Last year, Dark Star Gear, the holster company famous for its Orion and Rigel concealment holsters, launched its Apollo holster line. The Apollo is Dark Star Gear’s solid value proposition for an AIWB or IWB concealment holster. The core design is well-made with high-quality materials, but Apollo is only available in black instead of having all the various trim choices and color options.

They exclude any fancy metal belt clips (think Discreet Carry Concepts, Dark Star Gear Monoblock, etc) or soft loops (Pull-The-Dots) to reduce costs further. Instead, Dark Star Gear designed the Apollo holster series to work with Raven Concealment’s excellent nylon polymer IWB overhook belt clips.

Because of its simplified design, the holster’s retention is fixed. The holster shells themselves are fixed, but Dark Star Gear does offer extra add-ons before checkout, such as their retention adjustment kit, wedges, and DSG Dark Wings.

Dark Star Gear actually offers the Apollo for various makes and models, especially all of the popular slimline carry pistols. This includes the Glock 43X, Glock 48, Sig Sauer P365 series, Springfield Hellcats, and Smith & Wesson M&P Shield series. The company even offers Apollo holsters for “larger” pistols such as single or double-stack 1911s/2011s and, of course, the ever-ubiquitous Glock 19. (And the Glock 45, too, whose slide is the same exact size as the Glock 19’s).

My understanding is that Dark Star Gear is working to release more holster fits in the future, too.

Apollo Holster Overview

Glock 19 Glock 45 Dark Star Gear Apollo Holster
Glock 45 in the Dark Star Gear Apollo Holster

As previously mentioned, Apollo holsters are designed to cover all the basic requirements of a holster without being too expensive. And they fully adhere to modern holster design cues—lower costs notwithstanding. These modern cues include things like a symmetrical design that promotes ambidexterity, the complete covering of the trigger guard, a sight channel that clears suppressor-height front sights, and, naturally, a body design that doesn’t clash with mounted red-dot sights on pistol slides.

Beyond this, the Apollo was also created with industry-standard compatibility in mind as far as its infrastructure is concerned. Apollos work with industry-standard belt clips, hardware, bushings, spacers, etc. The same goes for its holes which are also spaced in the industry-standard manner. This also provides a subtle amount of adjustability, depending on how the end-user tweaks their belt attachments and mounting hardware.

Again, I already mentioned the holster’s fixed retention level by default. Similarly, its sweat guards are left on by default on either side. (But there’s no reason one couldn’t trim these to their preference.)

Raven Concealment Systems IWB Overhook Clips

All Apollo holsters are shipped with Raven Concealment Systems’ IWB Overhook nylon polymer belt clips. Don’t look past them because they’re made from polymer. These clips have been around for several years now and have been standard equipment on many of Raven’s own holsters, such as the Eidolon holster—a holster I’ve carried in and have extensive experience using.

As far as I’m concerned, the Raven IWB Overhook has earned its rightful place as OEM hardware in the modern holster world. The nylon polymer clips provide a degree of flexibility, which makes it far easier to don or remove the holster from the belt—far easier than the Discreet Carry Concepts steel clips, for example. This same elasticity also aids in comfort as the play allows the attached holster to conform to the wearer’s body regardless of carry position on the waistline.

Dark Star Gear Dark Wing

Before checkout, one can add a DSG Dark Wing to their Apollo order for an extra $10. A Dark Wing installed on an Apollo holster serves two functions. First, the lower part serves as a bushing to support one of the Raven Overhook clips. Second, when being actively worn, the tension from the flat of the belt pushes against the wing in order to drive the holster closer to the body and aid in concealment.

Dark Star Gear isn’t the only modern holster company to use such a concealment aid, but the Dark Wing design specifically is Dark Star Gear’s signature part. Please note that it isn’t a reversible part, as I found out being left-handed. The Dark Wing isn’t mandatory, and an Apollo will ship with a standard bushing in lieu of one if none is selected.

Carrying with the Glock 19 Apollo

I’ve carried both a Glock 19 (Gen4) and a Glock 45 (Gen5) with my Apollo, and from a practical perspective, the holster works just fine. I typically carry appendix on my left side. Not too long ago, a buddy came by, and I switched the hardware around to a right-handed configuration (plus, I had an extra right-handed Dark Wing), and he was able to carry the Apollo with a loaner Glock IWB just fine. No hardware came undone, and concealment didn’t present any challenges.

Because Glock 19-length slides are on the shorter side, this specific holster is also fairly short to match them. Depending on one’s waist and how they carry their gun, this could be a problem with printing. In my case, with the spare tire around my waist, the holster’s shorter length was causing the top half to twist forward and print against my cover garment.

This issue, of course, is fixed by adding pads or foam on the holster, and I honestly simply reviewed it as is. I know from experience that it does help to be thinner in this regard, as the relatively short Raven Eidolon also started packing flatter the more weight I lost.

Other than being fat, I didn’t really experience too many issues while carrying. I did find that the full parallel sweat guards took some getting used to, but that’s about it.

The Takeaway

With its lower general cost, the Apollo makes a fine no-frills holster. Sometimes, Dark Star Gear will even put them on sale for $40. But even at its standard price of $50, you can rely on a fairly inexpensive and viable concealment holster. The default hardware and belt clips have been vetted by Raven Concealment Systems for some time now.

Apollo holsters are inexpensive enough that you can buy them as a stocking stuffer for your dorky friends who haven’t gotten rid of their Serpas. In all seriousness, expect to play around with it and feel it out as you wear it, but this diligence comes due for any concealment holster at any price point.

P.E. Fitch
I am a shooter first, and a writer second. IG & Twitter: @pfitch45