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Best Off-Body Concealed Carry Bags & Fanny Packs of 2024 [Hands-On Tested]

Off-Body Carry
We've gathered up the best bags, purses, and fanny packs perfect for off-body concealed carry or times when you can't on-body carry.
We review products independently. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission to help support our testing. Learn more.
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    So, you’ve decided to carry. Great! Now, you just have to figure out how to make that happen. Using a CCW holster is generally your best bet, but there are situations where that just isn’t practical.

    One option is to carry your firearm in a bag rather than on your body. This is known as off-body carry, and it comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. We’re here to help you make sense of them.

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    How We Tested the Best Off-Body Concealed Carry Bags

    To determine which off-body concealed carry bags are the best, I made a short list of parameters:

    • They must safely store a pistol in condition one: magazine inserted, round in the chamber, and safety on (if your pistol has one).
    • They have to be secure, meaning nobody should be able to walk up and snatch the bag off your body purse-thief style.
    • Finally, they should be discreet because there’s no point in carrying concealed if everybody knows what you’re concealing.
    5.11 Tactical_LV8
    5.11 Tactical LV8

    After scouring the internet and checking out more than a dozen options, I chose a few to test hands-on. The result is a list of five solid recommendations. Keep in mind that these are intended for use with a CCW pistol – bags for larger firearms are an article for another day.

    The bags you see here are all good at different things, so think of these as situational recommendations rather than a ranked-order list.

    Best Off-Body Carry and CCW Bags

    1. 5.11 Tactical LV8 – Most Versatile CCW Sling Bag

    Most Versatile CCW Sling Bag
    $90
    at OpticsPlanet

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Pros

    • 4 organizational compartments
    • Enough space for full-size pistol
    • Multiple sling positions and secondary strap

    Cons

    • Might be too large for some

    I expected the 5.11 Tactical LV8 to be good but still exceeded my expectations. There simply aren’t many situations where this wouldn’t be a fantastic off-body carry bag.

    There are four compartments in the LV8. There’s one for your wallet and phone on the front, a fleece-lined sunglasses sleeve on top, a roomy main compartment, and a CCW compartment with a hook-and-loop retention strap. Fitting a full-size pistol is no problem, and there’s enough cushioning that you’ll never feel it.

    5.11 Tactical_LV8_PPT_1
    5.11 Tactical LV8

    The main area has a zippered mesh pouch big enough for a Goal Zero Flip 36 and a set of Walker’s Silencer BT earbuds, a large laser-cut MOLLE panel made from hook-and-loop material, a row of small open pouches, and a padded pocket that’s perfect for a tablet or anything else that requires extra protection. It’s ripe for customization.

    5.11 Tactical_LV8

    The LV8 might be a little larger than some people want to carry all the time, but it’s built to handle extra weight without becoming cumbersome. You can position the sling a few different ways, and there’s a secondary strap to cinch the bag to your body nice and tight.

    5.11 Tactical_LV8

    You’ll be surprised how much gear you can fit in this bag. Its ability to keep everything organized is impressive; 5.11 really thought this one through. I’d be perfectly comfortable running, hiking, or cycling with this bag – it’s that comfortable.

    Verdict: Looking for a one-and-done CCW sling for an active lifestyle? This is your bag.

    2. Eberlestock Bando Bag – Most Compact CCW Fanny Pack

    Most Compact Fanny Pack
    $39
    at OpticsPlanet

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Pros

    • Compact and lightweight
    • Separate CCW pocket for firearm
    • Buckle on the side for extra security

    Cons

    • Can only hold pistols Glock 19-sized or smaller

    I held out on the fanny pack trend as long as I could, but this thing is too useful to deny. The Eberlestock Bando Bag is my pick for anyone who wants to keep their EDC loadout light.

    Even though it’s very small, this fanny pack still separates the CCW compartment from the main area, so you can use it for everyday items without flashing your pistol every time you need to grab something.

    Eberlestock Bando Bag
    Eberlestock Bando Bag

    There’s a small front pocket for a set of keys, and the main compartment has a zippered mesh pouch and two open pockets. That’s enough for basics like a small EDC flashlight, folding knife, phone, and first-aid items.

    One small detail I love is the placement of the buckle. It’s located alongside the bag rather than in the back, so you don’t have to worry about someone unclipping it.

    Eberlestock Bando Bag
    Eberlestock Bando Bag

    This is a fairly minimalist setup, but it’s well-designed and far better than cramming everything into your pockets. Keep in mind that Eberlestock builds the Bando Bag for pistols like the Glock 19 or smaller. During testing, a Springfield Hellcat Pro with a flush magazine and a Vortex Defender-CCW maxed it out.

