bandi beltWant to keep your valuables close while traveling? Or do you need a hands-free solution for carrying your phone or iPod while running? Or want to tote a few essentials but are too cool to wear a fanny pack?

BANDI belts offers cute and easy solutions with two sizes of pocketed belts. One is just the right size for your phone. The other conceals your passport. They also make headbands with a tiny pocket, just enough for a key or a folded up bill.

I met the BANDI folks recently at the annual IDEA World Fitness Convention. They’re trying to gain a foothold amongst the sporting yet stylish set. They gave me a few samples to try out.

BANDI’s motto is “Stash your stuff, not your style.” The array of colors and prints testify to this philosophy. Patterns include paisley, leopard, giraffe and plaid. You could go with a plain black or gray BANDI belt, but why not be bold with marigold, fuchsia or limeherita?

The belts are made of a stretchy spandex knit and feature a center release buckle. They attach just below the waist. The folded pocket holds your valuables in place without zippers or other fasteners. An inside divider lets you organize your stuff.

In my tests of the BANDI products, I liked the medium-sized belt best. It worked well for walking while talking on the phone, except for one thing. As is, the pocket doesn’t close if a headphone cord is sticking out.  A small hole for the cord would really help.

The headbands are very cute. My hair is very straight and flat, so headbands tend to slip. I think these would stay in place much better on someone with curly hair.

bandi 2I liked the idea of the passport belt and was excited to try it out when I recently visited Nicaragua. Usually I use my boring old beige money belt, but the paisley BANDI belt is much prettier. However, I was disappointed to find that while the pocket fit a passport perfectly, it wasn’t long enough for cash to lay flat. So if you like to carry your bigger bills along with your passport, this might be a concern.

All in all, BANDI has a line of very cute and promising products. But they could improve a lot with just a few tweaks.