Welcome to Travel Non-Essentials, where T+L editors Mark Orwoll and Nikki Ekstein sound off on a different breed of travel product—sometimes ingenious, sometimes just plain odd. Today: The Buddy Pouch.

Credit: Courtesy of Buddy Pouch

What It Does: This fanny pack alternative from Running Buddy ($29.99) holds credit cards, cash, travel tickets, and more using magnets to hold the pouch over your belt or waistband. Orwoll and Ekstein check it out to decide if it’s a must-have, or just a nice-to-have.

NE: This is the Buddy Pouch and Buddy Pouch Mini. They come in two sizes, obviously. They’re just little Velcro pouches for your credit cards, money, whatever bare necessities you’re going to take on the road. There’s a magnetic backing to it, so that you can fit one half inside the top of your pants, fold the top over your waistband, and it clip the other half into place with the magnets. It won’t go anywhere. It’s nice and secure.

MO: I’m not so sure I want that material rubbing against my skin, although it is kind of smooth. The magnets aren’t really holding. Maybe what I need to do is put it around my belt instead of in my waistband…

NE: Really? I’m noticing that these are long, powerful magnets. They’re not rinky-dink, dime-sized things.

MO: OK, over my belt, it’s nice and tight. And you’re right, the magnets are very strong. Not so strong that you can’t open it, but very secure.

NE: Absolutely.

MO: But what can I fit into this Buddy Pouch than I can’t fit right into my pants pocket?

NE: I’m thinking that the advantage here would be if the Buddy Pouch was concealed under another layer of clothing, maybe under a jacket, so you wouldn’t get pickpocketed if you were walking down the streets of Rome or Sao Paulo.

MO: Like a money belt?

NE: Like a money belt.

MO: I’m looking at the picture on the packaging and it shows a couple of women running down a boardwalk. That’s a great idea, because you’re not going to be having deep pockets in your running clothes.

NE: The small one is about the size of a small billfold—just enough space for your bare necessities.

MO: I could see its usefulness for some people. In my own case I wouldn’t have much use for it. But it’s beautifully made, high-quality materials, good craftsmanship. I don’t see anything that’s not well made about this. I just don’t think I’d use it myself.

NE: It’s well made, but… Look, it's black, it’s mesh, there’s nothing offensive about it at all, and it would go fine on a fitness outfit. But am I going to wear it over my patterned pencil skirt? No, no, no…

VERDICT: A nice to have.

By Mark OrwollNikki Ekstein and Nikki Ekstein and Mark Orwoll