Choosing the Right Vest for Concealed Carry

photo of a khaki vest with pockets made for concealed carry.

Once you have decided to concealed carry and have chosen your firearm, holster, and belt, you need to find the right clothing to help you covertly carry without others knowing it. A great, versatile option for concealment is a vest. The right vest can carry you through months of varying temperatures and provide an additional option for CCW for a wide range of scenarios. 

Concealed Carry Vest Features 

The most important feature to look for in a vest for concealed carry is a dedicated pocket for your firearm. Are you right- or left-handed? That has an influence on the vest you buy. Some concealed carry vests come with ambidextrous compartments on both sides so you can choose where to carry based on your dominant hand or if you want to cross-draw. Others may not. Be sure the vest you purchase has a dedicated pocket on the correct side for your preferred draw. 

Other key features include: 

  • Waterproof, seam-sealed fabric – important to help keep your firearm dry 
  • Additional pockets and storage – for your EDC items 
  • Insulation – to help you stay warm in adverse conditions
  • Removable hood 

The Best Concealed Carry Vests 

5.11 Tactical is your go-to resource for all things concealed carry, including holsters, belts, and yes, concealed carry vests. Here are four of our favorites. 

Fast-Tac® Vest 

Not only is the Fast-Tac® Vest stylish in its own right, it also offers unparalleled functionality and versatility. It comes absolutely loaded with pockets – thirteen to be precise, including seven front-body pockets, three lower-back body pockets, and two inner-front chest pockets with loop knit. 

This vest is ultra-lightweight, yet still rugged and durable, able to withstand unfavorable weather conditions. It comes in a wide variety of sizes, but the adjustable side tabs at the waist ensure that you can fit the vest exactly to your body shape, size, and needs. 

Packable Raid Vest 

The Packable Raid Vest is an excellent concealed carry outerwear solution. It’s made of durable but lightweight material and, as its name implies, can be packed into own hand pocket for easy storage and portability. 

This concealed carry vest can be worn over a long-sleeved shirt during cool summer nights or the Fall months, and easily worn underneath a heavier jacket in colder climates. 

The Packable Raid Vest provides concealed hand zipper pockets that are positioned perfectly for fast draws in self-defense situations. The overall fit of this vest is stylish but inconspicuous, and the CCW side pockets prevent your firearm from printing and drawing unwanted attention. 

Pull out panels located on the chest also offer great utility for those carrying important self-identification materials such as a CCW permit or photo ID, or other items critical to an everyday carry kit.  

TACLITE® Pro Vest 

Let’s start with the most important feature – dual, covert CCW pockets at the chest for a fast, easy draw. The TACLITE® Pro Vest is constructed out of an ultra-lightweight TACLITE® ripstop fabric and coated with Teflon® so stains and spills are no issue at all. Lightweight durability and toughness are hallmarks of this vest which was modeled after our legendary 5.11 Tactical Vest. Extensive bartacking and quad-stitching at major seams makes this vest ultra-tough. 

You have important everyday carry items and the TACLITE® Pro Vest has you covered with 17 pockets. There is plenty of room for EDC items like your knife, multitool, flashlight, and extra magazines. There’s even a pocket for your sunglasses and an integrated D-ring for safety securing your keys. 

Yulia Vest 

The Yulia Vest from 5.11 Tactical is a great concealed carry clothing option for women. It comes with the incredible durability that you expect from our Flex-Tac® canvas, and adds a drawcord for an adjustable and stylish fit. 

The vest features 4 pockets in total, with two hand welt zipper pockets located at the waist so that your self-defense options are always within reach.  

Like our other tactical vest options, the Yulia Vest sports conveniently placed chest panel pockets that provide additional utility. These compartments can be used for self-identification cards, wallets, flashlights, and other everyday carry necessities. 

Concealed Carry Vests by 5.11 Tactical 

Don’t forget to check out our 5.11 Tactical guide to Concealed Carry Basics. Here you will find all kinds of valuable information on obtaining a CCW permit, traveling, dos and don’ts, and more. Make 5.11 your trusted source for all things concealed carry so you’ll Always Be Ready.  

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