Best Fanny Packs for Travel: Choosing the Best Travel Fanny Pack

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Considering a hip pouch, lumbar pack or other types of best fanny packs for travel? Here we break down the pros and cons of using a travel fanny pack. Then we discuss what to look for in a fanny pack for travel and some of the best on the market today. 

Best Fanny Packs for Travel

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Once the travel accessory or nerds and 80’s movie protagonists, the fanny pack has made a comeback. Today, the fanny pack for travel comes in a myriad of styles, shapes, and sizes. We’ve listed up some of the best for your consideration. 

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Choosing the Best Travel Fanny Pack for You

The best fanny packs for travel have a wide range of features and characteristics, but they all have distinct advantages and disadvantages. Below we go through the types of bags you’ll be looking at, as well as what features to look for. 

Types of Fanny Packs for Travel

It seems like people can’t really decide on one name for these bags. I’ve used the word “fanny pack” the most in this post simply because that’s the phrase I grew up with, but there are many other terms. Here are a few of them.

Lumbar Pack

The lumbar pack is a type of fanny pack that is usually worn on the lower back. They tend to run larger and have wide straps to hold them in place. Most lumbar pack models also have pockets for one or two water bottles.

Belt Bags & Waist Packs

As far as I can tell, a belt bag and a waist pack are often just a fanny pack by another name. However, sometimes the belt bag and waist pack category also includes thinner packs that may or may not be worn under clothing. These could be like a money belt or could be something for joggers to keep their keys and ID in during a run. 

Bum Bag, Hip Pouch, Hip Pack 

As I see it, these are essentially just fanny packs by another name. Sure the categories all overlap here and there, but in general, I use the words bum bag, hip pouch, and hip pack interchangeably with the fanny pack. 

Advantages of Fanny Packs for Travel

Should you even consider a lumbar pack o travel sling bag for you may be different than the best travel sling bag for someone else. That said, here are a few of the main advantages to using a sling bag for travel over a conventional daypack.

Hands-Free Safety

One of the biggest advantages to lumbar packs, hip pouches and fanny packs for travel is that you can use both hands and still access your stuff. Even on crowded trains, your stuff is at your fingertips without ever taking it off your body. 

Packable 

Most travel fanny packs are small and fit easily into other packs such as a carryon suitcase or day pack.  

Disadvantages of Fanny Packs for Travel

No fanny pack for travel is perfect for everyone. Here are the challenges of carrying a hip pouch or waist pack for travel.

Not Much Space

Most travel fanny packs can carry the essentials and then some: phone, keys, wallet, lip balm, sunglasses, etc. After that, capacity varies wildly. Some lumbar packs have room for a few cameras, a bottle of sunscreen and more, but the average bum bag holds about 1.5 liters. If you need to carry a large sketchpad, a laptop or a zoom lens, then look for something larger. 

Waist Fit

This varies by person, but some people don’t like the feel of a fanny pack around their waist. It depends on body type and the width of the waist strap of course, but consider how it feels before choosing a fanny pack.

What to Look For in a Travel Fanny Pack 

What fanny pack features are worth having? And what should you look for in the best bum bags? Here are some worthwhile aspects of the best fanny packs for traveling. 

Water Resistant & Durable Material

High Denier polyester fabrics. Water resistant coating. Ripstop material and strong, chunky zippers. These all increase the value of a fanny pack for travel. 

Wide and/or Padded Strap

 The heavier the bag, the wider/more padded the waist strap should be. Any top lumbar pack will have lots of padding and a wide, form-fitting waist belt. However, the small travel fanny packs may have a strap narrower than your own belt. If they’re lightweight, then it’s ok. 

RFID & Anti-theft Pockets

Not all bags have these, but some of the best travel fanny packs are designed to deter theft. For example, some may have RFID pockets, which block identity thieves from accessing your credit cards. Others have secret pockets to stash important items or zippers that lock. 

Internal Key Clip

I like to have a small, secure clip inside a travel sling bag to hook a keyring onto. You can also use them to secure jewelry, miny flashlights, emergency whistles, and other various small clip-on items.

