Safariland Holster QLS and VUBL Systems: A Hands-On Review

When it comes to holsters, Safariland is a household name. Duty holsters for cops, combat-style holsters for gun enthusiasts, and CCW holsters for everyday carry; Safariland does it all. But they don’t just stop at making secure, rugged holsters. They also design and manufacture accessories and attachments that enhance their overall function. Back in the day, if I wanted to wear a different gun for something, it was a hassle.

Safariland holsters.
Safariland offers both the QLS and UVBL systems. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
I work in law enforcement, so my duty belt has a lot of accessories to take on and off just to switch out a holster. Guys who set up a combat-style belt system have the same problem. If you get it just how you want it, changing a holster is a pain. But Safariland solved that problem with a combination of two devices. I use the QLS (Quick Locking System) on all my full-size belt holsters. The VUBL (Vertical Universal Belt Loop) system is what I use on my duty/combat belt.

Growing up around the AR-15 rifle, I’ve never stopped being amazed at the advancements made to it. Parts and accessories continue to improve daily. Safariland is doing this with holsters, and there is no sign of them slowing down. It’s easy to think of a holster as being a simple device. It holds a gun and that’s it, right? But there’s much more to it than that, and the QLS and VUBL systems are the result of intuitive thinking.

Safariland QLS (Quick Locking System)

The QLS system has been out for a while, and I’ve used it since the first one I purchased. As the name implies, the QLS system allows you to remove the holster from the belt attachment. You can then place it on another attachment or place a different holster on that belt. This comes in handy if you have multiple holsters or multiple belt/paddle/leg holster setups. Safariland holsters are high-quality, but the price reflects that quality. So, being able to use the same holster on different systems is a nice option.

QLS system from Safariland.
The QLS system from Safariland. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
While we think of a “holster” as the complete setup, it’s not. The part that attaches to your belt is called the belt attachment. When using the QLS system, you install the QLS system between the holster and belt attachment. These two pieces are called the receiver plate and holster fork. When installing this system, remove the belt attachment from the back of the holster. This is held on with three screws. When you purchase the QLS system, it comes with a small wrench if you need one.

Attach the holster fork to the belt loop attachment and the receiver plate to the holster. The QLS system also comes with additional screws for this process. Once you have these two parts attached, the belt loop attachment can be left on your duty/combat belt. To connect the holster, simply slide the holster fork into the receiver plates. If you want to remove it, just squeeze the bottom of the forks inward and push up. You can buy the receiver plate or holster fork separately for additional holsters or belts.

VUBL (Vertical Universal Belt Loop)

This is an attachment that I love for my duty belt. It also works great on any combat/range belt for training, hunting, etc. This attachment allows you to adjust your holster vertically without taking it off. I use this attachment regularly when on duty, training on the range, or hunting. If I’m going to throw on an outer carrier vest, I want my gun to sit lower than I normally carry it. I typically prefer a mid-range holster, which places the butt of the gun around the middle of your belt line.

Safariland QUBL system.
The QUBL attachment moves vertically and has the receiving plate already on it.

This system allows you to carry your holster to the hi-range, mid-range, and low-range settings within seconds. The VUBL is a replacement for the belt loop attachment that comes on a Safariland holster. Pull out a small lever on the back of the holster and move the holster to one of the three settings. Push it back in to lock the holster in place. For the best of both worlds, I like to use the VUBL and the QLS system together. If you plan to do this, I recommend purchasing the QUBL (QLS Universal Belt Loop) attachment.

This attachment is the same thing as above but with the QLS receiving plate already attached. All you need is a holster and holster fork attachment. If you are just getting into holsters, this may feel like a lot of components just to get your holster set up. But the convenience it provides is worth the money. Moving your holster up or down just a little makes a big difference in some circumstances. I won’t get into hi/mid/low carry today, but there is a time and place for all three.

Build the Perfect Setup

These upgrade options for your holster system are not hard to install. I would venture to say it’s like building Legos but with holsters. Once the QLS or QUBL system is installed on your belt, you won’t have to mess with taking it off again. Any of your Safariland holsters that are compatible with this system will snap onto the belt system. I have the holster fork on a paddle as well, so I can place any of my holsters onto a paddle. This is handy when you want a holster that can be put on and taken off quickly.

Safariland QLS holsters
The QLS system allows you to use multiple holsters with one belt. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
Safariland makes a lot more products for their holsters, which we will cover in another article. These include drop leg holster systems, drop flex adapters, and more. Like anything else, you get what you pay for. Investing in Safariland holsters and gear is worth the money. Not just for compatibility between their holsters, but for the quality and safety that comes with them. There is a reason why most law enforcement officers around the country use Safariland holsters.

They put extensive time and resources into making the gun safe while it’s strapped to your side. Part of this is through their multi-retention level, which we will also talk about in another article. But for now, check out their QLS and VUBL systems. If you don’t already have a Safariland holster, see what they offer for your handgun.

Sheriff Jason Mosher is a law enforcement generalist instructor as well as a firearms and tactical weapons trainer. Jason graduated from the FBI-LEEDA (Law Enforcement Executive Development Association) and serves as a Sheriff for his day job. When he’s not working, he’s on the range, eating steak, or watching Yellowstone.

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