When carrying is simply a part of life, you’re going to be carrying in casual clothes from time to time. That means that you’ll need a carrying system that is adaptable for different fabrics and designs. One of the most common questions people have about carrying is how to conceal carry when wearing sweatpants, athletic pants or yoga pants. Is it possible?
Yes, you can easily and comfortably carry in sweatpants with proper preparation. The bottom line is that you will need some type of holster or “pouch” carrying accessory. It’s also important to be realistic about fit. Since most concealment methods rely on a gun being securely fitted against your body, carrying really only works if your sweatpants have a snug or semi-snug fit.
If your sweatpants have too much “give” to keep a concealment method hidden and in place, you may have to look to “external” carrying methods. I’ll cover it all in my rundown. To start, here’s an overview of the common methods people use to conceal carry in sweatpants:
- Bellyband holster.
- Sticky holster with small handgun.
- Inside the waistband (IWB) with drawstring tied tight.
- Pocket holster with a light gun.
- Shoulder holster with a light jacket.
- Ankle holster,
- Fanny pack.
- Concealed carry vest.
Which option will work best for you? The answer depends on a number of factors. In fact, you might want to have more than one option ready to go for different environments and activities where you’ll be carrying while in sweatpants. Follow along as we dive into what carrying using different methods entails.
The Best Ways to Conceal Carry in Sweatpants
Using A Belly Band Holster With Sweatpants
With a bellyband holster, the type of pants you happen to be wearing will be wholly irrelevant. That’s because these holsters create a hidden gunbelt system around your body that is designed to be covered by your clothing.
Bands are typically made from neoprene to ensure long-lasting comfort. The big benefit of a belly band holster is that it can easily accommodate different sizes of guns. That means that you won’t necessarily have to come up with a new system for each gun your own.
In addition, a lot of people like the option of being able to wear a gun on their body instead of entrusting it to some type of external pouch or bag.
While the belly band is a tried-and-true favorite, the downside is that the ultra-concealed nature of this option means that it will take just a little longer for you to access your weapon in the event that a quick draw is necessary. That said, a belly band does give you the flexibility to position your firearm high or low at the front, back or side of your body. That means that you can place it in the spot that allows you to make the quickest, safest draw.
Sticky Holster For Sweatpants
If you’re looking for a way to carry a smaller handgun while wearing sweatpants, consider sticky holsters. Now, you may feel a little bit intimidated by the fact that a “sticky” holster doesn’t use any clips or loop systems to keep your gun fastened in place. That’s precisely why this is an option that’s recommended for smaller handguns.
What does a sticky holder use to stay in place? This design is constructed to use the pressure from the waistband in your pants to stay secure against your body. They can be placed against clothing or bare skin. Sticky holsters can be placed on either hip to accommodate left handed and right handed shooters.
While a sticky holder may not seem like a very secure option at first glance, this design actually stays in place quite nicely with help from a non-slip material that works in conjunction with pressure. What’s more, the holster won’t move out of place when you draw your gun as long as your waistband provides enough pressure.
If you’re looking for a well-reviewed sticky holster that has been vetted by plenty of gun owners, the Sticky Holsters MD-4 Medium is a good starting point. Made in the United States, this particular holster can accommodate single stack sub-compact medium autos up to 3.6” barrel. Ultimately, a sticky holder is a good choice for sweatpants and athletic pants because it’s essentially a “floating” holster that is designed to secure to waistbands or pockets.
IWB With Drawstring Tied Tight
An IWB holster may be an option if you’re wearing sweatpants with a drawstring that can be tied tightly to create an ultra-secure fit. Typically, an IWB holster is secured by a metal clip that helps it to stay held in place. However, you may find that sweatpants that don’t contain a drawstring will be too easily “tugged down” to be compatible with this concealment method. Like other carrying methods, the IWB holster can be worn to accommodate a right handed or left handed draw.
If you’re looking for a way to carry a light gun in your pocketed sweatpants, a pocket holster is an option. Personally, I like the Desantis Ambi Nemesis Holster – N38BJ because this USA-made holster uses a special cloth that allows for a friction-free draw. It also features foam that’s strategically designed to conceal your gun’s outline. You can be pretty confident that this holster isn’t shifting once it’s secured. Like all mainstream holster options, it can be adjusted for left handed or right handed draws.
Additional Options For Sweatpants Carry
If you’re not confident about securely fitting your gun inside your sweatpants, you can look to some “exterior” options. Something that I’m a really big fan of is a shoulder holster. To use this, you’ll need to wear a light jacket to keep your gun concealed. However, the trade-off is that you get to enjoy the comfort of sweatpants without any worries about your plan for carrying safely and discreetly collapsing.
Ankle Holster Under Sweatpants
An ankle holster is also an option. This may be tougher to pull off if you’re wearing very tapered sweatpants with elastic “cuffs” at the ankles. However, it will work with many types of sweatpants and athletic pants.
You may find that you’re simply more comfortable with wearing your gun externally using something like a fanny pack. This makes your gun accessible while still remaining completely concealed. The benefit of this option is that it works universally regardless of what you’re wearing. That means you won’t have to come up with special setups for different types of pants and outfits. However, many people dislike the bulk of wearing a fanny pack. There is also the concern that at least some degree of the concealment aspect is lost.
Concealed Carry Vest
Another option is to simply wear a concealed carry vest when wearing sweatpants. There are plenty of stylish vests today that allow you to carry safely and legally without looking like you’re going on a hunting expedition. In fact, only gun experts who have their own collections of carrying vests might pick up on the fact that you’re wearing anything outside the ordinary at all. Concealed carry vests feature interior front pockets that have room to securely hold your gun and accessories.
Final Thoughts on Choosing the Best Way to Conceal Carry in Sweatpants
Whether you opt for a carry holster or an external holder, it’s always important to be safe and fully compliant. That means being responsible enough to know when a bellyband holster or gunbelt just isn’t working with your particular pants. That said, you should have no problem securely concealing your weapon if you buy a high-quality, well-made carry holster that can be counted on to stay in place!