Slap Leather and Draw, You Varmint…

Pipe BagAs a pipe smoker, you may be the type that never actually travels with a pipe, just relaxes in your favorite chair with your pipes kept in a pipe stand. Or maybe you travel with your pipes in a fancy bag.

Now, myself, a regular pipe smoker that uses his pipe several times a day, has limited options. Obviously, I can’t keep a pipe stand at work. And I don’t want to wander out onto the dock to smoke with a fancy pipe bag that half the time, I can’t remember where I put it.

pocket on fireSo my options are pretty much just to stick it in my pocket, either my pants or a coat. There’s a lot of drawbacks to this. Ever stick a hot pipe in your pants pocket? Yeah, I thought so. And if you stick it in a coat pocket, you end up looking for it where it fell somewhere around your car seat. Hmmm…on the floor next to the door or maybe behind your car seat somehow? Or you end up with ashes filling your pockets.

When I was in maintenance, I had so much crap strapped to my belt, that my wife said I looked like Batman. My Leatherman, Maglite, pager, cellphone, yada, yada, yada. So I wondered if there was a way to put my pipe on my belt.

pipe holsterWell I’ll be damned if there isn’t a pipe holster. This is the one I bought (although not from the retailer I’ve linked it to). The retailer is NOT the manufacturer. So when I slam this thing, don’t think of it as a reflection of the retailer. It has a metal clip on the back. It’s essentially two pieces of flat leather, sown together along the edges, with an opening on the bottom. There’s a U-shaped cutout near the top, and the bottom is open to allow the stem to stick through. There’s a metal clip on the back to strap it to your belt.

This seemed like a really cool idea for about a week, but if I wore it under a coat, the top of the pipe would get wrenched forward. This started opening the clip slowly, and the holster started losing it’s grip on my belt. If the holster popped off of my belt, then my pipe started falling onto the floor, holster and all, pretty much eliminating the whole idea of the holster design. And I started dropping my pipes like the klutz I am. It would also poke me in the side. Imagine THAT with a hot pipe.

loop pipe holsterNow there is a similar holster that loops around your belt instead of clipping on to it, but there’s drawbacks to that also. I have a belt on my dress pants, and a different belt on my blue jeans. If I switched pants, I’d have to mess with pulling off my belt so I could have the holster on me. Another drawback is that it would allow the pipe to still work it’s way out of the holster if you managed to push on the pipe stem and rotate the holster by accident, like if you were using it in your car.

They were such a pain, that I just stopped using them.

Then I happened to be in the hardware section of a store, and I saw this: it’s a universal light holster from Nite Ize. They make accessories for small Maglights. It’s called the Lite Holster Stretch. This holster stretches to fit most size lights, and using elastic fabric, it tightens around the light to hold it in place. In addition, the holster rotates. And the holster is attached to your belt with a full clip around both sides so it won’t just fall off of  your belt, and the clip opens, so you can easily transfer it from belt to belt.

Lite Holster StretchCurious, and as I had a pipe spilling ashes into my pocket as I spoke, I tried it on a bent pipe (a pipe with a stem that’s slightly bent). It fit snug, and the stem didn’t stick out of the bottom. The clip on the back opens to allow the holster to be transferred from belt to belt, without having to remove the belt. The holster also rotates. It wasn’t expensive at all, so I thought I’d try it.

Wow, it works great! Holds straight pipes, bent pipes, and full bent pipes securely. I’d still suggest taking a full bent with you to try at the store before buying it. Since the pipe stem doesn’t stick out of the bottom I can’t pop out the pipe by accidentally pushing the stem out of the holster. There IS an opening on the bottom, so if you do have a really long pipe that’s NOT a churchwarden, the stem can still stick out of the bottom. Even with a longer pipe, this thing has a great grip. Also, because it rotates, you can wear it horizontally, and it doesn’t poke you in the side. As it rotates, it clicks into each degree rotated, so it doesn’t just spin around dumping your pipe. And even if it did, I tried turning the holster upside down with a pipe in it just to see how well it held, and the pipe actually didn’t fall out.

Now if you click on the image of the Lite Holster Stretch, it will take you to the manufacturers site for more detailed information, but you can generally find this holster at most hardware stores, or in the hardware section of most other types of stores that carry more than groceries.

batman utility beltSo now, if you’re just a pipe smoker looking for a single place to keep your pipe nearby, then try this holster. Or if you work for maintenance, you can complete your Batman look by using up that last little space on your belt. You can easily imagine Bruce Wayne in a smoking jacket with a pipe, can’t you? Or if your the cowboy type, you can slap leather and smoke. Get a friend and see who’s faster on the…um…draw. That would be a pun, get it? Man, it stops being funny when you have to explain it…


  1. Polprav says:

    Hello from Russia!
    Can I quote a post in your blog with the link to you?

  2. Jack says:

    I may regret this, but sure…go ahead…

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