The “pack is back” in a big way, but for some willing to admit it, waist packs never went away. Fashion “don’ts” be damned, this once-popular accessory that fell into fashion mockery, despite their practicality, is a proud mainstay. With a few months of summer in front of us, and fewer options when it comes to easy methods of concealing, it’s time to get creative. If you’re not opposed to off-body carry, even occasionally, it’s time to add one of these to your EDC repertoire. The good news is that most of what was wrong about the ‘90s-era fanny pack has been updated and modernized, most notably the fact that today’s packs have been designed to fit your CCW gun. No more accessing your gun with a slow awkward one-sided unzipping or tearing apart a noisy hook-and-loop fastener. Without further ado, here are a few of our current favorites:
TWAW’s CC Waist-Pak made by Gun Toten Mamas (GTM Originals)
Two of the most popular names in concealed carry—The Well Armed Woman and Gun Toten Mamas (GTM Originals)—have collaborated to bring a simple, classic design in a waist great for activities day into evening. Constructed from buttery soft leather, the pack is sized right for women. It features a roomy main compartment but also has additional zippered pockets, a pen holder, credit card pockets and more. The holster compartment will accommodate many of today’s popular CCW firearms such as the M&P Shield, Glock 43 and so many more. An adjustable waist strap fits from 28″ (small), through 42″ (large). Designed for left and right-hand use, the interior features special padding to prevent gun imprinting, and nylon oil zippers for gun compartment safety. The lining boasts The Well Armed Woman logo. Overall Bag size is 7 1/2″ wide x 5 1/2 ″ tall x 2 1/2″ deep; GTM compartment size is 7 1/2″ side x 5 1/2 tall x 1″ deep; zipper opens all three sides; gun footprint: 6 3/4″ long x 4 1/2″ tall. Available in Brown, Gun Metal Gray, Purple and Black. Can be ordered through GTMOriginals or The Well Armed Woman. MSRP: $95.95.
Lady Conceal Kailey Purse Pack
The Kailey purse pack is crafted with premium 100 percent distressed leather highlighted with beautiful crisscross lacing or multicolored studs, offering a casual sophistication that makes it perfect with most attire. Your CCW firearms is easily accessed by unzipping the front flap. The interior features an RFID protected organizer with 8 credit card slots, an open slip pocket and a zippered pocket. An additional slip pocket on the back and a decorative zippered pocket on the front provide extra storage. The adjustable waist band measures 32” to 49” by .75” wide. Designed for right or left- handed use, the pack zips open on 3 sides, and measures approximately 7.5" L x 5" H. It is secured with a YKK locking zippers and includes four keys. This pocket is constructed of durable nylon and can accommodate up to a medium frame handgun. A universal holster is included which features hook-and-loop fastener for a secure fit in the concealment pocket. Purse pack dimensions are 8" L x 5.5" H x 2.25" D. LadyConceal.com; MSRP: $101.95
Galco FasTrax PAC
Speed is the key to accessing your defensive firearm. With that in mind, Galco's new FasTrax PAC waistpack enables you to unzip the pack and get your gun much more quickly relative to legacy waistpack designs. This is because, unlike old-style waistpacks that required the user to dig deeply into the pack to draw the handgun, the FasTrax PAC uses an innovative combination of a pivoting holster component and external activation cord. The waistpack is designed to blend with casual modern clothing styles while discreetly carrying. To maximize wearer comfort, the FasTrax PAC’s back panel is made of Galco’s Comfort Cloth, an Adaptive Performance Mesh that provides padding and moisture wicking. MSRP: Starting at $104; galcogunleather.com.
The Kodiak: The Original Ukoala Bag
Not exactly a conventional waist (or fanny) pack, NRA Women have always loved the original Ukoala Bag (now sold through Urban Utility Gear), since discovering it at the Exhibit Hall during an NRA Annual Meetings. This bag is timeless and boasts a certain rugged sex appeal on both men and women. You can read about it and its designer here. Of course, since the bag is worn on the thigh, wardrobe has a lot to do with pulling this look off (best worn with jeans, in my opinion), but it is indeed everything I had expected it to be. NRA Women contributor Holly Marcus initially put it to the test, and produced this video to give you an idea of how it can accommodate a very active lifestyle. Although the model shown here is no longer offered, many similar compact and full-size bags are available. UUBGear.com; MSRP starts at $148.88
Falco Drop Leg Bag
If you like the functionality and styling of the low-hanging pack, but are interested in a basic black version for a slightly better price point, check out the Falco Holsters Drop-Leg bag announced in 2022. This simple bag which, like the Kodiak, holds a lot more than my firearm and eliminates the need to carry a purse. Aesthetically speaking it’s a bit more mainstream, which draws less attention to it being anything other than a modern low-hanging waist pack. The only drawback to ordering this bag is that because it is quality-built in Slovakia, it took about two months to receive. Check out all the cool features in this video; FalcoHolsters.com. MSRP: $89.95