What to Wear – A Detailed Guide to Concealed Carry Jackets

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Did you know that your bulky normal winter jacket may be exactly the wrong thing to choose for a concealed carry jacket? Many people think that their regular everyday winter jacket will be just the thing for concealed carry, but in reality, there are a lot of factors to consider first.

There are a lot of things a concealed carry jacket should accomplish. Unfortunately, most off-the-rack winter jackets don’t come close to meeting these objectives. Even many lightweight, cool weather jackets can cause more problems for concealed carry then they solve. Understanding what to look for in a concealed carry jacket is important as you begin to adjust your wardrobe for effective concealed carry.

What Should a Concealed Carry Jacket do?

The primary purpose of a concealed carry jacket is, of course, to keep you warm. Its second function is to effectively conceal your gun and allow you easy and efficient access to your gun when it is needed. That is where many regular jackets fail the test. There are a variety of factors you’ll need to understand to accomplish these two goals.

  • Functionality – The jacket you chose should first be functional for the conditions and uses to which you intend to put it. If you live in a climate that offers days of freezing weather with snow and ice, you should choose a jacket that fits those conditions. Your health and well-being are the most important factors in any situation.
  • Fit – Fit is an all-important consideration. An improperly fitted jacket can be cumbersome and cause problems with accessing your concealed carry gun as well as impeding the jacket’s ability to perform its primary function, keeping you snug and warm.
  • Durability – A jacket that wears well and stands up to the rigors of outdoor activities makes the jacket, not only functional but also efficient and a sound financial investment.
  • Flexibility – A well designed and manufactured concealed carry jacket will offer a degree of flexibility that most regular jackets won’t. The flexibility is important for the movements you may have to make as you are engaged in a situation where you must access your concealed carry gun quickly and easily.

What to Look for in a Concealed Carry Jacket

Features of a good concealed carry jacket are what make it worth its while. There are some features that you should try to find in any jacket that you want to wear as a concealed carry jacket.

  • Adjustable cuffs to keep your sleeves from interfering with a concealed carry draw.
  • Waist cut. If you wear a duty belt, the waist cut should be such that it doesn’t interfere with your belt. If not, the waist should be tailored to fit closely to eliminate “flaps and gaps.”
  • Extra pockets for magazines, documents, or other everyday carry that you may need to access without removing the jacket.
  • Style is important. Pick a style that fits your and your lifestyle. 
  • If the jacket is equipped with zippers, make sure that they are large enough or have pull lanyards so they can be easily operated with gloves.

Built-in Holster or Not?

Some concealed carry jackets now feature built-in holster pockets. A few of these jackets even have built-in holsters and magazine pockets. You should be sure that the gun you want to carry fits in the built-in holster and that the magazines will fit the built-in carriers.

If you don’t opt for a jacket with built-in holsters and you intend to conceal carry in a pocket of the jacket, there are some additional considerations.

  • Is the pocket secure? – Any jacket that will be used as a concealed carry jacket in which you will ride your gun should have some secure means of closing the pocket in which the gun will reside. A zipper is the best option, but snaps or Velcro would be a second choice. 
  • Can a Holster be secured in the pocket? – If the jacket pocket is not designed specifically for concealed carry, you really should carry your gun in a pocket holster. Ideally, the pocket of the jacket will have some form of attachment like hook and loop that will hold the holster securely inside the pocket in the proper position.
  • Is the pocket opening large enough to draw without snagging? – Many fashion jackets may have zipper pockets and may even be able to fit a small pocket holster. However, you must make sure that the pocket opening is generous enough to allow you to draw the gun easily and cleanly while you maintain a proper grip.

Our Picks for Concealed Carry Jackets

Best All-Around Concealed Carry Jacket – Rothco Concealed Carry 3 Season Jacket

Rothco is one of those overlooked and underappreciated brands. Yes, they do sell some equipment gear that is not quite up to the quality standard of most people. However, the Rothco line of outerwear, particularly their jackets are on par with almost anything on the market.

That is the case with the Rothco Concealed Carry 3 Season Jacket. The features on this jacket make it a phenomenal option for concealed carry. 

  • Stylish and comfortable
  • Front zipper pockets
  • Four inside magazine pockets
  • Two padded inside concealed carry pockets with hook and loop closure
  • Button adjustable wrist cuffs and waist
  • Warm, durable and water-resistant

The Rothco 3 season concealed carry jacket is an affordable option for anyone looking for a casual concealed carry jacket that can be worn fall, winter, or spring. The stylish design doesn’t look “tactical” or “military” and blends in well in almost any situation.

Pros

  • Stylish and wearable in almost any occasion
  • Lots of pockets
  • Ambidextrous concealed carry
  • Magazine pockets built-in
  • Affordable

Cons

  • The jacket is not extremely lightweight
  • The Velcro may get fouled easily 

Best Lightweight Tactical Concealed Carry Jacket – Tru-spec Men’s 24-7 Tactical Softshell Jacket

Tru-spec’s reputation among law enforcement and military personnel is unquestioned. What most people don’t realize is that Tru-spec offers many products aimed directly at the civilian concealed carry market. This is true of the Tru-spec Men’s 24-7 Tactical Softshell Jacket.

