When Carrying in a Fanny Pack is OK

A concealed carry fanny pack
If you saw someone wearing this, would you think it houses a gun? I would.

Let me start out by saying that it is almost never a good idea to carry a concealed pistol in a fanny pack worn around your waist. First, fanny packs are about as obvious as photographer’s vests. They draw the eye of cops and criminals and scream “Shoot me first!” Second, drawing from a fanny pack is slow and awkward. You have to unzip or rip open the fanny pack and may need to remove a strap of Velcro holding the gun into place before you can draw it. Besides being slow, drawing from a fanny pack can take two hands, which may not always be available.

If you need to carry off your body, I prefer a sling pack where you can wear it like a backpack while walking and sling it around to your front if you need to draw your weapon. Vertx makes a nice sling pack. The sling pack can also carry a limited amount of other gear, either work-related, tactical, or prepper gear, whatever the scenario demands. The sling pack also makes you look less like a nerd compared to someone rocking a fanny pack.

You can see I don’t like fanny packs. Yet, I own two fanny packs designed for concealed carry. So, when do I wear them? Here are two examples.

Exterior Carry

If you have ever worn a pair of coveralls, especially an insulated pair, you know it is darn near impossible to draw a gun from your belt-mounted holster when the belt, pants, and gun are inside a zipped pair of coveralls. If I need to carry when I’m in my overalls, I strap a fanny pack around my waist or I wear a large, hunting-style shoulder holster. I have a rather large fanny pack from the Voodoo Tactical discreet line (although nothing that size is very discreet) that will fit up to an N-frame revolver with a 4” barrel like the one I carry in bear country. Best thing this fanny pack it is the large pocket that can hold multiple speed loaders or full moon clips.

Back when I was picking my daughter up after school, which sometimes necessitated going inside the building, I would carry in a fanny pack. I stored the fanny pack in my truck’s center console where it was within easy reach. If I needed a gun, it was there. If I needed to go into the school, it stayed in the console. When I went into the house, I could grab the fanny pack, toss the strap over my shoulder, and carry it inside.

So these special circumstances are where I found a fanny pack useful. The fanny pack as a center-console gun receptacle is one I still use from time to time.

For A Second (or Third) Gun

I usually carry a pocket pistol and a Glock on my belt. If I am going somewhere that carrying is frowned upon, I just go with the pocket carry as a kind of deep concealment. When I do this, I am reassured to know there is a fanny pack with a Glock in it in my truck.

When I am traveling with my wife, I often put the fanny pack in the center console so she can access it if necessary. She is often wearing pants that cannot accept a traditional belt and holster, a problem the fanny pack addresses. And trust me, if we get to the point where she has to use or at least carry my Glock, fashion is far from our chief concern.

Fanny pack in truck for quick access
Hanging a fanny pack over the passenger seat allows rapid access to my Glock.

If I feel threatened while in the truck, I can take the fanny pack out of the console and hang it over the passenger seat. I have only felt paranoid enough to do this twice, but it is effective. If I position the fanny pack correctly, which is facing back towards the seatback, I can make a draw from it while in the driver’s seat. This is more accessible than trying to draw from an inside-the-waistband holster while wearing a seatbelt.

I like having a Glock, two magazines, and some other gear in the truck regardless of whether I am carrying. It’s a good back up or emergency weapon.

It Also Carries Other Gear

Although I prefer a sling pack, they are bulkier than a fanny pack. For example, I can’t fit mine into my truck’s center console. My Bianchi fanny pack does hold some additional gear, but nowhere near as much as a sling pack. The quick access pouch, which you rip open, securely holds my Glock and a spare magazine. The zippered pouch in front contains a second magazine, an old DeSantis leather holster, an outdated tactical flashlight, a multi-tool, a Snickers bar, and two large zip ties. There are small pouches that extend to the right and left of the primary pack. One holds a lighter. The other has two spare CR-123 batteries inside, which fit the flashlight and my EDC flashlight.

You will note this isn’t a “survival kit” load out. There’s no fishing line, water purification tablets, paracord, etc. I have plenty of survival equipment in my truck; the fanny pack is for more immediate tactical problems. If I grab it on my way out of the truck, I am armed and able to respond to a threat, night or day. If I am already carrying a gun, extra ammo, and a light source, then I have redundancy or I can lend it to a trusted party.

Carrying the belt slide holster gives me the option of switching to a belt-mounted holster if I need to. This is probably my least favorite Glock holster, but it is better than no holster and it fits in the fanny pack, so that makes it a winner for this application.

Wearing a Fanny Pack

Do I wear my truck fanny pack? No. I can’t remember the last time I did.

I use my fanny pack more as a method of off-body carry than on-body carry. It’s comparable to a woman who carries a pistol in her purse. The fanny pack keeps my gun handy if I’m where I cannot wear a gun on my body. I can also stash it inside my EDC pack if necessary and then the “fanny pack equals gun” equation is off the table.

In this context, I think fanny packs serve a purpose. It’s a purpose that can be served by other methods of carry, if they fit your lifestyle, such as the sling pack or purse. So while I don’t like fanny packs, I admit sometimes they come in useful. I just don’t like to wear one.

If you see me wearing a fanny pack and I’m not in a pair of coveralls? Consider it a sign something has gone very wrong indeed.