Fanny Packs seem to be making a come back despite getting a bad rep from the 90s and nice to see some CCW variants these days. Although easy to get arrogant on thinking the US is always making the best nylon kit, I find it good to keep an eye out for other countries making modern tactical gear.
Hasta out of Ukraine sent me their Flash-L bag to check out and I thought it was a good chance to revisit the "fanny-pack" in a tactical context. For some additional notes on naming; despite being called a fanny pack, most people wear them up front so terms like waist bag or belt bag make more sense these days. Translation wise they call it something along the lines of a holster bag which is pretty reasonable too. For this article I went with CCW belt bag since the CCW part infers holster and the belt bag part infers bag type.
Hasta offers the Flash bag in a standard size for compact pistols and the Flash-L one is intended for full size pistols such as a Glock 17. The big show functionality is definitely the main compartment which is setup with dual zippers and large webbing pull tabs. To setup one chooses an opening side to have the pull tab stick out and then close the zippers into the tab. The webbing tab then uses hook and loop to secure to the belt strap. As an end result one has a secure closure during heavy movement, yet can yank on the pull tab to get smooth and quick access to the main compartment. Fortunately the interior features are symmetrical so ready for both left and right side draw layouts. Features include main elastic straps for the pistol, elastic straps for pistol mags or similar sized objects such as flashlights, a D-ring lanyard connection point at the bottom, and a cover flap up top to keep your sights happy.
There is certainly enough room to put a Glock 17 in there, but I found on the spacing I like to put in a Glock 19 then since a little shorter I had room to put in a Glock 17 magazine next to it without the items touching thus keeping stuff low profile depth wise. Technically there isn't anything stopping one to carry 2 accessories right on top of the pistol, it will just be a bit more bulky and have items banging into each other. Worth noting, there is padding on the back side of the main compartment for comfort and a little rigidity.
Moving to the double zippered exterior pocket, it is more spacious than it first appears where there is plenty enough room for several pistol magazines, or a medical kit, etc. On top of this pocket is a sleeve pocket with hook and loop flap. The interior sleeve has enough room to fit a 3x5 RITR notebook easy when vertical and tight when horizontal. The flap itself on the interior side has a clear vinyl window / sleeve for things like ID and as a nice touch has a piece of webbing to prevent items from falling out. On to the exterior of the flap it has PALS webbing which gives a bit of a tactical look, yet will still be handy as pen slots, generally connecting things to, and of course if one want to go big actually connecting pouches to. As a bit of a down side quirk though however, the Hasta PVC logo is sewn down through the webbing making that zone not functional for PALS. I let them know and sounds like Hasta hopes to just move the logo tag location in the future.
Also on the exterior are 2 smaller pockets that I'd think would be fair to be called coin pockets. They use single snaps and are sized about right to carry chapstick as well. The back is overall simple, however has some 3D mesh to give some body standoff to aid in comfort. Although not sure if planned or not, the padding sides are not sewn down so they can work as sneaky stash zones for something like money. The main strap uses 2" webbing that is pretty stiff and adjusts with slack control on the SRB side and triglide on the other side. Since I'm small and resourceful I altered the tri-glide side to offer a tighter fit however most humans probably won't have an issue with the default tightest setting. An elastic strap is included on the other side to manage the webbing slack. For better or worse the stiffness of the webbing makes adjusting a little difficult. Although it means you won't be adjusting while worn, it also means you don't have to worry about your sizing sliding out of place either.
I'm not sure why I never considered it with waist bags before, but after seeing some example pictures, the Flash also works great worn across the shoulder. As an attempt to save idea face, I think the 2" wide main strap may be a factor where usually straps are pretty thin on these style bags. The shoulder mount works great If worried about slapping your nuts while running in waist worn mode and can lay under ones arm very shoulder holster like. When it comes to getting down to business and busting a pistol out, the Flash offers a nice wide opening however it takes a little getting used to since the angle will be a bit different than a traditional holster. The angle is pretty nice and open which is good, it is just different than where I'm used to going for. After a tear open on the main compartment it also makes something along the lines of a tactical shelf since the majority is open which makes the accessory zones accessible just in new zones when it comes to my personal muscle memory. Even if the compartment opens up all the way hanging down, usually the elastic has enough grip to hold onto your accessories, however this will put the items in a lower position accessibility wise. Time permitting one can slap the pull tab to the hook and loop to get a quick closure as a worthwhile gear management option.
Looks wise the Hasta Flash is a bit tactical so some people may have an issue with that CCW wise, but I feel core functionality wise they really saw everything through. One can quickly open up the bag to draw a pistol while it has the capacity to hold a good amount of additional items. Hasta also offers a Flash variant with loop on the front exterior for ID/ patch options and although still tactical looking, nice to have options. If one wanted to tone down the look it shouldn't be to hard for one to remove the PALS or loop to give a more plain exterior look.