Concealed Carry Corner: Off Body Carry


The debate over off body carry has been one that has been going on for well over a decade now. It’s still just as strong today as it was when it started. There are Pros and Cons to off body carrying and no matter what, people will have different uses or criticisms for this type of carry. It’s totally normal to have an opinion on its merits, so feel free to discuss your take on it in the comments below. 

 What Is Off Body Carry?

I want to set a baseline for off body carry. I consider carrying “off body” as anything off your physical body but on your person. This covers backpacks and Letterman/messenger bags along with women carrying in purses. Some of you may have different definitions, but for the discussion, we will stick to this. I’ll be honest and say my opinion on carrying off body has swayed from one side to the other over the last decade. In today’s society though, I feel like there is definitely a place for carrying off body.

 The Benefits

The first huge benefit of carrying off body is the potential to turn a single person into a force multiplier. With SB Tactical and other companies innovating, there has been an explosion of popularity of AR Pistols. I think this goes for both men and women, but it tends to be more what concealed carrying men are doing. Carrying a rifle caliber weapon on you is a huge advantage because it gives the shooter much more capability to handle situations if needed.

Companies To Check Out

Being able to throw an AR pistol or other pistol variants inside a bag can seem like a challenge. it’s fairly easy though with the right gear and is entirely possible. Companies like Arc’teryx, Crye Precision, and Vertx are trying to bring more options to the user. These bags will have various concealed pockets and modularity. The user will be able to make a custom setup that suits their needs in a certain bag.

Increased Opportunities

This innovation in carry bags is partly because of new military applications. British SAS and US Special Forces are running around with Personal Defense Weapons stacking bodies everywhere they go with covert backpacks. The various militaries around the world are investing money in covert bags that seem normal in appearance, but inside, are a walking armory. Another great option is the ability to have a self-contained system you will always have with you. Carrying a backpack or messenger bag will allow you to have medical and a force multiplier rolled into one. With the extra space with a bag, you can incorporate a full medical loadout depending on what bag you decide to go with. Whether it’s a small cut or a sucking chest wound, you will be covered.  


Carrying a handgun off body does not have as many advantages. If that’s the only gun you have on your person it can be problematic. Typically, this is slower to deploy the gun than if you have it on your body on a holster. With practice, deploying a handgun out of a bag can be as fast as someone who carries on his body, but it does take a lot of practice. When people ask me where they should carry I always tell them it’s better to carry on your body than off body unless your situation says otherwise.


Now every concept has a downside or two and carrying off body is no exception. The biggest drawback with off body carry is carrying your gun in a bag associated with money. This is usually the case with women carrying guns in their purse. When I have an issue with off body carrying, it usually when people off body carry when they could carry inside their waistband.

Purse snatching would fall under this category, and it is a major issue people should definitely be considering when deciding to carry. I personally believe if the bag you’re carrying looks like it has monetary value, then it should not be used to carry a firearm. If someone has a backpack or messenger bag, it is going to be less tempting to steal than a woman carrying a purse.

 Overall Thoughts

There have always been debates on whether or not off body carrying is a beneficial system. With the proper setup, I think it’s extremely beneficial. I think overall if you use a carrying system it should be used as a tool for your situation rather than the only solution. Using off body carry as the only way to carry I think has more drawbacks than benefits.

I always say if you want to carry a handgun, you should try to carry it on body whenever possible. Incorporating a bag is never a bad option to add more capability to your daily loadout: this could be a larger gun or more medical equipment. If you guys have questions please feel free to leave a comment below or email me and as always stay safe! 

TFB’s Concealed Carry Corner is brought to you by GLOCK


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