CCW Holsters For Women: What Options Exist For You?

What Are The Different Types of Body-Worn, Concealed-Carry Holsters For Women? 

This may sound shocking and a bit politically incorrect, but it can’t be any truer than sometimes the sky is blue, but how you carry your weapon on your body may come down to your specific body type. While this may sound sexist, it really is an advantage if you really think about it, because there are so many choices out there compared to men. Another consideration on what type of concealed-carry holster is what kinds of clothes you like to wear. Despite the cliched thinking on the part of the public, women gun owners are not motivated by macho bravado. They want to look like a woman and not some dude wearing baggy jeans with an untucked shirt all the time just so they can carry a concealed gun. So, what do you do? Fortunately, this article can give you a heads up about specific ways you can conceal-carry on your body without losing sight of your desire to look nice.

The good news is, you do not have to choose between the two. It used to be there were really no choices for women gun owners, but for a purse carry. However, this is a scary thought for many women who recall forgetting their purse on many occasion.

No worries. Nowadays, there is a regular cornucopia of choices for women who want to dress attractively and still be prepared to protect themselves and others.


CCW System 

Now that you are ready to make a purchase of a concealed-carry holster type it is vital you understand it must include four things. 1] A safe-secure holster. 2] A firearm that fits. 3] A safe-secure method of attaching that holster to your body, and 4], well-fitting clothes.

These four components are all equally important. Each makes a concealed-carry system complete. If you leave one out of the loop, you may find you cannot comfortably conceal your weapon.

Now’s a good time to look over the various ways of carrying your firearm on your body. Not all are going to work for you. The best way to find out which one is right for you is to choose one that is based on your body specifics and the clothes you like to wear, and which offers the best coordinated ability to draw quickly and safely.

The following list can hopefully guide you in the right direction. The focus will be on the location on the body where you plan on carrying and the functions of the holster to assist you in making this critical decision.


Small of the Back Womens Holster

Product

Nature's Wild Safeguard Concealed Carry Pistol Holster -...

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  • INCREDIBLY VERSATILE - Ambidextrous Holster fits a wide range of...
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  • FLEXIBLE CONCEALED CARRY OPTIONS - Belly Band Holster allows for...
  • SIZE = SMALL - Stretchable band measures 33 inches by 5 inches...
  • EXPERTLY CRAFTED - The Safeguard Belly Band Holster utilizes a...

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  • INCREDIBLY VERSATILE - Ambidextrous Holster fits a wide range of...
  • COMFORTABLE AND DURABLE - Made from a Premium, Breathable...
  • FLEXIBLE CONCEALED CARRY OPTIONS - Belly Band Holster allows for...
  • SIZE = SMALL - Stretchable band measures 33 inches by 5 inches...
  • EXPERTLY CRAFTED - The Safeguard Belly Band Holster utilizes a...

Of all the body locations for concealed carry holsters, it appears that the small of the back is very popular. These types of holsters are designed for a quick draw and let you carry your small gun without anyone being able to notice–two critical components when choosing a concealed-carry holster.

Perhaps the best aspect about using a small-of-the-back holster is that it’s very comfortable. It is not unlike a reverse fanny pack. Remember those? Other holsters, no matter where worn, tend to chafe your skin or dig into your flesh. The small-of-the-back holsters distribute the gun’s shape and weight evenly across your waist by use of a belt—the waist, incidentally, carries the majority your body’s weight. This allows for long, but comfortable carry times.

One negative of this location is you can’t see the firearm when drawing. However, many a mom have claimed to have eyes in the back of their heads, so with practice this issue can be overcome.


Waist Womens Holster

Product

Concealment Express IWB KYDEX Holster: fits Glock...

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  • Posi 'Click' Audible Retention Lock System - Integrated Full...
  • 100% Hand Made in the USA - Unconditional Lifetime Warranty -...

