Best Ways to Conceal Carry in Board Shorts in 2021

concealed carry board shorts

Photo by Adam Walker Cleaveland / CC BY

As if concealed carry isn’t already difficult enough, mother nature has to throw those warm weather months at us and really complicate things. Unless you are going to be the guy at the beach wearing jeans and boots, you’ve probably wondered about the best method of carrying your fully concealed pistol with only shorts and a T-shirt. Take that a bit further and let’s talk about board shorts or even swimming trunks.

With minimal pockets and thin, quick-dry material, these can be the most difficult choice for concealed carry. However, there’s no reason you should have to leave the house or hotel unarmed for a night on the boardwalk or a family day at the beach. The best options for concealed carry wearing board shorts are:

  1. belly band holsters
  2. compression shorts
  3. minimalist IWB.

Let’s see each in detail:

Concealed Carry in Board Shorts: Belly Band Holsters

For anyone who may not be familiar with this type of holster, it’s similar to an elastic back brace that attaches using velcro after wrapping it around your mid-section or waist. There are several options out there for belly band holsters ranging from a single pocket for your handgun, up to additional slots for extra clips, knives, and even medical kits.

Granted, a belly band holster may be the most objectionable option, but for the guys that don’t have “dad bods,” it is feasible and a relatively easy way to conceal carry with quick accessibility. For example, a smaller framed guy with an athletic mid-section can strap one of these elastic holsters around their belly and easily hide it with an oversized t-shirt. However, the more you carry, the more difficult it’s going to be to conceal.

Belly band holsters offer some of the best weapon retention available. The elastic material that allows the adjustable fit around the torso also holds a handgun nice and snug against the body. This allows flexibility and weapon security for most any type of activity you can imagine. That being said, the belly band holster has a significant exception when it comes to your desired activity. If you are planning on any shirtless activities, the belly band holster is not for you as it rides high enough on your waist that it would be impossible to conceal without a shirt of some type to cover it.

Lastly, the belly band holster is going to be limited on who can wear it comfortably. As I mentioned earlier, those with “dad bods” are likely going to find this style holster awkward and uncomfortable. Not completely out of the question, but it would not be my first choice on a hot day at the beach.

BELLY BAND COMPARISON AND REVIEW | Rating 4 belly bands! Bravobelt, Tactica, Crossbreed, CanCan

Concealed Carry in Board Shorts: Compression Shorts

A pair of spandex compression shorts with a handgun pouch can be worn underneath whatever shorts you choose allowing easy concealment of your weapon. Several styles are available, but the most common seems to be the back hip carry position. Similar elastic material to the belly band holster, your gun will fit snugly and securely against your body. Now all this talk of polyester and spandex may have you feeling like a participant in the Tour de France, but hear me out. Compression shorts are one of the best all-around options for concealed carry wearing board shorts or swimming trunks.

Complete concealment with a T-shirt or tank top is not a problem with compression shorts fitted for concealed carry. Even shirtless concealment is a possibility wearing board shorts with only minor “printing” issues as one side of your hip will be a bit bulkier.

Compression shorts can also be an option for concealed carry regardless of body type, and comfort is much improved over a belly band holster. Similar to the belly band option, the snug fit of compression shorts will also allow you a great deal of flexibility in most any type of activity that you choose.

One thing to keep in mind if going with compression shorts for concealed carry is how your outer shorts fit over your handgun. An elastic waistband would be ideal to allow quick access, but it is still going to be slightly harder to access your weapon over just pulling up your shirt when using a belly band holster.

Concealed Carry in Board Shorts: Minimalist IWB

If you’re planning to carry inside the waistband wearing board shorts or swimming trunks, you will want to downsize your pistol as much as possible. Several manufacturers are now making compact versions of their most popular concealed carry handguns. It may be a tradeoff on capacity, but being able to concealed carry comfortably versus leaving your weapon at home has obvious advantages.

A traditional IWB holster is probably not going to be suitable for use with board shorts, so a true minimalist carry option would be a Techna Clip. This method of concealed carry acts similar to a pocket clip for a knife. It attaches to your gun via screws or an integrated bolt depending on the type of pistol you have and then clips over the waistband of your shorts. The inside frame of your handgun rides against your body as it sits inside your waistband with only the clip exposed, so a snug-fitting waist or well-tied drawstring is a must.

Full concealability is possible with a T-shirt or tank top similar to compression shorts, and shirtless carry would be possible with only a minimal amount of your handgun peeking above the top of your waistline. The clip is not overly hefty, so most people would likely think it’s a knife if exposed.

A Techna Clip would still offer a great deal of flexibility for many activities, but more aggressive sports could be a bit dangerous as your gun is only attached at your waistband instead of fitting snugly in an elastic pocket like with compression shorts or a belly band holster.

Overall, there are options out there for almost every type of clothing, including board shorts, and or weather you may need to carry your weapon in. The main thing is not to be discouraged from concealed carry just because your preferred method doesn’t fit your required attire. Experiment with different options and see what works best for you. And lastly, try to carry a small gun when wearing board shorts. Leave the Desert Eagle for winter carry. Good luck!

Technaclip Product Review and Testing

  • Owner of, Boyd Smith is a major handgun enthusiast, and although he owns Glocks, he prefers the revolving wheel type. His go-to guns are a Smith & Wesson 642 Performance Center for carry and a Ruger GP100 in the nightstand biometric safe (he has kids). He loads both revolvers with old-school 148-grain Federal Gold Medal .38 wadcutters. It’s OK if you think he’s a wimp. Email him.

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