- Created: Tuesday, 18 September 2012 04:14
Deep Conceal sent me one of their bread and butter holster rigs to check out so I've been giving it a good look-see. Offhand I have the ULTRA model which is for 4"-7" overall length pistols while the MAX version is for 6.5"-9". The general concept of the holster is to be a low profile armpit zone holster. Now the armpit zone does offer great concealment, but for one to actual retrieve the pistol it needs to be a cross draw setup. I'll admit cross draw isn't my personal fave, however it does come with unique pros and cons. While not as easy to access as a belt holster while standing, a cross draw setup tends to be easier to manipulate while sitting and has less printing concerns while moving about such as leaning over. Inherent to a cross draw setup is the need to give extra care while drawing to not flag one's self as much as possible. Just whipping it out is the easy way, however with just a dash more effort one can avoid pointing the muzzle at those ever so useful body parts. While I'm making it easy to see the holster in most of my pictures, keep in mind the rig is made to be covered by a shirt or jacket so don't get too distracted by the torso straps.
Construction is fairly straightforward using basic materials of fabric, webbing, velcro, and elastic. For the price I think some nicer materials could be used, but as is it functions and the basic construction keeps the depth low profile. Sizes are offered from XS all the way up to 5XL. I am still a wee-man so sport a Small. Like most armor, black and white colors are offered to match most attire needs. Wearing and adjustment functionality comes from 2 shoulder straps and 2 torso straps each with a good amount of adjustability via velcro. Due to connection locations it is even easy to adjust while wearing. The torso straps also feature some elastic which is very important for comfort to allow a good tight fit while still being able to breathe. Plastic hardware is used which is a little bulky, but I have not been pinched by them yet. Metal hardware would be an even more low profile option at minimal extra cost. Having 2 torso straps rather than one big one adds to comfort adjustability. All of the adjustable straps in general are important as the placement of the ultra holster greatly changes functionality. Up high and tight is good for concealment while letting it hang lower or even offset from body center makes it more accessible. With some sort of clothing for concealment the main concern is definitely length of grip so keep this in mind on deciding which pistol to use along with magazine types. For my testing I used a Glock 19 with standard magazines and that is about as big as I would recommend for good concealment. You can certainly go bigger and get high cap magazines, however the printing will start to be noticeable.
When it comes time to whip the ol' blaster out, I have a bit of trouble getting a good combat grip and usually have to correct it before punching out. Also during an attempted speed draw I find my thumb getting jammed up in the shoulder strap sometimes. Although it comes with a little securing strap, most users probably will not need it and it gets in the way. Hell it even commonly closes itself after a draw, making re-holstering that much more complicated, but fret little as it can be easily removed with a pair of scissors. The magazines fortunately aren't too difficult to access. Now although height ride adjustment helps accessibility, it would be nice if there was extra adjustment on the back which would then alter how centerline the holster and pouches are; Placement further from the center being good for concealing, and closer to the center being better for accessibility.
For other small notes, I think just some thin padding in the holster portion would go a long way for long wear comfort without sacrificing minimal profile. As it stands I'd still call the Ultra holster surprisingly comfy for being based on thin materials. The mag pouch openings are just serged edges so will wear fairly rapidly with normal use. It may be low profile and comfy, but there are other more durable options. Having simple serged edges is more reasonable on the accessory / map pockets. Safety wise the trigger is covered which is always a plus even if just by medium weight fabric. Pulling the trigger while holstered is possible, but you really have to be determined doing it on purpose. The trigger coverage is adequate enough to prevent the vast majority of possible accidental engaging before exiting the holster.
The Deep Conceal Ultra Holster may not be the solution to all carry problems, but I think they do a good job offering a unique concealed carry setup for the toolbox of possibilities. Like the name implies, it is optimized for pistol concealing rather than deploying.