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The fanny pack goes in and out of style, but it can be a useful item for travel. We asked the TFG readers for their favorite styles and for tips on how to wear them. These are their recommendations on the best fanny packs for travel!
Best Fanny Pack
Written By: Tae Haahrr
Table Of Contents
We’re dying to know: are THEY really back or is it a ploy to make everyone unfashionable? We asked TFG readers what they thought and tons of them voted that hip packs are perfect for travel, so long as you’re comfortable wearing one. Check out our readers’ tips and tricks for wearing fanny packs and their recommendations on the best ones!
Fanny Packs for Travel
Sporty Fanny Pack: Herschel Supply Co.
If you’re looking for a sporty fanny pack with nice accents, then Herschel Supply Co. has a great one for you. It’s small enough to travel light but the right size to fit everything you need.
Like all of Herschel’s products, this bag is both quality and cute. One TFG reader shares, “I’m a big fan of all the Herschel hip packs. So many colors! It’s my favorite bag. Also solves the problem of how to carry a bag while wearing a poncho!”
With a fabric liner and clip fastened strap, this bag will go places with you. And a big bonus—any scuffs wipe off!
Looking for something a little different? Check out the best travel shoulder bags for women!
Functional Fanny Pack: Pacsafe
If you’re looking for a practical bag that keeps your belongings safe while still looking fashionable, then check out the Pacsafe Anti-Theft Crossbody Hip Purse.
One TFG reader who adores this bag, shares, “I bought this one a few years ago before a trip to Europe, and never stopped using it, it’s my everyday purse now. I love it so much! It’s sleek and non-bulky and doesn’t stick out far. I also like that the strap can be worn around your waist as a fanny pack, or clipped on like a standard purse which is nice if you need to dress up. The fabric is satiny, so it easily goes from casual to formal.”
This versatile bag can be worn normally, over the shoulder, or as a crossbody. It’s lightweight and has a stainless steel wire mesh embedded into the fabric so you’re safe from common thieves. Not to mention, there is also RFID protection built into a pocket and adjustable, slashguard straps for extra security.
Here’s our list of the best anti-theft travel purse!
Securely Cute Fanny Pack: Travelon
Another TFG reader recommended choice that’s a secure fanny pack for women is the Travelon Anti-Theft Convertible Waistpack. While this bag has some pretty details, it’s also fully loaded with great security features.
A terrific belt bag for your next adventure, this one has zip pockets, a rear snap close pocket, an RFID blocking card, and passport slots. One TFG reader shares, “I have this one. I wore it on my trip to Florida and Key West. Worked great. So light and versatile.”
It also features slash-resistant material, an adjustable shoulder strap that can be used as a crossbody as well as a belt bag, and locking hardware.
Another TFG reader was so happy that she “wore it all over Spain,” and comments further, “I have this one and love it. It was nice to be able to convert from waist to shoulder after days on end of sightseeing.”
Our readers are massive fans of Travelon bags. Take a look at our review of their anti-theft crossbody phone purse!
Light and Airy Fanny Pack: Vera Bradley
This whimsically, cute fanny pack by Vera Bradley can fit everything you need and travel hands-free.
While this bag might be a fanny pack style, it also doubles as a crossbody option. As an added bonus, the front pocket has RFID protection so that your personal information stays safe.
A reader who fell in love with the Vera shares that it’s “really pretty.” We couldn’t agree more!
Check out this convertible backpack purse for travel and find out why we love it!
Bohemian Belt Bag: Venus Pocket
If you love a relaxed, hippie vibe than tote around this gypsy-like Venus Pocket belt bag.
Handmade from 100% recycled leather, it has an adjustable belt and comes in three color choices; dark brown, mixed berry, and yellow.
It’s great to carry everything you need in two zip pockets and a third safe pocket keeps your valuables protected. One TFG reader shares that they “love the bohemian style” and take it everywhere.
Before you rush out the door, make sure you know what to pack in your day bag for sightseeing and shopping days!
Cute Retro Fanny Pack: Baggallini
Sometimes fanny pack bags are simple and that’s all you need, hence the Baggallini Triple Zip Bag is a stellar choice that won’t disappoint.
