Shoulder holster for big guys: How to choose & which is the best ?

Shoulder holsters are the typical comfortable-to-wear holsters for the user with two straps connected in a similar pattern like in a backpack and the main holster device mounted on the strap of the right side or the left side. When it comes to keeping a handgun in a safe yet ready-to-use place, an apt holster according to the wearer’s body size, preference, suitability needs to be chosen, whether be it a purpose for self-defense or as a duty weapon. The comfort factor in the shoulder holsters is attributed to the fact that the overall weight of the gun along with the holster is distributed across the two shoulders generally unlike the concentrated tension directly on a belt of other belt-based holsters. Shoulder holsters can be used in case of open carry or also to carry a gun inside a jacket or a coat. The positioning of the handgun can be vertical or horizontal in places like over the chest or under the armpit in the holster according to the specific model of the holster, the designated gun, and the suitability plus the comfort of the wearer.


Now, there might be a lot of options in various styles of holsters present in the market, but a person with a bigger than average body size might find most of them uncomfortable to wear. The conclusion after a rigorous search might come in the form of “not all holsters function the same in all people’’. It should be kept in mind that this is quite a very common problem in the society of gun keepers and this is not something to be sad or disheartened about. There are specific holster models that are crafted keeping in mind all these enthusiasts only. The main criticalities that come in the path of a big guy wearing a holster are discomfort& loss of agility, according to the unique body frame in him, difficulty in drawing the gun, carrying the gun-holster system in a concealed manner, and the hesitation to even go for a specific type of holster from reviews around. The only solution to these lies in the proper systematic search for the suitable holsters in the market followed by an intelligent and scrutinized study of those available holsters for the exact fulfillment of the purpose in the specific user like the size of the holster, the adjustable straps or rigs, the extension limit of the holster system.


When it comes to shoulder holsters specifically, the mostly-faced challenge is the lateral movement with the dominant arm in the handgun user with a larger than average size. A larger chest will hinder the fast movements or agility and it might become difficult to draw the gun from the shoulder holster, especially in the vertical positioning of the pistol under the non-dominant armpit with the pistol’s barrel facing downwards resulting in burdensome overextension of the hand across the chest. Difficulties in gripping the handle of the gun properly also are observed. The particular shoulder holsters which will be discussed here are somewhat closest to overcome these above-mentioned hindrances that big guys might face while using a shoulder holster. So, let’s look at these shoulder holsters that are designed to suit big guys according to their individual preferences and also serve the basic purpose of a holster efficiently.


  1. Galco Miami Classic II Shoulder System

The first one on this list comes from the manufacturer of the well-rated Galco holster products. It is one of the pioneers in the particular field providing some of the best and top-quality series of stylish holsters that efficiently meet the demands of the varying present-day customers. The top-notch quality from this company is well maintained in this first member of the list as well. The Galco Miami Classic II shoulder holster system is an advanced and superiorly designed product that is also believed to be the most copied shoulder holster model by various other holster manufacturing entities.


  • This trendy and modular shoulder holster system comes in the color variety of tan for semiautomatic pistols and revolvers whereas a black-colored variety is also available for automatic guns; both in an elegant finish.
  • Both the right-handed and left-handed orientations are available for universal use and ease of firearm drawing with a specialized spider harness with all four points pivoting independently.
  • This can fit on persons with wide chests measuring up to 52 inches, thus, suitable in big guys.
  • Best quality full grain leather harness with swiveling backplate made from Galco-speciality material Flexalon results in enhanced durability, comfort, and perfect fitting.
  • The holster is lined with premium-quality steer hide construction.
  • The overall standard system comprises a harness, holster, ammunition carrier, and a set of harness fasteners.
  • A double magazine carrier with an open front is placed horizontally.
  • Additional double speed-loading carriers, especially for revolvers, are also provided for placing them horizontally.
  • Medium-width harness straps fit comfortably measuring 1.5 inches at their widest point aiding in uniform distribution of weight as well as maintaining efficient concealment.
  • Compatible with a vast number of accessory attachments like flashlights or cuff cases or tie downs.
  • The carefully crafted Silhouettedesign adjusts to multiple lengths of the gun barrel or the slide permitting some of them to even protrude beyond the leather boundary.
  • Compatible to fit a lot of variety of handguns from several standard gun manufacturing companies, including AMT, Beretta, Glock, Colt, Springfield, Dan Wesson, Sig-Sauer, Ruger, Kimber, Taurus, and much more.


