If you own a gun or have thought about getting one, you may know about the concealed carry vs. open carry debate.
Some states in the United States allow you to carry your firearms openly, whereas others want you to keep them concealed.
- 1 My Methodology for Finding the Best Concealed Carry Vest
- 2 The Best Concealed Carry Vests Reviews
- 2.1 #1 First Manufacturing Men’s Buffalo Nickel Vest
- 2.2 #2 Men’s SOA Denim Vest with 1 Inside Concealed Gun Pocket
- 2.3 #3 Rothco Plainclothes Concealed Carry Vest
- 2.4 #4 M-Boss Motorcycle Apparel BOS13517 Leather Vest
- 2.5 #5 5.11 Tactical Water-Resistant Trekking Outdoor Covert Conceal Vest
- 2.6 #6 Men’s SOA Leather Club Style Vest
- 2.7 #7 Venado Concealed Carry Vest for Men
- 3 Concealed Carry Vest Buying Guide
- 4 Choosing the Best Concealed Carry Vest for You
- 5 Are our Concealed Carry Vests Worth the Hype?
- 6 Conclusion
I’ll tell you what, though:
Even if you live in an open-carry state, concealed carry is the way to go.
If you want to carry your firearm out in the open, you have to pay attention to two things:
- You should not expose your firearm to the public. It is a sensitive weapon for self-defense, not a thing to show off and scare people. And doing so can be illegal in many states.
- Concealing your weapon can protect you from many threats. As much as a gun gives you the confidence of self-defense, the point is to avoid its use, right?
- Some may recommend IWB holsters, but they do not offer the comfort of concealed-carry vests if you ask me.
Concealed carry vests bring together the best of functionality, security, and comfort. Unlike a holster, a vest lets you keep the firearm inside a custom-made garment.
The best thing?
A concealed carry vest is the best protective layer between your firearm and an attacker. When used correctly, these vests can save your life and others.
But how do you choose the best-concealed carry vest?
My Methodology for Finding the Best Concealed Carry Vest
In case you are wondering, I live in a state where guns are concealed carry.
I have been to many places where open carrying is legal. Yet, if given an option, I always go for concealed carry for the reasons mentioned above.
And here are the factors that make the best-concealed carry vests:
- Comfort and Fit
- Fabric Weight
Based on these pointers, I chose the best concealed carry vests in the market right now. But, of course, I did go through multiple hands-on and customer reviews before selecting the final contenders.
I hope it helps. Let’s get into the list.
The Best Concealed Carry Vests Reviews
#1 First Manufacturing Men’s Buffalo Nickel Vest
The first place on our list goes to the Men’s Buffalo Nickel Vest from First Manufacturing. This vest is made with 100% leather and comes with internal pockets for concealed gun carry. In addition, you can get the vest in an incredible variety of sizes, making it a suitable option for almost everyone out there.
What’s to Love?
First and foremost, the First Manufacturing Men’s Buffalo Nickel Vest comes with a comfort-first design. As a result, you can use this vest for everyday use with minimal hassle. In addition, the V-neck design, combined with its four-snap front, makes it an excellent option for most people.
For instance, if you want to wear the vest and get going, things do not get snappier than this option. It does not compromise the number of pockets, either. You get one interior cellphone pocket and two inner conceal-carry pockets. In other words, there is ample space to carry your firearm and necessary accessories.
We should also appreciate how stylish the First Manufacturing Men’s Buffalo Nickel Vest looks and feels. It does not look like an addition at all. On the other hand, even though it packs a comfortable holster inside, the vest adds a unique persona to your existing look.
The construction quality of the product is equally significant. The company has used 1.1mm to 1.2mm leather — made from cowhide — to build the entire thing. According to the multiple reviews I have checked, it can last close to a lifetime.
What Could be Better?
Despite the versatile and long-lasting design it comes with, the First Manufacturing Men’s Buffalo Nickel Vest is an expensive product. It costs slightly more than the typical concealed carry vests on the market. But if you ask me, it is a worthwhile investment.
You should check a few pointers before buying the product, though. For instance, those who live in a place with a hot climate may not like a leather-based vest. Similarly, the snappy design may not be compatible with your tactical gun-carrying needs, per se.
Also, ensure you get a larger size if you want to wear the vest outside your clothing. Otherwise, the entire point of concealed carry may be compromised since the weapons can leave a print on the vest.
The First Manufacturing Men’s Buffalo Nickel Vest is an excellent option if you want an everyday concealed carry vest.
