Concealed carry tips for skinny guys (and gals)

Alt text: Concealed carry tips for skinny guys (and gals)—GunZee

Written by Mark Buff, GunZee founder and CEO.

Skinny guys (and gals) have advantages and disadvantages over their well-endowed compatriots in the realm of concealed carry. If you’re skinny, you might experience one or both of the following:

  • Guns print more prominently (especially true for reed-thin people)
  • Guns are more uncomfortable (less natural padding)—GunZee has a solution for this

We’ll cover some CCW holsters and carry positions that are favored by the thin CCW crowd. 

Quick links:

Strong side hip carry

Appendix carry

Small of back carry


The best holsters for skinny guys

How skinny guys should dress for CCW

Even skinny folks can carry IWB with comfort. Apply one of our holster pads to that uncomfortable KYDEX holster and breathe a sigh of relief.

What are the best concealed carry positions for skinny folks?

Skinny people often have less surface area to work with. The following concealed carry positions tend to be favorites for thin shooters:

Strong side hip carry

Strong side hip carry involves carrying the firearm on the strong-hand side of the body, typically around 3-5 o'clock for right-handers or 7-9 o'clock for left-handers. This is one of the best concealed carry positions for skinny guys. 

The benefits of strong side hip carry for slim individuals are:

  • Minimal printing. With fewer body curves, there are fewer areas for the gun to print or create an obvious bulge under clothing.
  • Easy access. The firearm is positioned for a natural, straightforward drawing motion across the body with a strong hand.
  • Good concealment. A slim waistline allows the gun to tuck tighter against the body for better concealment.

Appendix carry

Appendix carry involves carrying the firearm in front of the hip, around the appendix area for right-handers.

Here are some key advantages of appendix carry for slim individuals:

  • Deep concealment. With less body contour, the gun can tuck closer to the body for extremely discreet carry, even with lighter clothing.
  • Easy access. The appendix position allows for a very natural, straightforward drawing motion straight up with a strong hand.
  • Reduced printing. Skinny guys have fewer belly and midsection bulges for the gun to print against.
  • Good concealment while seated. The appendix area provides solid concealment when sitting down, as opposed to other positions.
  • Keep the gun close. With the firearm tightly against the body, you will have good retention and trigger coverage.

Small of back carry

CCW holster in a small of back carry position—Concealed carry tips for skinny guys (and gals)

Small of back carry involves positioning the firearm directly behind the back, typically just above the beltline.

The benefits of small of back carry for slim individuals are:

  • Minimal printing. Very slim builds may experience less printing from this area, especially with untucked shirts covering it.
  • Accessible with both hands. Depending on the setup, the gun can potentially be drawn with either the strong or support hand.
  • Weight distribution. With the firearm centered on the back, the weight is distributed better for those with skinnier frames.

Cross-draw positions

Cross-draw carry involves positioning the firearm on the support side of the body, drawing across the body with the strong hand.

The benefits of cross-draw carry for slim people include the following:

  • Deeper concealment. With fewer body contours, cross-draw can tuck the gun very close to the torso for discreet carry.
  • Increased accessibility. The firearm is positioned for a smooth, straight draw across the body with a strong hand.
  • Mitigated printing. Skinny guys have less excess midsection that could create printing at certain cross-draw positions.
  • Ambidextrous potential. Certain cross-draw setups allow accessibility for both right and left-handed draws.

What are the best CCW holsters for skinny guys?

The right holster makes all the difference for comfortable and discreet concealed carry, especially for skinny guys. You want your gun to be concealed, comfortable, and accessible. Most shooters opt for IWB holsters, but there are other options as well.

Let’s dive into it!

Inside the waistband holsters

Inside-the-waistband (IWB) holsters tuck the firearm inside one’s pants. Appendix carry is the most popular IWB position for skinny guys, and the GunZee holster pad makes appendix carry comfortable. 

Look for concealed carry holsters that are lightweight, slim, and have adjustable retention.