    Eberlestock Bando Bag
    Eberlestock Bando Bag

    Verdict: The Bando Bag is tiny but mighty. It completely disappears under a jacket or hoodie.

    3. Nutsac Sling – Most Low-Profile CCW Bag

    Most Low-Profile CCW Bag
    $189
    at Nutsac

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Pros

    • Discreet design that looks like a normal bag
    • Small exterior pocket for items like wallet and keys
    • Water-resistant

    Cons

    • Firearm storage is in the main compartment so it can be seen if bag is fully opened

    The NutSac Sling is the most discreet CCW bag I’ve seen. Waxed canvas, a clean exterior design, and minimal branding (an acorn logo but no text) make this bag look like it came straight out of a hipster boutique. The only way to keep a lower profile than this would be to carry inside the waistband.

    This bag has one small exterior compartment for your wallet and phone and one main compartment for everything else. Inside the main compartment, there’s an open-top pocket and some MOLLE to keep your gear organized.

    NutSac Sling
    NutSac Sling

    NutSac sells holsters for a nice selection of pistols, but I tested mine with a Safariland holster and MOLLE adapter I had lying around. With a full-size pistol in the bag, there’s still room for a multitool, a midsize flashlight, and other odds and ends.

    NutSac Sling
    NutSac Sling

    This is the only bag of the group that puts the firearm in the main compartment. It’s easily accessible, thanks to four zipper pulls that let you open the bag several ways, but you can’t grab something out of the main compartment without showing your cards. That may or may not be a problem depending on where you carry; just be aware of it.

    NutSac Sling
    NutSac Sling

    While testing this sling, I got caught in a very unpleasant February rainstorm. The precipitation was heavy enough to wet out my Stone Glacier jacket, but the bag stayed bone dry. This sling is not a fashion statement – it’s proof that some old ways still work.

    Verdict: the NutSac Sling is a rugged CCW bag that goes unnoticed in the best way possible.

    4. Vertx SOCP – Best Features

    Best Features
    $83
    at OpticsPlanet

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Pros

    • Lots of compartments for storage and organization
    • Large CCW pocket with adjustable retention strap
    • External phone case for easy access

    Cons

    • Might be too bulky for some
    • Belt buckle placement might not work for smaller waists

    The more I used the Vertx SOCP, the more features I uncovered. This fanny pack will delight the “bring everything but the kitchen sink” crowd.

    It has compartments within compartments and secret hidey-holes where you least expect them. In addition to the main area, an external phone case flips down so you can see your screen without taking it out. The accent panels on the front of the pack fold inward so you can record video with your phone hands-free.

    Vertx SOCP Fanny Pack
    Vertx SOCP Fanny Pack

    The CCW compartment is large enough for a full-size pistol, and the bag comes with an adjustable retention strap. There’s a clever slotted panel on the rear of the bag where you can clip things like a flashlight, folding knife, or tourniquet to keep them accessible without touching a zipper.

    Vertx SOCP Fanny Pack

    Speaking of zippers, Vertx sent me a set of Rapid Access Tabs to try with the SOCP. These can be clipped to any exterior zipper (they work on other Vertx bags, too). I wasn’t sure about the concept at first, but having the large one tucked out of sight between my abdomen and the bag was comfortable, and it made ripping the CCW compartment open much faster. They certainly prevent grabbing the wrong zipper in the heat of the moment.

    The belt has tons of room for adjustment, and I was able to position the buckle on my side, but if you have a slim waist, it will sit further back. If I could ask Vertx to move it to one side, that’s the only suggestion I’d make.

    Vertx SOCP Fanny Pack

    The SOCP is fairly large on the waist, so it might be excessive for EDC duty. I wouldn’t hesitate to spin it around and wear it backward on a trail run or hike, though. It’s more discreet than a war belt and more capable than most fanny packs. There’s room for everything you’d realistically want to carry without wearing an actual backpack, and the designers found creative ways to store everything logically and orderly.

    Verdict: Want features? The Vertx SOCP has them!

    What do you think about the Vertx SOCP? Rate it below!

    Readers’ Ratings

    5.00/5 (377)

    Your Rating?

    5. Viktos Upscale 3 – Best Tactical Sling

    Best Tactical Sling
    $85
    at Amazon

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Pros

    • Compact but enough space for full size pistol with red dot
    • Padded sunglasses compartment
    • Can add armor inserts
    • Water resistant

    Cons

    • Branding could be a tip off

    The Viktos Upscale 3 is one of the smaller CCW slings out there. It makes the most of its space, so you’ll be pleasantly surprised by its capability.

