On-Body vs. Off-Body Concealed Carry: Pros, Cons, and How to Choose

When it comes to concealed carry, maybe every concealed carrier has thought about this question: should you carry your firearm on your body or in a bag?

These two primary methods have their own set of advantages and considerations. Let’s break it down together so you can figure out what works best for you based on your lifestyle, comfort, and security needs.

On-Body Concealed Carry

On-body carry means that your firearm is attached to your person, typically using a holster. Common methods include inside the waistband (IWB), outside the waistband (OWB), ankle, shoulder, and even belly band holsters.


Quick to reach: When your gun is on you, it’s faster to get to if you ever need it in a hurry. This can be a real game-changer in a tight spot.
Always with you: It’s on your body, so you don’t have to worry about leaving it behind. Plus, it’s harder for someone else to grab it.
Hides well: Today’s holsters are pretty neat at keeping your gun out of sight, even under a T-shirt or a light jacket.


Comfort is Key. Let’s be real, having a gun on you can get uncomfortable, especially if you’re sitting or moving around a lot.
Clothing Restrictions: You might need to change how you dress a bit to keep your gun hidden, like wearing looser shirts, jackets, or additional layers.
Practice Makes Perfect. It takes time and practice to get good at pulling your gun out of a holster, especially if you’re stressed or in a hurry.

Off-Body Concealed Carry

Off-body carry refers to carrying your firearm in an item not attached to your body, like a purse, backpack, or specially designed concealed carry bag like a fanny pack.


Easy on the Body: Off-body carry can be more comfortable, especially if on-body holsters bug you or don’t fit your style.
More Room, More Options: You can carry a bigger gun if you want since you’re not limited by what you can hide under your clothes.
Fashion-Friendly: Off-body options can be more diverse and fashionable, fitting seamlessly into your style. There are loads of stylish bags and cases out there that don’t scream “I’m carrying a gun!”


Not as Quick: Getting your gun out of a bag or purse can take extra precious seconds, which might matter a lot in an emergency.
Don’t Forget Your Bag!: It’s easier to walk away from a bag than something attached to your body. Plus, bags can be snatched.
Safety First: Keeping your gun in a bag means you’ve got to be extra careful it doesn’t get into the wrong hands, especially around kids.


Choosing between on-body and off-body carry is all about what feels right for you. Think about your daily routine, what you wear, and how each method feels when you try it. Both methods require practice, safety awareness, and a commitment to responsible handling.

No matter what you pick, the most important thing is to practice a lot in drawing and handling your firearm safely and efficiently. 

After all, the best-concealed carry method is the one that you are most comfortable and proficient with, ensuring you can effectively defend yourself if the need arises.