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For most fat guys, a belly band is the most comfortable method of concealed carry. Most other holsters and carry methods are uncomfortable and/or make it difficult to draw quickly.
I still vividly remember one of the first guys I saw carrying. I was visiting my dad at a warehouse that he managed and there was a fat, mountain-man-type fellow sitting and eating his lunch. What interested me was that he had a revolver sitting on the table next to his food. Being a kid I was obviously fascinated and asked him what he was doing with it.
He was nice enough until I asked him where his holster was. He gruffly told me that it was hidden and, if I wanted to see him put it away, I’d have to stick around until after lunch because he wasn’t putting it back in his holster a second before he had to.
As any kid would, I stuck around and watched the clock until the end of lunchtime. I watched, fascinated, as he pulled up his shirt, lifted up his massive belly with one hand, and shoved his gun into his appendix carry holster with the other. Now that I’m a big guy myself, I can understand why he was so reluctant to put it away. It had to be an extremely uncomfortable carry position (not to mention inaccessible if he ever needed it quickly…).
The thing I still don’t understand, however, is why? Why in the world did he choose to carry there? There are so many holsters for fat guys on the market! On my own personal list of the best holster for fat guys, appendix carry wouldn’t even make the top 3. So what would make the list?
Well, we’ll get to it. But if you’re in a hurry and want a holster to replace to the uncomfortable, cruddy one you have, here it is: if you want to be comfortable, get a belly band holster for fat guys, this one to be exact:
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The Best Concealed Carry Holster for Fat Guys
No matter what kind of carry option you choose, there are a few things you need to take into consideration. For me, the belly band holster was the best option but, for you, it may not be. The best concealed carry holster for fat guys will meet the following characteristics:
Safety: The most important function of any holster is to protect you from accidental discharge (by preventing it from happening). A good holster will keep the trigger guard protected and keep your gun safe from bumps.
Fit & Comfort: Not only does your holster need to fit your fun, it needs to fit your body. If you don’t like it, you won’t wear it.
Easy to draw and re-holster. Your holster has to be in an easy-to-reach location that is natural for you to draw from. Avoid excessively complicated draw procedures unless you want to spend hours practicing them. Also, take into consideration how easy it is to reholster your weapon. It’s much more important, in my opinion, to be able to draw quickly – but putting your weapon away easily is quite convenient.
Easy to conceal: As a big guy, you’re in luck. Not printing when you are a bean-pole is much more difficult. However, depending on your body shape and clothing choices, some carry options will make much more sense than others.
So, if a belly band holster for fat guys checks all those boxes for you, let’s talk about the best option on the market and why I like it!
The Best Belly Band Holster for Fat Guys
If you are a really big guy, you’ll probably be bummed to find out that there isn’t a belly band holster on the market that will fit you (short of a custom-made option). However, if your belly circumference is under 54″, there is an awesome option that will meet your needs! Ghost Concealment is a relatively new company that is dedicated to creating highly functional but comfortable holsters at a great price. This holster provides a spot that will fit almost any size of gun, as well as an extra magazine. The fabric is still sturdy enough to prevent accidental discharge while remaining extremely comfortable!
Not only is the material comfortable and breathable, but its sturdy velcro closures will keep all but the heaviest guns firmly in place. And if you don’t need the added security of the quick snap release strap? Simply snip the entire thing off with scissors without affecting the integrity of the holster!
So if you are a big guy looking for the best belly band holster, this is it! And for the price? I honestly think everyone should give it a try and see if it works for them! While I don’t use a belly band every day, there are times where it makes the most sense for me to carry in one. Why not have it in your arsenal?
The Best Concealed Carry Method for Big Guys
I hate to give glib or indirect answers on a question like this, but here, it’s a necessity. The best concealed carry method for big guys is whatever works best in each individual’s situation. Big belly? Don’t appendix carry. Mobility issues? Don’t ankle carry. Don’t carry a man-purse? Well you shouldn’t be carrying off-person anyway!
Having said that, there are a few carry options that make the most sense for big buys, so if we talk about the pros and cons of each, hopefully it will guide you in making a decision. Since you’re probably here looking for a belly band holster, it’s possible you’ve already chosen – but let’s take a quick look at some options anyway!
As a really quick note, I’m just going to say, if you don’t have a high-quality belt, forget about any concealed carry option being comfortable. Wher you want to carry OWB or IWB, make sure you get yourself a sturdy leather belt made specifically for big men that carry. I recommend this belt from Relentless Tactical (Amazon link) which is super durable, and fits up to 52″.
