Best Concealed Carry Vests | Buyer’s Guide & Reviews

Alex Ortiz
By Alex Ortiz 36 Min Read
36 Min Read
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concealed-carry-vestsConcealed carry has become a quiet necessity for many people across the United States. And the reason is not far-fetched; violent crimes being perpetuated haven’t seemed to have reduced; in fact, they have risen.

Besides, law enforcement agents are sometimes required to go into deep cover, either to apprehend a criminal or investigate heinous acts. In such instances, carrying a weapon that is easily noticeable compromises them and hinders their investigation.

And it is illogical to ask that they do not carry, because how else are they going to protect themselves in the event that things become violent and they find themselves in a life-threatening situation?

With the need for concealed carry arose several methods by which it can be accomplished. One of the most of these is the use of concealed carry vests or CCW clothing, which were helped along by their versatility and extra functionality. This rendered them useful for people of different professions with different needs.

For instance, some types of vests (such as concealed carry leather vests and jackets) offer protection against harsh weather conditions. And a majority of them offer a lot of space that can be used to store other things.

There are different kinds of concealed tactical vests, and a would-be buyer should purchase one in line with the profession in which it will be used; examples of this include lightweight photographer vests, motorcycle vests, biker vests, gun vests, and hunting vests.

In this article, we have provided you with a list of 10 different concealed carry vests, which, according to our research, are some of the best on the market.

Each of them was evaluated and chosen using different criteria, which we have also provided. And you can rest assured that they all provide great value for the money you will pay for them.

Also, in this article, you will find a guide on how to choose the best concealed carry vest that meets your needs and requirements. We examine in detail several factors that are quite important to consider when choosing a vest, with the end result that you will be able to identify which vests are worth your investment, and which are not.

10 Best Concealed Carry Vests Comparison Table

ImageConcealed Carry VestsMaterialPockets NumberPocket TypeClosure TypePricing
Bikers Edge Men's SOA Anarchy Style Denim VestDenim6Removable holster pocketsSnap closureCheck On Amazon
Bikers Zone SOA Men's Leather Club Style VestsCowhide leather 8Internal pocketZipper and snap closureCheck On Amazon
Rothco Lightweight Professional60/40, Cotton/Polyester10Internal pocketYKK zipper and Snap Check On Amazon
Leather Supreme Men's Buffalo Hide Leather VestTop grain leather8Removable gun holsterZippers and snaps Check On Amazon
Rothco 3 Season JacketCotton on the outside, polyester on the inside Internal pocketHook and loop
Button
Zipper
Check On Amazon
Rothco Plainclothes60/40, Cotton/Polyester16Concealed carry holsterZippers and VelcroCheck On Amazon
Blue Stone Safety YKK Zippers20/80, Cotton/Polyester12Internal gun pocket YKK zipper and snapsCheck On Amazon
First Manufacturing Men's Buffalo Nickel VestLeather8Concealed gun pocketsSnapsCheck On Amazon
5.11 Tactical Taclite Pro VestCotton and polyester18Concealed carry pockets Button up and zipperCheck On Amazon
Wyoming Traders Men's CanvasCanvas8Concealed carry pocketButtonCheck On Amazon

10 Best Concealed Carry Vests Reviews

#1 Bikers Edge Men’s SOA Anarchy Style Denim Vest

This model of the concealed carry vest is a great choice for people that do not like wearing jackets with several pockets in them, as well as those who do not want people to know they carry concealed weapons.

The Bikers Edge Men’s SOA Anarchy Style Denim Vest is made of pure denim, and it has six pockets in total: two holster pockets located on the inside and four other pockets on the outside.

The vest looks simple enough to obscure the possibility that it could hold a weapon. It has a front closure, which is made of five snaps, and it is easy to use.

This denim vest does not necessarily have to be worn when you want to conceal weapons; it also functions as normal everyday wear and can be used while working, riding, or camping.

The material used in producing this vest is thick and this makes it warm during winter.

Pros
  • It is made with a thick denim material
  • It is affordable
  • It can function as an everyday wear
Cons
  • It requires holsters for some types of guns
  • It has a limited carrying capacity

#2 The Bikers Zone SOA Mens Leather Club Style Vest BZ6210-BLK-L

If you are in search of a concealed carry vest that is made purely of cowhide leather, then you should check out the Bikers Zone SOA Men’s Leather Club Style Vest. The cowhide leather material used in making this vest is very thick, which renders it great for keeping warm.

