When it comes to being prepared, having an extra magazine for your everyday carry pistol is essential. Even if your pistol is in good working order, a faulty magazine could spell disaster in an emergency scenario. So, what are the best magazine holsters for toting around your spare mag? Here’s a list of the top 12 magazine pouches, and what features make these mag holsters and pouches great.

  1. Tulster Universal 9mm/.40 Magazine Holster
  2. Blackhawk Single Mag Holster
  3. Gunleather 2.1 Double Mag Pouch
  4. Multi Holster Elite Magazine Holder
  5. TEGE Universal Magazine Paddle Holster
  6. Condor Tactical Dual Mag Pouch
  7. Desantis Magazine Ankle Holster
  8. Tulster Neo-Mag Pocket Magazine Holder
  9. HolsterSmart USA IWB Concealment Mag Holster (tuckable)
  10. SafariLand Concealment Magazine Pouch
  11. SnagMag Concealed Magazine Holder
  12. Black Arch HMC Horizontal Load Mag Pouch

Tulster Universal Holster

GunLeather Double Mag Pouch

Multi Holster Elite Magazine Holder

TEGE Universal Magazine Paddle Holster

Price: $$$

Material: Polymer

Style: OWB/IWB

Mag Stack Type: Double (9mm/.40)

Holds: 1 Magazine

Orientation: Vertical

Price: $$$$

Material: Leather

Style: OWB

Mag Stack Type: Single

Holds: 2 Magazines

Orientation: Vertical

Price: $$$

Material: Polymer

Style: ??

Mag Stack Type: Model Specific

Holds: 1 Magazine

Orientation: Vertical

Price: $$

Material: Polymer

Style: OWB

Mag Stack Type: Single/Double (Model Specific)

Holds: 2 Magazine

Orientation: Vertical

Condor Tactical Dual Mag Pouch

Desantis Magazine Ankle Holster

Tulster Neo-Mag Pocket Magazine Holder

BlackHawk Single Mag Pouch

Price: $

Material: Canvas

Style: OWB

Mag Stack Type: Single/Double

Holds: 2 Magazines

Orientation: Vertical

Price: $$

Material: Neoprene

Style: Ankle

Mag Stack Type: Single/Double (9mm/.40)

Holds: 2 Magazines

Orientation: Vertical

Price: $$$$

Material: Neoprene

Style: Pocket/IWB

Mag Stack Type: Single/Double

Holds: 1 Magazine

Orientation: Vertical

Price: $$

Material: Polymer

Style: OWB/IWB

Mag Stack Type: Single/Double

Holds: 1 Magazine

Orientation: Vertical

HolsterSmart Tuckable Magazine Holster

SafariLand Concealment Magazine Pouch

SnagMag Concealed Carry Mag Holder

Black Arch HMC Horizontal Load Mag Pouch

Price: $$

Material: Leather/Canvas

Style: IWB

Mag Stack Type: Single/Double

Holds: 2 Magazine

Orientation: Vertical

Price: $

Material: Leather

Style: OWB

Mag Stack Type: Single/Double

Holds: 1 Magazine

Orientation: Horizontal

Price: $$$

Material: Polymer

Style: Pocket

Mag Stack Type: Single/Double (Model Specific)

Holds: 1 Magazine

Orientation: Vertical

Price: $

Material: Leather

Style: OWB

Mag Stack Type: Single (9mm/.40)

Holds: 1 Magazine

Orientation: Horizontal

1. Tulster Universal Magazine Holster

If you’re looking for a versatile solution for carrying your spare mag, then Tulster has you covered. This universal fit, open top mag holster is compatible with many different magazine configurations for handguns chambered in 9mm or .40 cal. Additionally, it comes in several sleek color combinations. An adjustable mag retention system makes this one of the best magazine holsters around.

Pros: Minimalist design, adjustable retention, right or left hand draw, adjustable cant, works with multiple manufacturer magazines

Cons: expensive, double-stack magazines only, belt clip fitment, larger magazines ride high, iwb wear can be uncomfortable

2. GunLeather Double Mag Pouch

If rigid polymer magazine holsters aren’t your cup of tea, I suggest this leather option from GunLeather. For being able to accommodate multiple magazines, the profile of this mag pouch is surprisingly slim. Unfortunately, it is meant to be worn OWB, so your concealed options are limited. Ideal for 1911 mags, though a bit of break-in may be required.

