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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.