Picture this: a baseball cap sits above an oversized graphic tee, which has been tucked messily into the waistband of a pair of loose-fitting, stonewash jeans. Below these are a pair of tightly-laced, bulky trainers; the sort your secondary school gym teacher used to wear morning, noon and night. And, to top it all off, the obligatory funny pack, now also known as men’s crossbody bag, or men’s across-the-body bags, depending on who you ask.
There was a time not long ago when such an outfit was universally recognized as the classic ‘American dad goes sightseeing in a European city’ uniform and a huge fashion faux pas. However, thanks to fashion’s ongoing quest to appropriate literally everything, it could now just as easily be describing the most talked-about look at a Paris Fashion Week haute couture runway show.
But there’s one key detail that has changed. Waist packs, sometimes known as bum bags, have crept up north of the waistline in a thinly-veiled attempt to cast off their embarrassing title. And it worked. Cross-body bags for men are now one of the hottest bag trends to have emerged from streetwear’s ever-tightening stranglehold on high fashion. If you don’t already have one, those in the know advise that it’s probably time to pick one up.
“The cross-body bag trend derived from the blur between menswear and womenswear,” says Notion Magazine fashion coordinator, Joshua Meredith. “Rappers also drove the trend. However, to them it’s better known as a ‘roadman bag’. A$AP Rocky and Skepta favor the style and have been instrumental in bringing it into the mainstream.”
When it comes to styling, Meredith suggests keeping things bright or finding other ways to add a point of difference. “A bold color or print elevates an outfit and adds an extra layer. Also, source vintage designer before going straight for the latest season – it makes the outfit more personal and unique.”
Ready to saddle up? Here are some of the best cross-body bags for men.
For a stylish, on-trend, and versatile crossbody bag that offers your monochrome outfit a pop of color, look no further than the Canadian yoga-inspired athletic brand Lululemon.
Their men’s crossbody bags are truly gender-neutral and as functional as they are fashionable. Take them with you on a walk, running errands, or even on your commute.
Backpack powerhouse Herschel hits the mark with their simple belt bag for men. Complete with two zippered compartments and an adjustable strap, this men’s belt bag is finished with the brand’s iconic red and white striped lining.
The black makes it easy to pair this pack with just about anything you throw on, but if you’re looking for something a bit more punchy, the same model comes in 8 additional colorways. The only downside is there aren’t any internal organization pockets, but the black hole design makes it easy to fit all of your daily or trail essentials without a struggle.
Patagonia has taken their famous Black Hole duffle bag and wrapped it up into a smaller package. Meet the Black Hole waist pack, a 5 liter version of the best-selling classic. This belt bag for men is a seriously good investment as it’s one of the most durable on the market and can fit much more than what meets the eye.
A great accessory for travel or the trail, this larger fanny pack has a weather-resistant, fair trade construction and added features like a water bottle compartment (!!!), compression straps, and enough room for an extra layer. It may not be the most stylish belt bag on the list, but boy, is it the most practical.
Not all men’s crossbody bags can be used for every situation, sometimes they’re too small, or don’t have the compartments that you need. With the All Over Logo crossbody bag from Represent get ready to bring along everything you need and nothing you don’t.
As you’ve probably noticed, the market is flooded with many different types of cross-body bags for men. Where do you start? With this list (obviously). But if you’re looking for something that can integrate seamlessly into your favorite outfits, look no further. This bag is impeccably made and features just enough touches that it will neither take over your look nor blend in.
Featuring one main compartment with internal pockets, one foamed for valuables like your phone, and a small front pocket for the essentials like diamonds or grocery lists. We could give you style tips, but honestly, this bag will look good with your best suit or sweatpants.
We don’t think there is anything better than beautiful objects that can perform in many different situations. Welcome into your life and hands the Award 5-in-1 bag from Roderer.
The biggest aspect of versatility for this bag is the removable strap – keep it on to use it as a stylish cross-body bag for men, or take it off and you have a great grab bag or wash bag while traveling.
Harkening back to the first days of international travel, Globe Trotters is bringing back the classic traveling silhouette. Think of big suitcases with sturdy handles and thoughtful exterior touches. It’s no different with their messenger bag, which looks like a classic latch case but small enough to wear as a cross-body bag.
The hard exterior and design is not something you typically see when searching for the best men’s crossbody bags, typically an across-the-chest bag is made of durable fabric that will shape to your body for comfort. However, if you’re someone that likes to truly pull up in matching outfits and accessories, this is a no-brainer. Find your favorite color and pick up a matching carry-on and you’ll be the talk of the plane.
Everlane, like Patagonia, is a leader in putting sustainability at the forefront of their brand, and it’s helped them pick up steam and establish a cult-like following.
