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Fanny Packs Are Back In Style Sort Of

Updated on April 18, 2012

Some of you remember fanny packs, as we call them here in the United States much to the amusement of our United Kingdom friends. They were very useful but eventually, like everything else, they fell out of favor with scorn and ridicule.

I don’t care what some of y’all say it was one of the better trends I’ve seen come down the pike when you consider leg warmers, sandals with socks and handlebar mustaches. At least this one had a function and was practical.

You could put your essentials in your pack, bag or whatever you want to call it, hands free to hike, shop art shows, garage sale shop or even jogging. It’s important while out to have your driver’s license, house or car key and if you have room it’s not a bad idea to also have your cell phone in case of emergencies.

Change the name and you have a new style

I was looking for something to put my cell phone in while walking at the park. Instead of buying a separate mp3 player I use my phone but this latest one is too big to fit in my pocket. My yoga pants don’t even have pockets.

I’ve never been too fond of the belt clips some men wear because, well, they look too masculine for my taste.

Browsing through a fashion magazine at the supermarket one day I saw a teaser that said, “Fanny packs make a comeback.” Running out of time I returned the periodical and didn’t think anything else of it. Styles always go in cycles and no matter how much we make fun of a trend it eventually makes it’s way back around.

I still have a black leather fanny pack in my closet.

Waist bag, bag belt, bum bag new name same old product

Anyway, I was browsing through my latest Sahalie catalog and noticed a nice leather belt with a coin purse attached. The description said it was big enough to hold an iPhone, keys and your cards.

The catalog didn’t give measurements so I looked it up online to see if my phone would fit. They keep making cell phones bigger and bigger eventually we’ll have to haul them around in a wagon.

Mine is a HTC Sensation, which is pretty big, and on top of that I have it encased in an Otter Box to protect it because I had to take out a 30 year loan to buy the thing and want to keep it safe.

Anyway, the bag belt from Sahalie wasn’t quite big enough at five inches wide. With the case my smart phone is five and an eighth inches high, a tight squeeze. I wouldn't want to put stress on my buttons so I kept looking. I figured if Sahalie had one there’s a good chance someone else would too.

Also, the one at Sahalie was nicer than I was really looking for. It’s made out of leather and looks nice enough to wear to town. I just need something made out of nylon or other washable material to take to the park when I walk.

Fanny packs not just for women

Photographers have been using them for quite some time now to hold their lenses and accessories. Back in the old days they stored extra film in them but now with digital cameras their load is lighter.

Tool belts are sort of a fanny pack, it is attached to a belt that goes around your waist and holds your stuff.

Lots to choose from

Just like that magazine article says; there are tons of them out there in many sizes, materials and names. I listed a few I found online above. If you are looking for one yourself you will need to know the new titles because we no longer call them fanny packs at least not in most cases. They always do this; they reintroduce old stuff but give it a slightly new look and new name. They think they are fooling us but I’m on to their game. Vintage is in so if you still have one dig it out, use it and you’ll be hip.

Any size, material or shape you want, you can probably find. I found a great one on Amazon that was exactly what I need and it’s RED.

Some are attached to a belt and some you have to hook onto your own strap. Some look more like a purse. They have manly ones and feminine ones, just about anything you could possibly want.

A style that makes sense

There have been some silly ideas that show up in fashion magazines sometimes but at least this one makes sense.

Moms needing hands free, hikers storing gear or joggers needing to carry essentials and identification. I always liked the fanny packs but designers convinced us they were ugly so mine got relegated to the back of the closet never to be seen again; I pulled mine out, it still looks great.

Will we see them everywhere?

Hard to say. You never know about styles, sometimes people get all excited about them and other times not so much. Personally I hope this one sticks around for a while.


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    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      I have three of them in different sizes. My favorite is from Ameribag, a local company that sells worldwide. I especially like the fanny pack when I'm in a casino...keeps my money close and my hands free ;)

      Voted interesting.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      There are many different styles and some look better than others. I wear mine when I walk at the park.

