best in class

The 10 Very Best Fanny Packs

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

Once mocked as a tourist trope, the fanny pack — also known as a belt bag, bum bag, or even waist pack — has become a must-have. Now it’s just as common to see one as you would a backpack, gym bag, status tote, or cross-body. There’s a good reason it’s made such a transcendent comeback: Much like the Crocs renaissance, a fanny pack is, simply put, practical. “Gone are the days of bulky wallets and carrying around an entire vanity’s worth of makeup — a phone, card wallet, lip gloss, keys, and your mask — is all [you] need,” says stylist Lauren Messiah. “Make it completely hands-free, and it’s a no-brainer.” And the bright-neon nylon fanny packs of yesteryear are still here — but you’re also more likely to see them in similar styles to the latest “It” bag: Take Coach’s suede-and-leather one, for example, or even this jacquard option from Dior.

To find the most stylish (but still functional) fanny packs, we asked more than a dozen fashionable people, including models, photographers, stylists, and some of our own writers and editors, for their favorites. If you don’t want to scroll through all the options, you can click any of the links below to jump straight to the fanny pack that sounds right for you.

Best overall | Best less expensive | Best for travel | Best for errands | Best leather | Best leather under $200 | Best for parents | Best (faux) leather for parents | Best for running

What we’re looking for

Material: A fanny pack can be dressed up for date night, thrown on while hiking a mountain, or even used as a hands-free diaper bag — and the material will help determine its functionality. Water-resistant materials like nylon and polyester will ensure your things stay dry. Neoprene, which can be hand-washed with light detergents, and leather are easier to clean. We note the material makeup of each fanny pack so you can pick the one that’s right for you.

Closure: Whether it sits above your hips or across your chest, each fanny pack has a specific way it’s closed. Most have the typical buckle closure, but a few on this list are unique in their design.

Strap length: Most fanny packs have adjustable straps, so you can tighten or loosen them to fit your size or activity needs. But some have a limit on how long they go, so we’ve made note of that wherever we can.

Best overall fanny pack

Neoprene | Buckle closure | 36”

Here at the Strategist we love the neoprene backpacks, carry-ons, and work totes from Dagne Dover, and its fanny pack tops our list, as it maximizes function and style. Strategist editor Maxine Builder uses the brand’s fanny pack because its “logo is hidden on the backside, in relatively small print,” making it more discreet than her other fanny pack, the Lululemon Everywhere Belt Bag. And since it’s made of “forgiving, easy-to-clean,” neoprene, “it expands a fair bit,” so she can stuff more into it. “It also feels a little less sporty, so it’s a nice ‘going out’ option,” she adds. Content creator Bethany Everett-Ratcliffe of Twenty Something also recommends this one, noting that it comes in ten different colors and “is small, but durable.”

Best less expensive fanny pack

Polyester | Buckle closure | 50’’

“JanSport is known for its high-quality book bags and sports bags,” says stylist and designer Alljahni Mack, who adds that the same durable construction can be found in this fanny pack. While it’s the cheapest on our list, this pack comes in over 20 colorways and patterns. It will add a “beautiful splash of color to your outfit and is compact for an active day spent hiking or working out.”

Best fanny pack for travel

Recycled polyester | Buckle closure | Not listed

As a complement to your abroad looks, consider this sporty Patagonia waist pack, which comes to us courtesy of Charlotte Stone, who runs her own eponymous shoe label. Stone first heard about the pack from one of her best friends, who works as the color designer at Patagonia (and updates the brand’s shades every season). She opted for the lime-green and dark-teal combination, by the way. It’s “ridiculously functional,” she says, as she keeps training treats and doggy treats in it on daily walks with her two dogs. Stone even tethers their leashes to the bag’s webbing straps to go completely hands-free. The Black Hole line from Patagonia is a favorite among our editors; the 40-liter duffel is our pick for the best weekender bag. This is a nice complement but also stands on its own.

Best fanny pack for errands

Polyester and nylon | Buckle closure | 41.7”

Lululemon makes some of our favorite gym bags, and like those larger packs, this belt bag maximizes function and style. Strategist editor Maxine Builder finds the Lululemon branding on the front “a little embarrassing at times,” but it’s small enough to go unnoticed. She says that it fits all of her necessities for everyday errands, including a sunglasses case, wallet, phone, and car keys, and she can “easily sling it across my chest.” Plus, “it’s fairly sturdy” and “water-resistant,” so she can wear it in a rainstorm and not worry that anything will get soaked.

