Summer Concealed Carry: Hiding A Heater When It’s Hot

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

avoid summer leather concealed carry

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.

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Sam Hoober is Contributing Editor for Alien Gear Holsters, where he writes about gun accessories, gun safety, open and concealed carry tips. He also contributes a bi-weekly column for Daily Caller. In his free time, Sam enjoys camping, hunting and spending time at the gun range as often as possible.
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Thoughtful article with good tips. As a retired full time RVer, we are almost always in warm weather, so I always pocket carry (in an appropriate pocket holster) Ruger LC9S Pro. ALWAYS. It fits in the front right pocket of everything I own as I don’t buy clothes it won’t fit in. It even tucks nicely in a backpack when going to the showers in state parks etc. And it sits nicely beside the bed at night.
Perfect solution for me.
PS Always have an extra mag on board too. ALWAYS.
Old Dude

Kenneth Aaron

I found that particular model excellent, but a bit big for pocket carry.


I thought too big at first, but I wanted to get to all 9mm in family. After some minor clothing changes, bigger front pockets, I find the LC9 to be very manageable in front pocket. No more 380s in household. Looking for a good buyer for my old LCP.

Kenneth Aaron

Most likely it is because I insist on wearing beach clothes everyday, and I am not a big guy… So, I can;t carry my PPS M2 until Winter. Wish I could..!


Oh, beach guy, that makes sense. I’m small stature also, but more into hiking so cargo pants and shorts.
Due to our limited storage in our motorhome we decided wife and I should have same caliber to limit ammo storage issues. Since my wife won’t give up her SR9C I had to make a change. The LC9s really isn’t that big, but definitely heavier than the LCP. I’m happy with it which in the end is all that counts. So we are soon down to just 2 EDC/total guns and one size ammo. Works well for us. If we still had a sticks and bricks house I am sure I would have more options.

Fred Miller

That’s a good idea. The ammo shortage we suffered a couple of years ago directed me to do something both time consuming and costly. I bought a .50cal ammo can for each caliber and started filling them. Not with blowing-shit-up-at-the-range crap, but good critical defense ammo. This is stuff that sits in a cool, dry, dark place so if we go through that crap again…or worse…I can feel secure enough knowing I’m better prepared than the average person. Buuuttt…buying .22 (all CCI Stinger, Velocitor and Browning), .380, .38, 9mm, .357 and .45 (all Glasier Pow’rballs and Hornady Critical Defense) to fill those cans has taken a couple of years, has sent me to the poorhouse, and takes up some room. The budget only permits buying x-amount of boxes per month and ammo costs way more than it used to. So, I have about 600-800 rounds per caliber permanent storage (doesn’t include the non-allocated stuff), 10 cases of 5.56, 5 cases of 12ga. 00 Hornady XTP, and about 250 rounds of Hornady SST 130gr. .270. Everything else I grab is gravy/icing, for plinking and just because you can never have too much. I should’ve just stuck to .22, 9mm and .38+P/.357 for my handguns, but you can’t eat just one. There’s always a gun I just CAN’T live without.


I used to have several thousand rounds of 380, 38 special and 9mm, when we still had a house. I’ve managed to whittle it down to what will fit both volume and weight in our motorhome, now all in 9mm. More money for motorhome fuel, which is a bigger chunk of budget now. It’s surprising how much more frugal I’ve become with “stuff” now. Probably a good thing, and cheaper too.
Oh, I did buy a laser training set up as it’s harder to find free places to shoot when in strange areas, which we are at least 7 months per year. Cheaper on the range ammo too.
Different strokes for different situations. I don’t miss the abundance of “stuff” we used to own, or maybe it owned us.

Fred Miller

I don’t know. If you accept a pocket rocket for what it is, and what you can do with, it’s always a good option. I should center mass at 25 yards with my LCP, headshots at 15, and anywhere I want at closer range. It’s tiny, and takes continuous practice to stay proficient, but since most shootings are within 15 yards, the little gun is a good defense that can be easily hidden. I love my LC9s, and it’s my daily carry gun, but firing the Pow’rballs out of the LCP has proven to me that I can trust it as an effective weapon. I really like my LCP2 though. The difference between the two models is like day and carrots.


Want a nice used well used LCP? Just kidding. I have a buyer for it. I kinda liked the snappy little guy. You are correct about continuous practice. I carried that thing for many years and it always went bang when it was supposed to. As I said earlier, we had to get to a single caliber due to storage/weight considerations. Problem solved and I like the LC9s better anyway now that I have used it for a while.

Kenneth Aaron

380 in summer pocket holster carry, 9mm in winter, w/a concealed carry jacket.


Yep. just bought a nice vest from amazon.

Kenneth Aaron

Check out the Berne jackets. Really great function, looks and price. I look forward to winter that much more. Hides a single stack 9 VERY well. + all the other things one wants to carry.


No mention of the CC undershirt (5.11 style) or ankle holsters.


Also no mention of CCW Badges.


OMG! A CCW badge? For WHAT? To prove to a cop you have a concealed carry permit? To impress people that you have a concealed carry permit? Isn’t the idea of a concealed carry permit to NOT let people know you are carrying? In what dimension or parallel universe does a CCW badge serve any reasonable function at all?


A CCW Badge lets everyone know that you are both “tactical” and a sheepdog.

Fred Miller

A CCW badge is the sign of a wanna-be cop who shouldn’t own a gun. It’s like having a red light in a vehicle when you’re not a cop or emergency responder.

Ruben Chavira

A good belly band works. Make sure the holster is below the top waist of the band. This keeps body sweat from getting on the gun. Also, one with neoprene backing behind the holster and magazine pouches help absorb sweat. You can turk in your shirt over the gun and the draw is the same, pull up the shirt, untucking it, grip the pistol, draw and present.

Kenneth Aaron

They aren;t bad.. My LCP2 has fallen out. or creeped uo.. The Kahr CW380 stayed secure.

Jim Lagnese

I like the paddle holster from Alien Gear, but they aren’t made for revolvers. That said, I’ll probably get a pocket gun for the hot weather, which is the norm here 4 months out of the year.


Peanut gallery?


You’re / we’re it .


Hawaiian Shirts work well.


The only problem with every IWB I have tried or looked at is the holster does not come between you and the grip so you constantly have the grip checkering rubbing against your side unless you wear both a T and a pullover of untucked shirt. If someone would shape the body side of the holster to match the shape of the gun (just a little extra materiel) the problem would be solved. Since no one makes a holster that solves this I use my SIG 290 in a pocket holster and 2 spare mags in a cell phone case on the belt.. Not the best solution but better than leaving the gun home because of constant chafing.

Fred Miller

I carry a Ruger LCP2 in a IWB Crossfire Tempest 1-1.5 synthetic holster. The holster is exceptionally comfortable, with the back section keeping the gun away from my skin, and serving as a moisture barrier to protect the gun from perspiration. The holster is soft, but firm, and have give to it without it closing up when the gun is pulled so I’m not finger banging it for five minutes to put the gun back in. My normal carry is a Ruger LC9s in another 2-2.5 Tempest. They’re inexpensive but function very well. I keep an extra mag or two in a small $7 soft knife pouch I purchased from Herb Phillipsons. It looks like I’m carrying a small flashlight or multi-tool on my belt. I have a little Uncle Mike’s pocket sleeve for the LCP if I need to carry it in my pocket.