Skip to main content

DeSantis' The Speed-Lite Holster

DeSantis' The Speed-Lite Holster
Holster makers are often reluctant to make new rigs for pistols with lights attached due to the frequency in changes made. In spite of the growing trend to conceal a pistol with a light, it can be challenging to find a quality holster for a full-size pistol and light that’s comfortable to wear. DeSantis’ new Speed-Lite has qualified. $91

Due to an escalation in societal violence, the need for armed, law-abiding citizens appears to be increasing. My grandfather would never have dreamed of needing personal protection while attending Sunday church service, but that mindset is reasonable by many right now.

As a full-time police officer, I prefer to carry a firearm off-duty that closely resembles my issued sidearm, which I've trained with and feel comfortable handling while under stress. I am not interested in attempting to defend my life or my family's life with a small and unfamiliar compact pocket pistol.

Since my current duty gun is a Glock 22 with a Streamlight TLR attached, I like to carry a similar set-up when not working. The challenge is dressing around a full-size pistol with a light attached. There's a plethora of holsters for Glocks on the market, but finding an outside-the-waistband (OWB), concealable, light-mounted holster has proven to be more of a challenge.

DeSantis Holster unveiled The Speed-Lite in 2017. It is an American-made holster constructed of saddle leather. It's a snug, concealable package free of snaps, plastic clips or other parts that could potentially fail - one of the benefits of an all-leather holster. Instead, there are three slots cut for one's carry preference of forward cant or no cant.


To complete the evaluation of The Speed-Lite holster, I also ordered DeSantis' plain, lined, 1½-inch leather belt and an ambidextrous, black, Gunhide-leather, single-magazine pouch. The belt threads through both the holster and the mag pouch with little difficulty, especially when broken in.


DeSantis-Belt
DeSantis' 1½-inch-wide belt is made from a single piece of saddle leather and is lined with suede. Black belts come with silver buckles, while tan belts ship with brass buckles. $73

30-DAY CARRY After a leather holster has surpassed its break-in period, I love them. Getting to that point can be a bear. DeSantis' Speed-Lite arrived super snug right out of its bag. It took about one week - and a couple of hundred draw strokes - to wear in comfortably and allow me to present the pistol consistently. Once broke-in, the three leather pieces - belt, holster and pouch - were all molded to the shape of my waistline for a comfortable and ideal OWB fit that no piece of plastic has matched.

Only after living with this rig for 30 days, I observed other unique traits to DeSantis' design of The Speed-Lite. For example, the bottom of the holster is slotted open over the light's bezel. The muzzle of The Speed-Lite is otherwise closed and covered. This slot was handy to detect if the Streamlight had been unintentionally activated when the pistol was holstered. With 800 lumens projecting to the ground, it was quickly apparent when it happened. Even in daylight at the range, I sometimes turned on the light during reholstering and learned about it from a friend who quickly brought its condition to my attention.

I also noted that The Speed-Lite featured only single-line stitching rather than double stitching on Galco's similar model that I've also worn. Even so, I have not noticed any fraying or rough edges. What I am seeing is that the leather continues to become softer and smoother each week I wear it.

DeSantis-The-Reliant-mag-pouch
Carrying at least one spare magazine is important. Keeping it oriented properly and reachable is just as critical of a consideration. DeSantis' The Reliant mag pouch comfortably gets the job done. $50

I have spent roughly 90 percent of this evaluation carrying The Speed-Lite in the front canted position. I've found this position to be more comfortable when wearing the holster in the sitting position, driving and moving around when compared to carrying it in the straight, no-cant position. The only drawback I found with the canted position with my full-size pistol and light was that it hangs down three-quarters of an inch lower than when the holster is in the no-cant position. This means that I had to be a little more conscious of my off-duty clothing to prevent the pistol printing or flashing the lower portion of The Speed-Lite.


Range time with DeSantis' rig revealed a couple flaws in my selection of concealment garments. For one, my draw time from concealment was nearly .6 second faster when I was wearing a full-zip jacket over the holstered pistol versus wearing a pull-over, long-sleeve shirt that draped over the pistol. Since I look for ways to shave off time to get that first round on target, I found that this rig is best when concealed under a jacket that can be thrown back. It's hard to beat range time with a Pact timer to find areas of improvement. I also learned that when I tightened my belt one notch, the holster couldn't move, which improved consistency in my draw stroke and shaved another two-tenths of a second.

Finding a comfortable and reliable holster is almost as important as finding the right handgun. My first concealment rig was a cheap synthetic holster, setting me back about $20. DeSantis' Speed-Lite retails for $91. The Reliant mag pouch is another $50, and the plain, black 1½-inch belt was $73. This is a considerable investment. Only you can determine if this carry rig is important enough for this money, but I've taken the walk before and ended up here.

