Top 5 Picks for Small of Back Holsters May 2023: Expert Reviews and Comprehensive Guides

Find the perfect small back holster for your concealed carry needs. Our expert reviews and comprehensive guides highlight the top picks for comfort, reliability, and accessibility 

Rest assured, you can feel confident in your small back holster purchase and know that you’re making a well-informed decision that meets your concealed carry needs.

Why Small Of The Back Holster?

Small back carry has been used since the early stages of the development and appearance of the handgun in human civilization as the natural way of any weapon hiding.

Sometimes it is not possible to carry a concealed gun in a conventional location due to the job or physical limitations, or simply because our clothing prevents us from carrying an IWB or Appendix concealed carry holster.

Anyway, the best Small of Back holster may be a smart alternative for many traditional and non-traditional gun-carrying rigs.

Furthermore, the best small of back gear is very convenient if you are a jogger or active in some physical activity such as climbing or lifting loads because this holster type prevents any swaying or wobble of the
gun and holster.

As previously mentioned, the Small back concealed carry holsters (or SOB holsters) have advantages over other holster types, mainly if we talk about concealment and comfort.

How to Choose SOB Holsters?

Before the specific design and model, we should take note of the holster material and construction.


Unlike some holsters for other concealed carry methods dominated by new-era synthetic materials, the SOB carry due to the unconventional position of the holster requires sturdy but at the same time reasonably soft material such as leather. This classic old-school material for gun accessories is more viable option for the holster as it is more adaptable
to your body while offering some padding for comfort. 

On the other side, you can also use SOB gear made of standard holster materials like Kydex or nylon. Still, they are not so perfect because of their rigidity or looseness, respectively.

Additionally, the best holster material must hold the shape and needs to provide easy re-holstering.  Make sure to buy a hard-bodied holster with a reinforced holster mouth because you will be holstering blind.

Types of SOB holsters

When comparing in form and style, SOB designs are similar to IWB holster, except an SOB holster, are missing a hip plate, as it just slides in the hollow of your lower back and uses a clip or belt loop to attach to your pants belt.

Actually, there are two holster types purpose-built for small of-back IWB or OWB carry, both offering different levels of concealment. The latter is known as “reverse configuration” and is carried outside of your pants, by hooking onto your belt. 

Like all popular gun accessories, the Small of Back holsters come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles. you make sure that the typical SOB holster is not ambidextrous so you should choose the right hand holster if it is your dominant hand. This is a very important fact, especially if you are purchasing an IWB holster for the SOB carry position. 

In that case, you should opt for an IWB holster designed to carry with your off-hand and not for the right hand.

While very few holsters are designed particularly for small back carry, it is always a good idea to make sure to purchase an SOB holster explicitly designed for your concealed carry pistol or revolver.

Though SOB holster is made by redesigning the standard IWB holster, they also come in different configurations, meaning that they can be accessed either by palm-in or palm-out position, depending on which way your hand will be facing when you reach for your handgun.

How do you pick the right SOB holster?

As you can see from the list there are not such plentiful choices of the best SOB holsters, but anyway, we provided some useful considerations to help you find a suitable holster for your preferences and lifestyle.

Small Back Carry Considerations

If you decided to go a small back holster route you should consider a few good and less-than-ideal things referred to as this concealed carry method.


The small of the back is one of the least obtrusive and most discrete areas for concealed carry. Using these holsters` type will allow you to carry your compact pistol without anyone noticing, but you should watch out for holsters that keep your gun’s muzzle visible. 

Though not so sensitive to your clothing style, your concealed carry SOB holster should be complemented your wardrobe.


A good SOB holster is made of a material that should have excellent retention, but it, should not have any retention mechanism. The best hard-bodied leather holster, coupled with this carry method, usually provides proper friction, especially if you wear it inside pants.

Because you will be wearing a holster of this carry style, you want a holster that completely covers the trigger of your concealed carry pistol. When the holster is made in that way, during the draw you will be prevented from touching the trigger by holster design.

