How To Select the Right Deep Concealment Holster
As a concealed carry permit holder, there can be times where ultimate discretion is needed to conceal your firearm. Perhaps you are at work, or own a business, or are going to church. But just exactly how do you conceal your weapon deeper on your body, beyond the standard waistband carry?
Finding the best holster for your needs can be easy, but there are a few factors to weigh. Deep concealment in its simplest terms is carrying your firearm on your body in a location typically other than your waistband, thus giving you an extra element of concealment.
Here are five key considerations when selecting a deep concealment holster:
- Body shape
- Body height
- Type of clothing you like to wear
- Type of firearm
This Galco holster is a popular choice for front pocket carry and speaks to many of the criteria we will explain below. For example, leather construction for durability, keeps your firearm in place and its unique design holds the holster in the pocket when drawing.
Deep Concealment Pocket Holster Options
It is never a good idea to pocket carry a firearm without some sort of holster. The good news is there are many good options for deep concealment holsters in a pocket carry configuration. For example, one of the most functional and popular pocket holsters is an Uncle Mike's deep concealment pocket holster. Super affordable and well made, this type holster comes in different sizes and fits many types of small handguns. It can be worn in front pocket with minimal to no print, or carried in fanny pack or purse. Or, like we do, an Uncle Mike's can be carried in the waistband for super deep concealment. We own a business with employees, so wearing something like an Uncle Mike's inside the waistband works great on a daily basis. And we've worn this configuration with Glock 42's, Ruger LC9's, Taurus 709, Bersa Thunder and M&P Shield.
Here below you can see us using deep concealment, literally invisible to the eye, using a simple pocket holster with a Glock 42 and a fairly form fitting T-shirt. Most deep concealment pocket holsters we use stay in place just fine - they don't slip down your pants or come lose.
Another great example from our list above is the Desantis Nemesis holster. Like other pocket holsters, this holster can be worn in a front pocket, a jacket pocket or IWB style. The Desantis is great also because it really cuts out almost all distinguishable print outlines of your firearm. As you can see, you can configure a simple pocket holster as an excellent deep concealment holster option. Very affordable, these types of holsters are lightweight and are great for concealed carry in business, or just everyday situations where you do not need any unwanted attention.
Here's a great video on deep concealment pocket holsters, how they look in your pocket, etc.
Inside the Waistband Deep Concealment Holsters
Our next group of deep concealment holsters to consider are IWB, or inside the waistband, holsters. Specifically designed to be worn inside the pants and clipped to the waistband or belt for a secure fit, IWB holsters open up your options to a whole other level of carry. For example, you can move into Kydex, carbon fiber and leather options, or perhaps a hybrid model which typically is Kydex and leather combined for a more comfortable carry. To start, here's our list of what we believe to be some of the best deep concealment holster options in the IWB configuration:
Now, there are literally thousands of IWB holsters available. But as you can see from the list above, we put the emphasis on deep concealment, so you will see several tuckable holsters. This is an important element of looking completely natural in office environments, restaurants, church or other places where you need to dress with a shirt tucked in. The key objective today is to give you many good options of what to look for, then you can dial in exactly what you need once you decide which holster style you like.
Let's look at one of our all time favorites, and one we use very often - the Galco Tuck-N-Go deep concealment holster. Known as tuckable holsters, these holsters provide excellent deep concealment. In short, these holsters fit inside the waistband, then click over the band and onto your belt. However, the clip is elongated and not connected at the top like most clips, but rather at the bottom. This allows you to then tuck about 4" of shirt between the clip and holster, thus completely hiding the holster. All you see is a small amount of the clip over you belt. This is our favorite type of deep concealment holster. As mentioned, we own a business and most days wear our shirts tucked in, so this is definitely the way to go. Very comfortable, and you feel super confident knowing you are carrying but no one knows.
Now, for non-tuckable options where you just prefer a clipped configuration, there are tons of excellent options. For this type of deep conceal, you would typically be wearing a shirt or jacket over the IWB holster. A excellent example of this type of holster is this one from Outlaw Holsters. Form fitted to your specific firearm, manufactured from Kydex with a secure belt clip. This one of the most reliable rig configurations out there. We also own this exact holster, and we can attest that it is a fantastic option. We like the combo of the Kydex and the soft leather. Fits great, feels awesome. Typically we will wear this holster at night, usually while walking the dog or going for one of our longer hikes.
