Introduced as the mainstay of the Stealth Gear USA holster line, its Ventcore® holsters come in a variety of carry configurations (IWB/OWB/Appendix/Mini) and for a wide array of firearms. It is one of Stealth Gear’s legacy designs, utilizing a clamshell approach with an outer shell of rigid kydex, and an inner layer of Stealth Gear’s proprietary Ventcore® material.
The Ventcore® material itself has multiple layers that add breathability, moisture wicking, and rigidity. The polymer layers feature laser-cut ports and a shell that protects your firearm, open-cell foam for padding, and a nylon mesh for comfort and breathability.
Ventcore® OWB FLEX
The Ventcore® OWB FLEX is an outer belt holster with a flexible exo-skeleton that includes two wings that enable the holster to flex to body movements. The angle of the wings can act as a rigid pressure arm, by pressing the holster into the body to minimize profiling.
The OWB mounting hardware includes belt clips that enable the holster to be mounted to any belt or MOLLE platform, and rust-resistant steel fasteners.
Ventcore® IWB Mini
The Ventcore® IWB Mini is the demurer version to the full-sized IWB Standard holsters, but offer the same features and level of comfort. Like other Ventcore® holsters it is a two-part system with a kydex exterior, and a Ventcore® interior.
The IWB mounting hardware enables the 15-degree cant angle of the holster to be adjusted, simply by using a screwdriver to adjusting the height of the clip. This enables the user to find the most optimum draw angle.
Product Link: https://stealthgearusa.com/ventcore-mini-holsters/
The Ventcore® series of holsters come in a variety of colors and patterns to include OD Green (featured), Multicam Black (featured), Black, Grey, and more. Many Stealth Gear holsters can also be customized to include WMLs such as by Surefire and Streamlight.
Product Evaluation Scores:
- Cost – Average (3/5): Prices vary for Ventcore® holsters based on configuration, make/model of firearm, and color pattern selected (more complex or licensed patterns—like Multicam will come with an additional fee). The OWB Flex holsters begin at $76, and the IWB Mini holsters begin at around $55 wherein the cost difference is due to the overall amount of the materials used in the larger holsters. There is a plethora of OWB and IWB holsters on the current market; so comparatively other market holsters similar to the Ventcore® holsters with a split material design would be the Quick Draw OWB ($54.99) by Vedder Holsters, the SuperTuck ($55.80) by Crossbreed Holsters, or the Cloak Belt Holster ($45.88) by Alien Gear. These all make the Ventcore® holsters appropriately priced and of average cost to the consumer.
- Comfort – Good (4/5): From a comfort aspect, both the FLEX and Mini held the same design, using the Ventcore® material as a barrier between the firearm and the body. This completely eliminated abrasion and chafe to the body from the firearm’s frame or handle. Notably the Ventcore® provided ventilation around the firearm, but not under it—a design aspect that avoided the passage of oils to/from the firearm and the body. Otherwise, both the FLEX and Mini were comfortable and the mesh exterior of the Ventcore® that went against the body was not abrasive against the skin or clothing. Retention of the firearm was a concern (more on that later) as there was no way to adjust its level. The half kydex/half Ventcore® design translated to when flat (or unworn) there was minimal retention of the firearm while in the holster (because there was only half of the kydex to lock into), and that only when curved (worn) was there positive retention against the firearm’s frame to keep it in place.
- Durability – Good (4/5): The half kydex/Ventcore™ design of the FLEX and Mini showed respectable durability during use, paralleling that of its market competitors noted above. Kydex is a common material for holsters given both its ability to be easily molded, but also retain that shape over time despite wear. The mesh outer nylon layer of the Ventcore™ not only allowed for breathability, but ensured the material did not fray or wear despite the abrasion against jeans or pants. The inner layer of the Ventcore™ did not tear against the pistol frame during re-holstering, with only minimal surface marring noted (common to running the pistol frame against the interior when driving the pistol home) due to the frame or front sight iron. Single-line stitching was noted along the outer edge of the Ventcore™ material, which was concerning given that one popped stitch (from being snagged in the field or range), and it could easily unravel.
- Functionality – Fair (2/5): While the function of the FLEX and Mini was to serve as OWB/IWB holsters for EDC or range wear, the function of both was only possible when the holsters were worn. This was directly due to the retention aspect of using two different types of materials, with only half of a locking point. As noted above; when not worn, there was little retention of the firearm in the FLEX, but more in the Mini. Indeed, holding the holsters upside down in both and shaking them resulted in the firearm easily sliding out. In one event, while removing their range belt, an evaluator’s (empty) 1911 fell out of holster and on to the range gravel because when the holster was straightened it lost all of its retention on the firearm. Only when the holsters were worn, and the material was curved, was there sufficient retention. Otherwise, the hardware (beltloops) were very effective in gripping onto the beltline. For the FLEX, the flexible wings gave the holster a good curvature when worn.
- Weight – Average (3/5): The FLEX and the Mini Ventcore® holsters were very lightweight due to the split kydex/Ventcore® materials used. Often full kydex holsters will be slightly heavier due to the density of the 0.8” kydex and mounting hardware. By substituting half of the holster with Ventcore® (a series of nylon, foam, and polymer) Stealth Gear was able to reduce the overall weight of the OWB/IWB design. The FLEX weighed in at 6.2 ounces, while the Mini came in at 5.9 ounces. The respective weights were neither distracting nor notable when worn throughout the day. These weights were approximate and average to market alternatives to include the Cloak Belt Holster (5.2 ounces) and the SuperTuck (6.6 ounces).
Overall Rating – Average (16/25)
I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via STL Shooting Enthusiasts, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.
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