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Those of you who have been following Monderno for a while know that I have a bit of a thing for the PHLster Skeleton holster. To date it remains one of my favorite minimalist appendix carry holsters, and I’ve recommended it to quite a few of you. Recently, the mad scientists over at PHLster came up with something new based on the Skeleton that they are calling the ACCESS. I’ve been beating on it for a while now and I’m now ready to tell you all about it.

What Is It?

The ACCESS is a slightly-more-than-minimalist (I may have made that term up) inside the waistband (IWB) holster made out of Kydex, that uses a single G-Code clip as the belt attachment mechanism (more on the clip in a bit). The ACCESS can best be described as the big brother to the Skeleton, with a clip instead of a soft loop. I run my ACCESS in the appendix-ish position (slightly more towards center than the appendix), but this holster is equally at home in other IWB positions if that is your preference.


PHLster ACCESS, Glock 19

PHLster ACCESS, Glock 19

First off, the ACCESS is completely ambidextrous. It accomplishes this with a symmetrical mid-length body shield cut – both sides of the holster have the same profile. Aside from slight molding differences, what you see on one side is what you see on the other. The G-Code clip can then be swapped to the other side of the holster, making it fully ambidextrous.


The Skeleton holster, which the ACCESS is based on, uses a soft loop as the belt attachment mechanism. If I’m honest, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with soft loops. Soft loops are commonly used by holster makers because they work and they’re extremely durable (the love part), but they can be annoying to put on and take off, especially when directional snaps are used (and there’s the hate). So it’s a bit of a conundrum – do you use what works but is more than slightly annoying to a lot of people?

The obvious answer for holster makers is to make a Kydex clip, instead of a soft loop, to go along with the Kydex holster. The problem, however, is that Kydex clips almost universally suck and don’t withstand much use and abuse (though there are a few good ones out there).

Enter the G-Code injection molded clip, which so far has been the best of both worlds. This little fella is much more durable than I expected, and through quite a bit of use and some moderate abuse remains unaffected. The short version is that I am very impressed. With the G-Code clip, the ACCESS is easy to put on and easy to take off, and I don’t have to worry about the clip breaking at the worst possible time. Well done G-Code, great choice PHLster.

Quality and Retention

If you’re familiar with PHLster, then you already know the quality of the ACCESS holster – it’s top shelf. Like Gran Patron Burdeos top shelf. There are a lot of Kydex shops out there, and a lot of them do great work. Of these, there are handful that I would place at the top as far as quality goes, and PHLster is one of them. You can expect super smooth edges and maniacal attention to detail when you order from PHLster.

Retention is definitely on the hot side as far as Kydex goes – much stiffer retention than the Shield. This took a bit of getting used to for me as I prefer a little less retention for IWB carry, but it hasn’t affected me using the holster. You will, however, need to use a purpose driven gun belt that is stiff enough to handle the retention of the ACCESS.

Concealed Carry

PHLster ACCESS, Glock 19

PHLster ACCESS, Glock 19

The PHLster ACCESS carries really well. The G-CODE clip is angled away from the holster, which helps turn your pistol into your body, thereby reducing printing. The ride height is what I would call medium, but can be adjusted slightly if you prefer higher or lower. Since it has a single attachment point, you can adjust the cant slightly forward or backward depending on your preference, though on my body it tends to return to neutral. I find the ACCESS to be just as comfortable as the Skeleton.

Wrapping Up

The PHLster ACCESS is an excellent IWB holster. At the time of writing it is only being offered in black, the gray color you see pictured was a special first run only color. Not quite secret squirrel, but it allows me to pretend.

Color options aside, if you’re looking for a Kydex holster and you like the idea of a clip, this is a really good place to start. Typical PHLster quality and a nice design, all for around $60. That’s really tough to beat.

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19 Responses to PHLster ACCESS

  1. Bahrutile April 25, 2013 at 8:02 pm #

    Must admit that I’m still a little upset I can’t get one of these for my xds… Any good substitute out there for the xds?

    • Brandon April 25, 2013 at 8:28 pm #

      Check out Off The Grid Concepts.

    • pat February 15, 2014 at 2:43 am #

      I can make you one of these for a xds no problem

  2. Chris April 26, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

    Great review, but what belt is that in the picture?

    • Brandon April 26, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

      Thanks Chris. It’s a soon to be released belt from Boxer Tactical. I’ll have a review up soon!

    • pat February 15, 2014 at 2:45 am #

      looks like a jones tactical check his site out online

  3. Jeff April 26, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

    How does the access compare to the Incog?

    • Brandon April 26, 2013 at 8:35 pm #

      They are similar, but have some distinct differences. My INCOG review will be up soon.

      • Jeff April 26, 2013 at 8:50 pm #

        Thanks Brandon, I bought my Skeleton because of your review on it. Really looking for a holster with a clip. Not a huge fan of the soft loops (much to your point). Definitely be on the lookout for the Incog Review

        • Brandon April 26, 2013 at 8:59 pm #

          Yeah I’m still a Skeleton fan, but after using the G-Code clips it’s gonna be really hard for me to go back to soft loops.

  4. Jeff April 27, 2013 at 9:22 am #

    That’s pretty much what I thought would be the case. I’ll wait on that Incog review, but I love PHLsters work and customer service.

  5. Tyson May 15, 2013 at 7:00 pm #

    What belt are you using? I bought the skeleton because of your review and I love it! I will probably order the access as well…

    • Brandon May 15, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

      Glad to hear you like the Skeleton. The belt is a new one by Boxer Tactical that gets released next week. Check back next week for a full review!

  6. seth July 4, 2013 at 11:42 pm #

    which one (skeleton or access) is most comfortable for aiwb? if you had to choose just 1 which would it be? im stuck trying to decide….glock 26/19 carrier

    • Brandon July 5, 2013 at 8:20 am #

      For me it’s a wash. For others though, the Skeleton is more comfortable because it’s a more minimalist cut. It really depends on you though. Of the two holsters, I prefer the ACCESS because of the G-Code clip.

      • Will Borkowski September 11, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

        Just a heads up Phlster is no longer using G-Code Clips with the Access holster.

        • Brandon September 11, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

          Thanks Will, I’ve been in discussion with PHLster on it.

  7. Nate July 21, 2014 at 9:07 pm #

    What belt is that in your photo?