The Spinoff Reviews New Zealand #72: My new bum bag

We review the entire country and culture of New Zealand, one thing at a time. Today, José Barbosa speaks the gospel of fanny packs. 

Personally speaking 2018 has been a huge year for me. This year, at both work and home, there’s been new challenges to overcome and big projects to drive to completion. I’ve grown as a workmate, a boyfriend and as a person. In a lot of ways it’s been a year of self-discovery and I’ve discovered that I’m a bum bag person.

I bought and used my first ever bum bag at the start of this year. I was staring down the barrel of an intense three week shooting schedule for Get It To Te Papa, an original series now streaming on Lightbox by the way.

A production still from Get It To Te Papa. Location of bum bag Phase One is indicated (left, the author; right, Hayden Donnell).

It was a ten dollar, single chamber pouch purchased at The Warehouse. For three weeks it carried: a stick of deodorant, a powerbank, makeup kit (Hayden Donnell, star of Get It to Te Papa, sweats like James Brown living on the sun), money, a shitty Bear Grylls branded multi-tool, pen, usb stick and occasionally a packet of airplane lollies.

Those three weeks were memorable for many, many reasons, but there were times when Hayden was sweating and a situation was defused because I could quickly and efficiently produce my brush and powder almost instantly. It’s not hyperbole to say Get It to Te Papa was the direct beneficiary of my 10 dollar bum bag.

On wrapping Get It to Te Papa I had time to reflect and I realised there was no going back; I was a born again fanny-packer, a waist bag wannabe, a lumber pack lover. But I needed to upgrade.

After a gruelling 30 minutes poring over the websites of several online retailers I chose and purchased Phase Two of the Barbosa Bum Bag Universe. I Kevin Feiged it.          

This is the Allen Eagle River Lumbar Fishing Pack (Olive), It’s the hummer of bum bags. With it slung around my waist propping up my guts I feel like I could probably survive a nuclear winter or Christmas Eve at Kmart.

The author proudly shows off his latest personal on-body storage solution.

It’s a four chamber beast with two drink bottle holders. There are several loops and d-rings to attach external items and the belt has extra padding for comfort and extended use. I’ve barely scratched the surface of what this bag, nay, this life vessel can cart around, but I know if I’m ever in a situation, the Allen Eagle River Lumbar Fishing Pack (Olive) has my back. It’s basically Sport Billy’s magic gym bag or Felix the Cat’s occult satchel. I’m seriously considering listing it on AirBnB.

Would you just look at this fucking beast.

I’m happy now. Happier than I have been in a long time. The only thing that blackens my contentment is the knowledge that in the world there are people struggling with backpacks or clutches or suitcases or sacks. There’s a bum bag out there for everyone, but not everyone realises that. Well, it’s time to be a little brave everyone; reach out, clip in the belt and feel the weight on your hips. Can you feel it? That’s the heft of freedom.


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