Winter Concealed Carry – Dressing for the Elements Without Compromising Safety

Choosing a Concealed Carry Holster

Winter conceal carry can pose a few challenges that only sometimes pop up during warmer weather. It comes down to clothing, choice of gun and holster, and training. It’s essential to practice with your concealed carry gear year-round so that you’re proficient no matter what. Safe and responsible concealed carry requires consistent practice, whether you carry all year or switch to a giant winter gun.

Choosing a Concealed Carry Holster

While winter clothing may complicate carrying a firearm more than the thinner shirts and lighter pants of warmer months, concealing a gun is more leisurely. The thicker, bulkier garments often cover a pistol’s grip, making it much harder to print. The key is to choose a holster that works best with your concealed carry clothes for winter, such as a pocket holster or an IWB holster hidden in your jacket or under a sweater. Pocket-carrying or tucking a pistol into your pants without a holster is never a good idea, but it’s hazardous in the winter when you might be wearing a heavy coat zipped up. Consistent training is essential in any environment, like finding the best concealed carry holster. When carrying while dressed in winter gear, practicing with your weapon (both live and dry fire) is a must. This will help you become accustomed to clearing your coat, sweater, or jacket and reholstering quickly if needed.

Choosing a Concealed Carry Jacket

For those who prefer to carry in jacket pockets, the bulkier fabrics of winter can present a challenge. The front of the garment must be noticeable – both to access and draw a gun from the pocket and for the user to operate their weapon. A jacket should have the right amount of stretch to accommodate a pistol while being loose enough to provide flexibility and comfort. Fabrics like cotton are good choices, particularly those with a natural fiber that allows air to circulate. Choosing the right jacket also includes looking at the design.

Choosing a Concealed Carry Glove

A good pair of winter gloves will allow you to operate a handgun with more skill than is possible without them. It’s essential to find a pair that fits well and is comfortable in hand but also thin enough to accommodate your EDC’s trigger guard. The key is to practice drawing with gloves on, so you can get accustomed to how they affect your shooting ability. It’s an entirely different skill set than using bare hands, and it’s one that you should develop to ensure that you aren’t caught off guard in the event of an incident where you will need to draw from concealment while wearing thick winter clothing. If you cannot find gloves that work with your firearm, you can always opt for a glove insert. These are inexpensive, easy to find, and effective at keeping your fingers warm while allowing you to operate your weapon with dexterity.


As with all things gun-related, consistent practice is critical. Carrying in the winter presents a unique set of challenges, and you’ll need to learn how your clothing and holster work together. To that end, regularly dress as you would for the season and attempt to draw your weapon while wearing that attire — either dry fire or live firing. Another factor to consider is that the added layers of winter clothing make getting a quick grip on your weapon more challenging. This is particularly true for those who prefer to carry their firearm OWB and have it secured in an outside pocket. During cold weather, it is also wise to carry your firearm in the glove compartment of your vehicle (or the trunk) if you can. This will allow you to keep it nearby during a traffic stop without risking an accidental discharge and escalating the situation.

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