If you ever have carried a handgun bigger than an LCP, you know that concealing is its own challenge.
A small handgun like the LCP or Diamond Back DB9 is a compromise, often sacrificing power, accuracy, controllability and capacity for carry comfort. While a mouse gun may be better than nothing, it’s still only just a little better than a sharp stick.
Proper holsters, belts and clothing can make carrying a large weapon easier, and even more comfortable. Accessing the weapon, though, isn’t always optimum, but that’s where the style of clothes come into play. They enhance not only accessibility, but also comfort.
With the rise in popularity of concealed carry it only makes sense that more companies would come forward to fill a niche with holsters, guns and now clothes. These clothes are designed especially for concealed carriers. This is a welcome change from buying a gun to fit around your clothing; now you can fit your gun around your clothing.
Winter has always been the time to carry a big gun. The jackets and sweatshirts have always made it just a little easier to conceal a weapon. Concealing is easy, but as soon as you start adding layers of thick clothing, your draw quickly becomes slow and difficult. So the fact is, baggy clothes mean easy concealment, but difficult draw. Hoodies tend to snag and catch, and jackets can do the same.
1. Under Armour Soas Storm Hoodie
The biggest issue with concealing a weapon is the concealed part. Sure, no one can see the gun, but do you look like you are carrying? The biggest assumption about concealed carry clothes is their tactical appearance. Under Armour is an extremely popular brand.
They started in the sport clothing business and have slowly expanded into the tactical market. This was spurred because of the number of military personnel who loved their clothing. This hoodie is a combination of both the sports and tactical sides of the company.
This hoodie looks like the average Under Armour hoodie, and sports its well-known wicking ability as well as its water resistance. The hoodie is, of course, both warm and comfortable, and very high quality. The tactical part is the opening in the kangaroo pouch that allows easy and quick access to an appendix-style holster.
Deception is the rule of thumb, and no one suspects anything when a guy has his hands in his hoodie pocket. The opening inside the pocket is wide and easy to access, and it is very easy to pull a gun through it. From the kangaroo pouch to the draw is smooth and easy.
2. Scott Alpha Jacket
The Scott Alpha Jacket is in its own category of awesome. It is chock full of pockets to conceal any and everything. The Scott Alpha Jacket features 35 pockets to carry a cell phone, a tablet, a pen, extra ammo, and of course a gun. The Alpha Jacket is a stylish design that stays away from the operator look as well.
The Alpha Jacket allows a quick access universal holster for up to a Glock 19-sized gun. The not-so-compact gun fits in very nicely. The extra pockets could be used to store as much ammunition as you could possibly desire, or simply fill them with everyday needs. The jacket even has pockets in the sleeves to hide a knife or flashlight.
3. CCW Breakaways
One of the best ways to conceal carry a weapon has to be these pants. Available as khakis, cargo pants and jeans, these concealed carry pants are designed to carry a weapon at the front part of the thigh for maximum comfort when sitting and flexibility when moving.
Like the name suggests, the pocket breaks away to reveal the weapon for quick and easy access. This type of carry is for those who wear a tucked-in shirt and despise the uncomfortable and slow draw tucked-in holsters. The khakis are great for the office and the jeans for off-work wear. The pants are tough and dependable, and are definitely premium in quality.
The breakaway pockets are on both sides and are accessible for left or right handers. The pockets are capable of concealing large pistols and the material resists printing. The size of the person wearing the pants will determine the size of the gun capable of carrying.
4. 5.11 Tactical Holster Shirt
This undershirt style of carry has become more and more popular. The 5.11 Undershirts are remarkably tough and a very concealed and comfortable way to carry. The 5.11 shirts do require a cover garment such as a button down shirt. This does form a deep concealment holster and can be worn under a suit with or without a suit jacket.
For normal quick access carry, the button down garment can be left open and the holster carries like a shoulder rig without the bulky straps. The Undershirt comes with a left- and right-handed pocket holster. The extra pocket can conceal another firearm or extra ammo. The 5.11 holster is capable of carrying a full-sized weapon, which is a major advantage over a mouse gun. A full size Sig with 15 to 17 rounds of fire power beats six rounds of .380 from a Glock 42 any day.
5.11 isn’t the only brand or option for concealed carry shirts, either. Undertech produces a lightweight mesh sleeveless shirt and a long sleeve concealed carry shirt for winter wear. Speaking of Undertech …
5. Undertech Concealment Shorts
“Shorts” is a bit deceiving when describing these, as they actually are tight compression shorts that in reality are underwear. The Undertech Concealment Shorts pack a universal holster held in place with tight elastic. This holster places the weapon in the small of the back and can be worn left or right handed. The shorts are available for both men and women. The shorts are completely tuckable if necessary and act as a simple IWB holster, without the need for a belt. They could easily be worn with gym shorts or sweat pants. The Undertech Shorts are available as singles or in packs of three.
As you can see, this industry is growing on an almost daily basis. With concealed carry on the rise, companies are gleefully stepping up to fill the void of comfortable and functional ways to carry a weapon. This goes for holsters, clothes and even for guns themselves. The advent of these clothes by major brands like 5.11 and Under Armour are only a preview of what is to come if concealed carry keeps growing in popularity. With recent law changes in Washington D.C., California and Illinois, it’s easy to see that concealed carry is going nowhere anytime soon.