Op4guy Designs is the precursor to Op4guy.com which will be launching shortly and will focus on hard use gear and equipment used by professionals around the globe . Op4guy is mission focused on equipment evaluation,testing and consulting (E-ETC). Over the course of my career I have seen many tactical products used by thousands of Soldiers-some good and some not so good. My goal as an E-ETC is to help give insight and bias reviews of equipment, gear and clothing used by today's Soldiers and modern shooters.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Kaluban Cloak: Holsters Designed for Hard Use Prefossionals

Most everyone I talk to will tell you that a holster is nearly as important as the gun it will carry. So why do I see so many people who rely on a cheap $12 gun show special to carry their $800 pistol that they count on to save their life? It’s simple; they think that a cheap holster works just as well. Sure a cheap holster will work, but the bigger question is when will it stop working? We all know it will be when you need it the most. Of course a cheap holster is only one end of the spectrum- the other end is top of the line leather holsters hand crafted that can not only cost hundreds of dollars but can take months-even up to a year-to deliver.

Falling in the middle are quality holsters made with durability and longevity in mind. There are many options out there, one of the newest ones being offered is the Kaluban Cloak by Eugene Yap at Calculated Sentience LLC of Murrieta CA.

Calculated Sentience is a Veteran owned business with its staff having served in the US military as well as defense contractors supporting parameters of OEF and OIF. Aside from their military background, the staff also has years of experience in general fabrication ranging from detailed handcrafted work to full automation with the use of robotic technology. Currently, they manufacture custom handcrafted Kydex holsters and accessories that are 100% made in the U.S.A.

The decision for Calculated Sentience to start making quality Kydex holsters was simple: due to the immense vacuum in the industry where the demand grossly exceeds supply, prices have been dramatically inflated, and there are long wait times for quality products. Their goals are simple: provide an outstanding product coupled with superior customer service at an affordable price, all in a timely manner. Eugene and the guys know what it is like to not only have to spend your own money to get good kit, but how time sensitive a delivery can be.

I sent my email inquiry to Eugene asking about a holster for my Glock 19 and I was told it was available for immediate shipment. I ordered an OWB Kaluban Cloak without light, 10 degree cant, and 1.75" belt in black on a Friday. The following Wednesday I had a nice little package delivered. To be honest I was surprised at how fast it arrived. Inside I found my holster neatly wrapped in bubble wrap to protect it during shipping and a copy of my invoice.

Just holding the Cloak you can tell it is well built. The Cloak is made from Kydex T that is .08 thick (.093 for Coyote) and formed to the gun. I'm not sure of the exact procedures used in the forming process but when you closely examine the holster and see how well it is formed you can tell this was not done in mamma's kitchen using the oven. The holster is actually made from two separate pieces of Kydex for the front and back then they are placed together and the edges are so well blended it almost appears like it was made with one split piece. The two halves are joined together tightly using grommets and locking screws. The locking screws also attach the belt loops which are also made from the same Kydex material and rolled into loops for your desired belt width (1.5", 1.75" or 2"). They are thick enough to not flex and keep the holster secure, yet not so big where they press into you uncomfortably when you cinch up your belt. The Cloak also can be configured with J hooks, C hooks, and Over-hooks as well as other commercially available soft loop options. It also features a full length sweat guard that extends to within 1/4" of the end of the slide and has nicely rounded and finished edges so it doesn't cut or dig into your side up.

As I dropped my Glock into the Cloak, I could not only hear it, but feel it lock securely in. The gun locks in tight with the trigger completely encompassed by the holster to protect it as well as no wiggle or loose feeling that I have experienced with other holsters. To get the gun out of the holster it takes a very positive pull. Some may find this to be bordering too tight but let’s face it; I would rather have to pull the gun a little harder than worry about it just falling out.

With the gun in the holster, you can see the Kaluban Cloak was designed with the thought that not everyone uses the same type of sights. Its over sized sight channel will give you plenty of room to clear most all front sights without worrying about hanging it up. The bottom is also left completely open to help avoid debris from becoming stuck inside the holster as well allowing you to use a threaded barrel or even longer model guns (i.e.: G17 in a G19 holster).

If I could only have one word for describing the Cloak while wearing it, it would be comfortable. For the last few years I have been using an IWB holster and even though my G19 is not a large pistol it still gets uncomfortable after a few hours of wearing it. The Cloak is the total opposite; as it seems the longer I wear it throughout the day, the less I notice it. The width of the belt loops and curved molding of the holster helps not only to distribute the load but it also keeps the holster in tighter to the body. Additionally, an IWB holster tends to ride lower when carried so you are almost limited to a 4-5 o'clock position carry (right handed) since other positions would either make the gun dig into your thigh in a sitting position or be very far behind your back. With the Cloak OWB, I find I can even carry in the 2-3 o'clock position so the gun can be positioned closer to my front. The holster does extend about 2.5" below the belt which is pretty typical for an OWB holster and easily concealed by a variety of clothing.

One of the best attributes about the Kaluban Cloak is its versatility to adapt to different clothing arrangements, environments or situations. Even in summer time when temperatures begin to rise, the Cloak will work well with simple shorts and your favorite Magnum P.I. Hawaiian shirt. Some people find a full length sweat guard to be bothersome and prefer a shorter version. Calculated Sentience does offer a cut down version of their sweat guard or you could easily do this yourself if you chose to. Obviously the Cloak will work well when wearing a simple jacket like a soft shell and afford you quick and easy access to it in a hurry. The Cloak is also well suited for use as a duty holster for the professional Law Enforcement community. It has a very professional look and will keep your service weapon close and secure. If you are in a tactical role, you can even use MOLLE-Lok clips to attach the Cloak to PALs equipped gear (only works with straight drop models).

Overall the Kaluban Cloak by Calculated Sentience is a damn good piece of kit for keeping your gun secure to you under a wide range of conditions. It comes in at an affordable price starting at $50 without light, good delivery time, great selection of guns, configurations and colors and above all, great customer service. So if you are looking for a good rig check them out at www.calsentllc.com or by clicking their logo below to order yourself a Kaluban Cloak-you won't be disappointed.

Note: As of 17 November 2010, from date of order to delivery is about 3 weeks.