There are plenty of beneficial reasons to go hiking. Regular ventures into the wild may lower your chance of heart disease, help you lose weight and relieve stress. To make your hikes as comfortable and enjoyable as possible, it’s a good idea to wear hiking boots and hiking shorts, and to have a convenient way to carry essential items with you. If you’re not looking to carry enough things to fill one of the best backpacks for hiking, we suggest checking out the best hiking fanny packs.
These bags go by many names — fanny packs, hip bags, belt bags and lumbar bags — and they’re all designed to hold EDC essentials such as water, snacks, smartphones and ID during day trips and hikes. These small hiking bags are usually worn around the waist, side or lumbar area, and they shouldn’t be confused with sling bags, which are typically even smaller and worn around the chest.
These compact, waist-mounted storage spaces are quick on, quick off and can be prepped in a matter of seconds. But what makes a hiking fanny pack different from the best fanny packs for men? In general, the number of things you want to carry and the potential weather conditions you may have to deal with are likely different. The best fanny packs for different situations all have features subtly different from one another. In the case of hiking fanny packs, durability and storage space definitely rank high. Let’s take a look at all the things to think about before choosing yours.
What To Consider Before Buying a Hiking Fanny Pack
It’s important to remember that the best hiking fanny pack for one person isn’t always the best hiking fanny pack for someone else. To help you find the right fanny pack for you, we’ve put together some of the key factors to consider in your decision-making process. These include:
Durability – If your fanny pack is going to be coming on regular, adventurous and potentially arduous hikes, it’s going to need to stand up to the trials you face. In general, the higher your budget, the better you can expect the materials and build quality of your fanny pack to be. So if you’re not heading out for days into the harshest conditions, there may be no need to break the bank.
Weight – Another consideration to think about is the weight you’re going to be carrying. For the most part, hiking fanny packs are built to be lightweight, but some are lighter than others. If you’re only looking to carry everyday essential items, the lightest fanny packs will likely suffice for your needs.
Water Resistance – Most hiking fanny packs are “water-resistant.” However, this doesn’t mean they are fully waterproof. If you’re going to be hiking in areas where heavy downpours are likely or crossing rivers or streams, you may want to ensure your hiking fanny pack specifies that it is totally waterproof. This way your belongings will be better protected from any inclement weather.
Liter Capacity – Probably the most important decision when it comes to choosing the best hiking fanny pack for you is its capacity. The amount you want to carry during a hike will affect the size of the fanny pack which is best suited to your needs.
Here is a short list of the most commonly carried items during a hike. If you only need a few of these items, then a small 1L hiking hip bag will suffice. If you plan on bringing all of them, then look for a bag with multiple pockets and a 2L or 3L capacity. If you have even more gear, then look for an option like the Sierra Designs Flex Lumbar Waist Pack, which has a 7L-10L capacity, or the Osprey Savu Lumbar Pack, which has a generous 5L capacity.
- ID/bank bards
Comfort – If you’re going to be wearing your hiking fanny pack for hours, you want it to be comfortable. Ensuring your pack has a soft, breathable back that will sit against your body is a good idea. An adjustable belt also ensures the fanny pack will be secure and stay that way during your hikes.
Below you’ll find our top picks for the best hiking fanny packs available online. We’ve got packs for every kind of hiker. It doesn’t matter whether your priority is staying hydrated or carrying photography gear, there’s a fanny pack to meet your needs.
1. Patagonia Black Hole Waist Pack
With a five-liter capacity, the famous Patagonia Black Hole Waist Pack more than earns its name. It comes in either navy blue, classic blue or black and is made from a ripstop fabric that is durable, water-resistant and ready for all kinds of adventures, including hiking. For convenient hydration, the pack includes a stretch water bottle pocket on one end while smartly placed compression straps help to keep the pack compact when you’re on the move. While this ultra-durable, lightweight and packable bag is easily one of the best hiking hip bags, it’s also great for any type of adventure.
We’ve reviewed this popular line of hiking bags on SPY before, and it has a built up a loyal customer base over the years. It’s available at a lot of outdoors retailers, but head to Patagonia to pick out the style, size and colorway that speaks to you.
2. Osprey Savu 5L Lumbar Pack
With its five-liter capacity, multiple storage pockets and stylish look, this Osprey Savu 5 Lumbar Pack is a safe choice for the average hiker. Its user-friendly design includes dual tuck-away water bottle sleeves for customizable carrying and an ErgoPull waist strap to ensure a secure fit. You’ll also find an air mesh wrap hip belt that is breathable and soft to deliver greater comfort when on. In addition, the pack comes in three colors and features multiple pockets for holding a range of items, including sunglasses, money and your smartphone.