Comfort And Draw

Since the SOB holsters are the best rig for concealing small handguns, this carrying style tends to be very discreet and comfortable. The SOB holsters are sometimes more comfortable than an IWB model while they offer decent draw speed considering the holster position behind the shooter`s back. Placed at 6 o’clock, the draw from the SOB holster maybe not be ideal while in sitting or driving positions.

However, when walking, running and many other activities, the draw speed is unbeatable. For some people, it can be challenging to reach and draw their weapon, but like any other carrying style, the small back gun draw takes some time and practice.

Ease of Pocket Access

The reason you should practice this carry method is the ability to access your pants or coat pockets because many other holsters interfere with your ability to store things.  You can use your pockets for the purpose they are made without meddling
with your draw.


Some people emphasize the limitations of this method of carrying and you should know some of them.

Although this type of holster is extremely comfortable to wear, the 6 o’clock position on your back means that the significant piece of metal is resting directly on your spine. To avoid potential injury, some shooters recommend carrying your SOB holster with a handgun off your spine in the 5 or 7 o’clock position. While the chances for this injury type are low, the possibility that someone behind you grabs your gun is more concerning and
can be the most prevalent issue for deterring people from this carrying style.

However, it depends on responsible conceal carry permit gun owners, because small back holsters can be used safely and effectively by any armed citizen if done right.

Best Small of The Back Holsters Reviews

In the following chapter, we compiled some of the most popular small back holsters on the market today, made for good
concealment and quick draw.

 After reading this guide, it’s up to you to make an educated decision about what is the best model for you and your daily needs.

1. Active Pro Gear Small of The Back (SOB)

Gun Concealment Holster for Gun
Concealed Carry | Conceal Carry Belt Holsters | Fits Glock, S&W, Ruger,
1911 | Made in the USA

Active ProGear SOB holster is made as a back carry holster, or more precisely, it is a holstering option purpose-built to carry close to the kidney. Designed in that way, the Active ProGear will rest safely and comfortably on your back, while it will protect your back and kidneys.

This Small of The Back holster is crafted of high-quality nylon resistant to any wearing and tearing. The Active ProGear SOB holster is offered in 13 different sizes and variants so that it can accommodate most of the popular handguns on the market.

It features a waterproof foam for comfort and moisture protection, keeping you comfortable should you choose to wear it all day long.

While the Active Pro is angled at 55 degrees for a full combat grip and quick draw, the holster interior is Cordura lined for a smooth and faster draw. There is a webbing inside a holster to protect your gun’s sights and retains a holster partially open for easier draw and reholstering.

Designed as a holster for kidney carry, the Active Pro holster is built with the driver in mind since it positions the pistol to sit well between you and the driver’s seat.

The Active ProGear SOB holster comes with a traditional thumb break which is fully adjustable to keep the gun secure. With a universal fit, it will be suitable for belts up to 1½” wide. The Active Pro SOB Holster is available in either a left-handed or right-handed variant.

2. DeSantis S.O.B. Holster fits Glock 17

If you carry a large-frame handgun and are looking for better concealability, you should check out the DeSantis SOB holster.  This typical small of back holster places the weapon at the 6 o’clock position with the butt of the pistol pointing up for the easy draw.

This leather rig comes with perfect molding and an adjustable tension device for holding any size handgun in place. Interestingly, whereas DeSantis is offering this holster in the standard ‘Butt Up’ carry configuration, they don’t recommend the “Butt-down” carry design as unsafe.

Made of quality unlined leather, this old-school style DeSantis holster is double-stitched in some portions and single-stitched in others.

DeSantis SOB holster sports a properly-shaped muzzle end, ensuring the barrel doesn’t dig into your back while you move or sit. Besides, the DeSantis SOB holster is designed with a hardened throat to prevent any re-holstering issues.

The DeSantis SOB holster is offered in black or tan and it will accommodate belts up to 1 1/2″ wide. Though this robust leather holster is offered in sizes designed to accommodate handguns made on the 1911 frame, for prolonged wearing the barrel protection extension can rub and irritate the back skin of the wearer.