Water Bottle Pockets

You’ll usually only find these in a lumbar pack, which is considerably larger than the usual bum bags. This is a nice feature to have but it really increases the weight.

Loops & Straps

I like having a place to hook a carabiner to my hip pouch. Or maybe a compression strap to hook my hat or a sweat towel. This also provides an easy way to hook your bag into a fence or a chair if you need to take it off but keep it secure. 

Recommended Best Fanny Packs for Travel

You want’em, we got’em. Here are some of the best fanny packs for travel that we recommend. It’s a mixed list. For example, here you’ll find some of the best lumbar packs, hip pouches, anti-theft travel fanny packs and more. 

Eagle Creek Sport Fanny Pack for Travel  

This midsize travel fanny pack has a soft, fleece-lined pocket to keep your devices from getting scratched. The strap is thinner than I prefer but only feels tight when the pack is filled to capacity. It holds quite a lot, including a reader and a phone. Most of the best fanny packs for travel have loops and straps on the exterior. The Eagle Creek is no exception. There are several places to clip on a carabiner or webbing strap if needed, and reflective bits make sure you’re seen in headlights after dark.

Eagle Creek Sport Fanny Packs for Travel

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Mountainsmith Tour Lumbar Pack 

The Mountainsmith Tour makes our list of travel fanny packs thanks to storage design and versatility. This is a lumbar pack, which means you have thick sturdy waist straps. Want to carry as a messenger bag? No problem, The waits straps pack in and it comes with a shoulder strap. Specialized pockets hold passports, tablets and other devices. A bungee strap on the outside gives you quick access to items like a hat or towel. Water bottle pockets are wide enough for larger bottles. Mountainsmith is synonymous with lumbar packs and makes some of the best travel fanny packs in the business. In fact, they kinda started the craze in the ’80s. The only downside is packability: these don’t fit easily into day packs.

Mountainsmith Tour Lumbar Pack Fanny packs for travel

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Pacsafe Vibe 100 4 Liter Anti Theft Travel Fanny Pack

If theft is a concern, then Pacsafe makes some of the best fanny packs for travel. The material is resistant to slash-and-dash pickpockets, and two of the main pockets have zippers that lock together. (Lock sold separately). There’s also an RFID pocket to keep your cards in, and plenty of room for a tablet and small camera.

PacSafe Anti Theft Fanny Pack

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Dakine Fanny Packs for Travel

Like to keep it simple? Then Dakine may make the travel fanny pack for you. It’s basically just two zippered pockets, with a fleece-lined place for your sunglasses. The material is light and sturdy polyester fabric, which resists rips and dries quickly. Folds up small when empty, as well, which means it’s easy to pack. The adjustable waist is around 2 inches wide, which is fine for small fanny packs for travel like this. Multiple colors and designs, as well.

Dakine Hip Pack - Fanny packs for travel

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Cotopaxi Del Dia Bataan 3L Travel Fanny Pack

I love the idea behind this series from Cotopaxi. Each of these travel fanny packs is quirky and one-of-a-kind. Really. They are each made from bits of leftover remnant material, and their factory workers choose material placement. The result: less waste and each bag has a unique color scheme. The Del Dia Bataan travel fanny pack series holds up to 3 liters. It has only one main zippered pocket with two interior mesh pockets. Perfect for some travelers, while others may long for a zippered interior or stash pocket.

Cotopaxi Del Dia Bataan 3L Fanny Pack

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Osprey Talon 6 Travel Lumbar Pack 

If you’ve read any of our travel gear posts, then you know we’re big fans of Osprey. They make some of the best travel backpacks around, but this mens fanny pack for travel and hiking is also an exceptional piece of gear. This is a lumbar pack which means you get a snug fit around your waist. The hip belt is wide and made of dye-cut slotted foam that stretches to form fit. The two BPA-free bottles (included) fit snugly in padded sleeves. Yet it also dries quickly after being worn in hot & humid environments.