Pros: Slim holster profile, securely fastens to belt, high quality leather construction

Cons: Only allows for single stack magazines, friction retention only, not easily taken on/off without removing belt

3. Multi Holster Elite Magazine Holder

The next mag holster on the list is strikingly similar to the Tulster holster holding the top spot. However, the Elite offers several versions with custom fits for specific pistol models. Therefore, both single and double-stack applications are available. It’s worth noting that this magazine holder is good for an ambidextrous draw and can .

Pros: Can be worn IWB or OWB, easily slips on over your belt, adjustment screw for fine tuned retention

Cons: Mag sticks out the bottom slightly, Some model magazines may not be available

4. TEGE Universal Magazine Paddle Holster

If you’re in the market for a polymer mag holder, and discretion is not your goal, then this Universal mag holster is right up your alley. A great range holster, open carry, or concealed carry option. The paddle design fits comfortably on your hip and hugs close to the waistline, aiding in concealment.

Pros: Super comfortable, universal magazine fitment, adjustable cant

Cons: Only available for double-stack magazines, retention adjustment needs work

5. Condor Tactical Dual Mag Pouch

Equipped with a MOLLE strap system, this mag holster is great for attaching to the side of your EDC bag. If you’re so inclined, it can be fastened to a belt as well, but I suggest a canvas belt for ease of attachment. This magazine pouch is made of a durable canvas and is a universal fit for most magazines, and at a more than reasonable price point is great for your range bag.

Pros: Proven MOLLE system great for tactical bags, also available in single mag configuration

Cons: Taller mags may be a problem, not intended for belt wear/concealed carry

6. Desantis Magazine Ankle Holster

What list would be complete without some variety, including at least one ankle style holster. Desantis has what I would consider the best magazine holster for your ankle. Made of breathable neoprene material that won’t slip down even when worn over a sock.  It securely fastens mags in place with a velcro strap. Great if you’re running out of space to allocate for a spare mag on your hip.

Pros: Comfortable fit, free up space on your hip, ideal for single stack and compact/subcompact mags

Cons: Not suited for larger magazines

7. Tulster Neo-Mag Pocket Magazine Holder

Speaking of limited waistline real estate, this type of mag holder, is definitely one of the more unique options. Optimal for business casual wear since it looks like a folding pocket knife. If you’re looking for a minimalist mag holder, then this is the one I recommend. Unlike it’s counterparts, the Neo-Mag uses a magnet as the retention system.

Pros: Universal fit by caliber (.380, .9mm, .40, and .45), Easily concealable, quick and easy magazine access

Cons: not compatible with plastic magazines, open top system means rounds may fall out, best suited for front pocket

8. Blackhawk Single Mag Holster

Generally speaking, I’m a big fan of Blackhawk products and their mag holster is no exception. However, this mag holster is not the best for concealed carry due to the bulky design. Unfortunately, some magazines work better than others which means this can be hit or miss. Although, it is a solid choice for those on a budget.

Pros: Available for single and double-stack magazines, securely fastens to belt

Cons: retention not adjustable – fitment will vary, bulky design

9. HolsterSmart Tuckable Magazine Holster

If you’re looking for the best magazine pouch on a budget, then you can’t go wrong with the HolsterSmart double mag pouch. While advertised as a tuckable mag holster, it really doesn’t fit the bill. Made to be worn IWB, the holster backing can be concealed, but the mags themselves along with the belt clips will be visible.

Pros: Inexpensive, universal fit for most calibers (single/double-stack), comfortable backing

Cons: Not really tuckable, smaller mags may require additional retention

10. SafariLand Concealment Magazine Pouch

For those who prefer a side-loading magazine pouch over traditional top-loaders, check out the Safariland concealment pouch. Although easily concealed with an untucked shirt, you’ll need to attach to the belt.  Additionally, A quality belt will prevent sagging and keep the holster from angling downward. By design this is not an IWB mag holster. Concealment relies on your choice of attire, but the design gives the appearance of a cell phone holder instead of a mag pouch.

