I can’t stay away from the things I love. That’s evidenced by my unhealthy consumption of peanut butter and my acquisition of Phlster holsters. I snatched up an IWB model a while back and loved it, so grabbing the OWB design didn’t require debate. I’m an OWB O.G. who still appreciates a carry method many will proclaim antiquated. The Phlster Floodlight OWB isn’t necessarily a concealed carry holster. It’s a bit large, but with the right hoodie or jacket, anything is possible.
For the Love of OWB
The Phlster Floodlight OWB takes the best of the original Floodlight design and changes things up here and there to be more friendly for OWB. Gone are the shock cord and claw, and the loop/belt clip attachment points are changed to accommodate OWB belt attachments. The holster is still a quasi-universal design that fits either the Surefire X300 or Streamlight TLR 1.
The OWB Floodlight works with suppressor height sights, optics, and even most compensators and threaded barrels. On top of that, the Floodlight OWB works with BladeTech, G-Code, and Safariland belt attachments. This compatibility grants you the ability to use the holster on a traditional belt, a paddle rig, a MOLLE mount, a thigh rig, or even a low hip mount on a battle belt.
Being a universal rig means the holster has to be able to make a multitude of adjustments to guarantee both a good fit and proper retention, with the Floodlight OWB that comes in the form of three different sets of screws and spacers. Each is color-coded to ensure you use the right spacers with the right screws.
You’ll have to test and determine the right size for your gun. I used my CZ P09 and used the small set of screws and spacers. With the unloaded firearm in place, I adjusted the screws and spacers on both sides to ensure a tight but accessible fit.
Attaching the Floodlight OWB
We get treated with a Tek Lok attachment from BladeTech as a means to attach the firearm to your belt. It works, but it’s not optimum. I get why FLoodlight included it. It allows the end-user to easily attach their holster and gun to basically any belt. It makes the Floodlight more plug-and-play with its ability to fit most platforms. I love the Tek Lok for knives and spare mags, but it tends to slide around my belt a little too easily with a big heavy handgun.
Luckily, Phlster made the Floodlight OWB compatible with a wide variety of holster attachments to maximize your ability to carry the holster. As mentioned, G-Code, Safariland, and BladeTech are all compatible sources of attachments.
More than that, you can pick and choose your ride height and change cant around to make everything fit just right. Like and rifle in a Pelican AR 15 case. This allows you to make the best use out of a multitude of attachments with ease. It can make a big difference when it comes to wearing and using the holster with comfort and speed.
I’m looking to pair the Floodlight OWB with both a Safariland pistol belt loop and a low ride belt loop. This way, I can pair it for both a standard belt and low-ride carry.
Packin’ the P09
The P09 is a big gun with a 21 round magazine and a TLR 1 light. The hefty weight of this full-sized pistol makes the P09 a great gun to test the Floodlight OWB rig. I’m using the Tek Lok mount for the review because I’m reviewing the holster the way it comes. I do find the Tek Lok mount to be the real downside of the Phlster Floodlight OWB.
Even with the Tek Lok spacers, the belt still seems to slide a good bit left and right when bumped or moved. As far as weak points go, that seems to be one of the few. A quick upgrade will allow you to better tailor the Floodlight OWB for your needs.
Other than that, I have few complaints. Nothing pokes or prods when carrying your Phlster FLoodlight. Phlster cuts and trims corners and ensures everything is rather smooth and less pokey and proddy. That makes the holster less likely to poke and keeps your clothing from catching on the holster and compromising your draw.
Grip and Rip
There is no active retention device. It’s a passive, adjustable retention that allows you to tighten the retention with ease. Since it lacks an active retention device, the draw is uninterrupted, and the gun is easily accessible. The holster is also pushed far away from the body that you can obtain a perfect grip. No part of your hand ever touches your body when you grip your firearm.
Getting the gun up, out, and presented is quick and easy. The holster stays put, and the retention is only friction-based. Smooth is fast, and the draw is smooth.
I understand I should probably be training from a concealed carry holster and setup, but man, it’s addictive to train with the Phlster Floodlight. Drawing, presenting, and shooting is, oh-so-fast from a good OWB holster. Running classics like the El Presidente with the Phlster Floodlight really cuts those times down.
Reholstering your firearm is both safe and easy. Again the holster is far from the body, so sliding the gun into the holster is effortless. Depending on how you’ve set your retention will determine how easy it is for the gun to slide into the holster. The retention is around the light, and when the light hits this portion of the hoster, you’ll feel it slow and require a firmer push.
Safety, Comfort, and Fit
Phlster designs the Floodlight to be quasi-universal, but they don’t sacrifice safety to do so. The trigger is completely covered, and nothing in the holster will interact with the trigger in any way. The high cut of the ambidextrous design keeps your shirt or jacket from finding a way to climb into your holster and grab the trigger.
OWB rigs are most known for their comfort, and the Phlster Floodlight OWB is a rig you can forget you’re wearing. It hangs off the side of your body without really interacting with your body. This makes it tough to conceal but very comfortable and easy to access.
Proper fit is pretty damn important when it comes to choosing holsters. Poor fit is why most universal holsters suck, but Phlster found a way to conquer fit with universal design. Since the retention is around the light, the gun stays in place without much interaction with the frame or slide of the gun. A multitude of guns fit without much of a fight. Glocks, CZs, FN, Walthers, and more fit the Phlster and fit it well.
Battle Belt Ready
The Phlster Floodlight could be concealed, but it seems a bit large for that purpose to me. Instead, I think it will be nestled on my battle belt. Its size, the multitude of compatible attachments, and acceptance of various pistols make it a perfect battle belt rig. The Floodlight OWB is an impressive design that keeps the great features of the Floodlight IWB with OWB flair. Check it out, and let us know below your experiences with Phlster and the Floodlight series.
What does PHLster have in store for 2021? Listen to The Mag Life Podcast 175, with PHLster founders Sarah and Jon Hauptman, to find out.
Also, be sure to check out OWB PHLster spotlight review.