People carry a variety of concealed handguns for many different reasons, but they all share a need for good equipment. An individual’s clothing will have a major impact on whether they can keep their weapon hidden as they go about their day, and it can also play a role in preventing accidents. A good concealed carry jacket is one of the best tools at the average person’s disposal, since it provides both protection from the elements and a safe, discrete place to keep a weapon. There are a lot of different jackets to choose from, but it’s easy to make a good choice as long as you look at a few important factors.
It’s important to remember that a concealed carry jacket is not a holster. It is a piece of clothing, and you need to make sure that it suits your local environment. If you don’t pay attention to the weather, you’re liable to end up with something that is so uncomfortable that you won’t want to use it.
Starting by making sure that the jacket won’t be too warm or too cold. Some suppliers will provide guidelines with the jacket, but that isn’t universal. If that kind of guidance is unavailable, try to compare the concealed carry jacket with a traditional jacket that you have worn before. If you have one that you know is comfortable, try to find something that is made of the same material and has a similar thickness. If you want a jacket that is suitable for every season, look for something with several removable layers. When in doubt, err on the side of something light. It’s easier to add a layer and make things a little warmer than it is to do the opposite.
Climate concerns don’t end with temperature. Water resistance is also an important factor, since many guns function poorly if they get exposed to too much moisture. Finding a water-resistant coat is normally easy, but they can also cost a little bit more than the alternatives. Look at the frequency of rain in your area, and then think about how likely you are to spend long periods in it without shelter. If that’s a common occurrence, then water resistance is almost certainly worth the cost. If rain is a rare problem, it won’t be too important.
Finally, some jackets will have a UPF rating. This refers to the amount of protection that it offers from ultraviolet light, and it’s comparable to the ratings that show up on containers of sunscreen. Most clothing offers too little protection to matter, but concealed carry jackets are often tough enough to offer significant security against the sun. This won’t have a huge impact on the jacket’s comfort or on a concealed firearm, but it’s a fringe benefit and choosing the jacket that offers more protection can break ties when choosing between similar options.
A good concealed carry jacket is a big investment, so you want to make sure that you are getting something that will last. The best way to do this is to check for any reviews that complain about frequent or rapid damage, but looking at the jacket’s material can also provide some useful information.
Leather is popular for its appearance, but it also offers a lot of durability. It is especially resistant to abrasion, which is going to be one of the biggest risk factors for the average jacket. People who don’t like leather should look for artificial materials, such as nylon. They tend to be mixed with cotton or other natural materials, and even a small amount will make for a tough jacket.
Materials aren’t the only concern. Almost any material can make a strong jacket if it is put together properly, and poor construction can lead to damaged seams long before the fabric gives out. There are two rules of thumb to remember when looking at construction quality. First, you should trust your instincts. Most people have spent enough time with clothes that they can estimate quality just from looking at a garment. It isn’t perfect, but it’s good enough to spot basic problems. Second, remember that you get what you pay for. It’s possible to find a cheap, high-quality jacket, but you should always do your research if a deal looks like it might be too good to be true.
Cargo capacity makes the difference between a concealed carry jacket and a conventional piece of outerwear. People buy these jackets because they offer a place to keep a weapon where people won’t see it, but that isn’t the only type of cargo space that you need to look at.
You should also look for external or internal pockets. They will allow you to keep extra ammunition or other useful tools that relate to your firearms in one place, which makes it much easier to keep track of everything in an emergency. A special compartment for documents can also be valuable, especially if you live in a jurisdiction that requires you to carry a concealed carry permit at all times. The special compartment will make sure that you don’t misplace it or forget to bring it with you, which is perfect for preventing inconvenient discussions with law enforcement.
You also check the holster’s position in the jacket. They can show up in a few different places, and they each need a different motion to draw the firearm. Being able to draw and fire quickly is vital in an emergency, so you should make sure that you can quickly comfortably reach the holster.
The final factor to consider is how the jacket will look once you put it on. This is mostly a matter of person taste, but there are a few things that you should consider carefully as you make the choice.
The first thing to consider is the formality of the jacket. Some jackets are designed to look like hoodies or biking gear, while others are designed to look like flannel jackets and other relatively formal clothing. If you only plan to wear the jacket as you go shopping or to other informal places, you can choose anything that looks comfortable. If you intend to take it to restaurants or other events, you might want to choose something that will match the dress code. You’ll have trouble finding a jacket that you could wear to a black tie event, but a relatively formal jacket will still get you into plenty of places.
Subtlety is also an important concern. Bright colors, unusual styles, or anything else that stands out will draw attention. The more people that look at you, the more likely someone is to notice that you are carrying a weapon. Anything that clashes with the rest of your outfit will also draw attention. Try to pick something that looks good with your normal wardrobe to avoid drawing attention specifically to the concealed weapon.
A Few Options
There are dozens of jackets out there that can meet almost any person’s needs. Even so, there are a few especially popular options, and those are the best place to start the search.
This is a good choice for people who are after a casual and versatile jacket. It’s a little light for use during the winter in most areas, but it’s perfect for the rest of the year. Two concealed pockets that are suitable for handguns and four pockets for magazines give it more than enough space for most people, while the external pockets provide some extra space for your wallet or anything else that doesn’t need to be hidden. This jacket is made of two layers, with the inner layer made of polyester and the outer being made of cotton, so it offers a reasonable mix of durability and comfort.
This fleece jacket is one of the most casual options available, but it’s also one of the most comfortable. Side zippers allow you to open up the jacket to stay cool in warm weather, while hand warmer pockets can help keep out the winter chill. which makes this a very versatile choice. Internal provide space for your weapon, and an additional sleeve pocket provides a little bit of extra storage space. It’s compatible with some of the brand’s other offerings, so this is one of the best choices for people who want to leave plenty of options open.
This waterproof fleece jacket is meant to accommodate a variety of shooting styles. Notably, it is designed to enable cross-draw or strong side-draw for both right and left handed shooters. This leaves most wearers with a few extra pockets, which can be used for magazine storage. The jacket is suitable for a range of moderate temperatures, although many people find that it can be a little too warm in the summer and a too cold in the worst parts of winter. Be aware that it has a tendency to run large, and keep that in mind when choosing your size.