How to Conceal Carry in Sweatpants and Basketball Shorts

How to Conceal Carry in Sweatpants and Basketball Shorts

Conceal carrying in sweatpants and basketball shorts presents a unique challenge: combining the necessity of personal safety with the comfort of casual attire. It’s a topic that resonates with many who wish to maintain their right to carry without compromising on the relaxed feel of their go-to leisure wear. The key lies in navigating the balance between securing the firearm safely and ensuring it remains discreet and accessible.

Tailored for both seasoned carriers exploring more relaxed clothing options and newcomers seeking to understand the basics of conceal carrying in casual outfits, we delve into strategies that prioritize safety, comfort, and discretion.

How Do You Carry In Sweatpants or Basketball Shorts?

In order to conceal carry in sweatpants or basketball shorts you will need to do the following:

  • Choose the right holster or bellyband
  • Wear the right clothes
  • Choose the right size firearm
  • Train to draw from the outfit you choose

The trick to pulling off carrying in casual clothing is making the right choices in those four steps. Below we will walk you through what you need to do to get the job done right.

Read on for more details on how to accomplish these goals and choose the right tools for the job.

Choosing the Right Holster

Selecting the appropriate holster is a fundamental step in the process of concealing a firearm, particularly when wearing less structured clothing such as sweatpants and basketball shorts.

The ideal holster should provide secure retention of the firearm, ensure comfort for the wearer, and facilitate effective concealment. Below are key considerations to guide your selection:

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When it comes to carrying in sweatpants and basketball shorts, finding the right support system for your firearm without the aid of a belt is key. Let’s explore two effective solutions: belly bands and holsters with clips.

Belly Bands

Belly bands are a versatile and comfortable option for those wearing less structured clothing. They wrap around the midsection, providing a stable platform for the firearm regardless of attire.

The elasticity of most belly bands allows for a snug fit against the body, ensuring that the firearm stays secure while allowing for quick access.

This option is particularly appealing for active wearers, as it can accommodate a wide range of activities without compromising on security or accessibility.

Additionally, belly bands often come with extra pockets for magazines or other essentials, making them a practical choice for everyday carry.

Holsters Featuring Clips

Holsters equipped with strong, durable clips offer another solution for carrying without a belt. These clips are designed to attach directly onto the waistband of sweatpants, basketball shorts, or any other garment, providing a secure hold that supports the weight of the firearm.

Clip-on holsters are typically made from materials that offer a balance between flexibility and rigidity, ensuring the firearm remains in place while conforming to the wearer’s movements. This type of holster is ideal for those seeking a straightforward, no-fuss approach to conceal carrying in casual attire.

Utiliclips are a great option that you can add to most kydex holsters. They allow the holster to snuggly clip on to the waistband of most shorts and pants.

Material and Construction

The material of the holster plays a significant role in both comfort and functionality. Look for materials that offer a balance between firm support for the firearm and enough flexibility to conform to the body’s movements.

Neoprene and other soft, breathable fabrics can provide comfort during extended wear, while still ensuring that the holster remains securely in place.

Retention and Accessibility

A good holster must keep the firearm securely in place while allowing for quick and easy access when needed. Adjustable retention settings can be particularly useful, enabling the wearer to find the right balance between security and accessibility.

Additionally, the holster should cover the trigger guard completely to prevent accidental discharge.

Comfort and Concealment

When carrying in sweatpants or basketball shorts, the holster should not only be comfortable but also discreet. Slim-profile holsters with minimal bulk help in avoiding printing, where the outline of the firearm becomes visible through clothing. The comfort factor is crucial, as it encourages consistent carry practices.

Pros and Cons

While belly bands and clip-on holsters offer great versatility and are suitable for casual attire, they may have limitations. For instance, re-holstering can be more challenging without the rigid structure of a belt-mounted holster. It’s important to weigh these factors based on personal carry habits and preferences.