Pros: Easily concealable, velcro flap retention holds mag snugly, durable

Cons: Semi universal fit (compatibility will vary), not made for larger or extended mags

11. SnagMag Concealed Carry Mag Holder

As a top loading magazine holder, the snag mag is a decent choice. However, this holster is fitted based on pistol model instead of a universal fit. The tab on the holster assists with removal of the magazine for fast, functional reload. Be careful with the clip as it tends to loosen and can allow the holder to rotate.

Pros: Easily concealable (but the Neo-Mag is better), lightweight minimalist mag holder

Cons: Retention system lacking, clip best suited for thicker pants pockets

12. Black Arch HMC Horizontal Load Mag Pouch

Another option for the horizontal mag carrying crowd, the HMC mag pouch is an inexpensive solution for carrying an extra mag. Adjustable twin loops hold the pouch tight to your waistline. Similar to the Safariland holster, a velcro flap is the primary method of retention. A semi-universal fit means different holsters are offered depending on caliber and whether your magazine is single or double-stack.

Pros: Multiple options for magazine fitment, inexpensive, easily concealable

Cons: Front flap interferes with mag retention, may require break-in for certain pistol mags

Selecting A Mag Pouch Or Holster

When it comes to selecting the best magazine holster for your needs, there are several questions you need to answer. Because the answer to each may significantly impact what options for a mag holder are available to you. However, comfort is of paramount importance, so the best option for a mag holster will vary from person to person. Below are four questions you’ll need to ask yourself when shopping for a mag pouch.

  • How many magazines will I be carrying?
  • Where on my person will I carry my mags?
  • What material do I want my mag holster to be made of?
  • How are extra magazines secured?

How Many Magazines Will You Be Carrying?

Depending on your school of thought, extra magazines are either completely irrelevant or vital to your everyday carry kit. I personally carry one extra mag, for reasons I outline further in another article. But, how many magazines you carry and the method used will depend on your preferences.

Regardless, you need a baseline number to begin your mag holder selection process. If you only need one extra magazine, you will have a variety of options. If you decide to carry two spare magazines, your options get more limited. Furthermore, if you opt to carry more than two extra mags, you’ll likely need to double up on your mag holsters.

How Will You Carry Your Mag Pouch?

Many individuals think all mag pouches are created equal. However, without giving thought to your lifestyle and what you need out of a mag holster is a quick road to disappointment. Those with an active lifestyle will want to pay close attention to retention methods. Business professionals need to consider conceal-ability. Spend some time assessing your needs to figure out what you need from your mag holster.

Concealed Or Open Carry

If concealing your extra magazine is of importance, IWB or pocket magazine holsters are going to be your best options. However, OWB mag pouches aren’t out of the question. Some of the best magazine pouches have a deceptive appearance. Often mimicking the design of commonly found items. For instance, the side loading mag pouches listed above give the appearance of a cell phone case.

However, if you only carry a spare mag when you’re at the shooting range, your options are less limited. Whether you choose an OWB or IWB holster really becomes about personal preference.

Attaching Your Magazine Holster

Location, location, location. Where you place your magazine holster will have a bearing on your options. If you prefer to carry your extra mags on your EDC bag, then something like the Condor Tactical pouches above would be ideal. Bulk isn’t of concern, and the contents of the mag pouch are easily concealed and lost among the other various MOLLE pouches on your bag.

Carrying Your Extra Mag On Your Hip

However, if you plan to carry on your waistline then a slimmer profile mag holster may be required. Remember, if you’re planning to wear on your hip, you have a finite amount of space. Are you wearing a hip holster? Do you carry your cell phone in a case on your hip?

Using an IWB pistol holster along with an IWB mag holster means your concealed carry pant size must allow for both. Undoubtedly, you’ll also need a sturdy belt that can handle the weight of both a fully loaded pistol and extra magazine. Furthermore, make sure your magazine holster has a sturdy clip that attaches to your belt.

Pocket Carry Extra Mags

Similarly, carrying various items in your pockets can limit your options for a mag pouch. Do you keep a knife in your pocket? How about your wallet and cell phone? Don’t forget your cigarettes and lighter.

