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Horsehide vs Cowhide: Choosing the Best Backing For Your Hybrid Holster

Horsehide vs Cowhide: Choosing the Best Backing For Your Hybrid Holster

When you’re looking for a concealed carry holster that’s comfortable enough to wear all day every day, a hybrid holster is a no-brainer.

But just when you thought all your decisions had been made, there was one more…

At Vedder Holsters, each of our hybrid holsters comes with your choice of cowhide or horsehide leather backing. But, how does horsehide vs cowhide leather compare, and which one is best suited for your needs?

Though both make incredibly comfortable, durable, and long-lasting holsters, cowhide is the more versatile of the two while horsehide leather has a coarser grain and holds up better against the elements.

In this article, we’ll break down all the differences between each leather backing to help you better understand what makes them unique.

Horsehide vs Cowhide: What’s the Difference?

Horsehide vs Cowhide - Vedder Holster's Hybrid Holsters

While both horsehide and cowhide leather are known for their durability and aesthetic appeal, there are some distinct differences between the two that may influence your decision.


One of the main differences between our horsehide vs cowhide holster options at Vedder Holsters is their appearance.

Horsehide leather features a distinctive grain pattern that gives each hand-selected piece a unique, marbled look. Because this leather is so naturally beautiful, these backings come in their original tan color.

Cowhide leather, also known as “bridle leather,” has a classic, rugged look to it that only gets better with age. At Vedder Holsters, the front of our cowhide leather backings come in a stylish oiled black, while the back side remains soft and natural.

Thanks to their oiled finish, these cowhide backings are more scratch and scuff-resistant than other leathers, which helps them maintain their original appearance for longer. Plus, their smooth black coloring makes the perfect backdrop for a colorful Kydex shell!


When it comes to leather that will last for years to come, you can’t go wrong with cowhide or horsehide. Both are exceptionally strong leathers and are fairly matched in terms of durability.

Because our holsters are designed for everyday carry, we make them with the sturdiest leather options available. Our cowhide leather is sourced from the highest quality hides and is then carefully selected and treated to withstand years of wear.

Horsehide has a coarser grain and an especially strong fiber structure that makes it one of the most durable leathers available. It’s hardier than most other leathers and is more resistant to daily wear and tear.

Moisture Resistance

Perhaps the biggest difference between our cowhide vs horsehide holsters is in their density and moisture resistance. Both horsehide and cowhide leathers are water-resistant, meaning they won’t be damaged by things like rain and sweat.

Horsehide is naturally waterproof thanks to its breathability and dense, tightly woven structure, making it a great choice for those who live in hot, humid environments. Because cowhide leather goes through such a rigorous tanning process, it is also water-resistant and maintains its structure even when exposed to moisture.

As a result, both leathers are considered some of the most low-maintenance on the market and are easy to clean with a quick wipe down using a damp cloth or leather cleaner.


The whole idea behind a hybrid holster is to combine the security of a Kydex shell with the comfort of a leather backing. So when it comes to the leather you choose, flexibility is everything.

Luckily, both cowhide and horsehide leather are naturally soft and flexible. Horsehide tends to be very pliable right out the gate thanks to its slightly thinner, lighter structure. Cowhide leather is also surprisingly flexible despite its thicker, more structured appearance.

While they may seem stiff at first, holsters made from both of these types of leather break in quickly and conform to your body, making them exceptionally comfortable to wear and easy to conceal.

What Makes Vedder’s Hybrid Holsters Stand Out?

Vedder Holster's Hybrid Holsters Backing Photography

If you’ve been shopping around, you have no doubt come across countless hybrid holsters, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. So, what makes Vedder Holsters’ hybrid options stand out from the rest? Let’s break it down.

Full-grain Leather

Both our cowhide and horsehide hybrid holster backings are made of premium, full-grain leather that’s chosen for its high-performing qualities. But what exactly is full-grain leather, and how is it different from top-grain and genuine leather?

Full grain is the highest quality leather there is, and it is far more natural, durable, and visually appealing than other lesser leathers.

Full-grain leather is the outer layer of an animal’s hide. That means that not only is it the strongest part of the hide, but it is also the most water-resistant and the best-looking. Full-grain leather only gets better with age, as it develops a nice patina that gives it a distinctive look.


All the leather we use at Vedder Holsters is vegetable-tanned and treated with natural, chemical-free waxes and oils, making them more sustainable than other leathers that are tanned with harsher substances. These treatments ensure the leather holds up well over time, giving it added durability, scratch resistance, and a naturally beautiful finish.


