Fanny Packs 101: A Guide to Their History, Benefits, and Customization Options

Fanny Packs 101: A Guide to Their History, Benefits, and Customization Options

This comprehensive guide explores everything you need to know about custom and promotional fanny packs - from their benefits and target audiences to choosing the best materials and printing methods. You'll learn why custom fanny packs make excellent branded giveaways and how to maximize their impact for your next marketing campaign.

Olivia Smith

Olivia Smith
5/27/2024, 11:00:00 PM

Fanny packs, also known as belt bags or hip packs, have made a massive comeback in recent years. What originated as a practical hands-free carrying solution in the 80s and 90s has now become a fashionable accessory and promotional item.


A Brief History of the Fanny Pack


Fanny packs have been around since the 1960s, with some sources citing their origins as early as the 1950s. They were initially designed as a hands-free way for travelers and hikers to carry valuables and essentials. The name "fanny pack" comes from the fact that they were intended to be worn around the waist and butt area. "Fanny" is a polite term used in the UK and Australia to refer to the buttocks. In the US, they are also commonly known as "belt bags" or "hip packs."


Fanny packs rose in popularity in the 1980s and 1990s, becoming associated with travelers and people who likes the outdoors types. They were valued for their practicality and security by travelers and adventurers. According to research by, Fanny packs are generating nearly a quarter of the US accessories industry’s growth.


In the late 1990s and early 2000s, fanny packs lost favor and were considered unfashionable. However, in the 2010s, luxury fashion houses like Gucci and Louis Vuitton began releasing high-end belt bags. This helped revive the fanny pack image. Currently, fanny packs are beloved by celebrities like Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid as streetwear fashion accessories.


The Benefits of Promotional Fanny Packs


There are many advantages to using custom fanny packs as branded promotional items, such as:


Increased Brand Visibility

Fanny packs offer prime real estate to display your brand logo and messaging with their large, flat surface area. Recipients will give your brand ample impressions whenever they wear the bag.


Practical and Memorable

Recipients will likely regularly use a useful accessory like a fanny pack. This extended use equals extended brand impressions over months or years. The unique shape makes these belt bags stand out from everyday promo items like promotional pens & branded mugs.



Small, compact fanny packs travel easily to events, conferences, and tradeshows where promo items are most helpful. Recipients can conveniently carry all their event essentials hands-free.


Versatile Audience

Fanny packs appeal to a wide demographic, from students to travelers, event attendees, sports fans, and more.



Nylon or polyester fanny packs withstand daily use and wear and tear. They can promote your brand for a long time compared to disposable promos like food or stickers.


Who Are the Prime Target Audiences for Promotional Fanny Packs?


Promotional fanny packs are a swiss army knife promotional item, appealing to nearly any target demographic. Here are seven of the best audiences to receive branded fanny packs:


#1 Students

Large groups of high school and university students love practical packs for carrying daily essentials between classes hands-free. Add your school logo or mascot!


#2 Travelers

Frequent flyers, backpackers, and road trippers appreciate quality fanny packs for organization and security during adventures. Custom Happy Travels Fanny Pack


#3 Event Attendees

Giveaway fanny packs at conferences, company retreats, or concerts. Attendees will use them all day to carry event necessities.


#4 Sports Fans

Imprint fanny packs with your team colors and logo to distribute at games or giveaways. Fans will proudly display team spirit!


#5 Families

Family trips and vacations call for handy fanny packs to wrangle snacks, sunscreen, water bottles, and other kid gear.


#6 Shoppers

Imprint with your store or brand name and hand out fanny packs to customers as they enter your retail space.


#7 Businesses

Include branded fanny packs in new hire onboarding gift bags or employee appreciation gifts.



