There’s a humble accessory that has been quietly re-asserting itself as a true must-have for adventurers, urbanites, and fashion-forward individuals alike. We’re talking about the best waist packs, or as our friends across the pond like to call them, fanny packs.

These unassuming yet incredibly versatile companions have transcended the 80’s to emerge as perhaps the ultimate statement piece in today’s fashion plus functionality landscape.

But this isn’t just another ode to the fanny pack; it’s your definitive, GOAT guide to understanding their resurgence and why they’ve earned their spot as both a wardrobe staple and a definitive travel accessory.

In this post, I am going to dig deep and explore the diverse range of styles, materials, and brands that have elevated the waist packs to the forefront of fashion. And, most importantly, we’ll tell you what the best fanny packs for adventurers, urbanites, ravers and everybody is.

So buckle up (literally), as we embark on a journey through the wonderful, weird world of waist wear, where style meets substance, and convenience becomes a fashion statement.

A group of backpackers posing for a photo in front of Nacho Hostel, Cebu, Philippines.
Off we go!
Photo: @joemiddlehurst

What a Waste! Check out these top Waist Packs (Or Fanny Packs…)


Nomatic Sling Navigator Collapsible Sling

  • Weight > 1.36KG
  • Capacity > 3L
  • Price > $59.99

WANDRD D1 FannyPack

  • Weight > 0.3KG
  • Capacity > 2L
  • Price > $74

Osprey Daylite Waist Pack

  • Weight > 0.2KG
  • Capacity > 2L
  • Price > $35

Stubble & Co Ultralight Sling

  • Weight > 0.16KG
  • Capacity > 4L
  • Price > $54

Gregory Nano Waistpack

  • Weight > 0.4KG
  • Capacity > 1.5L
  • Price > $49

REI Co op Trail 2 Waist Pack

  • Weight > 0.12KG
  • Capacity > 2L
  • Price > $29.95

Here Are The Best Fanny Packs, Waist Packs and Bum Bags

Over the past 12-18 months I have been sent a lot of bum bags by a number of brands (I am now a total waister. An unrepentant bum-bagger).

Some were great and others were bloody dreadful. But out of all the many, many, many fanny packs that we tried, tested, loved, loathed, and lost, these ones listed here are our absolute faves. Check out the best fanny packs for travel.

Nomatic Sling Navigator Collapsible Sling

Nomatic Navigator Collapsible Sling 3L

The Nomatic Navigator Collapsible Sling is a game-changer for anyone who demands both style and functionality from their everyday carry. Crafted by the innovative minds at Nomatic, this sling bag takes the concept of portability to a whole new level. More than just a bag, it’s a quintessential piece of Nomatic travel gear designed to seamlessly adjust to your dynamic lifestyle.

At first glance, the Navigator Collapsible Sling presents itself as a sleek, minimalist companion for your daily adventures. However, what sets it apart is its remarkable collapsible design. With a simple flick, it transforms from a compact, lightweight pouch into a full-sized sling bag, providing you with the flexibility to carry more when needed.

There are a few versions available too. The 1L version is ideal for keys, change, and a phone, the 3L version (which I use regularly) can fit tissues, mozzie spray, chewing gum, and cigarettes and then the 6L version will even fit a shoe inside.

Before we go any further, let me tell you that we have a full review of the Nomatic Navigator Collapsible Sling elsewhere on this site, in case you are interested.

Gregory Nano Waistpack

The Gregory Nano waist pack is a lightweight, durable travel essential for any globe trotter. It’s been an absolute game-changer when it comes to holding all my items in one place and has become my favourite item from Gregory.

The bag has three spacious pockets with easy-access zippers; a large pocket in the middle, a hidden one towards the body – perfect for keeping those important items safe, and a smaller one at the front. It has a sturdy, adjustable buckle which you can opt to wear around the waist or cross-body. One of my favourite features is the padded back, especially on those long travel days this pack is super comfy and hardly feels like you are wearing it.

