The best concealed carry holsters for skinny guys

The best concealed carry holsters for skinny guys

Written by Mark Buff, GunZee founder and CEO.

For skinny guys, finding a concealed carry holster that doesn't print can be a challenge. Bulky holsters poke out and blow your cover. But with the right combo of pistol and holster, even slim folks can pack undetected heat. 

Quick links:

What factors should I consider?

What are the best AIWB holsters?

How about an ankle holster?

Are shoulder holsters a good idea?

Are there any other options?

What are some of the best techniques?

Why is being skinny great for CCW?

Let’s explore the best holsters available for skinny guys.

Even skinny guys can wear their holsters with comfort! Apply one of our holster pads to your IWB holster and get the best CCW carry ever!

How to choose a holster?

If you’re a slender fella looking for a CCW holster, the following factors are the most important. 

  1. Gun
  2. Position
  3. Material
  4. Adjustability


Your gun is the biggest factor in holster selection. Different concealed carry pistols have widely different dimensions, and you'll want a holster customized to your specific piece. 

  • Subcompact pistols like the Glock 43, Springfield Hellcat, SIG P365, and Smith & Wesson Shield are diminutive yet pack a punch. Their small size and short barrel length allow them to tuck discreetly into compact appendix carry holsters or ankle rigs.
  • Compact pistols such as the Glock 19, Sig Sauer P320, and CZ P10C balance concealability with shootability. Their mid-size frames can work with both inside-the-waistband and outside-the-waistband holsters.
  • Full-size handguns like the Glock 17 or Beretta 92FS have longer barrels and grips that make them harder to conceal unless you wear a jacket or loose clothing. They require larger holsters like paddle holsters or shoulder rigs.
  • Revolvers with exposed hammers like the Ruger SP101 will need holsters that completely guard the back of the gun. Hammerless revolvers can fit into more compact holsters.

As a general rule the smaller the pistol, the easier it is to conceal carry as a slender guy. And make sure to get a holster designed for your gun.


Skinny guys often have less surface area to work with, so it is important for you to find a concealable and comfortable method that suits you the best. Common carry methods include appendix carry (positioned in front of the hip), shoulder holsters, ankle holsters, and small-of-the-back carry. 

Experiment with different positions to determine which one works best for you and your body type.


Leather, KYDEX, and hybrid holsters each have tradeoffs.

  1. Leather holsters are known for their comfort and ability to conform to the body over time. 
  2. KYDEX holsters offer excellent retention and durability.
  3. Hybrid holsters combine the benefits of both materials, with a comfortable leather backing and a rigid KYDEX shell for retention.

It is up to you to choose the holster material for your skinny body. Get out there and try them all.


Look for holsters that offer adjustable retention, such as screws or tension screws, to ensure your firearm is held securely in place. Also, consider adjustable belt loops or clips, which allow for customization of the carry angle and height. This flexibility allows you to find the most comfortable and concealable configuration for you.

Also, make sure to think about the holster's overall size and weight. A compact and lightweight holster may be more suitable for a skinny guy, as it will create less bulk and be easier to conceal.

What are the top appendix carry holsters?

Appendix carry is a favorite IWB concealed carry position. It places a holster directly in front of the hip bone, which conforms well to a skinny guy's frame.

Here are four top-rated appendix holsters:

  • Vedder LightTuck is customizable for ride height and cant. It's available for hundreds of pistol models and keeps your gun secure while remaining comfortable.
  • Tulster OATH. With adjustable retention and a minimalist profile, the OATH allows a slim pistol to hug the waist. It's compatible with many subcompact single stacks.
  • Black Arch Entrada features a leather and KYDEX hybrid design with an undercut trigger guard for a low profile. It excels at AIWB carry for thin guys.
  • Tier 1 Concealed Axis Elite is a hybrid holster that combines a comfortable backing with a KYDEX shell. It offers adjustable ride height, cant, and retention. 

