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The Amazon best-seller gets this travel writer’s stamp of approval.
I haven’t always been a fan of belt bags. Several years ago, this travel writer would have roasted my friends and family if they wore a fanny pack. However, these days, I don’t leave home without wearing my valuables around my waist. Why am I suddenly a fan of fanny packs?
It helps that they came back in style a few years ago. But my biggest reason is that fanny packs are practical — and after a pickpocketing incident in Paris, I’m convinced they’re the best way to keep my valuables safe (not to mention keeping my hands free for toting bags, texting, carrying espressos , etc.) While the first fanny pack I got this year was the Travel + Leisure editor-approved, best-selling Lululemon Everywhere Belt Bag, my go-to after the Paris incident has become my Maxtop Large Crossbody Fanny Pack, all thanks to a genius, pickpocket-proof exterior pocket.
to buy: amazon.com, $16
Why would I choose to wear a random brand from Amazon instead of Lululemon? For starters, the aptly named Maxtop Large Crossbody Fanny Pack is the largest fanny pack I’ve found that’s also fashionable. It’s not so big that you’re tempted to pack everything but the kitchen sink; however, it has enough space to fit everything you need for a day of sightseeing. It can easily hold my wallet, passport, gum, lip balm, iPhone 14, Anker portable charger, and my obnoxiously oversized, but super cool, Pit Viper sunglasses.
All that space is thanks to the bag’s four pockets, including an interior pocket in the main compartment and two exterior pockets. One of the exterior pockets is even pickpocket-proof — a feature I love because when my things were stolen in Paris, it was a real pain to replace them. This hidden pocket, which is big enough to fit a phone and passport, is on the inside of the bag, up against my body where it’s not accessible to anyone but me.
While it’s available in 30 colors, including some fun holographic looks, I opted for black because it goes with everything in my travel wardrobe. Currently, I’m rocking it while exploring London. I mostly wear it around my waist while walking through Hyde Park, but if I’m shopping in SoHo and need to have my credit cards handy, I love being able to sport it as a crossbody bag or a sling bag. While many travelers rely on wireless earbuds these days, if you’re like me and have the old-fashioned ones, you’ll appreciate the fact this bag has a headphone port.
to buy: amazon.com, $16
Related: I’m a Travel Writer, and These Are the 10 Under-$30 Amazon Belt Bags I’m Eyeing Ahead of My Next Trip
And when it rains, I don’t need to worry about the contents of my bag getting wet. The Maxtop Large Crossbody Fanny Pack is made of a water-resistant polyester. In fact, the fabric feels very durable for a $16 bag. The zippers, too, are high quality.
With more than 31,800 five-star ratings and a 4.6-star average rating, the Maxtop Large Crossbody Fanny Pack is ranked No. 1 on Amazon’s list of Best Sellers in Running Waist Packs. Many shoppers like me to buy this bag for a certain trip but love using it so much they end up wearing it at home too. “Got so comfortable wearing the bag on vacation, continued to wear it daily,” wrote one shopper whose review was titled “Great vacation ‘hands-free’ bag.”
to buy: amazon.com, $19
Another shopper who wore theirs while visiting Universal Studios wrote, “It was hot, but this fanny pack was very comfortable. I was able to keep it on my waist for most rides. I was able to carry an 8-ounce water bottle, my cards, money, a small snack and a small sunscreen.” And of course, lots of reviews rave about this bag’s versatility in addition to its pockets. “The fabric is extremely durable and the size is perfect for hiking, cycling, traveling, etc.,” wrote one shopper. “The features that impressed me most were the pockets and positions of them. It’s easy to hide passports, phones, etc. out of ‘pickpocket range’ as two of them are hidden.”
The Maxtop Large Crossbody Fanny Pack made me a belt bag believer, and it keeps my valuables safe. Of course, if you’re not worried about pickpockets, or you prefer different bells and whistles or perhaps a smaller bag, there are plenty of options all under $25 at Amazon. Here are a few best-sellers worth looking at. And I promise, if people like my old self make fun of you for wearing one, just remember: It’s only because deep down they’re probably jealous of your flair.
More Belt Bags at Amazon:
WaterFly Fanny Pack Waist Bag
to buy: amazon.com, $18
Sinno Large Crossbody Fanny Pack
to buy: amazon.com, $13
Kege Slim Reflective Running Belt Fanny Pack
to buy: amazon.com, $10
Fitter’s Niche UltraSlim Fanny Waist Pack
to buy: amazon.com, $14
Nabob Leather Fanny Pack Waist Bag
to buy: amazon.com, $22
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Read the original article on Travel & Leisure.