Choosing a Concealed Carry Vest

With such a wide variety of concealed carry options on the market, it can definitely be difficult finding a concealed carry option that adequately conceals your handgun, let alone be comfortable.  But a concealed carry vest will provide you with a viable option for keeping your weapon both concealed and comfortable enough so that you hardly even notice it.

CCW vests may not be a new invention, but they definitely are innovative when it comes to concealed carry.  Ranging from tactical-looking vests to more casual-looking ones, concealed carry vests don’t attract a whole lot of attention and can easily be worn as part of EDC (everyday carry).

Adding to their appeal is the fact that they are available in a variety of different materials and colors, so you aren’t limited to just a few select options are you are with other concealed carry methods.

Concealment vests are primarily designed to be worn by men, but they most certainly can be worn by women as well, provided of course they are the right size and won’t stand out.  Finally, while concealed carry vests are also referred to as holster vests due to the compartment holding the handgun, they also hold other compartments to carry additional accessories, such as spare magazines, speed loaders or knives, and everyday carry items like a wallet, phone, etc.

The Best Concealed Carry Vests

Carrying concealed is a huge responsibility, but not everyone wants to carry a holster every time they leave the house. That’s when something like a CCW shirt or vest comes into play.


1. Rothco Plainclothes Concealed Carry Vest

Plainclothes Concealed Carry Vest-KhakiX-Large
  • Cotton/Polyester Construction Provides A Comfortable And Lightweight Design For Everyday Carry
  • The Multi-Functional Utility Cargo Vest Features Over 20 Different Pockets Including 2 Concealed Carry Pockets, 4 Magazine Pouches, 2 Front Slash Pockets, Multiple Zippered And Cargo Pockets, Internal Zippered Back Pocket And External Back Pocket
  • Two-Way Zipper With Center Button Closure Tab Allows Easy Access To Your Firearm And/or Other Internal Gear
  • Mesh Lining And Three Back Slits Keep You Cool Under The Most Heated Situations
  • Adjustable Waist Tabs And Small Side Hem Slits Allow For The Perfect Non-Restrictive Fit

A conceal carry vest is designed to be worn either during combat or tactical missions for military and law enforcement personnel, but they can just as easily be worn for outdoor activities such as hiking or camping trips, fishing, hunting, and to be really creative, paint-balling.

Due to the conditions that concealed carry vests can be put through, it’s important that they are made with high quality construction materials to be fully functional, comfortable and durable in high intensity outdoor activities.

At the same time, it’s important that these vests can be worn as part of EDC for a day out in the town and not attract too much attention.

The Rothco Plainclothes Concealed Carry Vest meets that criteria effortlessly. Made out of sixty percent cotton and forty percent polyester, this vest comes in three different colors (black, tan and green) and is a true unisex vest, meaning it can be comfortably and adequately worn by both men and women.

This vest features some mesh lining on the back, which is vented with three slits.  There’s also a double zipper on the front of the vest for ease in taking it on and off.  If you’re looking for a durable and versatile all round concealed carry vest, the Plainclothes Concealed Carry vest by Rothco is an excellent choice.


2. 5.11 Tactical Vest

5.11 Lightweight Tactical Conceal Carry Vest with 17 Pockets Dual CCW for Outdoor Tactical Work, Style 80001, Large, Khaki
  • STORAGE - 17 total pockets, including: Dual covert CCW pockets at the chest, Low left AR magazine pockets, 360 degree wraparound pocket, Tablet pocket, Twin hydration pockets at the rear
  • CONSTRUCTION - 8.5 oz. 100% cotton canvas, Quad-stitched reinforcements, Reinforced half-collar, Extensive bartacking at major stress points, YKK zipper hardware, Prym snaps
  • COMFORT - Reinforced half-collar and Shoulder design maximizes weight distribution
  • SIZING - Small = Neck 14-14.5 Chest 34-36 | Medium = Neck 15-15.5 Chest 38-40 | Large = Neck 16-16.5 Chest 42-44 | X-Large = Neck 17-17.5 Chest 46-48 | XX-Large = Neck 18-18.5 Chest 50-52 | XXX-Large = Neck 19-19.5 Chest 54-56
  • ABOUT 5.11 - The right mindset, training, and gear are what separates those who are ready and those who are not.

Available in both black and khaki color schemes, the 5.11 Tactical Vest has been a massive success with security, military and law enforcement personnel all across the world. As you may have guessed, the 5.11 Tactical Vest is more designed for tactical missions than it is for everyday carry, but it can also be worn for many normal outdoors activities as well.

It features eighteen different compartments including a place to conceal a full size duty pistol and additional compartments to hold accessories such as handcuffs, spare magazines, a flashlight, baton, and so on.

There are even rifle magazine holders to carry AR magazines, giving the 5.11 vest a true tactical look and feel.  Thanks to being made out of one hundred percent cotton canvas, the 5.11 Tactical Vest can be worn and used for a lifetime of duty.

