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It’s time to toss those oversized totes and baggy backpacks and streamline your everyday carry with a stylish fanny pack instead. Often referred to as a “waist bag” or “belt bag,” these versatile carry-alls wrap comfortably around your waist, or can be slung over the shoulder and across the chest. Adjustable straps tighten and expand as needed, to provide the most secure fit.
Unlike backpacks, whose straps only expand a couple of inches, the best fanny packs have straps that can extend up to 50 inches — comfortably fitting most body types. Because they can be worn around the waist, they take pressure off your shoulders and back.
Of course, a waist bag won’t hold as much as a traditional backpack, but the newest fanny packs still have a surprisingly large amount of storage space. The best fanny packs will have a main compartment that can hold a phone, camera and even a mini tablet or e-reader, along with exterior pockets perfect for your keys, snacks, cash and cards.
Throw on a fanny pack the next time you’re running errands, to free up your hands say, at the grocery store or bank. A fanny pack is also ideal for athletes, who want something lightweight and unobtrusive to hold their stuff during a run or workout. And we like taking a rugged fanny pack with us on a hike, to keep energy bars and chargers on hand.
They’re great for festival and concert goers too. Most major festivals and concerts these days have limitations on the types — and sizes — of bags you can bring in. Whether for security reasons or due to lack of space, things like coolers, rolling bags and large backpacks are often turned away at the door. Your best bet: stash your stuff in one of these fashionable fanny packs instead.
Other uses for fanny packs: to hold cash and change during a bake sale or garage sale; as a portable tool kit for on-the-go repairs; or as a place to hold your treats and baggies when taking your dog(s) out for a walk. And a durable fanny pack is a vital part of any first aid or emergency kit, letting you easily grab and carry your essentials.
We’ve rounded up some popular fanny packs that offer decent storage capacity, durable construction and comfortable (lightweight) carrying options. With a ton of colors, prints and sizes to choose from, pick up one of these versatile belt bags before your next music festival, marathon, outdoor adventure or trip.
1. Waterfly Fanny Pack
Whether you’re running errands or actually on a run, we like this versatile fanny pack from Waterfly.
Made from a water-resistant nylon material, the bag keeps your stuff dry and secure. The fanny pack comes with one main compartment, and two small front pockets (great for things like your keys, lip balm, chargers and more). A hidden back pocket zips closed to protect your valuables and keep things like cash and ID close by.
An adjustable belt expands to accommodate waist sizes up to 50 inches; you can also pull it tighter to wear across the chest or over the shoulder as well.
The bag also comes in a ton of bright colors, to help you stay visible — especially great if you’re on a bike or jogging on the road.
This is a longer, smaller model compared to other options on our list. Measures 9.4 x 4.3 x 2.1 inches.
PROS: Available in almost 30 different colors and prints. The nylon material wipes clean easily.
CONS: The smallest option on our list.
2. BuyAgain Fanny Pack
Made from a durable 600D (600 denier) synthetic blend, this fanny pack holds up to everything from a quick errand run to camping trips.
The waist bag features three separate compartments, which all zip shut for security. The main zippered compartment holds your phone or small book, while a front pocket is great for cash and keys. A hidden pocket on the back side keeps valuables close to the chest – literally.
This fanny pack measures 12 x 3 x 5 inches. The included adjustable waist strap fits up to a 43-inch waist. A quick release buckle makes it easy to take on and off.
PROS: More than a dozen colors available.
CONS: The quick-release buckle is great for taking off the bag, but you’ll want to make sure the buckle clicks in to lock securely (and is not loose) when putting the bag on.
3. Tinyat Travel Fanny Bag
We like the minimalist looks of this stylish fanny pack, which is made from a durable, water-resistant nylon material, with lightweight, adjustable straps.
The slim, streamlined design of the bag eliminates bulk, and helps it sit flat against your chest or back for a more comfortable carry.
The bag measures 12.2 x 4.7 x 4.7 inches, with a nylon-lined main compartment, a zippered front accessories pocket, and a discreet hidden back pocket for any valuables.
The belt adjusts to fit waist sizes from 16 to 40 inches.
PROS: Water-resistant exterior and a fully-lined interior keeps things dry.
CONS: Some say because the bag sits flatter against the body, it doesn’t expand as much as other bags on our list.