I frequently find myself changing holsters for my daily carry gun. Sometimes to write something like this Tenicor Velo review, other times it is for personal use. Generally speaking, I know roughly how a holster will be before even putting it on. Look at 90% of the kydex market and you’ll see the same outdated designs over and over. If it weren’t for swaths of uniformed people looking for something cheap or flashy, almost every holster maker would be out of business. That being said, there are a handful of companies out there actually improving holster technology. Tenicor is one of those leading the pack with their Velo.
Comparing The Gen 3 & Gen 4 Tenicor Velo
3rd generation, and one 4th generation. The primary difference between the two is the shaping of the wedge.
The Body Contour - A.K.A. "The Wedge"
The Velo gen 3 wedge is a little aggressive, taking up a short distance to gain a lot of height. A very pronounced hump makes for a somewhat substantial pressure point after longer durations. Essentially a hotspot is being created by the apex of the wedge pressing into your body. This hump becomes uncomfortable for me after roughly 8 hours of carrying. I've made a handful of 13-hour road trips wearing this version during the Velo review, which is bearable but does begin to wear on you.
The wedge on the gen 4 Velo, called the Body Contour, takes a longer distance to gain a similar amount of height to the previous generation. The wide and long contour uses nearly the entire length of the Velo to help distribute pressure. This results in virtually zero discomfort over time, almost entirely removing any potential hotspot. The Tenicor body contour may be the best wedge on an appendix holster on the market.
Camming Bar - A.K.A. "The Wing"
No AIWB holster is complete without a good wing or claw. The Camming Bar is Tenicor’s version of these. The camming bar is molded directly into the holster, right on top of the trigger guard. This does a decent job of acting as a wing, while not being quite as extreme as the Dark Star Dark Wing but better than the claw on the T.Rex Arms Sidecar. The biggest benefit of the camming bar being flat instead of a hook shape is this prevents the bar from getting caught on the belt. Multiple thicknesses of the camming bar are included for those wanting to customize their level of concealment.
The full-length sweat guard is cut to accept virtually all slide mounted optics and suppressor height sights. I personally have used a Trijicon RMR, Holosun 507c, Aimpoint ACRO, and UTG with zero fitment issues. Additionally, the Velo accepts enlarged slide stop levers. This allowed the use of my G34’s enhanced lever with no snags.
The mouth of the holster is slightly flared making for effortless reholstering. I haven't found any holsters on the market that are as easy to re-index the pistol with as a Velo. As an appendix carrier, this reduces my mental workload by not having to perfectly align the gun with reach repetition. The flaring being raised slightly also helps to keep my shirt and tummy from working their way into the holster.
The bottom of the holster is completely open, which is both a positive and a negative. On the positive side, this allows for compensators or longer barrels to be used in the same holster, like when I carry a G34 in a G17 length holster. Additionally, this allows any brass that finds its way into your holster to fall straight through. As unlikely as this sounds, I had this exact situation happen to me on three separate occasions.
There are some negative aspects to a straight open-ended holster like this. The one you are most likely to notice is a hot muzzle pressing into your junk. Running a G34 in a G17 holster during Handgun Tests and Standards resulted in several 9mm size brands being impressed into my man bits. The next issue is the potential for a hot spot to develop when seated due to the hard edge of the holster. This was never really an issue for me during the Tenicor Velo review, but it is something to be aware of.
Belt Clips - Don't Be Cheap
Tenicor offers possibly the greatest diversity of mounting solutions with the Velo. Users have the option of soft loops, various clips, and more. Each style has multiple positions for attachment, allowing for users to pick their preference for carry angle.
The Tenicor Velo ships with Discreet Carry Concepts clips for attaching to the belt. These are hands down the best attachment method on the market, in my opinion. The dual clip attachment keeps the pistol from rotating or sliding along the belt no matter your level of movement. DCC clips are easy to don and doff, but never come loose.
Retention is excellent. Enough to keep the gun in place during dynamic movements including jogging and falling. Despite this, there is no noticeable resistance when drawing like some kydex holsters. I never felt like I was fighting to draw my pistol, nor that my gun was perilously perched within the holster. For those wanting slightly tighter or looser fits, retention is adjustable.
Concluding the Tenicor Velo Review
In short, the Tenicor Velo is fucking awesome and my top recommendation for a non-light bearing holster at this time. While the other models Tenicor offers aren't in the same space as the Velo, some of the newer designs don't quite measure up to the Gen 4 Velo.
The Tenicor Velo has an MSRP of $95 as configured or $77 with soft loops. Do yourself a favor and spend the extra money on Discrete Carry Concepts clips. Learn more on the Tenicor website.