    The CCW compartment of the bag spans its entire footprint. There’s also an EDC compartment about the size of a fanny pack, a slim exterior pocket for your phone and wallet, and a padded sunglasses compartment. Elastic and mesh retention in the main compartment is great for small EDC items like a flashlight, tourniquet, multitool, and extra magazines.

    Viktos Upscale 3
    Viktos Upscale 3

    Depending on whether you’re right- or left-handed, some sling bags work better over one shoulder than the other. This makes life easy because the sling can be mounted on either side, and the CCW sleeve has full-length double zippers. You can mount the hook-and-loop holster however you want, and it works with small or large pistols with or without an optic.

    You can also get armor inserts specifically shaped for the Upscale 3 from Premier Body Armor and Spartan Armor Systems.

    Viktos Upscale 3

    The bag’s design isn’t overtly tactical, but a small amount of branding (Viktos Black Arms Company is printed on the side) could tip your hand. If you’re concerned about that, the black Upscale 3 hides its branding the best.

    Sometimes, it’s tempting to fill whatever space we have, leading us to pack a bunch of gear we never use. Carrying the Upscale 3 helps me focus on what I need rather than trying to fill space. It’s light, compact, and water-resistant, and I appreciate the large CCW compartment.   

    Viktos Upscale 3

    Verdict: The Upscale 3 bridges the gap between fanny packs and slings. It has room for the essentials and a full-size pistol with several magazines.

    Benefits of Off-Body Carry

    Carrying off-body is an increasingly popular choice. Whether you have an extensive EDC loadout or don’t like how holsters fit your body, moving your gear to a small bag can be a good alternative to keeping everything directly on you.

    I’ve heard special forces veterans and defense contractors repeatedly advocate for keeping a war belt handy. Throwing on a lightweight fighting load in seconds is a lot better than grabbing a pistol and hoping for the best. An off-body setup can accomplish the same thing; it just trades a little bit of speed for the ability to fly under the radar.

    Fanny Pack

    A small fanny pack or sling bag can carry your CCW pistol, a light, a knife or multitool, and a small first aid kit. On top of all that, you can carry things like your keys, phone, earbuds, and a small power bank without stuffing your pockets. When you’re at home, set it aside and know that you can get out the door in a hurry — all you have to do is grab one thing.

    Meanwhile, you just look like another person embracing the fanny-pack revolution.

    Vertx_SOCP
    You can carry other things too like phones and keys.

    Risks of Off-Body Carry

    The downsides of off-body carry are obvious: you’re attaching a firearm to something that’s not yourself. Want to set the bag down to rest your shoulder? Not an option. There’s no handing it over to your kids so they can grab a snack out of the bag, either. You’ll have to be a lot more careful about your off-body carry bag than you would be about a normal fanny pack, sling, or purse.

    It’s also a lot easier for someone to snatch your bag (even if they don’t know what’s inside) than it would be for them to detect an IWB holster, lift your shirt, and grab the pistol.

    Springfield Echelon AIWB
    This is a lot tougher to grab

    Finally, you’ll never draw from a bag as quickly as you can draw from a holster. That’s not an excuse not to train, though. If off-body carry is going to be your primary method of carrying, it should be your primary method of training, too.

    Other Considerations When Carrying Off Body

    Since you’re adding an element of visibility that isn’t associated with an IWB holster, there are some extra factors to consider before putting a pistol in your EDC bag.

    This is one situation where tactical gear (or gear that looks tactical) works against you. I found a lot of CCW bags that scream tactical so loudly that you might as well be open-carrying. That’s a non-starter for me.

    Viktos Upscale 3

    Likewise, I’ve heard about people who got publicly confronted for carrying because a stranger liked their bag, looked up the name on the logo, and got met with a website full of guns. It’s nice to support the brands we like, but there’s nothing wrong with removing branding from your CCW bag to prevent this from happening. 

    Finally, since your friends and coworkers might not know you’re carrying, think about how you’ll respond if someone wants to add something to or remove something from your bag. It’s hard to talk to your friends about carrying responsibly after they’ve inadvertently discovered your gun while searching for a breath mint.

    austin-powers-mike-myers

    Carrying off-body responsibly is simple: we’re not talking about a bag that has things including a gun in it; we’re talking about a gun – period.

    Don’t set it down, don’t leave it on the seat of your car while you run errands, and don’t hand it off to someone when you’re sick of carrying it. The firearm safety rules always apply.

