THE FANNY PACK HOLSTER REVISITED
Once more, my body’s check engine light is flashing at me. I am undergoing another back surgery in December of 2022 and will spend three months in a back brace. In addition to undergoing lower back surgery twice in the past I have also had arthroplasty on my right hip and a double hernia surgery, all of which made traditional belt holster carry unfeasible. What is worse, I start looking like what firearms trainer Darryl Bolke refers to as the “wounded baby gazelle at the watering hole.”
Fanny pack carry may make perfect sense in this situation. Younger readers who are fashion-conscious may be relieved to know that fanny pack carry by persons who do not conceal carry has become far more common thanks to high-profile celebrities and hipsters. As for the rest of us who like to wear cargo shorts and tee shirts or are otherwise disinterested in dressing in the most current trendy fashion, for the most part we can wear a non-tactical looking fanny pack holster in public and still maintain a relatively low-profile “Grey Man” appearance in public. Of course, Yoga pants are indeed trendy and the fanny pack holster works well for that, too.
An older reader contacted me and requested advice on how he might be better prepared to defend himself during long trips in his motor home. He was unable to belt carry because of significant back injuries and concerned about being robbed when he stopped at gas stations to fuel the motor home. I recommended that he consider carrying a small-framed handgun like a Glock 42 or 43, Sig 365, or a small-framed revolver like a S&W 442/642 or Ruger LCR in a pocket holster either in the front pocket of his pants or a coat pocket, or carry his preferred carry pistol in a fanny pack holster. There may be times that a concealed carrier seated in a vehicle needs to get a gun into the fight fast. One huge plus for fanny pack carry is that it lends itself quite well to being deployed from a seated position. The same is not true for pocket holster carry if the concealed carrier is carrying the handgun in the front pocket of their pants.
I prefer compact low-profile fanny packs that do not have a “tactical” appearance. I also avoid bright colors that draw the eye. A well-designed fanny pack typically uses two zippers with attached tabs to secure the front of the fanny pack to the back. The user grasps one of the zipper tabs with one hand and pulls down, which causes the front of the fanny pack to fall away and expose the concealed handgun. The handgun is typically located in a nylon holster that is secured to the inside of the fanny pack by a Velcro attachment. The nylon holster keeps the handgun from falling out of the fanny pack. It should keep the handgun always in the same position and cover the trigger guard in order to avoid an inadvertent discharge. A well-designed fanny pack holster provides storage space for an extra magazine or revolver speed strip as well as items like cell phones, cash, and car keys.
Some fanny pack holster users adorn their fanny pack holsters with patches associated with sports, cute sayings, or locations they have visited in order make them look more benign. I caution against overdoing it as it may draw unwanted attention for the simple reason that it may look out of place.
My own fanny pack is probably fifteen years old and I do not know who the manufacturer was (there are simply no labels attached to it anywhere). A quick search on the internet revealed the following manufacturers (and there are likely more):
- Black Tactical
- London Bridge Trading
Where else might a fanny pack holster fit a niche? Anywhere in which I might want to have a concealed handgun on my person but want the option of removing it from my body but keep it within arms-reach. This might be at a public gym. It is a relatively comfortable way to keep a handgun on our person at home or while working or relaxing in the yard. It is also a good way for keeping constant control of a handgun if there are children present.
There are negatives to fanny pack holsters. I certainly would not want to allow a person of suspicious intent to get too close to me. This means being prepared to manage distance by re-positioning myself whenever necessary. I understand that if I end up in a grappling scenario that “my handgun” could become first “our handgun” and end up being “his handgun.” A concealed carrier who decides to go this route should practice drawing their unloaded handgun from it on a frequent basis because the draw stroke is definitely different that the one they use from a concealed carry holster worn on the waistline. However, a surprisingly quick draw is possible once one puts in the time and repetitions.
I realize that many of our readers are not interested in fanny pack carry. However, that does not mean that they do not know someone who might find this information useful. Furthermore, those of us who are fortunate enough to live long lives may find someday that we are now the one that might suddenly benefit by owning a fanny pack holster.