There are two significant elements we think about when conceal carrying a handgun. They are what gun we will conceal carry, and the holster we will use. However, an essential aspect of conceal carrying is the outfit we have on, and for many of us, this means the pants we wear. We made a guide highlighting key factors you should look at when trying to purchase the best-concealed carry pants. Yet, we also analyzed the top concealed carry pants on the market to save you time and the headache of doing all the long hours of research yourself.
Men’s Top Pick Table
5.11 Men’s Taclite Pro
Top Pick Overall & Best for Tactical/Outdoors
|Tailored Suit||Best for Formal||Contact your tailor|
|5.11 Tactical Men’s Covert 2.0 Professional Military Pants|
|Runner Up for Formal|
|UA Storm Covert||Best for Causal|
|Condor Outdoor Cipher Tactical Jeans Pants||Runner Up for Causal|
Women’s Top Pick Table
Top Pick Overall & Best for Tactical/Outdoors
|Tailored Clothing||Best for Formal||Contact your tailor|
|Women’s Concealment Shorts by UnderTech Undercover|
|Runner Up for Formal|
|UnderTech UnderCover Women’s Original Concealment Leggings||Best for Causal|
|5.11 Tactical Women’s Defender-Flex Pant||Runner Up for Causal|
There are 4 basic principles that we need to master to conceal carry a handgun correctly. They are:
- Carrying Safely: Conceal carrying a pistol safely to ensure not just our safety but those around us
- Carrying Discreetly: Others should not be able to see the outline (print) of the gun easily
- Carrying Comfortably: Comfortable to wear the holster and gun all day
- Quickly & Easily Drawing Weapon: A gun will not do us much good if we cannot get to it quickly and easily.
What makes a good pair of concealed paints?
This is a difficult question to tackle because there are so many factors that play a role when concealed carrying. However, using the 4 general principles above let us give some examples of features that generally would result in a good pair of conceal carry pants.
- Looser or flexible waistband to accommodate the weapon’s bulge and make it easier to move during physical activity
- Rip resistant to decrease the chance of ripping the pants while drawing weapon or holster snagging and ripping the fabric
- Bigger belt loops to allow a larger belt to help support the holster and gun staying in place
- Bigger pockets for possibly holding a pistol and a few magazines
How to correctly choose the best-concealed carry pants?
Now for the fun part. How do we pull the trigger, pun intended, on purchasing the right pair of pants for conceal carrying a gun?
1. Determine the weapon you will carry. In general smaller calibers are easy to conceal, but you run the risk of sacrificing stopping power. Also, we need to look at the size of the gun. A thicker or longer gun is harder to conceal. We also need to take a look at the magazine and if it is a single stack or double stack. Obviously, a single stack is better than a double stack. 2. Choose your holster
Choose your holster based on the gun you are carrying.3. Dress for success Now that we know what gun we are carrying and which holster we will use we can coordinate our outfit. Not all concealed carry pants will be appropriate in all environments. For example, having cargo pants on at a formal event will make you stick out like a sore thumb. To be a real concealed carry pro you want to be ready to conceal carry for the following dress types:
Men &Women (Outdoor Methods Top Pick)
Nothing beats tailored clothes when it comes to formal wear. However, before pulling out your concealed gun around your tailor speak to them and make sure they are okay with altering your clothing around your weapon. If not, then simply find another tailor. Be sure to talk to them about the possibility of adding extra padding where the gun will be located to minimize the gun’s print.
You may also want to ask about adjusting the waist to allow more room for a IWB holster. Another request you can make is adding pockets so you can place ammunition in them, or adding strips in pockets if you will be pocket carrying. Bottom line is you need to make sure that the tailor takes measurements with your gun in place before they perform the alterations. Pros:
Clothing is tailored specifically for you and your conceal carry handgun allowing for you to maximize discreet carrying and ensure carrying is very comfortably. Cons:
Unfortunately, you will be paying a fair amount for these alterations for this, and if you are new to conceal carrying you might not place the weapon in the safest spot. We recommend trying manufactured concealed carry pants before having clothing tailored for this task.
Formal Men’s Runner Up
5.11 Tactical Men’s Covert 2.0 Professional Military Pants
Large front pockets that could be used for concealed carry, and two side hidden pockets for carrying ammo, etc. The elastic waistband is suitable for IWB carrying discreetly, and make these very comfortable when wearing. These pants are made of sturdy, durable material, but can pass for formal pants as well. Cons:
The hidden pockets can be tough to access quickly. It is made of thick material which makes them heavier than regular dress pants. The black colored ones seem to pick up dirt and hair quickly, so we recommend you have a lint brush close by.
Women’s Runner up
Women’s Concealment Shorts by UnderTech Undercover
These shorts for women are one of the top options for a variety of concealed carrying situations. They are not thick, so most people will not notice you are wearing them and they are very comfortable. For the women’s conceal shorts they can be worn under pants, shorts, skirts, dresses, yoga pants, or leggings. To add to how awesome these shorts are great for running as well. Cons:
These might be tight around the thighs on some women, and you can only carry in the front or back positions. Legs may ride up a little, and they are not the highest quality. Some women complain that smaller pistols “jiggle” in the builtin holster which has the potential not to be safe. We recommend giving these a full trial run with an unloaded weapon before using. Also due to the very nature of these shorts, they must be covered up correctly, or people will be able to see your firearm.