Ankle Carry Deep Concealment Holsters
Ankle carry is a great deep concealment option, perhaps the most discreet, if you have a firearm suited to such a carry. Smaller single stacks, revolvers and .380s are typically best suited to ankle carry due to the light weight and small footprint of the gun. Let's run a list of our favorite ankle holster rigs for deep concealment:
In many ways an ankle carry deep concealment holster is completely liberating. Nothing in your waist, no printing to worry about, nothing poking you when you sit down. It really is a great option to consider. However, obviously, this requires wearing long pants, so summertime is not conducive to ankle carry for the most part.
Here's a closer look at a top rated ankle carry holster, the Comfort Tac. This is an excellent example of how unobtrusive and easy this type of deep conceal holster is to wear. It fits fine under jeans, even straight legs, and is made out of soft, breathable neoprene. The Comfort Tac fits most guns, for example, the Ruger LCP 380, the Kimber Solo, the M&P Shield 9mm, Glock 26, Glock 27, Glock 30, Glock 42, Glock 43 even some .45s! The #1 consideration for deep concealment holsters in an ankle carry configuration is the weight of the gun. Carrying a small .380 or single stack 9mm is not going to weigh you down or fatigue you nearly as much as say a full size .45. When thinking ankle carry, think smaller firearm.
Shoulder Carry Deep Concealment Holsters
A less popular yet very common style of deep concealment carry is with the use of a shoulder holster. Much more tactical in nature, the shoulder holster has proven itself again and again as an effective carry method, and it can be used easily in conjunction with IWB or ankle carry. The key with shoulder carry is comfort and fit. If you are not comfortable wearing a shoulder holster all day, you just wont use it, plain and simple. Compared to other holster options, you don't see a ton of shoulder carry holsters in gun stores, so it can be hard to gauge exactly what you are dealing with. Let's take a look at our list of what we consider to be worthy options for a deep conceal shoulder carry rig here:
And here is another very good example of a top rated shoulder holster, the Bianchi X15.
This one is leather, and built to last a lifetime. We would say the Bianchi is probably a top five consideration for a deep concealment holster carry. For shoulder carry rigs, you should be looking to make sure they are full adjustable for the optimal fit. This Bianchi, for example, features a X-style harness across the back that distributes the weight evenly.
Belly Band Deep Concealment Holsters
A fairly recent innovation in deep concealment holster designs is the belly band. Much like it sounds, the belly band wraps around the waist and can carry one or two firearms. The belly band is a popular and good option for women who also need a deep concealment holster option. Here are some of the more popular belly band holster designs:
One nice feature is many belly bands are one size fits all in adjustment. So once you find the style you like, size is already taken care of. Also, many belly bands are made from breathable, lightweight neoprene which allows for a more contoured, comfort fit.
Here you can see in this Comfort Tac belly band that you can get an excellent fit, yet still have a functional deep concealment holster configuration. Notice that the band can fit inside the waistline, and also under the shirt for a slim, non-obtrusive look. The belly band holster is also quite a good option if you like to carry out tactical shooting at your outdoor range, private property, etc. You can carry multiple guns in a belly band configuration, such as for a back up revolver or .380 to go to after you have expended your primary weapon.
Cell Phone Case Deep Concealment Holsters
Another very innovative style deep concealment holster is the cell phone case style holster. In short, these holsters look like upscale, leather cases for perhaps a cell phone or other device. They are worn clipped on your belt and are completely printless, as the case totally conceals any shape of the firearm. Take a look at these cool options:
The cell phone/PDA style holster is excellent for business people, or if you are dressing up for the evening. These holsters are the epitome of deep concealment, right in front of people! No one will know or question a cell phone case on a belt. Very functional and so easy to use.
Deep Concealment Holster Wrap Up
As you can see, there are many holster options for deep concealment. And we hope this quick rundown of the best deep concealment holster options will help you find just the right configuration. If you are like us, you will probably end up with a couple of different options for different environments or scenarios. And that is just fine. Just like when you are accessorizing your wardrobe, many times you will need to match the right holster to the right gun, for the right environment.
Finally, some additional thoughts on deep concealment holsters. Keep in mind that no matter how you conceal carry, the average unarmed citizen is not looking at you to see if you are carrying a firearm. While it can seem like everyone is starting at you, probably no one is. So for some good, basic deep concealment, the pocket holster, ankle holster and belly band holsters are perfect options.