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Details

  • Fits: GLOCK 17,19,22,23,26,27,31,32,33 (Gen 1-5)
  • Type: IWB - Inside The Waistband - Easily Adjustable Retention...
  • Material: .08" KYDEX for a Perfect Custom Molded Fit - Weight:...
  • Posi 'Click' Audible Retention Lock System - Integrated Full...
  • 100% Hand Made in the USA - Unconditional Lifetime Warranty -...

It is an accepted maxim in the gunowner world that IWB carry method provides better concealment than OWB, because it allows lighter or tighter fitting concealment allowing your clothes to provide more cover without exposing the holster and gun. IWB holsters appear hidden even when wearing light clothing. The gun hugs the body’s natural shape without needing to tighten the belt. It shows less profile print even on light outer clothing, allowing you to stay discretely armed. However, this doesn’t mean OWB concealed carry is not a good choice. While IWBs get good reviews regarding disguising a gun, it’s not so when it comes to comfort. OWB concealed carry holsters are much more comfortable at the expense of revealing the weapon.

The Kydex style of holster is probably what you are most familiar with when thinking of a waist holster. These can be worn inside the waistband or outside the waistband and are most often used for waist-carry. Most of them are made with Kydex. Kydex is basically a polymer fabric that forms into your weapon’s shape like a sponge. Some Kydex holsters will use a combination of leather or other backing to help with the comfortability and the security. Most Kydex holsters have a clip that requires a sturdy belt. What makes this a versatile holster is you can adjust the cant to fit your style and the location of the holster on your hip can also be adjusted depending on your draw preference.


Hip Womens Holster

Product

S&W M&P Shield 9mm Holster, Smith and Wesson MP Shield 9mm...

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  • OWB Paddle Holster Fits S&W M&P Shield 9mm/40 Holster 3.1 Inch...
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  • Activate the release with your index finger straight and off the...
  • Paddle Version: work well with or without a belt and easy...
  • Polymer body is durable to stand up to punishment, non-abrasive...

Our rating

Details

  • OWB Paddle Holster Fits S&W M&P Shield 9mm/40 Holster 3.1 Inch...
  • Auto Lock Mechanism provides a quick, smooth draw with immediate...
  • Activate the release with your index finger straight and off the...
  • Paddle Version: work well with or without a belt and easy...
  • Polymer body is durable to stand up to punishment, non-abrasive...

The classic appendix holster is named after the organ in your body that exists in between your belly and your right-side lower back. This carry location of inside the waistband usually situates the gun just behind the strong side hip where you will find your appendix. More to the point, it sits at three o’clock with your hip being noon position. The appendix holster usually comes with a built-in tensioner and made with black Kydex. A standard IWB clip holds it too your waistband.

Another type of holster that works for this position is a paddle holster which is an outside the waistband carry option that often works for many women firearm owners who don’t want to rely on a belt that requires pants with loops, although the Next Belt is a comfortable option. . A paddle holster has a paddle shape portion of the holster that fits inside the waistband while the holster for the gun overlaps the waistband. A popular feature of a paddle holster is its high retention outside the waistband verses the lower retention of a holster that comes with a belt holster.


Chest Womens Holster

Product

CCW Tactical Holster Shirt Tank Top for Concealed Carry and...

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  • EXTRA SAFE AND SECURE Ambidextrous right and left hand draw...
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  • EXCELLENT CONCEALMENT - NO PRINTING Integrated holsters provide...
  • BUY WITH CONFIDENCE in our 100% lifetime satisfaction guarantee!...

Our rating

Details

  • ULTRA COMFORTABLE Compression holster shirt for women uses a...
  • EXTRA SAFE AND SECURE Ambidextrous right and left hand draw...
  • QUICK DRAW Ambidextrous design with both RH and LH draw pockets...
  • EXCELLENT CONCEALMENT - NO PRINTING Integrated holsters provide...
  • BUY WITH CONFIDENCE in our 100% lifetime satisfaction guarantee!...

