How To Select the Right Deep Concealment Holster

Person gripping pistol holstered in back

- ComfortTac Brand Team

Legal concealed carry has been proven over and over to be one of the best methods of self-defense, especially in the hands of someone who has been trained in firearm use, self-defense tactics, and understands the ramifications of conceal carry. It has been said that firearms are the great equalizer when it comes to self-defense, but one of the biggest problems of concealed carry is how to incorporate your firearm into your daily routine. Just like a fire extinguisher, it's better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.  But how do you safely and effectively carry it out in your daily life? One of the best options is a deep concealment holster.

Benefits of Deep Concealment Holsters

A deep concealment holster allows you to carry your firearm and safely move about without obstructing your range of motion or giving up the fact that you are carrying. "Printing" as it is known, is when your firearm is revealed to be on your person to a casual onlooker.  In many states allowing concealed carry, printing is a violation of concealment, and you are in essence open carrying. So it is important to keep your pistol out of sight for legal, as well as safety reasons.  

The biggest benefit of a deep concealment holster is that it is not known that you are armed. Not only does this allow you to move about without drawing attention to your firearm, but it also allows others to feel comfortable and not raise a fuss about what they cannot see. A concealed firearm also allows you to respond to a threat without providing your attacker with the knowledge that they are dealing with an armed victim. This gives you more flexibility in how you can deal with the threat.

Deep Concealment Holster Options

There are a number of ways you can practice deep concealment carry. Accessibility is just as important as concealment, and comfort is also something to consider, otherwise you might become frustrated with the awkwardness or even pain associated with carrying your pistol. A variety of different body placements, holster configurations, and even materials give you options on what will work best for you.

Common Ways to Carry

Shoulder: A very comfortable and arguably the most accessible location on the body is with a shoulder holster. This configuration allows you to place the holster underneath the armpit, and it is held in place by straps that loop over your shoulders. A drawback to this is the weight of the firearm is displaced across your shoulders and the straps are difficult to conceal depending on the clothes you are wearing over it. For instance, in t-shirt weather, you probably aren't going to want to wear a jacket all the time to conceal your harness rig.

Deep waistband carry: This is a very popular method of deep concealment carry and a variety of holsters provide additional comfort and access to your firearm. From a deep appendix carry holster to a deep tuck IWB holster to a below the waistband deep concealment holster, the principle is the same. The firearm rests in the holster with the trigger guard covered to eliminate hangups and prevent accidental discharge. Just like your underwear, your firearm is concealed by your pants or shorts themselves, and a t-shirt or other overshirt further reduces the problem of "printing". Since you will always feel where the pistol is, you will be able to access it with ease. You can move the holster to where it is more comfortable, such as the back of the waist, your hip, or even a more appendix carry.

Deep appendix carry holster: The pistol is carried on the front of your waist, around the region of your appendix. This reduces the profile of your pistol and reduces printing, as well as allowing you to draw unobstructed if necessary. A drawback to this is it could be uncomfortable if you are sitting for long periods of time.

IWB and Deep Concealed Materials 

  • Kydex holsters: These holsters use a hardened, yet flexible material called Kydex which is specifically formed to the shape of your firearm.  Typically attached to a webbing footprint that fits closely to the body, it holds your firearm firmly in place until you need it. Options include a slot for a spare magazine.
  • Leather: Much more breathable than Kydex, many people prefer the look of a leather IWB holster. Leather can also be conformed to fit the shape of your firearm, but it is slightly heavier and bulkier than Kydex. A metal retaining clip typically keeps a leather deep concealment holster clipped to the inside of your pants or shorts by your waistband.
  • Cloth or synthetic fabric:  Webbing, rubberized cloth, and padded cloth are all used for a variety of deep carry concealment rigs.

Other Options

Ankle holster: A very reliable way to practice deep concealment. Printing is typically not a problem, but a pant leg can ride up, revealing the holster. Due to the distance from your hand, an ankle holster isn't as easy to reach if you need to draw it as say a deep appendix carry holster.

Thigh holster: The ultimate concealed carry holster for deep concealment for someone who wears dresses or skirts and needs access to their firearm. A problem with this rig is that it might fall down or ride up, depending on activity.

Pocket holster: As firearms decrease in size without limiting stopping power or magazine capacity, a pocket holster is ideal whether you are wearing baggy shorts, loose-fitting jeans or anything else with pockets. They use a soft pouch that is typically sticky on the outside, either from a reusable adhesive that won't damage clothing, or rubberized material that keeps the holster in place when you are drawing the pistol. These holsters are lightweight, breathable, and versatile, since they are designed to be used in just about any empty pocket.

Belly band holster:  A belly band holster allows for a more comfortable carry, as well as a slimmer profile. This is the best deep carry holster for those wearing form-fitting pants, skirts, or other items of clothing that require a smoother profile. A drawback being that additional fabric can be hot when worn over long periods of time. 

How To Select the Right Deep Concealment Holster

Selecting the right deep concealment holster is mostly a matter of personal preference and where it intersects with functionality and comfort. Here are some other factors to consider.

  • Material: We have discussed the different kinds of material holsters are made of, from Kydex, to cloth, to leather, but there are many more types of materials which are being used to make holsters. Each carries with it advantages and drawbacks. Particularly, expense is something to consider, with upper end materials and features being more expensive.  Depending on your needs, the most expensive and cutting edge holster isn't necessarily what will work best for you.
  • Body type: Since you are working with your body's profile and ergonomics, the type of clothes you wear which will conceal the firearm, and how comfortable or accessible it will be. It will also make a difference in how easy it is for you to access your firearm when seconds count.
  • Activity: If you are up and moving around, such as walking constantly, walking the dog, out on the golf course, or constantly on your feet and moving, your needs for deep conceal carry holster might be very different from someone who is sitting in a vehicle most of the day, or sitting at a desk in an office chair.
  • Weight: Even with the best deep carry holster, you are going to experience the feeling of weight from your firearm on your body. Eventually you will get used to it, but it is something that can be irritating or at the very least become a tell that you are carrying.

Get Outfitted

With a variety of factors to consider and literally hundreds of holsters available for deep conceal carry, much of it boils down to personal preference, comfort, and range of motion. Cost may vary, but the most important feature to consider is the ability to comfortably and reliably carry your firearm with maximum concealment, without sacrificing access to it. You should consider how you go on about your business in your daily life for a  everyday carry concealment.  Your rig should work with you to make sure you are getting the most out of your life as you are protecting your life.