It combines the best design, comfort, and space for you to keep your firearm and essential accessories. Last but not least, the vest has a persona of its own.
#2 Men’s SOA Denim Vest with 1 Inside Concealed Gun Pocket
Are you someone who would rather have a denim vest? In that case, you should check out the Men’s SOA Denim Vest with 1 Inside Concealed Gun Pocket from Bikers Edge. It may not have the most common design, but it does the job well.
What’s to Love?
As our first product, the Men’s SOA Denim Vest from Bikers Edge is stylish. You can get it in a black or blue finish per the requirements. You can also choose between a Small and 7X large size. These rich options are great for most people. In addition, collared and collar-less versions are available if you are wondering.
I understand some people don’t want denim vests for concealed carry, but I would argue otherwise. If you are comfortable with denim, this concealed carry vest is an option you cannot go wrong with. For one, it is made using high-quality denim that works well in different regions.
Once again, resembling the first pick, the vest comes with dual pockets, one of which is the more suitable option for concealed carry. Given that you are wearing something over the vest, you can use the two chest and lower pockets to keep your accessories or a smartphone.
On the bright side, the vest does not weigh much, making it a suitable choice for everyday carry. Bikers Edge has done a great job implementing some cool features inside such a package. I also loved the five-snap front closure, which does a decent job most of the time.
What Could be Better?
I did see many complaints about the size running small. So, choosing a size bigger than the actual one will be a great idea. It should also help if you decide to wear the vest on top of something — so that the firearm does not leave a print.
The retention system can also use some work, in my opinion. Even though things get better with some time, having a more efficient access system would be nice. Last but not least, I would like to repeat that denim is not the go-to option for many.
If you like the idea of wearing a denim-based concealed carry vest, the Men’s SOA Denim Vest from Bikers Edge will be a great pick.
In that case, you can count on the incredible design, top-notch construction quality, and the many pockets the product comes with.
#3 Rothco Plainclothes Concealed Carry Vest
Sometimes, you have to give equal importance to design and functionality. I decided to add the Rothco Plainclothes Concealed Carry Vest to the list for the same reason. It creates the fine line between everyday and tactical concealed carry vests.
What’s to Love?
Unlike our first two picks, the Rothco Plainclothes Concealed Carry Vest is available in three finishes — Khaki, Olive Drab, and Black. You also have the option to choose between quite a few size variants. So, in the end, you have many combinations to pick from.
But functionality is where the vest makes all the difference. Spread inside and outside, the product packs 20 different pockets, including two concealed carry pockets and four magazine pouches. In addition, the cargo vest lets you easily carry accessories, thanks to the zippered pockets.
You can spot the two-way zipper in the middle, making it easy to access your firearm without actually looking at it. You can also use the slash pockets and zippered layers to keep track of essential accessories for everyday use.
Even though it does not come with a holster, carrying a number of firearms and magazines will not be a huge task when you have this vest. Last but not least, the construction quality of the vest should not be a concern at all. It can last for years without any issues.
What Could be Better?
Because it focuses on utility, the Rothco Plainclothes Concealed Carry Vest does not snap into place. So, you cannot expect the vest to have a persona. Instead, you will have to adjust it according to your comfort level and what you are wearing inside/outside.
Once again, we come across the issue of sizes. In this particular case, sizes run bigger, meaning that the size you choose may be a little too tight. But, on the other hand, it means you can order the usual size and get enough space to avoid the weapons leaving a print.
If you need the perfect balance between utility and comfort, I can advise the Rothco Plainclothes Concealed Carry Vest.
It could use the room for improvement in design, but that is an optional thing when looking for more storage space and comfort.
#4 M-Boss Motorcycle Apparel BOS13517 Leather Vest
If you want a motorcycle west with concealed carry capabilities, you should consider getting the M-Boss Motorcycle Apparel BOS13517 Leather Vest. This leather-made vest has been designed to offer comfort fit and enough storage space at the same time.
What’s to Love?
Unlike the products we have mentioned so far, the M-Boss Motorcycle Apparel BOS13517 Leather Vest is an affordable choice. You can get the vest by spending less than $70, even when you go for the most expensive size.
As far as the design is concerned, the product did not disappoint. Because it has been made using durable split leather, the comfort fit is snappy. Thanks to the four-snap front buttons, you can wear this vest with maximum comfort. You can also use the side laces to adjust the fit.
As far as the pockets are concerned, you get two concealed carry pockets inside and two outside. Combined, they offer ample space for you to carry firearms as well as accessories. For instance, you can easily carry two firearms and required magazines. The polyester lining also comes in handy more often than you think.
