How to Carry Concealed When It’s Hot Outside

How to Carry Concealed When It’s Hot Outside

Below is a question from reader Rob T. I get asked this question quite often so I wanted to answer it in-depth today…

“Hi Jason Love your stuff!!! Quick question. I live in an area where my daily wear is shorts and a t-shirt. I know I am lucky but this “outfit” does not lend itself to concealed carry.

I have had my CCW for several years and find I don’t carry more than I do because I am very conscientious about printing under just a t-shirt. Since I wear shorts most days and ankle holster is no good.

I suppose you will tell me to move to Texas so I don’t have to worry about carrying concealed. Just wondering if you have any thoughts? At this rate it is highly likely that the time I need my firearm, I wont have it. Thanks again for all the information.”

I’ve got some good news for Rob. He doesn’t have to move to Texas. Also, I’m sure Rob will have some people tell him to “suck it up” or “change your clothes and dress differently,” but I’m not going to do that.

I’m going to give Rob two ways to carry a gun that can easily be done in shorts and a t-shirt and are comfortable. In fact, when it’s blazing hot in the summer where I live in southern Utah, I utilize these two methods.

The first and easiest way to carry in the heat is by carrying in your pocket. There are so many guns on the market these days that are perfect for pocket carry including the Ruger LCP, Sig P238, Colt Mustang, Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard, and Glock 42.

When carrying a gun in your pocket you will want to wear cargo shorts (or another thicker type of short) and not mesh basketball shorts that are flimsy and will cause your shorts to fall to your ankles if you try and carry a gun.

SEE ALSO: Top 7 Rules of Pocket Carry

Of course, you also want to use a pocket holster. I use a simple kydex holster when I carry my gun in my front right pocket. So, pocket carry would be my first choice for Rob and for anyone who often wears shorts and a t-shirt.

Also, all of the guns mentioned above and the ones most common for pocket carry are .380. Don’t let anyone tell you that .380 isn’t a good enough round for self-defense. If you get a solid hollow point round from Hornady, DoubleTap, or Speer, you’ll be well prepared to stop a threat.

SEE ALSO: A Quick Review of Pocket Holsters

Now to the second carrying option…

The second option is to wear a belly band. When I exercise I use a bellyband and it works great to carry smaller guns such as the ones I mentioned above. Also, because the belly band keeps the gun so close to your body most people (depending on their body type) don’t have to worry about the gun printing through their t-shirt.

The beauty of the belly band is that not only can you carry a gun, but most of them have places to carry a spare magazine, flashlight, or a knife.

There is a third option that can be used; however, I wouldn’t recommend it. Some folks carry these small guns in the “appendix position” because it’s easy to conceal a gun when wearing a t-shirt.

The reason I never carry this way is because the gun is pointing at your body and if you have an accidental discharge while holstering the gun you’re going to shoot yourself. Again, I know this is becoming a more popular carry position but I prefer not to have a loaded gun pointing at important parts of my anatomy.

So, now Rob and anyone else that lives in hotter climates have zero excuses not to be carrying a gun on a daily basis. And although the gun may be a smaller “pocket gun” it’s better than the full-size gun sitting at home in your gun safe.

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  • Van

    There is a holster available that completely wraps around you, below the belt line inside the pants. It lies flat against your body & attaches by velcro allowing the pistol to be accessible just below the belt buckle. I use it with my Glock 27 in Arizona & it don’t get any hotter than here in the summer.

    • A name of that brand and model would be wonderful.

    • bobfairlane

      SmartCarry

  • Vanns40

    When I did protective work and in the very few instances could wear “casual” clothes, I used an IWB holster (The Answer) from Tucker Gun Leather. I found it so comfortable I almost didn’t know it was there.

  • Carry is easier for rangy people too. Not being as such, I would know and since moving to AZ, carrying a Commander or Hi Power in the hotter months (when isn’t it hot?) is out of the question. I have no problem with a 380 or 38 special, just have to find the extra scarole to buy it.

