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Waist Bags — Five Plus One

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Image via Blue Owl Workshop.

Five Plus One is our weekly series of buyer’s guides. We pick a specific category and dig up five great options along with one that’s a little outside the norm.


For better or for worse waist bags are back my friends. While many of us think of fanny packs as being those silly bags filled with sunscreen and strayed pieces of gum and worn by our parents on weekend excursions, they’ve grown into so much more over the last several years and are as utilitarian as they ever were. You might need to have a bit confidence to rock one of these on the daily, but for those of us who want to try, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best ones out there.

1) Master-Piece: Lighting Waist Bag

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Blue Owl does a great job of bringing Japanese techwear to the American market, which is exemplified by their stocking of Master-Piece’s Lighting Waist Bag. Constructed from nylon fabric with leather trim, YKK zippers, and a custom Nifco metal buckle, this bag features two primary pockets as well as one hidden compartment in back for your more precious possessions.

Available for $125 at Blue Owl.

2) Nanamica: Waist Bag

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Nanamica is another well known techwear brand dedicated to bringing us the best garments and accessories possible. This iteration of their Waist Bag is a bit bulkier than many other similar bags on the market making it a great option for those who want a little more room but don’t need to carry a full-size messenger bag. It features one main compartment, two zippered pockets, and one flapped slot for faster access.

Available for $209 at End Clothing.

3) Pop Trading Company: Shell Belt Bag

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If you are interested in a waist bag but aren’t sure how much use you’ll actually get out of it, Pop Trading Company’s relatively inexpensive Shell Belt Bag is a great option. Constructed from a synthetic material, this mesh-backed bag is great for those who just need a little bit more carrying room than their pockets allow. In addition to all its exterior pockets, this bag features a zippered internal pocket for additional security.

Available for $80 at Mr. Porter.

4) Porter: Force 2Way Waist Bag

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Porter’s Force 2Way Waist Bag is one of the most compelling waist bags on the market today. Made in Japan from nylon oxford knit, this waist bag is roomy with two exterior pockets, one large compartment, and a removal internal pocket; plus, the interior is finished with Porter’s iconic orange lining. The bag is designed to be worn around the waist or slung over the shoulder and features a removable and re-sizable webbing belt to facilitate this.

Available for $342CAD (~$255USD) at Haven.

5) Battenwear: Waist Pack

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Another great, entry-level option is Battenwear’s Waist Pack, a made-in-USA nylon waist pack with all the essential features you need. While it certainly doesn’t have all the bells and whistles it does have an exterior zipped pocket, a larger central compartment for all your daily carry needs, and a waistband to ensure a proper fit.

Available for $85CAD (~$65USD) at Lost & Found.

Plus One – Mission Workshop: The Axis Modular Waist Pack

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Mission Workshop is most known for their modular backpacks, which their The Axis Modular Waist Pack can strap directly on to; however, it’s just a good a product all on its own. Made in the USA from Dimension Polyant®’s VX-21 fabric with a magnetic closure buckle, coated YKK zippers, and a mini U-Lock holder, this bag is a lot to unpack (pun intended). While this style of bag still isn’t for everyone, the ability to convert it into additional backpack storage makes this specific waist pack a more compelling purchase, especially if you already own a compatible pack.

Available for $185 at Mission Workshop.