When you whip out your credit card and click “buy tickets,” the last thing on your mind is what you’ll do with your essentials when you’re in the front row, jamming out to those awesome bands at the festival. But, if you don’t invest in one the best festival bags you can find, you may be hanging around the Lost and Found tent instead of the main stage.
What makes for a great festival bag or backpack? And how can you know what’ll get past security? We’ve got lots of tips and ideas for how to buy the best festival bag as well as some great suggestions to get you started. Let’s go!
What bags are good for concerts?
Not all bags are created equally when it comes to concerts and festivals. Think of festivals the same as you would riding crowded subways. You’ll be pressed up against dozens of strangers at any given time, and you’ll be distracted by the noise, the crowd, and the excitement of it all. It’s the perfect place for a thief to be hiding, waiting to grab your wallet or phone.
Here are some qualities that the best festival bags will have:
- Good security
- Compact size
- Hands-free strap
The best festival bag will ideally have all of these qualities and will keep your items safe and organized. It won’t be too big, and it’ll be made from a material that is easy to clean and won’t rip. Plus, it should be able to hang off your shoulder, cross-body style, or snap at your waist like a fanny pack.
A great concert bag is functional, secure, and hands-free. You don’t want to be holding onto the thing all night! Plus, it should be compliant with venue guidelines.
Best bags for festivals
So, what kind of a bag keeps things safe and organized, is compact enough to keep on you at all times, but won’t inconvenience you when it comes time to dance? Here are some options.
A crossbody bag is the perfect festival bag because it hangs directly across your chest, so you can keep everything nice and close while having hands free for dancing, eating, and anything else you might want to do.
Not only that, but a crossbody bag that zips is super secure, and crossbodies often come with lots of inside and outside pockets, so you can keep everything organized. It’s definitely one of the best bags for festivals.
This retro option is totally having a renaissance right now as a fashionable, popular choice to carry around your essentials. A fanny pack is an awesome bag for festivals because it hooks right to your waist or across your chest like a bandolier, so your hands can remain free.
One way the fanny pack beats the other options on the list is that, since it’s typically worn on the front of your body, you’ll easily know if anyone is trying to reach into any of the pockets.
A backpack can be a great choice for a festival bag, especially a mini backpack since those are really popular right now. A backpack can hold more items, so as long as you’re in compliance with the concert or festival’s security guidelines, you’ll be free to enjoy the party with ease.
One potential drawback to the backpack is that it’s worn, unsurprisingly, on your back. You can’t see if someone is trying to get into a pocket behind you to take something. Lots of people wear a backpack on their front for this reason.
One last option for a great festival bag is a wristlet, which is a little purse with a strap that you wear around your wrist. It’s the least hands-free of the options, but it can’t be beaten for accessibility. All of your essentials are right on hand, but you can use the strap to hold onto food or drinks.
Which bag have you had the most luck with at concerts? Let us know in a comment which bag gets your pick for the best bag for a festival.
Should I even bring a bag to a festival?
Just because you don’t want to hold onto a bag doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bring one. For all genders, not just women, a bag is an essential accessory at many festivals and concerts.
Bringing a bag to a festival is a great way to keep all of your essentials on hand: phone, keys, credit cards, lip balm, etc. You need a bag if you don’t plan to wear something with zippered pockets like cargo pants or a coat. Pick something lightweight, durable, secure, and hands-free.
Enjoy the festival with the peace of mind that you have everything you need on hand. Some venues allow you to bring a larger bag, but many have tightened restrictions. Always check the festival website to see what the venue will allow.
Do I need a clear bag for Coachella?
As mentioned, when you’re shopping for your perfect festival bag, it’s important to check the venue’s website to see what they’ll allow you to bring. Because Coachella is such a massive event, of course, they are going to have some pretty strict guidelines.
Coachella’s bag policy states that bags cannot be larger than 20” x 15” x 9”, but they do not have to be clear. A little smaller than a carry-on bag, this includes backpacks, purses, handbags, and totes. There are clear rules about what can or cannot go in a bag, but your essentials are safe.
We’ll list those essentials next, but it’s important to note that aerosols are not allowed, so you can’t bring spray sunscreen in your backpack. Go with lotion or a sunscreen stick (our pick!). Check out their full list of rules on their website.
What to pack in a festival bag
Here are some of the essentials you’ll want to put into your awesome new festival bag. And remember that sometimes we only think something is essential. When space is at a premium, don’t skip these.
- Portable battery and cord
- Sunscreen stick
You can even skip your wallet if you have a credit card on your phone! Some places don’t accept payment this way, though. Maximize space by simply bringing two credit cards and your ID in a slim card holder.