  • SoTxJoe

    Fanny pack? Fully enclosed holster on a drop-leg platform?

  • Joseph Couture

    I live in Florida so I bought a Sneaky Pete holster. Love t. Carry on your belt and people think its a cell phone.

  • James Andrews

    I use a belly band rig a lot. It’s extremely comfortable, and can carry your firearm up high, like a shoulder rig, keeping the gun from printing, covered by your arm. Very comfortable!

  • RoyG

    I live in south florida so let me tell ya about hot. hot. hot.. O yea i forgot the humidity too.. during the summer time i wear IWB with cargo, n jean shorts no problem iv got a (HHH) Hidden Hybred Holster IWB and OWB for my shield and the holster breaths well IwB..sometimes depending on activity it’ll stick a little but nothing unconfortable but than again it’s not like im jogging around.. I can wear shorts and tee’s with no problem and if i go to the beach than it goes in a sling bag anyways.. sometimes you have to make a few adjustments to your cloths/style or a different holster to accommadate the CCW its just the way it is..

  • Jesse

    Just go IWB and get a bigger shirt, a black shirt, or a printed shirt… Problem solved. I wear shorts and a t-shirt all the time, it’s all about being selective about the shirt. T-shirts CAN cover a gun in a strong side position, you just need the right shirts.

  • Beez

    Jason, I note that a lot of writers do not mention the SCCY 9, very concealable and 10 + 1. I carry mine 8 oclock but it is very pocketable and hotter than a .380.

    • Nunyadambizness

      I own one, nice little sidearm–however, I will say the kick is pretty substantial, and I like my .45’s if that’s any consideration.

  • mule man

    I’m not a big guy,I carry a commander in an Alien gear with a larger t shirt during the Texas summer –never printed

  • Kevin Grant

    Ok Jason what if I carry an Elephant gun? lol j/k you always have great stuff on
    here Thanks

  • I don’t worry about it. I just open carry.

    • OC for Tactical Advantage

      Buying clothes that fit me is so much nicer as well. Not sure why he would move to Texas in the OP…it doesn’t get much worse for getting in trouble by printing than there.. At least until the new laws pass.

    • Mikial

      Open carry will only get you into negative situations, either because the Libs will freak and call the cops or because the bad guy will immediately know who to shoot first. If they don’t know you’re carrying, you already have an advantage.

    • G50AE

      Not an option for me, being in SC.

  • architect41

    In Tennessee, I wear cargo shorts and an untucked T-shirt most of the time during the warm months. I find that my S&W Shield 9mm with the flush magazine, while a bit larger than the pistols you mentioned, works fine in my Desantis Nemesis pocket holster.

  • TRUBOOST

    Im not sure why people worry about printing so much. Maybe some states are different, but here in what i consider the most anti gun state of IL, as long as the weapon is covered its concealed. If a little bit of the grip pokes out when you bend, or a slight bump is seen off your hip…..doesnt matter. Its legal. Most average Joe’s are so blind about whats goin on around them they never notice. Me personally. I grab which ever 9mm i feel i may want that day. Either my smaller beretta nano, or glock 19, shove it in an IWB holster and wear whatever i feel like that day. I will position the weapon in the least obvious position possible. But sometimes i know it aint perfect. OH WELL.

  • Harold

    Now that cell phones are getting bigger, I’m going to look for a cell phone case that will hold my Keltec. No one pays any attention to a cell phone case anymore. I presently carry 2 extra mags in a small cell phone case and it works great.

    • milothefierce

      Get a Sneaky Pete. Just like a cell phone case but contoured inside to hold a cc handgun. Attaches to the belt.

    • Mikial

      Sneaky Pete holsters are great for my PF9. I also have a Bulldog that holds my Kel Tec .32 with a Crimson Trace laser sight for days when I’m in the office with no sport coat. Been carrying it for months and no one has any idea what’s in it.

  • Curtis Johnese

    Hell I wouldn’t be able to use the appendix carry method, the gun would get lost under my belly. Might never see it again!!!

