For the past couple years, my go to IWB holster has been an AlienGear CloakTuck 2.0 holster. It’s a rather affordable hybrid holster that has a plastic shell attached to more flexible backing. The most common material used for this kind of backing is leather (and that is what the original AlienGear holster uses), but AlienGear decided that it could make a more comfortable holster by using multiple materials.
The 2.0’s backing actually uses 3 different materials. The gun rests against a thin leather layer, which lays on top of a sheet of plastic for rigidity, and then a layer of neoprene against your body. These three layers are sewn together, with nuts embedded in the backing to mount the shell and belt clips.
This backing worked fairly well, until the plastic broke. By the nature of the holster, there are two flex points on the holster, and the plastic appears to have cracked on those lines. You can clearly see the crease on the left side at the logo in the picture below. There is a similar crease on the right side.
As I found out the hard way, the leather and neoprene layers are strong enough that the holster still functioned. Honestly, if it wasn’t for some close inspection of the holster after noticing a considerable amount of flopping while attached to pants I wasn’t currently wearing, I’m not sure when I would have noticed. The cracks did not affect the retention of the pistol, but I was concerned about the long term strength of the holster after those two cracks appeared.
Remembering that AlienGear has a lifetime warranty, I contacted them about my options. They quickly informed me that they would replace the backing with another 2.0 backing for free, or, for $12, they would send me a 3.0 backing. Given that I had already experienced this issue with the 2.0 holster, and they no longer make that holster, I decided to go with the newer design. They informed me that they should be able to shipped the backing in two or three days. I actually received notification that the backing had been shipped later that day.
Fast forward a couple days, and the new backing plus extra hardware arrived in the mail. As you can see, they’ve made a few modifications with the new version.
They have replaced the leather layer with a rubber material. They also chose to go with removable propeller nuts to mount the belt clips. The rubber may be more durable, but I’m not sure. I do like the change in the mounting hardware, as random posts sticking up and not being used annoys me.
Oh, they also changed the backing where the neoprene covers the permanently fixed hardware. My 2.0 backing did show some rust where it was exposed to my sweat. I know that some folks have complained about this.
The new backing did come with all new hardware, but all the old hardware can be used on the new backing. The only difference is the requirement of the included propeller nuts that I mentioned earlier.
So… here are my thoughts so far.
It is, as advertised, a very comfortable holster out of the box. The neoprene helps in two ways. First is the obvious sweat shield that it provides. The second is the fact that neoprene grips your shirt/body. I’ve had issues with leather IWB holsters causing my pants to fall down because they’re slick on the body side.
Retention is good. With the screws, you can adjust the retention to your liking. The screws can back out over time, but a dab of blue Locktite will solve that. I prefer this over rivets that I’ve seen in other holsters of this type.
I’ve worn the holster with the 3.0 backing for a couple days, and I can tell that it is stiffer than the previous version. Still comfortable, but I can tell that that steel insert is there. As for its durability compared to the 2.0 backing? We’ll see.