  • KYDEX holsters, like the Vedder LightTuck or the Concealment Express IWB holster, are excellent options due to their slim profile and customizable retention. These holsters are made from a thin, durable material that molds to the shape of the gun, minimizes bulk, and provides a secure fit.
  • Hybrid holsters, such as the Crossbreed SuperTuck or the Alien Gear Cloak Tuck, are another great choice for skinny guys. These holsters combine a KYDEX shell with a leather or neoprene backing. The soft backing material conforms to the body, while the KYDEX shell securely holds the firearm in place.
  • Tuckable holsters, like the Galco KingTuk or the DeSantis Slim-Tuk, should be worn with tucked-in shirts. They are a great option for skinny guys who need to maintain a professional appearance. These holsters have a clip or loop that attaches to the belt and allows the holster to be tucked behind the pants while keeping the firearm concealed.

How to choose the right CCW holster for skinny guys—Concealed carry tips for skinny guys (and gals)

With the right IWB holster, you need to have the right gun. Think about the size of your concealed carry gun. Smaller, compact guns are easier to conceal and more comfortable to carry for those with slender builds. Firearms such as the Glock 43, Sig Sauer P365, and Smith & Wesson M&P Shield are good options.

The next and most important step is to ensure your IWB carry is comfortable enough. That is why you should get our 3-layer industrial-grade memory foam cushion to place between your holster and your body. This fantastic holster pad provides a pillow-like feel that eliminates poking, hard edges, and constant readjustments.

Pocket holsters

Pocket holsters are particularly well-suited for skinny individuals, as their slimmer build often allows for more room in their pockets without creating a noticeable bulge. This method works for tiny guns such as the Ruger LCP. You’re sacrificing shootability and magazine capacity, but a pocket gun sure is discreet.

The Sticky Holster MD-1 is a popular choice for its minimalist design and high level of versatility. This holster is made from a soft, non-slip material that grips the inside of the pocket, keeping the firearm securely in place.

Another excellent option for skinny guys is the DeSantis Nemesis Pocket Holster. This holster features a sticky rubberized exterior that grips the pocket lining, preventing the holster from shifting or coming out with the gun during a draw. The Nemesis also has a low-cut design that allows for a full firing grip, ensuring a quick and efficient draw when needed.

Select a firearm that is small enough to fit comfortably without printing. Some recommended pocket-carry guns for skinny guys include the Ruger LCP II, Kahr P380, and North American Arms Guardian. These firearms are compact, lightweight, and have a slim profile that works well with pocket carry.

Belly band holsters

Belly band holsters are well-suited for skinny individuals, as they provide a comfortable and adaptable way to conceal a firearm without relying on belts or waistbands.

One of the main advantages of belly band holsters for skinny guys is their ability to be worn in different positions. The elasticity of the band allows the holster to be positioned at different angles and locations along the torso, such as the appendix, hip, or even the small of the back. This flexibility enables skinny individuals to find the most comfortable and concealable position for their body type and clothing style.

Look for belly band holsters made from breathable, stretchy materials that provide a snug and secure fit. The Crossbreed Modular Belly Band, for example, is constructed from a soft, ventilated elastic material that conforms to the body, offering both comfort and concealment. This holster also features a modular design, allowing users to adjust the position of the firearm and accessories to their preferred location.

Another popular option for skinny individuals is the ComfortTac Ultimate Belly Band Holster. This holster is made from a neoprene material that is lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking, ensuring all-day comfort. The ComfortTac Ultimate also has a strong Velcro closure system that allows for easy adjustment and a secure fit.

Opt for smaller, lightweight firearms as they are generally more comfortable and easier to conceal. Some recommended firearms for belly band carry include the Glock 42, Sig Sauer P365, and Ruger LC9s.

Concealed carry clothing for skinny guys

Skinny folks should opt for slightly loose-fitting garments, as they will help conceal the outline of your firearm without appearing overly baggy. Button-down shirts, such as Hawaiian shirts or plain oxfords, are excellent choices because they drape away from the body, reducing the risk of printing. Opt for darker colors and patterns, as they are less likely to reveal the presence of a holster or firearm.

