Travelin Trevors, Barbeque Billys, and Casual Cathys, gather around because it’s time for another history lesson. Today, we’ll teach you about the history of the belly bag. That’s right, the money bag, the belt bag, or most commonly, the Fanny Pack. The most underrated travel item of all time. Everyone hates looking like a tourist but get a B Fresh Gear Fanny Pack and you’ll be the talk of the town. You can hold anything in your Fanny Pack from spare change, to that burrito you couldn’t finish. Strap up and get ready, it’s about to go down.
We begin in 3400 BCE in the Otzal Alps between Italy and Austria. There was a hunter gatherer fella named Otzi, or the Iceman. The Iceman lived a very simple life. He would wake up with the sun, skip the morning joe, and head out into the wilderness. After he found some breakfast berries, it was time for the real day's work. He'd begin his hunt. He'd walk up and down mountains, over rivers, and through valleys looking for meat. He’d usually go home empty handed but he knew eventually, he’d get somethin. The next day he was hiding in a tree ready to ambush an unsuspecting deer. He reached down to grab his knife and realized it wasn’t there. He let out a “FFF***CCCKKK,” and walked back to the river where he assumed he left it. Pissed off and hungry, he grabbed some berries and walked home to create one of life's greatest accessories. He grabbed some supplies and fashioned himself an old school belt bag. It was a simple piece of leather with a pouch that he wrapped around his waist. From that moment on, he never forgot his weapons again because he always had somewhere to put them. He got so good at hunting, he came home one day to find all the finest lady gatherers waiting for him around the fire. The Iceman eventually died in the cold on a hunt and his body was mummified in the ice. When the scientists discovered him in 1991, the first thing they noticed was his drippy belly bag. The Iceman got credit as the first human to rock a fanny pack.
There were makeshift fanny packs being created by everyone throughout history but they really took off in Medieval Times. Because there were no pockets or holes sewn into clothes, Medieval Europeans would make leather pockets or cloth bags and wrap them around their waists. This gave them some room to carry whatever they carried back in the Medieval Times. Coins and potions maybe? Back then, if you had a fanny pack with some snazzy stitch-work, or some jazzy jewels, it meant your family had bands. The Scottish were the same way. They would wear aSporran.A Sporran is just the little bag they’d wear over their kilts. These were seen as symbols of wealth and status.
After the fanny pack was semi established in Medieval Times, the Victorians fully solidified the belt bag as legit. In the Early Modern Era, the Victorians got sick and tired of having their valuables fall out of their hip pack when they were riding horses, so they thought of a way to keep the lid closed. They discovered that forging some wire into a simple latch could keep the lid shut. Crazy huh! They also created small metal buttons that they would wrap leather around to keep the lid tightly secured. Now that they had a way to keep their sack shut, they could ride around without worrying about anything falling out.
Fanny Packs were first marketed in 1954 by Sports Illustrated. It was marketed as a “lightweight leather front pouch,” for less than $10! What a steal! The following month, Sports Illustrated marketed the fanny packs towards skiers as an alternative to backpacks. Before fanny packs were used as money holders for tourists in the 80’s, and as drug bags for ravers in the 90’s, it became very popular among the European Ski community in the 70’s. In Switzerland, fanny packs were called “bauchtasche,” or “stomach bags.” Cross-country skiers would fill their stomach bags with wax (for their skis) and snacks for their long days on the slopes. Skiers all over the world are breaking their backs lugging around heavy backpacks when they could be skiing freely with a lightweight fanny pack.
In the 80’s, the money belt was the normal attire for Travelin Trevors. Tourists would walk around new cities with their valuables safely stored around their waists. These OG Fanny Packs were colorful and durable which was very practical for nosey tourists but they weren’t seen as fashionable. The fanny pack was usually paired with a baggy t-shirt and some cargo shorts creating the classic American Tourist look. It wasn’t until the mid 90’s when the fanny pack was seen as fashion.
In 1994, the wildly overpriced sk8erboi brand Supreme was founded. We can hate on them as much as we want but they’re actually geniuses. For those who aren’t familiar with Supreme, it started as a streetwear company that was quickly adopted by the skate industry. They only release a few items at a time to keep the price at a premium. Teens and young adults buy the products then resell them for profit because of the limited supply and high demand. Supreme has grown to become a fashion super power with very little marketing. They leave the marketing to the pro skaters and celebrities that wear their clothes. Once Supreme was established as this super rare but super popular brand, all the high end fashion companies wanted to collaborate on products. This is where Supreme crushes the game.
Arguably one of their most popular products is the Fanny Pack. These belt bags are pretty much the exact same as all the others with one exception, the brand name. They’ve made fanny packs by themselves which have sold very well, but once they figured out they could collab with bigger companies, they broke the system. In the past, Supreme has released special fanny packs made by Louis Vitton, The North Face, and Nike. When the Louis V. fanny packs were released, they sold for just under $800. However, if you try to buy one now, good luck finding one for less than $3,000. Supreme brought the fanny pack into the modern era but unless you’ve got the cash to spend, they’re not practical. You’re better off buying a B Fresh Fanny Pack with a way cooler design for a fraction of the price.
Believe it or not, we have some pretty legit street cred in the fanny pack world. In 2017, HuffPost wrote an article titled, "Fanny Packs are Back and There’s Nothing You Can Do About It.” They featured our Magnum P.I. flowery fanny pack as the most affordable option. It was a very cool opportunity for B Fresh Gear to be featured along side designers like Alexander Wang and Michael Kors. To further stamp ourselves into the fanny pack history books, NBC’s Daily Blast Live invited us to make an appearance on their show. The episode was about functional fashion and we didn’t just get a feature, the hosts even MODELED our sexy belly bags during the show! Just to put the gravity of the situation into perspective, we were wearing fanny packs since before Despacito was popular. That’s pretty legit.
From the mid 2000’s to today, fanny packs have been used by everyone from celebrities to your creepy uncle but everyone has their own twist on how they wear it. Some people like to wear it over their shoulder. Others like to wear it around their waist. Apparently Kanye West likes to wear his fanny pack like a tactical vest. Whatever your style is, the important thing is that they’re back. Don’t be ashamed to rock a swaggy fanny pack full of mini bottles at Thanksgiving because you’ll probably need em.
There are a million different scenarios for when you might want to wear a hip sack. Hiking is a great time to wear a fanny pack. You can store snacks, water, first aid, and maybe even a little reefer if you’re into that. Another great time to utilize a rinonera, (Spanish for fanny pack,) is for sporting events. You don’t want to lug a huge backpack into the game so throw your phone, wallet, and keys into your kangaroo pouch and cheer on your team! One of the more popular venues for a moon bag is a music festival. You don’t want to walk all the way back to camp because you forgot something so make sure you have water bottle caps, (because they always take the cap when you buy a water,) sunscreen, granola bars, and anything else you might want to ENHANCE your TRIP. Regardless of what your day holds, you can’t go wrong with a fanny pack. They’re lightweight, very handy, and B Fresh Gear makes some drippppppy styles. If someone ever laughs at you for wearing a fanny pack, give them the classic D Generation X suck it move and keep walking. The Iceman would be proud.