With the pockets arranged to distribute weight evenly, this concealment vest also features a reinforced half-collar.  You may want to avoid this vest for EDC while out on the town due to its more tactical functionality and appearance, but for outdoor or tactical activities, the 5.11 Tactical vest is certainly hard to beat.


3. Woolrich Men’s Elite Tactical Vest

Woolrich Men's Elite tactical Vest XL Black
  • 8.5 oz. 100% cotton canvas outer shell; 5 oz. 100% cotton poplin inner shell, reactive dyed and garment washed. DuPont Teflon Protector, UPF 30+, Double needle stitching and bar tacking at stress points.
  • Durable cotton canvas shell, with cotton poplin inner shell.
  • DuPont Teflon Protector coating is breathable, durable, and repels both water and oil-based spills.
  • Easy Care: simply machine wash and tumble dry.
  • China

The Woolrich Men’s Elite Tactical Vest is designed for security, law enforcement, outdoor applications or everyday carry out and about in public locations. It’s very functional and great looking piece of apparel, and meets the standards for durability, versatility and comfort that the other tactical vests on this list provide.

Available in three different colors (olive drab green, black, and khaki), the Woolrich Men’s Elite Tactical Vest is a good concealed carry vest for men.  The entire vest is made out of one hundred percent cotton: a cotton canvas on the outer shell and a cotton poplin on the inner shell of the vest.

With a UPF of 30+, the vest by Woolrich features double stitching throughout.  All of these qualities combines make this vest very breathable, durable, and a strong resistant against outdoor elements such as water and oil.


4. First Manufacturing Men’s Buffalo Nickel Vest

First MFG Co. - Gun Runner - Men's Leather Western Vest (Black, XX-Large)
  • Milled 1.1-1.2 millimeter cow leather
  • Men's vest
  • 4 antique buffalo nickel head snaps on front
  • 2 inside concealed gun pockets made of special nylon with inbuilt holsters
  • Single panel back ideal for patches, embroidery or airbrushed art work

If you’ve been looking for a leather concealed carry vest that meets a criteria matching an EDC application rather than a tactical or security one, then you’ve come to the right place with the Men’s Buffalo Nickel Vest with Dual Side Internal Gun Pockets.

Made out of 1.1-1.2 millimeter cow leather, and with patches to add art work or embroidery and give the vest some personality, this concealed carry vest is certainly worth some consideration.

It features four antique buffalo nickel heads that snap onto the front, with two pockets on the outside with a snap closure to hold EDC items such as a pocket knife, wallet and/or phone.

Most importantly, there are two inside pockets that stand in stark contrast to the rest of the jacket since they are made out of a special nylon.  These pockets also feature a snap closure and feature holsters built in to the gun.  This makes the vest by First Manufacturing truly ambidextrous, being able to carry a handgun for either hand, or two handguns at once.


5. Men’s SOA Denim Vest

Men's SOA Denim Vest w/ 1 Inside Concealed Weapon Gun Pockets (XXX-Large, Black Denim)
  • 14.5oz Denim
  • 5 Snap Front Closure
  • Dual Inside Concealed Weapon Gun Pockets
  • Two Chest & Two Lower Pockets
  • Black & Blue Color

Another concealed carry vest for men is the Men’s SOA Denim Vest.  While denim certainly won’t appeal to everybody seeking a vest, it will for some individuals.

Available in an array of sizes and blue or black 14.5 oz denim, the SOA Denim Vest for men has four different outside pockets: two chest and two lower pockets, both of which can contain anything from a knife to a wallet, or a phone to a flashlight, to spare magazines or speed loaders.

These pockets also have a 5 snap front closure to keep these items fully secure. Finally, there are two concealed weapons pockets inside the vest, permitting for a drawn handgun in either hand or for carrying two guns at the same time, something that is recommended by many concealed carry experts.

This is a top quality, heavy duty concealed carry vest made out of heavy denim that will not let you down.


6. SOA Motorcycle Vest with Dual Concealed Gun Pockets

SOA Men's Basic Leather Motorcycle Vest Zipper & Snap Closure w/ 2 Inside Gun Pockets & Single Panel Back (XX-Large, 1" Collar)
  • 1.2 Premium Cowhide
  • Satin Lining
  • Dual Inside Concealed Weapon Pockets
  • Single Panel Back, Perfect for Patches
  • Two Front Chest Pockets, Two Lower Hand Pockets

If you travel often by motorcycle and want a concealed carry motorcycle vest to accommodate your frequent trips on the highway, you can opt for the SOA Motorcycle Vest with Snap & Zipper-Front Closure. 

It’s a very versatile conceal carry vest with a single back panel with zippers and snaps that will keep your weapon secure and out of sight. There are 2 front slash pockets and 2 breast pockets for your convenience.