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 

      6 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      I haven't used a fanny pack since the 1990s but everyone in my family had one. I think now people like to streamline everything so the style of a fanny pack is less appealing but I agree it definitely has use value!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      6 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I haven't used a fanny pack for years, but it was useful. I just might start using one again. It's great for yard sales to store your cash from sales.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      No matter what we call them, they are very useful bags.

    • sheilanewton profile image


      6 years ago from North Shields, UK

      Great hub. Voted up. You know, fashion accessory or not - my 'bum-bag' as we call them in UK is one of the most important things on my packing list when I go on holiday.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Timetraveler2, I'll go check out your story. They are very convenient and handy to have.

    • TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

      Sondra Rochelle 

      6 years ago from USA

      I also wrote an article about fanny packs, and I can tell you, I just love them! I started using one for casino gaming because with it I could never lose my purse!! Been a fan ever since. Fun hub...thanks!!

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      KJ, when we live long enough we see it all and then it comes back around.

    • kj force profile image


      6 years ago from Florida

      Everything old is new long as you live that long..hehheh..I have lived long enough to see madreas bermuda shorts, polo shirts, leg warmers( great if you run on cold days)roadmaster crusin bikes,you get the drift. My grandaughters love to rummage through my for "fanny" packs, never realized they weren't in..been wearing them since my trip to Europe years ago...glad to know I still have fashion sense ?

      Loved the do come up with some interesting subjects....thanks for sharing

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Hawaii Heart, they are very practical and hold men or women's necessities.

      Connie, great lesson. I guess this style has been recycled for a very, very long time.

    • connieow profile image

      Connie S Owens 

      6 years ago from El Cajon, CA

      I find the concept of these as new funny. Sometime ago I attended a street festival, merchants displaying their wares. One table held gear for the Robin Hoods of the world. One of the items was what we have called a fanny pack, made of leather and carried coin and tobacco, other needs. So, I suppose you could say fanny packs have been around since the days of King Arthur. :) No pockets, only packs.

      Voted up and interesting. Thank you.

    • HawaiiHeart profile image


      6 years ago from Hawaii

      Fun hub! I've actually seen a lot more men than women wearing them around here!

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Ardie, that sounds like a fanny pack or bum bag. There are many different kinds and looks. Some prefer them to be on their back instead of their stomach especially if they have a tummy, they aren't always comfortable sitting on our dinner.

      They are so practical, Susan. I'm glad to see them make a comeback.

      Kashmir, they are great and both men and women can use them.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Pamela great information about those convenient fanny pack,i had a black one i use when i go bike riding .

      Vote up and more !!!

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I've had a leather one for years and I love it. It's great for going to concerts, bike rides and for those times that you don't want or need to lug a purse around with you.

    • Ardie profile image


      6 years ago from Neverland

      I love the fanny pack / bum bag! I saw a lady running down the street just yesterday and she had on a fanny pack...sorta. It went around her waist and it had a few compartments to hold her items while she jogged. the compartments when on her back/bum but it was the same idea! I was totally jealous and decided I need one for my long hikes. A backpack makes my back all hot and gross when I go out hiking on really hot days. I say we start the trend going again ladies!

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Christy, I had a neon pink one too. I ruined a cell phone at White Water with it because I had the bright idea of thinking it would keep my phone dry. It didn't.

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I used to have a neon one, bright yellow and pink! hehe. I will watch for people wearing them :)

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      :o) Christin, that term confuses many UK citizen. I didn't know what a bum was for a long time.

    • christin53 profile image


      6 years ago from UK

      I had to read this just to see what a fanny pack is my mind was conjuring up all kinds of weird things. Now I know its what we in the UK call a bum bag. I had one many years ago and it was so practical it would be nice if they came back in fashion.

    • onegreenparachute profile image


      6 years ago from Greenwood, B.C., Canada

      Hmmm.....I think I have a fanny pack or two in storage somewhere. I just might dig them out as they are so totally practical. Thanks Pam for reminding me. Great Hub!

