A Few of My Favorite EDC Things

In my early quest for the Holy Grail of holsters and all things everyday carry, I have found a few keepers.

by posted on December 9, 2022
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Still relatively early in my everyday carry journey, I have a world of products to test before I can proclaim the Holy Grail of holsters or other CCW essentials. But I’m off to a good start and have identified some early frontrunners as keepers. Clearly this is not an exhaustive list, but I am looking forward to exhausting myself as I embark on the ongoing search for the best products for me.

Holsters 
With simplicity being key to my happiness, the JM4 Tactical Quick Click & Carry holster—the first holster I purchased after receiving my wear-and-carry permit—is a homerun. What makes this leather holster so unique is the magnetic retention feature that accommodates most of my wardrobe, even without a belt. This holster, which is available for practically all sizes and models of handguns (I purchased this for my Glock 43) is super comfortable, doesn’t tug or pinch clothing, and I am not constantly reminded that it’s there. Bonus: Many times this holster solves one of the CCW dilemmas presented by columnist Jo Deering. In other words, if the stall door of a public restroom is metal, this holster’s magnet grasps nicely to the inside—so you can do your business and be less likely to absentmindedly leave it behind, as it’ll be staring at you as you exit. JM4 Tactical makes a variety of styles, but the website claims women love this model. (I concur!) Although I’m a fan of the various shades of brown leather, it also is offered in black and colors, including purple, pink and teal. MSRP: Starting at $79.95

Sometimes I just need to go small.  When I do, I carry my Ruger LCPII. Micro sized, it’s highly  concealable in the pockets of some activewear, and great for when I’m walking trails or doing other casual activities. Two holsters I have found that work perfectly for these situations are pocket holsters from Versa Carry and Sticky Holsters. 

I love the Versa Carry because it is constructed from premium water buffalo leather here in the U.S.; features accidental magazine release protection; is ambidextrous; and fits a variety of pocket pistols. I also love working the leather to further its fit to my pistol.

Sticky Holsters has been around for a long time, and most who pocket carry probably own a version of this or one of the many copies by other holster makers. Lightweight and ambidextrous, this Sticky Holster ($30.95) is super easy to get in and out of a pocket. It is also compatible with the Sticky Holster Bellyband ($40.95), which I have worn a few times upon recommendation of a renowned trainer. I concur with her assessment that it’s one of the most comfortable of the many belly bands now on the market. StickyHolsters.com. 

Another belly band still in the testing phase that shows promise is the Blackhawk Stache N.A.C.H.O. Belly Band. Read about it here.

Bags and Packs
I haven’t quite yet launched the Wayback Machine for the ubiquitous fanny pack (although I hear they are making a big comeback, let’s hope the neon yellow ‘80s model stays in the past!). Meantime, I have made no secret that I am a huge fan of the original Ukoala Bag (now sold through Urban Utility Gear), which I discovered several years at the Exhibit Hall during an NRA Annual MeetingsI wrote about it and its designer here—and finally have had the opportunity to put it to its intended use. Of course, since the bag is worn on the thigh, wardrobe has a lot to do with pulling this look off (mostly I’m wearing jeans), but it is indeed everything I had expected it to be. NRA Women contributor Holly Marcus initially put it to the test, and produced this video to give you an idea of how it can accommodate a very active lifestyle. Although the model shown here is no longer offered, many similar compact and full-size bags are available. MSRP starts at $128.88

Because I wanted a basic black version of this type of bag, I couldn’t resist the new Falco Holsters Drop-Leg bag announced earlier this year ($79.95). I love this simple bag which, like the Ukoala, holds a lot more than my firearm and eliminates the need for me to carry a purse. Aesthetically speaking it’s a bit more mainstream, which draws less attention to it being anything other than a modern low-hanging fanny pack. The only drawback to ordering this bag is that because it is quality-built in Slovakia, it took about two months to receive. However, it was worth the wait, so plan ahead. FalcoHolsters.com.

Concealed Carry Purses
Other than the CCW purse I purchased during a gas-and-go break at a Buc-cee's while on a mini-vacation down south, I have officially purchased only one purse intended for concealed carry. I discovered Jessie James Handbags at SHOT Show 2022, so when I conceded that off-body carry will indeed have to be a part of my EDC setup, I decided to purchase the Hannah Concealed Carry Lock and Key Crossbody. Today’s faux leather is so much more convincing than that of yesteryear, thus I have no problem sporting this handsome classic purse. At a very friendly MSRP of $59.99, I can—and will—be able to add multiple options to my wardrobe for when off-body carry is the only practical method of carry. JessieJamesHandbags.com.

Meantime, another practical solution for the many purses I already love to carry is the CrossBreed Holsters Purse Defender, which turns any purse into a CCW bag. Check it out here or at CrossBreedHolsters.com.

Belts
I have only one entry for his category because, well, it’s probably going to be the only belt I need to accommodate a variety of IWB or OWB holsters. While perusing The Well Armed Woman, I discovered what Carrie Lightfoot calls “your secret weapon when it comes to concealed carry”—the Precise Fit Rachet Belt from NexBelt, offered in both nylon and leather ($58.99-$69.99). Both are sturdy enough to accommodate a holster and CCW firearm. No doubt many of you discovered this belt some years ago, as it’s no longer a new item, nor is ratchet technology. But it’s new to me. Because there are no holes in this belt, the ability to ratchet offers a truly custom fit, adjusting to my waistline whether it grows or shrinks day to day, with the ability to adjust size in as little as ¼” increments at a time (as opposed to the 1” increments of traditional belts). This translates to no muffin top and all-day comfort. It's quite an incredible product. Check it out here or go directly to NexBelt for an expanded selection of EDC belts.

CCW Mentorship
Mentorship is probably the least tangible but probably most important “essential” to a new EDC routine. And as I recently discovered, mentorship doesn’t even have to be in person. For example, Langdon Tactical has produced a series of videos called Discover Discussions, an educational program designed to help meet gun owners wherever they are at on their firearms journey—from those thinking about firearms, to new gun owners, to seasoned gun owners. Hosted by Aimee Langdon, Sarah Hauptman (PHLster Holsters) and Tessah (Armed & Styled) I have written about them here and am truly grateful to have discovered their series of genuine, unscripted discussions about the many issues women may encounter as they progress through their journeys. There are dozens of useful, instructional videos, but start with these. MSRP: $00.00

EDC Tray
Finally, for those of us who need a one-stop place to gather, organize and inventory our EDC—and a visual reminder to carry daily—the merits of the humble EDC dump tray cannot be overlooked. You can find hundreds of creatively adorned or otherwise custom trays on places like Etsy. This Gerber EDC Dump Tray is made of Kydex, and offered in two sizes and a vast array of colors. It provides a space to put keys, loose change and other EDC when walking through your front door, before you turn in for the night, or for those times when you need to keep track of firearm parts during cleaning and builds. MSRP: Starting at $35

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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