As cold weather approaches, I like to carry under a coat instead of in my waistband. It is so much more comfortable to have the weight of a gun hanging from shoulder instead of pulling down my pants. I’ve never been one to like a tight belt. But shoulder holsters are, as a rule, harder to draw from and that can defeat the purpose of concealed carry.
But there are more folks out there exploring the boundaries of inexpensive, functional materials. The results may not be the height of tactical fashion, but they are very functional. Deep Conceal is one of these companies that’s pushing the functionality of the shoulder holster to the next level.
The Universal Harness
Deep conceal has combined the basic idea of the belly-band and a yoke style harness to create a Universal Harness that wraps you up securely. The main band is a mix of webbing and hook-and-loop. There are no actual holsters permanently attached to the harness, so it is very adaptable.
The mid line, where the harness compresses, has two adjustable straps. This is nice for those of us who have more or less curves, as each strap fits changing contours. The strap rides high, just under the breasts. On the back, a Y yoke helps hold everything in place. With the strap appropriately sized and adjusted correctly, the harness isn’t going anywhere.
The holsters come in a wide variety of sizes. You can carry anything from a full-sized 1911 to a mouse-gun. They even make pockets designed for revolvers. The pockets are sewn up cotton. This may take a while to get used to, especially if you’re fond of the snap-tight fit of Kydex or the snug hug of leather, but the cotton works and it adds next-to-nothing to the width you have to conceal. It isn’t simply two pieces stitched together flat, the holsters are sewn to accommodate a size of gun rather than one exact firearm.
One the back of the holsters, a hook-and-loop fabric allows for easy attachment. Simply slap the holster onto the harness’s band right where you want it and that’s it. Insert the gun. You’ll notice a lot of play. That is the one draw back, I’d say. But with the tension of an attached holster, and a strap that comes over the hammer of the gun, much of the wiggle-room is taken up.
Wearing the Universal Harness
That wiggle-room isn’t noticeable, at all, when the gun is being worn. This is a relatively sensitive place to wear a gun and I don’t feel any extraneous movement. As I like to keep the pistols I wear directly beneath my upper arm, I have the added benefit of simply clamping down if there is any need for extra retention.
This is the best system I’ve found for winter wear. I’m more likely to wear button up shirts and a coat, as I mentioned before, and that means I’m going to opt for more firepower and more easily controlled firearms. I want something big that I can hold onto and I want as many in the magazine as I can get. This system allows for that, wonderfully well.
But it can work with much lighter cover, as well. I don’t think it is a rig that I could pull off under a t-shirt. A simple button up shirt, though, would provide adequate cover and an easy access to a smaller polymer pistol. And Deep Conceal makes rigs in black and in an off-white, which makes them easier to blend in under thinner fabrics.
Whichever way you go, it is good to have options. The real benefit I see to this system is that it allows you to wear the same harness with a variety of guns. This isn’t a big game changer for concealed carry, but it will help you standardize your habits. One rig, in the same spot, may be the advantage you need in a time-sensitive situation.
The Universal Harness starts at $24.95 and goes up from there depending on options. The holsters are extra, in this case, which allows you to tailor your rig to your needs without paying for anything extra. They even have a magazine holders with elastic closures. The Universal Harness can carry just about anything. Cuffs. Lights. Magazines. Guns. Check them out. But more importantly, try one on. You won’t be disappointed.