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Alien Gear ShapeShift: STUD OR DUD

April 29, 2018

We have been trying to bring our members product reviews on guns and gear we think they may be interested in.  It was with this in mind that I contacted http://aliengearholsters.com/ to see if we could get one of their new shapeshift line of holsters to try out.  They provided us with an IWB and OWB holster for the M&P9 4.25” barrel and a shape shift single magazine pouch for a double stack magazine  to try out and do this review on.


The shapeshift line is supposed to be a modular holster to allow you to easily convert between 11 different carry options.

Does it work?

One of the 1st things I did was try to convert the holster from IWB to OWB and back.  This turned out to be a major pain.  Even with instructions it took me over 30 min to just go from IWB to OWB.  Part of this is due to the way they shipped the parts.  They were just shipped in a bag with the Aliengear logo on it.  It would be much more beneficial to the end user if they were shipped in a box where all the parts were clearly labeled.sw-mp-9-shapeshift-belt-slide-holster

Switching the magazine holder from IWB to OWB was much simpler but it should be since there are less parts.



Once I got the holster back to the IWB form it was time to put it on.  The holster was surprisingly comfortable given I was trying to carry a gun loaded with 17+1, my typical EDC is a Sig with 15+1 so the weight was not dissimilar.

A friend of mine who has the same model M&P9 needed a holster for his CCW class, the guy just turned 21.  I let him borrow the IWB holster on the condition that he let me know what he thought of the holster.  This is important because we are polar opposite on body type.  He is a scrawny runt that weights in about a buck fifty and I’m well let’s just say I’m a bigger guy.

He could not carry the gun IWB at 3 or 4 o’clock.  Because of the positions of the clips that go onto the belt they would always end up running belt loop to belt loop and he found no way to adjust the holster where he wasn’t printing other than wearing it in the 5-6 o’clock position.


While the Shapeshift concept is a novel idea it falls very short of my expectations.  It is not user friendly to switch it between methods of carry which is the entire concept behind what Alien Gear is trying to do.

It is also does not provide any economic value.  On the Aliengear website the Shapeshift starts out at $55 for 1 holster or what they call the starter kit which gives you 4 carry options for $100.  I don’t know about you but I only carry maybe 2 different ways, IWB or OWB sometimes in the winter.  I avoid using the paddle handle options on all holsters because they have a habit of when you go to draw the gun bringing the holster out with the gun and that is not a good thing for a CCW or competition shooter.  You can buy the cloak tuck and cloak OWB holster for $75 and do everything that they are trying to sell you with the shape shift with less headache and frustration. 

While I found the single magazine pouch to be the better option they have a 2 magazine pouch that could be the saving grace to this line.  If they were to come up with a universal flashlight holder that would work on the duel magazine system in place of the 2nd magazine pouch that would solve one of the issues that I have been looking for, a way to carry a flashlight on the belt with an extra magazine.

If you are going to go with an Alien gear holster I would advise avoiding the Shape Shift line.  In my opinion it just does not live up to the hype.

3 Responses to Alien Gear ShapeShift: STUD OR DUD

  1. BOB on April 29, 2018 at 10:36 pm

    Thank's for the review, I was thinking about buying one.

  2. Sheldon on April 30, 2018 at 8:34 am

    I carry AIWB with this holster.  I have found it very convenient and comfortable.  I have never tried it at 3-4 oclock, but have one of the older Alien Gear hybrid holsters that I use on those occasions. I have not tried to convert it to OWB, just because I don't envision myself carrying OWB, until I relocate to TX.  I have found it to be a solid performer, and a good option for those who often carry in different positions, or to use for both concealed carry and competition, etc.

  3. DS Vet on April 30, 2018 at 11:20 pm

    I've been carrying in Alien Gear since I started carrkying. I pre-ordered the ShapeShift as soon as it was available. I love it and can't see going back to the regular AG IWB except in the cases where the shell for the SS is just not available. I foound with a little practice, changing the carry method wasn't too bad. I'm not a fan of AIWB, I like the paddle for range time (although I mostly use my EDC) and due to the draconian rules and regulations in this state, I can't carry at work. However, there is nothing saying I can't wear my SSIWB, and I do. Basically, if I have pants on, I have my AG SS in place and most of the time I don't notice it's there. BTW 6' 220lbs and carry either 3 or 4:30.