Summer concealed carry can be a different animal than carry during the rest of the year. It isn’t as easy for a lot of people to keep concealment or carry comfortably due to the increase in temperatures and reduced layering.
How do you overcome these things? You wouldn’t want to stop carrying during the hot parts of the year due to discomfort; the point of having a CCW pistol, license and so on is to be armed as often as possible.
Since summer is just about here at the time of this writing, here are some tips that will help you overcome the challenges of summertime carry.
Address How You Dress For Summertime Concealed Carry
One of the areas that may require a little attention for summer concealed carry is your clothing. How a lot of people carry is with an IWB holster with an untucked shirt. Now, if you can effectively conceal with a T-shirt you don’t really have anything to worry about and can carry on – pun intended – as normal.
Not everyone gets off that easy, though.
Some people, due to a number of factors like body shape, dress habits and/or dress code for work, can’t wear just a t-shirt. What, then is a person to do?
If your job mandates a button-up shirt (say you work in an office that runs on the stricter side of business casual) an easy fix is to wear an untucked short-sleeve button-up or polo. (Top tip: seersucker shirts are ridiculously comfortable in summertime.) If normal tees just aren’t doing it, selecting the next size up (so long as it doesn’t appear suspicious) or a tall size may turn the trick.
Take care to select shirts that fit a little loose, which can get a bit hard as slim-fit is the fashion of today. Not only will this aid in concealment, a little breathing room actually feels better in the heat.
Granted, if your workplace (or personal sense of style) demands you wear a tucked shirt at all times…carry as normal, because there’s nothing to help you clothing-wise. Granted, a sweat-wicking Under Armour (or similar) undershirt may be a good idea.
Get A Summer Concealed Carry Gun
Another strategy some people employ for summer concealed carry is to have a summer gun. What some people look forward to in winter is the ability to conceal their favorite full-size gun (1911 guys, we’re looking at you – and this writer and his R1 are guilty as all get out on that score) with the extra layers concealing that high-ride OWB so very well, but when it starts to heat up…that’s when the single-stack subcompact comes out of the safe and goes in the waistband.
Then again, some people just buy an easy gun to conceal and carry that all the time, which is arguably the better idea…but c’est la vie.
Slim, subcompact single-stack plastic fantastics, snubbie revolvers and pocket rocket .380 pistols are all popular summer guns because they’re easier to conceal with fewer layers. There are also a good number of double-stack compacts out there that are just as easy to concealed carry on the daily.
A lighter gun will sit easier, a smaller gun will conceal more easily. A smallish, light pistol conceals AND carries easily. Therefore, consider a down-sized gun if you don’t have one.
Ditch The Leather In Hot Weather
Yes, I know, I work for a holster company and this may sound like a plug but anyone who has carried with a leather IWB when it’s 90+ degrees or hotter out will probably agree with me that holster selection for hot weather makes a huge difference. The peanut gallery can sound off in the comments; maybe I’ll even read them.
Holster materials and holster construction make a huge difference. Leather doesn’t breathe as well as other fabrics or holster materials and it will make you sweat. A lot.
If you must stick with a hide of some sort, opt for suede in the summer months. It breathes a bit more, but can also soak up a lot of sweat so keep an eye out for that.
For summertime carry, you’ll want to find an IWB holster that’s thin enough to not turn your waistband into a swamp, but secure enough for you to not have to worry about it. A number of companies out there are making IWB holsters backed with neoprene along with other non-traditional materials that can make for much easier carry in hot weather. (Yes, that includes Alien Gear but there are plenty more besides us.) So options for summer carry holsters abound.
Some people opt for pocket carry for this reason during the hot season, but be sure to carry with a pocket holster as trigger guard protection is essential.
These tips will help out during the hot months, which are – at the time of this writing – incipient. Happy carrying.