Made of nylon and lined with polyester, this one appears small but has multiple pockets to hold all your things and won’t bulge when full. Also, it has a slight retro-feel.
One reader shares, “I love this bag, can fit a phone, and so much more!” You can get it in six fashionable colors to suit your mood or style!
Read our Baggallini Everywhere bag review to find out why our readers rave about them!
Cheap and Cheerful Fanny Pack: Lovevook
If you’re on a budget and want a fanny pack belt bag that won’t cost an arm and a leg, then the Lovevook is for you!
This cute bag is made of synthetic leather and also has a silver-chain shoulder strap. A reader and Lovevook fan says, “I wore this at a theme park but plan to wear it in Thailand in a few months. It’s quite roomy—carried my phone, reading glasses, point and shoot camera, and wallet. Light, practical, cute, and very inexpensive from Amazon.”
It comes in five colors so you can match it with your outfits. And the charming, leather tassel can be removed if you’d prefer it!
Take a look at the best travel day bag options for every type of trip!
Chic Nylon Fanny Pack: Kate Spade
This bag by Kate Spade is adorable. While it’s a little pricier than some of the other reader recommendations, the nylon material works well for travel.
While it might be small, it’s mighty enough to fit all of your essentials. One TFG reader shares, “My son bought me this one that I thought I would never wear but I actually wear it all the time… when I go on trips, when I walk my dog, and when I run errands and don’t need to take my big bag!! It’s cute and stylish too. Love it!”
This is a terrific, little bag for when you’re planning on traveling light. Plus, TFG readers adore it!
Read our Longchamp Backpack review and find out why female travelers love this bag!
Classic Pouch Belt Bag: Madewell
Want something black, yet sleek? Consider the Madewell pouch belt bag which might work perfectly for your next trip!
This western-inspired belt bag is a chic addition to your travel wardrobe. One TFG reader shares, “I just got this Madewell simple whipstitch belt bag today. I tried it on with my Spanx leggings and I love it. I can’t wait to take it as my small bag in lieu of a crossbody on my next trip.”
It’s a small, yet classic looking bag that can match any outfit. It also has a front stud closure and an adjustable strap. Another reader declares, “This bag is really cute.”
Read our tips to Pack Light Stylishly and learn how to create a capsule travel wardrobe!
Fashion-Forward Fanny Pack: Rebecca Minkoff
The Rebecca Minkoff Belt Bag has a sleek, modern feel that coordinates well with dresses, dark jeans, and more tailored shorts. Not to mention, it’s able to hold all your essentials.
While it’s small, it’s a great travel belt. With a top zip closure and an interior zip pocket, your belongings will be safe while visiting your favorite sites.
TFG readers highly recommend this fanny pack for women. One fervent fan shares, “I love my Rebecca Minkoff!”
For another of this brand’s readers’ favorite, check out our Rebecca Minkoff Julian backpack review!
Soft Leather Belt Bag: Mali + Lili
If you’re looking for a leather belt bag, Mali + Lili creates a stylish one with a turnlock-flap closure and more room than you’d imagine with its sleek foldover.
One TFG reader shares, “I recently bought this belt bag and can’t say enough great things about it. It’s very soft vegan leather, it’s a slim profile that lays flat, yet it holds a bunch of necessities. I’ll be traveling solo for a few days in Europe and want my hands and shoulders free for those days.”
It’s a quality-made bag with an interior zip pocket to keep your things protected. Another reader shared her opinion, “Love my new belt bag. It actually holds quite a lot without bulging.”
Check out these cute backpacks for travel!