This is where bra holsters come into play. Obviously, bra holsters are designed to attach to your bra between the two cups where they offer you quick and safe access when wearing a blouse or other loose garments. The barrel is tucked slightly under the bra underwire with the handle exposed. Now, this next remark is not meant to be derogatory, but it is claimed that the more “size” you’ve got- the larger the firearm you can conceal and the better you can conceal it. OK, so that is a win, win situation.

However, one issue regarding this type of womens holster is the gun can cover the non-shooting arm as the gun is drawn from the holster. This makes for a dangerous situation that should be avoided at all costs. Therefore, this type of holster takes long hours of practice to make for a safe gun draw.


Belly Womens  Holster

Product

Ultimate Belly Band Holster for Concealed Carry | Black |...

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  • ONE SIZE FITS MOST - Neoprene band is adjustable and stretches to...
  • ONE SIZE FITS ALL HOLSTER - Surgical grade elastic holster fits...
  • CARRY IN ANY POSITION - Can be worn inside the waistband IWB,...
  • RIGHT OR LEFT HAND DRAW - Bellyband Holster is available in right...
  • Spare magazine pocket for accessories and optional use retention...

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Details

  • ONE SIZE FITS MOST - Neoprene band is adjustable and stretches to...
  • ONE SIZE FITS ALL HOLSTER - Surgical grade elastic holster fits...
  • CARRY IN ANY POSITION - Can be worn inside the waistband IWB,...
  • RIGHT OR LEFT HAND DRAW - Bellyband Holster is available in right...
  • Spare magazine pocket for accessories and optional use retention...

For your belly area you want to investigate corset holsters and/or body-wrap holsters. These stylish holsters are sometimes referred to as soft holsters. Think of the old-timey photos or paintings with dancing or society girls scrunching their waistbands so tightly to make themselves look thinner and more attractive. Well these types of womens holsters are designed similarly. They are usually made of a durable, elastic fabric that either by zipper, Velcro, or hook is fastened around your middle torso. Kind of like a giant ace-bandage that has slip pockets that can hold your firearm, pepper spray, knife, or even cell phone.

What’s cool is you can even combine one of these with your Kydex holster for an added level of secureness and protection.

These soft-style holsters are a great option because the position can be adjusted higher or lower on the body that is most relaxed, but secure for you.

A negative is they tend to restrict your ability draw with a good grip. However, practice makes perfect so this should not hold you back. With this in mind, the type of clothes you wear have to be peeled back and away to draw your firearm, so you have to ask what types of blouses or shirts can I wear with this holster.


Shoulder Womens  Holster

Product

AC Undercover Women's Elite Concealed Carry Tank TOP Shirt...

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  • QUICK DRAW: concealment pockets, one on each side. Provides...
  • SIZES: Our garments run tight to prevent movement of the weapon...

Our rating

Details

  • ALL WEATHER: Compression Concealment Tank Top Shirt, This shirt...
  • AMBIDEXTROUS: Works for both Right and Left handed shooters,...
  • SUITABLE: Allows immediate access when wearing button down...
  • QUICK DRAW: concealment pockets, one on each side. Provides...
  • SIZES: Our garments run tight to prevent movement of the weapon...

A women’s concealment shoulder holster should be designed to be light, comfortable, and match the contour of a woman’s body with the main band made of a very soft material so it can be worn against bare skin up and near your armpit. Right-handed shooters must choose right draw since shoulder holsters are designed for cross draw which means if you are right-handed, the holster will be on your left side and vice versa. Weapons with barrel mount or trigger guard mount accessories will not fit this type of holster so it really limits your choices.

This location has lost its popularity over time because of speed and safety. Its been shown that a practiced strong-side draw from the waist is usually faster than reaching across the body to swing a gun around on target. Also, and most importantly, it is very difficult to draw from a shoulder holster without first sweeping some innocent with the muzzle first when targeting. This is not an ideal situation especially in a crisis.


Calf Womens Holster

Product

Concealed Carrier (TM) Ankle Holster for Concealed Carry...

