An important part of the concealed-carry zeitgeist is to protect women; however, a majority of both open and concealed-carry holsters are designed with a man in mind. Heavier belts for support on belt holsters, styles that depend on baggy, untucked clothing to conceal, and carry options that don’t take into account the different shape of a woman’s body, make traditional concealed holsters more troublesome than helpful.
In addition, the different styles of women’s clothing present interesting challenges and opportunities for effective concealed carry; while an ankle holster may not be practical for a professional woman in a skirt, a garter holster or a concealed carry purse can comfortably fit the concealed-carry bill without sacrificing a professional appearance. Whether it’s in a professional or personal setting, women have a wide variety of carry options that they may not have even considered.
Choosing the Best Gun Holsters for Women
Let’s take a look at the top ones available for women who want to conceal their firearms.
Hip Hugger Classic – Can Can Concealment Holster
An IWB holster for women that doesn’t need a belt or a paddle holster, the Hip Hugger Classic gives you a way to “belt” carry with whatever you choose to wear. The design is a simple, no-nonsense belly band design made from military-grade elastic lined with non-slip Tacti-Grip material and secured with metal hook-and-eye closures, giving you a snug, secure fit across your midsection.
However, it’s all the carry options that make these such great holsters for women; the Can Can Concealment Holster has room for four concealed handguns and three magazine pouches, allowing you to carry either in the front or in the back with Rare Earth Magnets for added magnetic retention.
Even if you don’t carry four handguns and three spare magazines, the extra pouches can hold extra self-defense tools like Mace or a Taser, or even simple things like your phone or wallet.
As concealed carry holsters for women go, the Can Can is extremely versatile. Whatever kind of pants you’re wearing, concealment is as easy as wearing an untucked shirt. Even in instances where you don’t want to carry an actual firearm, the pockets for Mace and a Taser, as well as general purpose utility pockets to simply keep your money safe when you travel, means that you can wear this belly band for whatever purpose, knowing that you’ve always got the option to carry your favorite handgun if you choose. The design and the convenience of the Can Can make it the best holster for women who never find themselves with belt loops.
UnderTech Undercover Women’s Concealment Tank Top
Already in use by the Secret Service, FBI, and DEA, this compression all-weather tank top is the perfect way to comfortably shoulder-carry a defensive handgun. Rather than use a separate shoulder harness, which requires a bulky harness and a lot of adjusting to fit properly, the top comes with two built-in shoulder holsters on the underside of each arm, allowing you to use one for your handgun and the other for magazines or documents.
In addition, the holsters themselves are incredibly robust; whether you’re carrying a full-size duty weapon or a single-stack .308 firearm specifically designed to be concealed, the UnderTech Concealment Tank Top takes them both in stride.
The gun holster shirt is also made of a wicking material that works great to bead off sweat and rain, allowing you to carry concealed even while exercising without looking out of place.
Because of the nature of shoulder-carry in general, this top really shines with layered looks or a light jacket. That isn’t to say, however, that you can’t simply wear this top as an undershirt with your regular T-shirt or a button-down shirt as well; simply unbutton or reach under your outer shirt to draw your firearm. While it might take a bit longer to draw with certain outfits, the Undertech Tank Top really is great for concealed carry for women, even with the largest handguns.
5.11 Women’s Holster Shirt
In the same vein, 5.11 Tactical also has a sleeveless holster to for concealed carry women that rings a lot of the same bells. Like the UnderTech, the 5.11 Women’s Holster Shirt is a compression model, with an 80/20 polyester/Spandex blend that works as both a layer and a regular shirt.
Both models are form-fitting, wick moisture, and work as great alternatives to stand-alone holsters. However, the 5.11 Shirt moves the two holsters from under the arms to a more central location on your chest. This, coupled with the mesh outer layer to prevent printing, makes it a lot easier to conceal your handgun from the sides, giving you a bit more freedom in choosing clothes.
Concealed Carry Women’s Universal Handbag Insert
You’ve probably considered using medium to large purses as conceal and carry purses but immediately realized one thing; your handgun will never be in a good, safe place to draw when you need it most. That’s where the Universal Handbag Insert comes in. Just like the name suggests, it’s a simple set of two pieces of metal with a holster loop on one end.
Change the distance between the two pieces with included screws until it fits snugly on the inside wall of your purse, slide your handgun into the included elastic holster, and your handgun will always be in an easily concealable, easily accessible place.
If you already have a holster whose retention you’re used to on your draw, you can easily slip it through the belt-loop design as well. With a simple design that takes up minimal room, yet keeps your handgun barrel pointed safely at the floor, so you can always be ready if you need to defend yourself.
As far as concealment goes, using a purse holster, a fairly unique gun holster for women, is a real god-send. Particularly for women who like full-size handguns, using the Universal Handbag Insert guarantees that, not only will you be carrying safely, but that even long-time acquaintances will be none the wiser; just slide the insert into your current purse, and nobody will ever know the difference.
Roma F.C. Concealed Carry Purse
If, however, you’re in the market for a dedicated holster purse, this model from Improving Lifestyles has you covered. Not only does it give you a dedicated zippered pocket for any handgun up to full-size, but it also looks, feels, and acts like a normal purse.
Made with genuine leather, this purse doesn’t look or feel out of place wherever you go, and your handgun and holster can be easily removed. Completely inconspicuous, this is a great option for concealed carry for women.
Just like above with the Handbag Insert, concealed carry purses with a purse holster makes a lot of concealed carry problems simply vanish. You can be discreetly armed, yet you can draw almost immediately when you need to, without drawing attention to yourself.
Any size handgun will work with this purse, so if you practice with a heavier double-stack 1911 model on the range, you can have the exact same feel when you need to use your handgun in an emergency.
The Flashbang Holster
An option for carry that is unique to women and one you might never have considered is using your bra as a carry mount. Such is the case with the Flashbang Holster, an interesting little design that hooks inside the center of your bra right in front of your stomach and holds your handgun horizontally. The bra holster itself is a cleverly designed piece; made out of sturdy Kydex, the design for each of these handgun-specific holsters includes a complete cover of your trigger guard, so there isn’t any danger of an accidental discharge.
The whole thing simply snaps around your bra with a leather strap and a simple metal snap, making it easy to put and keep on. If you ever need to use your handgun, it’s a simple matter of reaching under your shirt and drawing horizontally.
This Flashbang bra holster is probably one of the most concealable designs you can get; even in low-cut tops and evening dresses, as long as you’re wearing a bra, you’ve got the option to carry. The only unfortunate downside to this idea is the extra weight that it can put on your bra can be a bit uncomfortable. However, if you can minimize the weight with a small single-stack polymer .380, you’ll find that this is probably the only concealment holster you never need to dress for.
Whichever one of these holsters you choose, we’re confident that you’ll have a safe, comfortable way to keep yourself protected at all times. Whether personal or professional, you deserve to have a holster that fits your body and allows you to carry as discreetly as possible.