This holster case from Toronto-based LD West seems completely ridiculous at first glance, but it starts to make a lot more sense when you realize your oversized iPhone 6 or 6 Plus might no longer fit in your pants pocket. Strapping my phone to my side with what looks like an over-the-shoulder gun holster doesn’t exactly vibe with my usually minimalistic approach to iPhone cases. But it turns out the product is much more than just the gimmick I thought it was.

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It’s not the first iPhone case that lets you go hands-free without everyone seeing a huge bulge in your pants, but you probably won’t want to wear one of those sport armband holders over your suit jacket, and a 90’s style belt clip is completely out of the question.

The main aim of the product, according to the company, is to avoid discomfort that comes with having our smartphone (especially the new, larger iPhone 6 models) in our pockets when, for example, sitting down, driving, or performing other physical activity. For that same reason on one side the holster also holds a wallet that comes with the product (pictured below). If for some reason you’re worried about your new iPhone bending in your pocket, that’s something else you’ll be able to avoid with the LD West holster. If pocketing your device is a problem, that doesn’t leave you with many options apart from carrying your phone in your hand. Try putting an iPhone 6 with an OtterBox case in the pocket of your skinny jeans.

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But I also found it much more convenient than pocketing my iPhone in situations where I had to use the phone often. If my hands are busy doing something else while I’m on the go, it’s nice to have the iPhone there ready to draw at any moment rather than struggling to pull it out of my pocket. That’s the reason it’s also found a market with people in wheelchairs and others with limited mobility that have a harder time than others retrieving their iPhone from a pants pocket. Not being a suspenders type of guy, I thought I might find the holsters uncomfortable to wear for extended periods of time, but I didn’t have any complaints after wearing it and the straps adjust to fit just about anyone to get the holsters positioned comfortably.

While most of the company’s marketing seems to aim the holster at young guys in suits, I can also imagine it finding customers replacing other hands-free cases for physical activity during work or workouts.

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I was actually surprised to find out it isn’t made of genuine leather: instead it’s made of what the company says is “ top grade, premium quality” vegan leather. I’d have to agree because apart from not having that genuine leather smell, the vegan leather does a pretty good job of looking and feeling like the real thing. They didn’t do that to cheap out, however, it’s because the vegan leather doesn’t “bleed, stain or retain any odors” like genuine leather. That’s important if you have these strapped to your side all day on top of your clothes. The rest of the product is built well with metal snaps and finishings and a way to remove one of holsters (if you want to lose some bulk by removing the wallet or smartphone holder some days). I also really liked the super slim wallet that comes with the holster on its own (LD sells it by itself for $59). It has room for six cards and two large pockets. This is what it looks like:

Should you buy it?

This case clearly isn’t for everyone, but it does offer an experience you won’t really find with any other product. I won’t be using it on a daily basis, for the same reasons I wouldn’t use a sports armband-style holder everyday, but the LD West holster at least gives you that option by working with just about any outfit.

LD West’s holster isn’t just for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, it sells small, medium and large sizes that accommodate any iPhone.

Medium fits the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, large is for the iPhone 6 Plus, and a large will fit an iPhone 6 even with a big case like an OtterBox or Mophie. The company doesn’t guarantee the iPhone 6 Plus will fit in the Large with a bulky case like OtterBox, however. Also worth noting: I found an iPhone 6 fit fine in the small without a case. If you don’t plan on using a case with your iPhone 6 and want a snug fit, I’d go with that.

I’m usually a minimalist when it comes to iPhone cases, but I have a feeling a lot of people will love this product. 

It’s available in a few shades of brown, grey, black and red for $120 from LD’s site. You can also currently get $10 off with promo code “9to5mac” at checkout. 

Here’s a video from the company if you’re interested in seeing more:

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