Is a concealed carry fanny pack a part of your everyday carry? If not, what does your loadout look like? What goes with you everywhere at all times? For me, it’s typically a mix of my wallet, car keys, folding knife, money clip, an extra magazine, a tourniquet, and a flashlight. Add to this the weight and bulk of an inside the waistband holster and a Glock 43. It’s a lot of gear, and I recently realized there may be a better carry. That’s right – I’m talking about a concealed carry fanny pack.
Generally speaking, it’s hard to get all that gear into jeans, cargo shorts, or business slacks and look sleek. As a result, I began looking at options. My wife suggested I try a concealed carry fanny pack, which instantly drew that “You’ve got to be kidding” look from me. Wear a fanny pack? Do I look like that kind of person?
Then I ran across an old fanny pack that one of our kids wore on a trip overseas one summer. I gave it a second look and quickly adjusted the waistband. I began filling the little black nylon bag with what I would normally carry as my EDC. Everything went in without a problem. In fact, there was room to spare.
My next stop was the internet. Comes to find out, fanny packs are not such a fashion faux pas after all. I found that not only had the quality and selection of materials and styles changed, but the concealed carry world had also found fanny packs and there were a plethora of concealed carry fanny packs to choose from.
Why Wear a Concealed Carry Fanny Pack?
For me, there are several reasons to wear a concealed carry fanny pack. I won’t say that I carry one all the time. There are times when I still carry traditionally in my IWB holster and my pockets stuffed with the rest of my EDC. However, I do keep several different fanny packs I have found convenient. Why, you ask? Let’s look at the reasons.
Wearing a concealed carry fanny pack is just plain convenient. It allows you to put everything you need in one place that can be adjusted to wear comfortably. You can pick a size that best suits your needs. I don’t have to dig in my pockets to retrieve car keys, credit cards, or a money clip. Everything is easily accessible, whether I am standing or sitting in the car.
The concept of convenience particularly stands out at the airport. One thing I have learned is that those little trays aren’t big enough for what I carry in my pockets, but the big tubs make it easy to lose smaller items. If you are wearing a fanny pack, the pack goes in the tub and through the x-ray as a package. Just don’t forget to take out your spare magazine and your concealed carry pistol.
A concealed carry fanny pack makes road trips or even short trips around town more comfortable and more convenient. Long hours sitting on all that extra gear in your back pockets can get uncomfortable. Trying to dig out toll money from your pockets while wearing a seatbelt creates some interesting contortions, and let’s not forget the complications of trying to unholster your IWB pistol while seated and belted.
The convenience of always having your EDC in one easy to access place no matter where you are or what you are doing is a huge positive in my book for wearing a fanny pack.
Yes, I put comfort second on my list of reasons to have a concealed carry fanny pack. The older I get, the more important comfort becomes. I have carried my concealed pistol in an IWB holster for years. If I do need to be a bit more dressed and wear a shirt tucked, I have tuckable IWB’s or I can opt for a concealed carry undershirt.
The tuckable IWB’s work, but they often create a bunched look around the holster where the shirt is tucked. They also still give visible clues with the belt clips showing over the top of your pants and over the belt.
I will also add that IWB holsters are not built for comfort. The position of the holster can cause your pistol to dig into your side or back. They can chafe and rub. An IWB holster adds bulk around your waist that can become tiresome as the day wears on. If you are spending hours in a car, many times, the IWB sits just where the seat belt buckle wants to ride.
A fanny pack is an easy answer to these comfort issues. No more bulk in your pockets. No more IWB issues. The weight of your EDC goes outside your pants and onto your hips. Many newer fanny packs can be adjusted to work as a crossbody bag or even a sling bag.
There is no longer an issue with finding a fanny pack that fits your style. Going to the beach? A brightly colored nylon bag will fit in easily with everyone else who is wearing their beach bag. Need something a little less conspicuous? Smaller fanny packs in neutral colors and made of materials that look more substantial can be found.
