When you think of everyday carry essentials, your mind might first jump to, say, a pocket knife, a metal wallet or your trusty leather watch. We’re urging you to consider a new EDC pick though, one that might not pop up on your must-have list: The trusty fanny pack for men. That’s right: A fanny pack. A staple of summer amusement park trips and family beach vacations, a boardwalk must-have and long a favorite of dads and moms everywhere, let us be the first to tell you that today’s crop of fanny packs are considerably different than fanny packs of days gone by.
You very well might be thinking of a famed throwback photo featuring one very famous wrestler-turned-actor (Hint: The Rock) sporting a fanny pack, a turtleneck and light wash jeans. As funny and very retro as that photo might seem, the fanny pack is no longer a mere afterthought to to throw on with other 90s style staples. The market as you search for a fanny pack for men actually features options aplenty to add to your everyday carry in a flash.
So, a fanny pack then goes from something that’s simply nice to have, and turns into something you absolutely need to have.
It’s a great way to give yourself more carrying capacity in your daily haul, too, and that’s no joke. While you’ve likely got the market cornered on a durable metal wallet or an EDC flashlight, a guy’s only got so many pockets up for grabs, even when wearing, say, a trusty and rugged shirt jacket. Enter the humble fanny pack for men, back in a big way to bolster utility and ease of access.
After all, your everyday carry doesn’t just encompass those things you’ve absolutely got to have on your person, like your wallet, your phone (preferably, teamed with a durable carrying case), and your watch. It also covers off on the things you might only need in specific situations, like the aforementioned EDC flashlight, a rugged pocket knife or another multi-tool. Add even something small like a pocket notebook and tactical pen, and you might quickly find yourself out of room fairly quickly.
So, a fanny pack then goes from something that’s simply nice to have, and turns into something you absolutely need to have. Most are made with durable and hard-wearing materials, all the better to stand up to lots of use through conditions both average and adverse. Come to think of it, a fanny pack for men functions in much the same way as other staples in your trusty everyday carry, yet it’s also being used to haul those crucial picks for day-to-night utility.
That brings us to another important point, something that we’ve said time and again here before. If you make the wrong call when buying that shirt jacket or your winter hat, or if you skimp on the essentials like dress socks, then you’ll suffer the consequence. That’s why it’s important to not rush into your decision when researching a fanny pack for men as part of your daily carry storage process. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you accessorize accordingly.
How to Find a Fanny Pack for Men
- Capacity is king: Many fanny packs, especially in the golden age of the accessory decades ago, served as a catch-all with one main pouch holding all your valuables. That’s a lot of space, but it can get disorganized quickly. Find the sweet spot between all of that incredible storage space, and the need to stay organized. Separate components can lend more organization, to go along with the proper capacity you need for the gear you can’t live without. It’s all about toeing the line between the two.
- Materials matter: Think of your favorite style essentials, from denim to leather boots. You can tell right away what sort of material they’re made with, and you can likely even surmise the quality processes that went into making them. The same is true of the fanny pack for men that you eventually select. Most should be made of durable materials like nylon or cordura, or other fabric blends used to taking a beating in the elements. And if you find, say, an abrasion-resistant fanny pack, you’ve just conjured up the perfect way to get your favorite small trinkets and tools from point to point B, no damage done.
- Look for sleek style: The thing about buying a fanny pack for men in 2021 is that your options are rather plentiful, at least compared to fanny packs of days gone by. The fanny pack, like we mentioned, is more of a tool or a real part of your EDC than something only worn during the summer months on vacations. And plenty of brands are making fanny packs with sleek style and those all-important, high-quality materials we mentioned earlier. These days, your watch, your smartphone and your tactical pen and pocket notebook are all remarkably well-made and built to last, so any piece of gear you trust to carry those equally critical everyday staples should be up to snuff. This year’s crop of fanny packs certainly hit all the right notes, in our book.
We could go on about what to look for in a fanny pack for men, but let’s get down to the real business of shopping for this surprisingly important and highly useful staple. These are the ones to keep your eye on, starting right now.
The Best Fanny Pack for Men You Can Buy Now
Peak Design Everyday Sling
We’re certainly impressed with Peak Design’s intensive focus on the coolest gear on the market, from large backpacks to highly effective duffel bags and even the smallest components of its innovative line of daily carry goods. The Everyday Sling from Peak Design carries on the brand’s modern tradition of dreaming up just about anything and everything a customer could want. This is as modern as it gets for a fanny pack, and the 3-liter option (paired with an adjustable cross-body strap) can carry small cameras and electronic devices, alongside virtually anything else you need close at hand during adventures on and off the beaten path.
5.11 Tactical Rapid Waist Pack
See, we told you that the fanny packs on the market in 2021 weren’t your run-of-the-mill, novelty offerings, right? This is another fine example of what you get when sleek style and tactical functionality are top of mind, and that’s certainly something this aptly named brand has gotten right over the years. This small tactical bag can be carried crossbody or at your waist, all the better to gain quick access to adventure gear and mission-minded, utilitarian picks. As 5.11 Tactical points out, “Versatility and speed are the name of the game with our Rapid Waist Pack.” That’s a far cry from old-school fanny packs, in the best way possible.
Patagonia Black Hole Waist Pack
The name of the game these days, no matter what gear you’ve got on your shopping list, is both style and sustainability. A product that’s built to last for years can certainly be considered sustainable, as can a product made from the very outset with sustainable materials. That’s what you get with the Black Hole Waist Pack, a unisex option from the legendary outdoor goods brand. If you’ve ever tested out a hard-wearing Patagonia duffle bag, then you know that the brand makes EDC goods to exacting standards. This eco-conscious pick, made with 100 percent recycled body fabric, is no different, and it’s available at an agreeable price in a range of neat colors.
Eagle Creek Wayfinder Waist Pack
You’ll often find that outdoor brands do a standout job at putting their own spin on a fanny pack for men, and it’s probably because hitting the great outdoors often requires a ton of, well, stuff. That could mean travel sunscreen, sunglasses, a pocket knife, a compass and maybe a multi-tool, to name but a few options. On that note, it’s best to go with a trusted outdoor brand that delivers the utmost in functionality that won’t break the bank. You very well might have some other items from Eagle Creek on your go-to packing list for hours aplenty in the great outdoors, but this no-nonsense waist pack should be your next pick-up from the famed outfitter.
Topo Designs Mini Quick Pack
If you want a fanny pack for men that channels a bit of the fun retro style your parents frequently carried around on summer getaways, then Topo Designs is your best bet. The outdoor retailer blends hiking-focused functionality with a bright color option meant to mimic hiking gear from the dawn of the sport in the mainstream (at least, we think that’s what the brand is doing here). This reliable quick-access pack isn’t oversized, so it’ll wear easily and carry some crucial small essentials out on the trail and back. Pick up a Topo Designs backpack for bigger trips, but be sure to snag this nicely sized fanny pack for men during all those in-between times. You’ll certainly be glad you did, and your gear will be all the better protected (and easier to access).