The 3 Benefits and The Major Danger of a Holster Sweatguard

For as long as there have been holsters there have been people trying to make those holsters more comfortable. When we started concealing those guns in our pants right against bare skin I suspect the first sweatguard was born.

What Is A Holster Sweatguard?

A holster sweat guard is material that sits above the belt line between the gun and your body, most traditionally as part of an IWB holster.

PHLster Spotlight X300-Backside

Here you see the sweatguard on the backside of this PHLster Spotlight holster

Often a sweat guard is part of the holster as made by the manufacturer but there are also after-market holster sweat guards sold that are intended to be added to the back of an existing holster.

This Crossbreed holster has a leather sweatguard that extends above the belt line

3 Major Benefits to A Holster Sweatguard

Easy and Safe Reholstering

My absolute favorite thing about a sweat guard is how it makes it easier to safely reholster.

Having a holster sweat guard means I can bring the firearm back to the holster and bring it back against the sweatguard as an index point before I gently ease the gun back into the holster.

I find this easier and safer than looking for the holster opening with the firearm.

Protect The Body From Sharp Edges / Material On Gun

The most obvious benefit of a sweatguard is the protection it offers your body from the sharp edges and stippling on the gun.

The constant rub back and forth of the grooves on the slide, the sights, or the texture on the grip can run the skin sore. The sweatguard aids in preventing that potential pain point, though for many wearing an undershirt is a more comprehensive solution.

Protect Gun From Body Sweat

In addition, there is an argument to be made for protecting the metal finish on your gun from the sweat and oil of your skin.

While it should take a whole lot of sweat over a sustained period of time to do any damage to your gun; if you are too lazy to clean your firearm then I imagine a sweatguard can alleviate some of this concern. For me this shouldn't be a real concern for anyone who shoots the gun somewhat regularly and cleans it accordingly.

Concerns With A Holster Sweatguard

Of course, a sweatguard isn't all benefits. There are some potential downsides to that extra layer between the gun and the body and it often comes down to the design and execution of the sweatguard.

Impede draw

My first concern is the challenge that a poorly cut sweatguard causes in the course of obtaining a grip during the draw process.

Just 2 days ago I was on the range during a class and saw out of the corner of my eye that a student had some sort of irregularity with their grip acquisition. Upon further inspection, I saw they were using a hybrid holster from a popular name-brand company. The sweatguard was (in theory) cut to match the shape of the gun but not cut perfectly.

The imperfection left a 1/4 to 1/2 inch of leather “under” the beaver tail where one needs to drive the hand to get a high and tight grip. The student was not able to get high on the grip but in the process of trying to do so was rubbing their hand raw on that edge of the leather sweatguard.

Most sweatguards are huge and cover the entire back of the grip of the gun to maximize comfort but in doing so make it very difficult to assume a full and correct grip on the gun from the holster.

This Revere holster has a full height sweatguard that adds a nice protection barrier without impeding draw under the beaver tail

A holster sweatguard that is properly trimmed should be a non-issue in this regard. It can be a protective layer between the body and the back of the slide and sights without impeding draw.

Increase Bulk

One other caution worth noting is that some sweatguards are thick and increase the footprint of your gun and holster in the pant line making concealment even more difficult.

There is a product being sold in high volume right now with some aggressive advertising online that acts as a cushion between your holster and body and while I'm willing to believe it makes it more comfortable it also increases the waistline displacement and can interfere with draw if installed where and how they recommend.

In Summary

I would rather someone have a sweatguard on their holster that makes a good grip/draw difficult and increases the concealment challenge slightly vs not carry the gun because it is so uncomfortable it can't be tolerated.

Having a gun is better than not having one and with some training perhaps you can learn to work around the barrier that the sweatguard can become. That said, I have found for me that a quality and stiff material sweatguard that is properly trimmed to the shape of the firearm gives me all the benefits of a sweatguard without any downside.

Here at KSG Armory most of our holsters allow the customer to choose if they want a mid-height or full height sweatguard. We recommend the full height sweatguard and it will be trimmed to ensure it doesn't interfere with your draw though please note that choosing a full height sweatguard will mean a holster that otherwise would have been ambidextrous will be no longer.

Here is a short video illustrating the option:


  1. Debra on May 1, 2024 at 1:05 pm

    Being new to carry which I haven’t yet started still trying to get the nerve to wear my gun, I need to say those metal pieces look painful and not what I would want against my body. So my question is do you use a softer material holster over that metal one of what do you do wear a sweatshirt which would get even hotter in Florida to wear under a tee shirt. At this time I bought a holster that I think is leather and my gun sits in it till I start wearing.

    • Jacob Paulsen on May 1, 2024 at 2:02 pm

      Debra, our holster are made from Boltaron or Kydex which is a thermoplastic. Most find it is comfortable against the body. Hope that helps!

  2. LSLD on May 1, 2024 at 2:15 pm


    Any plans to expand models of existing brands catered to…and add more brands in general?

    • Jacob Paulsen on May 1, 2024 at 2:17 pm

      Yes. Right now all effort is being applied toward bringing down lead time and catching up to the current order queue. Once we get back to a place of a more reasonable lead time we have several new makes/models we plan to roll out.

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