Choose pants and shorts that have a bit of extra room in the waistband and legs. This will allow you to comfortably accommodate an IWB holster or ankle holster without creating noticeable bulges. Cargo pants and shorts are popular among skinny guys as they offer ample pocket space for storing a pocket holster or extra magazines. If you prefer a more professional look, consider dress pants with a slightly relaxed fit or even pleated fronts, which can help conceal a holster at the waistline.

A light jacket or vest can provide an additional layer of concealment, helping to break up the outline of your firearm. Look for jackets with a bit of extra length, as they can help cover your waistline and any potential printing from an IWB or OWB holster. In cooler weather, a fleece or a sweatshirt can also be an effective concealment garment, as they are typically thicker and less likely to cling to your firearm.

About GunZee

GunZee makes concealed carry comfortable for skinny guys. No more uncomfortable KYDEX holsters digging into your waist! That's why we created our memory foam holster pad to enhance the comfort of everyday carry for all body shapes and types (not just skinny).

Our holster padding conforms perfectly to your body's natural contours for supreme comfort. Once you try it, you'll wonder how you ever lived without it.

Caring for your trusted everyday carry piece is also super important. Our easy-to-use handgun cleaning kits help keep your pistol in flawless working order. 

Skinny CCW FAQ

How do skinny guys concealed carry?

Skinny guys often prefer IWB holsters at the appendix or 4-5 o'clock positions, as these allow the firearm to be tucked close to the body for minimal printing. Pocket carry and ankle carry are also popular options for smaller firearms, depending on the individual's clothing and lifestyle.

Is it bad to conceal carry without a holster?

It is bad to conceal carry without a holster because it increases the risk of firearm snagging, accidental discharge, and theft. A holster provides secure retention, protects the trigger guard, and ensures the firearm is safely and comfortably positioned.

Are shoulder holsters good for skinny guys?

Shoulder holsters can be a viable option for skinny guys, especially if they prefer not to carry on the waistband or find other methods uncomfortable. But, the effectiveness and comfort of a shoulder holster will depend on individual preference and the ability to conceal under clothing.

What is the best concealed carry position for fat guys?

Fat guys often find strong-side hip carry (3-5 o'clock) or kidney carry (4-5 o'clock) to be the most comfortable and concealable positions. These positions allow the firearm to be carried in the natural hollow created by their body shape, minimizing printing and discomfort. Hybrid or leather holsters with wide, supportive belts can help distribute the gun's weight comfortably.

What is the most comfortable concealed carry position?

The most comfortable concealed carry position varies from person to person and depends on factors such as body type, clothing preferences, and firearm size. Generally, appendix carry (AIWB) and 4-5 o'clock positions are considered comfortable for many people, as they allow the firearm to be carried in natural hollows of the body. Experiment with different positions and holsters to find the most comfortable setup for you.

Are baggy clothes a good choice for skinny guys who carry concealed?

Baggy clothes can be a good choice for skinny guys who carry concealed, as they help to conceal the outline of the firearm and holster. However, it's essential to find a balance between concealment and practicality. Clothes that are too baggy may make it difficult to access the firearm quickly or could draw unwanted attention. Aim for clothes that are slightly loose but still well-fitted.

Are paddle holsters good for skinny guys?

Paddle holsters can be a good option for skinny guys, as they offer easy on-and-off capability without the need for a belt. They attach securely to the waistband and can be comfortable for all-day wear. 

But, paddle holsters may not provide the same level of stability and concealability as belt holsters, especially for heavier firearms. They are best suited for lighter guns and for individuals who prioritize convenience over deep concealment.

Are appendix holsters comfortable for skinny guys? 

AIWB holsters can be very comfortable for skinny guys, as they allow the firearm to be carried in a natural hollow of the body. The slimmer profile of a skinny individual often makes appendix carry more comfortable and concealable compared to other body types.

Can skinny guys conceal carry with tight clothing? 

Skinny guys can conceal carry with tight clothing, but it may require some adjustments. A smaller firearm with a minimalist CCW holster, and positioning the holster and gun strategically can help minimize printing and ensure a more discreet carry.

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

How to wear an IWB holster

Concealed carry revolver vs semi auto

What is concealed carry reciprocity?