I have to admit that I am trying to wean myself from what I term “Kybrid” holsters. I prefer all leather holster for my valued firearms that I intend to transport concealed on a recurring basis.
My complaint regarding “Kybrid” holster is the accelerated wear on the firearm. One of my reasonings for carrying firearms made of stainless-steel is that any wear marks can usually be buffed out; whereas, a finish like Parkerized, Melonite, or blued may be subject to wear that I can’t do anything about short of refinishing. In short, any firearm that I deem to be “Precious” does not get subject to “Kybrid” holsters. With that said, there are exceptions to everything, in most cases. And this case involved a Glock G41 and a Glock G34.
The Glock G41 and G34 are long-slide competition pistols that also fit in the ‘practical/tactical’ category. As such, I consider them open game for concealed carry. I have two holsters that are all leather IWB holsters that work with both G41 and G34 pistols and I have posted articles about them (Savoy Leather IWB Holster for Glock G41 and Simply Rugged “Cumberland” for Glock G41). However, I did realize that having a “Kybrid” holster for these pistols would add another carry option. There was a reason for a third option, of course. The leather holsters lack adjustment capabilities for holster depth and cant, although both are very nicely adjusted and are very comfortable to wear.
My early source of “Kybrid” holsters, Black Arch Holsters, changed their design and they fell out of favor with me. Not that their product is faulty, they just no longer made my favorite holster of which I had purchased several for various pistols. While I had read many reviews of the Alien Gear holsters, I was just not sure if this brand of holster, or its features, would fit my needs. Upon visiting their website again after a long lapse in doing so, I read that they had a holster option called the Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB Holster (Inside the Waistband). I liked what I read and decided to order one for the Glock G41/G43, which I felt would be a challenge for adequately concealing these pistols, due to their size.
What intrigued me about the Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB Holster was that it provided full coverage for the pistols, like the Black Arch holster, and that is something that I like immensely, as I don’t like my barrel hanging in the breeze or inside the pants with the front sight not protected. And while the ride height and cant could be adjusted, it was the way they could be adjusted.
Adjusting ride height and cant did not require the removal of mounting clips, washers, and nuts using a wrench that is usually misplaced and forgotten. Adjusting was a simple downward rotation of mounting clips, removing them from their slots, installing them in new slots, and rotating them upward to lock them into place. This is what Alien Gear calls their “twist-and-lock technology“ and allows quick, on-the-go adjustments with no tools or hardware. While the clips are not metal, they do seem well constructed and I am sure have been tested thoroughly.
A second feature that I like is the breathable concealment with CoolVent™ neoprene against the body. Normally, and when I did invest in a lot of IWB holsters, the backing was a single layer of horsehide or cowhide, but usually horsehide for its moisture barrier capabilities. The backing almost required that an undergarment be worn. Most of these holsters underwent surgery to remove any sweat shield that would interfere with external safeties or getting the hand onto the grip of the firearm. Although the Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB Holster does have a sweat guard, it is minimal. Note that although the Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB Holster was ordered for the Glock G41/G34, other Glock pistols can use the same holster, although they may be short in the slide department. The Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB Holster allows some flexibility in my choice of Glock firearms to carry.
The layered construction is a definite plus, as is the metal center piece that adds rigidity to the holster where it is needed but yet allows flexibility also where it is needed. Both inner and outer layers are expertly stitched to comprise a single, very strong but flexible unit.
The outer shell, the piece that is molded to the firearm is four-point adjustable, but also can be replaced with another outer shell should I decided to change-up pistols; for example, I can purchase a shell for a Springfield Armory 5.25 and simply swap one shell for the other. The Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB Holster comes with all hardware and a wrench necessary for mounting and adjusting the shell to the firearm.
