The popularity of concealed carry among women has brought with it a wave of concealed carry products specially geared toward women. While concealed carry purses and totes have been around for several years—usually as niche products within the context of a large-scale holster manufacturer—several small, independent businesses have sprung up to meet the unique needs of women who carry a concealed handgun.
After attending concealed carry and defensive handgun training classes, Leslie Deets, founder of Concealed Carrie, wanted to offer a better alternative to women who were carrying their handguns in awkward holsters or in military-style bags. In 2012 she created Concealed Carrie with the tagline, “Firearms, Fashion, Fabulous,” offering products such as the Smooth Red Leather Tote you see here.
While the carrying of a handgun for defensive purposes is mostly a matter of function over form, it doesn’t mean that there’s no place for any form or aesthetics. In fact, as shown by all the products offered by Concealed Carrie, form or beauty can shine. The Smooth Red Leather Tote is a good-looking tote, sporting clean lines and a bold, fun look. It’s also available in Black and Pumpkin.
On the more functional side, the Smooth Red Leather Tote offers a large, main compartment as well as smaller pockets to carry all the standard purse or tote stuff. The main compartment is cotton-lined and zips shut. The tote also comes with a matching keychain and leather tassel. The shoulder straps adjust from 6.5 inches to 9.5 inches and the entire tote measures 16 inches long by 6 inches wide by 11 inches tall.
The tote’s main feature, of course, is a concealed carry compartment that’s accessible from the top via a magnetic closure or from the right or left sides via vertical zippers. Lined with hook and loop material that securely grabs an included adjustable holster, the compartment is large enough to accommodate a full-size duty pistol.
A smaller pistol such as a Kahr CW9 seemed like a great match for the Concealed Carrie tote. It fit just fine in the included holster and was easy to grasp from either the side or the top access points. It didn’t print at all and sat deep enough so that it was virtually invisible from the top—a view only the carrier would normally have anyway.
While it may be preferable to have a concealed handgun on one’s person in a holster as opposed to in a purse or tote, one advantage to carrying in this tote is that, in the face of a potential threat, the user can reach into her tote and grasp the handgun without drawing it. In other words, with her hand on a hidden handgun, she can be ready to draw in an instant if needed. Moreover, she can even squeeze off one round, shooting through the tote, if drawing isn’t possible. A “hammerless” revolver would probably fare better in this type of scenario but the point is that the tote’s mode of carry allows her to get an advance grasp on her weapon to take action as needed.
Combining good looks and concealed carry functionality, the Smooth Red Leather Tote retails for $249.99 and is available for purchase online at http://shop.concealedcarrie.com/all-products/smooth-red-leather-tote.html.