Kensington Belt Holster for Surface Duo review: It gets the job done

Kensington's official Surface Duo belt holster looks nerdy, but it's great for those who can't use their pockets.

Kensington Surface Duo
(Image: © Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Carrying the Surface Duo in your pants pocket – front or rear – is not much of an issue for regular folks, but if you're outdoors in the field, or are wearing gloves, you may have some more challenging times handling it.

Kensington is no stranger to the business and workforce world, often creating job-specific tools that don't apply to consumers. That's the case with the new $35 Belt Holster for Surface Duo, which, while a fun throwback to the early 2000s, is also a valuable tool for those working where pants pockets may be blocked or hard to reach.

I've spent a few days with the Kensington Belt Holster, and here's what I think.

Diving deeper into the Kensington Belt Holster design

Kensington Surface Duo

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

The Kensington Belt Holster is "designed in partnership with Microsoft, and made exclusively for Surface Duo," which is excellent. This holster isn't some off the shelf, generic accessory, but one form fitted just for Surface Duo – that makes it stand out from most solutions right now.

There is not much to the Kensington Belt Holster as it is just one solid piece made from industrial polycarbonate to withstand knocks, drops, and bangs. It's black, a mono-chassis, with no moving parts or components. Kensington also provides a two-year warranty, which is noteworthy.

The style is a simple dropdown design so that Surface Duo slides in from the top. There is no rubber grip on the inside to hold Surface Duo or even add pressure. Instead, there is a fastener in the top corner that you bring across Surface Duo's corner to hold it in place. It is a bit different, but companies like UAG have used similar methods for Surface Pro cases.

My main concern with this belt holster was, what about the Surface Duo bumper? It turns out, if you slide Surface Duo with the device logo facing inward, there is no issue with the rear bumper clearing the side (it does not work in reverse). If you do not use the bumper, you can slide Surface Duo in on either side. In both instances, you use the retainer strap to hold in place.

The belt clip is not my favorite. It's a single polycarbonate design like the rest of the holster, but it also has more space than I'd prefer. The gap lets you clip this holster to even the thickest of utility belts, but you can freely slide the holster back and forth on normal ones because there's no grip on the inside of it - it's just smooth polycarb. Some may prefer that as it lets you clear Surface Duo from your side, but it also feels less secure. I would have chosen a typical metal retainer clip with less clearance.

Should you buy Kensington Belt Holster for Surface Duo?

Kensington Surface Duo

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

At $35, this quality belt holster's price is very reasonable (an official Surface bumper is $40, by comparison). The design accommodates Surface Duo no matter how used, it's easy to slide in and out with minimal effort, and that retainer strap seems to get the job done in keeping it in place.

I'll skip critiquing the style – or lack thereof, as this is not meant as a consumer product. If you don't like side holsters at all, then see our continuously updated best Surface Duo cases for other choices or our best Surface Duo accessories for more ideas. But for those who wear gloves, work outside, and need a more industrial solution for carrying Surface Duo, this Kensington holster is a great choice.

Microsoft Surface Duo


Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.