3. Gould and Goodrich Small of Back Holster 806-26R

The Gould Goodrich Back Holster is intended only for the outside of waistband SOB carrying. This particular holster is manufactured from the nice-looking mahogany brown leather or as the G&G call it a Chestnut Brown leather. The 806 Small back holster is part of Gould and Goodrich Gold Line meaning it is built from top-grade vegetable-tanned calfskin leather, that will easily break in within several days.

Unlike some soft material holsters like nylon, this premium leather will provide durability and longevity. This Gould Goodrich SOB Holster is formed and shaped to fit SIG P220 and several similar in size models of semi-autos, so you should be able to find one for you.

This concealment holster situates the gun in an almost straight position making it an excellent choice for gun owners who possess a heavier pistol.

The Gould & Goodrich G&G Back Holster holds the gun canted to the side with the handgrip pointed up, which means you’ll go after it with your palm facing your back. This ‘palm in’ holster combines comfort and easy access offering a perfect solution for a backup gun or an off-duty firearm.

Since the holster does away with a retention strap, you’ll get simple access and faster drawing time for your weapon. Proper retention is provided by the shape of the holster and tension from the leather. Additionally, for better friction control, the holster sports an adjustable tension screw near the trigger guard. When you draw out your firearm, the holster will stay open because of the reinforcement band around the holster throat.

It incorporates fixed belt loops, instead of a Snap-On, meaning you do have to remove your belt entirely in order to take the holster off. The belt loop of this holster can accommodate belts between 1 inch and 1.5 inches in width.

It is not ambidextrous, but you can choose the model suitable for left-handed or right-handed shooters.

4. Pro-Tech Outdoors Concealed in The Pants/Waistband Holster

Fits Glock 17 and many other models

The Pro-Tech Outdoors Concealed in The Pants holster is one of the best small back rig made of quality Cordura ballistic nylon with double-stitched seams at pressure points The Pro Tech is an inside-the-waistband SoB holster attached to your belt with metal clip that can be removed from one side to the other making this holster suitable for right- or
left-hand draw.

As a universal nylon fabric holster, this holster comes in two sizes: small for pocket-size pistols and medium for mid- to large weapon frames. Based on the classic design of the Yaqui style holsters that cover the trigger guard and not much more, this Pro-Tech Concealed in the pant gun holster with an open top and exposed muzzle actually covers all the gun controls including the trigger guard.

While this concealed back holster of minimalistic design is only slightly larger than an ankle rig, it will secure the holster to the pant waist and protect you from a negligent discharge.

Using quite thick and durable material, the Pro-Tech Holster is a reliable made SOB holster that provides comfort and a compact design ideal for everyday carry.

5. Advanced Performance Shooting Holsters ASOB

Though the leather is a more comfortable option than a Kydex, the latter is more durable and has more retention. Kydex holsters are perfect if you anticipate everyday carry and a lot of heavy use for your sidearm.

There is a Kydex holster that would provide deeper concealment but negate some of the issues referred to by the Small of Back holster.  We are talking about Advanced Performance
Shooting Holsters company and their ASOB (Almost Small of The Back) Kydex holster.

As its name says, the ASOB holster is not a real small of back holster. but it is designed to be carried off-center of your back slightly. Carrying it much high than usual, the ASOB holster provides better flexibility with a cant of 45 degrees.

The ASOB holster is designed by the veterans of military and law enforcement units, to combine comfortable concealed carry holsters suitable for everyday carry and training.  As one of the best small back holsters, concealment with this holster is very easy, and you can bear it anywhere you want even in simple cover garments

Unlike most of the SOB rigs, every Advanced Performance Shooting holster is molded to fit a specific handgun perfectly.

This OWB-style holster is an excellent alternative if you may not prefer the standard SOB carry. As with any holster type, you will need to practice your draw from the APS ASOB if you want to perform it safely and quickly.


Though some claim that small back holsters aren’t as common as they once were, many gun owners still appreciate SOB-type holster ability to perfectly fit onto your back without interfering with your movements. Carrying in the 6 o’clock position is even more popular with the explosion of new CCW license owners, who want to explore and find the best way for concealed carrying of their precious compact handguns.

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