Canvassing The Neighborhood
Carrying concealed presents a host of challenges. Whether you consider it a right, a privilege or a burden, it’s not something to take lightly. When you first start carrying concealed it can feel exciting and you may not mind the challenges. But after a while the newness wears off and it becomes a necessary burden we must deal with if we’re to go protected and prepared into this increasingly violent world we live in.
There are many great holster options and we regularly cover them, but they aren’t the only way to carry a gun. Companies have been making clothing designed around concealed carry for years, but much of it screams off-duty cop! Enter Kakadu Traders Australia. For over 40 years this family owned Australian company has been making rugged clothing capable of withstanding harsh outback conditions while maintaining its good looks. Recently they created a line of clothing and bags aimed at concealed carry. I had the pleasure of testing three of their products: the Kelly ‘12’ Vest, Holster Cargo Pants and the Kakadu Briefcase.
Looking like your basic western cotton canvas vest, the Kelly ‘12’ Vest is made from 12-ounce washed canvas with a cowhide collar (it’s washable). There are two roomy, welted chest pockets with button flaps and two hand warmer pockets. It has a brass front zip closure and there are adjustment tabs on the sides. I’m telling you, this looks like a regular old barn vest, but that’s just the outer appearance. The inside is where things get very different.
Using heavy-gauge elastic and reinforced nylon, Kakadu Traders creates panels on both sides, inside the front of the vest for carrying a smaller-sized handgun and two magazines. The panels are identical so they work for both left- and right-hand shooters. The holster pouches are a universal design and work well with a variety of handguns such as the Ruger LCP and LC9, Kimber Solo, S&W 340PD and SIG P239.
The holster panel places the gun just under the rib cage, but above the belt line for optimum comfort. I found the Kelly ‘12’ very comfortable and it was easy getting to and drawing my gun quickly. The vest includes removable anti-print pads as an extra means of concealing your gun.
By John Russo
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