    • breakfastpop profile image


      6 years ago

      Actually, I don't think they ever really went out of style. Even Gucci makes one now.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      They are great for carrying things we need hands free.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 

      6 years ago from Long Island, NY

      I'm an avid hiker and I use a fanny pack myself. I even have one that holds water in addition to all the things I need with me such as cell phone, GPS, etc. Couldn't live without a fanny pack.

      I like the new look of this Hub in the fashion category. I would have been wondering about it but read it in the HubPages weekly.

    • Sally's Trove profile image


      6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      LOL, Pamela. Well said. :)

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Sally, that hot pink one might be too much for everyday wear but walking in the park would work. Your black leather one should work for everything else. What do kids know?

    • Sally's Trove profile image


      6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      I have two of them, one that hot pink color in the above video, and the other black leather. They are so practical! I've gotten used to being ridiculed by my daughter when I wear one, and I don't pay attention to her anymore. :)

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Mary, it loads a little bit slower but I like the pictures.

      Cloverleaffarm, you are set, you already have one.

    • cloverleaffarm profile image

      Healing Herbalist 

      6 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham

      I've used the same fanny pack for like 20 years. It works great on walks, and while we are shopping. Free hands! Personally, I didn't know they went out of style. Up+

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      6 years ago from Florida

      I've used a fanny pack to travel for a long time. It's perfect to keep essentials in. You wrote a good Hub about them. I like the new format, BTW.

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 

      6 years ago from Southern Nevada

      Great hub, I have to look for mine but I think I've already sent it to goodwill.

      On Monday I saw a young lady wearing today's leg warmers that I wore back in the 70's with hot pants.

      Voted up useful and interesting, Joyce.

    • fpherj48 profile image


      6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      LOL...Pam...this was an amusing hub. I enjoyed reading up on "fanny packs," which I remember well. I'm glad to see they are back! (now that I gave all of mine to my grandchildren to play with!!) They discovered them in my closet and thought they were N E A T !!!....and you know what? They are!!

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks, Bill. They are really useful.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I've never used one, Pamela, but you wrote a nice article that should be informative for those who use them.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Melovy, I read a while back about the meaning of "fanny" in England. Funny how words have different meanings in different countries. We have a few women with that name too, you've probably heard of Fannie Flagg.

    • Melovy profile image

      Yvonne Spence 

      6 years ago from UK

      Tics has already said it - bumbags it always is over here. From what you wrote I think you probably already know fanny is a rude word in the UK - although for a few women it’s also their name!

      We’ve always used these when travelling, and I have a friend who uses one around town. Don’t think they ever went out of fashion here - at least it’s always been possible to get them - our kids even had ones when they were little.

      Interesting to see the new-look hub too. Does it go on forever?

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Teaches, I've seen quite a few for sale but haven't seen many wearing them yet. I do see some out walking at the park and vendors at shows and sales using them. I bought that red one and intend to wear it when I walk at the park.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      I love the convenience of wearing these packs, but left off using them when they were considered outdated. Now, I think I will pull mine out again. Who care if what they say or sing about them. Thanks for the support of fannypacks!

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Tics, they have many names and looks. I hadn't though of motorbikes but that is another good use.

      I know, alipuckett, I was happy to see this.

    • alipuckett profile image


      6 years ago

      Holla! Fanny packs are back in style! Awesome.

    • tlcs profile image

      Trudy Cooper 

      6 years ago from Hampshire, UK

      In the UK we call them 'bum bags'! also a very amusing name! they are really useful for motorbikers as well!

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Elnavann, I was excited to see these come back around. I think they should stay just like any other bag we use. Like you say it makes traveling so much easier.

    • elnavann profile image


      6 years ago from South Africa

      These fanny packs have always been one of my favourite accessories - I have to travel often and it is SO handy for holding passport, pen, cell phone, credit card and some currency (and now also reading glasses). Also for walking. Then I got the uh..uh look from the family (teenaged)and realised it was out of fashion. I hope you are right so I can go dust off and old one or better . . . buy I fashionable new one


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