The holster was shipped the same day it was ordered, which was another surprise, as I am used to waiting weeks, if not several months, for some holsters. When the Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB Holster arrived, I set to the task of adjusting it to accommodate both the Glock G41 and G34 since these pistols are very similar in dimensions. I wanted a bit more forward cant than is standard FBI and within seconds that adjustment and the holster height was made by simply moving the front clip to the center position and the rear clip to the lowest position, which is not the most extreme forward cant position, bit is enough cant so that the butt of the pistol does not dig into the seat of my vehicle, but is angled such that when standing I do not have to shift my body into an awkward position to remove (or holster) the firearm.
The Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB Holster is an advanced version of the Alien Gear Cloak Tuck IWB Holster (Inside the Waistband), which is a much simpler, single-layer design and requires much more work to adjust the holster for depth and cant than does the Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB Holster.
Getting the holster in place for the first outing was a snap. I had adjusted the mounting clips to about the height and cant that I wanted, having some experience in doing this with multiple Cross Breed and Black Arch holsters. The next step was to verify that the holster common was adjusted properly for the firearm being carried, which in this case was a Glock G41 and a Glock G34. This really takes mounting the holster where it will be normally worn and then placing the pistol in the holster. Determining if the holster is properly adjusted for retention is not rocket science, but it does take some determining if the holster is too tight, too loose, or just right in various postures; primarily, standing and sitting.
I felt that the holster was a bit too tight, but the retention felt better after some wearing, drawing the firearms, and holstering the firearm. Retention was close enough from the factory not to warrant further adjustment.
With this holster and the spare parts kit, you can adjust the firearm retention quite a lot. For less retention, simply use the larger inserts provided provide in the kit. Conversely, for more retention, use the smaller inserts. These inserts either raise or lower the firearm shell from the holster backing, hence adjusting the retention level.
I sit at my job, and of course, when driving. While I can’t carry my EDC at work, it was important to me to have the cant at an angle that would work when driving. A bit more forward cant than usual helps to prevent the butt of the firearm from digging into the seat and also places the butt of the gun at a better angle for gripping. The less the lateral support of the seat, the more comfortable your carry will be. Of course, there are some cases where a shoulder holster, or even a cross-draw holster, may be the best carry method when traveling.
The Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB Holster is very comfortable, but I was concerned with how comfortable the holster would be with firearm installed and with a piece of metal sandwiched between two layers of fabric; just how flexible would this holster be where I like a holster worn, just off the hip bone on my strong side. With a shorter length pistol, that would not be so much of a concern than with a long barrel pistol like the G41 and G34. The body is ideal for carrying a revolver, because of the curves at the waist. Even if there are no curves, the cylinder of a revolver just naturally finds a place to rest. But there are hip bones and that nice area between the hips and the ribcage is usually where a holster is going to reside. Long barreled pistols need a bit more cant than short barreled pistols to fit in that area without discomfort, which also rotates the barrel more rearward. Everything is a trade-off, it seems.
Once installed, the G41 and G34 fit like a glove and the comfort level of the holster/pistol combination was excellent. In addition, I was able to also carry the G45 and the G48. I am reasonably sure that other Glock pistols will work as well, although holstering a G26 or similar might be pushing the envelope a bit.
Alien Gear holsters are warranted for life, where Alien Gear covers all cosmetic damages or defects, and a 30-day Test Drive is also offered. If you are not impressed within 30 days, send it back for a refund.
For me, the Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB Holster is a keeper and will fill any role that I need it to fill.
I am still interested in the longevity of the holster; that is, how long before the inner layer of backing will begin to erode after multiple insertions and withdrawals of the pistol? The outer layers seem to be very thick, but material wears and it will be a matter of time before the center metal insert will be exposed. But the holster is warranted for life. Count me a bit skeptical in the area of wear and tear. Hopefully, my skepticism will be replaced with joyous admiration for the product.
For me, the Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB Holster is an experiment and a source for an evaluation article that might help someone who is deciding if the Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB Holster is the right holster for them. I rarely carry the Glock G41 and G34 for defensive purposes, but when I do, I know that I will have a quality holster to do so.
Alien Gear Holsters: https://aliengearholsters.com/
Alien Gear Holsters – Top 10 Best Concealed Carry Holsters of 2019: https://thegunzone.com/alien-gear-holsters/