Gear Review for Dads: Tom Bihn’s Bummer Hip Bag

Hip bags seem to be everywhere these days, often hoisted across a person’s shoulder and called a cross-body bag. As a dad and frequent theme park goer, I was looking for an old fashioned fanny pack, one that would wrap around my waist (you know, the way we did in the good ole days) that would immediately notify everyone in my vicinity that I am a dad. A dad with lots of things to carry and the need to quickly reach those things, usually with one hand. With so many options out there, how did I narrow it down to Tom Bihn? Read my review of Tom Bihn’s Bummer hip bag to find out.

First things first: this is not a sponsored review. Though I am a fan of Tom Bihn products–see my review of their Synik 30 Backpack–this review is based solely on my own thoughts.

So, Why Tom Bhin? Truthfully, I am familiar with, and a fan of the brand. When looking through the hip bag options, many seemed too small, too colorful, or made with cheaper-looking material. After doing my due diligence across other brands both large and small, I researched the hip bags section of Tom Bihn’s website, where I stumbled across the “Bummer.”

Specs. The Bummer is described by Tom Bihn as the “classic just-the essentials sling or hip bag.” It is an average to slightly-larger-than-average sized hip bag , and it has two compartments: a smaller one in the front, and the larger, main compartment. There are currently seven color options; I chose the Black Ballistic/Mountain Grey 210 Cerylon option, which is pictured throughout this article. The hip belt ranges from 23″ to 45″ and has several straps to keep it in place when you are wearing The Bummer. There are two grab handles on each side of the Bummer that make it easy to carry when you’re not wearing it, and also, allow you to hang it up around the house. And of course, in true Tom Bihn fashion, there are three o-rings (two in the main compartment, and one in the front compartment), that can be used for myriad purposes. I used mine to hang my keys, which made returning to my car a breeze.

The front pocket is large enough for an iPhone Pro Max, keys, pens, a wallet and more. (I tried my hardest to get a picture of my Bummer with all of the items I stashed in it during a recent vacation, but of course, I was too distracted with my kids. Next time!) The main compartment is even larger, and is where I stored hand sanitizer, sunglasses, chapstick, anti-bacterial wipes, a couple of extra diapers—dads need to be prepared—, Tylenol, a park map (more on that below) and various pamphlets from my vacation.

The Look. Like many Tom Bihn products, the Bummer is unassuming and minimalist. It has a distinctly round, slightly bulbous look to it, almost like a miniature, horizontal backpack. It pulls off the rare trick of not being flashy, but also being distinct enough to be eye-catching.

The Disney World Test. As you likely gathered, I am a frequent visitor to Walt Disney World, which can be quite challenging with two toddlers in tow. I decided to put the Bummer to the test across the Walt Disney World Resort, and it exceeded my expectations.

Perhaps most important, the Bummer is easy to adjust and comfortable to wear. Adjusting the waist band was simple, and once around my waist stayed put, refusing to sag. The zippers are strong and larger than average, and easy to find when holding a demanding toddler in one hand, or when quickly unzipping the bag to shove my phone in as a ride began. The bag also felt just as comfortable no matter its contents; any Disney Parks fan understands that you leave the parks with much more than you arrive with, and the Bummer gladly accepted pins, pamphlets, and snacks without issue. Lastly, the Bummer returned from the trip unscathed, despite being kicked, dropped, stepped-on, and yanked around by my children.

Final Thoughts. Classic, subtle, and sturdy, Tom Bihn’s Bummer hip bag is a worthy addition to any dad’s arsenal. The bag held its own throughout the entire trip, so much so that I wore it to restaurants and around resorts, even when not at the theme parks. It simply made my life easier and it did so without being cumbersome—which is exactly what every parent needs in a product. I found myself wearing it during our trip home, refusing to relinquish its convenience. It now hangs at-the-ready on my coat rack, eager for our next adventure.

Are you looking for a new hip bag? Let me know your thoughts!

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