Want more knowledge? Check this out:
Outdoor Method’s Top Choice for Men
UA Storm Covert
Wait did we say Under Armor? That is right Under Armor is in the game of tactical clothing and are holding their own. We are sure you will agree with us after checking these out. These pants can be worn for hiking, to the range, the office, or to a casual dinner.
Pros:These pants are made of water repealing material so if you are caught in a storm or spill liquid on your pants the liquid will run right off. The waistband stretches to cover a IWB holster and allow for excellent mobility. Its material is lightweight and breathable allowing the wearer to be more comfortable. However, these pants are very durable and will last a long time. They also have plenty of room for movement but do not look baggy when wearing. Discreet left leg pocket is a great place for your phone, and the oversize “coin pocket” on the right side is ideal for carrying a subcompact. Cons:
You get what you pay for and just like all Under Armour clothing these pants are pricey. The fit has reported to be off by some people and can be somewhat uncomfortable for some. Be sure to check Under Armours website for the sizing chart.
Men’s Runner Up
Condor Outdoor Cipher Tactical Jeans Pants
If you are looking for a casual pair of paints that do not scream tactical pants, then these jeans might be for you. They are very casual looking but function well as concealed carry pants. Pros:
While wearing you will not stick out as somebody that has a CCW. The flex jean material allows for you to carry using a IWB holster comfortably, and allows for more freedom of movement. These jeans also have two extra mag pockets to place your extra magazines when you are on the gun.Cons:
With smaller belt loops (barely feet a 1.5-inch belt) you run the risk of being forced to use a smaller belt than what you intended to. These pants’ have been known to have a longer length than normal so be sure you get the right size before purchasing. Unfortunately, only one cut is available currently, and some people complain the jeans are too tight in the thigh area.
Outdoor Method’s Top Pick for Women:
UnderTech UnderCover Women’s Original Concealment Leggings
If you are wanting to conceal but still be in fashion, then the Undertech leggings should be something you consider.
These leggings are very comfortable to wear all day and are made of high-quality material. They also have two built-in holsters that do a good job of keeping your pistol secured. Cons:
Due to the nature of leggings the pistols print still may be seen. While wearing a these leggings consider wearing a longer top. Another down side is they are on the pricey side so be sure to check sizing chart on the manufacturer’s website because these tend to run small.
Women’s Runner up
5.11 Tactical Women’s Defender-Flex Pant
These pants have two mag pockets (7 pockets total) that are excellent to carry extra magazines. The flex pants material and flexible waistband allows you to conceal carry using an IWB holster. This also means they allow for more freedom of movement. Just like a lot on pants on this list they are made with rip-resistant fabric to help minimize tearing your pants when you need to pull your weapon quickly. The deeper pockets constructed in these pants will enable you to carry gear on you now and not in your purse. 5.11 Flex pants for women are very comfortable so women can wear them for a long time. Finally these pants do not look like conceal carry weapon pants. This would make it hard for others to suspect that you are carrying. Cons:
Some women have stated that the pants are not be as flexible in the knees and thighs as other pants. They also do not come in a boot cut, and typically run large for its size. Be sure to check the 5.11 sizing chart before purchasing.
Best overall (Tactical/Outdoors)
Outdoor Methods Top Pick for Men & Women
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5.11 Women’s Taclite Pro Work Pants
5.11 Men’s Taclite Pro Tactical Pants
Finally, the top pick for concealed carrying for men and women are the 5.11 Men’s Taclite Pro Tactical Pants and the 5.11 Women’s Taclite Pro Work Pants. Pros:
Both pair are made with rip-stop fabric plus they have triple-stitch with added bartacking at significant stress points making these pants very rugged and durable. The men’s pants have 12 tactical pockets and the women’s have 8 allowing you to carry both your concealed firearm, extra magazines, and any other gear you might need. Waistbands in both pair are elastic allowing for you to carry with an IWB holster and allows for more freedom during physical activity.
The two of them are relatively lightweight allowing for more comfort even during those hotter days. Just like most pants on this list, both are stain and soil resistant enabling the liquid to just roll right off literally.
Both the knees and butt area of either pants are reinforced to safeguard against wear and tear. The men and women pair also have pockets at the knees allowing you to insert 5.11 knee pads as an added bonus. With such excellent quality for both pairs, it is no suppose that they are the pants to beat when it comes to conceal carrying pants. Cons:
The main button for each pair is a snap button which is a little awkward, but not a deal breaker. Unfortunately, quality almost always comes with a higher price just like both these pair. Neither pair of pants are as breathable as other pants on the market as well.
Note: Women be sure to use the manufacturers sizing chart before ordering.
The world of apparel for conceal carry pistols is only going to continue to grow. While this growth allows people more options to choose from, it can make buying the right conceal carry pants confusing. Yet, from our in-depth analysis, the 5.11 Men’s Taclite Pro Tactical Pants and the 5.11 Women’s Taclite Pro Works Pants are the top pick for most people.
Each pair cover all four fundamentals of concealed carrying: Carrying Safely, Carrying Discreetly, Carrying Comfortably, and Quickly & Easily Drawing Pistol. The rest of the pants on our list are great, but none of them can dethrone these champions. Let us know what you think below. Until next time keep safe and keep carrying.