Last summer Onya sponsored our #takeahike challenge and offered me one of their Hipster Bags. It’s essentially a little pouch that slides onto the waist belt of a baby carrier. Since my 3-year-old prefers to walk over being carried these days (yesss!!!) and I’m a loyal and true fan of the Ribz frontpack I happily offered up this product to Hike It Baby hiker and outdoor Mama, Jennifer, for testing and review. You can read her thoughts here.
I’ve been testing out the Onya Hip Pouch since September of this year (2016). The pouch appealed to me as a hiker who is most often “babywearing” out on the trails. Since the Hip Pouch was designed to be worn on the waistband of either a soft structured carrier (such as a Tula) or a frame pack carrier (such as a Deuter Kid Comfort 3).
I have been wearing my 20-month-old son since he came home from the hospital, and taking him out on the trails with me means I always need to have items handy for him as well as myself.
The idea behind Onya’s product was to have an item like a fanny pack readily accessible like batman’s utility pack right on your carrier, I was intrigued, and having seen it advertised all the time through Hike it Baby I was eager to give it a try without the price tag (honesty is a virtue, my friends).
The first time I ever took the pouch out on the trail I stuffed in; my keys, my cell phone, backup charger, a sippy cup, food pouch and last but not least some wipes for my son.
Unfortunately, my son’s cup was leaking that day and almost the entire contents of the cup completely filled the inside of the pouch. What I will say is I was pleasantly surprised that whatever fabric they used to make this contained the mess, it didn’t leak through the fabric and soak my carrier or clothes. In fact, once I realized that the cup had emptied its contents I was able to just turn the pouch over and pour all the water out, that stuck with me and I think it was pretty neat.
I use this pouch on shorter hikes when I won’t be far enough away from the car to be required to take diapers and a changing pad, extra clothes etc.
You could also use it on hikes when you’re bringing your pack too and just use it to store the at hand essentials so you don’t always have to take your pack off but I didn’t want the extra gear when it all fits into my pack for hikes longer than 1-2 miles.
The product is very well made, I’m taking this thing outside, playing on rocks, chasing after a toddler and getting snagged on all sorts of things.
The pouch, however, is steadfast, it assumes the shape of whatever I’m cramming into it for the day and takes all the abuse me and little man throw at it without ripping, tearing, or getting snagged on thorns.
The elastic loops that you slide over your waistband seem very sturdy as well, not like some things with elastic that eventually get all stretched out. Time, of course, will tell but I’m pretty confident that no matter how many times I use it the elastic will stay fairly taut, which is good because you don’t want it hanging and pulling your waistband down.
On days when I’m wearing leggings or athletic pants without pockets this thing can be super helpful, even if it’s only holding my phone and keys it’s freeing my hands up for exploration and that’s important to me.
The caveat with those elastic loops is one of the features that I can sometimes find cumbersome. The loops are just enough space to get the waistband strap through but they are pretty snug and I do find myself struggling to get the strap through on some days which has actually caused me to give up and just leave it in the van. I have multiple carriers and days when I want to be able to carry more out with me on the trail. Otherwise, I would probably leave it on all the time to not have to deal with taking it on and off.
While its size is its convenience factor I also feel like it’s just narrowly shooting the gap between cell phone holder and fanny pack. I can get multiple bottles of water for myself as well as a sippy cup and the items I usually put into the pouch into my fanny pack so some days I still chose that over the pouch as well.
Anyone who is looking for this just needs to keep in mind it is not a substitute for a pack but is definitely a handy accessory for keeping must-have items close at hand.
I would certainly still recommend this product to my friends, there’s nothing inherently wrong with it; it’s convenient, well made, and does exactly what it claims to.
I just think that unfortunately for the price point I am a bit spoiled by how much I get into my cheap-o fanny pack.
But for folks who don’t want any extra bulk, like to be hands-free and might not have any pockets available to them this is a great stylish looking option for tossing your keys and phone in.
Thanks, Jennifer 🙂
You can learn more about the Onya Hipster here.
Or the Ribz frontpack here (which I love and recommend).
Or get yourself an el-cheapo fanny pack from Walmart 🙂 We won’t judga ya!