The Gregory Fanny Pack is a great size.
Image: Nic Hilditch-Short

The only downfall for me is that I am a fairly large human and even for me, this bag is pretty big. Nearly double the size of my previous bumbag; it has a lot of room for items but the size doesn’t go unnoticed. But overall, you know what, I couldn’t be happier with the Gregory Nano Waistpack and have confidence that my items are safe.

In fact, it’s become one of my all-time favourite pieces of travel gear at the moment.

WANDRD Crossbody

The WANDRD Crossbody is a stylish and functional accessory for your daily essentials. This thing has more pockets and compartments than I know what to do with, making it stand out when compared to other cross-body or bum bags (fanny packs to some of you) which can become deep dark black holes of doom and swallow your car keys.

It feels comfortable to wear all day long and has a bunch of cool features such as auto-closing magnetic pockets, a hidden AirTag pocket and water-resistant fabrics which have both saved my butt and protected my belongings from drunk-me a couple of times. 

There is also a lifetime guarantee offered on this product and it comes with a 30-day return policy, which is exactly why I recommend WANDRD brand.

The worst thing about the WANDRD Crossbody is the price tag. At $70 this thing is definitely NOT the cheapest crossbody bag on the market. It also isn’t the greatest option for storing single larger items which could fit into other regular bum bags or similar products. That being said, the pockets are one of the most useful and unique parts of this product.

Osprey Daylite Waist Pack

Osprey Daylite Waist Pack

The Osprey Daylite Waist Pack is a belter for those who want a trusty companion for their day-to-day adventures or a quick jaunt into the wilds. It’s sturdy, no-nonsense, and designed with practicality in mind. The main compartment is just the ticket for your daily bits and bobs, and there are enough extra pockets to keep everything tidy and to hand.

It’s made from high-quality, durable materials and comes with the Osprey promise of quality. Plus, it’s comfy to wear, with a padded back panel and an adjustable strap that lets you find just the right fit.

Strapping on the Osprey Daylite Waist Pack, you’ll feel ready for whatever the day throws at you. It’s a doddle to wear, staying put whether you’re on a brisk walk or cycling through town. On the downside, it’s a bit basic in terms of looks and while it’s not the largest pack around, it’s spot on for essentials and a bit more.

For the price, you’re getting a reliable piece of kit from one of our absolute favourite brands that’s built to last (see the Osprey Lifetime Guarantee), making it a smart pick for anyone after a quality waist pack made for the outdoors.

Stubble & Co Ultralight Sling

Stubble and Co Ultralight Sling

The Stubble & Co Ultralight Sling is a testament to modern, lightweight design without sacrificing durability and utility – a recurring feature highlighted in our thorough Stubble and Co review. Constructed with high-performance, water-resistant materials, this sling is designed to withstand the rigours of daily use while keeping your belongings safe and dry.

The streamlined, aerodynamic shape ensures it never feels bulky, and the multiple compartments are ingeniously laid out to provide quick access to your items.

Wearing the Stubble & Co Ultralight Sling feels liberating, as it offers the perfect balance between minimalism and functionality. The weight distribution is so well-engineered that you’ll barely notice it’s there, even when fully packed.

However, the ultralight nature means it’s not intended for heavy gear or too many items, which might be a limitation for some (it certainly is for me). While the price point reflects its high-end build and materials, budget backpackers may find it a stretch, though the investment is justifiable for the quality and design you receive.

AER City Sling 2

AER City Sling 2

The AER City Sling 2 is a proper gem for city dwellers and minimalists who crave both style and substance. This sleek sling is all about smart urban living, with a design that’s as sharp as it is practical. Crafted from top-quality, water-resistant materials, it keeps your kit safe and sound, rain or shine.

Though compact, the interior is a masterclass in organisation – there’s a spot for everything, from your tech gadgets to your travel essentials. And with its modern, understated aesthetic (typical of AER), it’s a perfect match for any outfit, whether you’re hitting the office or the streets.