This men’s leather vest is designed in a simple yet classy manner that helps ensure that it serves its purpose, which is to conceal firearms.

It features a slit for sunglasses, which is situated at the top left corner and a total of seven pockets of which there are three on the inside and four on the outside.

Two of the outside pockets are located on the chest while the other two, which are otherwise called lower handwarmer pockets, are located on the sides. The internal pockets are quite capable of holding your weapons without giving so much as a whiff of what they are holding.

The vest makes use of a YKK zipper, as well as a snap closure which provide extra protection.

Pros
  • It features a combination of zippers and snap buttons
  • The materials used is durable
  • It has good CCW pockets
Cons
  • It has a limited amount of pockets
  • It features inside pockets for storing mags, which some consider quite flimsy

#3 Rothco Lightweight Professional Concealed Carry Vest

The Rothco Lightweight Professional Concealed Carry Vest is a perfect choice for people who find it difficult to conceal a handgun in the heat as it is very light, which also makes it ideal for use in the summertime.

This vest is produced using about 60 percent cotton and 40 percent polyester. It has a vented back, which helps ensure that air circulates evenly, thereby helping to keep sweating to a minimum.

This vest has six internal pockets and four external pockets. Two of the internal pockets function as open-top gun holster pockets, and they have a Velcro close. These two pockets are designed to hold a wide range of handgun types without difficulty. And the fact that there are two means there is enough space for a backup gun.

The other internal pockets are magazine pouches, and they are situated by the side. They are also closed using Velcro straps. It is easier to remove magazines from these pockets than the vertical pockets several other concealed carry vests use.

The external pockets use magnetic buttons which enables fast and easy access to the gear placed inside. The vest closes using either a single patch of Velcro, or a zipper. In short, the Rothco lightweight jacket is a great option for men who are looking for something which will enable them to move around freely.

Pros
  • They are lightweight and well-ventilated
  • It is easy to access gear placed in these vests
  • They are able to hold handguns conveniently
Cons
  • They are not very effective for carrying heavy objects as a result of their lightweight nature
  • They are not suitable for use in cold weather

#4 Leather Supreme Men’s Ten Pocket Vest

The Leather Supreme Men’s Buffalo Hide Leather Vest is made from premium pure and top grain buffalo hide leather. The material, along with the excellent design it features, renders it quite appealing to look at.

It is the ideal CCW leather vest for every decent and stylish gentleman. It is basically a stylish leather jacket with gun pockets. It has a smart look, and the pure leather material it is made from confers it with durability such that it will last for a very long time.

And what is more, it has ten pockets which will accommodate your need for space. Of the ten pockets, there are four internal ones, of which two are closed using zippers, while the other two are button side pockets.

There are also four external pockets which help ensure maximum efficiency, and finally, there are two other pockets in the interior which help carry extra magazines.

The vest also comes with a gun holster, which helps hold your firearm securely in place.

The metal snaps on this leather tactical vest are well-designed and constructed to stay shut unless you pull hard on them.

Pros
  • It has a top grain leather construction
  • It includes a Velcro holster and internal pockets for extra magazines
  • It is highly efficient with a unique design
  • It is suitable to wear on any day
Cons
  • It is expensive
  • It is conspicuous

#5 Rothco Concealed Carry 3 Season Jacket

The Rothco 3 Season Concealed Carry Jacket is a gun pocket vest suitable for three seasons. That is, it is capable of providing you with comfort from fall to spring, as it is produced using 100 percent durable and comfortable cotton on the outside, while the inside employs a soft polyester material that further enhances this comfort.

The carry vest features two internal pockets on both sides, as well as a hook and loop with flaps designed for efficient closure, and which helps ensure that gears placed inside are easily accessible.

The vest features four different pockets for holding magazines, and they also make use of the hook and loop technique for closure. The wrists and adjustment straps, on the other hand, make use of buttons. The front pockets utilize two tricot zippers to ensure safety.

