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My earliest recollections of seeing a female carrying a gun was on the 1960s sitcom, "F Troop" where the beautiful sharpshooter "Wrangler Jane" confidently wore a pistol slung around her hips. As a little girl watching that show, I remember wanting to be like "Wrangler Jane!"
(Note: My aspirations actually became a toss-up between "Wrangler Jane" and "Jeannie" in "I Dream of Jeannie" a couple of years later when I determined that genie magic would be a more versatile skill in my life than sharpshooting.)
But, what I was getting at was that seeing a gun in a holster was pretty much the only way I could envision ever carrying a handgun.
Obviously that is not the case today! One look at the following conceal carry purse reviews show how far we've come!
I currently own a gorgeous "Hobo" style handbag made by Gun Tote'n Mamas (see photo at right). This model is included in the reviews below.
My only issue is the strap isn't as long as I'd like.
Of course there are a number of other lovely and practical choices out there for people who want an off-body carry option that combines style with practicality. Let's have a look at a few key considerations first.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Concealed Carry Purse
What is Off Body Carry (OBC)?
There have been various debates on off-body carry, whether on if they are a good option or what can be considered an OBC. I will give my definition of an off-body carry as anything that you carry off your physical person even though it can be on your body. It can either be a purse, backpack, or even a messenger bag.
Although there may be different definitions, we will stick to this one for this discussion. Just like when they first became popular, there is a place for off-body carrying today.
What are the Pros and Cons of OBC?
Because many people are looking for different off-body carry options these days, here are some of the pros and cons that you might want to consider before investing in an OBC purse or tote.
Opt for a "Slash Resistant" Design if Possible
What does "Slash Resistant" even mean?
Slash resistance is pretty much what it sounds like: the ability of a material to "resist slashing" (think "knife") which is one of the ways that clever pickpockets might use to steal backpacks and purses. Many straps nowadays will include some type of metalic component (e.g. a wire or steel mesh woven or sewn in) to strengthen them the for enhanced security.
Notice we're not using the term "slash proof" because that's just an unrealistic expectation. Don't depend on any material to keep your belongings on your person. Having a nice handbag labeled as "theft-resistant" or "slash resistant" (like the popular Travelon collection here) is nice, but it doesn't give us a reason to become complacent.
Where can I find the Concealed Weapon laws for my state?
Check with your local law enforcement agencies for official information. In addition, there are some government websites that can help you identify resources where you can get your questions answered.
For example, this United States Department of State link discusses traveling internationally with firearms.
Then, this United States government link shows you where to find the official website for each state and US territory.
The National Rifle Association Carry Guard website has a variety of links and training resources available, as does the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) site.
Tips for Choosing a Concealed Carry Purse
One of the most obvious tips is to ensure that the design allows carrying firearms – Going for a regular handbag may not be a good option for you if you are going to use it to carry a firearm. A concealed carry purse, by design, has a compartment to keep your firearm in position.
- Check for a locking feature – A concealed carry purse should have a locking features that keep your firearm away from children's access.
- Choose a minimalistic purse – Concealed weapon carry bags are better small. However, this also depends on your style and how you want it. Make sure you choose one that fits your needs.
- Accessibility features – Most purses have an end compartment that allows you to draw a firearm quickly. However, you need to consider the size of the gun and the space available. The best thing to do is testing it with that particular weapon before buying it.
- Check the shoulder strap design– Most purse thefts involve snatching and running. Losing your firearm this way is avoidable by choosing one that has a shoulder strap that enhances the security. Also, as we mentioned above, you can select one with steel or wire reinforced straps to prevent cutting.
- Are you more comfortable with a cross-body design or regular shoulder or hand bag? I have come to the conclusion - for myself, anyway - that a cross-body design works better than a short, over-the-forearm strap for the way I walk (i.e. I prefer wearing my bag slung from one shoulder, across my chest, to hang at the hip of my dominant hand).
- Make sure that the bag you choose can fit your firearm! Not all gun compartments are the same size, and the purses are all different sizes. I've noticed that in most of the options we've included here, some reviewers mention what type of revolver they use so that other potential buyers can get an idea of how their own gun will fit.
