When considering your EDC, or every day carry, setup, there are a lot of variables to keep in mind. One of the biggest decisions that you need to make (apart from carry position) is if you want to carry a spare magazine or not. And furthermore, do you want the spare magazine to be attached to your holster, or separated from the holster? In the social media world there seems to be a big trend toward carrying a spare magazine in an attached spare magazine carrier, like our AXIS ELITE holster or MSP FLX holster. These are, coincidentally, two of our most popular holsters too. Is that a coincidence or is there something more to it?


For the crowd that still wants a spare magazine in their EDC but does not want it to be attached to your holster, we have plenty of options for you at Tier 1 Concealed. One of the most popular options of this category is the MSP Pro Series holster that comes with a non-attached spare magazine carrier. This is a universal fit holster based on the weapon light that offers great concealment and comfort despite being one of the larger holsters that we offer.



Another great choice would be to pair our new XIPHOS ELITE or XIPHOS V2 holster with a stand alone MSP spare magazine carrier. This gives you the option to carry without a weapon light but still get great concealment and stability with the 2-clip design of the XIPHOS ELITE or XIPHOS V2. 


And our most minimalist option would be the T1-M holster paired with the stand alone MSP spare magazine carrier. We make the T1-M holsters to be as small as possible and only use 1 belt clip on it. You could argue it’s less stable that way but with the right configuration and a good belt, it works very well. 


If you are wanting to be even more minimalistic and not carry a spare magazine at all some of the holsters mentioned above will still work! All of our holsters can be made to be gun-only, no spare magazine, but the ones that were designed for it are the MSP (which is now available for purchase without the mag carrier), XIPHOS ELITE, XIPHOS V2, T1-M, and T1-ECHO for you strongside carry people. (With all of these options there is still the option to carry a spare magazine in your pocket or off-body.)

Making the “spare magazine” decision is pretty easy for a lot of people but for some people we need to weigh the pros and cons. One train of thought is “more rounds is better” and the logic is pretty sound on that one. Ideally, yes, in every reasonable situation having more ammo would be better. Why not? Give yourself every advantage that you can. With that being said, there are very few documented cases of a civilian using their concealed carry firearm and firing more than 10 rounds and much fewer documented cases where they had to perform a speed/emergency reload after going empty or clearing a malfunction. Does that mean it’s never happened or can’t happen? Absolutely not. The whole premise behind concealed carry is “be prepared” and “just in case.” Ideally you will never need it, and most likely you will never need it. But, should you need it, you better have it and you better be trained so you don’t get yourself or an innocent bystander killed. 

The biggest con of carrying with a spare magazine (attached or not) for most people is that it makes your setup bigger, heavier, less concealable, and in some cases more uncomfortable. Those are all real things to keep in mind, but a couple of them can be mitigated instantly with the right holster options. Carrying more gear will always mean bigger and heavier but we can help you eliminate a lot of the concealment and comfort issues. 

One of the best ways to help any concealment issues you might encounter is using a better (and in a lot of cases, more rigid) belt, such as our EDC or EDC-S belt. Another option is sizing up your shirts one size and utilizing clothing with patterns to break up any slight printing that you might have. Additionally, and a much overlooked feature that can help aid in concealment is belt clip and concealment claw placement. We use adjustable clips on all of our IWB holsters to give you the customization capabilities to find your perfect position of the holster on your belt line. This can not only help conceal the holster and gun but make it more comfortable and easier to draw. 

The other big variable in concealment and comfort is the holster itself. For some people, the smaller gun-only holsters might not work the best for that. The AXIS ELITE and MSP FLX holsters are often considered to be some of the most comfortable appendix carry holsters available, despite their size. When you take everything into consideration, like having the holster set up correctly for you, and using a good belt, they just seem to work. You can get the best of both worlds, so to say. You can have the peace of mind of carrying more ammo in a second magazine and maintain a comfortable and concealable holster setup. The spare magazine on these holsters, being attached in the way that it is, can actually help conceal the holster more than it would without the spare magazine. It also helps create an extremely stable platform that gives your consistency on the draw and reload by having belt clips that are spread out a little further and weight distribution being a little more even. Check out the AXIS ELITE holster here axis-elite and check out the MSP FLX here msp-pro-series-flx

We hope this helps you in your holster making decisions. Once again, there are a lot of variables and things to consider, but with the right holster and belt, concealed carry can be very easy and enjoyable. Stay safe and stay strapped!

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