Words and pics: Rich Norman
Bum bag, fanny pack…
FirstSpear went for a safe, internationalised name for this item. Its design, however, is anything but a whitewash.
Presented here in Multicam, the E+R Waist Bag is majorly composed of low denier, light weight Cordura.
The bag is distinguished by its shock cord lid and pleated Tweave-style expansion pocket.
All zips bar one are shrouded against precipitation, and all zips are reversed for additional weather resistance.
The Waist Bag exhibits four zip pockets which deliver a high degree of organisation. The pocket interiors are refreshingly devoid of loop Velcro fields and hard points, making them clean and uncluttered.
There are two zip pockets on the face of the bag:
There is one zip pocket on the top of the bag, which isn’t shrouded from precip – but it is reversed for some weather protection:
There’s also a concealed security pocket on the rear of the bag:
The blue nylon tube seen in the pics is a removable lid stiffener, which secures inside the lid via three channels:
The lid stiffener means that I can lash something relatively heavy under the shock cord – a 500ml bottle of water, for example – while preventing the lid from caving in,
As mentioned earlier, there’s a large swatch of pleated Tweave-style softshell which forms an expansion pocket on the front of the bag.
Here’s a close-up. There’s a drainage slit at the base.
Intelligently, the zips on the two front pockets are directionally opposed to one another – so you know which pocket you’re dealing with without looking, or in the dark.
All zip pulls are professionally finished:
There’s no branding on the zips, but they are chunky and smooth running.
At the base of the item, there’s a drainage grommet:
Deployed as a waist bag, the Jacquard webbing belt is curious – featuring an elastic gusset which allows for limited expansion and contraction of the belt as you move.
This is an excellent feature.
The belt is fully removable but when in use it can be donned and doffed using the G-hook end. For me, this is the only weakness worth mentioning.
I’m not a huge fan of G-hooks and I’d prefer a QD buckle in this location; the G-hook and the webbing channel which retains it is a fiddly combination.
Belt adjustment is adequate – a triglide – but certainly isn’t as sexed-up as the bag itself.
However, wearing the Waist Bag with the supplied belt isn’t its only configuration.
The Waist Bag exhibits QD clips at its corners. This means that via the supplied adaptors it can be attached to PALS and worn as a dangler-type item.
The adaptors also allow the bag to be attached to other belts.
The QD clips at the corners of the bag are secured with webbing ribbons. These can be used as hard points for lanyards etc.
The FS E+R Waist Bag is a more than competent execution of the bum bag – or fanny pack. As usual with FirstSpear’s nylon items it is extremely well-made with high quality materials throughout and excellent stitching.