The SOCP Fanny pack is perfect for concealed carry (Travis Pike for TTAG)
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A wave of 1980s nostalgia hit us in 2016 and still hasn’t let up. The 1980s are still considered cool, and I’d like to see us pull some of the more valuable things out of the 1980s. Like gas prices, a lack of the Hughes Amendment and fanny packs. The good news is that we get one of the three, and that’s fanny packs. In 1988, fanny packs were hailed as the product of the year, and in 2024, we have a small but growing market of fanny pack options for concealed carriers. One of these modern options is the Vertx SOCP Tactical Fanny Pack.

There was a time when the all-black fanny pack was considered a CCW tell. If a random guy had one conspicuously close to his right hand, he was carrying a gun. They were the photographer’s vest of their era. With fanny packs falling out of style and the arrival of hundreds of concealed carry holsters, I think that perception has faded.

I also think products like the SOCP Tactical Fanny Pack aren’t the best for everyday carry. Concealed carry fanny packs are another tool for the toolbox, which leads us to explain why the fanny pack could be a valuable choice for you.

Why Fanny Packs

I landed on the Vertx SOCP Tactical Fanny Pack after researching ways to carry it while I worked out. That led to me looking for an option to carry a firearm in all sorts of unusual situations. How do I carry when I take my kids to the beach? Or to a water park? What about when I mow the yard? That led to numerous alternative options but ultimately had me settle on the fanny pack.

Don’t call it out of style. Travis Pike Photo

The concealed carry fanny pack offers you an extreme degree of concealment. If you pick an adequately sized fanny pack, you can hide a full-sized handgun without a problem. Your fanny pack is still a pack. It can carry your gun, a reload, a knife, a light, a cell phone, medical gear, bug spray, sunscreen, chapstick, wallet and so on. In those odd situations, it becomes quite valuable beyond even the gun.

I use my fanny pack for more than guns. Travis Pike Photo

I live in the middle of nowhere in Florida, which is essentially Australia junior when it comes to things that can kill you. When I work outdoors, hike, run, etc., I stay strapped, and the fanny pack dominates concealment, security and retention. The downside is a slow draw that requires practice, but I think it’s worth the effort.

Why the Vertx SOCP Tactical Fanny Pack

There are many fanny packs out there, and many are aimed at the tactical and concealed carry market. I’ve tried a few, but after finding the Vertx SOCP Tactical Fanny Pack, I stopped looking. It offered me everything I could want, including a massive dedicated concealed carry pouch at the rear of the pack.

The bag can be worn as a cross body option. Travis Pike Photo

The concealed carry pouch opens completely for easy access to your firearm. Inside that pouch, Vertx includes a holster retainer that allows you to attach your standard belt holster to the retainer. The retainer attaches to the loop material on the inside of the pouch. Using your standard holster is quite nice, and you aren’t reliant on a quasi-universal design. This improves safety and makes the gun quicker to draw and get on target.

A fanny pack allows you to carry some spare goodies with ease. Travis Pike Photo

The pocket can hold a full-sized gun, but it would be tight. I’d stick to Glock 19 and smaller. I tend to just carry my P365 or a J frame with it.

Going Fast

I do wish we had a hot pull option inside the SOCP Tactical Fanny Pack, but the massive Rapid Access Tab does an excellent job of making the weapon accessible. Drawing from a neutral position and getting an accurate shot on target takes about three seconds for me when I start cold. I could get to it under three with practice and with staging the zipper and rapid access tab just right.

See how the retainer holds the gun and holster? Travis Pike Photo

You can open the pack, reach in and grip the gun without drawing it. If your spider senses tingle, you can pre-stage your draw and reduce the time to under a second. If your spider senses are wrong, the gun remains concealed. It’s a bit like pocket carry, but obviously, it can be a little more apparent and less casual than pocket carry.

Drawing with one hand presents another interesting challenge that’s also considerably slower than a normal holster. It’s the nature of the beast.

Drawing isn’t the fastest from a fanny pack. Travis Pike Photo

Fanny packs aren’t a great option if a quick draw is your primary goal. This lack of speed is why I think a good, dedicated holster is a better solution in most situations. For activity-specific tasks, the Vertx SOCP Tactical Fanny Pack offers you a capable solution versus heading out unheeled.