Pros
  • It is suitable for use across three seasons
  • It has four pockets to hold magazines
  • It features adjustable waist straps
Cons
  • It dedicates a lot of space to holding magazines
  • Sizes may run a little large

#6 Rothco Plainclothes Concealed Carry Vest

The Rothco Plainclothes Concealed Carry Vest is also designed for use across three seasons: spring, summer, and fall. It uses 60 percent cotton and 40 percent polyester in its construction, which makes it very lightweight and imbues its water resistance.

On the back, it has three zippers and a mesh that opens up to vents. It has a total of 16 pockets, which include large pockets, the small ones, the Velcro pockets, and the zippered ones. These pockets are designed to carry guns of different sizes ranging from compact to large-sized handguns.

In the interior of the vest lie two holsters to either side. They are open, top pockets with Velcro closure, which may prove limiting to the handgun’s size. You can, however, replace them with a new and more suitable holster if the need arises.

Pros
  • It is lightweight and breathable
  • It has 16 pockets of different sizes
  • It is properly ventilated
Cons
  • The sizes often run a bit large
  • Some pockets are too small
  • The concealed carry holster may be too small for the handgun

#7 Blue Stone Safety YKK Vest

The Blue Stone Safety YKK Zippers is a true tactical carry vest that is produced using 20 percent cotton and 80 percent polyester, which makes it water-resistant, and durable. It is designed in such a way as to convey a “traveler” look, which can make you quite noticeable.

This vest has 12 different pockets, which renders it suitable for carrying a large number of accessories. Two of the internal pockets were designed for carrying guns, and they feature a built-in elastic that holds smaller weapons securely in place and loose enough for a fast draw.

The hardware parts of this vest are made entirely of metal, and this includes the YKK zippers and snaps, which are extremely durable and help prevent rips and tears.

Pros
  • It features a waterproof polyester shell
  • It contains concealed carry pockets
  • The internal pockets can hold up to six extra magazines
Cons
  • It is not washable
  • It is conspicuous

#8 First Manufacturing Men’s Buffalo Nickel Vest

The First Manufacturing Men’s Buffalo Nickel Vest is one of the best-concealed leather vests you will find on the market. It is perfect for individuals who love leather vests, as it utilizes genuine leather and simple design. What’s more, it looks like a dress vest and is great for people who do not want to look suspicious.

It has two internal concealed gun pockets, with four antique buffalo-nickel head that snaps in the front part of the vest for securing them. The back features a single panel which can be utilized for embroideries, and patches, among other types of artwork.

You should be careful when choosing one of these, however, as they tend to run small. Try to choose one with a size that is a little larger than yours in order to get a comfortable fit.

The First MFG Men’s Buffalo Nickel vest is a durable and long-lasting choice of tactical concealment vests. It is especially good for carrying flat-sized pistol frames.

Pros
  • It features nylon lined pockets
  • It uses durable and long-lasting leather
  • There are several pockets available
  • The stitching is formidable and is made using reinforced construction
Cons
  • They often run small

#9 5.11 Tactical Taclite Pro Vest

The 5.11 Tactical Taclite Pro Vest is an extremely lightweight concealed carry vest that is made from a combination of polyester and cotton. The vest has a lot of space and has been compared by several buyers to a rucksack.

However, this doesn’t diminish its usefulness and quality. This vest is quad-stitched and makes use of 55 bar tacks at all the stress points to ensure strength and durability.

The 5.11 concealment vest was designed for competitive shooters, which is why it has external magazine pockets that are deep enough to hold AR magazines. It also comes with concealed carry pockets that use both a button strap and a zipper as closure, which results in enhanced efficiency.

The seaming process of this vest uses flat-lock, which helps reduce friction and chafing. And in order to ensure safe carrying, it has a Velcro holster.

The 5.11 jacket was designed with maximum comfort in mind, even after it is filled up. It has eighteen different pockets, which are designed to accommodate just about anything, and which are also quite strong and durable.

Pros
  • It features a durable canvas shell
  • It is lightweight
  • It uses quad stitching on high+stress seams
  • It uses large magazine pockets as it was designed for competitive shooters.
Cons
  • The concealed carry pockets require a holster.
  • It is difficult to recall the location of each gear.

