I’m a big fan of 5.11’s range of tactical clothing and accessories and I was looking at concealed carry shirts from them and other brands. I was looking for an alternative to OWB [Outside the waistband] or IWB [Inside the waistband] methods of carry.
Anyway I thought I’d save you some time if you are thinking of buying one or more of these shirts as I have done some thorough research to find what other users are saying about the 5.11 Tactical Holster Shirt.
The shirts come in sizes ranging from small to XXX large and in just two colors; black or white. The lack of choice regarding colors was mentioned by a few reviewers and a wider range would be nice. The most popular color of the two seemed to be the black.
If you have worn a compression shirt before such as the ones made by Under Armour these are very similar. If you haven’t worn shirts like these before be prepared for a snug fit [this is how they are meant to be worn]. This fit is necessary to hold your weapon in place.
The shirt contains two reinforced shoulder pockets that you can either carry a gun in one and a magazine in another or two guns. Obviously it is up to you what you carry in your pockets and I will discuss other uses later. This is also a good option for left handed users as you can conceal a gun in either pocket and also if you want to cross drawer.
The material is synthetic, light weight and easy to wash and quick to dry. The shirt also has a good long length to it so it can be tucked in and won’t slip up.
This isn’t a quick draw solution and certainly isn’t stab or bullet proof but is designed for concealed carry of your handgun.
What Type of gun can it carry?
There seemed to be mixed opinions regarding the size of hand guns that the shirt would hold comfortably. It was noted that a small gun would be lost in the pocket and a large gun would make the pockets sag. Others mentioned that they carried a large gun with no problem and that they were very pleased with their purchase. A lot depends on sizing, if you buy a shirt that is too large it might feel more comfortable but this shirt really needs to be skin tight to achieve its purpose.
Here are some comments from various reviewers carrying different guns in the Concealed carry pockets of their 5.11 shirt;
- ‘I carry a 5 shot S&W .38 my grandfather gave me and it holds great.’
- ‘I was a little suspicious if the pocket would be sturdy enough and if it would really conceal the weapon. I carry a Ruger 40 automatic with the extended clip.’
- ‘I can wear my Colt 45 auto Officers Model with 3.5 inch barrel all day and also can wear my Taurus 605CH 5 shot 357 magnum revolver.’
- ‘I have carried two full size Glocks with no issue; I have carried two 1911s, which works but they are a little heavy for the shirt to be as stable.’
Personally I’d say it is perfect for Compacts and subcompacts especially if you are very active or wearing the shirt for long lengths of time.
So let us take a quick look at some of the pros & cons of the 5.11 Tactical Holster Shirt.
Little Printing or Visibility – most reviewers mentioned it worked well as a concealed carry shirt and it was not anyway noticeable that they were carrying a gun. With a shirt worn over it for instance the 5.11 covert shirt it should give you easy access to the pockets and conceal your firearm.
Well Designed – Perfect for left or right handed users or for people wanting to carry two guns. More comfortable than wearing a shoulder holster or waist holster.
Versatile – 2 guns, 1 gun and a magazine, gun and a phone – you get the idea it has plenty of options depending on your needs. Some reviewers mentioned using it for jogging or exercise to hold a wallet and phone. 3 of the reviewer also mentioned that they had Left Ventrical Assist Devices (LVAD) and needed to store the batteries and this shirt was perfect for that use.
Hot in summer – it was mentioned that this shirt isn’t as breathable as 5.11 say and that it can get pretty warm in the hotter months especially around the reinforced shoulder pocket area.
Cost – Even though these shirts are competitively priced at Amazon and 1 shirt won’t break the budget, if you were to buy shirts for using every day of the week this could soon get expensive.
If you get the size right and you are carrying a subcompact or compact I’d say this is the perfect concealed carry shirt. For larger guns it is maybe not so practical especially if you are very active.