There is an infinite way to carry a weapon concealed, but sometimes body carry in a bag is the only viable solution. Although not as quick or secure as a traditional holster on a belt, concealed carry bags make an excellent low-profile option. Often nondescript and not tactical looking, these bags enable users to carry in less permissive or restrictive environments without drawing any additional scrutiny. Here we will go over some common types of bags and a general overview of key considerations.
Utilizing a concealed carry bag enables someone to have a weapon for self-defense, but not have to dress around the weapon. Since a traditional belt and holster or belly band position the weapon around the waistline, the garments need to be able to cover this area and be able to handle routine movement without revealing the weapon. Bags enable someone to eliminate those considerations, while still maintaining a rapidly deployable self-defense option. Bags also allow for larger weapons to be carried, as well as additional tools, ammunition, and accessories like a silencer or extra medical equipment.
Common Options of Concealed Carry Bags
Fanny packs, sling bags, and backpacks are the most common options for concealed carry bags. These are all gender-neutral options as well, so both men and women can use the same style of bags, while still being fashionable. Other styles and categories exist, but for our purposes, we will focus on these options. These bags all utilize modern durable synthetic materials, and almost always have great factory warranties. Each style of the bag also will have built-in pockets and pouches to optimize and efficiently stow all the items.
A fanny pack makes an excellent carry option for the gym or for running. Plenty of people use fanny packs to carry their phones and keys, so the fanny pack is a bag found commonly in these environments. Depending on the person's size and build, anything from a lightweight revolver all the way to a compact 9mm pistol can be easily concealed, along with a knife or a tourniquet, and still have space left over for keys and a phone. Like most concealed carry bags, the fanny packs usually have a tab that discreetly sticks out of the main carry pouch, allowing for a rapid opening of the main compartment and easy deployment of the weapon.
Sling bags are a very popular and extremely low-profile option for most civilian settings. Sling bags offer an easy way to carry normal items while also enabling a weapon, spare magazines or even a full medical kit to be discreetly carried. The sling bag also makes rapid deployment easy, as the bag merely needs to be pulled forward and is positioned horizontally across the chest. The sling bag makes a great option for both urban and rural environments too, as it is not out of place in an office space or on a hiking trail.
Concealed carry backpacks offer the most space and storage, making them the most modular option. Like the sling bag, the backpack is found in most civilian spaces. By choosing a backpack that lacks obvious tactical features like Molle webbing or a bold camo pattern, the bag will blend into the environment, and no one will suspect the user is prepared to defend themselves.
Backpacks can allow someone to concealed carry a pistol caliber sub-gun style of weapon or even a personal defensive weapon (PDW). The PDW option would bring the most firepower to bear, as a PDW will typically employ a rifle cartridge. The backpack also enables users to have additional medical supplies, tools, and ammunition, while also being prepared for more dynamic situations. For general civilian use, a concealed carry backpack may be better suited for a vehicle or discreetly concealed under a desk at work each day, but this could also be worn on the body as the day's activities occur. The backpack is also the best option for a low-profile executive protection detail, as a lot of firepower can be easily hidden, but brought to bear in seconds.
When employing any style or method of concealed carry for self-defense, each individual must analyze and understand all the conditions they will typically encounter. The large backpack would not make the best use in a very professional environment, but maybe hand-carrying a sling bag would not draw attention. Additionally, if a fanny pack is worn at the gym or when out running, it should be configured in such a way it does not prohibit movement so exercises can be performed normally. When employing a carry bag, it is critical the user maintain positive control of it at all times, as the weapon and tools are not retained on the body.
Deploying a weapon from a bag is also a skill that needs to be practiced and trained upon. Copious amounts of dry fire practice at home should be performed to make better use of live fire range time. Although this is a given for any weapon or carry setup, it is even more critical to master as drawing from a bag is a slower and more deliberate task. It can be easily done, but users need to pay more attention to their environment and perceive threats in a faster manner. Ironically, such heightened awareness actually makes one safer, as the majority of people do not pay attention to what is going on around them.
Conclusion of Concealed Carry Bags
Although there are dozens of bags to carry a concealed weapon within, the fanny back, sling bag, and backpack are the most commonly employed types. Each bag comes with unique and different challenges for users to consider and understand. Additionally, it is critical to consider where and what someone is doing, and how the carry method influences that. Choosing the best concealed carry bag and then actually training with it is the most important thing to understand. In doing so, users will have the most optimized and most practical concealed carry bag on hand when they would need it most.