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Bum Bag: Your Must-Have Stylish & Practical Bag Solution

Blush bum bag worn by woman with child on hip

Bum bags, fanny packs, waist bags, belt bags, crossbody bags...SO many different names for the same great style, right? Depending on where you live and where you shop, you’re bound to call it something different. 

Then, of course, you have to decide how you want to style your bag. Do you want it over your shoulder or with a shorter strap length to hug it close to your body?

Whatever you choose to call it, once you’ve determined your price point, you’ve got a bunch of high-quality choices to find the bag of your dreams.

Until recently, bum bag was an unfamiliar term to me. Having grown up in the midwestern United States, I had never heard of it. I had always called the bag around my waist a fanny pack, but bum bag is also a term for waist bag. (And the word “Fanny” has a very different meaning in the UK and other British English-speaking places. Who knew?)

Having grown up in the 80s, I remember all too well my first fanny pack (or bum bag to some). I used it to carry my small Minnie Mouse wallet and Canon camera. The brand was a Jansport with material in turquoise and purple. And surprisingly, after all these years, it never did find its way into a garage sale.

It's funny how a functional bag never truly goes out of style. (Maybe deep down, that's why I could never part with it.)

woman wearing bum bag fanny pack in smoky indigo vegan leather

Why is it called a bum bag?

Bum bag (sometimes combined as one word) is the British term for what we in the U.S. call a fanny pack. It’s a bag we clip around our waist like a belt or wear as a crossbody bag that allows you to store your essentials (ex. ID, keys, cash, credit cards). It’s an ideal bag when you have no pockets and need your hands free while running errands, juggling small kids, or traveling.

Fun Fact: It was Melba Stone, an Australian woman who was inspired by kangaroo pouches and credited for inventing the bumbag in 1962. But even before this, Europeans used these lightweight bags specifically for cross-country skiing to hold their lunch and small ski accessories.

Whether you call it a fanny pack or not, it's a waist bag worn above the "bum" or "fanny," allowing you to be hands free and carry all your essentials.

What is the difference between a fanny pack and a bum bag?

The truth is there really is no difference (it's the same bag). But the material it's made of (leather or canvas) or the number of pockets it contains can differ some.

The intended use is the same - carry what you need and keep your hands free.

Depending on where you come from (the U.K. calls it a bum bag, and the U.S. calls it a fanny pack) determines what you call this handy bag that can buckle around your waist.

There's no debate that it's an ideal carrying bag to secure the stuff you need while also serving as a cute accessory to any outfit. Truly, a win for both efficiency and style.

And at Kibou, we have an eco-friendly leather bag that's water resistant and cool and hip to suit all your needs as a parent, minimalist, or outdoor enthusiast who appreciates function and fashion.

 Mom wearing Kibou bum bag in cute outfit with son climbing a tree

Are bum bags in fashion?

Yes, bum bags are still in fashion. It’s the hands-free belt bag that can be more casual, blending in with joggers and sneakers, or it can be elevated while worn with a maxi dress for a special event. Wearing it crossbody or off the hip are some of the trendier ways to style your bum bag.

Crossbody bags, fanny packs, waist bags, belt bags, or whatever term you want to call them, Kibou has hands-free bags that serve as the functional diaper bag you never realized you needed or the mini bag you always wanted for a date night out.

The material is durable, and many customers have found them to be quite roomy, with just the right amount of space for what you need. Use it as a diaper bag or a grab 'n go bag for everyday life.


“I love love love this bag as an everyday, everywhere, all the time bag. It feels so lightweight and comfortable. I can fit the contents of my full-sized wallet in the slim back zipper compartment; my phone in the larger front with some extras. The key clip is great. I've used it every day since I received it. - Emily H”

What Fits in a Bum Bag

These hand free bags are great for packing only the essentials. Think "needs" rather than "wants." What can get you through a day of venturing away from home?