Even though the M-Boss Motorcycle Apparel BOS13517 Leather Vest does not come in different colors, you have so many size options. You can either choose the small version or go up to 5X large, which may be a nice choice if you want something other than snug-fit.
I believe I should also appreciate how optimized the design is for motorcycle riders. Even if you wear it over something else, your belongings would be super-safe. You do not have to worry about dust, debris, or even rain, to an extent.
What Could be Better?
One of the concerns you should have about the M-Boss Motorcycle Apparel BOS13517 Leather Vest is the overall toughness. Even though it uses leather, its quality is not up to the mark. So, you can expect the vest to show some wear and tear over time.
At the same time, I don’t want to forget that most people will be spending less than $50 on this vest. If you keep using it in mild environments, you can expect it to last longer. On the other hand, if you want to expose it to a lot of sunlight, you can expect the color to fade a bit.
There are definitely some areas where the M-Boss Motorcycle Apparel BOS13517 Leather Vest can improve its game.
Even then, considering what you have to pay, the product seems like a worthy investment for the most part. At the end of the day, you spend as much as a couple of great coffee.
#5 5.11 Tactical Water-Resistant Trekking Outdoor Covert Conceal Vest
If you would like a concealed carry vest that you like to wear while trekking, you should check out the 5.11 Tactical Water-Resistant Trekking Outdoor Covert Conceal Vest. It can assure you the best level of comfort, usability, and water resistance, among other things in the package.
What’s to Love?
Affordable pricing is the first thing that I noticed with the product. Depending on the style and size, the price may vary, but all variants remain reasonable most of the time. In the end, you can have a good-looking and reliable concealed carry vest without spending a fortune on it.
There is a reason for its affordable nature, though: the water-resistant vest is made using 100% polyester, which may not be as premium as leather or nylon. However, you get some additional benefits such as the machine-washable cloth and premium zippers.
Another great thing about the vest is its weight. You do not have to worry too much about the weight while getting this concealed carry vest. Even if you want to accommodate a couple of firearms inside, the overall weight will be manageable. I also found that the material used by the makers is highly breathable.
Despite the compact design it comes in, the 5.11 Tactical Water-Resistant Trekking Outdoor Covert Conceal Vest is quite tactical in nature. The zippered pass-through pockets let you access the firearm in an instant — something we cannot say in the case of other products.
The handwarmer pockets also come in handy more often than you think, especially if you live in a cold area. Thanks to the wind-resistant design, the vest can protect you from wind chill when trekking or going uphill. Even otherwise, the vest can work with the style you choose.
What Could be Better?
Even though polyester offers some benefits like lower weight and easy cleaning, the material does not come closer to leather/denim in terms of comfort. If you do not have enough layers between the vest and your body, the overall experience may not be good.
For one, the company says that the 5.11 Tactical Water-Resistant Trekking Outdoor Covert Conceal Vest has been tested in the field. However, I could not ignore a number of reviews that mention the problems with stretching materials.
Even though the product is an affordable choice for most people, those who are into trekking will find it the best.
The material for construction can be a problem for some. However, if you are used to polyester-made vests, you can keep using this product with ease.
#6 Men’s SOA Leather Club Style Vest
Men’s SOA Leather Club Style Vest is another motorcycle vest that doubles as a concealed carry vest. If you do not mind spending a little extra for added comfort and durability, this product is an excellent option. You do not have to worry about the functionality aspect, either.
What’s to Love?
The Men’s SOA Leather Club Style Vest comes with a unique persona that most people will love. You can be wearing this vest over your jacket, and the all-leather design looks stylish. If you ask me, I’d say that it looks great enough for the price you have to pay.
The construction quality of the product is also worth praising, I believe. It has been made using 1.2 to 1.3mm buffalo leather, which does not actually curtain the freedom of access. You can still have quick access to the firearms and accessories without compromising the overall security.
The product does not have a scarcity of pockets, either. We are talking about exclusive concealed carry ones, in addition to the standard pockets. The design is also great in that it uses flaps to conceal the zippers. So, it is practically impossible to understand where and how you have stored the firearm.
I also loved how you have patch access to all the areas within the vest. You would not have trouble accessing the things you have stored even if you wear something over the vest. The additional pockets also add a lot of value from a utility standpoint.
What Could be Better?
The problems with the Men’s SOA Leather Club Style Vest are the common issues you would expect from a leather-based vest. However, in particular, I felt that the vest is a little heavier than usual. We should also mention that the product does not look as premium as its price tag.
