Every news outlet is reporting on the increased number of women getting involved in the shooting sports and concealed carry. It's very exciting to see so many women taking their safety into their own hands. Something we get asked quite often is what are the best concealed carry holsters for women.
That's actually a tough question for us to answer since we're all men. We have been able to come up with an answer, though, based on conversations we've had with female students who come through our firearm training course as well as a few lady firearm instructors we're friends with.
Here are a few products I feel confident in recommending that our students and even female instructors have told me are working for them. It's hard, as a man, to write this type of article which is why we got the help of women to answer the question, what are good women's concealed carry options.
Women's Concealed Carry Holster Options:
Alexo Athletica Signature Pant
These pants were designed by a good friend of ours, and one of the hosts of our Not Your Average Gun Girls Podcast, Amy Robbins. These do a great job at combining an athletic pant and a concealed carry holster in one and also have a ton of extra storage pockets to carry your phone, ID, and other stuff as needed.
A good lady-friend of ours, who is also a concealed carry instructor swears by the JM4 Tactical Quick Click and Carry. They're made of high quality leather and utilize magnets for both retention of the firearm as well as the method of attaching to the clothing. They don't require the use of a belt, which makes them great for people who live in sweatpants or similar type pants, but can be used with a belt for those times where you want to put a pair of jeans on.
Under Garment “Tank”
These under garment shirts or “midriff” or whatever woman call these things can be super effective. They hug the body like a second skin and generally position the firearm for a cross draw / under arm carry. These perhaps make for a more challenging draw but they conceal the gun with minimal printing with the right clothing. They come in midriff or full tops and our favorite brand is “UnderTech.”
There are a large number of products on the market that wrap around the waistline with some sort of elastic material that allows you to wear any top and any pant / skirt without needing a strong belt on which to attach a holster. Because the “holster” doesn't attach to clothing in any way it gives you great versatility with what you wear while still positioning the gun on the torso near the waist line for the most effective and easy to access draw. Our favorite of these products is the Brave Response holster though we are a little bias since we sell those directly on our own website.
Concealed Carry Purse
I'm always a little hesitant to endorse concealed carry purses because they require a great deal more of habit breaking and training. Many of the habits that woman already have in how they carry and leave their purse in, say, the grocery store shopping cart, can be harmful.
That said, if not for the concealed carry purses in the marketplace a lot of our students wouldn't carry at all. Make absolutely sure that you look for a purse that has a holster built into or sewn into the purse itself. Do not use a standard purse in which your gun is just sitting in a pocket or bouncing around with other things. Also work to train how you will need to carry that purse in order to have a clean draw.
There are, of course, plenty of women who carry in one of the many different Kydex IWB holsters made available from the countless companies making these style holsters. All you have to do is figure out what kind of polymer holster you're looking for, and try it out.
There are a few main takeaways here. First, it may take a bit to find a holster that works well for your body type, but don't give up. Try as many as you need to find the one or two that is right for you.
Also, don't forget that however you carry your firearm you need to train retrieving the firearm from that position.
If you're a lady, please comment below on your chosen carry setup.