  • Comfortable fit
  • Ambidextrous models available
  • Double magazine carrier
  • Provides natural and faster grip in times of reloading


  • Have to buy necessary accessory straps separately
  • Retention screws in the magazine carrier might act loose at times


  1. Alien Gear ShapeShift Shoulder Holster

Alien Gear ShapeShift Shoulder Holster (Brown Leather) for Concealed or Open Carry - Custom Fit to Your Gun (Select Pistol Size) - Right or Left Hand - Made in The USA
  • Custom fit to your specific pistol to ensure for proper fitment and retention. Select your pistol for correct size!
  • Fully Adjustable: The cant, height, and suspenders, all can be adjusted to exactly how you would like to carry!
  • Bring More to the Party: Two extra mag carriers to not only give the option of carrying more ammo but also to counter balance the weight of the pistol to allow the holster to move with you and not fighting with yourself for comfort.
  • Change How You Carry: Integrates seamlessly into any of the ShapeShift Line of holsters from Alien Gear meaning you can expand the ways this holster allows you to carry, from open to concealed to shoulder. *This product only comes with the Shoulder Holster option as well as the completed shell for use with other ShapeShift Products*
  • Made right here in the USA, insuring the use of high quality materials and hardworking American craftsmanship where we stand behind our Iron Clad program to insure you have a holster for life after a 30 day test drive!

The next one on the list comes from another famous company, the Alien Gear. The ShapeShift series of shoulder holsters from the house of Alien Gear gives the premium benefits of a traditional leather holster avoiding the drawbacks using advanced in-house technology aiding in top-notch fitting along with a twist of enhanced off-the-belt concealment.


  • The leather-built base with added padding of neoprene ensures comfortable wearing
  • Fits the particular model of handgun beautifully due to the custom-molding feature attributed by the ShapeShift technology providing strong passive retention.
  • Efficiently adjustable leather straps with articulating harness provide a strong skeletal structure to the whole shoulder holster system consisting of further benefitting holster base pads which as a whole gives a great fitting experience to the wearer.
  • Additional belt hooks are also offered to enhance the tight-fitting of the holster to the body of the wearer.
  • The magazine carrier is also provided with padding for extra comfort.
  • Versatile carrying options as horizontal or vertical shoulder holster forms are permissible due to the adjustable height, suspenders, and cant i.e., the carrying angle for both the magazine carrier and the holster.
  • In case more advanced active retention is desired, the removable thumb break is also provided to proficiently perform the said function.
  • Comes with two extra magazine carriers.
  • The custom-fit is for the 5-inch 1911 pistols but is compatible with a vast number of handguns from several standard gun manufacturing companies, including AMT, Beretta, Glock, Colt, Springfield, Dan Wesson, Smith & Wesson, Walther, Sig-Sauer, Ruger, Kimber, Taurus and much more.
  • Available in both right-handed and left-handed orientations.
  • Provides the customer with a 30-days test trial period.


  • Extremely comfortable
  • Versatile
  • Varying adjustable options
  • Custom-molding feature enabling perfect fit of the gun in the holster


  • Finishing of the material in the shoulder holster might be a bit clumsy at times leaving traces of threads or nylon poking out of the pocket


