While they’ve certainly long since past their heyday prime, can a tactical fanny pack still be of worth to the prepper or tactical enthusiast? Is more practical than it is just… fashion?
I remember the days of white New Balance shoes, jorts, knee high socks, and fanny packs. Most people were happy to see these bad fashion days pass, but are there’s been a resurgence, at least from a “tactical” sense in fanny packs.
What makes a fanny pack “tactical” however? Is it just a word to make something sound cool? I mean, even SHTF Blog founder wrote an article on “tactical” Nalgene bottles.
So, are these bags more manly than they once were? This article details what I concluded.
The DYJ Tactical Fanny Pack
I tested the DYJ Tactical Fanny Pack. After looking through the options available online it seemed to be the best bang for your buck and it also came with very strong reviews. You can easily find it on Amazon for under $20 in just about any color/camo style imaginable.
This particular bag has 3 front pockets, a large main pocket with a divider inside, and a “hidden” back pocket as well.
It advertises as being MOLLE adaptable which I suppose is technically true, but there are only 2 MOLLE loops on the front of each side pocket. So, it’s not as if you could attach a massive volume of pouches to this. Honestly though, you really wouldn’t want to begin with. It could very easily turn this thing into something unwieldy if you were attaching large MOLLE items to the side of it.
I can see a tourniquet pouch being added to the side without any problem, but I wouldn’t want to load it down with anything much heavier.
Situations a Tactical Fanny Pack Could Come in Handy
I don’t know about you, but I quickly find a problem stowing all the gear within my bug-out bag that I would like. It’s a constant battle to determine what can be fit where, what needs to be prioritized, and so on.
I’ve done enough backpacking trips to know that spending the night in the woods without essentials (typically, because I forgot) is a pain in the butt. And that’s with prior planning as well. In a bug-out situation, you’re likely not going to have ample time to ensure you have everything with you on the fly. As a result, bug out bags are typically packed well in advance and then tucked away in a closet or trunk somewhere until they’re needed.
You want to have all your stuff with you necessary for bugging out as a result.
If you’re having trouble fitting all the essentials, that’s where a tactical fanny pack can come in. I can easily where my BOB and attach this tactical fanny pack around my waist as well to carry extra gear. There’s the ability to carry quite a bit of extra food with you this way.
That gear I was able to put in my fanny pack included:
- A lockpick set
- 2 AA batteries
- Ear plugs
- An Israeli Battle Dressing
- First aid kit
- Topo map
- Two pencils
- Ham antenna connector
- 2 Nutri-grain bars
- 6’ Paracord
- USB stick
- Radio notebook
That’s a lot of gear!
In addition to bugging out, here are some other situations where a tactical fanny pack could be of service:
- Vehicle First Aid Kit – This could easily serve as a grab-and-go first aid/trauma kit you keep in your car as you go about your daily business. You could easily stow several OLAES bandages in here, tourniquets, and other gear as well. Should something happen in which you don’t have/have already used your EDC trauma and first aid gear, this would make a great at-hand resource to get the medical care to the people who need it.
- BOB for Back Pain Victims? – Let’s say it’s time to bug-out and driving isn’t an option. An EMP has hit, leaving you and your wife stranded 40 miles from home. She hurt her back gardening a week ago and hasn’t been able to carry anything heavy since.
If wearing a fully stocked BOB on one’s back is simply out of the picture, but you still need to carry as much gear with you as possible, this may be an option for those with back pain. Then again, maybe not. But either way, it is something worth mulling over.
- Radio Go-Bag – I really like this option. I really enjoy ham radio, and a tactical fanny pack makes for a great way to keep all your gear on your person in one organized kit as you go out into the woods. An HT, radio book (where you keep frequency lists, etc.) spare rechargeable batteries, battery chargers, and even a pocket-sized solar panel could easily fit into this.
Whether you’re involved in Summit On the Air contests or simply looking for a convenient way of engaging in post-disaster comms, this is an option to consider.
- Drone Bag – Have a drone you enjoy toying with or that you use to monitor your property? In the same vein as the radio go-bag, a tactical fanny pack could very easily be used to keep all of your drone gear in one organized location as you go out into the field to do whatever it is you’re doing with your drone.
- Fishing – I personally find carrying a tackle box annoying. A tactical fanny pack full of the gear you normally use could easily take the place of such. If you use waders (you’re a fly fisherman) this could be a fantastic option.
- Off-Person Concealed Carry – While not ideal, this is a potential use here. If you’re looking to conceal carry a weapon as you go out and about, a tactical fanny pack can do the job. Any chance of being the gray man goes completely out the window if this is what you’re doing, but, hey, it’s an option.
- Hunting Snacks – Going out to sit in a deer stand for a few hours before dark, don’t have a lot of pockets, and don’t want to carry a backpack? A tactical fanny pack could be the ticket. I don’t know if there’s a duck hunter out there who can comfortably sit out in a blind by a pond at 3AM for 6 hours without some creature comforts.
Food, Hot Hands packets, a camera, and extra shells are just some of what you can securely stow away inside of here.
Is it Worth Buying? Final Fanny Thoughts
Honestly, I went into this review thinking it was going to be more of a joke than anything else. My mental image of a fanny pack is that of the out-of-touch tacky tourist.
And while I’ll still make fun of you if I see you in public with a fanny pack, I did come out of this review seeing that there are some merits to the concept of a tactical fanny pack.
So, for the prepper, are tactical fanny packs completely useless? I don’t think so, as they can most certainly serve a purpose. At under $20, a tactical fanny pack could just be the purse/man-purse you were looking for.
What are your thoughts? Are there other situations in which you think a tactical fanny pack could be of service? Let us know in the comments below!