Forget oversized purses or totes where you have to dig around to find what you're looking for. Carrying more stuff doesn't always mean better. A bum bag already narrows down your choices based on the space it gives you.

 Kibou bum bag fanny pack with phone and essentials

The Kibou fanny pack's main compartment fits items like:

  • car keys
  • lip balm
  • wallets
  • snacks
  • phone
  • glasses
  • And even has a built-in waterproof pocket that holds 20+ wipes for those messy situations

If you're a parent, your diaper bag essentials include a few spare diapers, among other things. What's great about the Kibou fanny pack diaper bag, is it comes with a changing mat already. (And you can remove it too!)

Or if you have no kids, this fanny pack is great for everyday running errands or traveling light with only the essentials. Who wants extra stuff getting in the way of enjoying more experiences, right?

I know I can appreciate a bag that makes me feel good carrying it while also reducing my mental load.

 Kibou bum bag fanny pack with snacks, keys, water bottle, and essentials

What are the benefits of a waist bag?

Waist bags or fanny packs have a main advantage - you can keep your hands free. This is especially important when you find yourself traveling, needing to carry multiple things, or attending a live concert or outdoor event. Having a bag that can secure your must-have items and be easily accessible is a huge convenience. Because carrying a larger purse or tote bag isn’t always helpful.

There are other multiple benefits to having a waist bag.


It may be a small bag, but a lot of fanny packs and bum bags can stuff quite a bit inside. Or at least the main items you find yourself needing when you're away from home.

My kids are out of the baby stage, but I love having a fanny pack like my Kibou that allows me to pack my ID, cash, credit cards, lotion, sunglasses, phone, hand sanitizer, keys, and tissues. Carrying a larger purse these days just seems like more than what I need when I'm also running errands with the kids and need both my hands to grab things.


Depending on the material, these waist bags can be pretty reliable and durable in terms of quality.

Most Kibous are made with high-quality recycled vegan leather that's weather resistant and easily wipeable. Our midnight and jade colors are made from premium nylon canvas at Kibou, giving you another material option as well.

It's important to have a bag that can stand up against normal wear and tear.


An important item to note is how convenient these bags can be.

If you're dashing out of the house, simply grab it off the hook and use your hands for other things (like lugging car seats or carrying extra bags out the door.)

Mom blowing bubbles with daughter wearing Kibou bum bag fanny pack


Say goodbye to shoulder soreness carrying a heavy purse all day long.

With the bum bag, you can simply clip it around your waist like wearing a belt or position it across your body (referred to as the crossbody style). Kibou also offers belt extenders absolutely free with your purchase of a fanny pack if needed.


These hands free bags are incredibly versatile for multiple usage occasions and a great bag choice for a man or a woman.

If you're a parent, it can serve as a great minimalist diaper bag alternative to replace the traditional diaper bag tote or compliment your existing larger diaper bag when you want to grab something smaller for a quick trip out.

If you have no kids and like to travel, it works great for carrying passports, cash, and insurance cards right where you can find them easily and quickly.

And if you are an outdoor enthusiast enjoying hikes or a fan of outdoor festivals or concerts, having a hands free bag is incredibly convenient when you want to carry as few things as possible to embrace the moment you're in fully.


Load up with all the things you need. Typically for most, it's your phone, cash, credit cards, and keys. But there's also room for makeup or a collapsible water bottle to stay hydrated while you're out if those are your personal must-have items.

What's awesome is you can customize what you pack in your very own fanny pack.

Bum Bag - A Fashion Trend Worth Trying

This bag has evolved over time. I look at my bulky 80s fanny pack now, and what's fun about fanny packs today is the elevated style they evoke while still being incredibly functional.

It's possible I'll never go back to regularly carrying a handbag.

My Kibou fanny pack makes me feel good in the chaos of my every day with kids while at the same time giving back my time to enjoy the moments right in front of me.

Hands down, it's my favorite bag. I only wish I would have found it sooner!

Ready to find a bum bag (or fanny pack) just for you? Check out our stylish bags today.

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