As a resident of a small recreational mountain town in Southern Oregon, I am aware of the mountain bikers that buzz on the trails around me. A couple of years ago I started noticing the return of the fanny pack on the mountain biker. Observing the fanny pack got me thinking about the carrying capacity of current running belts and vests and the subsequent needs of the trail runner and the variety of runs we endeavor coupled with errands and travel. Enter the Janji Multipass Sling Bag ($56).
This is the trail runner’s answer to a technical running fanny pack and sling bag — it’s wearable in these two ways. The Janji Multipass Sling Bag is a cross between a running belt and a hydration vest, but with an activewear fashion aesthetic. I wear it practically every day and everywhere, including during some of my training runs. It is an essential part of my running gear and daily life, and I would recommend the 2-liter Multipass to any type of runner, cyclist, or active-minded individual.
It is made from lightweight ripstop material and is water repellent, essential for both rain and sweat. It has a little reflective flair for early morning visibility — the bears and racoons will know you are coming. Additionally, I already see myself using it on cross-country ski outings this winter, and just now had an interesting thought about trying it on swim-run adventures in summer.
If you are unfamiliar with Janji, I encourage you to explore their website and learn about their environmental collaborations, specifically with clean water non-profits and their support of artists for their globally informed designs.
The Janji Multipass Sling Bag took the title of best running belt for versatility in our best running belts guide. Read on to see why.Shop the Janji Multipass Sling Bag
Janji Multipass Sling Bag Sizing and Fit
The Janji Multipass Sling Bag comes in one size with strong nylon adjustable straps for a comfortable and functional fit. It can be worn either as a fanny pack or as a sling bag — across the back or in front on the chest.
A highlight of this one-size-fits-all bag is that there are hidden places for excess straps, in addition to Janji designers ensuring that the entirety of the bag stays secure to the body regardless of how it is worn. For example, if it is worn snugly across the waist, the pull straps have accessible bungee pull cords for tightening and a key piece of fabric to keep the straps doubled. Once firmly tightened, the bungee ends of the straps can be nicely tucked into what is referred to as the “flex space” — the flexible middle bungee compartment.
If it is worn as a sling, there is an extra-support cross-body strap, that sneaks its way through a back pocket slot and clicks into the main strap when higher velocity movement is warranted, and when further lock down is needed. This body strap can be quickly stored while not in use.
Generally, if I have a load to carry while running, I use it as a fanny pack. If I have minimal gear to pack for a run, I use it as a sling bag. I find that those set-ups worked well for my body type and how I run.
However, whenever I am actively wearing it for other life events, regardless of load, I sling on the Janji Multipass Sling Bag and happily go on my way. I like the ability to freely rotate the bag, especially if I need to get in and out of it repeatedly. When I am running fast on technical trails, I make sure I am locked down for forward progress — that secretly stashed cross-body strap is clutch in these cases.
The overall fit is aided by a flexible foam air mesh on the back. This design helps maintain adequate airflow in both wearable positions. It also provides extra protection and padding on the hip bones and atop the shoulders and upper back.
Janji Multipass Sling Bag Hydration Options
The first several weeks I ran in the Janji Multipass Sling Bag, I didn’t pack water with me. I was exploring the ways to don the bag and carried a typical list of items: phone (sometimes two phones), keys, gloves, arm warmers, a buff, wallet, food, a knife, women things, and a pen and a pencil — you just never know. The storage options are noteworthy and will be discussed further below.
But once summer hit and I started heat training for races, I began packing a 16-ounce soft flask in the main compartment. A hard handheld can easily be stored in the flex space and held securely by the durable bungee system. Of course, you have to drink, but when the bag is free to spin, the zippers are easy to handle, and the hard flask slides in and out without complication. It takes some getting used to, but the hydration storage options are nice to have.
Additionally, I like the hands-free option the Janji Multipass Sling Bag presents. Even with the water packed, there is still room available for the other essential items listed above.
Janji Multipasss Sling Bag Storage Options
The Janji Multipass Sling Bag has approximately two liters of storage in various forms. The flex space gives the bag more flexibility and freedom in what gets loaded along the trails for quick access — water bottle, jacket, or an extra layer.
The main compartment has ample space for the basic list of gear described above, plus a clip to hold keys and an extra mesh pocket to store an ID, cash, or card. There is also a back pocket, which I didn’t see initially, for phones, credit cards, electrolyte packets, and whatever fits your fancy. I am still impressed by the carrying capacity of this bag.
My partner and I recently took a vacation to Santa Fe, New Mexico. The Land of Enchantment was a relatively new place for us to explore — running, hiking, archeological site seeing, and art gallery hopping are some of the main attractions. The Janji Mulitpass Sling Bag was a mainstay across my back during this whole trip.
I stored all the things we needed for these outings. Certainly, two of us required more water, and that was easily solved. But for all intents and purposes, the storage options of the bag far surpassed our expectations and needs. I am still looking forward to exploring what and how I can carry in it.
Janji Multipass Sling Bag Overall Impressions
Prior to trying the Janji Multipass Sling Bag, I have struggled for years to find the best waist belt for medium-distance trail running and road running and, likewise, the most functional running vest for the same effort. It is a balance between adequate fit, minimal gear bouncing, and pack shifting, weighed with the variables of not carrying enough, carrying just a little too much, or needing to go to the store or meet up with friends post-run.
What do you run with in situations like that? Janji has answered that question. The fanny-sling is back — or rather, it is here, and here to stay. And now I can be hip like my mountain biking friends, maybe.
In sum, the Janji Multipass Sling Bag is a bestseller for many reasons. It meets multipurpose needs not only while running trails, but also while cycling, traveling, and exploring the town. Comprehensively thinking about the bag’s sizing, fit, hydration, and storage capacity — it hits the Goldilocks button, and will probably be a fan favorite this year and for years to come.
This is why we awarded it the title best running belt for versatility in our best running belts guide. I am wearing it now and I didn’t even realize it.Shop the Janji Multipass Sling Bag
Call for Comments
- Have you tried the Janji Multipass Sling Bag?
- If not, does it sound like something that could be useful for your running and lifestyle?
[Editor’s Note: If you’re affiliated (i.e., an employee, ambassador, etc.) with a brand, please share your relation in each of your comments on this article. Thanks!]