Alien Gear Holsters Cloak Tuck 2.0 Review

Alien Gear Holsters Cloak Tuck 2.0 Review Upated to share what else we learned carrying the Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 2.0 in the year and a half since the preview. To […]

Alien_Gear_Holsters_Cloak_Tuck_2.0_review (34)Alien Gear Holsters Cloak Tuck 2.0 Review

Upated to share what else we learned carrying the Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 2.0 in the year and a half since the preview. To be honest, I sat on publishing this review since I was so excited to read about, but then not blown away by the Cloak Tuck 2.0. Don’t get me wrong, the CT 2.0 is a nice holster… better than most that I have seen. It just didn’t work well for the gun used for this review. Since receiving the Cloak Tuck 3.0 holster for review from Alien Gear Holsters I decided to release this update of the Cloak Tuck 2.0 Preview Review since the Cloak Tuck 3.0 correct all of the issues I had with the CT 2.0.

Alien Gear Holsters sent their Cloak Tuck 2.0 Inside the Waist Band (IWB) hybrid holster for the full-on Gear Report legendary, unbiased review treatment, along with a Boltaron shell for a standard, full-sized 1911 pistol, and their belt clip combo pack. They also included a spare Boltaron holster shell for a full-size 1911 with a rail under the barrel, to use with the Recover Tactical RE-CC3-DS Recover Grip & Rail System for 1911 pistols (review) .

*Editor’s note: The preview review originally stated incorrectly that the Alien Gear hybrid holsters used Kydex shells. Alien Gear has notified me that while they have used Kydex on some past models, they have always used Boltaron in the Cloak Tuck 2.0 holsters, as they feel is superior to Kydex.

Alien_Gear_Holsters_Cloak_Tuck_2.0_review (4)Other concealed carry articles you might like:

If you are looking for a place to order a concealed carry pistol, we recommend that you check out:

Goals set out in the preview review, with answers:

  1. Alien_Gear_Holsters_Cloak_Tuck_2.0_review (26)

    AlienGearHolsters.com Cloak Tuck 2.0 and Cloak Tuck hosters

    How does the Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 2.0 compare to the original Alien Gear holster (looks like they have rebranded the original as the “Cloak Tuck”)?

    • See below…
  2. How does the Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 2.0 compare against other IWB holster options?
    • VERY well, although it still lags a bit behind the original Cloak Tuck, IMHO.
  3. Do we like the changes that were made as the Alien Gear Cloak Tuck IBW holster evolved to the Cloak Tuck 2.0?
    • Honestly, I think the Cloak Tuck 2.0 was a valiant attempt to make evolutionary improvements to the original Cloak Tuck holster. However, the CT 2.0 was not the perfect evolutionary step. The latest Alien Gear Holster, the Cloak Tuck 3.0 appears to have addressed the issues with the CT 2.0.
  4. How do the various belt clip options work with the new Cloak Tuck 2.0 IWB holster?
    • Belt clip options in the Combo Pack include J-clip, C-clip, and leather loop. My favorite of the bunch is the C-clip, as it gives the best compromise in unobtrusiveness and retention. The leather loops offer the most security.

Background:

Alien_Gear_Holsters_Cloak_Tuck_2.0_review (7)Easily the most used holsters in the Gear Report inventory is an Alien Gear Cloak Tuck IWB hybrid Kydex + leather holster (or is it a Boltaron + leather hybrid?). It is used the most because a) it is very comfortable and secure, b) it holds the beloved Glock 17 Gen4 that is my primary EDC. Honestly, it is the best value I have found in the IWB holster market and has served very well. However, there are couple of little things that I don’t love:

  • The heavy leather backing gets a bit slick and sticky (yes, and odd combination of sensations) when worn against bear skin in a warm environment.
  • The rearmost stock metal belt clip often comes loose from the belt when drawing the gun from the holster. The front one holds strong, but not always the back one.

Not a big list of gripes. Overall, we think the Alien Gear Cloak Tuck hybrid IWB holster is pretty darn good, and quite possibly the best value in the IWB holster market. That is not the kind of statement that I make lightly.
In this context, the Cloak Tuck 2.0 has some rather big shoes to fill, as the “new and improved” version of the Alien Gear Holsters flagship Cloak Tuck product.

Alien_Gear_Holsters_Cloak_Tuck_2.0_review (18)Well, how is it?

Having bought a variety of holsters over the years I have not yet found another manufacture that sends this many spare parts with a holster. Alien Gear’s IWB holsters are adjustable for cant (angle of gun relative to waistline), height (how far above/below the waistline), and retention (how tight the holster grips the gun). Each holster includes various sizes of screws and bushings to facilitate a broad range of adjustments. I really like the flexibility this provides me to dial in exactly how my holster fits. This is true of the Alien Gear Cloak Tuck holster and the new Cloak Tuck 2.0. The only down side is that, if you are a gear head like me, you might be tempted to try all possible setup variations… which takes considerable time when there are so many options. 🙂

Alien Gear Cloak Tuck holster’s leather backing vs the new Cloak Tuck 2.0’s neoprene backing.

