Fanny pack vs sling bag, let’s begin with Fanny packs! They are also known as waist bags.

A fanny pack is a small pouch with buckles or fork-shaped hooks normally worn around the waist.

It comes with a single handle and two zips, one in the stomach area and another horizontal zip between the stomach and the handle.

The sling bag on the other hand is a chameleon that adapts its features to whichever environment it finds itself in.

The different types of sling bags are derived from how the wearer decides to wear or carry his sling bag.

If you choose to wear it across your body, allowing the bag to rest on your chest, it becomes a sling chest bag, if you also decide to wear it as a single-handed backpack, it becomes a sling backpack.

Peradventure you sling it on your shoulders, probably because the sun is becoming hotter, and crossing it across your body is becoming more uncomfortable, it becomes a sling shoulder bag!


waist bag vs sling bag

Below, you will find the difference between waist bags vs. sling bags;

First, waist bags are also sometimes called fanny packs while sling bags are called crossbody bags.

Waist bags are worn around the waist while sling bags are bags or purses worn across the body.

Waist bags offer easy access to items since they can be placed around the waist while sling bags offer more storage space due to their larger compartments.

Additionally, sling bags can be worn on either side of the body, making them more comfortable for extended wear.

In terms of overall versatility, a sling bag is the better option since it can be worn in multiple ways than a waist bag.

However, waist bags are more secure and offer more freedom of movement when worn around the waist.

Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and which style best suits your lifestyle.


Sling bags are not fanny packs. Fanny packs come with a unique design whereas sling bags can be styled in a variety of ways, vary in design, and can come in any shape that comes with the imagination of the designer.

fanny pack for sports

What’s the difference between the two? Sling bags are usually bigger in size with long handles that can either be won as crossbody bags or as shoulder bags

There are sling bags that look like briefcases. The only difference is that briefcases come with horizontal handles that can be handheld or worn on the shoulder.

These briefcase-shaped sling bags have their handles sewn across the bag in a slanting manner, restricting the wearer to either wear the bag as a crossbody bag or as a one-handed backpack.

Fanny packs are smaller-sized with body straps that can be tightened around the waist, making movement freer. Hawkers use this bag all the time. However, it can be used for fashion purposes.

fanny pack crossbody shoulder bag for men and women

Body con gowns are better won with fanny packs. They are quite fashionable and serve as a replacement for belts while functioning as bags as well.

There are some who are in the habit of slinging fanny packs on their shoulders or across their bodies, in as much as these styles are also in vogue and not ethically inappropriate, fanny packs are best won around the waist.

Some are in the habit of asking if the waist bag is the same as a fanny pack. Well, the answer is yes. Waist bags are the same as fanny packs.

You can call it whatever name you choose. Some call it, a buffalo bag, belt bag, belly bag, butt pack, hip pouch, etc.

Best used during flightsBest used for hawking
Best won on casuals like polo and jeansBest won on body-con gowns
Most preferred by menMost preferred by women
Handles are bold and longerHandles are shorter and tinier
Can come in many compartmentsMostly designed to carry two pockets, the outer pocket always around the stomach area of the bag and the main pocket
Can be used as a travel assistantRarely used during travels
Can contain iPads, books, mini laptops, etc. Depending on the size of the bagHas been designed to contain money, cell phones, and other smaller items due to its size
Handles are adjustableHandles are also adjustable
They come with fork-like plastic hooks. This fork-like hook closes when it’s jammed against another hook with an open mouth.They also come with fork-like plastic hooks that close when jammed against their counterpart hooks with open mouths
The manner in which it is worn defines its type.Fanny packs are fanny packs even when worn as shoulder bags or crossbody bags.



fanny pack vs sling bag

Fanny packs are not sling bags. While fanny packs are smaller-sized bags that fall in the category of body straps, sling bags are bigger-sized and slung on the shoulder or across the chest.


men sling bag

Sling bags for men come with a unique pattern. They are easily worn across the chest or at the back area. These bags are mostly short looking and designed for anti-theft purposes.

However, they are best used for fashion purposes. Men wear them all the time to the beach. A brand most preferred by men is the Adidas brand.

Sling bags for men have this ‘macho’ look that appeals to men. I once asked my friend why he preferred wearing his sling crossbody short bags with sleeveless tops and he told me they make his muscles bigger!


Women’s sling bags are generally known for their purse-like shape and chain handles. They can either be won as crossbody bags or as shoulder bags.

women sling bag

These bags come in various sizes and colors. Research has shown that over 60% of women in North America have at least one sling bag.

The reason is simple, sling bags are easier to carry than backpacks. Sling bags are mostly smaller and light shaped and can be used for every occasion.

