Quality Carry Options

Alien Gear Holsters has established a reputation for innovative concealed-carry solutions.

Quality Carry Options

Designing a good holster is a balance between meeting functional requirements, user preferences, and safety considerations.

The popularity of concealed carry has surged over the past decade, bringing with it the need for effective everyday carry accessories to suit a wide range of customers. Alien Gear Holsters is among those meeting this need.

Alien Gear was founded in 2013 by Thomas Tedder to provide firearm enthusiasts with comfortable, versatile and innovative concealed carry holsters. The company is headquartered in Post Falls, Idaho, and its holsters are made in the U.S.A.

Tactical Retailer recently caught up with Chief Operating Officer Sandi Little to talk about the company, its mission, and where the market is headed.

Tactical Retailer: Tell me a little bit about Alien Gear and its history. 

Little: From its inception, Alien Gear Holsters has been committed to designing and manufacturing holsters that cater to the diverse needs of firearm owners. Our modular holster system allows users to customize their holsters for optimal comfort and concealment, ensuring a secure fit for different firearm types. Throughout history, we have earned a reputation for our dedication to customer satisfaction and continuous improvement. We strongly emphasize customer feedback and incorporate it into product design and development.

We aim to empower responsible gun owners by providing reliable, comfortable concealed-carry solutions. We understand the importance of responsible firearm ownership and seek to support individuals exercising their Second Amendment rights responsibly. With a focus on quality, innovation, and customer service, we remain a leading concealed carry holster market player. 

Our commitment to meeting the evolving needs of firearm enthusiasts, law enforcement, and military personnel with the Rapid Force line has contributed to our success and widespread recognition within the industry. As an entire vertical facility, we handle all aspects of our business in-house, including engineering, purchasing, injection molding, sewing, and shipping. This comprehensive approach allows us to control the entire production process, ensuring consistent quality and timely delivery of our products.

TR: How is Alien Gear positioned in the market and what has the company done to gain share over the past 10 years?

Little: We have earned recognition and market share by focusing on several key factors, including product innovation, a customer-centric approach, quality and reliability, a wide product range, strong marketing presence and competitive pricing.

We have differentiated ourselves through continuous product innovation. Our modular holster system, allowing users to customize their holsters, has been a significant selling point and has resonated with firearm owners seeking comfortable and versatile concealed carry solutions. Our product range has expanded over the years to cater to various firearm types and carry preferences, including product lines for duty and military personnel. And of course, quality materials and rigorous testing processes have instilled confidence in our customers.

Over the past 10 years, these strategies and our dedication to exceptional customer service have helped us gain market share. By consistently meeting the needs of concealed carry permit holders and firearm owners, we have solidified our position as a trusted brand in the industry.

TR: Can you explain what goes into designing a good holster? 

Little: Designing a good holster involves a meticulous process considering several key factors to ensure functionality, safety and user comfort. The holster must provide a secure and snug fit for the specific firearm it is intended to carry. A well-designed holster should hold the gun in place, preventing unnecessary movement or accidental dislodgement. A reliable retention system is essential to keep the firearm securely in the holster while allowing for a smooth draw when needed. Holster designers consider various retention methods, such as thumb breaks, friction retention, or passive retention devices.

A good holster allows adequate concealment while ensuring the user's comfort during everyday carry. Factors like holster size, contouring and materials play a role in achieving this balance. The choice of materials is critical to the holster's performance — durable and wear-resistant materials ensure longevity and reliable functionality.

A well-designed holster provides adequate coverage for the trigger guard area, preventing accidental trigger engagements while holstered. And many include adjustable retention screws or other customization options to accommodate individual preferences and firearm models. Extensive testing and continuous improvement are crucial in design.

Designing a good holster is a balance between meeting functional requirements, user preferences, and safety considerations. It requires a deep understanding of firearm mechanics, ergonomics, and the end-users needs. By considering these aspects, holster designers can create products that offer a secure, comfortable, and efficient concealed carry solution for firearm owners.

