If you're carrying a concealed weapon, your purse should be durable and efficient. While style concerns typically take second place for this type of bag, designers are also becoming more attuned to creating attractive, professional designs for concealment handbags.
Styles of Concealment Purses
Quality is essential when it comes to these handbags. Low-quality fabric and imitation leather are poor options when it comes to this type of bag. Instead, choose those with durable hardware and materials. You can expect to pay between $80 and $300 for a good quality concealment bag. Since size, shape, and features vary, consider the pros and cons of each before buying.
Small bags are less bulky and easy to grab and go. It is also easy to keep the purse on your body because you are not carrying a lot of extra items. Some styles have compartments for small everday essentials but overall, these bags remain lightweight.
- GTM Tooled Cowhide Gun Holster Purse - A slash-resistant shoulder strap with cross body length easily snaps on and off if you want to use the bag as a clutch. Made from soft leather embossed with a rose pattern design, it includes multiple compartments for a cell phone, credit/debit cards, sunglasses and features a gun compartment on the back that zips open on three sides. It retails for about $100.
- Cool Blue Leather Compact Carrie - The double-sided design of this compact bag acts as a wallet on one side with a zippered compartment containing dividers for a phone and cards, while the other side contains an adjustable removable holster to keep your firearm safely tucked away. It comes in a light blue shade and sells for just under $150.
This size is a practical one when it comes to carrying a concealed weapon. You'll have plenty of room for your everyday essentials, but the bag won't be bulky. This is a great size to keep with you all the time.
- GTM-32 Pleated Slouch Black - The concealed weapon compartment is located in the center of the bag and is big enough to hold a Glock 19; the other two compartments feature magnetic closures with divided pockets for cell phone, makeup and keys. This bag also includes an outside zippered pocket. You can pick it up for about $165.
- Zebra Hobo Concealed-Carry Purse - A bag with a fun and flirty zebra print, it features a slash-resistant shoulder strap, two interior nylon pockets and a seven inch tall zippered opening for the 10.5 inch wide concealed weapon compartment. You can get this striking purse for under $100.
Larger handbags and tote-style purses allow more room to carry extra items and may have extra compartments. They can also provide a professional appearance, especially in more structured designs. Slouchy oversize styles can provide a high-fashion look. However, since they are heavier and more bulky, there is more of a temptation to set the bag down rather than to keep it on you.
- Bucket Tote Concealed Carry Purse - Black leopard microfiber print on full grain, drum-dyed leather gives this oversized bag a stylish look. Two large compartments give you plenty of room for everyday essentials while your firearm stays tucked away in a left or right hand vertical, zippered, outside compartment on the back. Also available in plain black, this purse sells for around $95.
- Concealed Carry Large Hobo Sac - This roomy leather purse has one large main compartment with two interior nylon pockets and one zippered interior pocket. The side entry vertical, zippered pocket fits up to a 1911/commander revolver, being 10 3/4 inches wide and eight inches tall. It's available in black, brown, red, and saddle for about $135.
A messenger style is also appropriate for this type of carrying. Pockets can help with the functionality of this style. The messenger bag is especially common in a variety of settings, so its presence is particularly inconspicuous. The downside of a standard messenger is its typically larger size. However, smaller versions, sometimes called shoulder pouches or slings, are a practical option that is less bulky.
- Vintage Concealed-Carry Messenger Bag - For the woman who loves a rustic, vintage look, this distressed buffalo leather bag is a must-have accessory. Perfect for the office, it's roomy enough to hold a tablet, document sleeves, and binders up to three inches deep. The gun compartment is accessed through vertical zippers on either the left or right side near the back and is 10 inches wide by 7.25 inches tall. Grab this bag for about $250.
A waist or hip pack, also known as a fanny pack, is another option. Spacious enough to fit most medium and large-frame revolvers and automatics, the fanny pack allows the pistol to be drawn from either the left or right side. The main advantage of this type of bag is it allows you to have your hands free, making it a good option to use while jogging or riding a bike. The downside is that it doesn't offer the style of other types of purses for concealed weapons.
- 5.11 Select Carry Pistol Pouch - This durable little nylon bag looks and fits like an ordinary fanny pack. The difference is that rapid access to a firearm is achieved via a pull strap that quickly unzips the gun storage compartment, which also features integrated slots for extra magazines. It's an inexpensive option in two color choices (black and navy) at around $35.
- Galco Escort Waistpack - Dual opening zippers with pull tabs provide a quick draw for a standard size pistol held in place by a built-in neoprene holster. Choose the larger size bag which comes with additional wing pockets for larger handguns. You can also choose left or right handed draw styles. Get this waistpack for about $120.
Features to Consider
To ensure that your purse is as safe to carry as it is fashionable, keep the following features in mind as you shop.
- Locking zippers - Some purses feature locking zippers for the gun access area. This is an extra security feature that some women may prefer.
- Internal holsters - A built-in holster in the handbag can offer extra stability and easy access to your weapon.
- Slash-resistant straps - Cable-lined or other slash-resistant straps can offer extra protection, but may make a bag slightly heavier.
- Left or right handed access - Most bags are designed for right handed access. Make sure the purse states it has left handed access if you are left handed. If it claims to have ambidextrous access, it's wise to test it out if possible to make sure it is comfortable and efficient.
Where to Purchase
Browse the various offerings at the following retailers to find the perfect handbag style for your needs.
- Gun Gear: A range of sleek, no-frills styles are available from Gun Gear. Choose from leather or nylon flap purses, hobos, or shoulder pouches. This store also offers several handbag styles with slash-resistant straps, and some designs with exterior pockets.
- Concealed Carrie: High fashion meets function in these designer style handbags created specifically for women's self-defense. Styles include large satchels, medium-sized hobos and small cross body compacts.
- Gun Tote'N Mamas: This shop specializes specifically in various bags for carrying concealed weapons. Choices include leather and ballistic polyester, and bags come in flat, cross-body, and shoulder styles.
- Woolstenhume Designer Concealed Carry Bags: For women who want more than a basic bag, Woolstenhume offers a range of high-fashion purses for carrying concealed weapons. In addition to many color and design choices, each purse also features quick access to your weapon, sensible organizing features, and a smartly structured internal holster.
- Terrida Gun: Terrida features handmade purses, totes, and briefcases in unique designs. The company offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee, but a 10% restocking fee is required for returned items.
- Coronado Leather: Made from premium grade leather, the handbags from Coronado are available in flap, hobo, satchel, and cross-body styles.
- Galco Gun Leather: This shop offers several handbag styles, along with holsters, gloves and bands for carrying on-body.
Carrying a Concealed Weapon
Although many women debate whether to carry a weapon in a purse, there are situations where it can be beneficial, even if you typically prefer carrying your weapon on-body. Evaluate the features, styles, and designs that work best for you and invest in a high quality bag for those times when carrying a concealed weapon is necessary.