Comfortable Concealed Carry Options for Women
by Will Ellis
Guest Editor for Hanks Holster Review
Women aren’t just the fairer sex, they’re also the smarter sex. And when it comes to the need for protection, they’re well aware of the dangers that they face in this modern age of misogyny and violence.
In a day and age where sexual assaults occur every 98 seconds, it’s clear to see why gun holsters are being purchased at astronomical rates, many of them by women.
Take, for example, Carrie Lightfoot, the owner of The Well Armed Woman, who has seen more than 23,000 gun holsters ordered by the ladies in 2014 alone. Since then, the numbers have only grown.
But owning and operating a gun comes with a fair share of headaches, not least of which are weight and recoil. The blowback on many handguns can be fierce for anyone who fires one, but most women are at a significant disadvantage in this area due to simple biology.
In other words, women are known to have stronger lower body strength whereas men typically have stronger upper body strength. Because of this, it can be quite cumbersome for the average female to carry a standard size handgun in a standard handgun holster.
So when it comes to conceal and carry scenarios, what’s a good woman to do? Luckily for you ladies out there, you’ve got plenty of options. There are lots of great handgun options that are perfectly comfortable for a woman to handle.
There are also plenty of methods by which to conceal and carry your handgun. Here are the best conceal carry methods available:
- Ankle Carry
- Thigh Carry
- Purse Carry
- Belly Carry
- Bra Carry
- Hip Carry
- Compression Clothing
- Pistol Pouch
Let’s start with the most obvious choice. Since it stands to reason that women have stronger lower body strength, it should come as no surprise that a growing number of female gun owners are concealing their firearms by using ankle and thigh carry methods.
Ankle holsters can be hidden under wide-legged pants or dresses (bellbottoms, flared slacks, maxi dresses).
However, bear in mind that bulkier, padded holsters will be harder to hide. It’s best to buy a more low profile ankle holster.
The Well Armed Woman Ankle Holster is made from a soft neoprene and comes with a removable, adjustable garter and calf band that makes for ideal flexibility. It comes in a variety of sizes and sells for $59.99 which ain’t bad when you consider that other popular gun holsters like the Galco King Tuk IWB sell for $69.99 at places like Cabelas.com.
Again, these just make sense because of the female form and its strengths. Thigh or garter holsters are common choices for women who prefer to wear dresses. These are also a solid choice if you don’t want to bare a lot of skin but still want your gun on you when going out.
The only drawback here is the wide elastic band that needs to be attached around the thigh without slipping down and being discovered. For this reason, it wouldn’t be my top recommendation, but under the right circumstances, it just might serve you well.
The Condor Tornado Tactical Leg Holster sells for just $27.95 online and sports a retention system with an additional hoop-and-loop strap for added security. It’s fully adjustable and fits most medium size pistols with ease.
Carrying a firearm for self-defense purposes doesn’t have to be a drab affair. For women who want to protect themselves in style, there are several handsome, high-quality selections on the market ranging from genuine leather to faux-leather and beyond.
Gun Goddess offers a wide variety of conceal-and-carry totes and purses. There’s everything from the classy and understated Annie Concealed-Carry Tote which sells for $595.00 to the Bucket Concealed Carry Tote by Moonstruck Leather which sells for $169.00 and comes in eleven different colors including Antique Turquoise Embossed Croc Pattern with a brown strap.
On one hand, purse carry seems like a practical choice since women aren’t typically without their handbags. On the other hand, the only real drawback to purse carry is the simple fact that many self-defense situations may involve armed robbery or theft.
If a mugger is trying to snatch your purse to steal your money and personal effects, he may just get the upper hand before you have a chance to access your handgun.
Nevertheless, many female gun owners have enjoyed the discretion and designs of concealed carry purses.
Traditional holsters are almost always worn on some part of the upper body. Belly carry is a strong choice and one that is growing in popularity. The belly band enables a woman to maintain easy access to her firearm, keeping it closer to the heart.
On the downside, most body conscious women might blanch at the thought of wrapping something around their midsection, something that may give them the appearance of being overweight or pregnant.
For those who don’t dig this particular holster option, there are a bunch of alternatives such as an underarm holster, an in-the-waistband holster (ITW) or an in-the-waistband holster (OTW).
The ITW is the most popular belly carry choice among most female consumers. The TWAW IWB is one of the best ITWs available. It features an adjustable ride height, sweat guard and deep tuckable clip.
Fanny packs are another choice if you’re not concerned about appearing less than fashionable.
A fairly new innovation, the bra holster holds a gun horizontally right below the bust line. The plus side to this one is that most assailants won’t be expecting it.
Since this thermo-plastic holster can only hold the smallest of handguns, nobody will know you’re packin’ more than a pair of bosoms in your blouse or shirt.
This one is right up there with the belly carry. It’s easily accessible and easily ensconced, resembling nothing so much as a thin workout belt. Cancanconcealment.com offers a line of Hip Huggers from Micro and Classic to Shebang, each with a simple, cute design and several compartments for both gun and ammo.
Compression garments have sewn-in pockets to hold your handgun. The biggest boon to this particular carry method is the way in which it is designed. They are crafted to distribute the weight of your gun so that it is infinitely more comfortable to wear than other options.
There are a couple of different articles of compression clothing available, many of them from a few different manufacturers. But when it comes to the best of the best, you can’t really go wrong with the innovators who blazed this particular trail—UnderTech Undercover.
UnderTech’s selections include compression shorts and compression tanktops. Their concealed carry midriff tank top comes with two side holsters built in.
Finally, we have the pistol pouch. You could even categorize the fanny pack as part of this pack of holsters…although I don’t know why you’d want to.
Pistol pouches are compact carry solutions that can pose as a wallet or coupon folder. They range in size and price. There’s the Leather Covert Pistol Carrier which retails for under fifteen dollars and comes with a stainless steel clip for clipping it to your belt. This makes it easy to pass it off as a cell phone holder.
The con to that particular one is that it can only hold a pistol that is 5.5” x 40.0” x 1.5” but, that being said, they do offer a larger size version that can hold a Ruger LCP.
Naturally, there are a myriad of methods one can take to conceal and carry one’s handgun including recent favorites like the Flashbang and the Mini-Tuck, but I trust that the aforementioned options are the best choices out there.
Of course, everyone is different and personal preferences vary from person to person, but I trust that you’ll find a concrete solution for your concealed carry needs in the list above. Thanks for reading and good luck finding the gun holster that’s right for you.
Note from Hank’s Holster Review:
We are happy to have Will Ellis from Gun News Daily, as a guest writer this month. We welcome his post and invite others to contribute. I think Will’s information is solid and thought-provoking, but we have to throw in the disclaimer that the views represented in guest articles are not necessarily those of Hank’s Holster Review.
Thank Will, we hope to see more from you!