Strapping on the AER City Sling 2 feels like you’ve got everything under control. It’s comfy, with a strap that’s a doddle to adjust, and it sits just right, keeping your hands free and your essentials within easy reach.

But keep in mind, at 2.5l it’s designed for the essentials plus a bit more – so it’s not the one if you’re looking to lug around a lot of gear. The price might make you think twice, but it’s worth the splash. It’s a top pick for anyone after a compact, stylish way to carry their day-to-day essentials.

You might also find the Aer Day Sling 2 to be a compelling option. It’s large enough for a few extra items, but not so big that it becomes a cumbersome burden of doom. Check out our in-depth Aer Day Sling 2 review for more insights.

REI Co-op Trail 2 Waist Pack

REI Co op Trail 2 Waist Pack

The REI Co-op Trail 2 WaistPack is the adventurer’s companion, blending ruggedness with thoughtful functionality. Designed with the outdoor enthusiast in mind, it’s built from sturdy, weather-resistant fabrics that can take a beating from the elements.

The pack offers ample space in its main compartment, complemented by smaller pockets and loops for organisation and easy access to gear. The padded back panel and adjustable waist strap ensure comfort and stability, whether you’re hiking, biking, or simply exploring the urban jungle.

Strapping on the REI Co-op Trail 2 WaistPack feels like gearing up for an adventure. Its robust construction instils confidence, knowing your belongings are protected whatever the weather. The price reflects REI’s commitment to making good gear affordable. At the time of writing, it’s priced on sale at just $20 making it the single biggest bargain in this post.

Treat yourself with an REI Membership Card! It’s a fantastic deal if you like shopping with REI.

Bellroy Venture Hip Pack

Belroy Venture Hip Pack

The Bellroy Venture Hip Pack represents the very epitome of both style and functionality in the realm of compact carry solutions. Crafted from sustainably sourced, water-resistant materials, this hip pack boasts a sleek, minimalist design that doesn’t compromise on space or organisational features.

The main compartment is spacious enough to hold all your essentials, with additional pockets thoughtfully placed for easy access and safe storage of valuables. The adjustable strap ensures a perfect fit, whether you prefer to wear it around your waist or slung casually over your shoulder.

Using the Bellroy Venture Hip Pack feels like a seamless extension of your own body (think Kangaroo pouch). The pack sits comfortably against the human body, distributing weight evenly to minimise strain during extended wear. It also allows for quick retrieval of items without the hassle of rummaging.

On the flip side, while the compact size is perfect for essential travel items, it may not suffice for those needing to carry larger or multiple items. Additionally, the premium materials and craftsmanship come with a price tag, but for those valuing durability and style, it’s an investment.

Tortuga Fanny Pack

Tortuga Fanny Pack

The Tortuga Fanny Pack is your go-to mate for keeping things light and sorted. It’s crafted with top-notch, durable materials, ready to take on a bit of rough and tumble.

Despite its compact size, this fanny pack is a bit of a Tardis – you’ll be chuffed to find it’s got plenty of space for all your bits and bobs. The design’s dead smart, with pockets in just the right places, so you can grab your gear in a snap without any faff.

Wearing the Tortuga Fanny Pack is a pleasure. It sits snug against your hip, so you can gallivant around town or hit the hiking trails without it getting in your way. The strap is easy to adjust, so whether you’re wearing it cross-body or around your waist, it’s comfy as fuck.

On the downside, if you’re the type to pack heavily, you might find it a tad snug. (Actually, you’ll enjoy this guide on light packing—it’s incredibly practical for streamlining your belongings and maximizing efficiency). While this fanny pack for travel isn’t the cheapest option on the high street ($95…ouch), you’re getting top-notch quality for your quid, making it a sound investment for the long haul.

