I put all my love into what I create and these fanny packs / retro sling bags got nothing less. Full disclosure, this batch has been in progress and on the back burner for a minute. I started working on the design and construction process around the end of 2021.
One thing led to another and this project got buried under administrative tasks, building out of this website, setting up the shop (building cutting tables and tool racks), and designing for other projects. 2021 turned into 2022 and then here we are with 2023. I was sitting on a bunch of pattern pieces all cut up and ready to sew together, but barely any motivation to carry these bags to life. I had more ideas and plans for other bag patterns I wanted to produce but didn’t want to forget about this project.
Cool Fanny Packs, Quality Materials
I was working under the consulting guise of Gus Method Sew Co. when I made an initial prototype using scrap fabric. I took a basic retro fanny pack pattern and developed it into the pattern that I ended up using with this batch of fanny packs. The initial fanny pack pattern I found online was constructed using canvas and twill, used 1 inch webbing, and had less volume than I wanted for my fanny pack design. It was a great start, but definitely not as elevated as I wanted this fanny pack to be.
I wanted to modify this pattern to make it different than the original design, but still pay homage to the silhouette. To increase the internal volume of the pack without compromising the bag design, I patterned in a gusset at the bottom of the bag to give the fanny pack some more internal volume to hold the things I needed to carry. I found that this fanny pack fits a Nintendo Switch without a case.
I wanted to incorporate a few features to add flair, modernization, and safety to the final product. The decision to use technical fabrics like Hyper D 300, 1 1/2″ seatbelt webbing and hardware like the magnetic Fidlock V buckle brought the classic design a breath of modern air. Being safe and visible out in urban areas can be dangerous when walking across roads in low light. That’s why I wanted to add the reflective strip on the front panel to help drivers see this awesome fanny pack.
Hyper D 300 is a versatile nylon fabric popularly used in the outdoor gear industry. Hyper D 300 is developed by Ripstop by the Roll, a leading distributor of high-performance fabrics. I love partnering with them. Ripstop by the Roll specializes in providing innovative fabrics for quality gear. Hyper D 300 is manufactured using a customized high-density weave technique called “Hyper D Gridstop”. This grid-style weaving method creates a fabric that is exceptionally durable and resistant to abrasion, making it ideal for outdoor gear applications.
I love the hand feel of Hyper D 300 because it has a smooth and soft texture. It’s lightweight and features a tight weave, which gives it a more refined and polished appearance compared to other nylon fabrics. While soft and silky, Hyper D 300 is known for its exceptional strength and resistance to tears and punctures.
This makes it a preferred choice for backpacks, tents, hammocks, and other gear that undergoes rigorous outdoor use. The fabric has a durable water-repellent (DWR) coating applied to it during manufacturing, which provides protection against light rain and moisture. Added durability does not come at a cost of weight with this fabric. Hyper D 300 is also lightweight, making it ideal for gear where reducing weight is crucial, such as backpacking and hiking equipment. This shell fabric is fantastic to work with and I’m excited to make more bags and fanny packs using Hyper D 300.
The waterproof lining, made of 1.9 oz polyurethane coated ripstop fabric in blaze orange, adds an extra layer of protection while adding a pop of color to the bag. The bright lining makes it easy to find things. I used to like bags with black linings but have become a fan of lighter colored liners to increase visibility inside the bag.
To add to the gear storage aspect, a pen holder added to the top of the fanny pack lid helps keep your pen handy at all times. That goes with the tethered keychain snap, your keys can stay securely attached to your fanny pack.
This bag is built to withstand the elements, ensure the safety of your belongings, while making accessing the contents quick and effortless. With room to fit 3 sodas or beers, this fanny pack has an internal mesh zippered pocket to keep your stuff separate from the main compartment. That means less stuff to shuffle around.
The 1 1/2″ seatbelt webbing is my absolute favorite webbing to work with because of the way it looks, feels, and its strength when compared to 1″ nylon webbing. Being wider than the 1″ counterparts, 1 1/2″ webbing just feels so much nicer when the fanny pack is used as a crossbody sling because there is more surface area to disperse the bag weight.
Self Expression Is PersonalUnknown
As a fan of patches, I love the ability to switch out the patch I want quickly to share my personality with other people I may encounter. The loop material on the front makes for a great personal billboard, if you’re into that kind of stuff. If not, the soft loop material does not detract from the overall design of the bag. If anything, it adds a bit of uniqueness to the bag design, offering the user additional personalization that is non-permanent.
Who knows! Maybe we’ll produce some cool patches that people will want to buy.
We Care And We Strive To Do Better
While nylon is not as easily recyclable as natural fibers, Hyper D 300 can still be recycled through specialized recycling facilities. The nylon fabric is broken down and reprocessed into new products, reducing waste and environmental impact.
The ask here at Unalome Outfitters is that if you bought something from us and it has gotten damaged or has reached the end of its life, please reach out and contact us so that we can assist you with properly recycling your gear (if it’s damaged, we should be able to repair it for you!). When you do that, we’ll give you a 30% coupon to purchase anything we currently offer on our site as a thank you for helping to keep difficult to recycle products out of our landfills.
The Message Is To Trust Your Path
The little “G” logo on the front panel is a nod to Gus Method Sew Co. where these fanny packs initially got conceived. Going forward with all future bags on Unalome Outfitters, we’ll just be sticking with the Unalome tag. That’s right! This retro fanny pack is truly limited edition!
The Unalome label serves as a brand introduction as well as message to the owner of this fanny pack that their Unalome (or path in life) is going to be OK and to trust your Unalome. When you feel stuck in life, look upon the Unalome, see your past, see your present, and trust that your path in life will get you to where you need to go regardless of the decisions you make in life.
We Love Celebrating With You By Giving Fanny Packs Away
There’s a giveaway to celebrate the drop of these fanny packs and the contest ends at midnight on September 30th, 2023, where two of these retro fanny packs will be given away to those that have entered with a validated email address. It’s free to enter, but you have to be 18 and live in the United States. Apologies to those living outside the US. We are working to add more countries to where we ship to. If you are interested in anything we have to offer for sale and live outside the US, please contact us and let us know what countries we should ship to!
I have a few more of these retro fanny packs that I can make because I have additional pattern pieces cut for them. There have been requests for an all black version and I have a few in the works while I wait for some supplies needed to complete them arrive. Stay tuned on Instagram for when these VERY limited black fanny packs hit the website for sale! If you haven’t followed us on Instagram, now is the time!