I've got a confession to make: I’m a grown-ass man who thinks fanny packs are pretty much the bee's knees. No, not in an ironic sense -- I have a fanny pack at home, I've travelled with it many times, and I legitimately believe it's the most useful type of bag I've ever owned.
These utilitarian outcasts have been a social pariah for far too long, and it’s about time somebody stood up for them. Here are eight reasons why I think fanny packs, like Pink in the early 2000s, are misunderstood.
Debatable: It’s Fine To Recline Your Seat On a Plane
Unless you're wearing UFO pants, stuffing your pockets with a phone, wallet, keys, Tic-Tacs, and lucky rabbit's foot can make it tough to both sit and walk; the fanny pack eliminates this issue entirely.
As an added bonus, its central location on your body alleviates the back or shoulder strain that can come from toting a more traditional murse or messenger bag. Also, if you've carrying a bigger messenger bag, you're gonna be tempted to fill it with more messages. Or, other stuff.
They make air travel incredibly easy
Your average fanny pack is the perfect size to hold a boarding pass, a passport, and a pen for filling out customs forms and/or jotting down the phone number of the attractive woman in seat 21C (JK! You're wearing a fanny pack!), with plenty of room left over.
Passing through airport security with one is a breeze, since it keeps your pockets empty. Not only that, but the little items that normally get lost in the bottom of your carry-on are within reach at all times. Best of all, it’s small enough to pass unnoticed and doesn't count against your allotted carry-on and personal item. Seriously, try it. It’s a game-changer.
They’re whatever you want them to be
Whether you just need a little extra room for your prophylactics or a secret pocket to stash your (legally!) concealed weapon, there’s a style of fanny pack to accommodate everyone's needs. It's basically the perfect in-between bag, a specialty item with myriad uses that, in a perfect world, would have universal appeal for folks of all stripes.
Batman wears one
Yes, it's technically a "utility belt", but look at it; The Dark Knight's hip-mounted container is essentially an evolved form of the fanny pack we know today. His outfit rightly eschews pockets in favor of a more practical, waist-based solution, making him just another one of the millions of fanny pack aficionados around the world -- fanny fans, if you will.
And he's not alone Plenty of other people cooler and tougher than you have rocked (!) the fanny pack, including Chuck Norris, Hulk Hogan, Joe Rogan, and, of course, The People's Champ (pictured gloriously above). While the Brahma Bull may have denounced his fanny pack along with the rest of his '90s attire, the fact remains that these forsaken carry-alls are not just the domain of the socially awkward.
Say you’re going to the movies, but instead of selling a kidney for a small popcorn from the concession stand, you decide to smuggle some Swedish Fish into the theater. Sure, you could toss ‘em in a backpack, but on top of being a waste of space, backpacks draw a lot of undue attention. Here’s a sentence nobody’s EVER said: “Hey, man, can I see what’s in your fanny pack?”
Fashion's not the point
Nobody's saying fanny packs are aesthetically pleasing -- you're essentially lashing on a droopy beer gut or a recently fed Python. Yes, designer fanny packs exist, but they're kinda missing the point: these hip-huggers are all about function, first and foremost. You're not wearing one to look good; you're wearing it to make life easier.
They make a bold statement
Again, it isn't a fashion statement; it's a statement about you. It's a declaration that you're not afraid to fly in the face of conventional wisdom by donning one of these strap-on kangaroo pouches and venturing out into the world unashamed.
It takes a certain "DILLIGAF" mentality to rock a fanny pack correctly, and most people don't have the stomach or self-assuredness to withstand the taunts that inevitably follow.
Here's to you, fanny pack guy.
Gianni Jaccoma is an editorial assistant for Thrillist Travel, and likes to think he’s more than a little bit like Batman. Follow him to the hero Gotham deserves on Twitter @gjaccoma.