This wind and water-resistant jacket is lightweight and is cut so that it can be worn over ballistic plates or holstered guns. The pockets are not really designed to be used for concealed carry in the jacket. Rather this jacket is made to easily conceal a holstered gun no matter what your preferred method of carrying.

The Tru-spec tactical concealed carry jacket offers you features that make this an ideal lightweight jacket if you carry concealed.

  • Side Seam zippers for quick and easy access to your belt line or torso
  • Zipper front closure
  • Angled waist pockets with hidden covered closures and mesh lining
  • Two rear zipper pockets for EDC items

Tru-spec’s attention to detail and quality certainly make this a choice buy. If you like to wear a fashionable lightweight jacket during cooler weather, the Tru-spec 24-7 Tactical Softshell Jacket should be on your list of options.

Pros

  • Five pockets hold a lot of gear
  • Two inner pockets that can be adapted for concealed carry
  • Water-resistant

Cons

  • Not heavy enough for winter wear
  • No chest pockets 

Best Classic Look Concealed Carry Jacket – Wrangler Men’s Western Concealed Carry Blanket Lined Denim Jacket

Nothing beats the timeless look of a western cut denim jacket. Line with blanket material, and it screams cowboy. Western cut denim jackets have been the go-to cool weather jacket for years, and now you can have that look with the convenience of concealed carry features built right in.

The Wranglers Classic Denim Jacket has enough style and good looks to allow you to wear it to any full-dress affair and fit right in. No one will know that you are carrying concealed in one of the two inside slots designed to hold your carry gun. 

Among the other features that you will find on the Wrangler Western Concealed Carry Jacket are:

  • Four additional pockets for your everyday carry gear
  • Button cuffs
  • Adjustable waistband
  • Durable and comfortable

Wrangler is a well-known brand of men’s and women’s western wear. No one will have a second thought when they see you sporting this jacket. This is a perfect addition to your casual wear or semi-formal wardrobe.

Pros

  • 100% Cotton
  • Includes a universal holster
  • Stylish and classic look

Cons

  • Only works with compact pistol frames
  • Only comes in one color

Best Big and Tall Concealed Carry Jacket – Berne Men’s Concealed Carry Echo One Jacket: Big & Tall

Bigger guys often have a problem finding a jacket cut to fit their taller and longer frame, especially long arms. If this sounds like you, check out the Berne Men’s Concealed Carry Echo One Jacket. But extra-long and extra broad, this jacket is designed from the waist up for the big guy and extreme conditions.

The Berne Echo One Jacket is an extreme weather jacket. The design is a full storm-resistant coat that will take you through the harshest conditions. You will be snug and secure wearing this hooded jacket no matter how inclement the weather.

Concealed carry is no problem either. Interior pockets can be combined with many different holstering systems to allow you to customize your concealed carry to your own personal preferences. It just doesn’t do concealed carry – it’s also got an array of other features.

  • Heavy-duty 10 oz. cotton duck fabric
  • Triple-needle stitched seams
  • Brass zipper
  • Zippered chest pockets

If you are worried about marrying your holster or other carry systems with the Berne Echo One Jacket, you can rest easy. Berne has included both Velcro and MOLLE style attachment systems into their concealed carry pockets to make setting up your concealed carry rig a breeze.

Pros

  • Allows carrying concealed comfortably and easily accessible even in the coldest weather
  • Tons of available pockets for carrying your EDC and other necessary gear
  • Adjusts at the wrist and the waist make this a great jacket and comfortable to wear

Cons

  • Hood is not detachable
  • To warm for anything but the coldest climates 

Best Women’s Concealed Carry Jacket – Cinch Women’s Concealed Carry Bonded Softshell Jacket

Billed as a work jacket, the Cinch Women’s Concealed Carry Bonded Softshell Jacket has enough style and good looks to go anywhere. It doesn’t lack concealed carry and functional features either. This stylish and sleek design is a fashionable piece kit that any woman would find at home in her wardrobe.

The Cinch Women’s Softshell Jacket comes in black and brown and has ambidextrous interior concealed carry pockets. Inside each pocket is a Velcro system that will hold your concealed carry holster snugly and safely. 

As functional as it is fashionable, the Cinch Softshell jacket is feature-rich.

  • 94% polyester and 6% spandex
  • YKK zippers
  • Machine Washable
  • Cinch styling and good looks

This lightweight women’s jacket is perfect for a cool fall evening or brisk spring days. The styling and good looks will be appreciated, and the well-designed concealed carry pockets keep your gun safe yet easily accessible from either hand.

Pros

  • Velcro holster included
  • Two additional pockets
  • High Rise collar for warmth and wind protection

Cons

  • No hood
  • Seems to be cut small so order a size up just in case

Before the Weather Turns

Waiting until the last minute is not usually a good idea in any situation. Waiting until the first onslaught of cold weather to start thinking about a concealed carry jacket falls into that unwise category. There are many options in the marketplace from which to choose. Also, be sure to check out our comprehensive guide to concealed carry clothing. I hope that this short guide to concealed carry jackets has made you a bit wiser about what to look for and how to choose a concealed carry jacket.

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