Winter Concealed Carry – Essential Tips and Clothing Recommendations

We northern-latitude types spend a lot of time bundled up. While that’s great for keeping us warm, it’s not so good when drawing your gun from concealment.

Drawing from concealment in heavy and bulky winter clothes takes a skill set best learned with practice. Switching up your carry method for the winter months is important.

Keep Your Hands Warm

Cold weather can make a big difference when concealed carrying. The good news is that with the right holster and clothing, concealed carry clothes for winter can be just as easy (and safe) as summer.

But, with those extra layers come added challenges you may not face in other seasons. First, if you’re wearing gloves while carrying your gun and aren’t used to it, your fingers will be stiff and won’t move as easily as they do in warmer temperatures.

This makes it harder to draw your weapon and manipulate the safety or clear a malfunction. If you have a choice, try wearing gloves that will work well with your firearm and practice until it becomes second nature. Secondly, consider switching to an outside-the-waistband or a belt clip holster if you normally wear pants with belt loops and opt for a light jacket over it. It will be easier to carry a larger gun under that type of clothing, and it won’t print.

Keep Your Feet Dry

Winter weather can present new challenges and choices regarding concealed carry. Wearing a heavy outer jacket that conceals your gun while keeping you warm is one option, but the ability to access your weapon may be compromised. If you wear a coat with pockets designed for concealed carry, this makes it easier to use your holster.

Similarly, you can wear a coat with a shoulder or waist holster and keep your weapon easily accessible. This will help you in the event of a sudden need to defend yourself and your family or even remove your gun when entering a restaurant or other public place. If you carry a large pistol in your coat pocket, be sure it is a quality pocket holster that will not allow the gun to shift and make it harder to reach during an emergency. Also, consider wearing gloves to make it easier to handle your weapon and to manipulate the safety or clear malfunctions.

Keep Your Gun Close to Your Body

You will likely wear many more layers in winter than in warmer weather. This can make concealed carry more challenging, especially when attempting to draw your firearm from concealment.

A good way to minimize this problem is to pair a shoulder holster with a jacket with an easy-access pocket for your CCW or leave the top unzipped when you’re out and about.

Another option is keeping your gun in a pocket holster in your pants or an outside coat pocket. However, this can pose problems in crowded restaurants or other public places, and it may require you to take off your coat at some point, which isn’t always ideal.

It’s a good idea to practice drawing your weapon in different scenarios when wearing the types of clothing you will be carrying during the winter. Doing this will help you find a comfortable and practical solution, allowing you to responsibly take your gun during the coldest months of the year.


There are pros and cons to changing how you carry in the winter. You can still carry the same gun you always do, but you may also want to try a different method of carrying, like a belly band or a shoulder holster. Whatever you do, it’s best to practice with that method so you know you can draw from the holster promptly should you need to do so.

Alternatively, you could try pocket carry underneath your winter clothing. However, this can make it difficult to reach your weapon should you need to defend yourself. You’ll need to learn how to draw from pocket carry when layered, and it’s not always ideal for cold weather.

Ultimately, it all comes down to what works for you and your lifestyle. Experiment with different methods and clothing to find the right fit for your concealed carry needs this winter. You’ll thank yourself if you ever need to use your gun for self-defense.