- Finally - and a lot of people forget about this: Be sure it's a design you LIKE! What's the point of having an accessory that you don't really like? If you have a hankering for a lovely western style (ala my "Wrangler Jane" fantasy! haha!), then you might be more drawn to a design by someone like Montana West World (REALLY nice collection). But if you're more of a city gal, you might want one more like the Vine Branch style.
Now, with that out of the way...on to the reviews!
Conceal Carry Purse Reviews: Our Top Pics
While there are countless designs these days, I've chosen 10 specific handbags, plus 1 "honorable mention" since it's a universal insert that may be of interest to you.
Browning Concealed Carry Purse with Lock, Internal Pockets, Adjustable Holster
Coming in as our #1 pick is the Browning - not only because few brands speak "firearms knowledge" more than Browning, but also because the company has numerous styles and sizes to choose from - all under the $100 price point. Extra brownie points (pun intended) for showing the sizing diagram so that we know exactly what we're getting here. There's a lot to love under the Browning label!
Roma Leathers Leather Locking Concealment Purse - CCW Concealed Carry Gun Shoulder Bag
Roma Leathers has definitely made a name for itself in the OBC purse world. This one measures in at an ample 13" x 11" x 5". Highly rated with well over 550 reviews + good looking + affordable (under $60) = a Winner! One thing I hadn't considered - but evidently other buyers have - is that this purse has leather panels that cover the vertical zippers. Brilliant!
Roma Leathers Concealed Carry Purse - Genuine Leather Locking CCW Gun Bag - Left and Right-Hand Draw
Coming in closely behind our #2 Roma Leathers pick is a similar style by this brand. It's more compact than the other style, measuring 11" (top of strap to bottom) x 9" x 3" deep, which means you're not going to have room for a large weapon; nonetheless, it's getting such good chatter that we thought it was really worth having a look.
GTM Gun Tote'n Mamas Concealed Carry Basic Hobo Handbag
My personal bag is this Hobo Style by Gun Tote'n Mamas. It's not a huge handbag by anyone's standards - it's about 13" x 8.5" x just over 4" (deep) overall and it DOES fit a .38 (stub nose). The one thing I wish more companies would mention is the size of the SIDE COMPARTMENT. I'm more concerned with that than how much "stuff" I can carry in the main compartments. In this case, the compartment where you're going to keep your piece is about 10-1/2" (long) x 7" (high).
YKK Locking Laced Ann Concealed Weapon Satchel by Lady Conceal
If it seems like I have a "thing" about straps, you're right. I feel like a conceal carry purse should automatically come with a choice of straps - shorter and longer for cross-body carry - and Lady Conceal delivers! This model hits all the important points for me: Ambidextrous, 2 straps, gives us the measurements for the concealment pocket right up front (this one measures 8.5” W x 7” H) - AND it is under $100. I'd probably rate it a little higher if the price point were just a bit lower.
Bulldog Cases Carry Tote Style Purse with Holster
And now for something completely different... The Bulldog caught my eye for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it made me think: conceal-carry goes on a picnic. It speaks "casual" and "good times" to me, and "Conceal Carry" is the last thing I think of when I see this purse. And yet, it's a workhorse. At 17” x 12” x 5″ it's roomy, and it comes with a holster (color coordinated) and is under $90.
Vine Branch Genuine Leather Locking Concealment Purse CCW Concealed Carry Gun Bag Handbag
Leather, with a nice classic look to it, the Vine Branch comes in just under $60 and is another example of how good looking a practical gun purse can be. I like the adjustable strap, and it's ambidextrous - a must have for this list! It also comes with a holster, which is another plus.
Travelon Anti-Theft Concealed Carry Tour Bag
While not exactly a "purse," we still wanted to include the Travelon Anti-Theft Conceal Carry Tour Bag because it's a fantastic option when you are on the road. It's still small enough to double as an everyday bag, and no one will know that there is steel cable in the strap! Also, I wanted to call your attention to the Travelon brand, because they have other styles in their Conceal Carry collection as well.
