New Lightweight Holster Shines in 30-day Carry Test
November 17, 2017
Vedder Holsters' LightDraw Kydex OWB proved super comfortable to carry in G&A's exclusive 30-day carry test.
Vedder Holsters is a family-owned company in central Florida that designs and manufactures its products in the United States. Those products include inside-the-waistband (IWB), outside-the-waistband (OWB) and pocket-carry holsters, as well as an IWB spare magazine pouches made of Kydex. Completing any carry rig ensemble needs a belt, and Vedder also offers stiff, 1½-inch, dual-layered nylon belts with quick-release Cobra buckles.
Vedder's LightDraw Kydex OWB is one holster that's growing in popularity with in-the-know shooters. G&A's staff counted over 200 positive online reviews with the underlying message praising the holster's close-fit design and construction.
OWB holsters are practical for comfortably wearing over a hip or behind the hip. The LightDraw is especially comfortable due to the steeply curved angles of the holster's wings, and for its adjustable cant and ride height.
When inserting a pistol in the LightDraw holster, an audible and tactile click lets you know that your pistol is secure for Level 1 carry. How much force is required for drawing a pistol can be adjusted using a Phillips-head screwdriver to tighten or loosen the tensioning screw located under the triggerguard. A rubber bushing on the inside keeps pressure on the screw and the opposing nut. Unlike other tensioning screw designs we've carried, this set up never backed out during our evaluation.
Vedder uses Kydex of .08-inch thickness, which helps the LightDraw remain sleek yet provides enough rigidity to allow safe reholstering. There's also a slide shield at the back that offers protection to the back of the pistol against moisture caused by sweat and humidity. The double-sided Kydex shell also proved quite tough and resistant to wear. Even after 30 days of everyday carry (EDC) and range use, we still look at this holster as if it were new.
The LightDraw lacks sharp edges, and although OWB holsters tend to be more forgiving in terms of edge contours, the cornered edges on this rig are cleanly melted. Making the LightDraw uniquely comfortable is where the skin-side of the holster is cut and formed to shield a user against irritation that comes from abrasive surfaces such as a pistol's rear slide serrations.
The contoured shape of the wings accepts various plastic, closed-loop belt attachments to work together harmoniously to hug the human torso. This prevents unnecessary movement along a belt that isn't cinched down and minimized the risk of printing. Placement of these loops can be adjusted vertically and given the generous number of riveted eyelets available to secure screws to. When placing your order, you can select either the 1½- or 1¾-inch closed-loops or a pancake paddle for $4 extra.
The LightDraw I received for testing was for a Glock 17. Once I verified its function with this holster at the range, a G17 Gen4 was carried under an untucked shirt at the 3- and 4-o'clock positions every day for a month. We rarely attempt to conceal and carry a full-size pistol OWB, but the design of the LightDraw impressed us for presenting minimal risk of printing under an untucked button-down shirt. And there were no comfort issues with carrying the G17.
Draw times and consistent grip made quick work of our drill regime. As a range rig, the Vedder LightDraw is easily attached, comfortably worn, secure and quick to draw from. As a concealed carry holster, the LightDraw is effective at concealing a duty-size pistol under an untucked shirt and quick to access. It would be a great off-duty rig for a law enforcement officer wearing his issued pistol under plain clothes. In a vehicle, the holster will eventually chew away the driver's seat upholstery, just as any OWB holster will.
After 30 days of EDC, I found almost no evidence of wear and tear on the holster or my pistol. The LightDraw is a holster that will last.
Vedder's MagTuck IWB magazine pouch is a complement to the LightTuck and is molded specifically for your pistol's magazine. Also available for different belt sizes, cants, orientations, ride heights and colors, the MagTuck carries one spare magazine, features adjustable retention and costs only $30. If your waistline is no wider than your torso, you should experience no discomfort in wearing a MagTuck pouch. Unfortunately, Vedder does not currently offer an option for carrying a spare magazine OWB.
No carry rig is complete without a proper gun belt, and Vedder offers one constructed of two layers of rigid, 1½-inch nylon webbing with Velcro adjustability. When wrapped around your waist, it's secured by a Cobra quick-release buckle. Due to the quick-release design, you'll have to fit the belt the first time to accommodate the added girth of wearing your IWB holster and spare mag pouch. If you want to wear the belt without the holster and mag pouch, you'll have to readjust the belt to keep your pants up.
If you choose to use a belt like this with a Cobra buckle to carry a closed-loop holster such as the LightDraw, you will find that the Cobra buckle can make it more difficult (and time consuming) to thread through each belt loop. Vedder's closed-loop attachment for its OWB holsters will accept a Cobra buckle, but just barely.
Vedder Holsters may not be a big name now, but we predict they soon will be. Looking through their product line and examining multiple carry rigs, there isn't any garbage in the lineup as there is with bigger holster brands. That said, I hope they quickly accommodate the growing use of pistols mounted with lights. Still, the details I see suggest that the people designing and making the holsters carry the products they sell.
Vedder Holsters: LightDraw Kydex OWB
Materials: Kydex (two-piece shell); plastic (closed loops); rubber (bushing); steel (rivets, screws)
Carry Type: Outside the waist band (OWB)
Retention: Level 1, friction, adjustable tension
Adjustability: Ride height, zero or forward cant (order); 1.5- or 1.75-in. belt
Dimensions: Height: 7.1 in.; Width: 2.18 in.
MSRP: $72 (tested)
Handgun Fit: Glock 17 Gen 4 (tested); multiple brands available
Accessory Rail Accommodations: None
Positions to Carry: OWB; 3-5 o'clock
Average Time to Attach: 60 seconds
Comfort Rating: 5/5
Concealment Clothing: Jacket or loose-fitting, untucked shirt
Average Draw-to-Fire Time: 1.18 seconds (OWB, open carry); 1.07 seconds (IWB, 4 o'clock)
Manufacturer: Vedder Holsters, 352-729-6749, vedderholsters.com
Draw-to-fire time is the average of five clean draws from under a concealed garment producing an A-zone hit on a stationary target positioned at 21 feet.