It all started back in the early 1980’s. I was in Japan studying Japanese art and culture. I had an incredibly wonderful experience and came back to the states sporting a new look. No, I wasn’t wearing a kimono. But I was wearing a fanny pack! It was a small one and made of beautiful smooth black leather. Everyone in Japan wore one. But not in the States. Back then, almost no one had seen a fanny pack, much less was wearing one. I got all kinds of questions about where I got it. And lots of people thought it looked funny. Back then, women were still carrying purses the size of carry-on luggage, and men kept bulging wallets, a la George Costanza, in their rear pants pocket!
But I loved my fanny pack and wore it everywhere. A few years later in the 1990’s, it seemed like everyone was sporting a fanny pack. And then the fad died. For years, I never saw people wearing them. But now they seem to be back in style again. Some people call them lumbar bags, some call them hip packs, and I’ve heard others calling them waist packs. But to me, they are all fanny packs!
These days I mostly wear one for hiking and taking long walks. But they sure have become more versatile and popular. And throwing a small one in my luggage is a given, seeing as how when getting to know a new city, I love to walk long distances or go out for a run. Whether you want to carry a snack, pack your phone, stash hydration, or speed through airport security, a fanny pack helps you do it all without the hassle of shoulder straps or unreachable zippers.
Sure, using a fanny pack can be nerdy, but in a good way. They are not for everyone, but do have a certain appeal. I especially recommend them to my health/fitness clients who have shoulder or neck issues. It can feel like such a relief to take the weight of a backpack off your shoulders. That’s what actually got me thinking about writing this post and recommending some different types of fanny packs. In talking with my clients, I realized anyone who travels might be interested in knowing about the best fanny packs, whether they use them when they travel or at home. Continue reading