Floodlight and Fat Guy – How I learned to AIWB

I’ve been a slow adopter of appendix carry. Not because of some conceived danger, but because of comfort. I’ve carried some small guns appendix and found that comfortable, but I’m a fan of full-sized carry guns. I didn’t just find carrying a full-sized weapon appendix uncomfortable, I found it downright painful. After listening to tons of peer pressure and holster advice, I settled on a Phlster Floodlight IWB. I’ve heard nothing but good things over tons of various channels regarding Phlster holsters and figured if I was going to do this, I might as well do it the right way. 

The Floodlight is not just an appendix holster, it can be worn strongside IWB should you feel the need to. The Floodlight is also a quasi-universal holster designed to accommodate a weapon light. Two models exist, one for the TLR-1 and one for the Surefire X300. Phlster describes how the holster works as such: 

…many features are smoothed, radiused, and regularized to accommodate the different shapes, sizes, and dimensions of this wide array of firearms.

The Floodlight seems to squeeze in the majority of firearms I own that are service sized pistols. Since I’m talking full-sized pistols that accommodate a light, I might as well go really big. By that, I mean Glock 17 with TLR-1, with KE Arms Comp, and Aimpoint Acro. It’s about as big of a handgun as I can go. 

The Big Guy Conundrum 

I’ve heard big guys have a problem with appendix carry, and that was initially what I chalked it up too with me. I made that my excuse and figured I’d lose weight and then look at appendix carry. That turned out to be half true. I lost 65 pounds, but I’m still a big guy, both height and width wise. At 6’5’’ and 280 pounds, I’m still well into that big guy title. 

Once the Phlster came in, I started working to find a means to make it work. I scoured forums, searching for those big guys who carry AIWB. That’s when I realized being a big guy with a beer gut didn’t really matter. My discomfort came from a combination of not knowing how to wear an appendix holster correctly and poorly made appendix holsters. 

The biggest way I found to increase comfort was to adjust the height of the gun. I went with a higher height and found the pain that was dug into my thigh completely gone. I also implemented a slight reverse cant that pushed the bottom of the holster a little more inwards that made it even more comfortable. 

Then I broke a cardinal Marine Corps rule and moved my belt to the left side of the zipper. My actions broke the precious gig line. I found that this allowed me to properly tighten my belt, kept the buckle from pressing on the holster, and kept my pants from sagging. That’s what I did to improve comfort. What having a good holster does is completely different. 

This worked for me, and the point you should take away get an AIWB rig you can adjust and tailor. Try various heights and cants and see what makes the carry experience comfortable. 

The Phlster Floodlight and Comfort 

My Phlster Floodlight came with a modwing that pushes the grip into the body for better concealment, but there seems to be increased comfort too. There is no twisting, movement of the grip back and forth to rub you raw. 

The Phlster is also super smooth with no edges to pinch, poke, and prod when worn. The design provides plenty of room to adjust height and cant and to add a wedge or not. The design is brilliant and doesn’t tell you how to wear your holster, allowing you to pick and choose the right way for you to handle it. 

The Phlster Floodlight does the basics right for making a comfortable holster and then allows you to customize it for your needs for comfort, access, and concealment. This accommodates a wide variety of different body types and allows the end-user to fit the holster to their individual comfort level. 

The Phlster team is smarter than I and seemed to realize that carrying a gun is a personal experience. It’s an experience that should be tailored to the individual user. 

Popping and Locking 

I’ve been carrying my Phlster Floodlight for two weeks with 19 rounds of 9mm, a TLR-1 HL, an Aimpoint Acro, and KE Arms comp. Not only does the Floodlight accommodate all this, but it makes carrying it comfortable. This includes driving, sitting, typing at the computer right now. The same goes for walking and living life as it comes. I can’t say I’ve forgotten I’m wearing the Floodlight, but I can tell you know it’s far from uncomfortable. I’ve worn it day in and day out at home and around town. I wake up, slap it on, and it stays there until I shower before bed. 

I’m not saying the Floodlight is the only option for proper appendix carry, but hell, it’s the best I’ve ever used. It’s a buy once, cry once affair, and you can see the difference the investment makes. Thanks to GunMag Warehouse For supplying this holster for test and review, check ’em out for all your Phlster needs. 

Travis Pike
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes.