Finding a good place to carry concealed can be difficult for a lot of women, and finding the right holster to carry the way they want to can be even harder. I’ve taken the liberty of pulling together what I would consider the 10 best holsters for different situations that are available and in-stock on Amazon as of the writing of this article.
I recognize that I am, in fact, not a woman. As tempting as it is to make an “I have a female friend” joke, the truth is that I’ve been surrounded by gun-totin’ women my whole life. My mother, my wife, and more. Could one of them do an even better job on this subject than me? Sure, but I’m the person who decided to write for a living.
No worries, though, as my picks have been (thoroughly) vetted by first-hand users. My number one pick is the ComfortTac Ultimate Belly Band. Let’s get into why.
10 Best Concealed Carry Holsters for Women
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Best for Durability
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Best for Color Selection
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Best for Tank Top Carry
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Best for Exercise
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Best for Small Women
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Best for Thigh
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Best for Ankle
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Best for Retention
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Best for Leather
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1. ComfortTac Ultimate Belly Band
It’s hard to argue with a good old-fashioned belly band. It’s certainly not the only option and may not be the best option for every situation, but if you get a good belly band that’s soft and functional, it can work well.
I will say, though, that the idea you’d be carrying concealed while wearing a shirt as tight as the one in the photo is pretty laughable; the gun, magazine, and band itself would print significantly on your shirt if you tried to wear something that tight.
The other thing to note with belly bands is that they significantly increase your waistband size. If your pants are already tight at the top, adding the band may not even be possible. Consider going up a pant size if you want to carry using a belly band.
You can also wear it outside the pants, at least according to the marketing, but I’m not sure how practical that would be unless you were doing so for a jog or other exercise.
- Soft, comfortable
- Has an extra magazine pouch
- Somewhat versatile in how you wear it
- Compatible with most handguns
- Adds bulk to your waistline
- Can’t wear tight shirts while concealing
ComfortTac Ultimate Belly Band
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2. Gun & Flower Universal Hybrid Kydex/Nylon
This holster from Gun & Flower is inside the waistband (IWB). If you want something more rugged than neoprene, then this could be a good way to go. It’s made of Kydex, which is like a strong polymer that will last for a long time.
The nice thing about an IWB holster is that it takes up a lot less space than a full belly band. The obvious disadvantage to that is that you don’t get the extra magazine pouch or some of the other features. It also requires that you have a thicker belt that the clips can clamp snugly down on. If you’re not wearing a belt, the holster won’t mount tightly enough to be secure.
Also, the clips are visible from the outside unless a shirt or jacket is covering them, so that’s something to be aware of.
This holster is optic-compatible and allows you to adjust the retention, which I would consider essential on a Kydex holster that’s not custom-molded to a specific model of handgun.
- Adjustable retention
- No extra magazine pouch
- Stiffness can be uncomfortable when bending over
- Limited color selection
Gun & Flower Universal Hybrid Kydex/Nylon
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3. Poyolee IWB Gun Holster
With this holster, Poyolee takes essentially the opposite approach to Gun & Flower in nearly every single way. The only similarities these two holsters share are that they’re both IWB and they’re both (sort-of) universal.
Where the Gun & Flower is made of stiff Kydex, the Poyolee is made of soft neoprene. The nice thing about this is that feels a lot softer on your skin and is more forgiving with normal day-to-day movement. The downside is that the neoprene just won’t last as long and may need to be replaced sooner than a Kydex holster.
There is also an argument that most of the discomfort from carrying concealed comes from the gun itself, not so much from the holster. Every person is different, so you’ll have to find the answer to that one on your own.
For retention, the Poyolee uses a snap, which is fairly normal for a neoprene holster, but that means you’ll want to take extra time to practice drawing from the holster so you know you can do it quickly and smoothly when it really matters.
- Soft, flexible material
- Lots of colors to choose from (you know, for all the times that you’ll be showing off your concealed holster)
- Fits most handguns
- Only one clip to secure the holster to waistband
- Not as durable as other materials
- No adjustability – retention, ride, cant
Poyolee IWB Gun Holster
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4. Lilcreek Women’s Concealment Tank
There’s a strong case to be made for tank-top carry in terms of practicality. There’s usually a gap between your side and your arm even when you’re holding your arm naturally, so putting a compact or subcompact handgun in that space can make a lot of sense.
Granted, it’s worth keeping in mind that your access to your firearm would be via the neckline of your overgarment, so all you turtle-neck wearers may want to look elsewhere for a holster.
Functionally, this will work very similarly to a shoulder holster designed to be worn underneath a jacket.
I wouldn’t put anything larger than a subcompact handgun in this holster, as the holster is just a cloth sleeve, so the lighter the firearm the better. The sleeve does provide full coverage of the trigger guard, so there shouldn’t be any more risk to carrying with one in the chamber here than with other holsters, and a velcro strap provides retention to keep the gun from bouncing out.
- Possibly the easiest to conceal on this list
- Works with most body types and wardrobes
- Extra pouches for carrying magazines
- Neckline access + velcro retention make it difficult to draw quickly
- Not recommended for heavier/larger handguns
- Run small, order up by one size
Lilcreek Women’s Concealment Tank
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5. Graystone Holster Shorts for Women
These are a great alternative to a belly band or an IWB holster if you’re looking for something a little more self-contained that doesn’t add as much to your circumference.
As much as we’d all like to be as cool as the woman in the photo, generally, I wouldn’t recommend using these shorts to carry two handguns at the same time.
Much like the tank top, I would recommend going as small on the handgun as possible. That might be even more important with these because there is no velcro strap to keep it from bouncing out. Something very small, like a Glock 26 or an M&P Shield, would work better than a full-size handgun.
My biggest concerns with these shorts are:
- When holstered correctly, the guns are oriented in a less-than-ideal way. Drawing from your back requires less contortion if the grip is pointing away from your body rather than towards the center.
- The stretchy fabric is going to allow a fair amount of movement when you try to run or exercise, which somewhat defeats the purpose of having compression shorts double as a holster.
- Easy to use and integrate into daily life
- Guns are oriented the wrong way
- Stretchy fabric allows for movement
- Not good for larger handguns
Graystone Holster Shorts for Women
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6. Bulletproof Bunny Ultimate Belly band
I’ve heard directly from tiny women that it can be difficult to find conceal-carry holsters that work for them. If you find yourself in that camp, then I’d recommend you take a look at the Bulletproof Bunny offers.
Patronizing branding aside, the products are well-designed and are quite similar to the ComfortTac belly band, with a lot of the same advantages.
It comes with multiple pouches for things besides your firearm, like your phone, credit cards, etc. It’s made of breathable neoprene, so it shouldn’t be too uncomfortable if you decide to wear it while exercising.
The retention here is a snap, which I prefer since it will last longer than velcro and also be easier to learn to draw quickly. Unfortunately, the snap is on the outside instead of where you can break it with your thumb, but with practice, it should become fairly quick to flick up with your index finger as you draw.
- Sizes go down very small
- Multiple pouches
- Snap retention instead of velcro
- Snap is positioned outside instead of inside for thumb
- Adds thickness to waist circumference
Bulletproof Bunny Ultimate Belly band
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7. GHFY Tactical Drop Leg Holster
So first and foremost, it’s important to acknowledge that this thigh holster is not designed for concealed-carry, but for the dedicated shooter who really wants to carry under a skirt or dress, this will work much better than the “garter” holsters you may have seen for sale.
The main reason is the strap that goes up to the waistline to anchor on the belt. Wearing a belt or something underneath for this holster to strap to is all you’d need to get this to work, and it will keep the holster from sliding down your leg like the garter holsters almost always do (unless they’re tight enough to constrict your blood flow).
Despite what Hollywood would have us all believe, thigh carry under a dress isn’t particularly common, but if that’s the situation you find yourself in, then being prepared with one of these could be a good thing.
Compatibility is near-universal, retention is solid, and overall it’s a great holster.
- Securely anchored
- Universal compatibility
- Secure retention; gun won’t shift around
- Slower to draw
- Velcro will only last for so long
- Requires some adjustments to incorporate into daily routines
GHFY Tactical Drop Leg Holster
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8. Aikate Ankle Holster
Ankle holsters are also more common for men than women, since men tend to wear more loose-fitting pants, but if you wear pants that are loose enough to avoid printing, ankle carry can be a great option.
A lot of ankle holsters have the same issue as garter holsters – they slide down throughout the day. Designs like the one that Aikate uses, though, have an extra strap that goes around the top of the calf, which keeps it in place.
Aikate has a snap retention instead of velcro, and has designed this holster to only fit smaller handguns. The largest model they advertise compatibility with is the Glock 19, and I would consider that too large to be practical with this holster. Anytime you’re carrying on the ankle, you have to think about how far past your calf the grip sticks out.
That’s not a knock on the Aikate specifically, just ankle holsters in general.
- Won’t slide down
- Snap retention
- Won’t fit anything larger than a Glock 19
- Only works if you wear pants that are loose below the knee
Aikate Ankle Holster
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9. Concealment Express IWB Kydex Holster
Most of the holsters on this list are either mostly universal or at least compatible with multiple models, but to get the best retention and most reliable performance, you want a holster that was custom molded to fit a specific model of handgun. The Concealment Express does exactly this. You can choose your model of handgun and they’ll send you a holster made specifically for it.
The benefits of this go beyond just near-perfect retention – it also means the holster is only as bulky as it absolutely has to be. For carrying IWB, anytime you can shave a millimeter off here or there, you’ll feel it immediately in the comfort level.
This holster also has an adjustable cant and adjustable retention with an audible click when the handgun is properly seated in the holster. It won’t leave room for an optic on most models, though, so be aware of that before you buy it.
- Posi-click retention
- Custom-molded for each firearm
- Adjustable cant
- A little more expensive
- Kydex is less comfortable than neoprene
- Only one belt clip instead of two
Concealment Express IWB Kydex Holster
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10. Relentless Tactical “The Defender”
I’ve touched on this with a couple holsters so far, but I want to clarify why I consider it a ‘con’ for a holster to only have one belt clip. Even a tight clip may only clamp down on a belt in one spot. If you happen to have a perfectly-sized belt, you could get wider coverage, but usually not. So if you only have one clip, it’s a lot easier for the holster to pivot or get knocked askew.
There are ways to prevent that, and having only one clip certainly makes holsters easier to wear and conceal, but the Defender is another IWB holster that only has one clip. The real advantage to the Defender is that it’s made of leather, which means it should feel comfortable against your skin, but it will also be as tough and durable as just about any other material.
It’s still going to be stiffer than neoprene or suede, but it will loosen up with use over time. There’s no retention other than just fitting snugly into the holster.
- Leather is soft but strong
- Color choices
- Gets better over time
- Only one clip
- No retention snap
- Not custom-molded for specific firearm models
Relentless Tactical “The Defender”
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How to Choose the Best Concealed Carry Holster for Women? [Buying Guide]
Types of Concealed Carry Holsters
There are a lot of possible places to carry a firearm on your person without it being visible. The most popular would be around the waistband via either an IWB holster or a belly band. You can also carry it under your arm, on the ankle, and even on the thigh.
The location where a holster is designed to be worn is only one way to differentiate them, though. You can also distinguish them by the material they’re made out of.
For concealed carry, you’ll see a lot of neoprene holsters, which is a fairly soft but somewhat thick cloth-like material. It’s used a lot because of its flexibility and comfort but lacks structural strength if you want to use it for a long time or keep your gun highly secure.
Kydex is another common material that is used because it doesn’t rust, is incredibly strong, and has a little bit of flex to it. Leather has many of the same advantages but does require a little bit more maintenance to keep nice over a long period of time.
For a belly band holster, your only option is going to be neoprene because it’s the only commonly-used material that is flexible enough to wrap around you. For many other holster types, though, you’ll likely have the choice of which material you want.
High rigidity can be nice, because it usually means that your firearm is going to be held more securely inside the holster and that accidental firing of the handgun is much less likely if not completely impossible.
The flip-side of that the rigid materials have no give when they’re pressed up against your body all day long, especially when you bend over. Sharp angles and corners can dig into your skin and be uncomfortable enough that you don’t carry as often as you otherwise would.
Often the holsters made out of more rigid materials are more adjustable as well. I have rarely seen a neoprene holster with adjustable cant, never seen any with adjustable ride, and I believe it would be impossible for one to have adjustable retention. All of these adjustments can come in handy when you’re needing to be creative about concealing your firearm.
Since the whole point behind a concealed-carry holster is to conceal a firearm, the concealability of a holster makes a big difference in which ones will work well. This is one reason why belly bands are so popular among women – many womens shirts are cut short enough that the clips of an IWB holster would be visible on the outside of the belt.
There is also the issue of “printing”, which is when the shape of your firearm is visible on the outside because your clothes are pressed up too tightly against it. This is a common problem with ankle holsters, but it can happen with any type of carry.
Printing is the main reason why OWB (outside the waistband) holsters aren’t included on this list. Even for men who wear baggier-than-average clothes it can be difficult to properly conceal an OWB holster.
The overall winner for concealability might go to the tank-top carrier from Lilcreek, which is why it ranked so high on the list.
Don’t underestimate the importance of comfort when you’re trying to carry concealed. The truth of the matter is, no matter why you started carrying in the first place, eventually the fire will die out, and when it does, if you haven’t found a relatively unobtrusive way to carry, you’ll just stop carrying.
Everyone has their own preferences on where it’s most comfortable for them to carry, whether they prefer the security that comes with Kydex or the freedom of movement that comes with neoprene, and how much space the holster takes up. Deciding what works best for you is a matter of trying out different holsters over time and comparing them.
I personally prefer IWB carry with a suede or neoprene holster, but I also don’t use that type of holster while I’m exercising because I’m not happy with the retention when I’m bouncing up and down. My wife has tried a few different belly bands and is mostly annoyed with how they stain the inside of her undershirts.
The point is, don’t be afraid to experiment to find the holster that works best for you, and you may want multiple holsters for different situations.
Thankfully, holsters aren’t nearly as expensive as some other firearm accessories (looking at you, scopes), so even if one doesn’t last you all that long, replacing it isn’t usually a big deal.
That said, you don’t want to be dropping money on a new holster every year, so you want to make sure to find a holster that’s going to last you a while.
Neoprene has a pretty bad reputation in the durability area, but most of the time the first issue with neoprene holsters is actually the velcro losing its strength. If you can find a way to replace or refresh the velcro, there’s no reason why neoprene holsters shouldn’t last quite a while.
It is true, however, that even well-cared for neoprene won’t last as long as a kydex or leather holster, but considering that kydex and leather lifetimes can be measured in decades rather than years, that’s a pretty high bar to reach.
I’m the kind of guy who buys a new holster every couple of years anyway, so I’m less concerned about durability than I am about the other benefits of stiffer materials like retention and adjustability.
Context of Carry
As I mentioned above, I use different holsters for different situations. When you’re exercising, having at least level II retention on the holster is a lot more important in my opinion. The cheapest holsters are designed to keep your handgun in one place when you’re standing or sitting straight up, not when you’re bending all the way over, running, or jumping up and down.
As tempting as it is to try to find one holster to do it all, there are also significant differences between open carry and concealed carry. With many concealed carry situations, you can get away with no retention or with a simple snap, but with open carry there’s a risk of someone trying to take your firearm. In this case, having up to level III retention is a smart idea.
If your workplace has wardrobe expectations, those are important to take into consideration as well. If, for example, you’re required to have your shirt tucked in on the job, then a belly band would make very little sense. In those situations, ankle carry might be a better option.
There is also a lot to be said for handbag carry. If you go that route, I’d recommend getting one of the IWB holsters for the gun to sit safely inside while it’s in your bag. Having an exposed trigger in your handbag seems like asking for trouble.
Yes, but it does depend on what you’re comparing it to, and what clothes you’re wearing. If you’re wearing a large jacket or coat, then it’s actually pretty easy to conceal a larger handgun. If you’re wearing normal (ish) clothes, then it will be much easier to conceal a smaller handgun than a larger one.
I would argue that there aren’t any locations that are consistently ‘safer’ than any other location on the body unless you have a specific concern. You could argue that if you have small children it may be safer to carry under your arm since it will be a little more out of reach than your waist, but it would arguably be more safe to get an IWB holster with level II retention than a tank-top holster with no retention at all.
Yes, they can be. A lot of thigh holsters really do suck, though. I would stay away from any thigh holsters that are garter style, since they will slide down your leg throughout the day unless you anchor them to something higher up.
Tactical thigh holsters that are not designed for concealed-carry all have a strap that anchor them to the belt on the waistline. Duplicating this idea under your outerwear would be the best way to make a thigh holster not suck.
Belly bands can work great as long as you understand what you’re getting into. If you wear them low enough that your pants go over them, be aware that they are going to add a noticeable amount of thickness. If you wear them high enough that your pants aren’t a concern, then be aware that it might take a little more effort and practice to draw your gun quickly.
Belly bands can also be hot in the summertime.
My number one pick overall is the ComfortTac Ultimate Belly Band. Belly bands don’t work for everyone or every situation, but they are probably the style that work for the greatest number of people. If you’re looking for something other than a belly band, there should be plenty of options on this list to choose from.
Are there any holsters that belong on this list? Are there any of these that we should take off? Whether you want to carry on your ankle, hip, or anywhere else on your body, there should be a holster here that can help you do it.