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Shop Here For Tactical Clothing That Works For Concealed And Every-Day Carry
September 1, 2017
In an earlier article I discussed the pros and cons of wearing clothing that is obviously tactical in nature - the olive green or camo BDU pants, combat boots, etc. Those send a signal to even a casual observer that you may be armed or at least need to be watched.
But there are plenty of tactical clothes that don't stand out but still give you plenty of places to stash your gear where it is easily accessible, whether that is a gun or just your usual EDC (Every Day Carry) gear.
EDC Gear Is Individual
EDC gear is as individual as the person who carries it. As a writer, I carry a waterproof notebook, a Ruger pen (tactical without looking tactical), a folding pocket knife sharp enough to touch up pencil points, keys, phone, etc. An engineer might need a great calculator; a teacher would want to have still other things handy. For women, toting around EDC gear is easy - they simply carry a purse. And although man bags are gaining popularity, a lot of guys still don't want to carry one around, just because it's one more thing to have to keep track of.
For Freedom Of Movement
Messenger bags and briefcases can be substituted, if you don't mind carrying one around all the time, and they have the advantage of being roomy enough to carry some basic small survival gear as well.
But for freedom of movement you can't beat pants, vests, and jackets with plenty of pockets. What you wear will depend a great deal on the climate you live it. Here in the desert of central Arizona, I'd stick out like a sore thumb if I wore a vest and/or jacket all the time. But I can wear simple cotton cargo pants without raising any eyebrows. Such pants have a lot of storage room, but they can also start to look a bit strange if you've really got those side pockets stuffed with gear.
Stretch Jeans Are A Great Idea
Whenever I'm shopping, I keep an eye out for pants that would make concealed and EDC easy. Recently I found some great stretch jeans at Costco with good, deep pockets - deep enough for a pocket pistol. Keys, knife, etc. go in the left pocket, gun in the right. Back pocket for wallet.
Since these jeans stretch, they're perfect for an inside-the-waist-band holster if you don't pocket carry, and then that right pocket is available for other gear. The best part? These jeans were less than $17, about a quarter of what a good pair of tactical pants will cost you.
A phone holster worn on a belt is one of the best ways I've found to carry a phone. You don't have to worry about sitting on and breaking it, and it's convenient and easy to hear.
A Good, Sturdy Belt
One thing I've learned is that whether you carry everyday gear or a gun, you're going to need a good sturdy belt. All that stuff can start to drag your pants down in a hurry. It doesn't have to be a military-style tactical belt - any good leather belt will do.
Alien Gear has an awesome gun belt that is classy enough to wear with a suit. It comes in black or brown leather and costs about $60-$45 if you're buying a holster as well. See them at http://www.aliengearholsters.com.
Pocket Carry Problems Solved
The drawback to pocket carry is two-fold: first of all, sometimes the pocket opening is a bit small, which slows you down. Second, you must have the gun in a holster, and often the holster comes with it when you draw, slowing you down yet again.
CCW Breakaways solve both those problems. Their jeans, khakis, and cargo pants look like normal pants, but the pockets are designed deep so the firearm is carried below the hip line, and there is are easily installed adjustable trigger guards ($6 to $7) so you don't have to use a holster.
Both front pockets are designed with breakaway snaps under the waistband that make the pocket opening enlargeable instantly, and there are places inside the pants for carrying extra magazine, a knife, even a small flashlight. These pants are pretty awesome, and the jeans are around $80. You can check them out at http://www.ccwbreakaways.com.
Another option is pants, vests, and jackets by SCOTTeVEST. This company manages to put an incredible number of pockets in very stylish clothing. They don't look at all tactical, and, in fact, are very popular with travelers, because you can stash away a lot of gear and valuables, eliminating the need to carry them in a bag that can be snatched.
They are pricey, with most garments going for $100 to $300, but you can totally fly under the radar with these clothes. You can carry cameras, tablets, phones, wallets, passports - plus your EDC gear with ease. They even have some with RFID blocking pockets for your credit cards. Go to http://www.scottevest.com to see them.
Since more and more folks these days are wearing cargo pants and the like, actual tactical pants are getting more mainstream. Companies like 5.11 make very nice-looking tactical pants that are popular with law enforcement, and they come in several colors - navy, black, gray, tan, olive green, etc.
They also make them for women, and the best thing about these pants is that they have lots of pockets, starting with good deep front pockets. Most also have a couple of narrow but deep pockets in the front next to the side pockets or in the back just behind the side seams. These little pockets are ideal for tactical pens, knives, flashlights, etc. The back pockets usually have button or Velcro closures, and the cargo pockets lie flat but have pleats so they hold quite a bit.
Prices vary, and so does the fit. If you go to a place like Shooters World you can try several different types on to see which ones you like best. Or go to http://www.tacticalgear.com and get them. It's easy to return them if you don't like them. I love the tan and green ones for scouting and hunting.
Pay Attention To Pockets
When you buy tactical pants, pay particular attention to the pockets. The ones I prefer have interior divisions in the cargo pockets, so I can put my pen inside where it won't catch on things but is still readily accessible. I also prefer the narrow deep pockets in the front, so I can hook my phone holster or walkie talkie to them. Also, you can put a knife or flashlight in the front – if you put them in the back, those clips can rip upholstery in your car or house. No bueno.
Lots Of Options
There's no need to go around looking like Rambo and attracting unwanted attention just because you carry. There are lots of options, some more affordable than others, but all good. Do some research and I know you'll be able to find the perfect carry clothing for your particular needs.