Choosing the Best Fanny Pack Size, Shape & Materials


Fanny pack shapes and constructions vary widely, so choose wisely based on your goals:

  • Size - Compact packs around 4"x 5" are best for minimal essentials like phones, wallets, and keys. Larger 8" x 10" sizes have room for water bottles, snacks, or event brochures you want recipients to carry.
  • Shape - Classic rectangular packs offer the most imprint space. Curved shapes and recent bum bag styles offer a modern aesthetic.
  • Fabric - Nylon is lightweight and durable. Polyester is inexpensive but still effective. Canvas looks stylish but can lack structure.
  • Closure - Zipper closures are secure and allow full access to the pack's contents. Top clip closures keep essentials more protected.
  • Straps - Opt for adjustable waist straps so users can customize the fit. Wider straps with padding distribute weight more comfortably.
  • Hardware - Plastic clips and straps will break more easily under heavy use compared to metal hardware. Custom All-In-One Fanny Pack
  • Compartments - Separate compartments help keep items organized and easier to access quickly. Look for at least two compartments. Our brand new polyester triple zipper fanny pack.


For music festivals or outdoor events, choose larger, weatherproof nylon fanny packs with secure zippers and padded, adjustable straps. Giveaways for professional conferences would benefit from small, simple packs with clean designs.


Finding the Best Printing Method for Your Promotional Fanny Pack


Customizing your fanny packs with your branding is key. There are several decoration techniques to consider:


Method #1 - Screen Printing

Most affordable and best for simple designs in 1-3 colors. Works on nylon, canvas, polyester.


Method #2 - Dye Sublimation

Vibrant, full color prints that won't fade with wear. Costs more than screen printing. Only works on polyester.


Method #3 - Embroidery

Dimensional raised embroidery stands out. Best for logos with clean vector art. For a timeless look, opt for simple embroidered


Method #4 - Debossing

Use imprint pressure to permanently sink your logo into the material. Subtle but stylish.


Method #5 - Woven Labels

Classy sewn-in labels prominently display your branding. Common for higher-end bags.


Method #6 - Digital Printing

Provides photorealistic unlimited color prints. More expensive but highest visual impact. Full color digital printing offers the most options for an eye-catching design. Explore our vibrant, full-color printed Custom Fanny Packs.


Where Can You Buy Custom Promotional Fanny Packs?


Looking to get your own custom fanny packs? At Promotional Product Inc., we have you covered. We offer the best prices online, and we make sure you're happy with your purchase. Plus, we offer free visual proofs, logo services, and samples with every order. Trust us to be your go-to for all your promotional needs!


Promotional Product Success Tips


Follow these best practices when planning your custom fanny pack giveaway:


Tip#1 - Research your options

Select the right bag features, materials and decoration techniques for your goals and audience. Get product samples before finalizing a large order.


Tip#2 - Lead time

Factor in production and shipping lead times of 3-6 weeks for custom orders from vendors. Rush fees apply for faster service.


Tip#3 - Branding

Keep logos and messaging consistent with other marketing materials in the campaign. Reinforce key themes and messages.


Tip#4 - Usage

Give clear instructions to recipients on how to wear and use the packs if needed. Suggest what essentials to carry at your event.


Tip#5 - Social media

Encourage recipients to post photos with the packs on social media to further spread awareness about your brand.


Tip#6 - Care instructions

Provide basic cleaning tips to prolong the life of the bags so they promote your brand longer. Most can be spot cleaned. Checkout our latest blog post on how to care for your fanny packs.


Tip#7 - Measurement

Track impressions by branding the packs with a unique URL, promo code or phone # recipients can reference.


Tip#8 - Follow up

Send a reminder email highlighting the fanny packs after distribution to keep your brand top of mind.


By carefully planning the production, distribution and promotion of your custom fanny packs, you can maximize ROI and make a memorable impression on recipients. With the variety of customization options, you can create fanny packs tailored specifically to your target audience. Keep these tips in mind, do your research, and watch your brand visibility grow every time someone puts on their new custom fanny pack.


The Bottom Line


Promotional products are an often overlooked but highly effective marketing tactic. Smart businesses should strongly consider adding custom fanny packs into their next campaign or event.


Fanny packs give you ample space for prominent branding. The useful nature means recipients will use them frequently, turning each person into a walking billboard for your brand.

Olivia Smith

Olivia Smith

Lead Content Strategist

Olivia Smith is our Lead Content Strategist at, specializing in creating engaging, SEO-rich content. With a keen eye for market trends and a talent for storytelling, she brings our brand's message to life. Her expertise in digital marketing and passion for customer-centric narratives make her a pivotal part of our team. Join Olivia as she crafts compelling stories that drive brand awareness and value.