The OWB Concealed Carry Holster
When it comes to concealed carry, the On the waistband holster aka OWB, is seriously underrated. Most only consider them for open carry, but here are my top reasons why I believe it should be considered a top choice by women gun owners for concealed carry. I will also talk about good ways to conceal this type of holster.
Access Of An OWB Concealed Carry Holster
Let’s first discuss a huge factor when it comes to concealed carry holsters. Accessibility. If you cannot get to your holstered gun when your life depended on it, what good it is? No matter how concealed it is.
If you have been following The Well Armed Woman you will know my favorite area to carry in is what I refer to as the “Sweet Spot”. This is the entire area around your middle from your hips to just under your bust. This area allows for the quickest access to your gun, should you need to draw.
Adjustable Ride Height
One good feature to look for in an OWB holster is its ability to be adjusted higher or lower on your hip. This is called “ride height”. This is what allows you to set your holster higher or lower depending on your torso length.
Women with short torsos may prefer to wear the OWB holster lower to help to increase the area between your hip and your underarm needed to draw the gun to fully clear it from the top of the holster. Drawing from Concealment is a great series of articles that will help you picture this if you are not familiar.
Additionally, if you are new to concealed carry, I suggest you also read the article Concealed Carry For Women Part 3: Concealed Carry for Women – Where To Start? This is a great hub to find information on concealed carry guns, holsters, and where to start.
Comfort of the OWB Concealed Carry Holster
Next, is the comfort factor for the OWB concealed carry holster. It is unmatched. When you wear your holster on the outside of your pants, there is no gun down the inside of your pants like when wearing an In The Waistband (IWB) holster. this makes OWB carry infinitely more comfortable.
This means there is no gun digging into your side when moving or bending. Additionally, there is no sliding up or down like what can happen with a wrap-type holster.
Can You Conceal Carry OWB?
Ok, now to my final point, concealability. Yes, concealing an OWB holster can be a little more difficult compared to an IWB holster or wrap holster, but it still can be easily done. Here are a few tips on how to do it successfully.
1. Buy an OWB holster that curves to your body, such as the TWAW OWB Holster
a. When your holster curves to your body, it not only holds the gun tight to your body to minimize the bulge, but it also places the grip of your gun closer to your body so it is not sticking outward and harder to hide.
As I mentioned above, I prefer to wear mine just in front of my hip. This allows the gun to be close to my body, but also slightly hidden with the natural shape of my body.
2. Choose the right clothing
Your clothing choices are the key to successfully concealing an OWB holstered gun. Here are a few great ideas.
a. Wear a vest or cardigan. Something that you are comfortable wearing inside and out. In warmer weather, keep it light and flowy. In colder weather, wear the vest under your coat, so you can keep it on after taking off your coat when indoors.
b. Wear a tank top with an open, unbuttoned, untucked shirt over it.
c. Wear shirts that are wider and flowier at the bottom.
d. Wear shirts with a heavy pattern to visually distort any slight bulges
3. Sturdy Platform
When carrying on the waistband you must have a sturdy waistband for this type of holster. The wearing of a solid belt makes for the most successful OWB carry. It provides a stable platform to carry the weight of your gun and hold it in place during the force of drawing. More information can be found in The Do’s and Don’ts of OWB Conceal Carry.
A Few Things to Think About
So now you understand the reasons why I love OWB holsters for concealed carry. They are in the “Sweet Spot” providing the best access to your gun should you need it. They are comfortable, and, with the right clothing, they are easy to conceal.
Typically when we think of concealed carry holsters we think of belly bands and IWB holsters. Perhaps now, you will give OWB carry a second thought!