When I first started traveling as a child, my entire family wore matching fanny packs (bum bags for those of you in Australia), all with a little bit of cash and the address of our hotel. These days, such a look would scream “tourist,” so I’ve looked for a better way to carry the essentials without increasing my chances of getting robbed by making myself a target. The bra stash isn’t easy to access, nor is the money belt, so what’s the alternative?
We were recently introduced to the Buddy Pouch, a product made for fitness with as many uses for travel.
About the Buddy Pouch
Running Buddy makes these pouches, which have won awards for their innovation of using magnets to lock over your waistband. They come in two sizes and multiple colors.
- The standard size fits a smartphone, passport, and other smaller items.
- The mini is best for just cards, cash and keys.
The Buddy Pouch is made of water resistant fabric lined with magnets that folds over to keep the pouch on your waistband. If you’re wearing the right clothes (like a top with a little length), the pouch can go virtually unnoticed, but it’s also not completely offensive to the eye (unlike a fanny pack) if it doesn’t. The inner pocket can protect your gear from theft and prying hands, as there’s also a velcro flap.
What They’re Best For
If you’re using the Buddy Pouch for fitness, it’s easy to keep your ID, iPod and any medical necessities while on the go. You don’t have to worry about your armband slipping down as you jog. It also stays put much better than a fitness belt, which I typically use.
The company recommends putting the pouch on a spot where it won’t get in the way. Putting it on the back of your shorts may keep it out of the way, but I put mine on the front towards the left. They don’t recommend putting it on your side because it doesn’t sit flat and the magnets could come apart.
The Buddy Pouch is also great for hiking, music festivals and travel. When you’re at a concert, you can put your items in the pouch to avoid having to go through the security line to have your bag screened. It can also serve as an alternative to the money belt when traveling, holding your passport instead of leaving it in your hotel room. When I was in Cambodia, I was concerned about getting robbed, so I stuffed my cash and phone in my bra. If I’d had the Buddy Pouch, I could have saved myself some trouble! Some people use the pouches for epipen storage.
We can see this being really useful for people wearing a daypack or camera bag, but who also want a separate place on their body for carrying cash and cards without the need for a separate purse.
Pros and Cons
I was impressed at how sturdily put together the Buddy Pouch was, as it stretches a bit for you to put your phone in it. The magnet keeps it onto your clothing without any signs of easy slippage. Having received two sizes to test out, I can say that it’s best to buy both for uses in everyday life as well as travel.
You’re probably also wondering about the security of those magnets and getting robbed, right?
So if someone tugs on it, it’s more likely to pull down your pants than to come off (although it is always possible). The magnets are very strong. And if you’re worried about getting pickpocketed, you can put it with the pocket side inward. Someone could lift the flap, but you can place items within an inner pocket as well.
The main negative was that it pulled down on my running shorts a bit, but it’s not a problem if you don’t put too much in your pouch. There’s also the fact that the Buddy Pouch is worn over the waist of your pants and is therefore not completely hidden like a traditional money belt unless you are wearing the right top.
However, it’s still a great option, especially for people who hate the inaccessibility of the money belt or bra stash.
The Buddy Pouch definitely isn’t an alternative to a purse or daypack since space is limited, and it’s definitely not has hidden and secure as the traditional money belts or bra stashes. However, it’s a safer place to keep your important pieces like your passport, key and phone while walking around than in a standard purse or a pocket.
And since it’s attached to your clothes, you will never leave it behind in a cafe, bar or taxi, which is pretty important when traveling the world.
>> You can grab a Buddy Pouch on Amazon. Please note that we are an Amazon affiliate and will receive a commission if you purchase, but at no extra cost to you.