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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted this on another forum, but I'm not getting any responses... Hopefully somebody here can help out!

Because of my work environment - and dress requirements - I am looking at a SmartCarry or Thunderwear holster.

I figure one of those will be easiest to maintain concealment.

My question is this: Is there any real difference between the two? Pros/Cons to either.

The products are extremely similar and I'm wondering which would be better.

http://www.smartcarry.com

http://www.thunderwear.com
 

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Huh, I wasn't aware of Thunderwear.

I recently ordered a SmartCarry -- now, I haven't been able to use it outside of my home b/c I'm still waiting for my permit -- but I have worn it around the house quite a lot. I like it. (I also have an IWB and I prefer it, but the SmartCarry is plenty comfortable and seems to work great). I would order it again if needed b/c I know there will be times that it will be better than an IWB and the SmartCarry works very well.

I don't know anything about ThunderWear except how strikingly similar they are to each other (even down to both featuring a female model in very skimpy wear in order to pitch the concealability of their product!)

Three points ( 2 positives and 1 negative):

+ : From what I have read about SmartCarry, it uses a better moisture-barrier product than "other brands" -- given the almost exact design between the two brands, I would say "other brands" is meant to be read "Thunderwear" -- but I don't know if that's true or not. Also, according to SmartCarry's website, the "other brands" use baby-diaper material as their moisture barrier product, which since diapers absorb moisture they are actually delaying the problem only to accelerate it once they become saturated. Again, I don't know how true that is, it's just what their website says.

+ : When I was asking here about holsters, I read tons of recommendations for SmartCarry. I don't recall ever hearing about ThunderWear. Given the experience level of quite a few of the guys here, those recommendations carry a lot of weight with me.

- : When I ordered my SmartCarry I put in both my actual-measured waist size following the guidelines of the website as well as I included my jean-size. I figured with the two measurements it would be easier for them to make sure they got me a holster that fit really well. Unfortunately the band of my holster is just barely long enough to wear low on my hips and if I put on any extra weight it's going to start becoming an issue unless I wear it higher. Fortunately I'm working on LOSING weight not gaining so I don't anticipate this being a big problem.

Otherwise, though, I like my SmartCarry. If I were to order another of these types, I would order a SmartCarry.
 

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Sorry, I have seen multiple people talk about the SmartCarry style holster and after looking at both websites I have a few questions:

1) I just don't see how that would be comfortable, for a guy at least . . . know what I mean? The General needs room. Am I wrong? I am not saying I'm gifted in that area or anything (my wife calls it my 2 inch wonder stick). Sorry, that was wrong. Next question . . .

2) It just doesn't seem like I can fit a GLOCK 23 in the front of my pants. Maybe some people can, but I don't know how that would work. It might be part of the comfortable question but it seems like the grip would be jabbing you all the time when you are sitting down.

3) When sitting down, it seems like the gun would not sit well. How does that work? Where does the barrel go? (read: ballcrusher)

4) It looks like it would be sliding down all the time by falling off the hips. Does it seem to stay put pretty well? If so, how does that work.

Sorry for my skepticism, but I just don't get it. Those that have them please help me understand.
 

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Sup3D said:
Sorry, I have seen multiple people talk about the SmartCarry style holster and after looking at both websites I have a few questions:

1) I just don't see how that would be comfortable, for a guy at least . . . know what I mean? The General needs room. Am I wrong? I am not saying I'm gifted in that area or anything (my wife calls it my 2 inch wonder stick). Sorry, that was wrong. Next question . . .

2) It just doesn't seem like I can fit a GLOCK 23 in the front of my pants. Maybe some people can, but I don't know how that would work. It might be part of the comfortable question but it seems like the grip would be jabbing you all the time when you are sitting down.

3) When sitting down, it seems like the gun would not sit well. How does that work? Where does the barrel go? (read: ballcrusher)

4) It looks like it would be sliding down all the time by falling off the hips. Does it seem to stay put pretty well? If so, how does that work.

Sorry for my skepticism, but I just don't get it. Those that have them please help me understand.
This was the first time all day, I have laughed out loud. Thanks!

-PW
 

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I have one and have carried a 5" 1911 and a 10 rnd single stack all day and it rubbed a bit on my inner thigh while i was driving but my wife always buys my jeans a bit snug. i think it is a good option for a tucked concealed holster.
Tony
 

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With a bit of practice and a bit of adjusting, I learned how to comfortably carry my G27 (one of the so-called Baby Glocks) in my SmartCarry holster. I once tried my full-sized Smith & Wesson SW99. No way. Not comfortable for me.

Each individual is different in build and and size. I guess that you just have to try it out.
 

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I just got a smartcarry last week and love it. It has taken some getting used to, and it can get a little uncomfortable at times, but such is the tradeoff for deep concealement.

I found a smartcarry vs. thunderwear posting that you should read. This should help you realize you don't want thunderwear. Next, I would read this post from a month ago by GeneticsDave regarding smartcarry:

GeneticsDave said:
Information about the SmartCarry holster.

