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I found an affordable (and stylish) way to rock the belt bag trend that's all over TikTok

From my Kindle to sunglasses, this belt bag can hold everything I need for the day.
Split image of Woman wearing the UTO Fanny Pack for Women and just the UTO Fanny Pack
Courtesy Emma Stessman

I've never been a purse person. In fact, before I started going back into the office and had to find something that felt work-appropriate, I hadn't owned a bag that wasn't a canvas tote in years.

Purses tend to be too rigid and bulky for me, especially considering that on any given day I typically only carry a few items with me (my phone, credit card, ID, keys and a book or Kindle), and frankly, I just don't like the look of most handbags.

So when I saw belt bags taking off on TikTok, I thought: Finally, a bag trend that I can get behind. Something that's big enough to hold all my essentials but won't feel awkward under my arm as I walk or leave me with shoulder pain at the end of the day. Some of the options that TikTokers favor can be a bit pricey, so I was so excited when I found an affordable Amazon option with a ton of five-star ratings.

UTO Belt Bag

This belt bag is surprisingly roomy

The first time I used the UTO Belt Bag, I couldn't believe how many items I could squeeze into it. I wore it during a recent afternoon outing with a friend and was able to fit a pair of sunglasses, two iPhones, a set of keys, a Kindle, an AirPods case, lip balm, two credit cards and an ID — basically, everything I needed for the day. I think if I was strategic about it and needed to add a few more small items, like a phone charger or an energy bar, I could have made it work. (A few days later, I even managed to fit a full tube of my SPF moisturizer and a deodorant stick in there along with most of my essentials.)

Associate editor Emma Stessman uses the UTO Belt Bag
Can you believe all of these items fit in this one belt bag?Courtesy Emma Stessman

I do have another belt bag, but for me, this one stands out from the rest, thanks to its many pockets. When you open the bag, the interior reveals three compartments: Two large main ones and a smaller zippered one in the middle. The roomier sections are perfect for larger items, like your phone or a wallet, while the zippered space is great for smaller things that you'd want to keep safe, like cash or cards.

In addition to those pockets, there's also a big zippered one in the front (it's discreetly hidden, so you don't see a bulky zipper popping out) and a small one in the back. All that's to say, it's definitely not lacking in safe spots for your daily essentials.

There's one to suit practically every style

If you're anything like me, you'll appreciate how easily the black option can be paired with any outfit, from casual leggings and a tee to a dressy blazer and jeans. But, if you're looking for something more bold, you'll be happy to hear that this bag comes in more than 70 (yes, you read that correctly) styles and colors.

There are smaller versions that come in a range of shades and patterns, from leopard print to light blue, options that are made out of faux leather and even some that come with an additional pouch attached for even more storage space. The specific make that I got, 1023 Black, is available in just two other colors — Quilted Black and Gray. And really, the only complaint that I have about this bag so far was how hard it was to choose one when ordering. Though, it seems like you really can't go wrong. And since most options are around $20, I wouldn't blame you if you got a few!

The bag can also be worn multiple ways, as it has an adjustable strap that the brand says can be expanded from 23- to 53-inches (though sizing can change depending on the style you choose). While I've only worn mine as a crossbody bag and don't see myself using it as a fanny pack any time soon, it's nice to know that I have the option. I can also see myself just throwing it over my shoulder if I wear something bulkier, where the crossbody fit might feel awkward or snug.

Now that I have my go-to canvas totes, a professional-looking bag and this belt bag for days spent running errands, getting brunch with friends and basically every activity in-between, my bag collection feels complete. And if you ask me which one I'd grab first as I'm headed out the door, this one would win almost every time.