Bottom line: Carry your iPhone and other essentials in this small bag worn around the waist or across the body.
Small and lightweight expandable bag
Phone pocket close to the body
Can be a hip bag or a crossbody bag
Doesn't lay completely flat against the body when full
Odd zipper placement
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Are you a crossbody sling person or an around the waist bag person? Either way, WaterField has you covered with the new Mini Hip Sling Bag.
I carry my iPhone 12 mini everywhere I go. While I use a good iPhone 12 mini case, I still need something else to carry it in. I don't generally carry a purse, as I like to keep my hands free. I've become a hip bag/fanny pack/belt bag aficionado as of late. While they are certainly having a fashion moment, the functionality is so good that I'm probably going to continue even when their moment is over. What's nice is that this type of bag can be worn two ways: either around your waist or slung across your body. You'll need to decide which you prefer before you order WaterField's Mini Hip Sling Bag since you order it with either a long strap or a short strap (or both.) I prefer a hip bag, so I got the short strap, which expands enough for most waists but doesn't fit comfortably as a crossbody bag. The long strap adjusts so it can be worn either way.
The WaterField Mini Hip Sling Bag is sized right for folks who travel light. I don't carry much with me on a day-to-day basis, so I don't need a big bag. I don't want to be encumbered with lots of stuff. If that sounds like you too, you'll like this lightweight, comfortable hip sling bag that has a special pocket just for your phone.
WaterField Mini Hip Sling Bag: Price and availability
The WaterField Mini Hip Sling Bag is available on WaterField's own site, and you choose either the short strap or the long strap when you order it. Either way, it's $89. If you want to keep your options open and order both straps, you can do so for an additional $39. The bag comes in various colors and a mix of materials, including Waxed Canvas, 1050 Denier Ballistic Nylon, and premium full-grain leather. The bag in my own photos is the Ballistic Nylon with Black Leather.
WaterField Mini Hip Sling Bag: What's hip
This nice-looking and comfortable bag elevates the humble "fanny pack" to something more fashion-forward. I like the short strap, as I wear it only around my waist and don't want to deal with a long strap. But if you prefer the more fashionable crossbody look, you can get the longer strap instead for the same price. The longer strap is fully adjustable to be worn either around the waist or crossbody. Or get both straps if you like to have options.
I like the nice full-grain leather panel on the front and the cool zipper that almost disappears when it's zipped closed. The main pocket is nice and roomy, gusseted to hold more of your stuff. A key attachment inside can secure your keyring or another item inside. A second pocket on the backside of the bag, close to your body, is perfectly sized for any size iPhone and positioned to make theft more difficult.
I like how compact the bag is, measuring just 11.5-by-0.75-by-5.5 inches and weighing just a quarter of a pound. It has a minimalist look, streamlined and flat, but it's pleated, so it expands to allow more room for your stuff when needed. The bright yellow interior lets you easily see what's in the bag.
WaterField Mini Hip Sling Bag: What's not so hip
All of my complaints are really just cosmetic. When full, the bag doesn't lie perfectly flat against my body, as most of my hip bags do. While my waist isn't actually small, I had lots of extra belt even with the small strap and no place to really put it out of the way (this is a common issue with hip bags.) Since there are two zippers on the front, they clang together when I walk. I think one zipper would have been sufficient!
The placement of the zipper is a bit odd. Instead of being near the top, it's about a third of the way down. This makes it harder to get larger objects in and out, plus it increases the chances of something falling out of a full bag. I prefer a zipper at the top, personally.
The biggest issue most people will have with this bag is the price. Though you're paying for quality, you can certainly find similar bags for less money.
WaterField Mini Hip Sling Bag: Competition
I'm a big fan of the similarly-sized Herschel Fourteen Waist Pack. It's super lightweight, comes in lots of colors, and lies flat against my body. It's just made from fabric and is quite reasonably priced. You get just one strap, but it's huge; I actually cut mine so I wouldn't have so much hanging off. It lacks a special pocket for your iPhone, however.
I also love my Vera Bradley Crossbody Belt Bags. I own several in different colors and patterns. Like the Hershel, this a just a fabric bag. It's lightweight, relatively inexpensive, and lies flat when worn. It does come with two different straps for wearing either around the waist or across the body. It doesn't have an iPhone pocket, just the one main compartment with a tiny zippered pocket and credit card slots inside.
If you want a bag like the WaterField Mini Hip Sling Bag but larger, WaterField makes several different sizes of bags similar to this, which you can find on WaterField's site. This is the smallest of the line.
WaterField Mini Hip Sling Bag: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
- You want a high-quality bag to carry a few essentials
- You want a small bag to wear around your waist or across your body
- You want a pocket close to your body just right for iPhone
You shouldn't buy this if...
- It's not in your budget
- You want a more feminine look
- You want a bag that lies totally flat against the body
If you're looking for a smart-looking and small crossbody or hip bag that has a special pocket facing your body for your iPhone, this is the bag for you. However, if you want a different style of bag or find this one too pricey or too small, look elsewhere.
This is definitely a step up from your typical hip bag or sling bag. The use of high-quality materials, two compartments (including one sized for a phone in a theft-deterrent location close to your body), two strap length options, several color options, and streamlined pleated design make for a great way to carry your iPhone and a few other essentials on the go. I do wish it laid a little flatter to my body when it's full and that the zipper placement on the main compartment was higher. I could also do without the double zippers. Two zipper pulls just mean more clanging around! Still, this is a classy, appealing bag for your iPhone and more.
Bottom line: Carry your iPhone and a few essentials hands-free with this classy bag on your hip or across your body.
Karen is a contributor to iMore.com as a writer and co-host of the iMore Show. She’s been writing about Apple since 2010 with a year-long break to work at an Apple Store as a product specialist. She's also a contributor at CNET. Before joining iMore in 2018, Karen wrote for Macworld, AppAdvice, WatchAware. She’s an early adopter who used to wait in long lines on release days before pre-ordering made things much easier. Karen is also a part-time teacher and occasional movie extra. She loves to spend time with her family, travel the world, and is always looking for portable tech and accessories so she can work from anywhere.