Whenever I’m actively traveling, I swear by my USB Stick Trick; a hidden USB stick that contains all the (encrypted) information I could possibly need should I lose everything abroad.
Until now, I’ve always stashed the USB stick – along with some cash and a backup credit card – in a little pocket with a loop I can use to secure and store it underneath my clothing. Admittedly though, this isn’t ideal; I have to hook the loop on to my underwear, and aside from it not being pretty(!), it’s not always as stealthy as I’d like it to be.
Enter: The StashBelt.
The folks at StashBelt contacted me because they know of my USB stick trick and wanted to give me an alternative to my underclothes pocket (not knowing of my faulty underwear-hooking system).
Why would they contact me in particular? Because, in addition to it being a money belt, it has a special pocket for a USB stick.
They’re also a Canadian company (go, Canada!), and they’re about to go on the television show Dragon’s Den with their creation, so they’re drumming up whatever publicity they can.
StashBelt – The Product
StashBelts are made of 100% genuine pull-up leather (which, if you know about leather, means it’s good stuff, since not all leather belts are actually all leather). And although the use of leather may not earn many bonus points with vegans, the cows are free-grazed and grass-fed. It has a lifetime warranty.
It’s also versatile; the buckle can easily be removed in case you have your own belt buckle or like to change them up.
There’s a long zipper on the inside revealing a pocket that can hold some precious items, most notably folded up cash.
And of course – the piece de resistance – StashBelt’s slim 4GB USB stick, which slides into a little pocket near the buckle.
StashBelt – The Company
This is where the story gets even more interesting. StashBelt is a Canadian company working in partnership with African artisans in Kenya. The leather is sourced, treated, and made into belts in Kenya, providing sustainable jobs in a socially-responsible way.
In addition, 10% of all StashBelt profits are used to make “angel investments” in Kenyan startup businesses.
StashBelt – My Take
I’ve only had my StashBelt a short time, but so far, I like what I see. The belt is extremely well made. The leather is very stiff, but this is good; a sign of something that will last a long time, and mould to my body as I continue to use it.
This also means, however, that initially getting the USB stick in and out of its pocket takes some real effort, and it’s easy to lose the cap. And because of the slim profile of the slot, you can only fit a very slim USB stick into the belt; thus, if you need to replace the USB stick provided by StashBelt, not just any one will do. I expect that over time the pocket will stretch and become more user-friendly.
I’ve never used a money belt, but I appreciate the ability to stash some extra cash, so I think I’ll like using the zippered pocket. I wish it could fit a credit card (in order to make the StashBelt a true replacement for my USB Stick Trick pocket of joy), but that would make the belt way too wide for most belt loops. So, I concede, and will stash my backup credit card elsewhere.
And a note on sizing: pay special attention to the measurement guidelines on the site, since they don’t match up with trouser sizes. I measured according to their directions, and I have a perfect fit, with just enough slack to allow for a wee bit of weight gain/loss.
Lastly, a note on fashion + function and the use of a belt as part of a full-time travel entourage. Some hard-core travelers might suggest that not only is a belt not necessary, but neither are jeans. I agree that jeans can be impractical on the road; they’re heavy to pack, slow to dry, yadda yadda yadda. But I also like them, and I wear them a lot. And a nice pair of jeans demands a nice belt. So, I concede. On travel days, I wear my jeans, and my StashBelt (since my carry-on bag is pretty chock-a-block with everything else that I own). The extra 15 seconds required to take off my belt in the airport while clearing security is barely a hardship.
So would I recommend StashBelt? If you like belts and want the additional functionality of a money belt while you travel, and you like my USB Stick Trick, and you like the idea of a Canadian-based socially responsible company, that’s enough reasons for me to say: go for it.
Special Discount For You!
Would you like to try out a StashBelt for yourself? Enter the code “prohobo” at checkout to receive 10% off!