Wearing The Pack

The thick and very adjustable waist strap makes carrying a heavy gun comfortable. I don’t mind it on my hips as I move and work. It doesn’t beat me up during the day, and I can shift it to my side and forget about it during some dynamic activities.

The belt’s adjustment makes it easy to size the fanny pack into a small cross-body bag. Some people haven’t accepted the superior fashion choice of wearing a fanny pack, so they might prefer to carry the bag across their body. At the end of the fanny pack, where the waistband attaches, sit two micro-sized pockets big enough for a small spare mag or speed loader.

This micor sized pocket allows you to carry a spare magazine. Travis Pike Photo

The external appearance is plain and somewhat muted. It looks a bit more like it’s part of what the kids call “street wear” rather than tactical. It’s not overtly tactical, but perception might change from person to person. In my use case, I don’t care what people think while I run, mow, hike or run a chainsaw.

The SOCP Tactical Fanny Pack offers a large admin pocket with plenty of room for extra goodies. There are mesh organizers with internal pockets to make it easy to organize your goodies. The fanny pack also comes with a gear overflow pouch that can be moved around and attached inside the bag.

The included overflow pouch is a nice touch. Travis Pike Photo

There is a dedicated front phone pocket. This pocket can flip forward and act as a nav board, so you can use your phone’s internal GPS and map to navigate. With the pocket in the up position, you can remove an exterior flap and open a window so your phone’s camera is exposed, making it easy to record.

Boom, now its a nav board. Travis Pike Photo

A Fanny Pack Option

Not everyone needs a fanny pack option for concealed carry. It’s a stand-out attachment, but in many activities, it blends in well. It offers me several pockets full of goodies in a convenient and easy-to-carry package. The appearance is low-key and doesn’t scream tactical. Most importantly, it offers me access to a firearm during some activities that would make wearing a holster uncomfortable, unsafe or impractical.

It’s a tool I plan to keep in the box.


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  1. An old-er(than me) black guy at the gym habitually wears a fanny pack. We’re friendly but I haven’t asked him if he’s carrying a gat. He’s got a nice looking black leather FP. I think old guy’s(and gal’s) can get away with a fanny pack moreso than 19 year old gangbangers. I’m also experimenting with the Sneaky Pete approach. I don’t need a gigantic pouch.

    • If he’s black and the fanny pack is black how did you see it?
      He isn’t as camouflaged as he thought he was, huh.

    • Agree. Most of the good stuff in culture and society wrapped in ‘79-‘80, with a few

  2. My wife and I use this one for the gym …

    Large enough for a full size semi or medium-sized revolver and enough room for a reload. Sewn-in wide elastic bands hold the firearm in place and cover the trigger. Two other pockets for phone, wallet, keys and other stuff. Made in America by a small business.

  3. A trained female opossum sitting on your shoulder. Shoulder pouch, and if you go somewhere where you want to be discreet she can hide in your pants.
    Are you that happy to see me? Oh my. It’s got teeth.

  4. Fanny pack. Or Butt pack. I wore one as a civilian. And a military version when I was in the army. It’s a good option. And why should I carry a first aid kit on my ankle??

    The industry promotes ankle carry. Not fanny pack carry.

    Yes I know all the queer jokes. Get over them. I don’t care. A Fanny pack works for me.

    • The industry promotes ankle carry because your more apt to hear “I’ll blow your ass to hell”, then “I’m going to shute you right square in the ankle.”

    • I’m not sure about “queer jokes” but I simply don’t see these things as being discrete at all in most cases and, honestly, I don’t know anyone who does think they’re discrete.

      I see the occasional person carrying like this, it’s pretty obvious what they’re doing. About one half step below the guy with two knives clipped on one pocket. People walk around thinking they’re super grey man when they’re basically screaming about as loudly as Walter Sobchak.

      If you’re out on hiking trails or birding or something these things will fit in better IMHO but if you’re at the grocery store wearing one of these that give kinda goes away. Unless you’re a woman over 55 and look like you’re into wine that comes in a box, obviously disabled or clearly carrying some sort of medical device.

