Gabe White on “The Keeper”

Below is an excerpt from Gabriel White’s review of The Keeper, which he posted on a few years ago. Click here to see the original post.

The Keeper: New Favorite AIWB Holster

by Gabe White

A couple of weeks ago I received a Keepers Concealment AIWB holster for T&E. From BaiHu’s review thread, it sounds like this holster is going to be known as the ‘Keeper.’

I’ve been carrying AIWB for about two years now. That entire time I’ve been using a modified holster that worked very well. So well, in fact, that I haven’t bothered trying any of the various AIWB holsters that are popular – they just didn’t have the combination of AIWB features that mine had.

The Keeper became my new favorite holster almost from the moment I put it on. I had initially intended to begin evaluating the holster in dry fire, and not immediately switch to a new and untested holster. But the Keeper was so good that I just kept wearing it. The reason it’s my new favorite holster is the ride height. My old holster has a pretty great ride height and works very well. The Keeper has both a high and low ride position for its wide single kydex belt loop. In the low ride position, it is about the equivalent of my old holster, which allows for a full grip while the gun is holstered. I’m running mine in the high ride position. Getting a master grip on a gun carried in the Keeper in the high ride position is so easy it’s like reloading with a huge funnel magazine well. There is enough room between the frontstrap of the gun and the belt that it is pretty hard to miss the grip. Although I have not run tests and compiled data, my subjective impression is that my ability to rapidly acquire a proper master grip when using the Keeper is enhanced. I cannot overemphasize this point. This holster is great to draw from. Drawing well is one of the most important overall features to me in a holster, and the Keeper delivers big time. This is the selling point for me.

I’d like to solicit Caboose’s comment on the ride height as well. He’s used the Shaggy, my modified holster, and the Keeper. I think he said the respective ride heights went in that order, from lowest to highest.

The Keeper is also great because it does all the important things an AIWB holster should do. The shape of the kydex in the trigger guard area levers the butt of the gun into the abdomen, increasing concealability. The foam wedges velcroed onto the body of the holster can push the muzzle away from the body slightly, which increases safety, as well as concealability by levering the whole grip/back of the gun into the abdomen, and improves comfort by having soft foam in contact with your groin/thigh area instead of all hard holster body.

I’ve worn the Keeper with two different belts so far: my old, worn Ted Blocker leather belt, which worked fine, and now a Wilderness belt. It works especially well in combination with the Wilderness belt because of the velcro on the outside of the kydex belt loop. You can get the belt loop sandwiched between two layers of belt and it is further locked in place with the velcro. When worn this way, the Keeper is rock solid on the belt. The holster doesn’t shift or slide or rock, it just stays perfectly in place. I think that factor also contributes to the ease of drawing from it since the consistency of gun position is increased.

The Keeper is not tension adjustable, but the tension it comes with is perfectly acceptable to me. I would probably prefer a slightly tighter fit, but it’s fine how it is, and I understand that adding tension adjustment would add a little bulk to the holster. As it is currently constructed, the Keeper is a really slim holster with very little extra mass. This makes the holster more comfortable for me, especially when squatting or bending down, since it takes up less space in my pants.

I find myself using both the large and small foam wedge in combination with each other to push the muzzle as far away from my body as possible. I’d like even more of that effect with even larger pieces of foam.

My understanding is that a few Keepers have made it through the testing of ECQC. I’ll be taking my copy through that class in October.

Bottom line for me is that the Keeper does what I want it to do, especially draw well, and does everything else I think an AIWB holster should do. The best endorsement I can give is that I am wearing this holster every day by choice, and will be buying a backup copy because this is now a very important piece of gear to me. I figured it would be good since Spencer (Prdator) is such an awesome shooter himself, who is personally familiar with running an appendix rig, that he would know how to get the holster just right, and I think he did…

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