There was a time not too long ago when people wore fanny packs ironically. Like, we know, it’s goofy, but we like being goofy. And we gave them a pass. Over time, those people realized how useful fanny packs were and ended up using them without the irony. And here we are now in the fanny pack heaven that is 2019, with everyone wearing fanny packs unironically. They even call the darn things “hip packs” now (or “waist packs”), as if calling it by a different name makes it cooler.
At any rate, there’s no stopping the invasion. Seeing how much utility everyone is getting out of them, wouldn’t you rather join the bandwagon, instead of trying to live in the 2000s when you can laugh at fanny packs and have a choir chortling right behind you?
Here are some of our recent favorites.
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Versa
The outfit’s first fanny pack, this bag can be worn on the waist, across the body, under the shoulder, or even attached to your backpack using pull out buckles in the main compartment. When mounted onto a backpack, by the way, the waist belt can be tucked onto the rear pocket, so it doesn’t dangle around catching onto random objects.
It has a clamshell-style main pouch that can be accessed from the top, along with a mesh inner divider for organizing your gear, along with a zippered front pocket and a hidden rear pocket, although total volume is only 2.25 liters, so this is strictly for carrying accessories, rather than a straight-up replacement for an everyday pack. Construction is a Dyneema composite fabric, ensuring this can handle both roughhousing and outdoor elements alike, complete with bound seams and water-resistant YKK zippers. Seriously, if you want a fanny pack that can hold its own against other technical bags, this is one of the best options out there.
Evoc Hip Pack Capture 7L
How do you know fanny packs have stepped up their popularity? Once they make them for specialized purposes. Take for example, this release from Evoc Sports, which tailors one of these waist bags specifically as a camera bag. And it’s quite the attractive offering, too, with a padded main compartment that has adjustable dividers for separating your camera from lenses and other accessories. It’s a big enough compartment that it can accommodate a DSLR with a lens screwed in, with room on the sides for a few other items. Heck, they even have a product photo with a DJI Mavic and an accompanying remote controller inside, all sitting snugly with enough headroom available to fit in some more gear. Suffice to say, this is impressive.
This is such a thoughtfully designed fanny pack for cameras that they even threw in straps at the bottom for carrying a tripod, a front pocket for memory cards, a stretch pocket on the side that can hold a water bottle, and extra pouches on the belt for small items you may want to bring along. Do note, the pack itself isn’t water-resistant, so you’ll have to use the included rain cover to protect its contents from the elements.
Topo Designs x Madewell Hip Pack
Do you really need two brands to make one fanny pack? We don’t know. We’ll take it, though, because we absolutely love Topo Designs’ colorful aesthetics on a bag that we can wrap around our waist. Made from 1000D nylon with a 400D nylon cloth liner, this is one durable bag, while a dual-zippered closure allows you to completely open the lid, giving easy access to the full contents inside the 1-liter main compartment.
Features include adjustable gear loops at the base of the bag, a grab handle for carrying it in hand, a detachable 2-inch adjustable strap, a key-clip accessory, and a D-ring. It currently comes in three colorways: khaki/olive, black and yellow/clay.
Sierra Designs Flex Lumbar Pack
A capable replacement for a small backpack, this fanny pack uses a vertically-expanding gusset that you can cinch with buckled straps to easily change its volume capacity to anywhere between 7 and 10 liters. Seriously, that makes it so versatile, allowing you to use the main compartment to hold a large amount of gear whenever it’s necessary. Plus, you can wear this higher up your waist when it’s fully loaded, cover it with your jacket, and pretend to be pregnant for the giggles. Or something. Hey, we heard men can be pregnant now.
Aside from the spacious main compartment, there’s a zippered top pocket, two elastic side pockets (for water bottles), and zippered belt pockets for stashing even more stuff. It uses a padded hip belt to keep things comfortable even with a heavy load, while dual compression straps help stabilize the load, so you can stay on the move. Construction is a 100D ripstop nylon-polyester blend. If this is too big, by the way, there is a smaller version that’s also equipped with the same vertically-expanding main compartment.