#10 Wyoming Traders Men’s Vest

The Wyoming Traders Men’s Canvas Concealed Carry Vest is a stylish vest suitable for use by the gentleman. It is a lightweight concealment and work vest, which is also water-resistant. It features a button-up design that renders it versatile.

Thus, it can be used when doing manual labor or when trying to achieve a business casual look. Its internal concealed carry pocket includes two elastic wraps that help keep the handgun secure.

It also has two additional elastic pockets that can hold extra magazines. The external portion of the vest features two hand pockets as well as two slip chest pockets.

Pros
  • The design of the vest is inconspicuous and can, thus, blend in
  • It features a secure holster with elastic straps to keep the handgun in place
  • It is durable
  • It uses a stylish button-up design
Cons
  • It is designed for right-handed people alone, that is, left-handed people need to get new vests

Concealed Carry Vests Buyer’s Guide

There are several criteria to consider when shopping for, and deciding on which concealed carry vest to buy. We have made it really easy by providing you with a list of the best ten (10) gun concealment jackets/vests out there that will serve your purposes.

In the event that you have to choose one for yourself, however, either as a result of the vests on our list being unavailable or some such other reason, we have provided you with this guide.

Here, you will learn about the several criteria you should really consider when deciding on a vest for concealed carry by yourself.

Why buy a concealed carry vest

The basic reason why people buy concealed carry vests is quite evident in the name, and this is so as to carry weapons such that they are concealed from those around.

There are several reasons why people do this; conceal their weapons, and it ranges from not wanting to scare people in their surroundings (while still ensuring their protection), not wanting to alert law enforcement agents, etc. And while this is the basic reason, there are several others that are equally as important.

For instance, concealed carry vests are awesome for carrying tools useful for people in certain professions. For instance, fishermen, photographers, and the likes can store some of their tools and accessories in the pockets available in these carry vests.

Yet another reason why people wear concealed carry vests is the fact that they provide protection from the elements. An example is bikers who are exposed when riding on their motorcycles, especially in climes, where the weather is harsh. Also, some carry vests are exceptionally thick, and as such, provide warmth to the wearers in very cold weather conditions.

Some people also wear carry vests for the simple reason that they look fashionable and stylish with the outfits they wear. That is to say, their outfits look completer and more attractive when a vest is worn with them.

These and several other reasons explain why people wear concealed carry vests. The following are some of those things you should consider when looking for the ideal concealed carry vest for your personal use.

Material used

As you already know, concealed weapons vests are useful for a variety of purposes apart from carrying weapons. Some of these include motorcycle riding, hiking, and so on.

Therefore, the kind of material of the concealed carry vest you buy should align with your reason for buying the vest.

That is to say; you should endeavor to buy a concealed carry vest whose material supports and is suitable for the activity for which you plan to use the carry vest for.

These vests can be manufactured from virtually any material so long as it is wearable, the following are some of these materials and which activities they are best suited for:

#1 Leather concealed carry vests

Leather concealment vests are very tough and durable, and as such, will withstand even the toughest of circumstances and the most rugged of uses.

Vests made from this material are very suitable for people who work in different capacities and for different purposes; as such, you will find leather motorcycle jackets/vests, leather jackets for cowboys and farmers, and leather biker vests, among others.

These vests ensure that people can carry while engaging in their activities without giving a thought as to just how long their vest will last before it starts showing signs of use. Apart from this, concealed leather vests are also quite warm and so help ensure that their users are kept protected in cold, harsh weather.

#2 Denim/fleece

Concealed carry vests made from denim/fleece are not very stylish, and you will be better served by another material if you are a person that is big on looking stylish.

If you, however, don’t mind how denim vests/jackets look, you will be really well served by them. This is because they are applicable to a wide and diverse range of circumstances. That is to say; there are denim motorcycle vests, denim hunting vests, denim biker vests, and so on.

In fact, concealed carry vests that use denim are the most versatile of carry vests. Apart from those listed, they can also be worn when hiking or running.

They can also be worn casually, maybe during a walk, an event, or something similar. The beauty to them is that they are very inconspicuous, and so does a good job of not making people wonder whether you are carrying or not.