YKK Locking Ashley Chain Concealed Carry Gun Hobo by Lady Conceal
Like the other Lady Conceal style we showed you earlier, this one, the Locking Ashley Chain style, is one I just had to include. Yes, it's also a little high on price (around $90 or so at this writing), but it warrants a serious look. It has THREE 3 entry points - one on each side, and from the top as well. Plus it has 2 straps. Plus it's attractive. Honestly, it's really difficult for me to casually assign a #1 - #10 rating on this list, because there are a number of designs that I'd put right up there in equal billing - and this Ashley Chain is one of them.
Goson Premium Crocodile Embossed PU Faux Leather Concealed Carry Purse Tote
A 12" x 9" gun holster compartment. That says it all! Other than the fact that the Goson is stylish (and it's not REALLY "crocodile"), the size of the compartment alone piqued our interest. It comes with a holster, it's a roomy bag, AND it's a darned good-looking purse as well. This is another one of those styles where I wouldn't know by looking at it that it might hold a firearm. All this for under $60. Well done, Goson.
#11 - Runner Up
Concealed Carry Women's Universal Handbag Insert
With over 900 mostly positive reviews (70% 5-star and 12% 4-star) and the fact that it's not only an ambidextrous insert, but also sold by a US Veteran-owned business, we had to include this. If buying a dedicated bag is not an option, for under $20, this may do the trick.
Below we'll take a little bit closer look at the styles we've just introduced. First, however, I want to emphasize and expand on a couple of important points:
I only included bags with more than 1 entry point to the conceal compartment.
Of course there are a number of other beautiful conceal carry bags on the market. One look at the lovely Justin West collection should convince you of that. After all, their amazing western theme bags have a wide appeal. That said, their designs are pretty much made for "righties." I deliberately included ONLY bags that could be used by both righties and lefties.
However, if you are fine with a right-handed only conceal compartment, then I would definitely encourage you to look at one of these. Click the collage of Justin West purses below, and you can see some of these for yourself.
I'm aware that styles change all the time, and yet, the old adage that "old friends are best" seems to ring true when I look at these more classic styles.
Ok, let's dig a little deeper into each of the purses.
1. Browning Concealed Carry Purse with Lock, Internal Pockets, Adjustable Holster
You have easy access to your firearm with the Browning. The quick-access pocket has a holster that you can either remove, rotate, or adjust according to your needs. Also, you can access the holster pocket either from the right or left.
It comes with extra pockets that will enable you to store other essentials. Also, accessing the essentials is easy because the pockets are strategical.
This purse has a lockable main zipper compartment. It comes with two keys to ensure there is no unauthorized access to your firearm or essentials. There is a hidden fob on the straps that allows you to store your keys at an unnoticeable place.
The leather exterior is durable. The color gives it a casual, unassuming look that you will love. You will love this product for its portability and ability to reduce fatigue even when carrying a heavy firearm. Wish it came with a crossbody strap!
The NOT AS GOOD
2. Roma Leathers Leather Locking Concealment Purse - CCW Concealed Carry Gun Shoulder Bag
This Roma has a unique design that makes it one of the most stylish bags that you can buy. It comes with a great strap that you can adjust to make sure you feel the comfort on your shoulder. Also, the strap is long, and therefore, short people can adjust it to fit their height while tall people may not need to fix it. This strap is perfect for cross-body carrying, making it one of the best.
Also, there are two zipper openings at the top. These zippers concealed with the leather material making them unnoticeable. The main compartment has a zipper that will open 3/4 deep and to its full width of the compartment.
It has a gun compartment at the end, which also has a lockable zipper to ensure the gun is safe from kids and unauthorized people. Also, more pocket compartments are leather-made for the storage of more items.
The leather body assures you of durability and scratch resistance. Also, the main compartment is big enough to carry a small firearm.
The NOT AS GOOD
3. Roma Leathers Concealed Carry Purse - Genuine Leather Locking CCW Gun Bag - Left and Right-Hand Draw
Roma Leathers makes the list again! This style has a locking zipper that you can access with the left or right hand. The material is soft genuine leather that assures you of durability. Also, the leather exterior is perfect for stylish looks.
The compartments (other than the firearm compartment) are suitable for storing personal essentials. This bag is spacious enough, meaning your gun will fit in properly without leaving an imprint.
Comes with a removeable holster, and the zippers on each end are lockable.
