Winter weather brings colder temperatures and thicker clothes that require a lot of layers. These extra layers can add to the time it takes to get your gun into action. Fortunately, there are a few viable ways to ensure your concealed carry setup works appropriately in the winter.
In the winter, many of us wear coats and parkas to shield ourselves from harsh winter weather. While they are excellent at keeping warm, they can make a gun carried inside the waistband holster challenging to access.
To avoid printing (the outline of a firearm showing through clothing), look for jackets that aren’t too tight or restrictive. Consider a coat with bottom zips that allow you to access your weapon quickly when the situation calls for it.
Some jackets are designed with sleeve pockets ideal for carrying small sidearms.
Concealed carry clothes for winter, like jackets, combine warmth and functionality, incorporating discreet compartments and specialized features to enable individuals with concealed carry permits to stay comfortably insulated and prepared for self-defense in colder climates.
Regarding winter clothing, pants are the real meat and potatoes. You will want to invest in good snow pants to stay comfortable on the slopes or hiking. Look for fabrics like cotton that provide structure, allow air to flow, and are durable. You may also consider insulated or shell pants and responsibly sourced premium down.
Remember that the extra layers you wear in the winter can make it difficult to access a concealed-carry firearm. This is why practicing with concealed carry clothing and holsters is essential before heading out on the streets. This can include dry and live fire drills, simply wearing your favorite clothing, and going about your day.
You’ll likely be layering up as we move into the colder months. This can present a challenge for concealed carriers as the extra fabrics and layers make it more difficult to get your firearm out and quickly accessible.
Many people carry inside the waistband, but if you have a giant gun and must constantly clear your jacket, consider moving outside the belt this winter. A great option is a peplum or ruffle-hem shirt that flares out just above your waistline to conceal your pistol and holster. It also gives you a nice look, with very little printing. It’s perfect for women who are wearing a suit or dress. It’s also a good choice for men wearing suits or button-down shirts.
Despite their simple appearance, tank tops can be some of the most versatile concealed carry clothing items for winter. The key is to look for styles with a longer hem to cover your firearm (particularly when carrying behind the strong side hip with an OWB holster) crafted from fabric that won’t stretch out over time.
This style fits the bill, with a flattering silhouette that stops between your belly button and upper hip, plus petite, regular, and tall size options to ensure a custom fit. It’s crafted from a smooth ribbed cotton that feels luxe and drapes beautifully. This tank works well alone or layered with dress shirts for work or evening wear. It’s also an excellent pairing with a pocket or shoulder holster.
What you wear is a huge factor in determining how easy it is for you to access your weapon. For example, ankle holsters aren’t usually a good idea during the winter, especially if you plan on wearing boots that cover your feet to the ankles or higher. These shoes provide little traction and may make it difficult for you to move quickly in the event of an attack.
It’s also important to be mindful of gun printing, which is the outline of your pistol showing through your clothing when you bend over or move in a way that stretches the fabric. Practicing clearing and drawing your gun while dressed in a winter concealed carry clothing setup can help you iron out any issues and give you confidence that you’ll be able to remove them when it matters most.