Kidney Carry Position

I’ve been using my time carrying at home as an opportunity to try different carry positions and holsters. I’ve learned that basically each position around the waist has a designated name applied to it. For instance, carrying in the small of the back is referred to as kidney carry and/or 5 o’clock carry. I read that you can determine your on-the-waist carry position by viewing your waist as clock. It took me a minute to understand what that meant but let me explain. Envision your waist as the face of a clock. The 12 o’clock position would be your belly button and the 6 o’clock position would be the middle part of the small of your back. So then 9 o’clock is your left hip and 3 o’clock is your right hip. Pretty simple, right?!

So based on the clock positions you can work your holster and gun to figure which spot works for you and then you can easily reference it. I don’t think this applies as much to appendix carry. Meaning, you would just say you appendix carry and everyone knows that’s the front part of your waist. But for small of the back or kidney carry, you can be a little more specific and say, “I carry in the 4 o’clock position.” Is your head exploding like mine?! So much to learn.

As I continue carrying at home and exploring different carry positions, I went ahead and ordered another StealthGearUSA holster. There are so many holster companies that it’s a bit overwhelming so for now I’m going with what I like. I ordered an IWB (Inside the Waistband) holster from them that is meant to be used to carry in the small of the back/kidney carry.


I fully understand that sometimes a carry position might not always work with what you are wearing or what you are doing so it’s important to try out other positions so you have options. Well for me, I don’t care for this carry position. While my gun was perfectly concealed, it wasn’t comfortable to sit back in a chair. The grip was digging into my back. Additionally, and the main reason I don’t like this position is I couldn’t easily draw from it. Even with some drawing repetitions, I didn’t feel like I could get a good grip on the gun. It felt fumbly and if I needed this in an emergency, I don’t want to have to fumble. Sure, I realize that I could practice drawing from this position until I can make it work but my initial thoughts were a no-go for me.

On side note though, I’m still impressed with the StealthGearUSA holsters. While I don’t care for this position, the holster was comfortable. It’s also possible that since I am carrying a full-size gun that could also be why I find the position not the greatest for me. However, if I’m having a hard time drawing my full-size gun, I can only imagine that drawing something smaller would prove to be a little more difficult.

But I won’t write this position off completely. I believe in having options so I’ll keep carrying like this at home and see how it goes.


Gun: Heckler & Koch VP9 | Holster: Stealth Gear IWB | Belt: Gap



Vest: Nordstrom {similar} | Shirt: Nordstrom | Jeans: Blank NYC {similar} | Belt: Rag and Bone {similar} | Boots: Modern Vice


Disclaimer: The information provided here is based on my opinions and for informational use only. I am not an expert in this field and any items/services/products/advice mentioned in these posts should be used at your own discretion, in accordance with your local & state laws, and you should follow applicable manufacturer’s instructions. You can read more about my privacy & disclosure policies here.