Best leather fanny pack

Leather | Belt closure | 29–45”

This fanny pack from Clare V. is quite a popular pick — two of the people we spoke to name-checked it, and model Brooklyn Decker even mentioned it to us as one of the things she can’t live without. Decker got it as a gift from a friend and uses it whenever she’s running around or just soaking up the great outdoors. Stone has been eyeing it, too, explaining that she thinks this fanny pack will “truly go with everything” and appreciates the sort of collegiate vibe it has going for it. Iva Pawling, the co-founder and CEO of Richer Poorer, is a big fan of it, too, and now owns it in three different colors (and recommends it to anyone who will listen). Originally meant as a go-to for outings with her two kids, she wears it daily: “Clare’s designs are everyday gear with a hint of cool and whimsy, which make them perfect.”

Best leather fanny pack under $200

Leather | Buckle closure | Not listed

Molly Fergus, who is the general manager of TripSavvy, has been eyeing this fanny pack from beloved French brand Longchamp. She appreciates the chicness of the black leather (it also comes in red, caramel, and navy) “that can easily go from day to night.” She would wear it tight around the waist when touring a new town and as a shoulder bag when out to dinner. While this fanny pack is the second-most expensive on our list, if it’s within your budget, we think it’s an ideal investment piece.

Best fanny pack for parents

Photo: retailer

Nylon | Buckle closure | 21–34”

Parents, please allow us to point you to this belt bag, which writer Sarah Hoover uses as a minimalist diaper bag. It turns out, Hoover writes, she didn’t need all the frills — from bassinets to bounce seats — that she thought she did once her baby was born. Once she left her house with her newborn in tow, she “discovered that, for day-to-day excursions, a fanny pack is far superior to any proper diaper bag.” At first, she would carry two diapers, a Ziploc of wipes, and an extra onesie in the bag. But as her son has grown, her load has actually gotten lighter — with more space to spare for her own essentials, like a ChapStick and credit cards (which she keeps in the front pouch of the fanny pack). “Paravel’s pack, in its austerity and attention to smart design, goes well with jeans and simple dresses, but has a price that makes me not too worried if it ends up with a little baby puke on it,” Hoover says.

Best (faux) leather fanny pack for parents

Vegan leather | Buckle closure | 33–49”

After being sent this diaper bag–fanny pack combo by Kibou last April, it has become Strategist senior writer Lauren Ro’s “go-to.” While it’s technically meant to act as a compact replacement for a diaper bag — it has space for diapers, a waterproof pocket for wipes, plus a built-in changing mat in the back — she has begun using it as her everyday bag, she says. “What makes it convenient for baby use is what makes it great for everyday life: Everything you need is easily accessible, and it’s small enough to not get in the way,” she adds. Ro says she especially likes the pocket in the front with cardholders, which lets her grab her credit card without having to dig. She also likes that it’s made of easily wipeable vegan leather. “It’s just big enough to carry the absolute minimum: The main compartment fits my wallet (which is admittedly fat), phone, keys, a small bottle of hand sanitizer, lip balm, and a mask,” she says. “I take it everywhere, and it’s convenient for when I need to be hands-free, whether that’s at the grocery store, chasing my toddler around the neighborhood, or at protests.

Best fanny pack for running

Neoprene | No closure | Strap in S–XL

This pick comes from frequent flier (and regular runner) Molly Fergus, who is the general manager of TripSavvy. Although it’s much more athletic-looking than others on our list, Fergus is “extremely loyal” to this belt, owning more than five of them in different colors by her calculation. “The neoprene belt sits squarely on your hips and is tight enough to keep from bouncing around when you’re running,” she says. “The design is ingenious, too: It’s essentially a neoprene tube about the width of your phone, with slits to slip in essentials,” she adds. “Once full, flip the belt over so the openings are close to your body and nothing falls out.” Fergus always packs one for trips — since she has to carry her vaccine card much more on these trips, it’s become especially handy. “I’ve considered using this as a money belt when I’m in crowded areas. It could easily hide underneath a baggy shirt, so your passport, cash, and CDC card — perhaps the most valuable item of the three — are safely hidden,” she explains.

Our experts

Maxine Builder, Strategist editor
Brooklyn Decker, actress and model
• Molly Fergus, who is the general manager of TripSavvy
• Bethany Everett-Ratcliffe, content creator of Twenty Something
• Sarah Hoover, writer and art historian
Alljahni Mack, stylist and designer
• Iva Pawling, the co-founder and CEO of Richer Poorer
Lauren Ro, Strategist senior writer
Charlotte Stone, women’s footwear designer

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

The 10 Very Best Fanny Packs