min read

Carying Concealed In the Winter

The Midwest has some pretty cold winter months. To be honest, it seems like winter is about 10 months long some years. It's a must to wear multiple layers of clothing. The plus side is, having several layers of clothing on makes concealing your holster and firearm pretty easy. Even if it's an OWB (Outside the Waistband) holster. The opposite is true for the summer months here. The summer is hot and humid making your thinner clothing and fewer layers cling to your body. The tighter, thinner clothing makes a big difference when it comes to concealability.

Concealed Carry Winter vs Summer Concealment


Say for example you carry a holster for Glock 19 in the winter months. The Glock will easily conceal in your IWB Inside the Waistband holster. You won’t need to be as mindful of your concealment. Normal movements like bending over to pick up your keys when you drop them, reaching up to the top shelf at the grocery store for a can of corn are not as likely to display your weapon to onlookers.

During the summer months however, these movements are a real concern. If you carry the same Glock 19 with its double stack magazine in the same IWB holster, it may “print” or show the outline of the gun making it easy for an onlooker to see. This is not ideal.

Holster Material makes a Difference

quality iwb holster materials

The material of your holster can also make a big difference. Some holsters are made entirely from all Kydex and are less flexible. Other holsters are heavier. Both of these can be a concern when wearing thinner lighter material pants during warmer months. Having a material like a Neoprene Composite Holster will offer more flexibility and also helps keep your holster in place and not slide around.

Gun Width

thin glock 43 good ccw fit

Many people do not consider width of the weapon when making their first concealed carry gun purchase. A good thickness for most people is an inch or less. This thickness will offer a wider array of concealment options. Many guns like the Springfield XDS calibered in .45 has a thickness of .90 inches. In comparison, the Glock 30s has a thickness of 1.27 inches. You wouldn’t think 1/4 of an inch would make a lot of difference, but it really can.

The thickness of your gun and IWB holster combination can dictate the clothing you wear in the summer. Many people carry a smaller caliber weapon in the summer months for concealability purposes. Something in the caliber of 380 is decent for the warm summer months. A Ruger LCP calibered in 380 is .82 inches thick making it a lot easier to conceal in the warmer months.

Caliber Concerns

concern about which caliber to use for concealed carry

During the winter months, your assailant will likely have on several layers of clothing decreasing the penetration of a 380 round. Purchasing a single concealed carry weapon to carry all year round is a balancing act. You'll have to sacrifice a feature benefiting you in the summer to achieve a feature beneficial to you in the winter months.

Personally, I have a Glock 27 which is a .40 S&W. Great stopping power, but it’s a thick gun to conceal for someone with a smaller body. The Glock is also heavy for most summer clothing choices. Not ideal, but it works well for me the majority of the time.

What are your thoughts on carrying in the winter versus the summer months? Do you make any changes to your everyday carry weapon?

About The Author

Trevor Dobrygoski has been a freelance copywriter since 2009. He has written about many different topics over the years. His 9-5 is outfitting police and other public safety vehicles with all of the equipment the law enforcement and other first responders need to save lives. When not working and writing, he is coaching, refereeing and playing the world's greatest game... Soccer.