Galco Pandora Holster Handbag for Women: Is It Worth the Money?

For women who want an easy way to carry a concealed firearm all the time, there are a lot of options out there. Galco’s Pandora Holster Handbag is an option for those wanting a high-quality, genuine leather handbag. It’s safe to say that a lot of purses and handbags made for CCW are not user-friendly. Some might have a built-in holster but are cheaply made and of poor quality, while other bags may have lots of internal pockets and stylish looks but no holster and inadequate room to safely carry a firearm.

Galco Pandora Holster Handbag
Galco Pandora Holster Handbag uses a lid top that folds over with no buckle or magnet. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
Galco Holsters carefully weighed the needs of their customers when they designed the Pandora Holster Handbag. And while the price is a little higher than a lot of other CCW purses out there, you are paying for quality and craftsmanship. It’s not hard to drop a handgun in a purse or handbag, but retrieving it is a different matter. The Pandora Handbag is designed specifically for retrieving the firearm when needed. It’s also designed to keep the gun safe while carrying it.

A lot of companies make “CCW purses,” but they lack functionality and tend to focus more on a lower price than quality. If someone plans to carry their gun in a handbag, they still want to carry other items as well, right? The trick is to make a functional, appealing, and durable bag that provides easy access to the firearm. This is why a good CCW purse or handbag is hard to find. I don’t carry a handbag, but I’ve heard all about their problems from my wife. I’ve also spent more time than I care to admit helping her look for purses and handbags.

Why a handbag for CCW?

Each day, more and more women are exercising their right to carry a firearm for self-defense, which is a good thing. One of the big decisions to make when you start carrying a firearm is what to carry and then how to carry it. Movies make the process of carrying a handgun look easy, but Hollywood fiction and reality are not the same.

The truth is that carrying a firearm requires some thoughtful planning and decision-making. Many people choose to carry it with them using an IWB holster, shoulder holster, backpack, or OWB holster. But for those ladies who already carry a purse or handbag, a CCW handbag makes perfect sense. I’m not going to pretend I understand what a woman wants in a handbag, and I probably never will. However, several ladies have told me that this is a great handbag when it comes to functionality.

Galco Pandora Holster Handbag
The Galco Pandora Holster Handbag in Tan. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
With other handbags, this is not always the case. I have witnessed my wife look for something she knew was in her handbag but couldn’t find it. As I watch her take one thing after another out, I’m always surprised at how much stuff will fit in there. I like to carry a backpack around to keep all the stuff I need close by, and I find myself digging through it as well, so I can relate.

When you need a gun, however, digging through a handbag or backpack is not the way to retrieve it. With the Pandora Holster Handbag, Galco ensured the gun was within easy reach by dedicating a side pocket just for the holster. Let’s take a look at the Galco Pandora Holster Handbag.

Galco’s Holster Handbag

The first thing to note with the Pandora Handbag is the quality of the leather used to make it. If you are not familiar with Galco, leather holsters are what they do. Quality leather is what makes them stand out from other manufacturers. So, it only makes sense that we see a line of leather purses and handbags in their lineup of products. In this case, the Pandora is made from high-quality, full-grain leather with solid brass hardware.

Galco Pandora Holster Handbag
A zipper compartment on the inside contains one large area and a smaller pocket on the side. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
Available in black, brown, or tan, the glove-tanned leather is extremely soft and well-finished. The edges of the flap are folded and stitched in a lighter tan color, giving it a nice, clean line along the edges of the flap and sidewalls. Overall, the bag is 11.5 inches tall by 11 inches wide and 4 inches thick, so I would call this a medium to large-size handbag.

The thick, double-stitched leather strap guarantees it will never break. Brass buckles attach it to the handbag, allowing it to be adjusted a few inches either way. I think the gold buckles and zippers give the handbag a nice touch. For those who like more contrast, the black version with brass hardware really stands out.

Inside the Galco Pandora Holster Handbag

The Pandora Holster Bag has five pockets/compartments. The first one is a pocket on the side of the handbag, ideal for items you want to access quickly. A leather flap covers this pocket, but you can still access it without opening the flap all the way. When the flap is open, there are two main areas to the handbag. One is an open-top compartment that is a little larger than the outside pocket.

The main compartment has a brass zipper that runs along the top of the handbag. This is the largest compartment on the Pandora Handbag and is accessible only when the flap and zipper are open. A smaller fourth pocket is attached to the inside wall of this compartment for quick access to smaller items. These could be a coin purse, cell phone, keys, or other smaller items. Because of the height of the handbag, a lot of stuff will fit in the three larger compartments.

Where is the gun kept?

The fifth and final compartment on the Pandora handbag is the CCW compartment, which is for carrying a full-to-compact-size handgun. This compartment is located on the outside edge of the handbag and has a matching brass zipper to close it. When ordering the handbag, you can select the type of firearm you plan to carry to ensure a compatible holster. Unlike other bags that use Velcro holsters, this one is built into the handbag.

This design will keep the holster from moving or coming loose while carrying it. I’ve seen some backpacks with Velcro holsters come loose from items in the bag pushing against it. Galco sews the elastic holster to the inside wall of the handbag to ensure it doesn’t move. The zipper locks for added security when the bag is not on you.

Galco Pandora Holster Handbag
Drawing a handgun from the side CCW compartment of the Galco Pandora handbag. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

Is the Galco Pandora Holster Handbag worth the money?

The Pandora handbag retails for $379, making it a little pricy. But you can also find plenty of “designer” handbags for the same price that are nowhere near the quality as this one. With the Pandora, you are paying for quality leather, solid brass hardware, and a side compartment made for carrying a handgun.

Deciding if it’s worth the money is up to each individual person. This isn’t a seasonal handbag that will go out of style in less than a year. It’s a simple but elegant leather handbag that will last for years to come when taken care of. Some leather conditioner is suggested for periodic maintenance, but don’t worry—Galco sells that as well. If you want a handbag made for carrying a handgun, this is one of the better ones you will find.

Sheriff Jason Mosher is a law enforcement generalist instructor as well as a firearms and tactical weapons trainer. Jason graduated from the FBI-LEEDA (Law Enforcement Executive Development Association) and serves as a Sheriff for his day job. When he’s not working, he’s on the range, eating steak, or watching Yellowstone.

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