This is the travel bag you need right now


(CNN) — Don’t call it a fanny pack!

It’s been here for years. Once the object of ridicule, the fanny pack is an accessory most self-appointed stylish humans wouldn’t be caught dead in (it was reserved for the sock-and-sandal travel set).

Yet slowly but surely, the purse-like accessory began appearing at fashion shows, on street-style hipsters and on celebrities such as Kendall Jenner, Rihanna and Beyoncé, all whom were unironically donning these bags around their waists (or across their chests — as the kids do).

Designers like Gucci, Rag & Bone and Cuyana offer chic iterations of the accessory formerly known as a fanny pack, now referred to as the more fashion-appropriate moniker “belt bags.”

Call them what you will, there is no travel bag more versatile.

Imagine spending an entire day on foot, hoofing the streets of Florence, climbing the hills of San Francisco, riding a camel in the Atlas Mountains (yes, this was all me) with the added burden of overstuffed pockets, a cumbersome backpack or an out-of-balance shoulder bag. Why struggle?

Though the freedom of the belt bag is unrivaled, it requires packing discipline. After all there’s only so much you can fit in there. But there’s plenty of space to stash phone, wallet, sunscreen.

Some haters may never accept, let alone purchase, this most-useful travel accessory, but I, for one, am a proud proponent of the practical pack. On my next adventure, I will be a minimalist explorer.

Some of the high-end designer options will set you back so much you won’t have anything left to put into your belt bag, but there are loads of designs and styles to choose from in a variety of price ranges.

CNN Travel highlights the best of the bunch in the gallery above.

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