#3 Canvas

If you will be working outdoors a lot, probably in situations where you will be in contact with water, the canvas concealment vest is your best option. This is because it is water-resistant, warm, and also very durable.

So, if you are a wildlife photographer, a fisherman, or you are engaged in any such profession, and you will like to carry a gun while working, although concealed, you will be well served by a canvas vest.

It should be mentioned that this material is especially great for bikers and that there are also canvas biker vests for those who are interested in using a concealed handgun vest while biking.

Vests made from this material are especially useful for carrying several items, including extra magazines, tools, etc. as they come with several pockets. These vests are quite conspicuous, and as such, it is not advisable to wear them in circumstances where they will make you appear odd and, thus, give you off.

#4 Linen/nylon

There are also concealed carry vests that are made from linen/nylon material. These are, however, super thin and are best worn with suits or sport jackets. Without these, they won’t do much of a job concealing the gun you are carrying.

Comfort

When looking for a concealed carry vest to buy, you should certainly pay extra attention to just how much comfort it affords you.

An ideal concealed carry vest should be tight enough such that it doesn’t billow and flap around when you walk, although it should be large enough to allow you reach your gun quickly when the need arises. That is to say; the ideal concealed carry vest will strike a balance between being loose and being tight.

When we talk about comfort, the material used in manufacturing the vest is also important. As has been mentioned, some concealed carry vests are very warm, which makes them suitable and very comfortable during cold seasons. Vests such as this are, however, not appropriate for summer use.

Besides, wearing them during such periods will be a dead giveaway. That is to say, choose your vest carefully to ensure your comfort is assured. If you plan to carry a weapon at all times of the year, you should consider buying two different concealed carry vests made from different materials, each suitable for each extreme weather you can expect to encounter in a year. For instance, you can buy a leather gun vest for cold seasons and a linen/nylon vest for summer use.

Holster

Different concealed carry vests have different types of holsters. While some concealed vest holsters are elastic, others are still held in place with Velcro or a snap button. Usually, these concealment vest holsters are not trustworthy as they can’t retain the guns put in them, which leads to these guns sliding around.

This does not mean that there are no concealed carry vests with trustworthy holsters, however, as there are. But that is not usually the case.

It is for this reason that you are advised to purchase a backup gun vest holster with your concealed carry vest. This will help ensure that your gun is more securely held in place and that you can move around freely without being afraid that your weapon is dislodged in its resting place.

One thing you should ensure you do after buying a vest, whether the holster is ideal or not, is to practice drawing and to reholster your gun.

Ensure you do this with a gun that has no live ammunition to avoid the mishap. If you find the vest to your taste in terms of ease of drawing and reholstering, you should go ahead and buy it. Otherwise, you should continue searching.

Capacity

Yet another criterion you should consider when buying a concealed carry vest is its capacity. Questions such as; “does it have enough space to carry all that I need without giving anything away?” should be asked. This will depend on the situations and scenarios within which you will be using the vest.

For instance, if you are a fisherman or a photographer who needs to carry several other tools apart from your gun and extra-rounds, you will do well to buy a concealed carry vest with a lot of space wherein you can stuff some of your tools.

If you are, however, a corporate worker who doesn’t have a need to carry several items on their body, you will be just fine with a concealed carry vest that doesn’t have much space.

Price

When buying a concealed carry vest, the price is a very important criterion to put into consideration. The amount you will pay for a concealed carry vest will be highly dependent on the material from which it is made. Leather vests are usually the most expensive as the material used in making them (leather) is quite difficult to procure.

Apart from the difficulty in procurement, working with them is a tedious process, and all of these come together to drive their prices up. As such, if it is not essential and necessary that you buy a leather vest, you can save some money by going for vests made from other materials.

No matter the material you go for, do ensure that it is of the highest quality. Buying low-quality vests is an exercise in futility as they are usually not very durable, which means that sooner rather than later, they will have to be replaced.

Weight

You should also be wary of the weight of the concealed carry vest that you buy. A vest that is very weighty will constitute more of a burden than an advantage.

This is especially so since the firearm you will be using the vest to carry, among other tools, will constitute their own weight, which will be added to that of the vest. For this reason, you should endeavor to buy a vest that is very functional, durable, and tough while not being too weighty.