    • Bigman

      I know the feeling, Pal!!!!

    • tinseldoll

      That is gross. Sorry if it happens to hurt feelings, but fat men are disgusting.

      • Curtis Johnese

        Well I’m sorry if it hurts your feelings but people with your kind of attitude are disgusting and you should look deep inside because it makes you a very ugly person inside. You can be beautiful on the outside but beauty is only skin deep. God bless your soul. Have a great day.

  • Nunyadambizness

    What is “appendix carry”?? I’ve never heard the term before.

    • Fred

      It’s also called Mexican carry. The fire arm is positioned at 1 o’clock if your right handed and
      11 o’clock if left handed. With or without a holster.

      • Chris

        You have the position right, but it is not Mexican carry. That is a completely different carry method. Mexican carry is no holster, period, doesn’t matter what position. appendix carry requires a holster, usually 0 can, in the front of the body.

  • maybejim

    Smart Carry works amazingly well. You’d be surprised at how big a gun you can comfortably carry and conceal.

    • ecosse

      that smartcarry looks interesting. thanks for the tip.

    • Mikial

      I agree maybejim. Just looked them up and definitely going to get one. I have a locally made leather holster that’s like a Smart Carry, but doesn’t have the nice waterproofing. Best of all is the awesome old dude who designed it. A combat vet and a man who never quits. A+.

  • jdcame

    Honestly, I deal with 70-99 degree temps year round in SoCal and I wear cargo shorts and a t shirt all the time. I tend to use an IWB holster and just make it a point to discard of t shorts that are too short and ride up when I wear them or are too tight. Not that I have to have baggy clothes, just that my t shirts can’t be skin tight and hope to conceal my pistol. I also made my own holster at one point that resembles any normal IWB holster except that I added a mag pouch so I had an extra mag. Honestly, while most of my shirts easily conceal my gun, there are a few that after a few hundred washes, have shrunk a little too much and need to be replaced for something a little looser. The biggest issue I face is if I don’t think about the shirt I’m wearing and get ready to leave and throw my holster on only to notice the shirt is a little too tight and prints a little too much. Then I just take it off and throw on another shirt and I’m fine.

  • Fred

    Rob T, I live in a hot and humid climate. I carry a Beretta 92fs in an IWB Alien Gear Tuck2 holster. I just ware a t-shirt over it and there’s no print. I recommend going to their web site and checking the holster out. Money and quality wise, you can’t beat it. I don’t think that you’ll be disappointed. The only other thing would be, you may need to wear a belt with those shorts.

    • sianmink

      pic related?

      • Fred

        Your right. should have omited with or. thanks.

        • sianmink

          XD
          I was just trying to figure out what the pic was about, was worried you had done something clever that went completely over my head.

  • Randy

    OK…Old, Over weight in North Carolina. For me it’s a no brainer. LCP, or Smith 442 in the pocket, Smith, PF9, or XD SC 9 strong side pancake. These are my 4 season answers. Long pants, shorts, tee shirts and tanks all the same…BTW Luke please keep up the good work

  • Rob Hurt

    I am 5’10” and weigh a little under 240, so I’m a a “full frame” guy, but I carry a Kahr P9 covert (9mm) in an Alien Gear Holster, inside the waist band in the 3:30 position all summer long with shorts and a t shirt, no printing. I have my holster set up to ride as low as possible, I cant it forward and I have the covert model pistol which has a short grip.

  • Mldiluna

    A couple of suggestions for some of the ladies; they make some very nice concealed carry corsets, which while they would not be my first choice, due to the fact that I’m not particularly antsy to put on ANOTHER item of clothing when it’s 120+ outside, and I’m just not built right to wear one, work beautifully, and don’t print under even a tight t-shirt. My personal go-tos are either a flash-bang holster, which, if I don’t wear a tight top, doesn’t print at all, or a concealed carry handbag.

