Attempting to carry a Springfield XDM 5.25 concealed, regardless of caliber, is not without its challenges. A pistol with a barrel of 5.25 inches and capable of holding 19 (9mm), 13 (.45 ACP), or 15 (10mm) rounds of ammunition is not the easiest thing to compress into your side. But it can be done and the Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB Holster (Inside the Waistband) for the Springfield XDM 5.25 (shown above) is one way to do it.
I had previously reviewed the Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB Holster (Inside The Waistband) For 5” 1911 and had ordered the Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB Holster (Inside the Waistband) for Springfield XDM 5.25 at the same time. Both holsters shipped the same day and three days later were on my doorstep. That is fast service, and especially when I am used to waiting weeks or months for a holster to be delivered.
The basics for all Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB Holster (Inside the Waistband) holsters are the same, but each can have its own qualities and I am going to cover the basics for this holster in case you did not (or have no need to) read my other review.
The Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB Holster (Inside the Waistband) holster has a durable steel-reinforced holster base. The construction of the Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB Holster is excellent, and I have noticed a consistency of quality from specimen to specimen. The Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB Holster has a center layer of thin metal that resides behind where the pistol resides in the holster. The top and bottom layers are expertly stitched together with the metal insert sandwiched between the two layers. Note that the shell mounting nuts are not exposed on the inside layer but are also sandwiched between the two layers.
The inner layer is made from Coolventä Neoprene, a moisture-wicking, breathable material that protects both the firearm and your body. I always wear a T-shirt, but for those that don’t, you will like the comfort afforded by this holster.
The shell is secured at four locations. Retention is controlled by adjusting the four mounting screws that attached the outer shell to the holster base. A bag of extra hardware, including screws and spacers of various lengths (1/2”, 5/8”, and ¾”), allow for retention based on your particular customized settings.
The mounting clips, although polymer, are robust and when attached to the belt are not about to come loose; in fact, it takes some effort to get the holster attached to the belt.
Ride height and cant can be quickly adjusted without tools. Two polymer belt mounting clips can be rotated downward 180-degrees to unlock them, removed from the holster, inserted into the desired adjustment hole, and then rotated upward 180-degrees to lock into place. This is quite a relief from having to remove screws and fumble with captive nuts each time you want to change ride height or cant. (Note that even with the Alien Gear Cloak Tuck IWB Holster, the mounting nuts are integrated into the holster; therefore, there is no need (as with some holsters) to remove the mounting nuts. Ride height and cant can be adjusted in a matter of seconds rather than minutes.
With all adjustment made to my satisfaction, the Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB Holster (Inside the Waistband) holster is ready for the firearm, a Springfield XDM 5,25 in 9mm, .45 ACP, or 10mm pistol, as they will all fit in the same holster without modification.
The Kydex holster shell is form-fitted to the firearm for which the holster was ordered. While I ordered the holster for a 5.25-inch XDM, I can use the holster for any length of XDM (4.5 and 3.8) or XD (4.0 and 3.8). The XDM 5.25, from the rear of the trigger guard to beyond the muzzle is fully protected. The open body design of these holsters makes cleaning of the interior surfaces very simple.
I like my holsters to ride as low in the pants as possible, and the mounting clips shown above were moved up one notch to accommodate a low ride and an approximate 25-degree forward cant.
The draw stroke from this holster is a bit different. As you can tell from the above image, the retention of the holster is primarily in the trigger guard. I found that if I twisted the butt of the pistol inward a bit, this lessened the tension on the trigger guard and the pistol was then easy to extract from the holster and I could do so without the annoying ‘Kydex Click’ that is sometimes heard with a Kydex holster.
When I received my first Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB Holster, I was concerned about wear on the outer layer of the holster due to a firearm being inserted and removed from the holster over time. I have seen a ‘layered’ holster from a leading manufacturer of holsters wear out the outer layer of the holster, and this concerned me. However, the outer layer of the Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB Holster seems to be of a thin textured and stamped polymer material. All indications are that this material will not wear quickly. In fact, all indications of the overall holster point to one of longevity and that the holster is capable of taking some abuse and would handle normal wear and tear quite well. Only time and use, as with anything, will tell the story.
Breaking in the Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB Holster is primarily the retention adjustment, if any. My EDC, a Rock Island Armory 1911 FS Tactical II, was inserted into the holster soon after it was removed from its package. The fit was perfect, if not a bit snug. However, some snug is good. Obviously, you do not want the holster to come out of the pants when the pistol is drawn. On the other hand, you do not want a loose fit when the pistol is in the holster under normal wear. But I have to leave the amount of retention up to the user, as they will know when that “sweet spot” is reached. There has to be some tension on the pistol, and you don’t want the pistol too difficult to draw nor do you want the pistol to fall out of the holster when you bend over. Note that the cant of the holster may affect retention. The pistol, depending on the length of the barrel, may place pressure on the body in different spots according to the cant of the holster. This is primarily due to the fact that a pistol is flat; whereas, the body is curved. You just need to find the balance point between retention and comfort. I’ll wear the holster and pistol combination for a couple of days before I decide if any further retention, depth, or cant adjustments are needed.
Alien Gear does recommend, after the retention point is optimized, the mounting screws receive a bit of blue Loctite to prevent them from backing out.
Speaking of comfort, the Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB Holster, once adjusted to my specific needs and wants, is one of the most comfortable IWB holsters I have worn. The wide mount spacing of the holster takes up some real estate, but the more real estate taken the more stable the holster. As aficionados of in the waistband carry, we are a bit more critical than those who carry OWB. After all, we are the ones who wear our trousers one to two times larger than what we would normally wear simply because we have to effectively conceal a holster and firearm, perhaps one or two spare magazines of ammunition, the carrier for those magazines, perhaps a flashlight and/or a knife of folding or fixed-blade persuasion, a pair of handcuffs (normally reserved for LEO types), and one to a dozen Slim-Jim snacks (if you are like me) … and a can of Altoids mints.
With all the pros there has to be a con somewhere. This is more of a “what I would like to see” con rather than a product defect.
When the holster is fully installed inside the pants, the bottom of the holster shell will be against the inside of the trousers. It is quite possible that, because of the tension against the holster by the trousers, the bottom of the holster shell could be forced more inward against the slide of the pistol than it is with just the pistol inserted into the holster. The retention is not affected as much as the wear on the finish of the pistol; the more pressure of the holster against the slide, the more quickly the pressure will harm the finish.
If you have not yet tried an Alien gear holster, you are shortchanging yourself. It seems that I have been doing that for years, but we all have our preferences until our preferences change, or we are forced with looking at a different argument.
The Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB Holster is extremely comfortable to wear – even in the hot and humid state of Georgia (at the present time).
Upgrade Your IWB Carry: The Cloak Tuck 3.5 Inside the Waistband: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=m-fbnEpfiKY
Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB Holster (Inside the Waistband). https://aliengearholsters.com/alien-gear-cloak-tuck-3-0-iwb-holster-inside-the-waistband.html