On the original Cloak Tuck holster, the leather portion that is against the skin is treated so it doesn’t soak up water. The treatment keeps the leather from developing a foul odor, but also makes moisture collect on the surface, which can feel Alien_Gear_Holsters_Cloak_Tuck_2.0_review (70)sticky. The coating also makes the leather a bit slick, which lets is slide up and down a bit with movement… until the stickiness overcomes the slickness and it grabs the skin… which can be a bit less than comfortable. I will note that after carrying the original Cloak Tuck holster for a few years this combination of slick and sticky has gradually decreased to the point that I barely notice it now. I was most excited to hear that the Cloak Tuck 2.0 would have a soft neoprene side against my skin, which should feel less sticky and less slick. So far, with limited testing (more on that later) the Cloak Tuck 2.o remedied the sticky issue, but not so much on the slickness. The CT 2.0 still slides up and down with motion more than I would like. Alien gear notes that the neoprene has an ABS polymer core to provide support. For light guns this may be sufficient. However, I carry a full sized Ruger SR1911 in the Cloak Tuck 2.0 and find the CT 2.0 to be too flexible for such a heavy pistol. I would like to see a stiffer core that provides a more support. The level of support for a full sized, heavy pistol is my biggest complaint, and the reason I am so thrilled to have just receive a Cloak Tuck 3.0 from Alien Gear Holsters to review. The Cloak Tuck 3.0 holster appears to have corrected this issue.

Break in

Alien_Gear_Holsters_Cloak_Tuck_2.0_review (11)

Speaking of “out of the box”. In the holster industry there is an accepted concept that one must wear a holster for some time to “break it in”. It would be unreasonable to expect to take a brand new holster out of the box and wear it immediately and have it be comfortable and perform well. I really only cared about the neoprene lining of the Cloak Tuck 2.0 holster in terms of comfort against my skin. I had not considered that the flexible neoprene would require absolutely no break-in period to feel comfortable. With the Alien Gear Cloak Tuck holster (the original) I thought it was relatively comfortable right out of the box, but Alien Gear definitely raised the bar in terms of initial comfort with the Cloak Tuck 2.0 IWB holster. I have worn the Cloak Tuck 2.0 about 75 times and can honestly say that the Cloak Tuck 2.0 holster conformed to my body the first time I wore it. While the original Alien Gear Cloak Tuck hybrid IWB holster was fairly comfortable the first time I wore it, that holster got more comfortable after it was “broken in”… which was a gradual process taking 15-20 different times wearing it. The Cloak Tuck 2.0 had no such break in period.

I have talked about the neoprene that is against the skin and the ABS core. That leaves the outer layer of the IWB holster backing. The side that faces away from the body of the wearer. I have to admit that I think the thin pleather  (plastic, made to look like leather) looks like leather on the face, but is kind of cheesy looking around the cut edges where the cloth reinforcing fibers inside are visible. As a concealed carry holster it should pretty much always be CONCEALED and not visible to anyone. So, I think this is a very minor aesthetic detail, except that the pleather is also somewhat slick. A more tacky or grippy surface might help in weapon retention in the holster.

Alien_Gear_Holsters_Cloak_Tuck_2.0_review (72)How about some more functional details?

The edges of the plastic shells are ground smooth and rounded off. This is nice as there are not sharp edges to stag things, cut the operator or wear holes in clothing. I have seen plastic/kydex holsters from other manufacturers that did not have this level of attention to detail.

The spacers for adjusting the level of gun retention provided by the holster appear to be little slices of black rubber hose. they are stiff enough to hold their shape, but squishy enough to compress a little and allow some fine tuning of retention.

The T nuts that secure the shell to the holster’s backing are exposed and will contact the wearer’s skin, but they are well seated and appear to be holding well. I had no issues lining up the holes in the plastic shell or securing the shell via the included screws, spacers and T-nuts.

Alien_Gear_Holsters_Cloak_Tuck_2.0_review (21)Is the Cloak Tuck 2.0 the most comfortable holster on this planet, or any other planet?

That is one BOLD (though somewhat tongue-in-cheek) claim by Alien Gear Holsters. To be honest the most comfortable IWB holster I have used is the original Alien Gear Cloak Tuck holster. However, I suspect that if the Cloak Tuck 2.0 holster were used with a light, compact concealed carry pistol, like the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield, then it would be my favorite holster. I am awaiting a holster from a small firm on one of the moons of Jupiter that claim to have the most comfortable holster in the solar system.

Can Gear Report recommend the Cloak Tuck 2.0 holster?

It is clear that both models of Alien Gear IWB holsters offer an exceptional value. I have seen nothing in the use of the Cloak Tuck 2.0 to make me hesitant for most guns. In fact, I am comfortable recommending Alien Gear holsters to anyone that needs a well made IWB holster, regardless of the price. The latest iteration, the Cloak Tuck 3.o appears to have solved all of the issues I noted with the Cloak Tuck 2.0, making it a solid bet as well. Look for a full review on the Cloak Tuck 3.0 as I gain experience with it.

Gear Score
Gearswww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
A great value, although we like the other Alien Gear Holsters a bit better

About Jeff

Jeff is the Editor in Chief of Gear Report and a National Shooting Sports Foundation Media member. He reports on the outdoor industry, reviews gear for camping, hiking, shooting, hunting, paddling, backpacking and other active pursuits. A USAF veteran, Jeff earned a MBA in Marketing and Health Services. He specializes in consultative selling and internet marketing. As the VP of BD & Marketing, Jeff provides sales and marketing leadership to MGECOM, Inc. and helps http://MGECOM.com acquire new clients in need of solutions for online merchants in need of Affiliate Marketing program management. Jeff founded and manages Cress Sales & Marketing LLC, offering online sales and marketing consulting and services to online merchants and service providers.