TR: Has the influx of new shooters and more female gun owners impacted your product design and offerings?

Little: At Alien Gear Holsters, we have recognized the importance of catering to the unique needs and preferences of all firearm enthusiasts, including women. To address this demand, we have made substantial investments in developing a product line specifically tailored to women. Our Tactica line is designed "for women, by women," taking into consideration factors such as comfort, concealment and style. 

The increasing number of female gun owners has been a driving force behind our commitment to providing holsters that are not only functional and reliable but also cater to individual lifestyles and preferences. We have actively sought feedback from female shooters and concealed carry permit holders to understand their specific needs and challenges, which has guided our product development efforts. By embracing diversity and inclusivity in our product offerings, we aim to empower all firearm owners, including women, with a comfortable and effective concealed carry solution. As the shooting community continues to evolve, we remain dedicated to staying responsive to the changing demands and preferences of our customers, ensuring that our product line remains relevant and inclusive for all shooters.

TR: The holster market is crowded. How do you separate yourself from others?

Little: By consistently delivering innovative, high-quality and customer-focused solutions, we set ourselves apart in the competitive holster market. We have earned the trust and loyalty of firearm enthusiasts and concealed carry permit holders.

TR: What sort of product testing do you do?

Little: We take product quality and safety seriously. A comprehensive product testing process backs our commitment to delivering reliable and effective holsters. While the specific details of our testing procedures are proprietary, I can provide an overview of the general areas we focus on. 

First and foremost, firearm compatibility is a crucial consideration. We rigorously test our holsters with various firearm makes and models to ensure a secure fit, dependable retention, and quick accessibility. Durability is another critical aspect. Our materials undergo testing to ensure they can withstand the rigors of daily use, exposure to different environmental conditions, and potential wear and tear. Holster retention mechanisms are thoroughly tested to ensure they perform reliably while allowing for smooth drawing and reholstering. Additionally, we prioritize comfort and concealment, conducting wearability tests to guarantee that our holsters remain comfortable for extended periods and provide adequate concealment without discomfort.

Safety is paramount, and our holsters are designed with user safety in mind. Moreover, we value customer feedback immensely, actively engaging with our customers and collecting feedback to enhance our holster designs. We are committed to producing holsters that meet the highest quality, safety and performance standards.

TR: What trends are you seeing in the market, and how has that changed over the years?

Little: The interest in concealed carry and personal defense continues to grow, prompting an increased demand for holsters that cater to everyday carry needs. Modularity is big, too. Consumers strongly prefer holsters that can accommodate various firearm models and accessories, offering versatility and cost savings. Our Shapeshift holster has been an enormous success because of that. Inside the Waistband holsters have also gained significant popularity due to their comfort, accessibility, and concealability. AIWB holsters with integrated magazine carriers have gotten popular with people who want to streamline their carry setup, which is why we launched the Photon Collection.

TR: What does the future look like for Alien Gear? Are you looking to expand your product line?

Little: The future for Alien Gear is incredibly exciting and filled with growth opportunities. We are committed to continually enhancing our product offerings to serve our customers' needs, including our professional users such as law enforcement, security, government and military personnel.

One significant step we've taken in this direction is the launch of our Rapid Force Collection, explicitly tailored to the requirements of our professional users. This collection includes holsters and gear designed to meet the high standards and demands of those who serve and protect our communities and nations.

As we look ahead, expanding our product line remains a key focus. We're actively exploring opportunities to introduce innovative products and accessories that align with evolving market trends and customer needs. Moreover, we are dedicated to ongoing research and development efforts to ensure our products are at the forefront of technology and innovation. We will continue prioritizing quality, comfort and safety in all our offerings while staying responsive to customer feedback and the changing landscape of concealed carry and professional-use holsters.

The future for Alien Gear is marked by expansion, innovation,and a steadfast commitment to meeting the diverse needs of our customers, including our valued professional users. We are excited about what lies ahead and remain dedicated to providing top-quality holsters and gear that enhance the safety and confidence of those who rely on our products.


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