Gun Digest
 

StealthGearUSA Onyx Holster Review

Designed for hot weather, the StealthGearUSA Onyx outperforms conventional concealed carry holsters year round.

The Onyx At a Glance
– Kydex and VentCore Hybrid
– Stainless steel hardware to resist rust
– Tuckable
– Comfortable yet slim
– Breathable — ideal for hot weather, great the rest of the year, too
– Adjustable cant angle, but factory settings were perfect
– Mesh material is soft yet plenty rigid, guns don't move
– No break-in period
– Completely silent — no squeaking or need to apply stuff to quiet it down
– Great handgun retention, very smooth draw
– Handmade in the USA, lifetime guarantee

When I wrote the Comprehensive Guide to Concealed Carry Holsters, the StealthGearUSA Onyx was sitting in a box and really didn’t get a thorough review before the book went to press. That’s too bad, because in future editions it will most certainly play a much more prominent role—in fact, a starring role. It’s that good.

Actually, the first time I saw the Onyx was in Gun Digest publisher Jim Schlender’s office. He held up a strangely shaped black-and-red thing that looked like the space amoeba Captain Kirk battled in the Immunity Syndrome episode of Star Trek. He proclaimed it to be one of the coolest products he’d seen in a long time.

The Onyx keeps your handgun handy but won't reveal you're packing by squeaks and squawks, which leather is prone to do.

I didn’t get it. Frankly, it looked huge compared to the leather IWB holsters I’m accustomed to, and just seemed bulky. Boy, was I wrong. Schlender did his best to explain the thing, but it wasn’t sinking in. Old ideas die harder than space amoebas.

And then I tried it. The heavens opened up and Bruckner’s 9th Symphony reined down upon the earth. That big, breathable pad—StealthGear calls it the VentCore breathable platform, if jargon is your thing—just completely soaked up the gun, made it disappear. It felt like when you lie down on a really good mattress after a long day of hanging drywall. I had to check the gun was still there.

So I moved around, grabbed a snack from the fridge, changed the cat litter, shot some hoops—lived my life for six months—no digging or gouging. And no sound. I mean not even a peep, a swish or a squawk. Just silent. Total stealth mode. It was the holster that changed everything for me.

Onyx Features

The Onyx doesn’t just give you comfort, inherent to its design. It also sports features that show the company went the extra mile with well-thought-out features like stainless fasteners to resist rust.

The VentCore breathable platform on the Onyx is actually less bulky than many conventional leather holsters – yet it's very soft and comfortable.

The spring steel belt clips are tuckable, allowing you to push a shirt into them and over the gun for more formal occasions. That gives you another concealment mode that is usually a custom option. It comes standard with the Onyx.

The cant angle is adjustable but the factory settings kept my Glock 22 at the perfect angle, so I just left it. Retention was excellent—very positive yet not tight or sticky on the draw.

No small detail, the breathable VentCore pad isn’t just cool in warm weather, it’s lightweight, too. That helps with comfort and allows you to pack more rounds, always a good thing.

Being old school, where leather holsters rule, I wondered if the mesh material that makes up the body of the Onyx would lack rigidity. It did not. In fact, that material provides ideal rigidity when coupled with its inside-the-waistband design. The gun does not shift around. It’s rock solid.

I’m often asked what holster I recommend as a starting point for people new to concealed carry. In the past my default opinion has always been an outside-the-waistband leather scabbard, one that would be a good generalist option. There’ll always be a place for leather holsters—whether conventional or hybrid—but now my go-to suggestion is the Onyx.

Day in and day out when I want to grab a holster that I know will do everything a concealed carry holster must do and do well—cover the trigger guard, secure and conceal the gun—I grab the Onyx. Try this star performer out yourself, and you will too.

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