Osprey Packs Talon 6 Men's Lumbar Hiking Pack

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Osprey Tempest 6 Women’s Travel Lumbar Pack

For the ladies on the trip, Osprey makes a lumbar-style fanny pack for women, as well. The Tempest 6 has similar features to the Talon 6 lumbar fanny pack for men mentioned above. You have the same form-fitting slotted foam in the waist belt, which means comfort and better airflow. Waist pockets are large enough for hotel keys and some smartphones. The straightjacket-style compression straps keep everything compact and allow quick access to a windbreaker or sunhat.

Osprey Packs Tempest 6 Women's Lumbar Hiking Pack

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Herschel Hip Pack – Seventeen Fanny Pack for Travel

Herschel Hip Pack makes our list of best fanny packs for travel thanks to the sturdy and stylish design. Comes in multiple colors and patterns and works just as well over the shoulder. Its top pocket can hold several devices and wallet. The small front pocket is best for keys, chapstick, and smaller items. It has a waterproof zipper to keep things dry, but also means it needs a harder tug to unzip.

Herschel Supply Co. Seventeen Hip Pack Fanny packs for travel

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Pacsafe Slingsafe 75 gii Travel Fanny Pack & Purse

This cute little sling purse from Pacsafe is also one of the best travel fanny packs for women thanks to a few special features. For one, it works just as well as a fanny pack and as a cross-body purse. There are even some belt straps on the side facing the body if you want to really strap it on. But the best parts of this travel fanny pack are the safety features. The slingsafe has lightweight exomesh in the exterior and a wire-reinforced strap. That means slash-and-dash theives will likely leave empty-handed. There’s also an RFID pocket and zipper clips and other features. The best travel fanny pack for women who want safety features and versatility.

Pacsafe Luggage Slingsafe 75 gii slingpurse

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Badiya Fashionable Fanny Packs For Women

For those looking for something a little more fashionable, consider the Badiya Mini Waist Bag. It has a crocodile leather finish and comes in multiple colors (who knew there were blue and orange crocodiles?). This fanny pack for women hugs the waist and can hold cash, cards, cosmetics and a device or two.

Badiya Women's Mini Waist Bag Fanny Packs

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Adidas Originals National Fanny Pack for Travel

You don’t have to be sporty to appreciate the simple sturdy build of this Adidas fanny pack for men & women. The two-pocket design holds a water bottle and several devices easily. It’s one of the most reasonably priced fanny packs for travel on our list, but it’s also one of the simplest. No grippy zipper pullers and a thin, branded waist strap. That said, it does have a key clip and looks cool over the shoulder.

adidas Originals National Waist Pack

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JanSport Fifth Ave Fanny Pack For Travel

One of the original fanny packs for men, women & children, the Jansport Fifth Ave is made from 600 Denier polyester. Weight just 5 ounces it’s rugged yet lightweight, and it packs up small. Expect a slight upgrade to the classic two-pocket design, with a larger front pocket than the old-school type.

JanSport Fifth Ave Waist Pack

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Everest Signature Fanny Packs for Men & Women

Small, functional and inexpensive, I consider the Everest one of the best travel fanny pack for kids. Having said that, I’m sure that it could be put to use by any type of traveler. The Everest waist pack comes with three pockets. The front pocket has a detachable key fob. The roomy central pocket holds devices and other essentials, while the back safety pocket holds a passport and cash.

Everest Signature Waist Pack

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SoJourner Mermaid Rave Travel Fanny Pack

And now for something a little more fun. Originally a rave pack for fabulous men and women, I see these as perfectly great fanny packs for kids and travelers of all ages. Yes, the colors and designs may attract attention, but sometimes that’s what you want. That goes double if trying to track down your kid in a crowd. The exterior may be eccentric, but the inside is the same conventional 3-pocket design. There is a small front pocket, a roomy main pocket and a back safety pocket for cash and other small items.

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SoJourner Mermaid Rave Fanny Pack - Packs for festival

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What Travel Fanny Packs are Missing?

Do you know a great travel bum bag, lumbar pack or hip pouch not on this list? Let us know so we can add it! 

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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means, at no extra cost to you,  we might receive a small commission if you buy the best fanny packs for travel from the list above using those links. My opinions are my own and I only recommend places/services that I believe will genuinely help you find the best travel daypack for you. 

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