Many women who carry a concealed firearm understand it can be quite a challenge to find a comfortable on body carry solution that works with a wide variety of clothing styles. I've been carrying on body for about 3 years, ever since I became a gun owner and got my permit. During that time, I've managed to accumulate a veritable graveyard of holsters; a tangled mass of belly bands, bra holsters, and every latest, greatest gadget-gizmo holster you can imagine! There have been a precious few that work well for me to concealed carry on a daily basis and those are all well worn and greatly appreciated! Regardless of all my holster misadventures, I still get excited when I discover a new product that looks like it may work well for women's concealed carry.
The Hiphugger holster by Can Can Concealment is the most recent carry option I decided to take a chance on. I discovered their product on Facebook and the comments seemed positive, so I found my way to www.cancanconcealment.com. I browsed through their offerings, which include thigh, corset, and belly band type holsters. Because of my body type and certain challenges with concealing in any other position, I prefer appendix carry. A belly band style on Can Can's website called the "Hiphugger" is what I finally settled on. It's a wide band of elastic, with hook and eye closures and it includes 4 flat pouches to accommodate up to 4 guns and up to 3 magazines. I'm not sure if anyone carries more than one gun in their waistband but the 4 pockets also mean you can kidney or appendix carry, and it suits righties and lefties. It is available in black or tan, with a variety of pretty accent colors like royal blue, emerald, and purple. I’m pretty basic with my holsters and don't like a lot of frills so I went with tan on tan for maximum concealability!
After placing my order, the holster showed up in the mail 2 days later, which is great when you’re as impatient as I am! On the website, the Hiphugger looked dreadfully similar in style to the traditional belly band holsters. I say dreadfully because I've tried multiple brands of belly bands and they've all failed miserably. The elastic on them is very stiff and does not, in any way, conform to the natural curves of a female's body. It turns out the Hiphugger is similar in concept only to the belly band, but is different in most functional ways. The material on Can Can's holster is a much softer elastic that conforms to the body much better and more comfortably and doesn't stick out or cause bulges. The 3 rows of hook and eye closures allow a tighter fit in some places to help the band conform to your curves. The inside has a silicone material that helps keep the band from slipping.
Once the Hiphugger was in place, I tried several of my carry guns in it, including my S&WBodyguard .380, Glock 42, M&P Shield, and Glock 26. They all fit perfectly and were very secure with the trigger guard covered but the grip remaining easy to access.
Can Can's website mentions that "rare earth magnets" help to keep the gun securely in place and while I'm not really sure what makes them so rare and earthy, the gun definitely stayed in place! As I mentioned, I typically carry in the appendix position and I'm right handed, so I place the gun in the right front pocket of the band. With the Glock 42 and the Shield, I tried on a variety of different outfits and determined the Hiphugger very effectively conceals underneath nearly everything in my wardrobe, including jeans and a t-shirt. I am regularly in yoga pants, gym shorts, or pants that don't have a stiff waistband or that I don't use a belt with. I was happy to find that the Hiphugger worked with all of those bottoms! I have never been able to wear the inside the waistband clip on holsters with this type of clothing, but since the Hiphugger attaches to your body and not your clothes, I can now carry concealed in my yoga pants! This has another huge advantage: If you're a female and you've carried a gun on body for any length of time, you've encountered the public restroom concealed carry dance in which you try to figure out where to safely stash your gun when you're in the bathroom stall. It seems like a silly thing to talk about but it really is an important consideration!
Last but not least, one of the most important considerations of any holster for me is how easily I'm able to access and draw my gun. With the Hiphugger, you're able to place the band in the most comfortable position for you, either higher or lower on your hips. I positioned it so my gun's grip was exposed over my waistband so I could get my hand on it easily. The trigger is protected inside the pocket on the band but it is just covered by the soft elastic so it's important to (always!) practice good trigger finger discipline when drawing. When practicing drawing from concealment, I found the gun to be very easy to access, grip, and draw. The pockets have small tabs on the front so reholstering is very simple as your support hand can use the tab to pull the pocket open. They call this their "Heads-Up Reholstering" because you can reholster without looking down, effectively keeping your eyes on target. I found this to work just as they claim it does, though you should be careful not to sweep the muzzle over your support hand.
In summary, the Hiphugger has won this holster skeptic over. The fit, comfort, concealability, and retention are all top notch and the shipping times were great! At $79, it's not the cheapest holster you'll find on the market, but in my opinion, it's a very worthy investment.