PHLster, the innovative concealment company behind state of the art appendix inside the waistband (AIWB) holsters and the successful Enigma Concealment System is officially releasing the next generation of its Floodlight AIWB / IWB concealment holster, the PHLster Floodlight 2.
The Floodlight 2 is a modern ambidextrous universal concealment holster meant to carry almost any duty sided double stack handgun. It supports either the Streamlight TLR-1 or the Surefire X-300 U A or B weapon lights. The holster easily accommodates handguns with slide mounted red dot sights and tall “suppressor height” iron sights too. My thoughts on the first iteration of the Floodlight are well-known and it has been my serious EDC holster for years. I put that holster through its paces, not only driving thousands of miles across the country wearing it, but I have also carried it across various conditions and situations. From training classes to private practice sessions and competitions, I definitely subjected my original Floodlight to hard use and came to really like that holster. Naturally, I was thrilled to learn that PHLster had been working on that holster’s successor behind the scenes for some time now.
Generally speaking, when people think of “universal” fit, they are oftentimes left with a less than good feeling about the product, especially when it comes to handgun holsters. “Jack of all trades, master of none” as they say, or the even less flattering “floppy nylon gun sock.” When it comes to the PHLster Floodlight family, this is not the case. In short, the PHLster Floodlight and Floodlight 2 are designed to fully grip and close in around the weapon light itself thus making them gun-agnostic. Moreover, the end user is able to adjust the final retention levels. Finally, these holsters were designed with industry-standard spaced slots. Depending on the hardware and the position of the belt attachment system, the Floodlight family works as either an appendix holster or can be set up for strong side IWB carry.
I like going to USPSA matches and shooting them from concealment with my Beretta 92X Performance. The Beretta 92X Performance has Brigadier slide which is fairly thick. This pistol is also quite heavy for its size. Neither of these presented any issue for the Floodlight 2. Like the term “universal”, the term ambidextrous also used to have a negative connotation in the holster space yesteryear. Nowadays, this is not the case. As a serious shooter, I think that the hallmark of any modern concealment holster worth its salt is that it be perfectly symmetrical and truly fully ambidextrous. The Floodlight 2 (and its predecessor) fit the bill perfectly.
FLOODLIGHT 2 NEW CHANGES
Perhaps the Floodlight 2’s biggest difference is the way the new holster looks since the PHLster design team re-profiled it and took care to eliminate any “dead” space. They also consolidated the holster’s remaining real estate. Curves and corners are more rounded and radiused as needed to increase comfort to the wearer, especially on the bottom edge of the holster. Furthermore, adding to the holster’s organic shapely improvement are PHLster’s patented ComfortScape ribs. These raised ribs primarily allow for ventilation in order to reduce hotspots and provide moisture management from sweat from carrying all day.
Improving the Floodlight 2’s concealability, not only consisted of reshaping and reprofiling and making use of the ComfortScape ribs, but PHLster also took a look at the belt attachment options. The original Floodlight shipped standard with classic pull-the-dot soft loops (the go-to choice when the original concept was first conceived) and had a series of upper slots to attach said loops on the holster body. The new Floodlight 2 lacks these topmost slots because the PHLster team designed the new holster to work exclusively with the proven Discreet Carry Concepts Mod 4 steel clips. As far as they are concerned the PTD soft loops are a thing of the past.
The original Floodlight’s Boltaron body has been replaced with stronger high impact polymer shells. Internally, not much is different on the Floodlight 2, but the area where the holster material grabs the light has been tweaked to better grab the weapon light. At launch, which is officially today, March 6, 2023 PHLster will be offering the Floodlight 2 in four different colors: black, sage green, tundra (white), and flat dark earth. The new holster is also available under the PHLster Enigma Express product line.
FLOODLIGHT 2 PERSONAL THOUGHTS
For the past few months, I have been primarily carrying my Glock 45 and Surefire X-300 U/A appendix–the same combination I carried with the original holster aside from the match Beretta. Switching from the old holster to the new one was seamless other than getting used to the Discreet Carry Concepts Mod 4 clips instead of the pull-the-dot soft loops. Concealment wise, the Floodlight 2 carries quite flat against the body and I have not had trouble concealing my Glock in spite of the size. It took some getting used to the DCC Mod 4 clips instead of the classic PTD soft loops. Initially I was not happy to give up a tried and true belt attachment system. After wearing the holster more, I have been slowly coming around to the Discreet Carry Concepts steel clips and understanding what they offer the modern concealed carrier. These clips are slightly more challenging to snap on and remove, but they snugly keep the holster and gun in the same place on the beltline without fail. Floodlight 2 users would be wise to apply some thread locking compound (PHLster recommends Vibratite VC3) in order to protect the holster’s hardware from the rigors of daily carry and avoid some of the holster’s screws from backing out.
My hands-on time with the Floodlight 2 has taken place during the past autumn and winter, so I have not had a chance to see the ComfortScape sweat ventilation capabilities first hand. Because Holster sweat and hotspots are a general concern of mine due to local heat and humidity, this is a feature I am personally excited about and I cannot wait to see it in action during the hottest days of the year. My own Floodlight 2 holster will continue where the other one left of as part of my full size EDC kit. Please visit PHLster’s website for additional information on their new holster.