fanny pack belt bag stock
Belt bags are a great way to keep your phone, wallet and keys on your person, while freeing the hands during your travels. Image Credit: Pexels/Flávio Santos

A blast from the past, belt bags are back in style. We’re reminded, once again, of how practical, hip and space-saving they are. These versatile pouches go by many names – call it the fanny pack, moon bag or the waist bag – all designed for easy access to your essentials. Let this be your go-to purse for any upcoming travels, where you can roam the streets stress-free knowing that your wallet, keys and phone are securely strapped to you.

Fanny packs are also excellent for clearing busy airports. Instead of digging around for AirPods buried deep in your tote or handbag, you could store your elusive gadgets and trinkets in this pouch. Personal documents of import are always within reach, too, ready to be presented in a swift motion. And, as the bag is fastened around the hips or slung across the body, the hands are free to push the baby stroller and luggage.

How do I style a belt bag?

Today’s belt bags have come far from the basic nylon fanny packs of the 1980s. “The most common silhouettes are sporty, the ones you’d wear to the gym or on a run. Then, you have the premium belt bags by Bottega Veneta, Prada, Dior and Louis Vuitton, which can be as sleek as a belt. They’ll come in a variation of leather, nylon and fabric,” said Sherry Fikry, a certified fashion stylist from FAD Institute of Fashion and Luxury in Dubai.

Fikry often wears her Dior Saddle belt bag on a night out, sometimes over or under a blazer. “It’s functional, stylish and hands-free at the same time – you don’t really have to carry a handbag around. Many fashion bloggers in Dubai own a belt bag or two,” she added.

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Petite bags wear flatteringly well around the waist, while athletic models suit the crossbody style more. Image Credit: Shutterstock

On TikTok, street fashion dictates looping your pouch over a shoulder, like a crossbody bag. Fikry says that while you can wear a waist bag both ways, “the crossbody look comes off a bit cooler since the bag is not meant to be worn like that”. We went ahead and asked Fikry for some sure-fire styling tips to rock your own fanny pack.

It all depends on the size of the pouch. Smaller bags with clean silhouettes look better off fastened to the waist, over a coat, shirt dress or blazer. Branded belt bags that boast a clear monogram can also become a statement accessory in your outfit, “as long as you don’t have another logo on your clothes”. For the crossbody look, go for bigger, athletic bags, which are usually best paired with athleisure wear.

Check out Fikry’s picks below, interspersed with waist packs we’ve seen trending on TikTok. Ditch the bulky bags and snag your new belt bag from Amazon, with a Prime membership for same- or next-day, free delivery.

1. Best Overall: Bellroy Venture Hip Pack

If you're familiar with Bellroy's tech gear pouches, then you can trust the manufacturer with a waist bag designed for devices. The Venture Hip Pack is made from recycled nylon and polyester, which can withstand a bit of rain shower (or sweat) since the fabric is water-resistant and the zippers coated. As for storage, the smaller front pocket has an internal divider for sorting smaller trinkets, along with a built-in key clip. But the best part is its padded phone sleeve and mesh sunglasses pocket in the main compartment. Reviewers say the hip pack is the perfect blend of athletic and formal, and willingly pay the premium for quality materials to protect their daily gear.

2. Best Trending Bag: Lululemon Everywhere Belt Bag

The Everywhere Belt Bag is, in the literal sense of the word, everywhere. Lululemon is the top related keyword in belt bag searches on TikTok, and for good reason. It’s neither too big nor too petite for your essentials, which go inside the main compartment – your phone is easily accessible from the dedicated slip pocket within. The belt bag fits your wallet, keys, glosses and more in its one-litre capacity. Sling it over the shoulder while wearing your best athleisure outfit. Choose from 12 vibrant colours to match. Globetrotters have worn it to different countries, and leave their larger purses behind. Many comment on how light it wears for the entire day, fitting a lot more items than they expected.

3. Best Fashionable Bag: Guess Active Aspen Mini Convertible Crossbody Bag, Black

Fikry highlights quilted belt bags, for those who want to graduate from minimalist designs. Alternate with this sophisticated Guess fanny pack on select occasions, designed in a quilted faux-leather fabric that hardly resembles nylon. It’s a puffer crossbody bag that has a spacious zip pocket and comes with a wide adjustable strap, embossed in Guess’s branding. Besides black, the bag is also available in futuristic silver.

4. Best Sporty Bag: adidas Originals Premium National Waist Bag

Smart, stylish and perfect for daily errands or morning walks, Adidas’ waist pack has a large main compartment with zippered interior and exterior pockets, along with a detachable key fob inside. It exudes the ultimate athletic look that complements jogger pants and sneakers extremely well, says Fikry. Travellers in the reviews say they were able to fit their ID cards, phone, sunglasses, phone charger, some snacks and more, into this utility bag.

5. Best Leather Bag: Kate Spade New York Leila Leather Belt Bag, Warm Gingerbread

Where a nylon pack won’t cut it, a leather belt bag just might. Dress up with Kate Spade New York’s Leila, a pebbled leather fanny pack in a warm camel hue. Unlike our preceding picks, this bag has a croissant silhouette so it sits snug across the chest. You’re getting an exterior pocket, a main compartment and three credit card slots. Reviews say the material is soft to the touch with buttery zippers, and the colour can be styled with nearly all outfits. What stood out for travellers is the secure strap that doesn't unhook, as it's only meant to be adjusted.

Bonus: Buy with 0% instalments and pay Dh50.92 for 12 months with select banks.

6. Best Budget: Herschel Fourteen Unisex Hipsack

Herschel’s Fourteen waist pack is the ideal daily accessory for grab-and-go. You’ll reach for it time and time again, because of how seamlessly the bag blends in with your wardrobe. It’s petite, carries one compartment and has a flattering silhouette – a must-have basic belt bag for your collection. Reviewers say its one-litre capacity holds their phone, power bank, lip balm, card holder, keys and other sundries. The Fourteen Hip Pack comes in several solid colours and prints, from floral to camo. Unlike other bags on this list, reviewers say the Fourteen hip sack has a lot of room for strap extension, giving you more styling freedom.

7. Best Activity Bag: Oakley Clean Days Belt Bag

If your itinerary is composed of hikes and climbs, embark on adventures with supplies stashed closer on your person. The Oakley Clean Days belt bag is rugged, durable and water-repellent, made from the tear-resistant fabric Cordura and nylon. Aside from the main pocket, there’s an external zippered compartment and a Velcro-closure pocket on either side. For a small-sized belt bag, it packs quite well, say reviewers. You can expect the material to hold out against the elements, come rain or shine. It also stays put in the event of physical exertion or sudden movements, making it an excellent activity bag, they add.

Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.