Fanny packs are no longer just the cheap nylon simple bag on a belt. You can find almost any configuration of pouches, pockets, and dividers that you need. Many feature configurable main compartments.
As to style, there is no lack of fanny packs with stylish looks that can complement your wardrobe. Whether you want a more tactical look or a sleek fashionable statement, there is a fanny pack that will meet your requirements. You don’t have to sacrifice looking good for comfort and convenience.
By its very design, a fanny pack offers you a much wider range of possibilities for your concealed carry than any other kind of holster. The only thing I can think of that comes close to the range of functions that a fanny pack can perform is a woman’s concealed carry purse, and let’s be honest – I’m not quite ready yet to start carrying a man purse.
You can arrange to wear your fanny pack in almost any position and still have the ready availability of anything you keep inside, including your concealed carry gun. It is easy enough to shift the position of the fanny pack, depending on what I am doing. If I am walking, it shifts to my back as a true fanny pack. When sitting, it slides around in front. I can arrange it on the left or right side with no problem.
Many new styles of fanny packs will allow you to lengthen the waist belt and wear the fanny pack as a cross body carry, a shoulder carry, or as a sling-style bag. The options are almost endless. You are limited only by your imagination and creativity in the ways you can use and carry a fanny pack.
The designs, styles, and sizes of concealed carry fanny packs are almost unlimited. Once you consider what you want to carry and what style you want, you can almost always find a fanny pack that will meet your criteria. Even the big tactical gear manufacturers have recognized the trend and have added fanny packs to their lines.
The Other Side of the Bag
As versatile and comfortable as fanny packs are, they do have some downsides you should consider before you empty that drawerful of holsters that you have accumulated over the years. Nothing is perfect and neither are fanny packs.
Getting to Your Gun
If you have been used to training and practicing getting your concealed carry gun while wearing it in an IWB or OWB holster, you are in for some retraining. Retrieving a handgun from a fanny pack is a whole different operation.
Before you start carrying your firearm in a concealed carry fanny pack, you should consider three important factors:
- Getting to your gun is slower – It just takes more time to open the fanny pack, get to the gun, and extract it to a ready to fire position. It also takes practice.
- It takes two hands to draw from a fanny pack – No matter what the manufacturer may say, getting a concealed carry gun out of a fanny pack is a two-handed operation. Opening zippers, clearing the firearm from the pack, and getting the pack out of the way requires two hands. Similar to point one, this also takes practice.
- You need to practice – If you haven’t figured it out already, I am almost obsessed with training and practice. If you aren’t training and practicing with whatever system you chose to carry your concealed handgun, you aren’t doing yourself or your family any favors. One serious downside to wearing a fanny pack for concealed carry is that many ranges won’t let you train from your fanny pack.
Is a Fanny Pack too Obvious?
I think a lot depends on where you are when you are wearing it. Unfortunately, a fanny pack is probably not a good choice if you must wear dress clothes in your workplace. A fanny pack, no matter how expensive or well-tailored, just doesn’t fit well with a business suit.
Some people worry that a man wearing a fanny pack screams concealed carry. I disagree. I see more and more men wearing fanny packs on a regular basis for the same reasons I have listed above. Society seems to be more accepting of anyone wearing a fanny pack despite their age or the situation.
Don’t Go Overboard
One problem I have encountered is the tendency to want to carry more. The thought process can become a snowball rolling down the mountain. What was intended to be a compact, minimalist option for your gun and other EDC gear becomes an ever-growing depository of seldom-used items. My rule of thumb is to not carry anything that I would not carry if I didn’t use a fanny pack.
The Final Question
There is one final question that only you can answer – “Is a fanny pack for concealed carry right for me?” I can’t answer that question for you, but I can tell you unequivocally that I have found mine to be awesome. If you are looking for a way to carry concealed and to manage the rest of your EDC items, then I believe you should consider at least one concealed carry fanny pack in your selection of concealed carry holsters.