  • sianmink

    Stealthgear Onyx holster
    G19gen4, 3:30 position
    tshirt, untucked
    light overshirt, (I’m loving the Tru-Spec Camp shirt right now) open.
    you’ll print a little through the tshirt, but the overshirt obliterates it.

    if it’s breeze, stick your hand in your pocket with just a bit of the shirt tail caught under your thumb to hang onto it. SG Onyx is the best hot weather IWB holster I’ve ever seen. the inner lining is comfortable and breathes so well.

  • Teddy

    I live in Florida and I wear bigger t-shirts, baggy is in and it also conceals my spare tires. I carry between my belt and pants with a small slide holster. I carry a Ruger lc9 and the only time I print is when I bend over. Get bigger shirts that are dark colors, mainly black and nobody will notice the print. Wear light color t-shirts and they will see right through or notice a print more than with a darker color. There’s a lot of cool black t-shirts out there with all kinds of sayings on them. If you wear 2nd amendment, or any type of gun t-shirts then don’t bother trying to hide it. lol.

  • Ryno

    N82 tactical makes a fantastic holster that I use regularly to carry (Sig P938) in that weather with shorts and a slightly baggy t-shirt.

    • Bigman

      That’s a great one for that size. I have one and love it. Then I went to a XDs .45, and it’s just too large for the N82. I can’t find a comfortable place for it…….jim/louisiana

  • Kevin Michaels

    Carry a gun and a Tactical Knife seek training for it and TRAIN every day like your Life depends on YOU! F It we haev a Bill of Right we have Criminal ACTIVITY ENEMY
    WITH IN WA D.C This Ex CIA Agent, Knows this ! How to carry CCW is so easy let it not print in Gun Free Zone areas In my Un Inc.Town I walk into court rooms and Sheriffs Office CCW I do not have any Permit It is a form for future Gun Control Period !

    Look it dose not work in Calif They Live in Fear in Calif In the 70’s no problem letting weirdos run there Govt and try to change it in NV and Lose every time.

    Time to get rid of the CCW Permit System. it is not a License to Kill Like rouge Cops do. Do not Go along with any Federal Backing reciprocity with shall issue must Have a
    permit to conceal BS especially if any Felonies are connected to it.

    Sovereignty Right’s ! It is a State legs right not The F ‘kn ATF ! Or any Left wing Demo Rat Senator or Rep to Over throw our Bill of rights !

    We Vote in a 2/3 majority No illegal vote will ever trump our Individual right ! Carry open,but if you are to Scared to do so ,then keep it Hid .But Mind your
    Own Business too , if you see Us in NV carry open or where legal to do both across America ! Until you make the change Harry Reid talked about !

  • Jeff day

    I carry iwb appendix all the time, have for years. It is one of the best ways to conceal. I’m an instructor and recommend this to all my students. If you have an accidental discharge it’s because your being careless. I know an instructor who promotes appendix carry his name is Rob Pincus. Heard of him??? The last place I carry a firearm arm is in my pocket. Talk about accidental discharge. I don’t care how many books this guy authored he is wrong.

    • G50AE

      Do you wear a “CCW Instructor’s Badge”?

  • Paige Cromar Jones

    How about us thin/curvy ladies who carry. I usually wear clothing that is somewhat fitted. No matter where I put my sig p238, it is going to print… ideas?

    • G50AE

      How about a fanny pack?

    • Mikial

      Paige, I would have to agree with G50AE. If you’re going to wear tighter clothes, pretty much everything will print. I don’t like any form of off body carry, so a fanny pavk is better than a purse.

    • bjensen

      If you’re wearing a skirt or dress a thigh holster may work. A Smartcarry, Thunderwear, Pistolwear, Tactipac or 3speed holster works with other clothing. As mentioned a fanny pack would be an option (or simply buy slightly less fitted clothing).

      All that aside, you could purse carry when necessary, though not ideal

    • Curtis Johnese

      I can’t remember the maker but they do make undergarment shirts with the holster built in to the formfitted undies. Also they have bras with holsters built in that conceal smaller guns like the Taurus 850 ultra lite that I bought my wife.

