North St Bags Pioneer 8 Hip Pack review

Several months ago, while reviewing North St Bags Pioneer 12 hip pack, carrying and using what was essentially a big fanny pack for a few weeks challenged the stigmas tied to it. That is, the long-held belief that a pouch you strap to your waist is nothing more than a dorky bag for dorks. It turns out that I loved that pack.

So when I was approached with the idea of trying out the new baby brother version of that hip pack, I was happy to oblige. And you know what? I’m officially calling it. Fanny packs are cool.

Who’s it for?

Initially, I felt spoiled from using a larger hip pack for so long. Trying to pare down my EDC items to fit into this regular size fanny pack was a bit of a challenge, for me, at least. I think something of this size would be very well suited for essential items. Like a multitool, wallet, phone, a couple granola bars, maybe a Red Bull, keys, and a few other small items. I think it would work well for someone who feels they need to securely carry more than would fit in their pockets, but doesn’t want to tote a backpack.

Integrated belt. Check.

Personally, there are some pairs of jeans and khakis I have that don’t comfortably fit my iPhone 7+, so having something like this is a nice option. I used it while jogging as well when I didn’t want to strap my monster phone to my arm, and it worked well in this case.

I feel like any other suggestions would be similar to what you’d need any hip pack for, and not really specific to this one, so I think you get the idea.

Look! I’m a marsupial!

The belt is secure and comfortable, adjustable out to 46”. And the colors and design are pretty great. I love the options North St has on their website… think, Timbuktu style colors, with bright, interesting combinations. They’re meant to be seen.

Size and Build

The Pioneer 8 looks very much like you’d imagine, even more so now because it’s about the right size and holds what you’d expect from a hip pack. There are only 2 pockets… one large main compartment and a smaller one in the front.

Small front pocket. Check.

The belt is directly integrated with the pouch. I mean, it’s a fanny pack, straight up, but it’s super rugged, looks great, and is extremely well made.

Large main pocket. Check.

Dimensions: 8″ wide x 2.5″ deep x 4″ tall
Capacity: 90 cubic inches (1.5 liters)
Weight: 7oz (199 grams)

  • Rugged 1000 denier CORDURA® Nylon
  • Fully adjustable belt fits sizes 30″ – 46″ waist
  • Water resistant DWR finish
  • Handmade with a lifetime warranty
  • Extra long zipper ties

Conclusion

The Pioneer 8 is about as basic as you can get. A small pouch with pockets and a belt. It’s the classic fanny pack, meaning it doesn’t do anything new with the medium, but it’s a really good one, and it looks great.

All in all, sweet looking pack.

It feels very well suited for carrying your essentials when you’re wearing something without pockets, or just needed some extra space for a camera, notebook, and pens, some extra tools or granola bars… and not a whole lot else.

That said, it’s small and light enough to put on and forget about, and, just like I mentioned in my review of this pack’s big brother, the usefulness far outweighs any lingering self-consciousness of wearing a fanny pack.

The Pioneer 8 is available now from North St Bags’ website for $39 and, like their other offerings is available in a large variety of colors.

Plus, if you purchase one of the Pioneer 8 size bags through Nov 22nd, North St. Bags will donate $5 to the National Parks Conservation Association.

Source: The sample for this review as provided by North St Bags. Please visit their site for more information and to order.

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