How To Conceal Carry In The Winter

Winter is just around the corner and it’s almost time to pull out those coats and warm clothes. How does winter affect the way you conceal carry? We will give you our answer but first, we wanted to hear from our customers about this topic. So we asked them “What is one thing you love and one thing you hate about carrying in the wintertime?” We got a lot of great responses but here are a few that stood out to us.

“I’m in Florida so it’s summer carry all year except like a week in January.” - Eric Busseau

“Love the ease of concealment but the difficulty to get under the layers.” - Kevin Cooper

“I can go all boomer and carry my full size 1911.” - Paul Puebla III

The feedback we got from our customers about how they carry in the winter helped us put together this article filled with things you might want to consider when it comes time.

Overall the way you concealed carry in the winter may be similar to the way you carry in the summer. You may not feel you need to make any significant changes. On the other hand, you may want to carry in a different holster with a different gun both of which would be big changes.

With that, let’s dive right into the basics, what type of holster should you use for winter concealed carry?

What Type Of Holster Should I Use For Concealed Carry In The Winter?

If you have read any of our other blogs you probably have heard us say this a lot but ultimately what holster you use is up to you. Sometimes there is no one answer to a question. What works best for one person may not work at all for another. Let’s talk about winter carrying with an outside the waistband (OWB) versus an inside the waistband (IWB) holster though.

If you live in sunny Florida, winter carry may be no different than your summer carry for the majority of the season. You may find that an IWB holster works perfectly. It is still easily concealed by what you are wearing that day and you don’t have many additional layers to go through in order to access it. If you are in a colder climate IWB may still be suitable but may not be the best choice.

Our Vedder LightTuck™ IWB Holster is a great option if you are looking for a year-round carry holster. It is lightweight and made of sturdy Kydex that securely clips to your belt for all-day wear.

OWB holsters are easier to conceal during the winter because of the additional layers of clothing. You don’t have to worry about it showing through like you would during the summer. If you do live in a colder climate and wear layers an OWB holster may provide easier access to your gun than if you were using an IWB holster.

The Vedder Lightdraw™ OWB Holster is one of our most popular Outside the Waistband holsters and is custom made to fit your concealed carry weapon whether it’s a Ruger LCP or a classic 1911.

So, which type of holster you choose to carry with, in the winter, is up to you. You may find that one works better than another based on where you live or just personal preference.

Is It Harder To Draw My Gun Because Of The Additional Clothing Layers?

It can be harder to draw your gun because of the additional layers of clothing. During the summer you most likely only have a t-shirt over your holster so it is easy to clear and access your handgun. During the winter, if you don’t live in Florida, you may have multiple shirts on with a jacket too, making it harder to clear and access your concealed carry weapon.

The best way to help combat the difficulty of accessing your gun under additional layers is to practice. While you are home one day take some time to safely practice drawing your gun in your winter attire. This can help make adjusting to the change in clothing much easier in the event you needed to draw your weapon.

Overall, it can be harder to draw your weapon during the winter because of the additional layers. This can be combated by practicing drawing your weapon with your winter attire on, in a safe environment.

Should I Carry A Bigger Gun During The Winter?

Should you carry a bigger gun during the winter is a loaded question. Pun intended. Again this one is based on personal preference. Your smaller gun will most likely be just as effective in the winter ast it is in the summer, in the event that you need to use your concealed carry weapon.

Now, if you were to ask can I carry a bigger gun during the winter? I’d have a different answer, yes you absolutely can. Many people find that they can more easily conceal a larger gun during the winter than summer because the layers hide any printing that would normally occur. But, don’t feel like you have to just because you can. A smaller pistol can be just as effective in protecting you and your family as a larger one.

How Does Wearing Gloves Affect Your Shooting Ability?

If you aren’t chillin’ on a beach in Florida during the winter and have to deal with that white stuff people call snow, you probably are going to be wearing gloves. But how do you shoot with gloves on? It’s not as complicated as it seems.

Many times competition shooters may elect to wear tactical gloves while they are shooting. While these aren’t effective for the winter they do prove that wearing gloves and shooting can be done.

But what kind of gloves can you wear during the winter? You’ll want a glove thin enough to get past the trigger guard, but still be effective at keeping your hands warm. You may find that a lined leather glove works great.

So, you can still wear gloves and shoot effectively if needed just keep in mind the thickness of the gloves when you are selecting them.

Should You Practice Drawing And Shooting In Your Winter Clothes?

During the winter you may have more layers on than what you would normally wear. These added layers can change the way you draw your gun so just like how you practice your summer draw you should practice in your winter attire too.

For more information on practicing drawing your concealed carry gun and safe ways to do so check out our blog.

To review, winter carry is going to be different for everyone and you may find one method works better for you than another. If you live in an area where winter weather requires more than a light jacket you may find an OWB holster works for you. Because of the additional layers, you may also find it is easier to conceal a larger gun. Make sure that just like you practice in your summer attire, you should practice in your winter attire too.

But ultimately how you carry in the winter comes down to what you prefer and what meets your needs. We recommend visiting our Holsters by Gun Model page if you are looking for holsters that are custom made for your weapon of choice. For all of our belt and holster options and for more information to help you choose the carry system that works best for you, visit our Vedder Holsters website.

Looking for items beyond holsters and belts, check out our Resources Page for popular product links like lights, laser, first aid, maintenance, and more.