Fanny packs or to use their British moniker “Bum Bags” are something of an enigma, no one really knows if they’re beyond cool or dorky as hell.
A lot of it depends on who you ask… if you ask my wife? Well, let’s just say I’m not allowed to wear one… No exceptions. Dwayne Johnson (Called Dwayne and likes wrestling and fanny packs? Must be a nerd) and Spiritus however? Well they obviously dig the fanny pack, as do I.
Up until a couple of months ago I’d been using the Flyye copy of the Eagle Industries ERB bag (reviewed here), mostly because it’s as close as you can get to the real and hard to source Eagle one seen on MARSOC CSOs and it allowed me to carry that little bit more gear whilst not adding too much bulk to my belt line, sat over the buckle where usually nothing is easily placed.
I ended up getting rid of it as it’s actually not got a fantastic amount of room inside, even a compact pistol such as a Glock 19 doesn’t fit into its deceptively small interior. It’s a good pack for a blow out kit or even a few small essentials but it really doesn’t add as much carriage capacity for its size as you’d expect.
Spiritus Systems have always been known for producing gear that’s both utilitarian but also with the little functional details that set it apart from its copycats and competitors.
However, when they announced that they were making their SACK into a stand-alone waist pack I actually wasn’t really that interested… The whole idea of a waist pack didn’t feature in my loadout and I didn’t see the benefit until after I actually purchased a SACK for my Haley D3CRM chest rig, however once I’d seen what the SACK was capable of I obviously wanted to have the same carriage ability no matter the rig I chose.
It’s a bit of a watershed moment when you find that one bit of kit that works well for you, I certainly had a bit of a eureka moment when I placed the SACK on my chest rig.
I picked up a fanny sack second hand whilst they were out of stock with my usual supplier at Tactical Kit, a shame as I’d have loved to grab one in Ranger Green or Multicam Black.
Beggars can’t be choosers and I had to make do with boring old Multicam… don’t get me wrong, I actually like the virtually omnipresent pattern and it works well, but for non Airsoft use it’s a touch too tactical for my tastes, although it’s becoming such a common sight in the fashion world that I doubt it draws more attention than the pseudo-camouflage patterns you see on high street clothing.
The actual construction of the Fanny SACK is almost identical to the original SACK (Reviewed Here), there are a couple of key differences however that will make choosing the right one for your needs quite important.
Firstly, and pretty obviously… The Fanny SACK is a self contained load carriage system, it doesn’t require or even warrant any additional parts to be used and can be worn in conjunction with practically any load out.
Wearing the Fanny SACK can be in addition to or as the key part of your load carriage, making it especially useful for EDC carriage should you need or want to carry certain things on you at all times.
Secondly, the Fanny SACK has a single webbing loop on each side, whilst not strictly designed for MOLLE or PALS compatibility, it will work to carry a small pouch such as a pistol magazine or CAT tourniquet holder.
I personally don’t put anything on mine but I am considering keeping my gloves attached here, via a small plastic carabiner on one of these loops.
So what’s remained from the original SACK? Well aside from those two differences there really isn’t anything to tell them apart. So with that in mind and without wanting to cover what’s already been done with the SACK, I’ll touch briefly on what I’ve already covered on the SACK review from last year.
What you do get with the Fanny SACK, is a small but well thought out pouch with a number of features tailored towards a tactical mindset.
The pouch is exactly the right size to carry a Glock 19, probably not a pure coincidence with that handgun being incredibly popular for self defence carry in the US. It’ll also hold a couple of smoke grenades or a well equipped blow out kit.
The bottom of the pouch features the same double shock cord that can be used to hold a CAT Tourniquet in place, further expanding its capability as part of an IFAK/Blowout kit. These feed through a pair of eyelets and can be adjusted via the cord locks which are held captive inside the pouch.
The inside of the Fanny SACK is lined both front and back with the loop material that helps organise the interior should you choose to use a system such as Blue Force Gear’s “Dapper” pouch/loops.
There’s also a pair of paracord lanyard loops internally that can be used for those “must not lose” items, I’ve yet to find a need for them on my SACK but they don’t intrude and could be useful for securing my car keys.
The front of the Fanny SACK is where it really excels in my opinion, the two way stretch material making the somewhat inconspicuous front pouch more than suited to odd shapes small items… Tom from Cobalt Milsim (before he went full RusFor) actually suggested a great use for it, using his JPC mounted SACK for carrying blanks and a reloading tool for his BFGs, a fantastic solution to an awkward to carry item. If running the Fanny SACK stand-alone then the same applies, it’s great for storing items that would otherwise be a pain in the arse to get to.
All the zippers are completed by Spiritus’s own type of pull tab, a coarse woven cord which was initially not my favourite type but after having paracord undo itself on certain bits of gear and the Haley plastic type fall apart, I’d happily convert all my pull tabs to the Spiritus design.
The strap itself from buckle to buckle is just over 120cm/47″ long, made from standard 1″ webbing it initially appears quite thin for the task it’s designed for but it’s never going to be carrying more than a kilo or so, the webbing being the same type as a fair amount of weapon slings I’ve used… I have no doubt it’s up to the task.
There’s not really much else I can say about the Fanny SACK, maybe that I’ll be looking to add another to the collection in a less military colour for day to day use or to use as an IFAK bag in the car… Either way, it’s a smart little pouch and one that has a lot of uses… Certainly not limited to the tactical world.
Hopefully Spiritus make another run in either Splatter or even better… MultiCat (Do it Spiritus! You’ll sell at least one!).