An appendix carry holster tucks a compact pistol right against your abdomen for concealment while allowing quick access. 

For this reddit user, the combination of a Vedder LightTuck holster (without a claw) and a sturdy gun belt is perfect.


If you want to make your KYDEX IWB holster more comfortable, buy our holster pad and enjoy!

What are the best ankle holsters?

Ankle holster Kimber 9

Ankle holster Kimber 9.

Image source:

Ankle carry is an underrated option for discreetly going armed as a skinny guy. Mount a micro-compact pistol in a holster just above your ankle bone to allow the gun to hide conveniently under pants legs and jeans. Keep in mind that ankle carry works only with tiny guns, not the bigger ones.

While less accessible than waistband carry, a reliable ankle holster provides a hidden backup gun or comfortable all-day carry when used as your primary concealed holster.

For slender builds, high-quality holsters like these allow concealed carry without compromising your slim profile:

  • The ComfortTac Ultimate has a contoured design to securely carry a compact pistol on the ankle. It features an adjustable neoprene strap.
  • The Galco Ankle Glove is made of premium leather and molds comfortably to the ankle area and retains your pistol securely.
  • The DeSantis Die Hard Ankle Rig’s moisture-wicking sheepskin padding and reinforced thumb break, this ankle holster excels at all-day carry.

What are some great shoulder holsters?

Springfield Hellcat Shoulder Holster

Springfield Hellcat Shoulder Holster. Image source: 

A properly fitted shoulder holster lets a skinny guy pack heat under an untucked cover garment. Here are some excellent shoulder holster options:

  1. The Galco Classic Lite Shoulder Holster is constructed from premium center-cut steerhide, it offers an adjustable harness system for a secure fit and can accommodate a wide range of handgun models. It features a vertical orientation, offering ease of access and excellent concealment.
  2. The Alien Gear Cloak Shoulder Holster’s modular design allows for easy customization, including adjustable straps and magazine carriers. The holster is made from durable materials and offers a comfortable fit with a thumb break retention strap for added security. It also offers the option to carry spare magazines or accessories.
  3. The Gould & Goodrich Gold Line Shoulder Holster is made from genuine leather, it offers a horizontal design with adjustable harness straps for a tailored fit. The holster features a thumb break retention strap, ensuring a secure hold on the firearm. It provides a comfortable and stylish option for shoulder-carry enthusiasts.
  4. The VISM Shoulder Holster is constructed from durable nylon material, it features an adjustable harness for a comfortable fit. The holster includes a double magazine pouch and can accommodate various handgun models. It offers a practical solution for concealed carry enthusiasts on a tight budget.

What are some other good options for skinny guys?

In addition to the holsters already featured, here are three other options worth considering:

  1. Sticky Holsters are made from a non-slip material and can be easily tucked into the waistband or pocket, providing a secure fit without the need for clips or straps. The outer material adheres to clothing, allowing for a quick draw while maintaining excellent concealment. Sticky Holsters are lightweight, compact, and suitable for a variety of handguns.
  2. The SmartCarry Concealed Carry Pouch is something different. Imagine if a holster and a fanny pack had a baby together, and that baby was…a pouch. You wear it under your clothing and it’s pretty slick.
  3. Thunderwear Concealed Carry Underwear is a boxer brief with built-in pockets. The snug fit and soft, breathable fabric offer comfort and minimize printing.

What are the best CCW techniques for skinny guys?

As a slender guy, you need to be strategic about carrying a concealed handgun. Follow these techniques to keep your gun securely hidden:

  • Choose a small subcompact pistol. Single stack 9mm guns like the Glock 43X disappear easily on a thin frame.
  • Try appendix carry; a lot of scrawny fellows love it.
  • Opt for a holster with a minimal footprint. KYDEX and high-ride leather holsters hug tight.
  • Wear shirts that are 1 size larger than normal and avoid tight fitting shirts. A loose shirt conceals printing of the holstered gun.
  • Wear darker colors and loose clothes.
  • Align the grip of the pistol vertically along the abdomen. This breaks up the outline.
  • Cinch your belt tight to keep the holstered gun snug to the body.
  • Wear comfortable pants. Baggy pants are less prone to printing.
  • Lean slightly forward when seated to keep the grip tucked in. Avoid leaning back.
  • Practice drawing from concealment.