Want proof? Their popular Re-New Transit Bag is a men’s crossbody that is so popular, it’s constantly sold out. As of this writing, there’s a waitlist to get your own. We know, that just makes you want one even more.
The best thing about men’s belt bags is you can wear them in a variety of ways, especially this model from Arc’teryx. Designed specifically for crossbody wear, this belt bag for men is a handy addition to any accessory collection. It’s ideal for outdoor activities and works well for a daily tote-all, too.
It’s so lightweight you’ll likely forget you’re carrying it in the first place. We love two aspects of this fanny pack: first, it forgoes the typical fanny pack shape and instead opts for a sleek, rectangular construction. We’re also huge fans of the size, as it’s big enough for more than just a phone and wallet – stash a book (or e-reader), a lightweight jacket, and even your lunch… this men’s belt bag can fit it all.
In case you haven’t heard, Uggs are back in – though if you ask me, they were never “out” in the first place. In addition to its iconic footwear, the brand makes some head turning accessories, like this belt bag for men. It plays into the puffer jacket trend without overdoing it, creating a plush statement piece for the modern guy.
We love it because it’s not overwhelmingly large, though still has enough space for your daily doohickeys. Whether you pair it with joggers or jeans, you’ll be racking up compliments… so many that you may consider getting it in a second colorway (there are 5 to choose from).
Best of the Rest
Okay, so men’s shoulder bags probably aren’t the most practical type of luggage for hauling breathing apparatus and tents up the side of a snow-covered cliff face in the Himalayas. But if you were going to use one for that, you’d probably opt for The North Face.
The brand’s bags have become the gold standard for everyone from hardened mountaineers to South-London road-men. And with a customer base that diverse it must be doing something right.
In between making high-performance sportswear and the best retro sneakers ever to walk the Earth,
Pricing is reasonable, designs are classic, and aside from that, you can expect subtle swoosh branding aplenty and sleek, sporty styling as standard.
On paper, making denim overalls for redneck car mechanics doesn’t seem like a natural jumping off point for going on to create some of the finest streetwear in Europe, but that’s exactly what Carhartt did, and we certainly aren’t complaining.
Come for the streetwear styling, stay for the rugged quality. It’s all in a day’s work for the brand’s crossbody bags for men.
In the bag game since the 1950s, Boston backpack brand Eastpak knows a thing or two about what makes a good receptacle.
Eastpack’s crossbody bag and backpacks designs are simple and uncluttered, with practicality at the fore. Meanwhile, branding is subtle, and construction is damn near bulletproof, resulting in timeless luggage you can keep going back to season after season.
The label of choice for everyone from Olympic athletes to hip-hop heroes, German sportswear giant Adidas is about as iconic as names get.
At a century old, Champion is one of the oldest sporting goods brands in the world, so it should be no surprise that it’s gotten pretty good at its craft.
This whole ‘streetwear meets high fashion’ crossover thing is all well and good, but it’s not exactly easy on the ol’ wallet, is it?
Thankfully, there’s a solution: ASOS. The online store carries all the latest trend-led pieces –including men’s shoulder bags and crossbody bags – as part of its in-house brand and brings them to style-savvy customers with convenience and value for money in mind.
Whatever you’re after, you can always count on Swedish high street stalwart H&M to give it to you for a sensible price.
The retailer is known not just for its selection of wardrobe-building menswear staples, but also for its ever-changing rotation of trend-driven products, of which men’s crossbody bags (which they call belt bags) are now a part.
If the idea of spending significant amounts of cash on a bag you can’t even fit a water bottle in makes you feel slightly ill, may we kindly advise you to avert your eyes now.
Luxury Italian label
Whether you love him or hate him, you can’t deny Virgil Abloh is redefining fashion by doing things strictly on his terms.
His label Off-White is one of the imprints spearheading streetwear’s siege on high fashion and has been instrumental in changing the face of modern style. With that in mind, where better to spend your hard-earned cash?
The undisputed king of high-end luggage, Louis Vuitton’s famous monogram print has become a universally recognized symbol of luxury, whether it’s stamped onto a leather weekend bag or on a crossbody bag.
Expect full-grain leather construction, shiny golden brass hardware and attention to detail that comes second to none.
Thanks to the current trend of making everything gender-neutral, a place emerged in the market for a better way for men to carry their things. Gone are the days of stuffing our pockets full and getting made fun of for carrying a ‘man purse.’ Men’s crossbody bags are in style as a functional accessory option for men to take advantage of.
If you’re wearing loungewear, like sweatpants and baggy t-shirts, your crossbody bag can sit at your waist to offer you some definition. Want to dress it up? Sling your bag over your shoulder and let it rest on your bag with the strap across your chest. This is the most secure and safe way to carry your valuables too.