Selecting Appropriate Clothing

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When it comes to conceal carrying in more casual attire such as sweatpants and basketball shorts, the choice of clothing plays a pivotal role in both the concealment and accessibility of your firearm. Here are key factors to consider when selecting the right garments:

Sweatpants and Basketball Shorts Selection

Opt for pants or shorts that feature a robust, elastic waistband capable of supporting the additional weight of a firearm and holster. A sturdy waistband ensures that your carry setup remains secure and stable throughout the day.

It’s also wise to choose garments with drawstrings, which can offer an extra level of security by tightening the waistband and preventing sagging.

Importance of Fit

While comfort is a major reason for choosing sweatpants and basketball shorts, when it comes to conceal carrying, the right fit is crucial. Garments that are too loose may not hold the holster in place effectively, leading to potential printing or even the holster slipping.

Conversely, clothing that’s too tight may not only be uncomfortable but can also make concealing your firearm more challenging. Aim for a balance — clothing that’s fitted enough to support concealment without being overly tight.

Layers for Concealment

Layering can significantly enhance your ability to conceal a firearm effectively. A longer, untucked shirt or a lightweight jacket can help obscure the outline of your firearm, reducing the risk of printing.

Layering is not only practical for concealment but also adds versatility to your wardrobe, allowing you to adjust based on the weather and your daily activities.

Firearm Consideration

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Choosing the right firearm for carrying is as crucial as selecting the proper holster and clothing. The nature of these casual garments demands careful consideration of the firearm’s size, weight, and safety features to ensure both effective concealment and readiness.

Here are key aspects to consider:

Size and Weight

A compact or subcompact firearm is generally more suitable for concealment in less structured clothing. These smaller models are easier to conceal under the relaxed fit of sweatpants or basketball shorts and are less likely to cause the garments to sag under their weight.

The lighter the firearm, the less strain on the waistband, enhancing both comfort and the security of the carry position.

Safety Features

When carrying in such casual attire, prioritizing firearms with reliable safety mechanisms becomes even more important. Integrated safety features, such as trigger safeties, grip safeties, or internal safety mechanisms, can provide an additional layer of security against accidental discharge. This is particularly important in scenarios where the firearm is more likely to be jostled or moved as you go about your day.

Practice and Proficiency

Maintaining proficiency in drawing and handling your firearm, especially when concealed in less traditional attire like sweatpants and basketball shorts, is essential. The unique challenges presented by these garments require regular and dedicated practice to ensure both safety and effectiveness. Here’s what you need to focus on:

  • Regular Practice: Consistently practicing drawing your firearm from your chosen concealment setup is crucial. This helps to build muscle memory, ensuring that you can access and deploy your firearm quickly and safely under stress. Use a safe and controlled environment to practice, and if possible, incorporate this training into your routine at a shooting range.
  • Handling and Safety: Familiarize yourself with the nuances of handling your firearm while wearing less structured clothing. Pay attention to maintaining a proper grip and stance, and practice re-holstering safely to minimize the risk of accidental discharge.
  • Situational Awareness Training: Beyond physical handling, training should also include exercises to enhance your situational awareness. Being able to read and react to the environment quickly can be as crucial as the draw itself.

In summary, achieving and maintaining a high level of practice and proficiency is vital for anyone conceal carrying, particularly in casual attire. Regular, focused practice sessions are key to ensuring that you are prepared and confident in your ability to defend yourself safely and effectively, no matter what you wear.


In conclusion, successfully conceal carrying in sweatpants and basketball shorts requires careful consideration of holsters, clothing selection, firearm characteristics, and consistent practice. By focusing on these key areas, you can ensure both your comfort and preparedness.

Remember, the goal is to carry safely and responsibly, blending the ease of casual attire with the seriousness of personal defense. Stay informed, practice regularly, and prioritize safety in every aspect of your conceal carry routine.

To learn more about concealed carry, be sure to check out our Guide To Concealed Carry. We cover many ways to improve your concealed carry experience.

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