Enigma Express vs Enigma OS – Light Bearing

What's the difference? Should I upgrade?

There are a few major differences between the Enigma OS – Light Bearing, and the new Enigma Express Light Bearing.  Whether or not you decide to upgrade is a personal decision, and depends on your needs. Generally speaking, if you’re happy with your current setup, there’s no need to upgrade. If you’re looking to solve a specific comfort challenge, read on to see if the new updates will make a difference for you.

Assembly and Holster 

The Enigma Express Light Bearing (LB) comes fully assembled with the new Floodlight2 holster shell attached. You can put it on right out of the package, or you can add accessories if you want.

The Enigma OS – LB does not include a holster, and comes to you in pieces. You must find a compatible holster shell on your own and assemble it yourself.

The Enigma Express LB comes fully assembled and ready to wear.
Enigma OS: Provide your own holster shell, assemble yourself.


The Enigma Express LB is only compatible with the PHLster Floodlight2 holster. The Light Bearing Express and the FL2 were designed together to achieve maximum concealment with no excess material. The Express faceplate does not have slots to accommodate different manufacturers’ holsters. Attempting to use other shells on the Express will void your warranty, and may cause safety issues and/or suboptimal results.

“OS” stands for “Open Source.” The Enigma OS – Light Bearing is compatible with a wide variety of holsters, as long as they meet the requirements in the Light Bearing Enigma OS Fit Guide. If you’re looking for one Enigma to use with multiple holsters, choose the Enigma OS (just be aware that frequent switching isn’t recommended). 

Faceplate Design and Belt Attachment

The Express belt threads directly through the faceplate for the most stable, lowest profile attachment.  The faceplate is trimmed down to the minimum dimensions to work with the Floodlight2 holster. Since the belt threads directly instead of using an additional Tegris piece, the buckle can be positioned closer to the faceplate. This can improve comfort for users who experience irritation where the Tegris contacts their skin. It also adds a little more space for carrying other gear up front.

The Enigma OS – Light Bearing has multiple belt attachment points. These are used to fine tune the fit with larger or smaller holsters. While the faceplate itself is about the same width as the Express, when you add the Tegris belt ends, the overall span of Tegris material is wider.

Cant Adjustment

“Cant” is the angle of the gun relative to the belt and faceplate. You can adjust cant on both Enigma systems by slightly loosening the four screws that attach the holster, rotating the holster to your desired degree of cant, and retightening the screws. This is good for about 10 or so degrees of adjustment.

On the Enigma OS Light Bearing, attaching your belt on offset holes can give you an additional 5 degrees of cant.  

If you need more cant adjustment than that, then neither Enigma is will meet your needs. Note that if you’re using cant to solve a comfort issue, there are alternative solutions here in this video.

Leg Leash

The leg leash buckle and material are the same on both Enigma systems. (Having trouble with the leg leash? Click here for tips.)

On the Enigma Express LB, you’ll notice that the leg leash tab on the faceplate has been dramatically trimmed down, which may improve comfort for some users. The Express is still compatible with most aftermarket leg leash options. 

(The Enigma Express LB is sold preassembled only. The faceplate is not sold separately.) 

So Should I Upgrade to the Enigma Express LB?

That depends! Both the Enigma Express and the Enigma OS are high performance systems with a wide variety of adjustment and customization options. 

If you are looking to solve a specific comfort or concealment challenge that is addressed in the points above, it may be worthwhile for you to switch. But if you aren’t experiencing any of those particular challenges, then there’s no real need. 

At the end of the day, the performance of both systems is similar enough that you probably won’t notice much of a difference. For most folks, the cost of the upgrade would be better spent on ammo and training.

Do you need extra holster length?*

*If you’re carrying a longer-muzzled gun or a revolver, adding extra holster length may not be necessary for you, but for short semiautomatic guns, it’s often helpful.

Guns with short muzzles can be top-heavy and difficult to conceal comfortably. To solve this, some holsters have extra length added to the muzzle end. Like the keel on a boat, the extra muzzle length helps balance the holster, making it more comfortable and easier to conceal. This is especially true if you have a bit of a belly, which tends to push the grip out more and make the muzzle dig in.

Note that while extra muzzle length reduces grip printing, it can increase muzzle printing, which can be a concern with lower carry positions and tight fitting pants such as leggings or yoga pants. 

Learn more about the Keel Principle here.