I thought it was time to update this thread. Original thread: http://hillpeoplegear.com/Forum/tabid...
I get asked approximately once a week about a secondary holster in the holster pocket of the kit bags. In most cases it is just a lack of understanding of how the kit bag works, but in others they read or saw where someone on the internet said you have to have one. When I look at the reference in a lot of cases it is someone who hasn’t used the bag or has only just gotten it. Every kit bag has a strip of Velcro down the back of the holster pocket as well as a loop at the bottom. I should say every current one, as both features were added after the first couple or runs. The loop at the bottom is so you can tie in something like a Vanguard for a striker fired gun. I have tried to get a glock and m&p to fire through the kit bag, and haven't been able to make it happen, but the extra bit of safety is a good thing. Adding the loop after the Vanguard became available was a no brainer for the striker fired guns. Just make sure it is tied up close. The Velcro was added because we got tired of hearing it was needed so a holster could be added to secure the gun. Again, mostly by folks who had never used one. The bag is designed to drape around your chest, which is what secures the pistol. The curvature of your chest and the bag itself hold it in place. You don’t really understand this until you try one on, but it works great. The drape is also why most folks are better off with the full size bags over the Snubbys, as the Snubby doesn't drape around the torso, but instead sits on top of the chest making it less comfortable. Finally, the way the pistol sits on the bottom of the bag is by design to keep the weight low down so you get a good hang, whereas if you position the firearm higher you can get some top heavy issues. Most folks who give it a shot give us the feedback that they agree that a secondary holster is not needed because the handgun is secured the way it is designed. We have also heard from more than one guy that after a bit of practice they are getting good times on a shot timer, including from one agencies instructors informal testing.
We sometimes get asked why not full Velcro so I can add magazines, a flashlight, or whatever. What we found in testing was that the Velcro added heat to your chest area. The center strip is hotter than no Velcro and the full back Velcro is even hotter. That is why we went with just the center. The other reason is that we look at the back pocket as the holster and we don’t recommend putting stuff in the holster with a gun.
Historically, we felt that a holster might be the way to go, and found that an interior holster was slower on the draw using a shot timer, and could also cause binding. It also didn’t make the gun any more secure. We neither use nor recommend a secondary fabric or strap holster like the ITS.
Sometime last year Bruce from Contact Concealment reached out to us, and talked with Evan, he thought that he had an idea for a kydex holster that would add to the kit bag for his uses and he wanted permission to run with it. That pretty much tells us what we need to know about his character as it was a class act. Fast forward to last week, when I was in the market for some new magazine pouches, I have been hearing lots of good stuff about Contact Concealment and decided to give them a shot as they had what I was looking for. Bruce commented offhand that he loved our Snubby’s and he and his wife used them every day. One thing led to another and I was watching the video that Bruce had put up on Youtube. We have been sent several pictures of inserts that guys have made out of kydex and other materials of the years, but none really sparked my interest no matter how nice the work, and most were, for one of two reasons. First they didn’t really do anything that the Vanguard did at the cost of bulk and weight, and/or they moved the pistol up off the bottom of the pack creating the top heavy issue that I spoke off. Bruce’s video and insert make it clear that he not only understands the design of how the kit bags work, but was adding to it for his uses. He also found a way to do it without adding bulk and weight.
I am still not convinced that a secondary holster is needed within the holster pocket, but if you do want one check out the one from Contact Concealment. My understanding is he will have it available for sale soon.