If you’re a loyal follower of the podcast 99% Invisible, you probably already know the connection the Camelbak Stash Belt has to the history of modern clothing. In episode 3 of the series spinoff called Articles of Interest, they explore the surprisingly fascinating topic of … pockets. For a long time, pockets weren’t sewn into our clothes, but were separate accessories worn around the hips under or over pants or dresses. They were thin, soft and unobtrusive, just like the Stash Belt. It’s not an entirely new approach to the still-booming hip pack trend we’re seeing in mountain biking right now, including entries like the Evoc Race Belt or the Race Face Rip Strip. But the Camelbak Stash Belt takes the concept one step further or, more accurately, one step closer. It hugs the hips like your shorts might thanks to its unique design. Opposite the pockets themselves, which we’ll get to in a minute, is a wide, soft elastic panel. Camelbak makes the Stash Belt in three sizes, and you can’t open it or adjust it. You climb into it like you would your shorts themselves, and it is meant to eliminate any bit of pressure, which is why you’d opt for this kind of pack instead of a traditional hip pack in the first place. Comfort is key because you could probably fit everything you’d put in a stash belt into the pockets of your baggies, but riding with stuff in your pockets sucks. That’s why the Stash Belt has one tall and one narrow zippered pocket, perfect for phone, keys, wallet, bars, or even a soft flask. You can technically fit up to two liters of volume in there, but it’s probably best to keep it minimal.
$35 gets you a stash belt, and you can get the details at camelbak.com/stashbelt