Product Comparison Chart
|BRAND | MODEL||FEATURES | REVIEWS||RATING | PRICE|
|Herschel Supply Co. Fifteen||“I’m a big fan of all the Herschel hip packs. So many colors! It’s my favorite bag. Also solves the problem of how to carry a bag while wearing a poncho!”||Check Price|
|Pacsafe Anti-Theft Crossbody Hip Purse||“I bought this one a few years ago before a trip to Europe, and never stopped using it, it's my everyday purse now. I love it so much!"||Check Price|
|Travelon Anti-Theft Convertible Waistpack||“I have this one. I wore it on my trip to Florida and Key West. Worked great. So light and versatile.”||Check Price|
|Vera Bradley Belt Bag||"The front pocket has RFID protection so that your personal information stays."||%STARR% Check Price|
|Shop Venus Pocket Belt||It’s great to carry everything you need in two zip pockets and a third safe pocket keeps your valuables protected.||Check Price|
|Baggallini Triple Zip Bag||“I love this bag, can fit a phone, and so much more!”||Check Price|
|Lovevook Fanny Pack Waist Bag||"It's quite roomy—carried my phone, reading glasses, point, and shoot camera, and wallet. Light, practical, cute, and very inexpensive from Amazon.”||Check Price|
|Kate Spade Nylon Belt Bag||“My son bought me this one that I thought I would never wear but I actually wear it all the time… when I go on trips when I walk my dog, and when I run errands and don't need to take my big bag!! It’s cute and stylish too. Love it!”||Check Price|
|Madewell Whipstitch Belt Bag||One TFG reader shares, “I just got this Madewell simple whipstitch belt bag today. I tried it on with my Spanx leggings and I love it. I can’t wait to take it as my small bag in lieu of a crossbody on my next trip.”||Check Price|
|Rebecca Minkoff Belt Bag||“I love my Rebecca Minkoff!”||Check Price|
|Mali + Lili Vegan Leather Belt Bag||“Love my new belt bag. It actually holds quite a lot without bulging.”||Check Price|
Why Wear a Fanny Pack?
Even the name “fanny pack” seems to bear a hint of fashion “don’t,” but they’re so handy when it comes to keeping track of your things while you’re traveling that we asked our readers to share their opinions on whether you should wear one or not.
As it turns out, many TFG readers love these little belt bags. Here are their top reasons why they are a travel “do”:
They Can Help Keep Your Belongings Safe
Most TFG readers agree that a fanny pack travel bag is awesome because it helps with keeping their belongings safe (especially if you go with an anti-theft model).
Unlike a traditional purse that hangs lower (or has to be thrown over your shoulder), these bags sit closer to you which makes many wearers feel more secure. One reader shares, “I wear mine all over when traveling. It feels safer than anything else. My kids hate it, but I’m big-busted and a crossbody just hits me wrong.”
Another comment, “I love them, always have and am thrilled they are back. I find them to be a way to safely carry valuables that I might not want in a backpack and for easy access to phone, keys, sunglasses, etc. Also, a good way to keep boarding passes and passports safely at my fingertips.”
The consensus is clear, a fanny pack is back for a reason, and is a strong option for travel when it comes to avoiding pickpockets or opportunistic thieves.
You Can Stay Hands-Free
Besides keeping your belongings secure and away from the prying hands of pickpockets, a fanny pack belt bag makes walking the streets or sightseeing easier because you can have both hands free to carry other things.
One reader shares, “I just wore one for 10 days traveling in Italy… I may never carry a purse again. So nice to be hands-free.” While another adds, “Do it! Hands-free and secure.”
They Reduce Shoulder Pain
A traditional bag, whether it’s a crossbody or shoulder purse, can really weigh on your arms and shoulders during long days of walking. Inevitably, this can cause some pretty nasty pain that can negatively impact your trip.
One TFG reader shares, “I find I constantly need to switch shoulders when I have a crossbody because it starts to hurt after a while. And my back gets too sweaty with a backpack. With the fanny pack, I’m less inclined to bring extra “just in case” stuff since it won’t fit in the bag and I don’t want to carry it.”
Get rid of the pain from traditional purse straps. One reader encourages this mantra, by saying, “I’ll take comfort over pain any day!”
They’re Simply Functional
While fanny packs were once the bottom rung of style, they really are back in fashion and are too functional to pass up when it comes to choosing your travel bag. One reader says go for it. “They are back in style, Seek on Pinterest, and you shall find.”
Another reader shares, “It depends if you want to be fashionable or practical. Most of the fashionable ones are on the smaller side. If the weather is hot, keep in mind that it does feel hot and heavy around your waist especially if it is larger/heavier. There are some cute, fashionable ones that go on as a belt which I like. I do see people wearing theirs across their shoulders, too.”
