’t provide any opportunity for trigger guard penetration from outside the holster.
Kudos to the company for advising users to expect a better fit from tighter setups. As a years-long user of another clipless brand, Sticky Holsters, I know this to be true. Clinger Holsters’ honesty is to be commended. I wish they’d go a step further in advising folks how to get that perfect drawstring tension, which is simply repeating the second step of tying a bow. Two half hitches forces the string to draw tighter around the entire waist, not just at the knot, and has the added benefit of maintaining tension on the knot while the rest of bow-tying is done. This is the technique that made me able to wear a gun and run for extended periods, wearing drawstring shorts.
Finally, Clinger holsters are made in the USA and the Comfort Cling is an easy “yes” at $19.99 with a two-week return guarantee and a one-year workmanship/materials warranty. Sticky Holsters’ 2017 price hike puts the competition at $29.95, with a lifetime materials/manufacturing warranty. For a first, or tenth holster in an EDC stable, the Comfort Cling delivers low risk and great bang for the buck. I’m keeping mine.