The 4 Best Hiking Holsters – Reviews 2023

best hiking holster

Photo by Davidd / CC BY

Hiking requires one to go into nature headfirst and depending on how far they plan they go they may run into trouble. Trouble comes on two legs and four (or slithers on the ground with no legs at all) so a big gun is often used in a big caliber.

With that being the case, you need a holster that can handle the weight of the weapon and remain comfortable. When hiking you are bound to be moving up and down, climbing over logs, and all manner of dynamic movement. This means you need to have a retention device on your holster, a snap of some kind to keep the weapon from falling out of its holster.

The holster also needs to be strong enough to resist the elements, be it rain, snow, or just humidity. So without it being said the holster needs to be tough enough to defeat the elements and tough enough to carry and protect your weapon.

Below we’ve assembled a list of the 4 best hiking holsters for your perusal. They satisfy all of the criteria above and then some.

US Military M3 Shoulder Holster (for Medium-Sized Semi-Auto Pistols)

The US military has plenty of experience designing and choosing holsters for a variety of roles. One such holster is the M3, a leather shoulder holster. This shoulder holster was designed for the M1911, a .45 caliber handgun. However, the holster is capable of holding a wide variety of different weapons from Glocks to Berettas. This holster keeps the weapon held nice and tight to the body with a strong strap that rides across the chest.

The M3 shoulder holster is designed to right over the right shoulder, with a strap across the chest, and a small strap connecting to the belt. This leather holster is perfect for hikers who routinely carry a pack while they hike. Deep wood backpackers often carry backpacks that have belts to keep the pack secured and place weight on the hips. These belts make backpacks extremely handy; however, they make it near impossible to wear belt holsters.

This shoulder holster keeps the weapon nice and secured through a thumb snap leather thong. A thick pad of leather keeps the weapon from digging into your body, and protects the weapon from your body’s sweat.

Blackhawk Serpa Glock 20/21

Some people can only afford a single weapon or simply love automatics. Traditionally revolvers hold the big rounds and autos hold more rounds. The Serpa by Blackhawk is designed for large-frame Glock pistols like the Glock 20, Glock 40, Glock 21, and every other large-frame plastic fantastic (and if you want smaller sizes, they’re available too). The Serpa holster is made entirely from polymer material known as kydex. This material is impervious to the elements and near destructible without taking an axe, a flame, or a hammer to it.

The Blackhawk Serpa holster also features a push button retention device. This push button retention device secures the weapon until the button is pressed, and the weapon is drawn. The retention device is nearly impossible to accidentally activate, and holds the weapon in against nearly any unauthorized access.

The Serpa platform is also extremely versatile. It can be mounted on a paddle platform, or a belt loop platform, a drop leg rig, a shoulder rig, or a chest rig. You can even mount the holster to the MOLLE/PALS system with the right adapter. This holster’s versatility makes it perfect for hiking and concealed carry. While leather is nice, this is the 21st century, and this is among the 21st century’s best hiking holsters.

BlackHawk Serpa Holster Training Tip

DTOM Concealed Carry Fanny Pack

While in a normal setting, a fanny pack is kryptonite to any social setting, when hiking a good fanny pack isn’t that uncommon. A small pack that holds the little essentials, a snack, a bottle of water, compass, sunscreen, and of course your gun. The Dtom pack is designed for full sized handguns, be it full-sized automatics or medium-frame revolvers.

The Dtom pack makes carrying a weapon easy and in a convenient location. A fanny pack will protect the weapon well from anything the environment can throw at it. This waist pack is simple and easy to use, and makes carrying a large easy and comfortable. The pack itself is unassuming for those who have to conceal their weapon.

The pack is well built from a cordura nylon, a material that is naturally water resistant and also extremely durable. The pack itself is built extremely well, and stitched together in a manner that keeps the weapon from sagging, slipping, or becoming uncomfortable. A Fanny pack may not be fashionable, but it’s a proven design that emphasizes comfort and control.

Bianchi Tan 5BH (for Medium-Frame Revolvers)

The Bianchi 5Bh is a simple but reliable leather holster. Leather has served Americans well throughout the years of taming our country, most famously in the west. The Bianchi 5BH is a strong and reliable holster designed to fit medium-frame revolvers, like the Ruger GP 100, the Smith and Wesson 686, and the Taurus Model 66. These heavy weights are chambered in powerful cartridges like the .357 Magnum, which is perfectly suitable to deal with both two-legged and four-legged vermin. The only downsides are these weapons are heavy.

The Bianchi 5BH is a hefty holster, though. It carries the weapon well due to its thick leather nature. The Bianchi 5BH is features a nice thing leather thong that features a basic button to keep the weapon secured in the holster. The retention device is extremely easy to defeat and hardly slows the draw when the weapon is needed. The holster keeps the weapon placed nice and high in case concealment is necessary. It also covers the majority of the weapon, keeping it from being exposed to the elements.

The Bianchi 5BH is a well-made, high-quality holster from a reputable holster manufacturer. The Bianchi 5BH is made to last for years of use, the holster fits nice and tight to the body, and i rides comfortably even over long periods of time. Hands down, it’s one of the best hiking holsters on the market.

Take a Hike

Hiking is an enjoyable method to enjoy nature, to get some exercise, but it’s no reason not to be safe. When dealing with the great wild frontier, there is nothing that can’t happen. Remember to follow all state and local laws, but carry wherever and whenever you can, and with the best hiking holster carrying your firearm, you’re pretty good to go.

  • Owner of, Boyd Smith is a major handgun enthusiast, and although he owns Glocks, he prefers the revolving wheel type. His go-to guns are a Smith & Wesson 642 Performance Center for carry and a Ruger GP100 in the nightstand biometric safe (he has kids). He loads both revolvers with old-school 148-grain Federal Gold Medal .38 wadcutters. It’s OK if you think he’s a wimp. Email him.

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