Outside the Waist Band (OTW or OWB depending who you are…)
If the “concealed” part of concealed carry isn’t as important to you, then carrying on your waistband can be a great option. Your belly and waist size become a non-issue because you can get a holster that rides on a belt. Now, you can conceal and OTW holster using baggy shirts or jackets, but it doesn’t take some conscious daily dressing choices. What you lose in convenience here, you make up for in comfort. For anything but a full-size gun, OTW might be the most comfortable way to carry!
I have always been a fan of Alien Gear Holsters, and for the past few years, they have been my go-to holster maker. They aren’t the cheapest holster on the market, but they are extremely comfortable (thin), rigid enough to hold your gun right where you want it, and super long-lasting. The OWB Cloak is a great example of all of these, and is my #1 recommendation as the best holster for fat guys (if you don’t want a belly band). Not to mention the fact that it’s made for pretty much every handgun on the planet! Get one, I guarantee you’ll love it.
Inside the Waist Band (IWB)
IWB carry has almost all the benefits of carrying outside of your pants. If you are a big guy and have to cinch your belt pretty tight to keep your pants up, it can get uncomfortable and make drawing difficult. On the plus side, however, it’s much easier to conceal beneath a t-shirt! The best IWB holster for fat guys will be relatively flat, rigid, and have all the accessory holders you could want!
Since you already know that I’m a huge fan of Alien Gear, the best IWB holster for fat guys isn’t hard to guess. The latest version of the Alien Gear Cloak Tuck. It is made of incredibly high-quality materials, sits very securely on a belt, and allows you to test out a number of different carry positions to find out which is most comfortable for you (try 3 or 5 o’clock if you need a starting point).
If you are carrying a low capacity handgun, you may want something with a extra mag pocket – but that has never been an issue for me!
Now, if you really want to appendix carry as a fat guy, there are some new options out there. Since I first wrote this article a new and amazing option has come available that you should check out. JXTactical partnered with Black Diamond Guns and Gear to produce a low riding holster that sits below our gut, making it perfect for big guys who carry. Check it out:
I haven’t tried the holster yet and am not sponsored by either company but just wanted to let you know that there are some great options out there. I will note that JX Tactial hand crafts all of its holders so you’ll be in good hands!
In a perfect world, we would all be James Bond and shoulder carry. However, such is not the case. If you’re a big guy, a shoulder holster can be a good option if carrying on your hip is uncomfortable or you spend a lot of time sitting. Just be sure to get a quality holster (like the one below) and balance it well, or it will start weighing on you.
Yes, Alien Gear does make a shoulder rig. However, it is not my recommendation here. I have never found shoulder carry to be comfortable for a full day of concealed carry as a big guy, so if you want to try it, I recommend going straight to the top and getting the best (most comfortable) holster that money can buy. In this case that is the all-leather lite set-up from Graco. It will look great, age well, and probably last longer than you will.
If you’re a big guy without any problem dropping down to quick draw from your ankle holster, this can be one of the best concealed carry methods for big guys. The main drawback: it’s not a very convenient location to draw from. However, you’re probably safe from any gun grabs!
I’m not an ankle carry guy (sorry, my cankles are sacred), but if I was, the TOPMEET holster is the one I would pick up. You’ve probably never heard of the brand, but they offer one of the most innovative ankle holsters that is sized to fit big guys (and also happens to be the best selling ankle holster on Amazon). It is sturdy, fits up to an 18″ calf, and has velcro that will last for years without ripping out all of your leg hair. Ankle carry requires a certain type of person to enjoy it, but if you are that person and love pants with baggy ankles, get one today! They’re crazy cheap to try out!
If you carry a compact or sub-compact, I’m sure you’ll fall in love with pocket carry as I have. It’s super easy to drop a pocket holster into your jacket or pants, it’s not uncomfortable, and it’s fairly easy to draw. I’ll admit that I don’t actually carry my primary firearm in my pocket. I actually carry the Kimber Pepper Blaster II (Amazon link) in a pocket holster. It’s always a comfort to me to have a self-defense option to defuse the 95% of confrontations that don’t require me to draw my firearm. However, depending on your firearm, pocket carry is a viable carry option for a big guy!
In general, a good pocket holster is a good pocket holster. They are the least complex of the holsters in this list, so as long as the maker chose the right fabrics, there isn’t much to be gained by buying a more expensive option. The pocket carry option from Garrison Grip is made of extremely durable fabric which effectively hides the gun outline, covers the trigger guard, and won’t slide out of your pocket.
As you can see, the question of best concealed carry holster for fat guys is not one that is easily answered. It has a lot of answers, which may just be a blessing – because it allows you to choose exactly what works for you and your situation. Whether a belly band holster for fat guys is your best option, or you lean more towards an IWB option, it’s hard to go wrong if you spend your time researching and put in the hours practicing. So choose one (or several), and get going on finding the best concealed carry method for you!