Top Bags to Buy for a Festival
Now it’s time for our picks for the best bags for a festival. If you’re on the hunt for the perfect festival bag, take a look at our list of awesome bags to hold your essentials.
Best budget bag for a Festival
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You’ve already dropped the money on the tickets, and you need something that won’t break the bank.
Check out this mini backpack from Madison & Dakota. It’s super cool, comes in a few fun colors, and has a lot of features we love for festivals. Not only does it have zippers, but the top handles button, as well. There’s a front pocket for quickly accessing your phone, too.
Reviewers love its compact size and enjoy taking it with them on day trips. Some have even taken their iPads along for the trip. Be aware, though, that spending less money on the bag might mean you’re compromising on material quality.
- FOR SCHOOL & TRAVEL: This adorable small backpack is still large enough to carry everything you need! Fit pens, pencils, notebooks, & books with ease
- LASH TAB: Use back pack’s cute diamond shaped “pig snout” cloth square to decorate with key chains showcasing your unique style, or use a carabiner clip & attach keys, ID, meal cards, & more!
- FEATURES: Roomy front zippered pocket, easy grip dual zippers, padded back & adjustable, padded back straps for ensured comfort & even weight distribution, & 2 easy carry handles so you can hang it in your locker or on the back of your chair
- CLASSIC: Knapsack is classy & stylish in its simplicity. Plain colors strike a bold contrast & make a statement
Best clear bag for a Festival
If you’re going to a concert that won’t let you in unless they can see through your bag, you need to be proactive and invest in something quality. Otherwise, you’ll be praying that Walmart has its back-to-school display out.
This bag is an awesome choice for a clear stadium bag. It’s a bandolier style, so even though would-be thieves can see your items, they’ll be safe and secure right on your chest. Use the pockets to easily access your gear, and the adjustable strap makes it easy to get a comfortable fit.
- Thicker PVC Clear Sling Bag: Clear Sling bag made of extra durable cold-resistant and waterproof PVC plastic and bound with high-quality stitching. This sturdy sling backpack features fabric specifically designed for daily use
- Stadium Approved Clear Sling Bag: Small(6.3” x 3.2" x 14.2’’), Sturdy, Lightweight but with large capacity. It’s can put phone, wallet, cosmetics in it. There is a front pocket which is great for small items like keys, cash, cards, ticket and etc. The chest bag is very convenient when you go hiking, traveling
- Adjustable & Breathable Strap: The breathable mesh strap provides fresh and comfortable experience for your shoulder, you can adjust the length according to your needs, the strap and chest bag can be totally extend to 51.5 inches, perfectly fit your body
- Save Time and Convenience: Transparent Chest Backpack with completely see through all around. Pass through security with the clear sling bag to avoid being rejected at the airport or at the stadium gate
Best fanny pack for a Festival
Fanny packs are totally in right now, along with mom jeans and everything else you thought was cringy ten years ago. Try a fanny pack for a little Gen Z flair next time you’re prepping for a festival. We’ve even got two picks for you in this category!
Herschel is known for making quality products, and their fanny packs come in multiple sizes and a ton of fun colors. Choose from large, medium, or small bags and colors from black to pink polka dots.
Reviewers love how comfortable and lightweight it is. Even when filled with stuff, it doesn’t get heavy on your waist. It’s the ultimate utility bag, but it still looks great!
- Signature striped fabric liner. Clip fastened adjustable webbing strap
- Full grain leather zipper pull
- Exposed 8pt brass zipper
We also really love what Aloha Collection is doing these days. We see a lot of these great bags since we’re based in Hawaii, and one of the great things about these bags is that they’re intended to be waterproof. And, that can be a very helpful thing at a music festival.
These bags are also super lightweight, so they won’t wear you down during a long music festival.
So, if you’re looking for something tropical to take along with you, try one of these.
- Keep your shoulders happy and hands-free with our ultra lightweight Mini Hip Pack
- Make traveling a breeze with easy access to your phone, card, and passport
- Made out of a special technical material to keep your stuff protected against splashes, spills, and weather while you go from point A to point B
- Features hidden inside pocket for cards or keys Measures 8.5" across x 2" wide at the top x 3.75" tall. Strap extends to 43" and can be shortened to 28.5"
Best festival bags and backpacks – final thoughts
When it comes to festivals and concerts, you definitely don’t want to be unprepared. There are some issues, like a missing phone or a stolen wallet, that can totally ruin your enjoyment of the music you’ve waited so long to hear. Get yourself a great festival bag so you never have to worry.
Which style of bag do you bring to a festival? Let us know down in the comments.
Last update on 2022-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API