By Joe Kurtenbach, American Rifleman
Best known for its multi-layer, synthetic IWB holsters, Alien Gear has applied its ingenuity to a paddle-style OWB rig. The new Cloak Mod holster, much like the company’s Cloak Tuck series, re-engineers a familiar holster style in order to maximize functionality and versatility. The Cloak Mod utilizes Alien Gear’s gun-specific Boltaron shells and, indeed, the shells remain interchangeable between all of the company’s holsters.
As well, the attachment method for the shell has not changed—squishy polymer spacers and Chicago screws—allowing for user-adjustable firearm retention. The internal steel flex plate, which successfully gave the Cloak Tuck 3.0 its backbone, also returns, and ensures the handgun is seated securely into the holster shell.
New for the Cloak Mod is the polymer backer and the paddle itself. The former is of solid construction and is drilled with extra cant-adjusting mounting holes. It can also accept a belt-slide attachment, if that form of carry is preferred. The former, cleverly shaped like an alien’s head, is perhaps the holster’s greatest achievement.
The whole point of a paddle holster must be security on the hip paired with the convenience of easy removal. Having tested holsters of this design, I find that many, if not most, feature a paddle that is too rigid or a security hook that is too long, in either case making it near impossible to remove without disrobing. For my money, if I want that kind of security I’ll buy a belt holster. Alien Gear’s paddle, however, was strong but flexible and, in testing, provided excellent security while still proving easy to don and off.
In terms of concealment, the Cloak Mod is a larger, more overt package than the company’s Cloak Tuck series. However, the new paddle holster makes good use of the company’s earlier innovations, does much to round out a catalog dominated by IWB offerings, and represents the same quality and value we’ve come to expect from Alien Gear. Price: $48. Contact: Alien Gear Holsters, 827 W. Prairie Ave., Hayden, Idaho 83835; (208) 215-2046; aliengearholsters.com.