If my gun and holster relationship can last 10 to 20 years, The Speed-Lite rig will prove to be invaluable. It would appear to me, that these three DeSantis pieces will provide the carrier of a full-size pistol with a light attached ages of comfortable service.


DeSantis-Speed-Lite-Specs
Current Magazine Cover

Enjoy articles like this?

Subscribe to the magazine.

Get access to everything Guns & Ammo has to offer.
Subscribe to the Magazine

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Umarex Air Ruger 10/22 Rifle Review

Umarex Air Ruger 10/22 Rifle Review

In this segment of "Guns & Ammo TV," Gun Tech Editor Richard Nance and Pro-Shooter Jim Tarr head to the range to wring out the Umarex Air Ruger 10/22.

Pocket-Pistol Carry Tips and Tricks

Pocket-Pistol Carry Tips and Tricks

Pocket carry, as a method of concealed carry for a defensive firearm, can be a practical option when done right. This is especially true during the colder months when heavy outer garments can obstruct access to a traditional waistline holster. Former U.S. Navy SEAL Jeff Gonzales, president of Trident Concepts, joins G&A contributor Kimberly Heath-Chudwin to discuss guns, training and gear, including Blackhawk's TecGrip holster that can make pocket carry more successful.

Air Gun Reviews: Why Shoot Airsoft?

Air Gun Reviews: Why Shoot Airsoft?

In this Guns & Ammo TV segment, Gun Tech Editor Richard Nance and Pro-Shooter Jim Tarr discuss the benefits of airsoft training for uniformed professionals and armed citizens alike.

Trijicon

Trijicon's New Specialized Reflex Optics (SRO)

The Trijicon SRO is specifically designed for pistol use. The wide field of view and clean, crisp dot makes it easy for users to find and track the dot in both target and competitive shooting applications.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

In this segment of Air Gun Reviews: Ruger 10/22 Air Rifle Rifles

Air Gun Reviews: Ruger 10/22 Air Rifle

Guns & Ammo Staff - September 02, 2020

In this segment of "Guns & Ammo TV," Gun Tech Editor Richard Nance and Pro-Shooter Jim Tarr...

Small, lightweight and purpose-built for sub-compact carry guns, Surefire's XSC pistol light takes on EDC illumination segment.Surefire XSC Micro-Compact Pistol Light: First Look Tactical

Surefire XSC Micro-Compact Pistol Light: First Look

Jeremy Stafford - September 10, 2020

Small, lightweight and purpose-built for sub-compact carry guns, Surefire's XSC pistol light...

Don't underestimate the fun factor.Review: Remington V3 TAC-13 Shotguns

Review: Remington V3 TAC-13

Brad Fitzpatrick - March 08, 2019

Don't underestimate the fun factor.

The Taurus TX22 rimfire shoots like no other.Taurus TX22 Rimfire Review Reviews

Taurus TX22 Rimfire Review

Eric Poole - May 23, 2019

The Taurus TX22 rimfire shoots like no other.

See More Trending Articles

More Accessories

The Lockdown Puck is a compact monitoring and security device that can be used to safeguard valuables, regardless of where they are stored. Beyond gun safes, the Puck is ideal for monitoring wine cellars, liquor cabinets, humidors and just about anything else with a door.Lockdown Puck Security Device Review Accessories

Lockdown Puck Security Device Review

Richard Nance - July 30, 2020

The Lockdown Puck is a compact monitoring and security device that can be used to safeguard...

XS Sights high-visibility color front dot and Express-style V-shaped rear are an upgrade in quality and performance over the typical dot-and-notch setup.Testing XS Sights Accessories

Testing XS Sights

Jeremy Stafford - September 08, 2020

XS Sights high-visibility color front dot and Express-style V-shaped rear are an upgrade in...

SilencerCo announced its new SCO15 AR-15 lower receiver, made from billet 7075-T6 aluminum and precision machined for compatibility with all your preferred parts.SilencerCo SCO15 Lower Receiver – First Look Accessories

SilencerCo SCO15 Lower Receiver – First Look

Guns & Ammo Staff - August 10, 2020

SilencerCo announced its new SCO15 AR-15 lower receiver, made from billet 7075-T6 aluminum and...

N8 Tactical announced the release of the company's first all-Kydex holster called the KO-1.N8 Tactical KO-1 Modular Kydex IWB Holster – First Look Accessories

N8 Tactical KO-1 Modular Kydex IWB Holster – First Look

Guns & Ammo Staff - July 30, 2020

N8 Tactical announced the release of the company's first all-Kydex holster called the KO-1.

See More Accessories

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Guns & Ammo App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Guns and Ammo subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now