The concealed carry holster can make or break your carrying experience.
You don’t want to end up with an unsightly, bulky lump under your clothes.
A few extra inches on your hips or a big bulge in your pants (ahem) may not be your idea of a fun time.
It’s almost enough to want to drop carrying altogether (almost).
Of course, your concealed carry weapon is with you for a reason, and you’re always going to prioritize safety, accessibility and function.
But why can’t our holsters pay attention to fashion and comfort as well as function?
Until recently, you’d scour the internet for concealed carry holsters for women, only to find the same old repetitive options.
Blah. I mean, yes, it’s good to have a simple holster on hand that works with any old pair of pants.
But what if I’m wearing a dress? Jeggings? Going for a run in athletic shorts?
The holster people have heard our pleas. Now, when it comes to concealed carry holsters for women, we’re seriously starting to get spoiled for choice.
There’s a huge variety of holsters out there, complementing any body shape, clothing style and CCW (concealed carry weapon).
We’ll walk you through 11 of our favorite options available to purchase online!
First, you might want to review the FAQs about concealed carry holsters for women—the answers will help you choose the ideal holster for your particular needs.
How to Choose Your Ideal Concealed Carry Holster
1. Where can women conceal firearms?
The three most common places to conceal a firearm are:
- Shoulder (Underarm/Torso)
But there are a few more options to consider, which we’ll share with you in a few. You can get a good overview of these carry methods and how comfortable they each are in this guide by Guns America.
There’s no specific guide I can find for women—and we do have a few extra things to consider, based on size, body type and clothing choices—so perhaps I’ll make my own guide for us ladies later on.
2. What is the best position for concealed carry?
This depends on just a few main things:
- What type of gun do you have?
- What clothes are you wearing?
- Where does it feel most comfortable for you?
- Do you have any injuries or extra considerations that make a position uncomfortable or inaccessible?
- Are you right-handed or left-handed? (Look for “right-hand draw” or “left-hand draw” holsters)
These considerations and others are outlined in this neat little post by The Shooter’s Log.
3. Which type of concealed carry holster is best for women?
The types of concealed carry holsters for woman are similar to those for men. The main types of holster are:
- Under shirt
- Small of the back (SOB)
- Pocket — Due to small pockets in women’s clothing, this is often not a viable option for us.
- Purse, fanny pack, briefcase or other bag
For more in-depth look at positions on your body for concealed carry, see this expert guide by USA Carry.
4. Is this concealed carry holster safe?
Whenever you’re buying a concealed carry holster, you’re always thinking about safety, safety, safety. You can’t think about anything else before that.
Don’t skimp on this purchase and buy a junky, $10-dollar holster that will end up letting your firearm jostle around, become detached from your body or even discharge your firearm accidentally. Don’t go without a holster either—tucking a firearm right into your clothing without one is a recipe for disaster. Even if you don’t end up hurting yourself, it’s hard to get a good pull when you need to draw it.
When you’re looking at holsters to buy, always check the reviews. This is why Amazon or other popular online retailers are great places to buy your holster. Seeing tons of negative reviews from previous customers online? Hard pass.
You can see what happens with a bad holster in this insane article by Concealed Nation (don’t read it if you don’t want to see graphic images—but maybe you should burn those nasty pics into your brain so you never feel tempted to take the cheap route with your holster choice).
The 11 Best Concealed Carry Holsters for Women
This is the classic holster that clips onto any pants waistband to sit comfortably inside. No matter what other types of concealed carry holsters you decide to get, this one is worth investing in.
It’s simple, all-purpose, lightweight and comes as highly recommended as any other Smith & Wesson product. Not to mention, it’s made from soft, flexible, high-quality leather, so it’s guaranteed to be comfortable.
The belt band linked above is unisex, so it’s made to conform well to both men’s and women’s bodies. This also makes it a little more flexible in terms of fitting different women’s bodies, so I’ve chosen to recommend this one.
