Gone are the days when fanny packs were considered uncool and outdated. In today’s fashion landscape, these bags are trendy, practical, and a must-have accessory for anyone who wants to make a fashion statement while staying organized. Whether you’re running errands, going on a hike, or attending a music festival, a fanny pack can keep your essentials close and your hands free. The best fanny packs are designed to express your own personal style while being functional enough to store everything you need. And did you know that March 11 is International Fanny Pack Day?
The concept of the convenient belted bag is not new. Vice reports, “the fanny pack first appeared about 5,000 years ago, as a part of the tremendous wardrobe of Ötzi, aka the Iceman, whose mummified bod was discovered in the Ötzal Alps between Germany and Austria.” Since then different versions of the accessory have appeared throughout history on high fashion runways and in everyday use. And despite their age, according to market-research firm NPD Group even if fanny packs make up just one percent of fashion-accessories sales, they were responsible for nearly 25% of the industry’s growth in the first 10 months of 2018.
The history of fashion has shown that trends often “recycle” themselves, with the same styles like flared jeans or crop tops popping up every few years. Many designers draw inspiration from previous generations, intentional or not. The cyclical nature of fashion is also heavily influenced by a new culture of “fast fashion”. Fast fashion can be described as trendy clothing that is influenced by high fashion and reproduced at cheap prices to be sold for a short time. However, many Americans are now turning away from fast fashion. A survey of more than 2,500 Americans shows that 54 percent of respondents believe that fast fashion is harmful and even their own fashion habits could be more environmentally friendly.
The next time you’re looking to make better fashion choices, try grabbing an accessory or two from your parents’ closet. Their old fanny pack might be the next big trend! But if you can’t find anything suitable, StudyFinds researched the best fanny packs on the market, so you don’t have to. Our list is made up of the top recommendations across 10 expert websites. If you already have a favorite of your own, let us know in the comments below.
The List: Best Fanny Packs, According to Experts
Though you might find it a bit pricey at $95 per bag, the Dover Ace is worth the investment and should last you a lifetime. It‘s the perfect blend of simplicity, function, and comfort. NY Times explains “The Dagne sits comfortably on your waist while you stand and moves a little higher when you sit, but it doesn’t shift enough to be painful or ill-fitting.”
This pack is made from water-resistant neoprene and is durable enough to go anywhere with you, from workouts and hikes to overseas travel and trips. You won’t want for storage space or pockets, either. “It has a front zipper pocket plus pockets within to store your cash, cards, and belongings, and there’s a key clip to keep your keys in a secure spot, too,” adds Travel and Leisure.
A WSJ reviewer writes, “‘I used this bag a lot when my son was born and I needed something that could get wet—with who knows what!—without worry,’ she says. This style comes in nine of-the-moment colors, but the crowd favorite is Dune.”
Patagonia is known for creating clothing and accessories made to withstand the outdoors, and this fanny pack is no different. Take it with you on a day trip for easy access to your essentials. “This classic hip pack from Patagonia goes beyond expectations, clocking in at less than four ounces for truly ultralight endeavors,” says Forbes.
The smaller storage pocket doubles as a “stuff sack” — the rest of the bag is packable into itself for easy stowing, all for only $35 in 7 different color designs. WSJ mentions “Made from 100% recycled fabric inside and out, Patagonia’s Ultralight Black Hole Mini Hip Pack is a lightweight, portable organizer.”
Travel and Leisure likes this design best for hiking: “The front pocket works for cards, cash, and a phone, while the main zipper compartment has a stretch pocket for a water bottle, hat, and gloves. The bag could even fit a light layer thanks to two compression straps on the sides. You can pick this up in black, navy, or bright blue.”
If you grew up with a Jansport backpack, you’ll love the nostalgic feel of the Jansport fanny pack. It has the same level of durability and shape that their famous backpacks do, and comes in over 20 colorways and patterns. The Strategist explains “It will add a ‘beautiful splash of color to your outfit and is compact for an active day spent hiking or working out.'”
This is one of the cheapest packs on the list at $17 to $20, and has all the same features, with two storage compartments and an adjustable waist strap with a buckle closure. “It features two zippered pockets and can be worn crossbody or around your waist,” says Self.
Travel and Leisure loves it for many different events: “Take it to a concert, the beach, on vacation, or use it every day if you wish, as this fanny pack is super versatile.”
Choose from an even larger selection of colors and patterns with 23 options from Herschel. This pack has an air of sophistication with muted colors and a smooth, sleek pocket. Insider says “Keep all of your essentials close while remaining hands-free with this unisex pick from Herschel Supply Co.”
This pack was designed to be slung over your shoulder or chest instead of clipped around your waist for a more “hip” look. The strap is adjustable and comes with a buckle for ease of use. “Herschel features a clip-fastened adjustable strap, zipper closure, and fully-lined interior,” adds Conde Naste Traveler.
Because of the wide range of color options, “‘It’s my go-to when I’m wearing all black and I need a statement accessory,'” writes a reviewer from WSJ.
This fanny pack is the best budget option, with a slim profile and simple design. It does the job without being too bulky. The best part is the 27 fun patterns and colors it comes in. “The lightweight bag is machine washable, so in the case that it does get dirty on your hike, you can just toss it in the washing machine to freshen it right up,” says Prevention.
The Tinyat also comes with three useful pockets versus the standard two. GearLab writes “This pack won us over with its useful pockets, including an internal zip pocket and a low-profile external pocket that rests on the backside of the pack.”
You might also be interested in:
- Best Travel Purses
- Best Travel Backpacks
- Best Carry-On Luggage
- Best Wallets for Men
- Best Women’s Wallets
- NY Times
- Travel and Leisure
- The Strategist
- Conde Naste Traveler
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links.