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  • MAXIMUM COMFORT GUARANTEE - Our ankle holster is made out of...
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  • QUICK DRAW GUARANTEE. NON-SLIP GUARANTEE - Thumb break holster...
  • EXTRA MAGAZINE, KNIFE, OR NON-LETHAL POUCH - We provide you with...

Our rating

Details

  • MAXIMUM COMFORT GUARANTEE - Our ankle holster is made out of...
  • COMBAT VETERAN OWNED BUSINESS - We are a team of U.S. military...
  • FITS ALL GUN SIZES. FITS ALL LEG SIZES. LEFT OR RIGHT-HANDED...
  • QUICK DRAW GUARANTEE. NON-SLIP GUARANTEE - Thumb break holster...
  • EXTRA MAGAZINE, KNIFE, OR NON-LETHAL POUCH - We provide you with...

A step above the ankle holster is the calf holster. It looks almost like a sock and is mostly made of Neoprene, so it fits the form of the leg. There is a long zipper that when unzipped becomes a holster for a small gun. The stitching tends to be very strong. Usually, there is another pocket on the outside of the holster for an extra magazine. Sounds very handy if you ask me.

This type of holster keeps your weapon easily reachable from a seated position, so anyone who drives or sits for work or free time should find this holster most suitable for their needs. Then again, that is one drawback for a person who is mostly standing for work or free time. You would have to crouch or kneel or stoop taking up valuable time and leaving yourself vulnerable to danger. It would also require a very loose-fitting pants leg all but eliminating jeans.


Ankle Womens Holster

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SureFire Fury Intellibeam 1500 Lumen Tactical Flashlight...

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  • DUAL FUEL - This versatile pocket-sized searchlight can be...
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Our rating

Details

  • DUAL FUEL - This versatile pocket-sized searchlight can be...
  • HIGH LUMENS - The Fury Intellibeam has a light output of 15-1500...
  • INTELLIBEAM TECHNOLOGY - Automatically and seamlessly adjusts...
  • LONG RUNTIME & DURABLE - Its runtime is up to 40 hours long. The...
  • PRECISION REFLECTOR - Produces smooth beam with a plenty of reach...

The Ankle Holster has been around for a long time. It is the gold-standard for concealed-carry for centuries if you think about it. Everybody uses this body position location from housewives to business executives to law enforcement. The reason is, you can wear dang near every kind of pants with safety and confidence.  Ankle holsters are probably the best method for concealed carry for the simple reason lady pants are often form fitted around the waist making ITW carry difficult if not impossible.

Ankle Holsters are built specifically to let the firearm rest in a holster a couple of inches higher than the foot. The holster pocket is fastened to the main strap which goes around the ankle. An upper strap, attached to the lower strap, rests near the top of the calf to support the lower strap. The space between the straps is adjustable to allow for different calf sizes. Many ankle holsters are ambidextrous so that they can be worn on either leg and on the inside or outside of the leg depending on your choice.


Parting Shots…

All in all, how you conceal-carry on your body may come down to your specific body type and what is comfortable and secure. The good thing is, this is an advantage over men for a variety of reasons. Because there are so many choices, it should not affect how you like to dress and how you like to live your life. You want to conceal-carry without losing sight of your desire to look nice wile toating a womens holster.

Well, you can do both. Today’s womens holster market holster market for conceal carry on the body for women comes with many choices and women who want to dress with a smart fashion sense and still be able to protect themselves and others can find a womans holster to their liking without spending a fortune.

By

Chris Frenchak has over 20 years of firearms experience between sporting and responsible concealed carry applications. Chris is a member of multiple pro-second amendment organizations including USCCA, NRA, and just as importantly, his local range. Chris is continuing a legacy of support for our rights by working with his family to increase firearms education and awareness as the lead editor of GunBacker.

The Daily Ammo

The latest firearms reviews, gear reviews and safe shooting tips for responsible gun owners.

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