SafariVault & Solis Holsters Review

Oct. 16, 2023
Safariland’s SafariVault and Solis holsters were put through their paces and neither disappointed.

There was a time in my life, a couple decades ago, when I thought that attending SHOT Show was the ultimate in seeing the latest and greatest of… well… everything. Then I got an invitation to a writers’ conference and found out that, on occasion, writers actually get to see things BEFORE they’re released at SHOT Show. It’s quite a compliment to be invited and I need to extend my appreciation to Safariland for just such an invitation last November (2022). I was honored to learn about the new SafariVault holster, hear about its development history and then try out an early model on a private range. I did so in the company of men I still don’t think I qualify to shoot with (I felt that same way at my first writers conference, although the names have changed now and I’m one of the ‘old guys’).

This article appeared in the July/August issue of OFFICER MagazineClick Here to subscribe to OFFICER Magazine.

Safariland is a name long known for the creation of duty holsters; “duty” both for law enforcement and military personnel. While I miss the elegance of finely cut and stitched leather, reality and environmental conditions demand materials that will last longer without wear or rot. Synthetics have been used for decades now and the designs that use them have evolved through several generations of engineering. What is available now is far from being as pretty as the hand cut and hand stitched leather holsters we used to slide onto our duty belts, but these holsters are stronger, more adaptable to change and Safariland SafariVault certainly more rugged than leather ever was.

After my experience in November, I saw the SafariVault at SHOT Show and it was pointed out to me how some of the design features had been changed or upgraded from the early versions I had seen. After SHOT Show I received a test unit made to secure my Glock Model 17, equipped with an optic and a light. One of the neatest design features I noticed was that while the holster will secure the weapon with light and optic, it doesn’t require the weapon to have either (or both) to secure it. A “bare” Glock 17 slides into the holster just fine and is secured in the ALS/SLS system.

If you go to order a SafariVault, you’ll see that you have an assortment of options that you have to choose from before you can get the right holster for your weapon and accessories. What is your weapon’s make and model? Does it have an optic or not? What type of optic? Does it have a light? What type of light? Yes, there are limitations to the height of the optic (as there should be) and Safariland only has the SafariVault available to fit weapons with a specific list of lights. The optics and lights available for fit are those most commonly used in the industry and shouldn’t cause any agency or individual any grief in selection. Are you right-handed or left-handed and do you prefer Level I or Level III security? All of those options are available.

While my test unit was delivered on a belt mount to fit a duty belt, you can use it with the Safariland QLS or Quick Locking System. Doing that allows you to have more than one mount for the holster and to move the holster easily from belt mount to thigh (tactical) mount and more.

Time on the range, including the necessary practice to learn the draw movements, showed that drawing and presenting the weapon from the SafariVault can be accomplished at speed. I’ve never been a “fast draw” guy but getting a duty weapon out when you need it shouldn’t take seconds… it should take moments. With practice, I was able to draw and put accurate rounds on target in as little as one second. In November, I watched more skilled shooters do it in even less time. My two other concerns for testing the unit were durability and comfort of wear.

Let’s be honest: wearing a duty holster on a duty belt for an 8-, 10- or 12-hour shift is only ever going to be so comfortable. That said, the SafariVault is just as comfortable as any other duty holster I’ve ever worn. As to the durability… Using a blue gun, with the holster on a duty belt and the duty belt secured to my waist, I had a friend grab the gun and see if he could rip it out while I took no action to prevent it (except trying to stay on my feet). After several minutes of strenuous effort, he was unable to get the weapon out. After all that, it’s my belief that Safariland, in the SafariVault, has come up with another winning holster.

But sometimes you need an off-duty or plainclothes holster as well, and often for a smaller weapon. I have several friends who carry a Glock Model 48MOS or 43XMOS for their plainclothes assignments. Up until recently, the only holsters available with any retention were made from molded kydex and the retention boiled down to friction. Enter the Safariland Solis. Incorporating their ALS security system and delivered with both a paddle and a belt mount, the Solis will secure either of those weapons, with or without a light or optic on them. The draw stroke, for anyone who has ever used the ALS system, is familiar and quick. Again, there are limits on the lights that will fit, but there are also limits on the size of the light you’d want to put on those smaller weapons anyway. Common sense, as always, rules the day and the Solis allows for secure carry of an off-duty weapon in a fairly compact profile.

You can find both the SafariVault and the Solis on their website. Delivery times are reasonable, as is the cost, given what you’re getting. So, if you’re searching for a new duty holster, or for a holster for off-duty (or both), check them out. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Take a look at Safariland's duty holsters at

This article appeared in the July/August issue of OFFICER Magazine.

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