    4 Rules of Firearm Safety

    Final Thoughts

    Off-body carry can be a responsible, effective way to store your CCW pistol and EDC gear. You just have to use a little extra caution and forethought. If you carry off-body, you can’t go wrong with any of these bags.

    Eberlestock_Bando Bag_PPT_4

    What’s your favorite carry method? Share with us below! Need some discreet options to transport your guns to and from the range? We’ve got you covered with the Best Discreet Rifle & Pistol Bags!

    Latest Updates

    June 11, 2024: Full rewrite of this article with all new products added after extensive testing and wearing of products and new media of testing.

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    20 Leave a Reply

    • Commenter Avatar
      Mark

      No Hill People gear?

      June 18, 2024 6:50 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Doug

      Just an idea wear an IWB and carry a tacticool bag for misdirect.

      June 15, 2024 9:14 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Joe

      Is muzzle direction a concern when carrying off body? Can you always be certain that the muzzle is pointed in a safe direction?

      June 12, 2024 9:43 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Payton

      Shield Arms Junk Sack is the best option. And yes you can draw just as fast as appendix

      June 12, 2024 9:32 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Michael Meyer

      I have to off body carry because of a medical condition.
      I have been using a regular blue non gun fanny pack, my Glock 26 sits in a holster inside. Slow draw time but does not scream gun and is not large enough that would warrant a look inside if a place checked inside bags, thinking of a business or store that may check bags, not a security check.
      Ideal bag for me would be big enough for a Glock 19 size gun with a zippered pocket in front for a wallet or phone. Also must not look tactical.

      June 12, 2024 8:16 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Erik

      I have two different bags by Nutsac. The MBD and their 13" satchel. The quality is outstanding.
      The only drawback to the Nutsac products is that when it is cold out they shrink and hold less.

      June 11, 2024 8:50 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Monte Walsh

      Every one of these screams GUN. Any reasonably aware person, good or bad can spot ‘em. The Fanny pack styles always indicate cop or wannabe since the 80’s.

      June 11, 2024 8:09 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Erik

        Nutsac is pretty low key.

        June 11, 2024 8:52 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      JohnH

      You missed the Helikon-Tex Rat Concealed Carry Waist Pack. Quick release tabs and another pouch with slats for carrying a knife, flashlight, and a trauma pouch.

      June 11, 2024 7:32 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Corby Hawkins

      Thanks for showing these options on I model. I can see how they would fit . Are these ambidextrous would be my only question.

      June 11, 2024 7:30 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      David Austin

      I switch between my Upper Hand holster and an M-TAC sling. I like my holster a lot but sometimes I don’t want to put it on so I put my M&P 2.0 in it and go. The M-TAC is well made and comfy. You have to buy the internal Velcro holster separately but the Velcro is super gripping.

      June 11, 2024 7:13 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Mario M

      I like to conceal carry with a sling. I use the Blindside sling from Elite Survival Systems. I've been using it for about six months now, and it's working well.

      June 11, 2024 6:05 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Silky Johnson

      The 945 INDUSTRIES Q.A.P.S. BAG should also be considered for off-carry. These bags are actually cool, unlike fanny packs.

      June 11, 2024 3:14 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      DrPain

      Thoughts on Maxpedition?

      March 9, 2024 6:21 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      JG80

      I have a backpack and a sling from Mission First Tactical and they don't look like gun bags at all. Customer service was tremendous after a little mistake. Gonna pair with a crossbreed holster. I did a lot of research and I think my setup is better than anything in this article.

      January 27, 2024 8:37 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Glocksigman

      I’m currently rockin a Blue Alpha Gear Fanny pack, it’s super minimalist so there is no room for anything other than the firearm. I mean there is a small pocket on the front that can hold a key fob but that’s about it.
      A p365x or a G43x is about the largest gun you can fit in it but it is well designed, has quality materials and disappears under any shirt you would normally use for CC.

      July 11, 2023 6:26 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Ethan Miller

      My Viktos UPSCALE XL SLINGBAG is great for EDC.

      July 10, 2023 7:33 am
      • Commenter Avatar
        Mike

        Right on! Plus, it doubles as an IFAC!

        July 10, 2023 11:44 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Cauliflower Ears

      Glock makes a great backpack with a built/holster in the front ouch. It’s inconspicuous, nothing on it screams Tactical.

      July 8, 2023 5:11 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Some guy on the internet

      Glad you mentioned the Hill People Gear kit bags, but you forgot about their belt packs (fanny pack)

      July 8, 2023 2:00 pm
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