This time of year fosters feelings of thankfulness for our health and the presence of loved ones, and we can feel grateful for the abundance of all we have. However there is one area where I will never feel satiated: pockets. Women’s clothing in particular tends to favor seamless aesthetics over functional storage space, leaving me nowhere to put my belongings and nothing to do with my hands. While noble strides are being made on the pocket front in fashion, my quest for sufficient storage continues on. If you share my pain of feeling woefully under-pocketed, Patagonia has provided a solution in the form of the Ultralight Black Hole Mini Hip Pack 1L.
Fanny packs (or hip packs as they’re now called) are mercifully back in style, and I for one hope this trend lasts. The Ultralight Black Hole costs $29, comes in seven colors, and is made from recycled nylon and recycled polyester. It’s durable and lightweight, and the design itself is simple: one larger portion and one smaller portion, and the pack can fold into itself for more compact portability.
I have worn the pack exclusively around my waist, but it can also be worn like a bandoleer if cross-body is more your style.
The pack jiggles and shifts when running, but it’s fantastic for other activities. On a four-mile hike, I stored my phone, tissues, granola bar, Swiss army knife, mace, and a small bottle of water in the large section of the pack, and my ID and some cash fit perfectly in the smaller section with my keys clipping to a hook for added security. I tested the pack again while cheering at the Holiday Half, and it allowed me to keep my belongings safely in my possession while freeing my hands for more important things like clapping and cow-belling.
Whether hiking or cheering, the pack felt comfortable and I forgot I was wearing it. For a longer excursion, I would need more space to carry sufficient water and gear, but the Ultralight Black Hole is a simple solution for shorter and gentler outings.
Until the fashion industry gives us the storage space we know we deserve, Patagonia allows us to take matters into our own hands (or rather, onto our own hips). The Ultralight Black Hole is an affordable, functional way to look great and be the pockets you wish to see in the world.