With dedication, skinny guys can master discreet and effective concealed carry. Stay vigilant and safe out there.

Why being skinny is great for CCW?

Being skinny can offer several advantages when it comes to carrying a concealed handgun (CCW):

  • Enhanced concealment. Skinny individuals tend to have less overall body mass, making it easier to conceal a firearm. With fewer curves and contours, there is less printing or noticeable bulges, allowing for more effective concealment of the weapon.
  • More flexibility in carry positions. Skinny individuals often have more options when it comes to choosing carry positions. With a slimmer frame, it becomes easier to access and accommodate different carry positions, such as appendix carry, shoulder carry, or even ankle carry. This flexibility can contribute to increased comfort and ease of access.
  • Improved comfort. Carrying a firearm can be more comfortable for skinny individuals due to the reduced weight and bulk of the firearm on their frame. With less body mass to distribute the weight, there is less strain on the body, resulting in a more comfortable experience throughout the day.
  • Easier clothing choices. Skinny individuals may find it easier to conceal a firearm under a wider range of clothing styles. With fewer curves and less bulk, it becomes simpler to effectively hide the weapon without needing to rely on overly loose or specific types of clothing.
  • Better mobility. Skinny individuals often enjoy improved mobility while carrying a concealed weapon. With less body mass to hinder movement, it becomes easier to navigate in various environments, whether it's sitting, standing, or engaging in physical activities.

It's important to note that while being skinny may offer these advantages, the most crucial aspect of CCW is proper training, knowledge of local laws, and responsible firearm handling. Every individual, regardless of body type, should undertake the necessary measures to ensure safe and legal concealed carry practices.

To get the perfect fit for your skinny body, get our holster pad!

CCW holster FAQ

What is the best carry holster for a skinny guy?

The best carry holster for a skinny guy would typically be an inside-the-waistband holster with adjustable cant and retention, providing a secure and comfortable fit for concealed carry.

Are belly band holsters good for skinny guys?

Belly band holsters can be a great option for skinny guys. The adjustable nature of belly band holsters allows them to fit snugly and comfortably around a skinny waist, providing secure concealment and easy access to a firearm.

What is the best CCW position for skinny guys?

Appendix carry at the front waistband is ideal for skinny guys. It hides the grip of a compact pistol against the body. Ankle carry and shoulder carry also work well for extra discreet backup weapons.

How do skinny people conceal carry?

Skinny people can conceal carry by using a variety of methods such as wearing layered or baggy clothes, using specially designed holsters or belts that distribute weight evenly, and choosing smaller firearms that are easier to conceal on their body.

What is the safest type of holster for skinny guys?

KYDEX holsters are often the safest choice, as they fully protect the trigger guard while allowing rapid presentation of the firearm when drawn.

Should skinny guys wear OWB holsters?

Skinny guys can wear OWB (outside the waistband) holsters if they're not concerned about concealment. Most OWB holsters are not exactly hidden.

About the Author

Mark Buff is the founder and CEO of GunZee. He is an ardent firearms enthusiast and has been carrying concealed for more than 15 years. He created GunZee to solve his own problem: that of uncomfortable KYDEX holsters. His patented GunZee memory foam holster pad makes inside-the-waistband carry super comfortable.

Further reading

What are the best AIWB holsters for women?

How to make the appendix carry sitting down more comfortable?

What are the best CCW guns for new shooters?

The best CCW holsters for fat guys

Are Eclipse holsters any good?

The best Glock 43 holster

The best Kimber Micro 9 holster

The best Springfield Hellcat holster

What is concealed carry reciprocity?