  1. Silver horse Shoulder Gun Holster

Silverhorse Holsters Chest/Shoulder Gun Holster | Fits Glock 17 19 20 21 22 23 31 32 37 38 with a 4" - 4.5" Barrel and Other Similar Sized Guns
  • SUPERIOR MATERIALS: Constructed from a high quality outer layer of Black 600 Denier Nylon fabric, a center layer of ¼” foam, and inner lined with a water resistant soft smooth layer of poly/nylon fabric. Trimmed with Black webbing. The material is sewn using heavy duty stitching with Box X and Triple + stitching in all the stress areas.
  • FLEXIBLE FIT: Designed with an adjustable single shoulder strap made of 1-1/2” webbing with 1” quick disconnect clips. An adjustable waist/chest strap made of 1” webbing with a 1” quick disconnect clip to help secure the rig to your body. The chest/waist strap is removable and is adjustable to fit a chest size from 32” to 60”.
  • EASY DRAW: Designed to be adjustable and worn low or high in the center of the chest, positioned for an easy draw of the firearm. Can also be worn to the side at the belt in a bandolier style position. Strong, adjustable and reversible thumb break style gun retention strap with metal snap. Holster includes a pouch mounted on top to hold an extra magazine.
  • FITS: Glock 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 31, 32, 37, 38 & other similar sized guns with a 4" - 4.5" barrel.
  • Silverhorse Holsters are sold and handcrafted in the USA exclusively by South Woods Tactical LLC. Shipped direct from manufacturer.

Moving to the next one, the Silverhorse shoulder (or chest) holsters are one of the good-quality products from the holster range from the manufacturing house of South Woods Tactical LLC, which handcrafts all of their products exclusively in the USA with utmost care and advanced technique.


  • The outer layer is made from a high-quality 600 Denier thick nylon fabric of black color and the inner lining is of a soft water-resistant layer of poly/nylon fabric material trimmed with black-colored webbing patterned design. A central 0.25 inches wide layer of foam is provided for better cushioning.
  • Easily adjustable single shoulder strap with aids in perfect and flexible fitting along with a suitable positioning of the gun according to the wearer’s preference for an easy draw of the firearm.
  • Another adjustable chest strap with disconnect clips allows fitting a chest size ranging from 32 inches to 60 inches.
  • The strong retention system comprises of reversible thumb-break style retention strap with additional metal snap.


  • Extra pouch provided to hold an extra magazine
  • Comfortable built-material
  • Adjustable fit


  • Rigging the straps might become confusing



  1. Aikate Ultimate Universal Shoulder Holster

Deep Concealment Shoulder Holster, Universal Underarm Gun Holster for Men and Women, Fits Subcompact and Compact Pistols for S&W Bodyguard, M&P Shield 9mm, Glock 19 26 42 43, Ruger LCP, LC9, Sig P365
  • ✔ COMFORTABLE CARRY: Concealed Carry Shoulder Holster has solved the comfort issue with a new breathable perforated neoprene base that lays softly against the body. and we use the new narrow edge design, This allows you comfort for extended periods. Available in two sizes; Size 39": Suitable for 32-37 inch chest, Size 45": Suitable for 38-43 inch chest. Great for Men and Women.
  • ✔ VERSATILE CARRY OPTIONS: Your can deep concealment under arm. Remove the shoulder strap, can be concealed carry inside the waistband, or outside the waistband. Best concealment without printing. This is a brand new design from an American studio.
  • ✔ UNIVERSAL DESIGN FITS ALL PISTOLS: AIKATE shoulder holster accommodates nearly every small subcompact, compact, mid-size and even full size pistols and revolvers on the market. .380, 9mm, 40 Cal, 45 ACP, 38 special, 357, 10mm, etc. Ideal for sub-compact and compact size models!
  • ✔ RIGHT AND LEFT HAND DRAW: Shoulder Holster is available in right and left hand draw. Fits Glock 17, 19, 21, 22, 23, 38, 25, 32, 26, 27, 29, 30, 39, 28, 33, 42, 43, 36, Smith and Wesson Bodyguard, M&P Shield, Sig Sauer, Ruger, Kahr, Beretta, Springfield, Taurus, Kimber, Rock Island, Bersa, Kel Tec, Walther, and more.
  • ✔ QUICK DRAW AND NO PRINTING: Allows you to flick up the retention strap with the back of thumb to draw the firearm quickly and effectively. Also, you can walk, work out, and even run with this shoulder holster's. this underarm holster allows you to carry concealed discreetly with no possibility of firearm showing through your shirt (printing).

