Whether you're on your way to the gym or simply like the look and feel of athletic apparel for everyday wear, there's a real downside for concealed carriers: None of that clothing, from sweatpants to gym shorts, is all generally all that well suited for supporting even the most compact of handguns.
In reality, what makes athletic apparel so well suited for exercise—elastic waistbands and loose fitting material that's meant for a wide range of motion when performing deadlifts, squats, or running—is also what makes it less than ideal for keep a handgun securely in place in any number of carry positions. And perhaps above all, none of those clothing items are constructed with belt loops.
As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention. That's largely why companies like Arrowhead Tactical Apparel got into the business of designing and manufacturing athletically styled apparel for the concealed carrier. I recently got my hands on the company's Carrier Joggers, which are a slimmed down version of the company's Carrier Sweatpants and offer a viable carry option for performance clothing.
First and foremost, the Carrier Jogger is built with premium quality materials, excellent construction and impressive fit. In other words, it stacks up with the best quality apparel from the non-shooting sports industry. The pair I was sent came in black, and is made from a polyester/cotton blend that is breathable and incredibly comfortable. It's got plenty of stretch to it, and thanks to crotch and knee symmetry offers impressive range of motion. An extra-thick Carrier Retention waistband features draw string tightening and is comfortable all day long.
Meanwhile, rear zippered pockets feature internal magazine pouches and hip mounted utility pockets for knives and other small tools. Despite the pocket-inside-pocket design, the Joggers lay flat against your body without creating unwanted bulk.
The key ingredient, however, is the removable Rapid Clasp Retention Belt, which feeds through loops on the inside of the Jogger waistband. The buckle is smooth so it remains comfortable against your body, while the belt itself is extra thick and yet has enough stretch to give with your body's movement.
The real question remains: How does it work? Impressively well. When carrying a handgun, the Carrier Retention system is plenty beefy enough to secure your firearm against your body without any flopping around. I carried a Springfield Hellcat for several weeks in appendix and 3 o'clock positions using the Ambi Covert IWB holster from Crucial Concealment and almost forgot it was there. The belt has enough give so that appendix carry when seated in a vehicle is quite comfortable.
The belt is plenty capable of holding the Jogger up, even when loaded down with a typical day's gear—my daily carry assortment includes an EDC knife, flashlight, fully-loaded Hellcat, spare 10-round mag, wallet, and truck keys. Given that the belt buckle is smooth, it sits against your body without any discomfort. Likewise, the belt itself has just the right mix of stretch and support, and as a result I actually found the Jogger more comfortable than a pair of jeans for carrying appendix in a vehicle.
As a fitness garment, the Carrier Jogger is impressive in every way. I lifted weights, including squat and deadlift, in it, and it provides ideal range of motion. As a running apparel item, the Jogger is equally proficient. I put about 20 miles in them in the wintry weather and had exactly zero complaints.
The Carrier Jogger has an MSRP of $99.99 and comes with the Carrier Rapid Clasp Retention Belt. They are available in black, carbon grey, and army green.