KILO BRAVO Alpha Kydex Holster Review
By Echo Foxtrot
Photography Credit: Jody Lewis of Crossfire Photography
Based in Marana, AZ Kilo Bravo LLC is the brainchild of two firefighter/paramedic partners. Did I get your attention with that one? Firefighter/Paramedics and holsters? If I told you they had a passion for firearms and shooting would that help? Well how about over 20 years of experience in the holster industry and over 15 years in other manufacturing businesses? Sprinkle in some SASS shooting competitions with numerous state and regional titles, two National Championships and one World Championship and that’s what owners Noah and Robert bring to the table.
When I interviewed Noah he stated “Our business model is to manufacture the best quality and most innovative kydex gear economically with functionality being paramount. Our gear is constantly evolving in design and manufacturing process to keep us on top.” Noah went on to say “we know what works and what doesn’t from experience. We are constantly pushing the limits to develop new designs and bring our concepts to market.”
When asked about the ALFA Noah stated, “It’s our flagship holster. We sell more ALFA’s than any other holster because it is unlike anything on the market. R&D on the ALFA took almost two months of brainstorming, building, using, critiquing, tearing them apart and doing it all over again. We wanted to develop a hybrid holster that could be worn appendix, behind the back, or at the 3 o’clock position. It had to be tuck-able, adjustable in height, and to any angle. On top of all that we wanted the option to use it as an OWB if the occasion should arise.”
They wanted and they did. I give you…
Comfortable with great retention. Need I say more? I will, but isn’t that what most of us look for? This holster is a two-in-one magic show. Whether inside the waistband (IWB) or outside the waistband (OWB) you are good to go. Lets start with IWB.
Carrying IWB: the ALFA’s main purpose.
This is the comfort piece; the top grain cowhide back paddle is fantastic. I wore this holster all day for a few months and can’t say enough about this gear. My written words won’t do justice to the comfort level. You simply have to feel it to believe it. The steel clip is fully tuck-able and adjustable with four height settings to allow for the perfect fit. The clip is attached at a single point allowing it to adjust to any final angle/cant you may need.
The draw from the holster is smooth with a confident feel of retention. The re-holster, the part where some of you thought ‘ahh, here is where this fails, here is the weak point, a leather back holster will never keep is shape.’ I was a skeptic myself and I was wrong. With the combination of the cowhide back panel and the kydex front the ALFA keeps its shape allowing for a smooth holster every time. The sweat shield grants us a great holstering index point as you return the weapon to its home. The steel clip attached at a single point was also a matter of concern for me. Will the holster be in the same place when I return or will I have to go on a scavenger hunt for the thing? Well there it was every time, right where I left it, just like my keys. The rubber washer used between the clip and holster gives it just enough friction to keep it in place yet allows it to adjust. A few thousand draws later and the ALFA is still performing its IWB duty.
Carrying OWB: the ALFA’s little secret.
Confession time, who hasn’t left the house or work in a hurry cause its good old-fashioned ‘Merica time? Time to shoot some targets, time to get a little trigger work in and just plain time to unwind and enjoy. You arrive at the range and realize the only holster you have is your IWB. Is this the end of the world? No. But if what you want is just reps from your hip and not the concealed draw, this puts a damper on things. What if you want to work both and would love to simplify things in your life? Well the ALFA has your back or hip to be more accurate. Right there in the leather paddle you have a 1 ¾” belt loop for just this occasion. Yes, now you have a metal clip on the outside and it’s a bit unconventional but it works and works well.
Just as with the IWB the draw was smooth and the holster stayed put keeping its shape allowing for comfortable and confident no look re-holstering. The holster retention was solid, holding the weapon in place even during running / jumping jack / bend tests. The ALFA stays close to the body keeping it from being a bulky side profile.
Any product on the market will have some concerns. I have very few with this product and some only relate to how you use it.
My first concern is the longevity of the singe point attachment of the metal belt clip. As I mentioned earlier, it uses a rubber style washer/grommet at this point and I worry it will wear and weather allowing the holster to get sloppy over time. Having said that all things wear over time. Maybe you have to replace the washer after a few years, pretty simple upkeep for a very nice holster. (Update: The ALFA comes with a lifetime warranty on everything but lost hardware and belt loops)
My only other concern is the metal belt clip when wearing the holster OWB. This is the concern where I said it relates to how you use the holster. Allow me to explain. If you just hit the range, put your holster on your hip when you arrive and take it off when you leave: you’re good. However, leave it on and jump back in your vehicle and you may have some material damage to your seat or center console. Use it to work a little movement inside a house or training facility and you might catch a few more door edges then you’re used to or snag a few more pieces of gear. Again, it depends how you use it. The guys at Kilo Bravo make it very clear the main intention for this holster is IWB and that if you happen to need it on the outside you got it. Besides, they make other holsters like the BRAVO and CHARLIE for just that kind of OWB work. Not a major point for me and I still loved using it IWB or OWB at the range. To be clear, nothing here would sway me from owning products from Kilo Bravo. (Update: KILO BRAVO recommends removing the IWB clip when wearing the holster OWB)
Great product. The ALFA performs well to excellent on all levels and will be in my kit for years to come. Maybe even a few more in the future. Noah and Robert have built Kilo Bravo into something of a must own and I believe they will continue to do so for years to come. As everyone says there are a lot of kydex holster companies out there and a ton of product to choose from. I never have and never will choose just one but the guys at Kilo Bravo found a way to stand out from the crowd and have my full attention.
Colors Black FDE OD Green Pink Specialty Pattern / Camo
Price Between $69.99 and $76.99
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About the Author:
Echo Foxtrot (Eric) is a police officer for a large department in the Pacific Northwest, a firearms enthusiast and gear nerd.
Eric writes reviews with the end user in mind. Either on the job or while training Eric uses almost every piece of gear you see him review. Eric’s reviews focus on durability and functionality giving the reader an honest opinion of the product.
Special thanks to Down Range Photography for providing supporting imagery for this review