belt bag
Belt bags are a great way to keep your phone, wallet and keys on your person, while freeing the hands. Image Credit: Shutterstock

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. Instead of digging around for AirPods buried deep in your tote or handbag, store your elusive gadgets and trinkets in this pouch. It’s always within reach, fastened around the hips or slung across the body.

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.

belt bags
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 next-day, free delivery.

1. Best Overall: Lululemon Everywhere Belt Bag (Neo Mint)

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.

2. Best Quilted Belt 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.

3. Best Sporty Belt Bag: adidas Originals Utility Crossbody Bag

A true utility bag means a whole lot of pockets, stitched into a compact surface area. Adidas’ uber-cool 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.

4. Best Leather Belt 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.

Bonus: Buy with 0% instalments and pay Dh47.45 for 12 months with select banks.

5. Best Daily Belt Bag on a 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, lip balm, card holder, keys and other sundries. The Fourteen Hip Pack comes in several solid colours and prints, from floral to camo.

6. Best Activity Belt Bag: Oakley Clean Days Belt Bag

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 Codura 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.

7. Best Travel Belt Bag: The Friendly Swede Belt Bag (Light Grey)

A large-capacity belt bag is just what you need on a long-haul flight. Most reviewers pick The Friendly Swede belt bag for travelling, as it’s water-repellent, lightweight and wipes clean without any damage to the soft rubber material. There are enough compartments inside for storing your passport, vaccination cards, dog’s water bowl, wallet and phone. A detachable key fob keeps your valuables secure.

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.