PHLSter Enigma Express Holster Reviewed

Concealed carry can be tricky and finding the right holster that works for you can be even trickier. A few months ago, I purchased the Enigma Express holster belt from PHLster for my concealed carry. I’ve used it since I got it and here are my thoughts.

PHLster Enigma Express with Glock
I’ve been doing a deep dive into concealment in the last year, deciding to up my skills and do it right. After loads of research, I decided to give the Enigma Express a chance. The Enigma Express is the Enigma belt and faceplate with the Skeleton Kydex holster attached straight from the company.

I’ve written about my journey to learn more about concealed carry options for a while now and have been trying different holsters. I’ve never been super comfortable carrying on my body, but I know now that a lot of that is my own self-conscious thoughts thinking everyone can see and tell what I’m carrying. (No, they aren’t, and no they can’t, in case you’re wondering.) I’ve done a lot of research, watched loads of review videos for carry options, and talked to trusted friends about how they carry.

What is it?

I settled on the PHLster Enigma Express holster belt after all that research. Essentially, the Enigma Express is a lightweight, ultra-low profile Kydex skeleton holster attached to a face plate with a nylon belt that can be worn independently of clothing. What that means is that the user can wear whatever clothes they want and don’t have to worry about belts or belt loops to attach the holster.

It is an appendix carry option, meaning the holster will be situated between 10 o’clock and two o’clock on the user’s body and features a leg leash for extra security. The standard belt on the Enigma fits up to a 48” waist with the upgradeable Sport Belt fitting up to 50” along with other features. According to PHLster, it is a modular system at its core with many different ways to customize and accessorize it.

Enigma Express worn under clothing
I was never truly comfortable concealed carrying a weapon, due mostly to my self-consciousness. With the Enigma Express, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to conceal.

Why the Enigma?

The PHLster Enigma Express seemed like a good option for me based on the clothes I tend to wear more and my body style. For example, I’m six feet tall, so clothes fit differently on me, especially pants. The waist of my jeans isn’t always where I want my gun to sit. I like the ability to adjust the ride height of my holster, without worrying about if it’ll work with my pants. Also, I don’t always wear pants that allow a belt or holster to get attached, like yoga pants, hiking pants, or even dresses and skirts, so the freedom of the Enigma spoke to me.

The Enigma Express isn’t a typical holster on a belt. The Skeleton holster attaches to the proprietary face plate on the Enigma that, according to PHLster, is a strong, thin, and flexible woven polycarbonate material. The face helps press the holster up against your body making it very low profile and making it easier to achieve effective concealment. But you don’t have to worry about it, the faceplate is in such a shape that it doesn’t interfere with the drawing of the pistol when necessary.

Enigma Express carry shown
The Enigma was easy to wear and conceal, but the best part is that it is worn independently of belt loops or even the clothing choice of the wearer.

The Skeleton holster comes with two different PHLster Modwings that allow you to adjust how much your grip or sights stick out, depending on which one you use. Additionally, it allows for adjustable grip rotation along with the previously mentioned grip tuck is helpful. All these end-user custom adjustments really let the user find that concealment sweet spot for effective carry. The level of customization with the system was extremely appealing to me so I had to try it out.

Tricky Bits and Customization

Like any other concealed carry holster, there is a break-in period when you get used to the holster and its features. Thankfully, PHLster sends plenty of videos when you make your purchase and a week or two after the purchase to help familiarize yourself with the holster, the fit, features, and common mistakes with the holster before it even gets to your doorstep. Not only that, but they have a full library of additional resources online to help with pretty much anything you could need.

After watching those videos, I was feeling pretty confident in my ability to fit the holster. The hardest part for me, so far, is finding the optimum comfort with the leg leash. The leash is key as an added level of security to keep the holster in place when drawing your weapon, so getting the proper fit is paramount. It takes a handful of wears to find the sweet spot between too tight and not tight enough. I spent enough wears (two wearings to be exact) with it pulling uncomfortably while I was walking to know I didn’t want to encounter that again.

Leg Leash buckle on the Enigma Express
The one major area that gave me issues with fitting correctly and comfortably was the leg leash. It is attached to the bottom of the holster to provide additional security when drawing from the holster, but can be tricky to fit just right. [Photo credit: PHLster]
The Enigma Express nylon belt comes from the factory assembled with the Skeleton Kydex holster, which is nice, but since the belt accommodates a large range of waist sizes, there was a length of the waist belt that I needed to trim off as well as on the leg leash. I wore it several times to find the length range that I needed to keep for my various wear options and then trimmed those pieces down and sealed the edges.


Overall, I really like the PHLster Enigma Express and I’m happy with my purchase. Having used a Raven Concealment and a Tenicor holster in the past, I like the flexibility I have with the Enigma Express. I found this much easier to conceal under my clothes, without changing what I wear. The only caveat to that statement is that I find myself needing to wear an undershirt to go between the holster and my body for my comfort, but that is it.

Also, because the Enigma Express can be configured for either right- or left-handed draw, additional holsters can be purchased and swapped out. Additionally, there are plenty of Kydex holsters for many popular handguns, so swapping the Enigma to match your desired carry option is a breeze.

The Enigma Express belt comes with a reduced-size Fidlock buckle to help with the ultra-lo-profile outline. I found the lock to be tricky at first but quickly became accustomed to it. The Fidlock is a magnetic buckle that won’t come undone simply by pulling up on it. It requires an additional push in to get it to disengage, which I actually like now that I’m used to it.

Details of buckle and faceplate
The smaller details of the Enigma Express are nice touches to the overall performance of the system. The magnetic Fidlock buckle of the Enigma Express took a little bit of getting used to, but after a while, I did like it. It requires a little push together while pulling up on it in order to get the buckle to release. The faceplate is a smooth and thin plate that the Skeleton Kydex holster securely attaches to.

I’ve worn the PHLster Enigma Express more than I haven’t worn it and I am impressed with how comfortable it is to wear. Between grocery shopping, walking the dog, shopping, and going out to dinner, I never raced home to take it off, as I’ve done with other holsters. I don’t mind wearing it on a regular basis. I did find the stiff nylon belt a little abrasive at first, but once I started wearing an undershirt, that wasn’t as big of an issue. And really, you want the nylon to be stiff for better carrying.

I would definitely recommend the Enigma Express from PHLster for someone who is looking for an ultra-low-profile holster option that doesn’t want to be constrained by clothing options or belt loops. The Enigma Express is available with most of the popular concealed carry weapons, either with a left- or right-hand draw, and starts at $154.

Patti Miller is one of the most awesome females in the tactical/firearm (or any) industry. Imagine a tall, hawt, dangerous Laura Ingalls Wilder type with cool hair and a suppressed blaster and you'll be getting the idea. What's interesting is that in addition to being a willing brawler and intrepid adventuress, she's also an Ent/Ogier level gardener and a truly badass baker.

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