All of these extra EDC items can limit your ability to use a pocket magazine holster. Assess all the parts of your on-body EDC kit, and find out where you have available space. You may need to find a mag holster that an easily be carried elsewhere on your body (e.g. ankle). Or you could consider a pistol holster with a built in magazine holder.

Pistol Holsters With Built-In Mag Pouches

If you can’t figure out a place to keep your extra mag(s), then perhaps looking at other pistol holsters is your best option. Often times, shoulder holsters will have a mag holster built into the non-dominant side of the rig. However, there are also a few IWB holsters that accommodate a spare magazine. I have yet to find a pistol holster (other than a handful of belly bands) that house multiple spare magazines.

Choosing A Magazine Holster Material

Another big decision when selecting the best magazine holster is the construction material. Different materials have different strengths and weaknesses. Depending on your needs, one type may suit you better than another.

Kydex, Carbon Fiber, Hard Plastic Mag Holders

Rigid material like hard plastics and Kydex can dig into your skin if you spend all day sitting at an office desk. Additionally, the bulk of some hard case magazine holster can make them difficult to conceal.

However, fixed shape mag holders are often very durable. Some offer adjustments to retention (more on that in a second) and cant. Oftentimes softer materials do not have these types of adjustments available.

Canvas Mag Holders

Canvas magazine pouches are soft and pliable, therefore they are better suited for universal use with both single-stack magazines, as well as double-stacks. Because of the material and universal fit these mag pouches are generally less expensive.Additionally, they tend to be more comfortable because the backing materials is generally soft, and without sharp edges.

Contrary to their polymer counterparts, these types of mag holders utilize a velcro retention system. While velcro retention is effective, it often negatively impacts your draw. Additionally, this velcro tends to break down over a long period of time. Furthermore, with sufficient force, cloth magazine holsters can tear if caught on a jagged edge.

Leather Mag Pouches

Leather magazine pouches offer a middle ground between rigid mag holsters and cloth pouches. While not quite a universal fit, they tend to fit certain magazine setups, and can be used across various models of similar caliber. Retention will vary from holster to holster. Some top loaders use friction to keep magazines from shifting, while other leather mag pouches use a flap and velcro to retain pistol mags.

Generally, leather magazine holsters will require a break-in period. During this time, mags may become stuck or difficult to remove. Caring for leather mag pouches requires special treatment to extend the life of the holster.

Magazine Retention

The final consideration when selecting the best magazine holster for your needs is the method of retention. There are four types of magazine retention methods:

 

  1. Straps (generally velcro)
  2. Friction retention
  3. Magnetic
  4. Spring or locking mechanism

Strap Retention Magazine Pouches

Many cloth magazine pouches use this method of retention, but it can also be found on leather magazine pouches. While effective for preventing movement of the mag, it typically adds time to un-holstering the magazine. This method is easily adjustable by loosening the strap. The most common straps found use Velcro. However, some types of these magazine pouches use either a snap button or buckle with a button.

Friction Retention Mag Holsters

Another form of magazine retention is friction retention. This method is most commonly used by top-loading mag holsters and relies on friction of the magazine against the holster material. Leather holsters are the most common variety because of issues with integrating a strap, buttons, and other components required for a strap retention system. Oftentimes, these types of magazine holsters are made to fit specific calibers of pistols, which makes them semi-universal.

Magnetic Magazine Retention

One of the more unique methods of retention is magnetic. A Neodymium magnet holds the magazine in place while the clip attaches to your pocket or belt. This type of design is great for minimizing your mag holster profile which is ideal for concealment. However, this type of mag holder only works with metal magazines. Additionally, because the magazine is not encased the rounds in the magazine can sometimes unload themselves into your pocket.

Locking Mechanism Retention

Finally, we have locking mechanism. These fit magazines snugly and are oftentimes accompanied by an audible “click” sound when the mag is inserted in the holster. However, the best part about this type of retention system is that it is adjustable. Generally, this type of retention is found on polymer magazine holsters.

Parting Shots

Finding the best magazine holster for you is about assessing your needs. Once you know exactly what you’re looking for, you can narrow your choices significantly. Conceal-ability and retention method will be dictated by your lifestyle. After that, you’ll need to discover what material that you can wear comfortably. Do you have a pistol mag pouch or holster that didn’t make the list? Share your thoughts and experiences with the community.