Review: Versacarry Compound Custom Essential IWB Holster

A well-made and functional leather/kydex hybrid holster, without all the bells and whistles.

posted on July 30, 2022
Versacarry Essentials Holster Review

In a marketplace teeming with “innovative” and “new” designs, it’s sometimes nice to relax a bit and enjoy the simplicity of a classic design with traditional materials that’s not pretentious or flashy. Such is the case with the Versacarry Compound Custom Essential IWB Holster, a leather and Kydex hybrid gun holder that relies not on fancy hardware or splashy colors but instead relies on the basic of a comfortable yet solid option to safely carry your firearm.

The USA-made Versacarry Compound Custom Essential IWB Holster starts with two layers of vegetable-tanned water buffalo leather backer with a sweat guard that is comfortable and protects the gun from body grossness, especially during the hot summer months, when I tested mine. I live in Missouri and tested the holster on several 100+ degree days, during which I sweated plenty. The leather did a great job of keeping the gun dry and me comfortable. 

Versacarry Compound Custom Essential IWB Holster

The leather layers are held together by industrial-grade bonded-nylon thread all the way around the perimeter, with more thread latching the Kydex shell slat into slits in the top leather layer for a firm connection that didn’t move when I flexed the backer.

On the outside, the Kydex shell is a simple design with one feature not often found on leather holsters: adjustable retention. A single screw to the side of the trigger guard bulge serves as easy adjustment. As I always do with review holsters, I inserted my unloaded gun – in this case, a Taurus GX4 – and applied my flip test, wherein I turn the whole setup upside down over my bed to see how much shaking or movement it takes for the gun to dislodge. After a few shakes, the gun did finally work free, but after a quick tightening of the Phillips head screw, it cinched right up and held the gun firmly.

Mounted on the Kydex shell to hold the holster onto the belt is a single steel clip sized for 1.5-inch belts. Thanks to the single clip design, taking the holster on and off was super simple. The clip is held on by not one (as is typically found on similar holsters) but two more Phillips head screws that hold the clip firmly in place. Through several days of taking the holster on and off and wearing it during my daily routine, never once did I need to tighten the screws. They held perfectly in place the entire time.

The Versacarry Compound Custom Essential IWB Holster is backed by a lifetime warranty and retails for $49.99 at


Vaultek D2Si
Vaultek D2Si

First Look: Vaultek DS2i Smart Station

A full-featured compact safe to securely store your valuables.

Does Birdshot Overpenetrate?

Home defenders sometimes opt for birdshot, thinking it won’t overpenetrate. We put this concept to the test.

First Look: Rival Arms X1 Red Dot Sight

A new optic from a company known for their pistol upgrades.

Review: Safariland GLS Pro-Fit IWB Holster

A new concealed carry holster with built-in Level 2 retention.

First Look: Shadow Systems CR920P Pistol

A subcompact 9mm pistol with a removable compensator, which doesn't have a threaded barrel.

I Carry Spotlight: New for 2023 CZ 75 A01 SD Optics Ready Pistol

In today's I Carry spotlight we take a look at the New-for-2023 CZ 75 A01 SD Optics Ready pistol.


Get the best of Shooting Illustrated delivered to your inbox.