Skip to main content

Elite Survival Systems' Mainstay Hybrid IWB Holster

Elite Survival Systems' Mainstay Hybrid IWB Holster
Elite Survival Systems’ Mainstay IWB/pocket carry holster is a minimalist with sizes ready to fit most handguns including many with lights or lasers attached. It is ambidextrous and can be carried in positions such as appendix, crossdraw and IWB. A nonslip spare magazine pouch is also available. $25

Photos by Michael Anschuetz

If it’s not a hassle, you’re more likely to make a handgun part of your everyday carry (EDC). Besides shoving a gun in your pants, which is unsafe and never something you should do, there’s nothing easier than putting your pistol in a clipless sleeve and wearing it inside the waistband (IWB) or in a pocket — regardless of belt.

There’s a trend growing in this category, and we’ve found that it’s not a gimmic. Carrying a pistol in a sleeve is not a new concept, but during the last two years we’ve seen manufacturers engineer sticky ways to help seperate the holster sleeve from the handgun during the draw. Elite Survival Systems is one of those companies. They have developed a silicone-­coated outer shell for its new Mainstay model that offers excellent slip resistance. This non-­slip shell means that the holster remains in place as you draw.

Featurewise, the holster provides immediate access to your firearm and allows multiple styles of IWB or pocket carry such as behind the hip, crossdraw, appendix, behind the back, etc. The holster is ambidextrous, lightweight and water resistant with a soft interior lining that won’t wear the finish of your firearm and eases holstering. Pricewise, it’s the same as its closest competitor, the Blackhawk TecGrip, both retailing for $25.


//content.osgnetworks.tv/gunsandammo/content/photos/Elite-Survival-IWB-Holster-1.jpg

60-­Day Carry 


For this review, I ordered several different sizes. Currently, there are 11 different sizes and three additional models that were designed around pistols with lasers attached. Using Elite Survival’s sizing chart for reference, fitment was excellent while carrying handguns ranging from a compact .380 to full-­size duty guns.

For two months, I primarily carried a Ruger SR9C in a Size 5 Mainstay. This size also accommodated the Beretta 92, CZ 75, FNP series, full-­size Glock pistols, the S&W M&P series as well as the Springfield XD and XDM.

I generally carried a pistol at 3 o’clock, but its versatility afforded me to move it to crossdraw when driving and appendix while standing, which also influenced draw times. (Size 5 was too large for pocket carry.) Because retention is friction fit, this holster proved fast. At the range I averaged near-­1.1-second draws from concealment. However, a word of advice: Always remove the holster from your waistline or pocket and then insert the pistol before placing the carry rig back into service.

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

Guns & Ammo TV: Cameras Don

Guns & Ammo TV: Cameras Don't Lie: 9mm vs .45 ACP

The age-old question, 9mm vs .45 ACP. For some, this has been asked and answered already. For others, the debate goes on. In this segment of “Cameras Don't Lie,” competitive shooters Patrick Sweeney and Jim Tarr head to the range to put the vaunted loads on record, and then consider the footage.

Which Sight Is Faster - XS Sight Test

Which Sight Is Faster - XS Sight Test

Jeremy Stafford traveled to Gunsite Academy to compare the speed of stock sights against express, three-dot, suppressor-height and red dot sights.

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.

Savage Arms Impulse Rifle with Straight-Pull Action

Savage Arms Impulse Rifle with Straight-Pull Action

Savage introduces a must-shoot straight-pull rifle, the Impulse, with three hunting configurations.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Leupold launches its new DeltaPoint Micro Red Dot sight, a low-profile red dot sight designed specifically for concealed carry and personal defense firearms.Leupold DeltaPoint Micro Red Dot Sight — First Look Optics

Leupold DeltaPoint Micro Red Dot Sight — First Look

Guns & Ammo Staff - December 31, 2020

Leupold launches its new DeltaPoint Micro Red Dot sight, a low-profile red dot sight designed...

Whether you're going hunting or to the range, hitting your target is more fun when you have a zeroed rifle scope. Here's how to sight in your rifle scope setup in five quick-and-easy steps.How to Sight In a Rifle Scope in 5 Steps How-To

How to Sight In a Rifle Scope in 5 Steps

Craig Boddington - June 04, 2018

Whether you're going hunting or to the range, hitting your target is more fun when you have a...

Trijicon has dominated the Carry Optic landscape on hard-use handguns for years. With the new RMRcc, they plan on dominating the concealed carry market as well.Trijicon RMRcc Reflex Sight Review – Perfect for Concealed Carry Optics

Trijicon RMRcc Reflex Sight Review – Perfect for Concealed Carry

Jeremy Stafford - October 01, 2020

Trijicon has dominated the Carry Optic landscape on hard-use handguns for years. With the new...

9 Commonly Misused Gun Terms How-To

9 Commonly Misused Gun Terms

Kyle Wintersteen

"Assault weapon." Sixteen-round "clip." A box of "bullets." When it comes to guns and gun...

See More Trending Articles

More Accessories

Garmin has upgraded two of its popular watches with solar augmentation to last longer between charges.Notable Upgrade: Garmin Solar Smart Watches Tactical

Notable Upgrade: Garmin Solar Smart Watches

Jeremy Stafford - November 12, 2020

Garmin has upgraded two of its popular watches with solar augmentation to last longer between...

Designed to fit and protect all sorts of rifles and shotguns up to 42 inches long, the MTM Tactical Rifle Case features the durable molded construction we've come to expect from the company. It comes with four rugged snap clasps — one on each end and two on the side — and locking points.MTM Tactical Rifle Case Accessories

MTM Tactical Rifle Case

Jim Angell - September 28, 2020

Designed to fit and protect all sorts of rifles and shotguns up to 42 inches long, the MTM...

Feature rich, the Fobus APN offers adjustable configurability and pas-sive retention in a comfortable and concealable package. The removable concealment wing draws the grip of the pistol closer to your body to avoid printing. The APN series also includes a detachable and breathable sweat guard and a rotating belt clip, both of which can be removed and reversed for ambidextrous use.Fobus APN Holster Review Accessories

Fobus APN Holster Review

Eric R. Poole - September 03, 2020

Feature rich, the Fobus APN offers adjustable configurability and pas-sive retention in a...

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...

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