Top 5 XD-E Carry Holsters
June 9th, 2020
6 minute read
So, you’ve found the perfect gun for your personal protection needs: the Springfield Armory XD-E. Now, you’re looking for the right holster for safely carrying it. The problem is you’re not sure what kind you need.
Don’t worry. In this article, I will cover five great holsters for your XD-E. Along the way, I’ll help you understand the different styles of carry and which might be right for you.
DeSantis Thumb Break Mini Slide
Traditionally, holsters have been made of leather. Although synthetic materials have become more widely used in recent years, leather carry rigs remain popular, and DeSantis Gunhide is one of the premier leather holster makers.
For the XD-E, DeSantis makes a number of holsters including the Thumb Break Mini Slide. This is an outside-the-waistband holster that uses the traditional belt slide style.
What is an outside-the-waistband (OWB) rig? Simply put, an OWB holster is a scabbard that carries the handgun at the waist level on the outside of the pants. Most often, the holster attaches to a sturdy belt for secure carry. Carrying outside-the-waistband on a good belt is one of the most comfortable ways to carry a pistol.
In the case of the Thumb Break Mini Slide, DeSantis uses premium saddle leather with double stitching around the belt loops for incredible durability. The Thumb Break Mini Slide secures the XD-E into place through the use of precise fitting and a thumb break. The thumb break is a strip of leather that covers the top of the gun but is “broken” when a snap is released by the shooter’s thumb when the weapon is drawn. MSRP: $76.99
Safariland GLS Pro-Fit Holster
Another great OWB holster is the GLS 578 Pro-Fit from Safariland. However, it shares very few similarities with the DeSantis rig above even though both are outside-the-waistband designs.
The GLS Pro-Fit holster is a completely synthetic rig that is designed to fit more than 250 different firearms — including the Springfield Armory XD-E. It does this through an active retention system called the Grip Locking System (GLS) that latches on the trigger guard.
The retention system is adjustable with a hex wrench and takes just seconds to custom fit the holster to your XD-E pistol. Once locked in, the gun will not fall out — even if you shake it upside down. Yet, the GLS is automatically released when you take a firing grip on your pistol, with your middle finger on the grip engaging a release lever that unlocks the pistol. Simple, intuitive, easy and safe.
I’ve used a paddle version of the GLS Pro-Fit holster for several years. A paddle holster uses a wide backer that slides inside your waistband to sandwich your belt between it and the gun. Generally, these kinds of holsters are appealing because they are easy to don. Safariland uses a paddle system that I’ve found to be the most secure paddle on the market today.
Another feature I appreciate about the GLS Pro-Fit holster is that Safariland uses a synthetic material that does not mar a gun’s finish. Called SafariSeven, the polymer is rigid enough to hold the gun in place during vigorous activity. Yet, it doesn’t wear on the gun like Kydex or other hard materials can. MSRP: $61.00
CrossBreed ST2 Holster
If OWB holsters carry a gun on the outside of your pants, you can probably guess where an inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster conceals the XD-E. These rigs safely carry the pistol so that the muzzle of the gun is concealed inside the top of your pants. The grip is exposed above the belt line so you can easily draw the gun. The major advantage of this carry method is increased concealment.
IWB holsters can be made of leather or synthetic materials. However, there is another option that is highly regarded for its comfort and concealment qualities. Called a hybrid holster, this rig style uses a synthetic shell attached to a leather slab. Sort of a “best of both worlds” approach, you might say.
Possibly the best-known company for designing and building hybrid holsters is CrossBreed Holsters. The company pioneered many of the innovations in this style of holster and is probably the most responsible for popularizing it. One of the rigs they make for the Springfield Armory XD-E is the Hybrid ST2.
The ST2 uses a wide, soft leather backer that is comfortable against the body. With a wide backer, the holster spreads the weight of the pistol out over a larger area of the belt, which helps to avoid sagging pants.
The hard Kydex shell secures the pistol and you can adjust the tension to get the proper draw. You can adjust the belt clips to customize how low or high the holster rides in the pants. As with all of the CrossBreed Holsters, the ST2 comes with a lifetime warranty and a two-week trial period. MSRP: $69.95
A specialized form of IWB carry is called appendix carry or AIWB. In this method, you carry the pistol inside the waistband in front of your strong side hip — typically in the one to two o’clock position. While a wide-backed hybrid holster works well for carry on or behind the hip, a specialized holster tends to work better in the appendix position.
The Tulster Profile is a perfect example of a modern appendix holster. It uses a minimalist design to reduce bulk and improve concealability. Tulster uses synthetic materials that are precision shaped to the Springfield Armory XD-E. This makes for positive retention with an audible click when you insert the gun into the holster.
Profile holsters completely cover the trigger guard for safety. Yet, the rig design allows for a high undercut. This allows you to get a full, high grip on the pistol when you draw it. This should minimize the need for any hand readjustments once you present the weapon.
To enhance comfort, Tulster buffs the edges of the holster. Buffing takes the small edges off to eliminate sharp corners that can cause pinching or other discomfort. Also, the holster is cant adjustable. This means you can alter the draw stroke from straight up (0˚) to a forward draw (up to 30˚). MSRP: $59.99
Telor Tactical Comfort-Air Ankle Holster
Sometimes your style of dress makes it hard to carry a gun along the waistband. For these circumstances, an ankle holster might make sense.
An ankle holster is a specialized concealment rig that secures your XD-E pistol to the lower leg. Your pants leg completely conceals the handgun, and the pistol is completely out of the way. I carried a backup gun as a police officer on an ankle every day I was in uniform. It was not the fastest location to draw from, but I found it a comfortable way to carry.
One of the keys to successful ankle carry of your XD-E is in selecting a great holster. The most comfortable rig I’ve found is the Comfort-Air Ankle Holster from Telor Tactical.
Telor Tactical was founded by a gun enthusiast with a background in materials designed for the medical industry. These materials had to be durable yet comfortable for long-term wear on the body. Medical materials must have good airflow to the skin plus be resistant to bacteria and dirt. What better materials could be used for holsters?
The Comfort-Air Ankle Holster uses a wide cuff to secure the rig to the leg. The cuff is made of a thick, soft material that allows for a significant amount of air to reach your skin underneath. A hook and loop material secures the cuff to your body.
On the outside of the cuff is a pouch that holds the pistol. On the inside of the cuff, behind this pouch, is a panel of Sil-Air padding. Sil-Air is a breathable, silicone-type padding that offers incredible cushioning without cutting off airflow to the skin.
I’ve worn many different ankle holsters over the years. Without any doubt, the Telor Tactical is the most comfortable ankle holster I’ve ever used. MSRP: $48.99
So, there you have it. A good cross-section of holsters for the excellent XD-E group of pistols. This round-up gives you a wide selection of holsters covering a good range of materials as well as carry modes, to help you pick out just the right way to carry your XD-E for your needs.
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