Sometimes it’s more convenient to off body carry — or this type of concealed carry might be your usual preference.
In case you aren’t completely sure of what off body carry means, it’s where you carry your firearm away from your body in a separate type of bag. The type of bag you choose is up to you, but it’s best if your bag is specifically made to carry a loaded firearm.
The Pros of Off Body Carry
The benefit of carrying your firearm in a separate bag is that sometimes this is more comfortable than actually carrying it on your body. Holsters at your waistband, appendix, or ankle carry can dig into your skin when you are walking or sitting. That’s something you don’t have to get used to when you off body carry.
You also don’t have to worry about “printing” — where your gun is seen under the outline of your clothing when you on body carry. With having your gun in a separate bag, it’s going to naturally be concealed by that handbag, backpack, or other type of carrier.
The Bad News About Off Body Carry
You need to be aware of your bag at all times and have it within reach. It’s just not safe to leave a loaded firearm in any type of bag unattended while you are out in public. That’s just too big a risk that someone can snatch your bag, or even worse a child could gain access to it.
The other “con” about using off body carry is that it’s going to take more time to access your gun then if it were on your body. That’s just precious seconds that you are going to need to access your off body weapon.
Types of Bags for Off Body Carry
There are many different kinds of bags you can use for off body carry. It’s best that you find one that is made for off body carry that contains an internal holster to keep your firearm safely in place. They usually have some form of strong Velcro to keep the holster in place firmly in the bag. The holster needs to have a cover — ideally over the trigger guard to be most effective at preventing the gun from accidentally going off.
Plus, when it’s held in place, you will automatically know where it is in your bag so you can access it in seconds, if you need to in an emergency situation. You also want to make sure that wherever your gun is in your bag, that’s the only thing it’s near. Don’t lump it in with your keys, lipstick, wallet, or anything else that could accidentally cause the firearm to discharge. The gun needs to have its own compartment within the bag.
Luckily, there are so many types of bags you can use in off body carry. Some of those include messenger bags, fanny packs, day planners, briefcases, and satchels, which are sometimes referred to as a “man-purse.” But two of the best types are the handbag and the backpack.
Two of the Best Types and Recommendations
Handbag: Concealed carry purses or handbags are going to come in a variety of different styles and colors, which is a plus for many women that want to off body carry. Gun Tote’n Mamas makes a bunch of cool styles, like this Crossbody Bag in Uptown Purple.
Backpack: Great for anyone that wants a comfortable way to carry their gun in a completely concealed way. American Rebel makes this Large Freedom Concealed Carry Backpack that can come with an optional bullet-proof shield.