- Inside the Waistband Holster (IWB Holster)
- Pocket Holster
- Ankle Holster
- Thigh Holster
- Belly Band Holster
- Shoulder Holster
- Bra Holster
There is no single best concealed carry holster for women on the market. Just like the firearm itself, it is going to depend on the individual. There are so many factors that would make a holster a good choice for one but a bad choice for another. Body style, fashion style, physical limitation and other factors need to be considered before selecting the right holster.
Inside the Waistband Holster (IWB Holster)
Just like with any holster, there are a variety of options to consider for IWB holsters. A majority of IWB holsters will clip onto the waistband of your pants and slide down inside of your pants. All you need is a shirt to cover the grip. They are very easy to conceal.
IWB holsters make accessibility to your firearm easy. Most women wear their holster on their strong side. Women generally tend to stick the holster not exactly on their hip; they may move it more towards the front or back. It is just a matter of comfort for the wearer.
IWB holsters are best when used with pants, slacks or a skirt that have a strong waistband. They won’t pair well with leggings or maxi skirts. The weight of the holster and firearm will cause the pants to slide down otherwise. Because of the location of the holster, they are very comfortable. Generally, they are designed with leather or nylon.
In the same category, there are two other worthy candidates to mention for your consideration.
Is worn over your underwear but under your clothes. They are made from cotton, so they are very breathable and flexible. This is a great option for when you are wearing sweatpants. The low position below the belly button makes it very concealable and the location is perfect for easy withdrawal.
Compression concealment shorts
Are a great option for those who won’t wear a belt. They are less popular, but they are great for nearly any clothing style such as skirts or sweat pants. They are made from elastic and have two holsters. Because they are made of elastic and are compression, your butt gets a bit of a lift. They give a new meaning to Baby Got Back.
One of the purposes of concealed carry is to keep the firearm as close to your person as possible. A pocket carry is very practical but is best if you carry in your pants. Also, a pocket holster is only practical with a small firearm or a very large pocket. Tight pants with small pockets will not work for pocket holsters.
Women should opt for larger, loosely fitting pants when using a pocket holster. Cargo pants are another choice for a comfortable choice. The pocket holster has to cover the entire trigger area; it can be a danger otherwise.
If you carry your firearm in your purse, a pocket holster is necessary to prevent accidental discharging. It prevents this possibility by covering the trigger guard. While pocket holsters are handy, they aren’t the easy to access in some scenarios. The worse possible scenario is being separated from your firearm.
If you are looking for a holster that is easily concealed, ankle holster is a great option. When wearing an ankle holster, you will need to wear pants that have a loose hem. Skinny jeans wouldn’t work with ankle holsters.
They are very comfortable and easy to wear all day long with little worry. Some ankle holsters come with calf support and extra padding. Anyone can wear an ankle holster; they usually close with Velcro so the fit can be very personal.
One of the disadvantages of ankle holsters is that drawing your firearm can be hard. There is no way to draw while moving or running away from danger. It is a great concealed carry holster for women who work in offices. Drawing while in a seated position is easiest. If you opt for an ankle holster, you will need to practice withdrawing your firearm while standing.
If you like the design of an ankle holster but don’t wear pants all the time, thigh holsters are another option. They are worn just like ankle holsters, but on the inside of the thigh opposite your shooting hand. These are great for wearing skirts. However, for women with larger thighs, they can chaff. They also are known to slide down if not used with a garter belt.
Belly Band Holster
Belly Bands are becoming one of the most popular options for concealed carry holsters for women. They are a very versatile holster; women can move them around from high or low around the hips. Some women before them up high under their breasts.
The material is made with elastic and is designed to be soft and comfortable. The closure is made of Velcro which allows for a more custom fit. To help match a woman’s wardrobe, they come in a variety of colors as well as a breathable material for those who live in warmer areas.
Larger firearms will be more difficult to conceal with a belly band holster. They are great for semi-automatic pistols and small to medium revolvers. Depending on where you place the firearm, accessibility can be a bit more difficult in fast draw scenarios. Also, adjusting the firearm once inside the holster is troublesome.
For women opting for the belly band holster, they work great as concealed carry holsters for women when worn with skirts or dress slacks. Tight fitting shirts are likely to show the firearm outline. Loose fitting shirts pair well with the belly band.
A lot of women love compression tank tops. It is easy to understand why. They are full undershirts that have holster pockets on both sides. The holsters are located under your armpits, so they are concealed. For mothers, this option is great because the firearm is not accessible for the young children, yet there is still plenty of freedom of motion.
Typically, shoulder holsters are worn on the opposite side of your strong side. Some shoulder holster systems go under your shirt and crisscrosses in the back. This stabilizes it across your body.
Shoulder holsters can be easy to withdraw. They conceal the firearm very well when underarm. Wearing a tight fitting shirt might be a bad idea as it will show off some of the outline of the gun.
Bra holsters are a popular option for concealed carry holsters for women. They are designed to hook onto the center of the bra. There are two different kinds of bra holsters. The first clip onto the center, and the barrel tucks under the underwire. The second clips onto the outside of a cup. You draw this kind through the top of the shirt.
Clearly, any women, so long as they are wearing a bra, can wear this kind of concealed carry holster for women. The larger breasts, the larger firearm you are able to conceal. For women who are well endowed, a bra holster can be a wonderful and easy option.
Because of the closeness and location, a bra holster is very accessible and could be withdrawn quickly during a dangerous scenario. It is important to take care when withdrawing because the firearm will be pointed in the direction of the non-shooting hand. While bra holsters are popular, they do take some time to get used to the feel.