There are small sling bags with chain handles that can be converted into purses. The wearer will simply tuck in the chain handles and voila, she has a beautiful purse to carry out.


Bags are not just bags. They change in accordance with how the wearer decides to wear them. Sling bags when worn across the chest are referred to as sling crossbody bags.

The most comfortable way to wear a sling crossbody bag is across the chest, so that the bag rests somewhere in the back, becoming a perfect substitute for a backpack and also creating easier access to your belongings.

crossbody anti-theft sling bag

You can always adjust the handles till the bag is close to your reach, then you pick up your book, or cellphone and readjust the handle till it goes back to the back.

There are several outfits that match perfectly with a sling crossbody bag. 3 such outfits will be discussed below:

Wool short gowns and long boots: Cold weather calls for cool-looking outfits. Imagine a deep blue woolen gown, just above your knees, with black long boots that go way up to your knees and a white sling crossbody bag!

This outfit can be worn with a long coat to work, to date, or to an appointment.

Tomboy look: Baggy jeans and a polo or sweatshirt can go well with a sling crossbody. This way, your identity remains unhidden. No one can accuse you of not remaining true to who you really are.

Mildly wild: Mum’s ripped jeans, crop tops, sunglasses, sneakers, and a sling crossbody bag, and that outing with your friends is complete!

There is no one golden rule on how to wear a sling crossbody bag. There are still guys who would wear their sling crossbody bags with their suits and brogues.

Sling crossbody bags are however better won in contrast with the color of the wearer’s outfit. Bright bags should go with darker outfits and vice versa.


mini sling bag

Let’s take a moment to reflect on what a mini sling bag is. Mini means small. So what does this tell us, mini sling bags are small sling bags, right? Well, yes they are.

Mini sling bags are designed to either look like wallets or purses. They serve the same purposes as wallets or purses.

However, the difference between the two types of bags lies in the length of the handles and in the manner in which they are worn.

mini sling backpack for women

While actual purses and wallets are either handheld or thrown into larger bags, mini sling bags are worn on the shoulders or across the chest.

Mini sling bags have a major edge over actual wallets and purses. Mini sling bags are difficult to lose, because of how they are worn.

Let’s imagine you went to the bank to pay in some cash, you were asked by the cashier to arraign your monies on the counter and you decide to drop your wallet alongside the cash.

mini sling backpack for hiking and outdoor sports

Now, there’s every tendency that once your transaction is over, you will forget that wallet on the counter while making room for the person behind you to start his or her transaction.

Wait a minute, this has happened to you countless times, right?

What if you decided to go with a mini sling bag instead, so you don’t have to keep the bag on the counter, you can easily bring out all the cash you need while the bag still hangs on your shoulder.


Is a fanny pack a shoulder bag? The idea I normally get whenever I see someone slinging a fanny pack on her shoulder is that of a tired trekker, who has spent long hours trekking and is sluggishly walking back home to take a cold bath.

fanny pack unisex shoulder crossbody bag

Opinions will most definitely differ but fanny packs should remain fanny packs and should not be converted to shoulder bags or even crossbody bags.

It’s funny how intertwined all bags have become. I won’t be surprised if suitcases become crossbody bags in the nearest future.

But think of it, it’s not a bad idea to sling your fanny pack on your shoulder sometimes. There are days when your mood wreaks of nothing but leisure.

fanny pack shoulder crossbody bag for men, women, hiking, jogging and running

On such days, strapping a bag around your waist might seem like too much work and all you would love is to sling your fanny pack on your shoulder.

There are still very busy days when strapping and unstrapping your fanny pack around your waist, each time you stop to do something that does not require you to carry a bag might cause a delay, no matter how little.

Well, on such days, I’ll say you go ahead and do what makes you more comfortable and efficient!


Most definitely yes. Fanny packs can be won as shoulder bags. However, the sizes may deter the wearer from doing such.

There are sling bags that are big enough to be worn as shoulder bags.  Hence, why wear a fanny pack as a shoulder bag when a sling bag can serve the purpose perfectly? I wear my sling bags as shoulder bags all the time.

fanny pack as shoulder bag for men and women with adjustable strap

Apart from the size, the shape of a fanny pack can deter a wearer from using it as a shoulder bag. 

This is because most fanny packs are horizontally shaped and for some, wearing it as a shoulder bag will be likened to wearing the back side of a t-shirt and pretending it is lit to do so.

Let’s help reduce the complications in the fashion world and wear our fanny packs how they were designed to be won, around the waist.


Even as we are not going to disregard the fact that both sling bags and fanny packs can be worn whichever way the wearer decides, the truth remains that while all fanny packs can be worn as sling bags, all sling bags cannot be worn as fanny packs.

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