They go by many names, bum bags, waist bags or if you’re from across the pond, fanny pack but for carrying small essentials, they’re an excellent accessory for motorcycling.
If you’re off touring, a bum bag is a handy bit of kit; once you’ve dropped your main luggage at your digs, you can pack your wallet, phone and keys into your waist bag and not have to worry about a bulky rucksack.
When choosing a bum bag check the capacity and dimensions to make sure it’s big enough for your stuff. The opening (having an easy to access top opening may be better than the faff of opening a thinner front of side zip) and the durability. Make sure it’s waterproof or at least water resistant and make sure it’s constructed well. You don’t want the stitching to break and your wallet to exit stage left on a twisty country road.
Some manufacturers make leg bags that sit at the top of the thigh and oddly enough these are quite popular on the continent. We prefer the conventional waist belt bum bag. Here are several bags we tracked down in different price ranges, different sizes and opening designs to give you an idea of what’s out there.
The tough, durable, 600 denier construction keeps possessions secure on and off your bike. Featuring a front,rear, and internal pocket with an additional key lanyard, there’s plenty of space in there. Added reflective strips give you more visibility out on the road.
Featuring a single top closure, there’s plenty of room in the 17 x 23 x 5cm Dainese waist bag. With an ultra slim design, it’s not too bulky and won’t get in your way during your journey.
Held have created this 1 litre capacity, water repellent waist bag with mesh inner pockets to keep your items secure. With a front organisational zip and top zip main compartment, you can access all you need, whenever you need it. An adjustable waist strap means it will fit most waists.
This fully waterproof wasitpack from Kriega is a quality bit of kit, as you would expect from the British brand. Made from Lightweight but tough 1000D Dupont Cordura, it features a strong quick-release buckle and CNC 6061-T6 alloy buckle with adjustment. There’s a quick-access zip pocket and a roll-top main compartment. It is also guaranteed for 10 years.
Slightly bigger than most, this 1.5 litre capacity bag won’t leave you ramming all your loose gear in and struggling with the zip. The bag is made of ripstop fabric and 600 denier polyester for durability and a padded back section for extra comfort for the rider. Reflective detailing adds an extra layer of protection out on the roads.
Looking more like a utility belt than a waist bag, you get several compartments for your gear, so if you like organisation, this bag is for you. Tough, durable and water-resistant, the bag has a 2.5 litre capacity and adjustable waist strap.
Another large bag if you’re carrying more or larger items on your trip; the GRT704 by Givi looks less bulky than the MM93 by Alpinestars. With a satchel-style flap top and 2 quick release buckles to secure it, this waist bag holds up to 3 litres and can be worn over one shoulder and around your waist at any angle. Seamless and made from high-frequency sealed Nylon Tpu for water resistance even in the heaviest of downpours.
A cheap and cheerful option with 4 pockets for your gear. Dimensions are 30 x 15 x 10cm making it more on the bulky side. The material is a thick PVC coated Nylon which is abrasion resistant and water repellant. Probably not a good choice if you’re touring as you don’t want your stuff to get wet in a downpour.
Made for off-roaders, this 5 litre wait pack is large enough to hold tools, phone, and a drink plus others. The bag has an elasticated belt with velcro and plastic buckle for double the security.
Are all the bum bags featured here waterproof?
No. Some aren’t waterproof, most are water resistant. We have mentoned in each waist pack’s review if it is fully waterproof.
How much space do I need to carry my essentials?
If you just need to carry your phone, wallet, house keys, earplugs and a couple of snacks, then you will be fine with a 1-litre bag. However if you want to carry larger objects such as a bottle of water, a camera or a waterproof top then you’ll need a larger waist pack. If you are carrying a waterproof top, you’ll need a 3-litre bum bag.