Patagonia Black Hole Mini Hip Pack

Patagonia Black Hole Mini Hip Pack

The Patagonia Black Hole Mini Hip Pack is your perfect partner for a day out when you fancy keeping things simple and secure. Made with sturdy, weather-beating fabrics, this little number is tougher than it looks, ready to face a drizzle or a downpour without a bother.

Its nifty design is all about making the most of space, with just enough room to stash your essentials like your phone, keys, and a bit of grub for the road. Plus, it’s a proper looker with its sleek design and cool colour options.

Slipping on the Patagonia Black Hole Mini Hip Pack, you’ll feel sorted for your day’s adventure. It’s so light and comfy, half the time you’ll forget you’re wearing it.

Mind you, if you’re someone who likes to carry more than the bare essentials, you might find it a bit on the snug side. It’s a bit pricier than your run-of-the-mill hip pack, but with its robust build and eco-friendly creds, it’s worth every penny, especially if you’re keen on doing your bit for the planet. My girlfriend has used one of these for over a year now and she loves it.

Cotopaxi Kapai Waistpack

CotoPaxi Kapai Waistpack

The Cotopaxi Kapai Waistpack is one of the best fanny packs for anyone who loves to add a splash of colour to their day. It’s made from sturdy, repurposed fabric, so each pack’s got its own unique vibe. Not just a pretty face, this waist pack is dead practical too.

It’s got a spacious main compartment and a couple of clever pockets to keep your stuff organised. Whether you’re off to a festival or just nipping down to the shops, it’s a brilliant little companion for all your essentials.

The Cotopaxi Kapai Waistpack is a real treat. It’s lightweight and the strap adjusts easily, so you can wear it however suits your style. The funky colours are sure to turn heads and you’ll be chuffed knowing your pack is one of a kind.

On the flip side, if you’re a bit of a wallflower, the bold look might feel like a lot – it certainly WILL get noticed. And while it’s fab for your everyday bits, don’t expect to pack anything too bulky. Price-wise, it’s a fair deal.

Lulelemon Everything Waist Belt

Lulelemon Everything Waist Belt

The Lululemon Everything Waist Belt is a slick pick for those who like to keep it stylish yet functional. Crafted with Lululemon’s signature attention to detail, this waist belt is a dream for anyone who’s on the move.

It’s sleek, doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb (unless you go for a bright colour version, of course…), and yet, it’s got a surprising amount of room for your essentials. I’d say this one is perfect for a workout session or a casual day out.

Strapping on this Lululemon waist belt, you’ll feel proper sorted. It’s so comfy and snug, perfect for a jog, a yoga session, or just a busy day in town. The compartments are well-thought-out, making it a breeze to keep your stuff organised.

However, if you’re planning to pack more than the basics, you might find it a tad restrictive. In terms of value, this one is also on the cheaper end so all in, it’s a totally affordable, sleek, no-fuss option for folks who want their gear to look good and last.

Matador Freerain Waterproof Waistpack

Matador Freerain Waterproof Waistpack

The Matador Freerain Waterproof Waistpack is an affordable, sturdy companion for many an adventure, come rain or shine. This little trooper is built to battle the elements, with top-tier waterproof fabric that keeps your gear bone-dry, come hell or high water.

It’s dead lightweight and packs down to practically nothing (basically rolls up into a ball), so it’s a doddle to chuck in your bag just in case. But don’t let its light frame fool you – it punches above its weight in space and durability. With its roll-top closure, it’s like a mini fortress for your valuables.

Wearing the Matador Freerain Waistpack feels like you’re ready for anything. Whether you’re trekking through a downpour or splashing about at a festival, your stuff stays dry and safe. It’s comfortable to wear and adjusts easily, so it’s spot on for active days out.

The minimal design means it’s not one for the pack rats – it’s perfect for essentials but won’t handle much more. The price is midpoint and personally, I’d prefer to spend a few more bucks and get the Nomatic but then again, this one is a proper space-saver and it tucks away into its own pocket when you’re not using it.