The interior organizer is getting high marks. This one doesn't have a longer strap for cross-body carry, but if that doesn't bother you, this tidy little number may be just right.
The NOT AS GOOD
4. GTM Gun Tote'n Mamas Concealed Carry Basic Hobo Handbag
Not too big - not too small; the ever-popular Hobo style by Gun Tote'n Mamas gets consistently good marks. It has a design that is perfect for both day and night use. What we love most about this purse is the security features that it comes with as manufactured. For instance, it has special padding that helps to prevent gun imprinting - BUT, no locks on the zipper, so that's something to consider.
It comes with a steel cable reinforced shoulder strap that is also slash resistant. This makes it difficult for anyone to cut the strap off your shoulder.
Also, as we've noted elsewhere in this article, it's important that the handbag works for both left- and right-hand use, which this one does.
The NOT AS GOOD
5. YKK Locking Laced Ann Concealed Weapon Satchel by Lady Conceal
You will love this Lady Ann purse by Lady Conceal if you love stylish interiors. You will find extra pockets that will offer enough storage for small essentials. And YAY! Finally a purse that comes with an additional strap for cross-body carry!
Also, it comes with heightened security with zippers and four keys, and this locking feature is attractive to many users. The material is scratch-resistant nylon for durability.
It comes designed for left- and right-hand users. It comes with four studs that users have praised for the stability and security they add to this product. The 8 1/2" x 7" conceal compartment is a good size, too!
One more thing I'd like to add is that the Lady Conceal brand has a number of truly excellent options that you might want to check out. See the collection here!
The NOT AS GOOD
6. Bulldog Cases Carry Tote Style Purse with Holster
This tote-style bag by Bulldog was a pleasant surprise to me! As I mentioned above, it kind of reminds me of a picnic or a day at the beach, which makes me think this is a great design that would make it difficult for anyone to say right offhand that this is a conceal carry purse.
It is slash resistant, which adds a sense of security. The Bulldog is getting a lot of reviewers that are praising the size as well.
I love the tote style. If I had ONE suggestion though, it would be to add a couple of different colors to this style.
The NOT AS GOOD
7. Vine Branch Genuine Leather Locking Concealment Purse CCW Concealed Carry Gun Bag Handbag
The Vine Branch is another great looking leather bag that you will enjoy carrying around. Its safety and security features are among the best that you can find in the market. It has both internal and external extra compartments that are lockable, and includes a holster.
Another great feature of this product is that even though it's leather, it's affordable (just under $60 as of this writing).
Also, it comes with an adjustable strap for cross-body wear - and it's reinforced. That's not to say it's slash-resistant, because I couldn't find anything saying that it is. But "reinforced?" One person says that there IS wire running through the strap, but that particular statement was made in 2017, so I cannot say that this is still the case.
Nonetheless, this is a lovely style and gets good marks! I tend to like classic, simple styles, and this hits most of what I need in a bag.
The NOT AS GOOD
8. Travelon Anti-Theft Concealed Carry Tour Bag
As we mentioned above, the Travelon isn't a "purse" per se; however, the design is such that it's easy to see how you can use it every day whether you're travelling or not. It comes with great features that include a main compartment that is large enough to store your gun.
Both the body and straps are slash resistant, which gives it high marks in our book. The gun holster is reversible either to the right or left. As an added plus, more compartments allow you to carry more protection items such as pepper spray, and even a knife.
As the name would suggest, you have sufficient space to store IDs, passports, and other items as well as a meshed compartment that is perfect for water bottles and other things. The RFID (aka radio frequency identification) blocking features are a bonus and may add increased protection if someone nearby is attempting to electronically access your sensitive credit card or other information.
The gun compartment allows you to draw your gun securely without fumbling. Also, it comes with a key clip with a LED lamp to enable you to see your items in the dark. The material used in making this bag is unique and sturdy for durability. Travelon has numerous other items in their catalog, which you can see here.
I think people in general - male or female - will love this bag. I feel like MacGyver just talking about it. Have a look for yourself!
The NOT AS GOOD
9. YKK Locking Ashley Chain Concealed Carry Gun Hobo by Lady Conceal
Here is another lovely bag by Lady Conceal - this one in the Hobo style (yes, my personal favorite style of handbag). What I like about this one other than the usual stuff (i.e. ambidextrous, locking concealment compartments) is that, like the Lady Ann shown above, this, too has the additional strap in case you want to carry your purse across your body instead of just from one shoulder or arm.
