I stopped by and visited with the guys at Raven Concealment Systems a couple of weeks ago to check out one of their new products (a shotshell carrier system - review coming soon). They gave me a tour of their facility and hinted at some of the new products they have coming, but sorry, I’m sworn to secrecy. If you’re not familiar with Raven, you should definitely check them out. They’re one of the first companies that introduced the pancake style of Kydex holsters, and in my opinion, the best out there.
I’ve used a lot of holsters and have quite the collection in my basement. That collection has a Safariland drop-leg, a couple of Fobus, an Uncle Mike’s or 2, and a Blackhawk Serpa, to name a few. I’ve confidently narrowed that list down to the 2 holsters I currently use (and have for the last 6 years or so), the Blade-tech Drop/Offset for my tactical rig and my Raven Phantom for daily use. I was first introduced to Raven when I was in Baghdad. An operator from an unnamed Tier 1 unit showed a couple of us this new, cool holster that he just got. All of us thought it was pretty sweet, extremely concealable and a new approach to the Kydex holster. It took a couple of years to get around to ordering mine, but once I did, it definitely changed my view of all of the other holsters I’ve used.
The Raven Phantom is a simple pancake style holster that contours nicely and allows for good concealment of even a full frame pistol. The holsters are all made by hand in their Ohio shop with all US made materials, always a plus, and have a lifetime warranty. They have options for the belt loops – standard, soft loops, IWB attachments and pancake wings. I’d been using the standard loops until the guys at Raven swapped those out for the pancake wings, which weren’t available when I ordered my holster a few years back, made the holster even better. I have to say, that the retention on the holster is the best part - perfect tension to balance a quick draw and weapon security. I also have been using their double pistol mag holder, which has the same great design and quality as the holster.
The one down side, traditionally, has been Raven’s lead time. The wait for a holster when I ordered was between 12 and 18 weeks, but that has changed. They currently have a good selection of weapon system holsters that ship within 6 weeks - still a bit of a wait, but a vast improvement. The Raven Phantom retails for about $75, a little more than some other holsters out there, but well worth the cash. All in all, I would (and do) tell everyone I know to check out Raven’s line of holsters, just an all-around great concealment holster.
You can check out Raven’s products at www.ravenconcealment.com.
Kit Up! contributor Bill Janson is a former Recon Marine and is the founder of Eleven 10, a tactical gear manufacturer.