Thank you to all the amazing women who responded to the TWAW 2020 survey. Now, I get to share with you the top holsters and carry locations for women in 2020! The TWAW survey was open to everyone country-wide, and we got an astounding 5,500+ women entrants. These women ranged in age of 18- 75+ and were women carrying their first gun to women who have been concealed carriers for over 20 years.
So, what holsters do women most commonly use? What locations do women carry in most often? Read on to find out!
What carry locations are the most popular with women?
Women are so diverse and the ways we carry are diverse as well! Everyone is different and what works for one woman will not necessarily work for another. However, you can use this list to try to work out what would be best for you!
For the last few years, the most popular way to carry has been in-the-waistband and 2020 was no different! Carrying IWB is pretty comfortable (make it even more comfortable with our TWAW Comfort Shield), safe, and no one has access to your gun! Over 35% of women carried IWB in 2020.
The second most popular cc option is the concealed carry purse (32%). This is arguably the most comfortable way to carry but carrying off-body takes a lot of practice and dedication and involves additional risks! (Learn more)
The third most popular way to carry is on your torso. This means you use a wrap holster (like a Belly Band), a bra holster, or an underarm holster. About 18% of women carried this way.
On-the-waistband holsters take fourth place on this list at 11%. Carrying OWB is likely the most comfortable way to carry with no gun or holster inside your waistband. But, carrying openly is typically not preferred by most women and it is not legal everywhere. To carry concealed with an OWB holster, cover clothing is necessary.
Concealed carry shorts/leggings, thigh, and ankle holsters also made the list each comprising of about 1% of responses.
What holsters are the most popular with women?
It makes me so happy that the top holsters and carry locations are all in the Sweet Spot! The Sweet Spot is the area around your waist and torso that you can access easily during normal movement. IWB, OWB, and wraps and Belly Bands all sit within that “Sweet Spot”. When we combine the survey results for this area, it is obvious that the overwhelming majority of women understand the importance of carrying in this area and are doing so.
In-the-waistband holsters are the most popular holsters for women with good reason. They are versatile and comfortable and a safe way to carry! It is also no surprise that concealed carry purses are also a very popular choice and with the increase of information and training available for safe CC purse carry, it only makes sense that it is so popular. Women’s clothing and curves can make it difficult for some to carry on-body so purses are a popular choice. Belly bands and wrap holsters come in at #3 and I believe this is because of their versatility! You can wear your gun almost anywhere on your torso and use different guns in one holster. In fourth place are OWB holsters, and like the top 3, these are a very comfortable option.
Concealment clothing, bra holsters, and pocket holsters come in at the middle of the pack, and thigh holsters, ankle holsters, and fanny packs are at the bottom of the list. Though these are all viable concealed carry holsters, they can be more difficult to access.
Now Let’s Look a Little Deeper
Our data also took a look at the differences in the frequency of carrying between experienced women gun owners and those newer to concealed carry. We can see that women who have been gun owners longer carry on a regular daily basis and those newer to the CC lifestyle carry less frequently.
The Sweet Spot is The Way To Go
In the below breakdown we can see who is carrying and in what way they are carrying. We know the safest place to carry is around the area I refer to as “the sweet spot”. This is the area on your body that is from the waistline to the torso. This is the area where you can have the fastest access to your gun and not worry about others having access to it.
What we can conclude from the data is that all experience levels are carrying in this sweet spot. What a wonderful testament to the seriousness and thoughtfulness of women concealed carriers. It is clear that they take their decision to carry a gun for their self-protection seriously and a determination to do so effectively and safely.
We can also see that the women who do not carry every day are carrying on the body and in the sweet spot. However, many are drawn to the ease and comfort of off-body carry. I do understand this as it is comfortable and there is less fear of accidentally catching a finger in the trigger guard and no wardrobe adjustments are required. However, I want to emphasize that purse carry is really an advanced way to carry and the decision to do so must be an educated and thoughtful choice. The risks must be considered and practiced and training are musts. You have to have heightened awareness and skills to carry this way. Your purse can easily be left unattended and vulnerable to access by others, including friends family. It can be lost or stolen and drawing and shooting from a purse take advanced skills. Here is a great article on purse carry and to help you to determine if it is for you Concealed Carry Purse.
Women Who Have Under Three Years Of Gun Experience
Women Who Have over Four Years Of Gun Experience
So, what should you take from the Top Holsters and Locations for Women in 2020? I have to say that for me, seeing the vast majority of women carrying in the PRIME Sweet Spot area is so exciting. I am so proud of you all for working through whatever challenges concealed carry may have posed for you and finding a holster solution and perhaps making some wardrobe adjustments, to carry in the best location possible for your self-protection.
All women have different preferences, skills, and comfort levels and the way you carry must represent your unique differences. As they say, “one size does not fit all.” Knowing how other women carry can help you to narrow the choices and can help you to determine what is the best carry choice for you. If you are just starting out and know that most women carry IWB, give that a try. However, if it doesn’t work for you try another one of these great options. As you can see, women carry in so many different ways. How you carry doesn’t matter as long as you do so effectively and safely!