Americans sure can seem a strange bunch to us Imperial Brits, and I’m sure it’s a mutual feeling across the pond…
Apparently “bumming a fag” doesn’t mean the same thing over there that it does here and whilst we both use the word “Fanny” for things you can stick your winky in, apparently the colonials use that particular word for a bum bum not a foo foo 🤷🏻♂️.
They also wear their fanny packs around the front, not where the arse is at all… It’s all very confusing.
But back to Fanny Packs, specifically the one made by Head On Tactical. The first thing you’ll notice, is that the Head On Tactical Fanny Pack that I’m reviewing is made from Desert Night Camo (or DNC) pattern cordura.
This obsolete pattern has enjoyed a renewed cult following within the airsoft community, partly due to the influences of jackets such as Adventuretech’s reversible Goretex offering that’s been seen “in the wild”, it’s gained popularity within the Airsoft hipster movement I mentioned briefly in an early ATRG article, Maverick: Carving Your Own Path.
The pattern is popular, although rarely seen in the real world due to its aforementioned obsolescence. In fact it really wasn’t of much use, even in the early 1990s when it was developed, the night vision it was supposed to conceal its wearer from having been out of date for nearly a decade and normal camouflage or snow overalls actually offering better concealment when viewed with US issued and captured Iraqi Night Vision equipment.
It didn’t stop the US military from making an absolute ton of Parkas and trousers (as well as the unicorn rare boonies) in this pattern though, hence why it’s still available over 30 years from its inception.
The Head On Tactical Fanny Pack is relatively simple in its construction, a main compartment that bears a resemblance to the Spiritus Systems SACK and a slim document pocket within the main section made from the backing plate material.
The main compartment might bear a passing resemblance to certain other pouches at first glance, but it’s different enough to offer its own benefits. The main compartment is hull shaped, mostly rectangular, but angled in in the lower half to aid with ergonomics and freedom of movement.
The dimensions internally are 6.5” wide, 5” tall and 2” deep, which allows the user to carry a multitude of different items. From an IFAK to Haribo or even a sub-compact pistol, it’s surprising what will fit in there.
The front of the Fanny Pack is home to a loop field measuring 6.5” by 4”, ideal for marking up the contents of the bag or simply more patch real estate. I’ll admit it’s not something I’ll use, I’ve gone from being obsessed about loop fields on everything, to wanting the bare minimum if any at all.
Along each of the bottom corners of the main section sits a pair of PALS type webbing loops. Whilst these might seem a bit surplus to requirements, they do work well as an attachment point for your gloves.
A double zipper runs around the top third of the main pouch, both sliders are complemented with a paracord pulltab, a match made in heaven for this type of pouch.
The bottom of the pouch has a pair of metal drainage eyelets, these could also be used to facilitate a shock cord tourniquet holder, as seen with the Spiritus Systems SACK (reviewed here).
Inside, there is a single loop field on the rear face of the pouch. Whilst there is room for another loop field on the inner front, I’ve never found the need for more than one interior loop field on my other admin pouches.
On the main body of the Fanny Pack, there sits a low profile, document type pocket which is perfect for a “rite in the rain” note pad or your passport/paper money. Another zipper, this time with a single slider, gives access to this pocket via the top of the pouch.
The waist strap is made from a long section of green webbing, measuring 50” long from female buckle to male buckle. The buckle itself is a Duraflex Mojave in black, more than up to the task but they do tend to make a little more noise than the ITW equivalent. But with all due respect, it’s not made any unwanted noise on the Fanny Pack I’m using.
Overall I’ve found the Head On Tactical Fanny Pack to be a rather useful addition to my daily walks, from carrying a small Sony mirrorless with a short 18-55 lens to carrying the contemporary EDC of a mask, gloves and antibacterial gel. It’s given me that little bit more room to carry those bulkier items I either don’t have room for in my pockets, or wouldn’t always need to have on me.
Negatives? Well nothing has caused any issues so far, but I’d have liked to have seen a little reinforced box stitching or bar-tacks where the waist strap is fixed into the ends of the pouch body. Whilst it’s not an absolute necessity and the strap is triple stitched in place, it would provide a little more visual confidence in its strength and eliminate any chances of the waist strap being ripped out.
As for the concept of the Fanny Pack in general, I think it arrived 25 years too soon to be of any real use. Back in the late ‘80s we didn’t really need a Fanny Bag, but now with power packs and charging cables being a near necessity for many of us, the Fanny Pack could be a gentleman’s answer to that ever present ladies accessory… The Handbag.
In a quirk of fate, this is as much of a fashion item as it is a tactical accessory. DNC is part of one of the many little things that marks certain little cliques and subcultures from the many others in the shooting (and indeed Airsoft) community.
If you’re a “boogalorian” or a flat range LARPer, you’ll undoubtedly have bought something for fashion reasons rather than it’s tactical application. I’ll admit I’ve done the same as well, so the question really is, how far are you willing to go in the pursuit of niche fashion?
Can I recommend the Head On Tactical Fanny Pack? Well, even with a few areas I’d like to see revised, yes I can recommend it. The stitching quality is good overall, the design is well laid out and possibly the most important factor is that the material is an incredibly good match in colour to genuine DNC material, not bad considering that the DNC pattern was never available in cordura.
I’ve taken mine out and about for the last couple of months and it’s done exactly what’s been asked of it, and that’s really all that matters… Well, that and looking cool of course.
Thank you to Tactical Kit and Head On Tactical for providing this pouch for the purpose of review. If you’d like to grab one for yourself, head over to their website (here) to grab one in a range of colours, from DNC to Multicam, US Woodland to Ranger Green.