      If you look normal and healthy, to me, this is about as discrete as lugging around a guitar case everywhere you go.

  5. There was a time when the all-black fanny pack was considered a CCW tell.

    It’s true, times have changed.

    Today, unless the person is quite clearly mentally disabled, any color fanny pack is a pretty sure sign they have a gun. It’s the equivalent of a puff coat in summer.

  6. Fastest fanny pack I know of:

    Blows apart on four snaps, no zipper. Pull the ripcord, it blows open and drags the kydex core out. Don’t need to peel the gun off the inside back wall of the pack. It’s as fast as AIWB. It’s also my own design, my own build.

      • 🙂

        It’s “cultural camo” – looks more “psychedelic relic” than “tacticool”.

        Plus the peace sign is a pun. It’s where I keep my piece.

        One other oddity: I’m now running a serious sized gas pedal on the left. The way this rig carries, the bulge on the left for my offhand thumb isn’t noticable at all.

    • That is fast I must say however I do not think I would feel comfortable with carrying the pouch in that position. A very well thought out design.

  7. It has a dedicated phone pocket so you can easily navigate? oh sheesh give me a frickin break. Clearly this is just another version of a tactical vest. Too big, too complicated, too silly. Oh and if you fill it up, it’ll be so heavy you’ll get a back ache.

    And Travis, it’s a fanny pack, not a belly pack.

  8. Looks more like a neck massager. The fanny pack never really was much of a thing for me though. It just seems to be more of an accessory that goes with spandex.

  9. Its ridiculous, but I guess useful for some.

    “It’s a stand-out attachment, but in many activities, it blends in well.”

    In what ‘many activities’ does it blend in well? I’ve always noticed people wearing fanny packs, there are people who do for various purposes from carrying ‘medically related’ items to personal items, but I’ve never thought of them as ‘blending in well’.

    • Fanny packs are what I carry my rainbow flag, condoms, wooden tampax, and Vote For Joe Biden buttons in.
      Carrying the Fanny Pack in the forward position make look a little queer but if it works it works and what works doesn’t make me sad but gay.

    • It blends in extremely well on the shuffleboard court at the retirement home or on certain cruises.

      Other than that “blends in” is code for “stands out rather badly”.

  10. I look for knives. Anytime I see a knife clip on a pocket I assume that is not all they are carrying.

  11. As far as I am concerned the whole point of concealed carry is not to attract attention. Wearing a fanny pack is like jumping up and down while wearing a lime green shirt and a bright orange hat while shouting la la la la. Not exactly inconspicuous, but it’s a mostly free country and if it works for you…

        • I’ve come out of bar/grills and found rice sprinkled under my Lawson Replica Kawi… maybe these fanny packs would be handy to fill up with Kimchi, brazil nuts, kangaroo shit, sauerkraut, currie, etc. to sprinkle all under The Milwaukee IronBikes (insert trademark here)

        • For safety sake- do us all a favor and sprinkle some Oil-Dri under every Hardly-Doesitrun you see…

      • Vance and Hines had nothing to do with Kawasakis ’81, 82, and ’83 Superbike Championships – it was practically a privateer team run by Rob Muzzy with sponsorship from KHI and Kerker, with Eddie Lawson and Wayne Rainey as riding talent. The team disbanded in late ’83 after the AMA completely rewrote the Superbike rules to a 750cc/ liquid cooled class which disallowed sleeving or destroking of Kawasaki’s 908cc Ninja engine.
        VHR, the current Vance and Hines race shop is currently building and providing billet
        “Suzuki” 1850cc blocks to take advantage of new NHRA 4 valve rules… there are literally no production pieces used in these race engines at this level.

        • IIRC,Vance was hired by Russ Collins Racing as his first job,and proving there’s no substitute for displacement built a three-Honda-motored drag bike to take advantage of a rules loophole… I’m pretty sure V&H has played with every m.c. brand that exists except for maybe Moto Morini.. or maybe them too

        • Lol, he’d probs shoot ipsc with one of those 1911s with 2 slides on a single fat frame?

  12. Nothing new for the swamp towns of South Louisiana…

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