All Vedder holsters are handcrafted and customized to your specific gun model and aftermarket modifications. Because our products are made to order, all of our leather backings are hand-selected to ensure each has a unique, rugged appearance and zero defects.

Made in the USA

While so many products are now being manufactured overseas, Vedder Holsters is still making everything on American soil! So not only are you investing in a quality hybrid horsehide or cowhide holster that’s made in the USA, but you’re supporting the American workers who built it.

Lifetime Guarantee

Whichever hybrid leather backing you choose, you can be confident that it will hold up over the years – even with daily use. In fact, we’re so confident in the quality of our leather that all our holsters come with a 30-day risk-free trial period and a lifetime guarantee. So on the off-chance something goes wrong with your holster, just send it back and we’ll make it right!

The Vedder Holsters Lineup

Some of Vedder's Hybrid Holsters with leather backing

For the highest quality, most comfortable hybrid holsters on the market, you’ve come to the right place. We offer a variety of IWB, OWB, and pocket carry Kydex and Kydex/leather hybrid holsters, each of which has its own unique style.

One of our most popular holsters, the ComfortTuck™ is a hybrid IWB holster with a wide leather backing and multiple clips for two points of contact. Because it does such a great job of evenly distributing the weight of your gun, it’s by far one of the most comfortable concealed carry options going. It features an FBI cant, a combat cut leather backing for a smooth draw, and is designed to be worn in the 3-5 o’clock position.

The RapidTuck™ is another popular hybrid IWB holster that works especially well when worn in the 3-5 o’clock position. This holster has a similar shell to the ComfortTuck™ but is designed with a smaller leather backing. It features a single clip, which allows you to adjust the holster’s ride height and cant.

Next, the IWB Vedder Holsters ProTuck is an advanced hybrid holster also designed for the 3-5 o’clock position. It features a full Kydex shell that naturally hugs your body, plus two clips mounted on leather “wings” that wrap around your waist for a highly concealable, comfortable holster. The ProTuck also has adjustable retention, ride height, and cant for a personalized experience!

Finally, the Quick Draw is an OWB holster featuring an FBI cant and a full leather backing. Instead of clips, this holster has secure belt loops precut right into the leather for maximum comfort. Because it’s primarily leather with a Kydex shell, this holster easily molds to your body’s natural shape for even greater concealment.


When it comes to horsehide vs cowhide holsters, the choice is up to you. Both types of leather are well-suited for daily carry and make a soft, flexible backing that’s both comfortable and concealable.

All Vedder hybrid leather holsters come with your choice of a premium, full-grain cowhide or horsehide backing depending on your personal preference. To see our entire collection of IWB, OWB, and pocket carry holsters, visit our Holsters by Gun Model page for Kydex holsters that are custom-made for your weapon of choice.

Interested in items beyond holsters? Check out our Resources Page for links to recommended products like lights, lasers, first aid, maintenance, and more, and browse our selection of apparel, and accessories at our website,

To stay up-to-date on all the latest Vedder Holsters content and offerings, check out our blog and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And be sure to visit our sister company, GeoGrit, for all your American-made minimalist wallet needs.

Mikayla Blair

After launching her career as an award-winning journalist in the American Southwest, Mikayla Blair joined the Vedder Holsters team as a content writer in 2021. She writes about all things guns, holsters, and concealed carry, and is especially passionate about women's self-defense.

30-day Money-Back Guarantee

It’s confidence in knowing that you will be 100% satisfied with your holster purchase.

We are so confident that you will love your new holster that you can wear it for 30 days from the day you receive it and if for whatever reason it is not for you, contact us and return within 30 days of receipt and receive a full refund of the holster price (excluding shipping).

Handcrafted in the U.S.A.

At Vedder Holsters, we individually handcraft our products with pride in the U.S.A.

Located in the heart of Central Florida, our Vedder Holsters team crafts your unique holster by hand to ensure a precise fit for your gun model every time. Because our holsters are tailored to your preferences, each one is made to order.

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Lifetime Warranty

All Vedder Holsters' Hybrid and Kydex holsters come with a Lifetime Warranty. If for whatever reason the holster fails you (excluding obvious neglect), simply return it and we will make it right. If we can't fix it, we will replace it.

All Vedder Nation apparel also comes with a Lifetime Warranty against any defects. If for any reason your shirt becomes defective from normal wear, just contact us for a return authorization and send it back. We will gladly replace it with the same item. If that item is no longer available, we will replace it with another similar product of the same value.

*International Purchasers* Please note that international shipping is not included with any warranty or exchanges. Buyer must pay international shipping for all packages being sent to a location outside the USA. This does not include APO addresses as they are treated as being inside the USA.

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