Holsters, wearables

How Many Ways Can You Carry a Barcode Scanner?


Barcode scanners are a vital part of modern industry. We use them for all sorts of jobs ranging from inventory to safety. Barcodes are scanned in package management, delivery confirmations, and shelf stocking. Pharmacists scan barcodes to log the medications distributed while manufacturers scan barcodes to log materials emptied into hoppers. When you have to heft a barcode all day, every day, it can be pretty handy to know a few ways to carry your barcode scanner.

As experts in barcode scanner holsters, we know that there is more than one way to keep a barcode scanner on your person.  

Barcode Scanner in a Holster on Your Belt

The classic way to carry a barcode scanner is a belt holster. A barcode scanner holster is designed to cradle the scanner at an easy-to-grab angle. It can also protect your scanner from bumps or falls in the course of a busy workday. If you wear pants with belt loops and can easily wear a heavy belt, a scanner holster can easily loop or clip to your belt throughout the workday.   

On a Shoulder-Holster or Arm Holster

The next way to make use of your scanner holster is to change where you mount it. A shoulder holster rig makes it possible to carry your barcode scanner against your body and pull it like the hero in a spy movie. Shoulder holsters are often favored by professionals who have an issue with heavy or uneven weight on their hips. Also for those who cannot easily wear belted pants, as not all body shapes are compliant.

A shoulder holster is best worn with well-fitting clothing and can be compatible with the right jacket if you work outdoors or in coolers.

Barcode Scanner Tucked Into a Banded Jacket Pocket

If you wear a jacket to work regularly for weather or walk-in coolers, you can sometimes build a habit of storing it in your jacket pocket – provided the pocket is banded and secure. Do not choose a pocket that “dumps” pens or keys, as your scanner is also likely to hit the floor. Some jackets are better than others for holding a scanner. 

Look for jackets that are upward-facing (instead of backwards-facing) pockets with top bands that help keep the pocket closed and snug around the head of your scanner so only the handle – if anything – protrudes. This is the best way to carry a scanner in a jacket pocket.

Dropped Into a Deep Cargo Pocket

Some people wear cargo pants at work. These side pockets are deep enough to safely hold a barcode scanner – if you don’t need your scanner every few minutes. Cargo pants pockets can sometimes be good personal storage at work, but there are downsides to consider.  A scanner in your cargo pocket is not as padded or protected as in a holster and is a further reach down your leg to retrieve your scanner.

Hanging From a Padded Lanyard

For some people, keeping a barcode scanner on a lanyard around your neck can be beneficial. This works best when you have a small barcode scanner and a large, padded lanyard string, as scanners can be a little heavy when worn this way. The wider your lanyard, the more you can distribute the weight of the scanner. An around-the-neck scanner is always available and easy to just flip up to scan an item in front of you.  

Bungee-Tethered to Your Belt

Last but not least, you can hang your scanner from your belt. Again, best for smaller models, a strong bungee cable can ensure that your barcode scanner doesn’t fall when you drop it. Whether or not you combine the bungee belt tether with a barcode scanner holster. Bungee is a good addition to all or most other scanner-carrying solutions to prevent accidental falls.