In this purse, you get 3 entry points for firearm access: One on each side, and one from the top. The firearm compartment itself is a good size, measuring 11" x 7" - and the top entry opening is 10". Yes, the price is beginning to hover on the upwards end of our scale - just about $90 or so at the time of this writing, but 67% of their reviews are 5-stars (and another 13% are giving it 4-stars), with very little criticism that I can see, other than some people thinking it's a bit too small.
If you read about the Lady Ann, above, you may have seen me mention that the company has an entire line of conceal carry purses. I like where they are going with a lot of their designs, and you might like what you see as well. With that in mind, if you'd like to compare a few more from the brand, click here to visit the collection.
The NOT AS GOOD
10. Goson Premium Crocodile Embossed PU Faux Leather Concealed Carry Purse Tote
Don't let the crocodile name fool you. The Goson is actually a polyurethane "leather" ("PU Leather" or "faux leather"). I am drawn to this purse for a number of reasons - not the least of which I just think it's exceptionally handsome! I do like that "tote" look. The locking zipper compartments offer that additional security measure many of us are looking for.
As is the case with all our choices here, the purse is designed so that the firearm compartment works for left or right handed draw. So, what isn't there to love about this beauty? Really, hardly anything, except that it is lacking that cross-body strap that I like so much.
Overall, however, I think this is a beauty for everyday use. And with the price point under $60 as of our writing today, I feel it's a good value, and the majority of reviewers seem to agree.
The NOT AS GOOD
11. Concealed Carry Women's Universal Handbag Insert
This accessory by Concealed Carrier is a great handbag insert that helps you create some space for your gun without retrofitting an entire purse or buying a brand new one specifically for that purpose.
The best thing about using this product is that you can turn any handbag into a firearm purse. Of course, that means you get to save on the costs of purchasing a specialized bag.
Mostly, reports state that this item will fit any small or large bag perfectly.
It is minimalistic; therefore, there should be no worry that it will take much of your space. You still get enough space to store other items. It is flat and will only take a small space at the bottom of the bag and leave enough for your storage needs.
Overall this is a nice accessory - when it's in stock, that is. Veteran owned company gives it extra points.
The NOT AS GOOD
The Bottom Line
This is the tough part. If I had to buy JUST ONE of these bags tomorrow, which would it be? I don't want to sound overly biased because I already have a Gun Toten' Mamas Hobo bag, which I really DO like.
And I don't want to sound like I'm trying to weenie out of giving a solid opinion by saying, "well it depends on YOU and what YOU like..." (well, actually, that really IS the bottom line...).
So here's my thoughts: Put a few things on a piece of paper, such as:
- What's the size of my firearm (e.g. ask yourself: "which purse will have a compartment that will fit my XYZ gun?")?
- Do I like to carry my purse on my arm, or across my body?
- How much other stuff do I need to carry while I'm also carrying my gun? (e.g. Am I going to use this all the time, or just on occasion?)
- What's my budget? Do I care if it's all leather?
- Do I care if the conceal compartments lock? (I know that for some people, this is important.)
Once you consider all the features that are most important to you, you can narrow down the choices.
For me, you have probably already guessed that I have a "thing" about cross-body straps. Even though I love my pretty Hobo bag by Gun Tote'n Mamas, I would PROBABLY opt for....
The Vine Branch style (#7, above). Not only because it is pretty basic and straightforward and ticks off all the boxes for my needs, but I'm a practical kind of gal, and I also don't like a "lot of purse" in general. I'm the person who has carried the same purse around since 1987 (yes, it's true - I have a purse from 1987).
The Vine Branch would pretty much suit my personal needs. I'm a casual person, and also black goes with just about everything.
Now... If I were travelling (let's talk road trip!!) I'm all in with the Travelon. Hands down.
Dang it... they are all really nice! And honestly, if you were to gift me with one or all of these, I'd love them all.
I hope you can find the perfect conceal carry purse for you!
Thank you so much for reading! I really appreciate you spending your valuable time combing through all these styles with me!