Continue reading to discover even more EPIC backpacking gear exclusively from REI’s top-notch selection.

Osprey Arcane Waist Pack

Osprey Arcane Waist Pack

The Osprey Arcane Waist Pack is a cracking choice for those after a blend of urban style and practicality. It’s sleek, with a clean design that won’t stick out like a sore thumb in the city or at the cafe. But don’t let its good looks fool you – this pack is highly practical.

Crafted from high-quality, sustainable materials, it’s not just tough, but also kind to the planet. The main compartment’s got enough room for your day-to-day gear, and the additional pockets are spot-on for keeping things organised and secure.

Wearing the Osprey Arcane Waist Pack is a breeze. It’s lightweight and comfy, with a strap that’s easy to adjust for that perfect fit. The pack sits snug against your body, so it’s ace for a day out or your daily commute. The material feels lush and the overall build quality is what you’d expect from Osprey – top-notch.

However, if you’re gearing up for an adventure or need to cart around a lot of kit, this might not be your best bet. Price-wise, it’s a fair deal (in fact it’s cheap), especially when you consider the eco-friendly materials and the solid build.

Stubble & Co – The Crossbody

Stubble and Co The Crossbody

Back to Stubble & Co’s. So The Crossbody is a blinder of a bag for those who want their essentials close and their style on point. It’s rugged yet refined, made with premium, durable materials that can take a bit of a beating and still look the business.

The size is spot on – not too bulky, but with enough room for your phone, wallet, and a few extras. The design’s clever, with pockets in just the right places and an adjustable strap that lets you wear it your way, whether that’s crossbody or over the shoulder.

Wearing the Crossbody by Stubble & Co, you’ll feel sorted and stylish. It’s dead handy for keeping your bits and pieces organised and within easy reach. The bag’s a treat to carry around, staying snug against your body without getting in the way.

The build quality’s bang on, so you know it’s going to last. In terms of price, it’s a solid investment – you’re getting a great little bag that’s built to last. It’s a cracking choice for anyone after a no-nonsense, stylish crossbody for their everyday adventures.

Peak Design Field Pouch 2

Peak Design Field Pouch 2

The Peak Design Field Pouch 2 is a bit of a stunner for anyone serious about their gear. It’s not just a pouch; it’s a compact carry solution that’s been thought through from every angle. Made from recycled materials, it’s tough, water-resistant, and eco-friendly to boot.

The design is both sleek and practical, with enough space to keep your tech, cables, and personal items neatly organised. It’s versatile too – wear it as a sling, pop it in your bag, or attach it to your belt, and you’re good to go.

With the Peak Design Field Pouch 2, you’ll feel like you’ve got a trusty sidekick for your gear. It’s dead easy to carry and keeps everything secure and within reach. 

Note that it’s worn better as cross body/overarm than as a waist or fanny pack mind. Price-wise, it’s fair. If you can dig the aesthetic (which isn’t for me) then it is a sound, savvy, safe choice for anyone who values top-notch organisation and sustainability.

Tredz Evoc Hip Pack

Tredz Evoc Hip Pack

And finally… The Tredz Evoc Hip Pack is an absolute corker for those who love to hit the trails or cruise the city with their essentials in tow. It’s rugged, ready for action, and designed with both comfort and convenience in mind.

The materials are top-drawer, tough enough to handle a bit of rough and tumble, and the ventilation system on the back is a real game-changer, keeping you cool when the going gets tough. Storage-wise, it packs just the right amount of space and pockets to keep your gear sorted and at your fingertips.

Hitting the road (or the trail) with the Tredz Evoc Hip Pack feels like you’ve got everything under control. It’s super comfortable to wear. The pack’s spot-on for staying organised on the move, with pockets that make sense and easy access to your stuff.

On the downside, if you’re after something low-profile, this might feel a bit bulky. And while it’s not the cheapest option out there, the quality, design, and sheer practicality make it a blinding choice for anyone after a durable, comfortable hip pack for their outdoor escapades.