  • B. Brown

    As an older geyser, I can get away with a made for carry fanny type bag when I have shirt tucked in. My attire consists of a little more than t-shirts.

    • G50AE

      I am curious why the author did not mention this option.

      • B. Brown

        Don’t know. If you get one, practice your draw. It should have a strap that allows you to grasp with one hand and pull down, then draw with other hand. Again, practice and it becomes quite efficient

    • Cyberats

      That’s not a bad idea, cuts out some money spent on specialized equipment.

  • Argyraspide

    My CC weapon is an M1934 Beretta .380. I stuck velcro (hooks out) on both sides of a very low-cost Uncle Mike pocket holster. Rather than in the pocket, however, I stick it between my underwear and my cargo shorts (with belt) at my right hip. I then wear my shirts – T or otherwise – outside the pants, never tucked. Perfect, comfortable concealment without any discernible bulge or movement of the holster, even during violent exercise.

  • Mikial

    I find that there are virtually no circumstances when I cannot carry my Kel Tec PF9 in a pocket holster with a spare mag in the opposite pocket. Plenty of range time to learn to deal with DAO, and a spare mag of 9mm HP . . . no excuses, Brothers. Carry your gun . . . you never know when you will need it.

    • G50AE

      Do you also have a holster for the spare magazine? I would not want my reload hindered by the magazine getting gummed up with pocket lint.

      • Mikial

        I frequently wear 5.11 pants that have several concealed special pockets designed for nothing but spare magazines. They don’t look like tactical pants and do not have cargo pockets. However, sometimes i do have to carry it in a pocket, so I disassemble my mags regularly and clean them of lint. I use a non-oil dry lubricant that doesn’t attract lint or debris to ensure the followers slide smoothly. I know it may sound a little over the top to some people, but I have been doing security work for a long time (to include PSD assignments in the Middle East) and I’ve found a little extra effort always pays off.

    • 4Bill_O_Rights

      I don’t mean to be sarcastic but pocket carry just doesn’t make sense/work for me. Were do you put your keys, phone, knife, spare change, etc. Again I’m not being sarcastic, I’m looking to learn more options (and I intend to checkout some 5.11 shorts) but I have a strict ‘NO belt required’ requirement.

      • Mikial

        Actually, I agree with you. But I love my PF9 and it is my standard back up in a pocket holster in the inside pocket of my 5.11 pants. My XD in and IWD on the right with an extra mag ion the left, and my PF9 on the left with and extra mag on the right.

        • 4Bill_O_Rights

          Thanks fo rthe feed back, much appreciated. I am going to check out the 5.11 stuff. BTW I very much like my PF9 as well but I like my S&W Airweight 642 even more. 🙂

      • Curtis Johnese

        I use a belly band and it works great. Nra product magazine has a few in it you should check out.

        • 4Bill_O_Rights

          Thanks for the response. A while back (about 8 and a half months ago) I picked up a Pistolwear Sub Compact Trump Card. It has the added benefit of a positive restraint. I’m not promoting any particular make or model but this one has worked very well for me.

  • Old Dog, No Tricks

    just a quick thought from a 50 yr old veteran that struggled with this issue until i started my own leather shop & holster company. I llive in iowa so i have a vast assortment of 20+ CC guns in many calibers & sizes due to sub-zero winter temps & 85-95 degree summers. i hated buying 2 or 3 holsters for each gun to allow IWB & OWB carry so I made some holsters that do both. Many manufacturers now do this & it allows for IWB carry wirh most compact or smaller guns in summer. Just wear a quality belt & as Jason said, wear shorts & shirts of thicker material. Polos work great & if you tuck in shirt & leave it puffed out around waste you’ll be fine. I once carried a Commander size 1911, a Glock G27, & of course a j-frame 38, all at the same time for an entire week while looking for ways to improve carry techniques & holsters. I only wore jeans & untucked t-shirt or polo & even in crowded places no one noticed.
    Put some time & effort into it & you’ll be fine, because we need all of you “Good guys with guns” to be prepared for whatever.
    STAY SAFE & GOD BLESS.