Even though most product reviews were positive, we could not forget to notice the complaints about a lack of craftsmanship. Therefore, I think the manufacturers could spend more time perfecting the design. All the other aspects of this product are alright.
In the end, we think the Men’s SOA Leather Club Style Vest could be a little overpriced, especially if you are not a big fan of leather.
Yet, despite a few minor issues regarding craftsmanship, the product looks and performs well as a concealed carry cum motorcycle vest.
#7 Venado Concealed Carry Vest for Men
Unlike the previously mentioned products on the list, the Venado Concealed Carry Vest for Men is made of 100% cotton. So, if you are not a big fan of leather, polyester, or denim, you can consider getting this one. It is also one of the highest-rated premium vests in the category.
What’s to Love?
The overall quality of the product is so impressive that you never feel you are paying extra. You can expect the concealed carry vest to last for a long time, providing you instant and secure access to your firearms. It uses a cotton canvas and quilted lining to offer the best level of comfort, regardless of the weather.
You can also use the zippers and flaps without any concerns about quality and durability. These aspects are well-designed and strategically integrated. In the end, I loved wearing the vest as much as I love wearing one of my favorite apparel.
When it comes to concealed carry storage, the product does not disappoint. The Venado Concealed Carry Vest for Men comes with a relatively larger concealed carry pocket that can easily fit your holster. There are additional pockets where you can store ammo or other accessories.
The best part about the vest is that it can be used for different occasions. For instance, if you want a space where you can store your smartphone and other accessories while going out, you can choose the vest. And the firearm could be one of the many things that you can take up.
What Could be Better?
We cannot unsee the fact that the Venado Concealed Carry Vest for Men is an expensive choice. You have to spend more than $100 for a vest, which can be a little extreme for some people. But, the product seems to provide worthy features and durability.
Also, if you consider the product as a concealed carry vest alone, there may be some areas where the vest disappoints a bit. So, we can recommend the product to those who expect a multipurpose vest that can be doubled as a concealed carry vest.
If you are okay with spending a little extra for added comfort, you can consider the Venado Concealed Carry Vest for Men.
However, despite its concealed carry capabilities, it is a multipurpose vest. If you look at it from a very specific point of view, the product may be a little redundant.
Concealed Carry Vest Buying Guide
Now that you have seen the best-concealed carry vests on the market, shall we answer some of the common queries?
Types of Concealed Carry Vests
Here are the common types of concealed carry vests you will come across:
Tactical Concealed Carry Vests – These concealed carry vests are designed for those who have to carry more than a single firearm. In addition to offering more storage space, the design of these products will be more flexible. You can adjust the design according to your comfort. In most cases, instead of offering snug-fit comfort, the design will allow you to move around flexibly.
Casual Concealed Carry Vests – As the name suggests, casual concealed carry vests are designed for multipurpose needs. On the one hand, the vest can easily store a variety of equipment and accessories. On the other hand, you won’t have trouble wearing the vest on top of your regular jacket or other apparel. You can also find some more specific ones like motorcycle vests that double as concealed carry vests.
Choosing the Best Concealed Carry Vest for You
You should pay attention to the following factors while choosing the best-concealed carry vest for your set of needs:
Construction material: You can choose between leather, polyester, cotton, and nylon. You can make a pick based on factors like weather and your wearing frequency (regular or occasional)
Number of pockets: You should check if the vest can accommodate as many firearms/accessories as you want.
Weight: You do not want the vest to slow you down, right? So, make sure that the concealed carry vest is not too heavy.
Dimensions: Even though CCW vests are flexible, it is a good idea to confirm the dimensions. It would help you understand whether you can keep your firearm comfortably.
Comfort: You should also consider the overall comfort offered by the best. Of course, you should take multiple things into consideration, including the amount of padding and construction material.
Are our Concealed Carry Vests Worth the Hype?
I believe concealed carry vests are the most underhyped thing in the world of firearms.
As I said earlier, a well-concealed carry vest can be the best layer of protection you can get. And today, you can choose between multiple options and features. In the end, these vests are not just about the legality of everything.
Even if you live in a place with open-carry laws, it makes sense to get concealed carry vests. The amount you spend on these vests will be something you will never regret. As you have seen, most of the products we recommended can be used as multipurpose vests as well. You can use these products to carry other items and accessories, such as smartphones and a toolkit.
Having said that, it is important to choose one of the best-concealed carry vests from the market.
And we hope we have made things easier for you.
What do you think about the concealed carry vests we have recommended? Do you want any other product to be a part of the list? Do let us know through your comments.