In this article I'm recommending a couple best concealed carry pants that are either designed specifically, or happen to be functional, for carrying a concealed weapon, primarily a handgun or pistol. For the most part, any pants usable for concealing a handgun could also be used to carry a tactical knife in a sheath.
To choose the pants included in this list, I've focused on pants that I've bought and actually used, or that have been used by friends I know who routinely carry a weapon.
My list has been narrowed down to two choices.
The easiest way to decipher how effective a pair of pants might be for carrying a weapon would be to look at pockets and compartments. I'd also prefer that these compartments be concealing of what's inside, which means sometimes larger cargo-style pockets are a good option.
Here are a few other features to consider:
- Location of pockets and compartments
- Weight of the pants
- Weather (hot or cold weather)
- Ability to handle dirt and outdoor wear
Not only did I want to find pants that checked off the concealed carry requirements, but I also wanted to find pants that were overall more durable and rugged than your typical pair. These might also be considered tactical pants or work trousers.
More Nuanced Features & Additional Considerations
To buy a pair of pants that can carry a weapon, I've found that having a tighter fitting pant is actually a deterrent, as those make it harder to conceal a weapon. This makes sense, considering the bulk added by even a small handgun.
If you have an internal pocket, you'll want to make sure that the pocket has enough room so that it's not uncomfortable to wear.
Internal pockets are a pocket that isn't noticeable from outside of the pant, but is accessed inside the waste band. This is also used on some type of athletic or fight shorts for storage without exposing a pocket to movement.
We would also recommend paying attention to the material used.
- Heavy cotton
- Jean material
Instead, look for pants made out of material designed to take a beating but also be light to wear.
- Teflon fabric
- Flexible material
- Breathable fabric (like Under Armour)
- Re enforced stitching
- High percentage of polyester
I've considered the material of the pants as much as their capacity to carry a concealed weapon or handgun. The best concealed carry pants should address both areas. I was also surprised at how many options there are in terms of military style pants that are designed similar to what law enforcement officials wear.
We'll cover my two favorites:
CQR Men's Tactical Pants: Lightweight EDC Assault Cargo
These pants wear really light, similar to a worn pair of jeans. They almost feel like performance wear, though are a bit bulkier than the typical track uniform. There are a ton of different compartments to choose from, where the side pockets are the most ideal for keeping a gun.
CQR's pictures give us an illustration:
The pocket is roomy, with plenty of give between your leg and the inside of the material. Even with a gun there it felt like there was room to move around and not be annoyed by the extra cargo. It's not a concealed pocket, which is a bummer, but it's also really hard to tell whether or not there's anything in that pocket, especially if you're talking about a small knife or handgun.
I also noticed that this pant does a great job of almost wicking away water, and keeping you dry when outdoors.
Several of the folks we talked to who bought this pair says they routinely use the camouflage version to hunt in.
5.11 Tactical TDU
These pants are really tough with a tear-resistant Teflon material and a ton of stitching reinforcement, making them a good choice for outdoors work or hiking (not likely to rip). It also has an external knife pocket, which is one of six total.
5.11 has a lot of great tactical and heavy duty pants that are great for a variety of outdoor tasks. I especially like the cargo pockets for carrying a concealed weapon.
They're heavier than the CQR cargos, and better for situations where you'd risk tearing or getting them caught on something. While I wouldn't say they're as movable as the CQR pair, they make up for it with added strength. For mobility I'd recommend CQR, but for toughness the title goes to the 5.11 TDU pair.
5.11 also does a really good job with their sizing and fitting guide:
The best concealed carry pants should be more than just a good pocket system. They should allow you to hide the fact that you're carrying a weapon, while also being able to withstand the rigors of outdoor labor, exploration, or tearing. Again, I'd recommend looking for Teflon, high percentages of polyester material, and reinforced stitching. Avoid cotton, since that tends to be heavy and takes the form of whatever is inside, thus making it harder to conceal a weapon.
If you have questions about my experience with these pants or other products not mentioned here, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.