Who Makes the Best Kydex Holster? Navy SEAL Approved Gear Review

Chris Sajnog discusses the top holster manufacturers.

It seems everyone and their mothers are making a tactical Kydex holster and accessories these days. However, the question remains… Who is the best Kydex holster maker? Due to the wide variations in quality out there, it’s vital that you know what you’re getting yourself into especially if your life depends on it…

Marty Zatrapa, owner of zZz Custom Works heard that I was on the hunt to discover who makes the best Kydex holster. He gave me the opportunity to try out one of his custom Kydex holsters and a dual magazine pouch for the price of an honest review of The zZz holster.

I made sure he knew that even if I didn’t like his product I would still write a review…he was unfazed. With that, the cast was set…literally — he sets the Kydex around blue-guns to form them during production of the zZz holster.

Marty hooked me up with one of his standard tan zZz Custom Works OWB holster (right hand) and double magazine pouch for my Glock 35.

gun to be placed in the holsters

Best Kydex Holster Maker

Features of the zZz Holster

When I was in his shop, I got to test it out and make sure it had the right amount of tension. He did some fine-tuning and also showed me how to easily adjust the holster tension by heating up a few points and then working the gun in and out while it’s warm. Already, the adjustability and ease of use put the zZz holster on my radar as the best Kydex holster I had tried.

So the first thing I noticed about the zZz holster and the magazine pouch was how thick the material is compared to most (not all) of the other Kydex products you’ll find out there. I really have no idea what it costs to make these, but I’m sure it costs more to use thicker material — and it’s worth it.

With the cheaper/thinner holsters, your weapon is not secured as well, yet somehow when you want to get it out, it’s harder. How is this possible? I’m sure there is a mechanical engineer out there who could explain why this is, but I can’t. All I know is it pisses me off! Anyway, no worries here – the zZz holster did not fail to impress, being both thick and pliable when needed.

OK, so besides the initial feel of the holster being super thick, the belt loops are bombproof. They really give the holster a solid feel on your belt and the peace of mind that it’s never going to fall apart. Once again, I was impressed. When searching for who is the best kydex holster maker, that kind of secure and solid feel goes a long way towards confidence in the holster.

gun magazines in holsters

When you order your holster, you’ll need to let Marty know your belt size. I got 1.5 inch and my belt fits in easily but does not wiggle around or slide up when I draw.

If I could have Marty Zatrapa change or add one thing, that would be the option to either switch out or adjust the size of the belt loops because I have two different size pistol belts that I use.

As far as looks go, I have to admit — both the holster and magazine pouch are pretty darn tacti-cool looking. All the edges are rounded and smooth and they sit on your side like an extension of your hip.

They almost have the look of a good leather holster, but a lot sleeker. Both pieces are formfitting and there is no unnecessary extra material sticking out that might get caught on something as you’re trying to shoot, move and communicate.

Is the zZZ Holster the Best Kydex Holster?

The Tests of the Nest Kydex Holster

I wanted to make sure I actually tested the equipment before I wrote a review, and as many of you know, my testing of equipment is extensive. In fact, Marty probably forgot about me by now! (Sorry, brother!)But I’ve been able to take the zZz holster to the range several times now and even used them recently when I took the pictures for my new book!

The point is, I didn’t want to put out any bad advice and recommend a holster just because it looked so darn good. I needed to make sure it was something I would use when my life depended on it or let Marty know he had some work to do…

Well Marty and his zZz holster and magazine pouch did not disappoint. For some reason even after being tuned by the master himself right before I took possession, I still needed to loosen up the holster after my first dry-fire session. I thought it would loosen up itself with repeated use, but my guess is the thicker Kydex holds its form.

a navy seal drawing his gun in his holster

This is a good thing as I don’t want my holster loosening up on its own. Plus Marty had taught me how to adjust it and it took me all of five minutes to dial it in.

After the adjustment of the holster, retention on both was perfect. I was able to do a handstand (just as a test, not part of the Matrix 3, but because I have actually found myself hanging upside down on the side of a ship before…probably will never happen again now that I’m retired, but better safe than sorry), run, jump and roll around in the prone position while working my carbine.

My pistol and magazines never moved once, but slid right out when I required their services. I practiced likely hundreds of draws and re-holsters over several months across the country and the holster performed flawlessly.

This kind of consistency is what I look for in tactical gear and the zZz holster did not fail to deliver. As I mentioned, my testing of new equipment is extensive. That way I know that when I recommend the zZz holster as the best Kydex holster out there, I stand by my recommendation no matter what your needs are.

a hand holding a pistol in its holster

Who Makes The Best Kydex Holster?

Best Kydex Holster Final Recommendation

In the end, my standard zZz holster and magazine pouch are my new go-to items to secure pistol and magazines to my body. It’s official. Who makes the best Kydex holster? , zZz makes the best Kydex holster.

I highly recommend them for one reason — because I use them. Marty wasn’t afraid to stand behind his products and his high-quality work paid off. Now if Marty would only send me that M4 pouch he promised me…

Have you tried a zZz holster? Share your experience below. Also, if you have any questions about the products I tested, let me know in the comments below.

Legal Notice: I was not paid nor am I receiving any monetary benefit for this review. I did score the best kydex holster maker, though!

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Retired Navy SEAL Dr. Chris Sajnog, a Master Training Specialist in the Navy, was hand-selected to write the US Navy SEAL Sniper Manual. After retiring from the Navy in 2009, he earned a master’s (MSc) in Health and Human Performace and a doctorate (D.Sc.) in Applied Educational Neuroscience.

Navy SEAL Approved