Here comes a popular one in the general e-commerce site, and is also newer in terms of introduction in the shoulder holster market. Aikate shoulder holster is designed to fit men and women both matching the needs of the advancing society giving a push to its universal factor. It has an extensive comfort-giving nature with an advanced narrow-edge design that allows for the comfort to extend for a longer time. with a


  • The breathable neoprene basal layer of this lightweight shoulder holster rests softly on the body of the wearer.
  • The micro-perforations in the neoprene skeletal structure protect the whole system from moisture and also aid in superior breathability.
  • The removable shoulder strap allows for deep concealment. Also, without that strap, the holster allows for going in other concealed-carry styles like inside the waistband and outside the waistband as per the personal preference of the user.
  • Thickened padding on the inner lining of the holster pocket ensures the cushioning over the chest and thus protection from sudden pressure.
  • Available in both right- and left-handed draw options.
  • The retention of the gun inside the holster under the arm is strengthened more efficiently by the presence of the length-extendable Velcro straps.
  • Available in three sizes, fitting chest sizes ranging from 32 inches to 49 inches.
  • Maximum compatible with compact and subcompact sized pistol models of most of the well-known gun manufacturing companies like Glock, Kahr, Beretta, Ruger, Rock Island, and many more.


  • Breathable
  • Multiple carrying options
  • Less costly


  • A bit of poor stitching quality


  1. Lewong Universal Holster with adjustable straps

Lewong Universal Radio Chest Harness Bag Pocket Pack Holster  for Two Way Radio (Rescue Essentials)
  • Both pockets adjust in length and girth , so you can put your primary radio on either side
  • Center pouch can hold compact trauma shears, gloves, and/or a battery pack slightly
  • Chest Pocket Pack Bag Adjustable shoulder straps: suitable both men and women
  • Made entirely out of nylon;It is a quality built product that can adjust to any size of radio
  • Nice pocket in middle to store items such as mobile phone ;45 days reason,just try

The next shoulder holster comes with adjustable straps. Every individual has a different type of body, even among the general category of big guys; some have bigger chests whereas the others might have bigger bellies. This particular factor of the different body or physique types demands a flexible system of shoulder holster that is exactly provided in the Lewong Universal Holster.


  • Black-colored vest harness system comprising shoulder rig holster.
  • Made from durable manufacturing material nylon.
  • The easily adjustable shoulder harness straps account for a perfect fit in all body sizes and shapes of the wearer.
  • Comes with two front-side radio pockets that adjust in size both in length and girth parameters for the primary purpose of keeping a radio communicating device like walkie talkie holding them firmly.
  • The chest radio pockets also comprise adjustable straps.
  • Additional lapel pockets with zips are present on the inside lining of the chest bag to accommodate essential materials or devices to carry like important documents and even mobile phones.
  • Comes with a test trial period of 45 days


  • Perfect to carry rescue essentials along with the handgun
  • Lightweight
  • Handsfree communication


  • Poor concealment quality




It might be concluded that the best possible way to find a suitable shoulder holster for a big guy is to have a realistic understanding of the individual’s unique physique, the comfort range, the ability to flexible operation, and most importantly the permissible extent of the lateral movement of the dominant arm in the wearer. This will ultimately aid in choosing that one holster that will work the best for the particular individual. The members of the above-mentioned list are believed to help effectively in that conquest.


Some FAQs?

  1. What is the most comfortable shoulder holster?

The most comfortable shoulder holster is the Alien Gear ShapeShift Shoulder Holster.

  1. When should the shoulder carry be used?

The shoulder carry is recommended when others in the troop while in action are walking beside the wearer or the wearer is behind everyone.

  1. Is a shoulder holster worth it?

Though a shoulder holster might be uncomfortable to wear with backpacks at times, they provide the best option to carry a gun in a seated position like in a vehicle or a desk while efficiently keeping away the hindrance of the sidearm.

  1. Can big guys appendix carry?

Yes, they can, just withstanding a little difficulty.