As Thomas Tedder found himself unable to find a pistol holster he liked, he began to design his own. A small scale production of holsters was initially carried out on a small scale, and he eventually found a design he could conceal carry with. After his wife requested it, the operation was moved to the shed. The company moved to Hayden, Idaho in 2013. Hundreds of workers work for the holster company that started with just a few hundred dollars of leather and plastic. In order to give people a chance to improve their skills, they consider themselves a “springboard company.”
In the end, Tedder realized the best holster design was a hybrid one, which combines a hard plastic retention shell molded for the gun it would hold with a cloth backing like leather.
Flimsy materials and poor retention of handguns were some of the weaknesses he identified in competing products. When holsters don’t hold a gun tightly enough, some holster companies recommend using a hair dryer or heat gun.
The inception of Alien Gear was a response to the weaknesses of traditional holster designs. Alien Gear uses a 12-ounce leather backer instead of the usual 8-ounce leather used in hybrid holsters with leather backers. A thicker shell was devised for greater durability rather than a thin one made of acrylic polyvinyl chloride, such as Kydex.
The retention shell of Alien Gear’s holsters is attached to the holster with hex screws and crushable rubber washers. Rivets are used by many competitors, but they are not adjustable. Moreover, the belt clips on the inside-the-waistband holster can be adjusted to fit the customer’s preferences regarding height and tilt angle.
It was also Alien Gear’s universal shell system that allowed it to use the same shell on any of its backers.
Evolution of the product
Cloak Slide and Cloak Tuck Original
A leather backer and Boltaron thermoplastic shell were used in the initial product offering, the Cloak Tuck. Afterwards, the Cloak Slide, an open carry holster with a leather base that rides on the beltline, was introduced.
A new version of the Cloak Tuck
It was released in 2014 after the Cloak Slide IWB holster. Compared to the previous version, the 2.0 had an entirely different backing system, consisting of three layers: closed-cell neoprene, ABS plastic core, and vinyl front panel. A limited number of revolvers and semi-automatic pistols would eventually be offered with all three products.
A new version of Cloak Tuck has been released
A new version of Alien Gear’s Cloak Tuck was released in June 2015. This version had a neoprene backer with a thin sheet of spring steel inside.
Holster for the Cloak Mod paddle
Cloak Mod paddle holsters were introduced by Alien Gear in April 2015, a modular OWB holster that could be converted quickly from paddle to belt slide. A simple yet innovative mounting bracket called the Cloak Dock Holster Mount quickly followed, allowing the user to dock the firearm and holster to compatible surfaces.
Holster system with ShapeShift modularity
A modular holster system called ShapeShift was unveiled in January 2017 by Alien Gear. It can be configured in nearly any configuration for concealed carry and other uses in a matter of seconds.