Review: CrossBreed Open Top Pancake Holster

posted on January 30, 2021

Sometimes you just can’t beat a good all-leather OWB, especially when it’s from a company with a history of outstanding leather work such as CrossBreed.

Those of you who read my weekly holster reviews might know I’m not normally a fan of leather holsters. One reason is there is often more emphasis on style and look than functionality, and while I definitely think holsters should look good, I’m far more concerned about how well they hold the gun. Leather holsters are notorious for wearing out with constant use just because leather is a natural pliable material that wears over time. This is the biggest reason I’m especially not a big fan of leather for IWB.

But the Open Top Pancake from CrossBreed is an OWB that offers a couple of great features not often found on a lot of all leather holsters. Let’s start with the basics.

This holster looks classy from the get-go. The drum-dyed black cowhide is smooth with a deep shine that exudes high class. Beautiful stitching all around holds the front and back panels together tightly along not only the outside edges but also includes reinforced stitching under the trigger guard for added retention.

The one feature that really stood out the most about the Open Top Pancake is the reinforcement at the opening, something more holster makers are adding but not everyone has caught up with yet. My biggest criticism of leather holsters from a functionality perspective is that the outside flap of the opening can wear out over time and begin to curl over, presenting a danger to reholstering because the flap could trip the trigger on the way in. To avoid this, CrossBreed added a second, double thick leather layer at the mouth of the opening to prevent the lip from curling over. Problem solved.

One other feature that is often not found on other leather holsters but is on the Open Top Pancake is a tall sweat guard. It’s really more of a comfort guard, since leather and sweat don’t mix well, but whatever it’s called it serves the purpose of protecting both the gun and your body from each other.

At $74.95 from CrossBreed, the Open Top Pancake is priced less like an expensive leather holster and more like a middle of the road Kydex or hybrid, making it a great value. It is available in brown or black, lefty or righty, for a variety of handguns. There are even a few offered with a limited number of light and laser options.


silver 1911 facing right
silver 1911 facing right

First Look: Kimber Rapide Dawn & Scorpius 1911 Pistols

Kimber recently introduced two new models of 1911s, the Dawn & Scorpius, to the Rapide family. 

First Look: MasterPiece Arms DS9 Commander Pistol

MasterPiece Arms (MPA) is known for making high-performance pistols, chassis systems and bolt-action rifles, and now the company is adding the new MPA DS9 Commander to the wide-body, double-stack 1911 pistol lineup.

Why Lightweight Carbines Are a Game Changer

Technology and demand are driving a light-rifle trend that shows no signs of slowing down. Purpose-built, flyweight guns are a dream to carry and shoot, but the additional machining, exotic materials and manufacturing methods that can bring something like an AR rifle down to 4.5 pounds make it expensive.

Black Friday Bonanza

If you’d rather visit the dentist than attend the annual Black Friday stampede, Shooting Illustrated has a solution for all your holiday shopping needs.

I Carry: Springfield Armory SA-35 Pistol in a Galco Holster

In today's episode of "I Carry," we have the brand-new Springfield Armory SA-35 9 mm pistol carried in a Galco Summer Comfort holster along with Mec-Gar and ProMag magazines.

2021 Holiday Gift Guide: Outdoors

Check out these gun-related products for that firearm-enthusiast friend or loved one. Whether he or she spends time at the range, tinkering with their guns in the shop, in their special space at home, whipping up food and drink in the kitchen, driving to or from work or in the outdoors, we’ve got you covered this holiday season, no matter your budget.


Get the best of Shooting Illustrated delivered to your inbox.