You might be able to work with a heavy vest if the activities you will be engaged in won’t be too stressful. But in the event that you will be involved with highly strenuous activities, ensure you purchase a vest that will not weigh you down, thereby increasing the work you do several folds.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it legal to carry a concealed weapon?

Yes, concealed carry is legal across all states in the United States of America. The processes you have to go through and the requirements you have to meet in order to carry a concealed weapon, however, differs from state to state. In some states, you will be required to seek, and be awarded a permit, while this isn’t necessary in some other states. Ensure you do your research and confirm what the laws in your state says so as to remain on the right side of the law and not run afoul of it.

Why might I need to conceal my firearm?

There are several reasons why it might be necessary to carry a concealed weapon. One of these is that, some states across the country have essentially made open carry of firearms illegal. And this effectively renders concealed carry the only option who have one reason or the other to have their weapons on them, such as bodyguards. People who have one reason or the other to believe they are in danger and will like to protect themselves are not exempted. Also, law enforcement officers, especially those working undercover, will want to conceal their weapons so as not to draw unnecessary attention to themselves. For these, buying concealed tactical gear is essential in order to effectively carry out their duties.

Is a concealed carry vest the same as a photographer’s vest?%

The answer is no, concealed carry vests are not the same as photographer’s vests. They are, however, similar in design and functionality. Concealed carry vests more or less evolved from photographer’s vests, which themselves gained wide acceptance amongst gun carriers for their varied storage options as well as design. Concealed carry vests take things a notch higher, however, by offering specialized options for handguns (and other firearms) concealment.

Aren’t concealed vests basically just bikers’ vests?

Concealed vests are most certainly not just “bikers” vests. While a lot of bikers wear concealed vests, a lot, that is mostly because of its versatility, in terms of how those made from leather provide protection against the elements one is certain to encounter when riding a bike, along with its concealment benefits. One other reason that tells you that concealed vests are not just “bikers” vests is that, bikers basically use concealed vests made using one particular material, leather. Concealed vests are, however, manufactured from a myriad number of materials as you would have gleaned from reading the guide. This includes those made from denim, linen, and canvas.

Is there a reason why I should choose a concealed carry vest over other methods of concealment?

Well, choosing to use a concealed vest and not another method of concealment basically boils down to what you need, and what you prefer. All that you need to do when making your decision is to outline what you need and see if a concealed carry vests helps fulfill those needs, or if another method of concealment will work just as fine and is maybe better. For instance, concealed carry vests provide you with a lot of extra space that you can use for other purposes. This can be to carry bullets and other accessories for your firearm, to store accessories for your camera (if you are a photographer), and several other things. Also, the leather-material vest offers protection against the elements. In other words, concealed carry vests aren’t automatically a better method of concealment over others. The crucial factor you should consider is whether or not they fulfill your needs.

Can concealed carry vests be used by women?

Concealed carry vests are not designed for use based on sex. So, yes, they can most certainly be used by women who have a need for it. So, if you are a woman in law enforcement, for instance, and you find that you need to conceal your weapon, you should most certainly go ahead and get your vest. That is as long as it suits your preferences and performs the functions for which you need it. So, yes, ccw vests are suitable for women too.

Which type of concealed carry vest is best for me?

The best concealed carry vest for you, and for everybody for that matter, is the type that meets their needs, fits the situation in which it will be used, and helps them accomplish their goals. If you stay in a clime where you will have to battle against cold a lot, leather type concealed carry vests come highly recommended. If you, however, stay in a clime that is very warm, leather type vests will be something of an overkill. Simply put, the best concealed carry vest you can spend your money on is the one that meets your needs. And there are several options to choose from, from stylish lightweight leather vests to ccw motorcycle vests.

Wrapping Up

A concealed carry vest is useful for several purposes, as you will certainly have found out, chief among which is to conceal a firearm. And while their purpose is to conceal your weapon, their applications are endless and diverse. As such, they can be used by people of different professions, from photography to law enforcement.

The best-concealed carry vest you can invest in is one that meets your needs. It doesn’t even have to be the most expensive, or the fanciest, even though there is no rule that says it shouldn’t be. It is simply that you will be better served purchasing one that fulfills your needs as opposed to other things that are usually irrelevant.

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