Why Use a Waist Pack?

But why would anybody even need a bum bag? I hear some of you at the back over there asking. After all, aren’t they cheesy and garish and alltogether a bit 1980’s?

Well, yes. But, the fact is that whether you’re a globetrotter, a city explorer, a beach lover, or an adventure seeker, the waist pack has a use for you. I won’t lie, for the longest time I was a bit sniffy about wearing one of these but they have been a bit of a life changer.

Not convinced? Read on…

  • Airports: Navigating the hustle and horror of airports becomes so much easier and a little less terrible with a waist pack. Keep your travel essentials—passport, boarding pass, wallet, and phone—securely within reach while keeping your hands free to handle luggage and documents. Nobody fumbling awkwardly through your bag at security checkpoints, and breeze through customs with ease.
  • City Walks: Picture yourself strolling through charming streets (or dirty ones if that be your vibe), exploring hidden alleys, and capturing the essence of a city on foot. A waist pack keeps your valuables close and your look effortless. It’s the perfect accessory to blend fashion with functionality, allowing you to soak in the urban vibes without the burden of a bulky bag.
  • Beach Days: The sea, sand, and sunburn await, and your waist pack answers the call. Safeguard your sunscreen, secure your shades, and keep your essentials protected from sand and surf. With its compact design and water-resistant features, it’s an absolute essential on your beach packing list. Just note that while some of these packs are waterproof, don’t take the piss and go in the sea whilst wearing it.
  • Festivals: When the music hits and the crowd sways (or moshes?), you’ll want the best waist pack to keep your festival essentials secure. Kiss goodbye to the worry of losing your valuables in the chaos or getting pick-pocketed in the crowd. With enough space for tickets, cash, disco extras, and your phone, you can dance the night away without missing a beat.
  • Light Hikes: For those spontaneous hikes or nature walks, a waist pack proves invaluable. Store your trail mix, a water bottle, and your camera for those breathtaking vistas. It’s lightweight, allowing you to explore nature with comfort and ease without the bind of bringing a backpack (we do have loads of good hiking backpacks to recommend by the way).

The Best Fanny Packs and Waist Bags – Comparison Table

Best Fanny Packs and Waist Bags – Comparison Table
NamePrice (USD)Capacity (L)Weigh (KG)
Nomatic Sling Navigator Collapsible Sling59.9931.36
WANDRD D1 FannyPack7420.3
Osprey Daylite Waist Pack3520.2
Stubble & Co Ultralight Sling5440.16
AER City Sling 2892.50.4
REI Co op Trail 2 Waist Pack29.9520.12
Bellroy Venture Hip Pack1.50.17
Tortuga Fanny Pack952.50.23
Patagonia Black Hole Mini Hip Pack430.08
CotoPaxi Kapai Waistpack281.50.14
Lulelemon Everything Waist Belt381
Matador Freerain Waterproof Waistpack59.9520.11
Osprey Arcane Waist Pack5510.16
Stubble & Co – The Crossbody932.70.3
Peak Design Field Pouch 249.951.5-30.17
Tredz Evoc Hip Pack30.43

Final Thoughts on Choosing The Best Waist Bag

I have no doubt you now agree that (1) fanny packs are awesome and (2) there are a lot of good ones to choose from. Personally, the Nomatic 3L Sling I got last summer has become a total travel essential and that would be my recommendation. Still, if you are on a tight budget the REI Co-op Trail 2 is a great buy and if you want something to make you stand, then go all the colours of Cotopaxi Kapai Waistpack.

Anyway, I do hope you found this helpful and moreover, I hope you buy something using one of our links as we get a cheeky kick-back.

See you on the road and peace among worlds.

Joe casually strolling through Isla Mujeres, Mexico, with a cross-shoulder fanny pack.
The fanny pack is cool again!
Photo: @joemiddlehurst
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