Many TFG readers simply love to wear a belt bag because of how functional they are for travel. Hands-free with your things secure, you can travel in comfort and with ease.
Where Can You Wear a Fanny Pack?
Fanny packs are a great choice for tons of destinations. For example, trips that involve concerts and festivals are suitable for fanny pack bags to be used. One reader shares, “I have seen the fashionable ones called belt bags. My friend who goes to a lot of music festivals uses one with belt loops.”
Hiking is another great opportunity to sport one. Along with running, and even doing the occasional errand. One reader backs up this idea. “People use them all the time for festivals and theme parks now, for sure. They’re definitely back in. I use mine to bring my phone, keys, and gym card to the gym with me too.”
Some TFG readers encourage embracing one of these bags while on your travels. One jokes, “It’s the one place we’re allowed to look like comfortable dorks all day and enjoy it.”
Can You Wear a Fanny Pack on Disney Rides?
TFG readers love wearing their fanny packs to Disney theme parks. One shares, “Love mine! So glad they’re back in style. I wore a different one every day at Disney World. I was able to buy them on Amazon to match my outfits!”
While belt bags might make you stand out as a tourist, at Disney they’re fair game. Another reader recounts her experience, saying, “I used a different one every day on my last trip to Disney World and saw them everywhere! So nice to be hands-free!”
These bags are also a great choice for Universal Studios, Cedar Rapids, Busch Gardens, and really any other amusement park!
Should I Wear a Fanny Pack to Europe?
A belt bag can be a smart choice to tote around your things at some of the more touristy European destinations. It’s less awkward to wield a camera to snap historical sites or carry souvenir shopping bags.
Should I Wear a Fanny Pack in America?
Fanny packs work really well to carry your things during your American travel adventures, especially if you’re hitting up a popular theme park or camping and hiking the many gorgeous, national parks.
How to Wear a Fanny Pack
Wondering how to properly wear a fanny pack? The good news is there are a few great ways to sport one on your adventures so you can tailor it to your personal style.
Around Your Waist
The most traditional way to wear one is around your waist. While you might be tempted to buckle it in front with the pack resting over your bum because the name would suggest that’s how you wear it, it’s more secure to keep the pack at the front or at your side, like a belt bag.
Fanny Pack Over Shoulder Style
A fanny pack alternative is to turn it into a shoulder bag. Simply lengthen the belt by readjusting it, fasten it around your shoulder, and wear the bag partially over your chest.
How to Style Your Fanny Pack
Fanny packs are pretty versatile pieces. One TFG reader shares a quick style tip, “Just bought a navy one in Spain, small and stylish, more like a belt with a clutch—looks great with jeans!”
Truly, these bags are offered in so many styles that you can wear one casually with jeans and a white tee or dressed up with a black romper and sandals.
The Argument for Crossbody Bags
Not everyone is a fan of wearing fanny packs, with some readers declaring that they don’t want to look like a tourist—which is an honest point. One reader shares, “I would personally skip it unless you want to look like a tourist. There are plenty of cute crossbody bags that allow you to go hands-free.”
Beyond looking like a tourist, a few TFG readers talk about not wanting one to ruin any future photos. One reader emphasized, saying, “You are going to look at those pics in a few years and wonder what you were thinking. Pass!!”
Those that aren’t pro belt bag users suggest taking an alternative, a crossbody bag if you want to pack light and go small. One shares, “Crossbody is much more stylish and timeless.”
These are the highest rated crossbody purses for travel!
When It Comes Down to It, It’s a Personal Choice
Even though belt bags and fanny packs are soaring back into fashion—as with everything else—it depends on your own personal style.
A TFG reader chimes in, “I think whatever your style and preference are, you should follow that! You will look amazing either way! Just make sure that whatever you choose, it’s secure in case of pickpockets.”
Wear whatever you’re comfortable wearing and enjoy your travels in your own style!
What do you think is the best fanny pack? Share your thoughts below!
For more tips, please read:
- Shop the Best Beach Bags and Totes for Summer Vacation
- Affordable Bags Similar to Longchamp Le Pliage Tote
- Best Anti-theft Travel Bags for Women
- The 10 Best Laptop Bags for Travel
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