I like fanny packs. There, I said it. I’ve been using belt bag systems since the early 1990s but these systems have varied tremendously. One of the best setups I had was given to me by another photographer who felt it was so worn out he could no longer use it. I grabbed it and used it for YEARS until one day it just fell off in a cloud of broken fiber. Gone. I poured out a few oz’s from my forty-ounce malt liquor and bid it adios.
I don’t like sling systems as my back isn’t happy, and sometimes using a backpack makes it difficult to carry a shoulder strap at the same time. Plus, nowadays I use the Fuji system, and within that system, I typically only use the 23mm and the 35mm. However, I do have the 56mm and the 50-140, which I will be using A LOT more in the future, so I needed to upgrade my belt system.
What am I currently using? Well, there is no cool way to describe this. My current system could be summed up by me saying “1980’s, Venice Beach bodybuilder.” Or “The Barbarian twins style fanny pack.” My pack is so bad I make apologies for it before I get to the shoot. What I typically do is stop everyone involved in the shoot and make an announcement about the fanny pack. The colors, the size, the shape. I’m not joking. It works.
So, I looked around and found something I really like. Super small, thin, light, comfy and modifiable. Newswear Small Fanny Pack. The company is run by a photojournalist I used to follow all the time when I was up and coming. He is beyond legit, and he also knows what works. Again, what I like is the basic pack is two separate packs on a thin, small belt. The additional pouches can be added when I need them. I’ve got one that fits the 50-140 and one for the 56mm. Heck, I’ve even got one for my phone, but my plan is to get a flip phone and move away from carrying a smartphone. Who am I kidding that I need to be in contact with anyone at all times? If someone needs me, just call.
This Newswear system will fit my cards, batteries, journal, extra lens, GoPro, etc. And, no strain on my back. Now, in keeping with my lifestyle, I will wear it with those baggy bodybuilder pants from the 1980s and I have enormous white high tops on order.