For the vast majority of my time, a belt-mounted holster is the way to go. Whether it’s inside or outside the waistband, a belt-mounted holster is a great option for everyday use. There are a decent amount of times though, I run into a situation where I want to carry a gun without having pants with a belt look. Whether it’s board shorts or a pair of sweat pants, having a lack of belt support can be a real issue if you carry a belt-mounted holster for the majority of the time. Over the past couple of months, I’ve been asked a handful of times about the best way to carry with no belt. It’s also something I’ve dealt with over the years so let’s take a closer look at how to carry without a belt.
The Problem with IWB Carry With No Belt
The biggest issue with carrying an IWB carry holster with no belt is the overall lack of support. Most holster systems have either a singular large clip or two smaller clips that would go around the body of the belt. With that belt gone, there’s no real support for the holster clips which leads to the entire holster shifting around from its original position. This can lead to the holster printing significantly more or even coming loose which is the last thing you want. Certain pants like joggers will have drawstrings which can act as a makeshift belt to tighten down the holster. Even the drawstrings don’t give support so you oftentimes run into shifting even when it’s tightened down which is no bueno.
One of the easier solutions is to use a smaller pocket gun with a sleeve holster and just carry it in your pocket. I find this to be one of the easiest ways to carry concealed when you have to run to the store or gym in a pair of sweat pants. I will typically throw a snub nose revolver or lightweight semi-auto in a pocket holster and be on my way.
One thing that’s important to consider is not having an overly heavy pocket gun otherwise you won’t be able to comfortably carry it in just sweatpants. Having something like a lightweight jacket to throw a smaller gun in seems to be the easier solution for me. Everyone is different but typically pocket carry is one of the easier solutions. If you haven’t given pocket carrying a try, I say give it a whirl and see if it works for you. Not everyone enjoys it, but it can solve a lot of issues for me personally.
For some reason, ankle carrying is a topic that tends to polarize people either for or against the concept. In terms of being concealable without a ton of effort, this is a rather good option. Clearly, it’s not an option if you’re wearing shorts but hopefully, everyone can figure that out rather quickly. I know plenty of younger people who have opted for ankle carry with sweat pants because it’s the easiest option for their lifestyle.
That’s rather understandable but the main issue with ankle carry is the overall amount of time it takes to draw from concealment. The beauty of belt holsters is how quickly you can get the firearm drawn from concealment and on target. With ankle carry, it’s a rather different story since you have to go all the way down to your ankle, clear your pant leg and pull the firearm. With practice, it can be done rather quickly but as a general rule, ankle carry is significantly slower than other options.
And we have arrived to possibly the most controversial option on this entire list! I will be open right off the bat and say I’m not a fan of off-body carry for carrying a concealed firearm but in certain situations, they do make sense. There are tons of great options for concealment bags that have built-in compartments for quick firearm access. I have found that the single strap messenger bags are some of the fastest to draw from, but due to the single strap, they can’t be loaded up with a ton of stuff. They become rather uncomfortable but if you have a jacket, gun, small med kit, and spare magazine it’s rather comfortable to carry all day long.
Fanny Pack Carry
Now I’ll admit, I was completely against even considering the idea of carrying with a fanny pack. It’s an admission that you’re middle age and shows weakness in society. Which is why it’s the perfect spot to carry a concealed firearm. Our resident male model James Reeves is a huge fan of fanny pack carry which is what ultimately won me over in the idea.
After trying out a weekend of carrying in a fanny pack, I will admit, it’s really a great option if you don’t have a belt but still want to carry a firearm. The fact society looks at people who wear fanny packs as weak or beyond boring is a great way to covertly have a firearm without seeming like a threat. It’s embarrassing and your pride will most certainly be damaged but you will be safe with your firearm. If that’s the trade-off I need to have a firearm, I will agree to that any day of the week.
I know some of you, especially the older guys, don’t understand going out in public without wearing a belt, but the younger generations do it fairly frequently but still want to carry a firearm. Of course, there are different options like shoulder holsters or carry undershirts. Something like belly bands are a good option as well. There are a ton of different options to carry without having a belt but having something like an IWB holster is one of the easiest options if you can make it work.
Let me know what your thoughts are on different carry options if belts aren’t an option. Do you stick to one particular method of carrying or are you able to switch up methods in different circumstances? Hit up the comment section and let me know what you do and we can all have a discussion on it. If you have questions about carrying concealed or firearms in general, feel free to shoot me a message on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there!