However, most women do tend to need something that’s better-molded to the hips and waist. Otherwise, the belt band may feel too bulky and not lay neatly underneath lighter women’s clothing materials.
When it comes to a belt band, you can also for for the Shebang! hip-hugging model for women, which is more carefully tailored to fit the typical female form. It also adds a bit of cute detail, in case you’re into that sort of thing.
More importantly, it can hold up to three concealed weapons at once, has room for ammunition and other items, and the whole thing is lined with tough, non-slip material to hold your firearm in place.
When you think “thigh holster,” you might be thinking of something with more of a sexy cowgirl vibe—that’s usually what we call a “garter holster” instead. Thigh holsters can be much more practical and simple than that, and are more made to go under a bulky, loose pair of pants, or outside your pants, rather than underneath a dress (though you can really use this however you want). If you’re wearing a dress, the garter holster (which I’ve got listed below) may be the right option.
Any other time, the thigh holster is a no-fuss, practical holster to have on hand, and you might find it to be the most comfortable place to draw from since you don’t have to reach under a shirt or curl up your arm to get into your waistband. Just extend you arm, maybe lean a little if you’re a tall woman, and there you go! Ready to draw.
Before we reach the cuter garter holster, another under-clothes option for concealed carry is a pair of shorts with a built-in holster. This pair of stretchy concealed carry shorts for women comes in nude and black, either of which is ideal for concealing one small weapon underneath a dress or skit (and also gives you all the benefits of wearing spanx).
The quality retention strap on this one will make sure you feel secure.
Ah, we now reach the infamous garter holster. A known classic for its cool combination of feminine form and function. I love this particular garter because it safely tucks away a lightweight pistol, keeps it firmly in place on your thigh under any loose clothing like a dress or skirt, and also has a little fun detail to show.
You might be wondering how it handles with no visible retention strap—rare earth magnets, holster tabs and a good grippy interior keeps it in place.
It’s also not too overwhelmingly frilly if you get the all-black model, which is my preferred style, shown below. For anyone into bolder design, you can buy it with colored laces.
The ankle holster is every bit as simple, practical and functional as the IWB holster shown above. It’s a bit more of a stretch to reach when you need to draw, but it’s another good option to buy just to have a variety of concealed carry holster options on hand.
Now we get more into the concealed carry clothing for women—clothing that has handy holsters and concealment pockets built right in.
You’ll probably love having at least on of these options on hand. When you’re careful about buying exactly the right size for your body, you’ll find this to be a firm, secure way to hold your firearm without any material moving or jostling around.
The tank top goes neatly under many different clothing items, but the holster shirt is just as good. The function isn’t different, it’s more about what style you’d prefer.
What do you do for concealed carry in cooler weather? This shooting jacket is tailored for women and look stylish, protects you from the elements, and conceals two weapons at once. There are additional pockets for two to three magazines, a small flashlight and a knife. Talk about tactical. And the zipper pull is a gun hammer, which is a cool touch!
Where do you fall on the eternal “are leggings pants?” debate? For me, they’re pants all the way. This awesome pair of leggings has two holsters: one in front, one in back. You can pack multiple firearms or choose whichever one is preferable for your piece—then use the other holster for your cell phone.
For your piece of mind, there’s a secure retention strap to make sure everything you tuck into these leggings stays in place.
Want to add a concealed carry holster to any purse that you own? Look no further—this is exactly what you need. The Packin’ Neat holster is relatively compact with one firearm holster and five pockets for ammunition, knives and other self-protection accessories you may want to pack together.
Just be warned that, despite being “compact” this will fit best in medium to large sized purses and bags—not so much in a tiny clutch. Here’s an example of how it looks when popped into a bag:
And that’s a wrap!
You’ve got some great options in front of you for concealed carry holsters.
Get the essential holsters, and you’ll be ready to start packing with any outfit.
Fire away in the comments section if you have thoughts or questions.
And do you have a concealed carry holster already that you love or hate? Tell us about it below! We’d love to hear your recommendations.