lululemon Mini Belt Bag Review
The lululemon Mini Belt Bag has just enough space for your keys, wallet, and smartphone, but it doesn’t feel barebones in terms of comfort and quality.
- Small without compromising quality and features
- Includes quick-stash pocket for items you need to have ready
- Has strap keepers to manage both adjustable sides of the strap
- Zippers require both hands to operate
- Black liner makes it tricky to sort through items
- Not much room for anything more than your phone, keys, and wallet
2.56 oz (72.6 g)
7.1 in x 4.1 in x 1.6 in (18 x 10.4 x 4.1 cm)
Polyester, Nylon, Recycled Polyester, Duraflex Hardware, YKK Zippers
The lululemon Everywhere Belt Bag is already a pretty small waist pack, all things considered. Standing at a whopping one-liter volume, it’s near barebones in terms of space, but not organization, since it has three mesh pockets inside. Do you know what that means? Yep, lululemon can probably still go more minimalist—and indeed, they have with their Mini Belt Bag. We’re now at the point of measuring differences beyond the decimal point people.
At 0.7 liters, the Mini Belt Bag is measurably and visibly smaller than its bigger sibling. Surely, there have been sacrifices, right? Yes, but these “sacrifices” are “optimizations” in the eyes of those with more minimalist carrying needs. For those who belong in that camp, stick around and see just how far lululemon has gone.
Well, if you’re going to put a waist pack on a diet, the first stop is the fabric. Unlike the Everywhere Belt Bag’s plain nylon fabric, the Mini Belt Bag uses ripstop nylon. Shine a light against it at just the right angle, and you’ll see a noticeable grid pattern. While typical fabric is uniform and even, ripstop fabric uses this grid pattern for reinforcement. The fabric within the grids is thin, but any rips are, theoretically, stopped by the grid pattern from deteriorating further. This type of material is pretty much the default choice whenever brands want to make their bags lightweight while preserving as much durability as possible.
In terms of looks, the Mini Belt Bag’s fabric has a matte finish that we like, which should hide blemishes more easily than glossy and shinier finishes. Meanwhile, instead of a 3D logo, the Mini Belt Bag settles for a glossy plain text lululemon branding at the front. All of this comes off a bit plain, but it’s tastefully done, stealthy, and doesn’t harm functionality.
The one bit of luxury on the Mini Belt Bag is its zippers. They’re from YKK and have performed reliably all throughout testing, as expected, but that’s not the luxurious part. See those zipper pulls? Look closer; you’ll see they’re not simply heat-shrink material wrapped around some paracords. No, these are rubber-tipped zipper pulls with bumps to make them easy to grab.
It’s a good thing that lululemon went for pulls like these, as the zippers are quite hard to operate one-handed. Yes, they have been reliable—they didn’t jam or break during testing—but they feel stiff when you try to pull them around the bag’s corners.
The harness system is relatively simple, as befits the Mini Belt Bag’s 0.7-liter size. A singular strap is mounted on hip-hugging wing tips, shallowly extending from the sides of the bag. The strap itself is relatively coarse, not at all slick like the seat belt-like straps of other slings and waist packs. That said, it’s not deal-breakingly rough or irritating against the skin.
There’s a centrally-located Duraflex buckle, and you can adjust the strap’s length on both sides. We’re also happy to report that lululemon put strap keepers on both sides, by the way. This means you can tighten the straps as much as you want without worrying about slack dangling, potentially snagging on something expensive and fragile.
The most comfortable carrying style we’ve settled on for the Mini Belt Bag is our usual go-to: crossbody sling mode. We didn’t adjust the strap too tightly, resulting in a relaxed fit, with the bag sitting low beside the tummy and not directly across the chest. Even then, it slants at quite an intense angle, making one-handed unzipping tricky. Most of the time, unzipping is effectively a two-handed operation.
Inside The Sling
At the back of the Mini Belt Bag is an open stash pocket. There are no zippers to fuss around with for this pocket, so it’s ideal for quick-grab items you need to use on the go, such as cash, transit cards, and a passport. Keep in mind, it’s not very secure since it’s a pocket without closure, so make sure to put sensitive items in the main compartment once you’re sure you won’t use them again soon.
Also, realize that this back pocket rests directly against you, so you wouldn’t want to put anything too bulky inside. A set of keys, for example, would create a noticeable bump. On the other hand, flat items like a slim wallet, a power bank, and an aforementioned passport should be fine. However, take note that it’s not wide enough for an entire smartphone, so you’ll want to stash that somewhere else.
The main compartment, as you would expect, is also simple. There’s a polyester mesh at the back that spans the width of the interior and nothing else. That’s your only means of organization, and it’s plenty if you’re using the Mini Belt Bag for just your phone, keys, and wallet. The black polyester lining makes it tricky to sort through too many small items anyway, so it’s best to stick to the few everyday carry essentials you really need.
Is it too minimal? Not if you’re just looking to carry those three items and maybe a bit more. This is truly for users who want to squeeze every unnecessary ounce of heft out of their gear.
- Seems like the perfect size for just the essentials
- Digging the matte material
- Seems less saggy compared to the regular belt bag
- Still in great shape
- Super comfortable to wear
- Can be difficult to zip up with one hand while wearing