Let's start out with the cons:

1. It isn't invisible. You will, depending on the size of your carry weapon, see a bulge in you groin area, which might not actually be a 'con' depending on your point of view/self-esteem.
2. The most noticeable "printing" of your weapon will most likely be the butt of the grip, which will poke out at the 1 'o' clock position and can interfere with the use of a belt to some degree.
3. It will cause extra sweat in your groin area - which can lead to a nasty irritation by Candida albicans. Only happened to me when I was playing tennis with it on every day.
4. Takes quite a long time to dry if laundered. Due to the elastic waistband it is recommended that you dry it with "air only", no heat as it can damage the elastic.
5. If you are not careful when sitting (and depending on how long your front appendage is), your front appendage may become pinched between your holster and your pants - HOLY OUCH!!!

Now for the pros:

1. It is a relatively cheap holster.
2. It is custom made to fit both you and your weapon.
3. The owner is very nice and will field any questions/problems you have.
4. The holster will hold your weapon, an extra mag (which many holsters do not), and has a small pocket for a large bill (never know when you will need emergency cash).
5. It works with nearly every outfit. It has become my preferred mode of carry over any other holster I own.
6. It doesn't get much more concealed than this (excluding inserting the weapon into bodily orifices - yikes).
7. SmartCarry (as opposed to other makers) has the following advantages:
  • 1. Holster available in white and denim colors to match pants or undergarments
    2. Holster has a true waterproofing layer as opposed to the 'absorbing' diaper material contained in many other maker's products
    3. Seams are sown such that all the stitching is on the outside of the holster so that no part of the gun will catch on the holster during a draw
    4. 14 inches of 2.5 inch wide velcro - it's not coming off accidentally
I hope this has been helpful, please feel free to ask any other questions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That was the info I was looking for. I'll be ordering my SmartCarry this weekend.

Thanks to all those who added to this post!
 

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Ishpeck said:
They're the same product made by the same people.
They may not actually be the same product. Thunderwear is sold from a company in Old Brookville, New York, but made in Florida. SmartCarry used to be called Thunderbelt and is made in Florida. So... this is where the water gets murky.

The Thunderwear site sells a bunch of different items and [this is my personal belief] is a reseller for products made by SmartCarry. I don't see any point in buying from a reseller that just stitches on their label on the front of the item. Buy direct - get a SmartCarry today!
 

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Sup3D said:
1) I just don't see how that would be comfortable, for a guy at least . . . know what I mean? The General needs room.
Your private will fit fine.

Worn properly, the gun is out front, him in behind. It can be a little warm. You will need to get used to it.

2) It just doesn't seem like I can fit a GLOCK 23 in the front of my pants. Maybe some people can, but I don't know how that would work. It might be part of the comfortable question but it seems like the grip would be jabbing you all the time when you are sitting down.
I used to carry a G21 and a mag in mine. G30 was more comfy.

You will get a little wear spot from the corner of the grip rubbing through your pants on your belt. The butt will stick you in the gut, you will get used to it. 1911s would kill you - stuff with flat slide backs- Glocks, Kahrs, DAO Sigs. Nothing w/ beavertails or protruding hammers.

The SMartcarry guy, Charlie I think it is, uses a 1911. I don't see how.
3) When sitting down, it seems like the gun would not sit well. How does that work? Where does the barrel go? (read: ballcrusher)
THe barrel goes out a bit.

You need pants with room. Ditch the tight hip huggers from the Robert Plant collection.

4) It looks like it would be sliding down all the time by falling off the hips. Does it seem to stay put pretty well? If so, how does that work.
Nope. Worn properly, on the hips, not at the waist, it stays put VERY well.

Now, the claims of how easy it is to draw seated I don't agree with, but standing, you can do it one handed w/ decent speed. The key is practice.

That and big enough pants, pleated fronts a must, and belt tight enough to keep your pants up, loose enough to give you a draw.

Smartcarry was my primary carry for a number of years. I still use it, rotated to put the gun on my hip, if the occasion calls for sweats or athletic shorts.

BTW, Smartcarry is a different company AFAIK. I have two SMartcarries. They do a good job blocking sweat from your pistol. On hot days, the boys will be swampy, though.
 
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GeneticsDave said:
Ishpeck said:
They're the same product made by the same people.
They may not actually be the same product. Thunderwear is sold from a company in Old Brookville, New York, but made in Florida. SmartCarry used to be called Thunderbelt and is made in Florida. So... this is where the water gets murky.

The Thunderwear site sells a bunch of different items and [this is my personal belief] is a reseller for products made by SmartCarry. I don't see any point in buying from a reseller that just stitches on their label on the front of the item. Buy direct - get a SmartCarry today!
I thought that because for a little while, the domain for one redirected to the website for the other. May've been internet madness, though.
 

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If you need deeper concealment, I recommend the SmartCarry. The price of the SmartCarry is less than the ThunderWear. It wouldn't surprise me if ThunderWear is a SmartCarry reseller.

I brought my S&W 908 into Universal Orlando without issue last September. I then transferred my pistol to a Safepacker in a restroom stall. Universal does the cursory bag search like the E-Center prior to entering into City Walk. They do not use metal detectors or pat you down. The SmartCarry was used to get my CCW into Universal. The Safepacker was used so I could remove my CCW and stow it in a locker prior to going on an attraction where I may lose it or it may be damaged by rust. While it's unlikely you may lose it with it in a SmartCarry on a ride because of the lap/shoulder restraint bars on attractions, I'd rather not chance it, have to explain the loss to Orlando PD or Universal Security or have to deal with the lap/shoulder bar restraint pressing against my CCW carried over that part of my body; might make for some interesting bruises during Immelmanns, loops or Zero-G rolls.
 
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