  • Ty Tansel

    don’t forget the fanny pack method!

  • David Olson

    Living in Las Vegas Nevada, it’ll start heading towards the 100 degree mark in May. I have my Sig P938, 9 mm short, Luger, as my much preferred all around CCW. Don’t scoff at that round. How many European handguns and semi and full auto machine pistols, were made for that round. Back to CCW in hot weather. I wear Levis, t-shirt and usually cowboy boots. I read some place that you should always wear your t-shirt outside your shorts, trousers. Allows for better circulation. My preferred means of carry is my Sig pocket holster. I just slide it into my right rear pocket. It has a large thick sheet of leather that the holster is attached. The plain leather sheet imprints like a wallet. I’ve also carried the holster in my front pants pocket, same thing. The leather sheet imprints, but again, ” think wallet”. I also have three Sneaky Pete’s holsters for belt wear for three different pocket autos. And also OTW for the same three. Beretta Tomcat cal .32; my Walther PK 380 ( prefer it to the PPK ) and my Sig Sauer P938. Adjust your weapon and means of carry for the moment. I’ve been forty years in military and civilian LE. The past twelve in retirement (finally)!! But things being the way they are, I’ll continue to renew my CCW UNTIL I know I should put them away.

  • bjensen

    Pistolwear, Smartcarry and Thunderwear are also of that design.

  • Ron Marshall

    I always carry while wearing just a short sleeved shirt ( tail out ) – Hawaiian or native American Indian patterned prints that VISUALLY break up my silhouette. + I buy shirts one size too large and I’ve never been guessed to be packin’ even by relatives who know I carry.

  • Providential Pathways Ministry

    It doesn’t get more hot or steamier anywhere than it can get in South Carolina. Here, shorts t-shirts & flip flops can easily be worn 10+ months out of the year. I carry a 24/7 Pro C 45 AIWB all year! My wife also carries AIWB. It’s the best way we’ve found to CC when minimal clothing in required for comfort.

    I also pocket carry an LCP, knife & OC spray. It can easily be done if you really want to.

  • Cam

    Pretty tired of the argument against Appendix carry, and I carry at 4 o’clock for that matter. I’ve trained with experienced folks who are just as safe carrying and training appendix. The are pros and cons to every form of carry. People still have accidents in the 4:00 position: negligence is negligence. If you don’t trust yourself carrying appendix, that’s fine. Just try not to blanket everyone else for your personal feelings and lack of training appendix style. There is zero mention of the positives of appendix carry, which highlights your own bias. Professionally, I would’ve kept to pocket carry or hybrid holsters (Stealthgear USA Onyx) in the summer, if you cannot be equally fair or balanced in your critique of appendix carry. Train or at least research it more throughly, before stating it’s inherently unsafe mode of carry.

  • Randmo

    I agree with the author. I live in southeast Florida (open carry and campus carry just passed!) and I pocket carry always, except for when I run, then I use a Blue Stone belly band. The belly band does print, well, not so someone can see it’s a gun but they can see that there is something under my shirt. (I’m ready to say it’s a monitor for heart and respiration for my running app, a prototype from work so no, you can’t see it). Both are quite comfortable. I carry the S&W M&P .380 bodyguard, it’s small and very lightweight so that I forget that it’s there.
    Carry on!

  • John Owen

    Definitely like the “a small gun in your pocket beats the full-size in your safe any day” point.

  • Feddy von Wigglestein

    If I move the wrong way with belly band the damn thing prints through the shirt…I could go with slightly bigger shirts but I hate that. My shoulders aren’t broad enough and I look like a child in his older brother’s hand-me-downs (or at least that’s how I feel).

  • Roy Payne

    My questions: Is the belly band hot in the summer? Do you feel like you’re wearing a corset?

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