3. MAXTOP Fanny Pack
If you only want to carry your essentials when you’re out and about, this compact MAXTOP Fanny Pack will likely fulfill that need. This budget-friendly, slim fanny pack has three zippered pockets, including a roomy main pocket and a hidden pocket in the back. The pack is also made from water-resistant material so you don’t need to panic when it rains. Furthermore, it comes in 15 different colors and includes a built-in earphone hole and a buckle-closure belt with a reflective strip.
4. 4Monster Hiking Waist Pack
This 4Monster Hiking Waist Pack is made for hikers who travel. The two-liter, lightweight pack is supplied with a drawstring carry bag which allows you to compact it down and keep it in a pocket, backpack or suitcase until it’s needed. The fanny pack itself sports a 30D nylon construction which is durable and water resistant. It also features an adjustable buckle, YKK zippers and an internal key tether. In addition, you’ll have 15 colors to choose from.
5. WATERFLY Fanny Pack Waist Bag
If you want a versatile fanny pack that is great for everyday use, hiking, biking and pretty much everything you can imagine, this WATERFLY Fanny Pack Waist Bag fits the bill. The popular pack comes backed by more than 7,500 five-star ratings and is available in 12 different colors. The design includes a front pocket, a back pocket and two side pockets, giving you plenty of space to store your belongings. You’ll also find a breathable mesh pad for improved comfort and an adjustable buckle closure for security. Additionally, the water-resistant material helps keep your things dry when bad weather hits.
6. REI Co-op Trail 2L Waist Pack
This REI Co-op Trail 2 Print Waist Pack comes in your choice of blue, green or a rainbow-covered Pride Edition. The two-liter capacity pack is just the right size for your snacks, cash and other hiking essentials. It also sports a bucket-style, top-loading lid for quick and easy access to your belongings. The unisex pack is made from nylon and polyester which has been DWR treated. Each zipper also has an attached rope for easier purchase along with an adjustable belt for a secure fit.
7. WATERFLY Hiking Waist Bag Fanny Pack
BEST FOR CARRYING BOTTLES
If a big priority is the ability to carry a water bottle, this WATERFLY Hiking Waist Bag Fanny Pack could be the one for you. On one end, the bag features an elasticated bottle pocket which is capable of accommodating bottles up to 3.1 inches across. You’ll also find a built-in, anti-fall string to hold your bottle in place when you’re on the move. The large belt allows wearers to choose from either around the waist or sling-style wearing. The pack’s main pocket is capable of accommodating large smartphones, including the iPhone 12 Pro, while the smaller front pocket is great for smaller items, such as keys, cards and tissues. Other notable features in this popular pack include a carrying handle, reflective strips, a breathable pad and 14 colors to choose from.
8. Peak Design Field Pouch V2 Camera Waist Pack
BEST FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS
This Peak Design Field Pouch V2 Camera Waist Pack is designed for hikers who want to carry some of their camera gear around their waist or across their body. This stylish pouch has three liters of space to accommodate a camera body (better suited to mirrorless or compact), lenses and other photography or hiking essentials. It also features a roll-top, hook-and-loop closure for greater security when you’re on the move. You’ll also find one internal zip pocket and eight internal stretch pockets for cords, cards, batteries, keys and other small items.
9. CamelBak Repack LR 4 Hydration Pack
BEST FOR STAYING HYDRATED
If hydration is your number one concern, you will definitely want to consider this CamelBak Repack LR 4 Hydration Pack. It includes a 1.5-liter hydration reservoir with an attached hose for easier drinking. The pack also features side and front-facing storage pockets to ensure you have space for carrying other hiking essentials, such as snacks and money. Furthermore, built-in compression straps help keep the pack compact and secure during hikes.
10. Sierra Designs Flex Lumbar Waist Pack
The Sierra Designs Flex Lumbar Waist Pack delivers storage space, a comfortable ride and a touch of style to boot. This high-quality hiking companion features one large main compartment alongside a hidden top zippered pocket for smaller items that you want quick access to. The smart design of the pack allows it to expand to your carrying needs, thanks mostly to the dual compression straps. These straps compress the pack and secure the load, which can include up to two water bottles. In addition, the padded hips and adjustable belt ensure the pack remains secure and comfortable during your adventures. This bag has a total capacity of 7-10L, and it’s the best hiking fanny pack for longer journeys.
11. TUDEQU Fanny Pack
The TUDEQU Fanny Pack has multiple pockets, making it a solid choice for hikers who like to keep things organized. You’ll find eight pockets in total, made up of a range of different pocket sizes. Two smaller front-facing pockets are ideal for smaller items or music devices as they include headphone holes. There’s a pocket made specifically for holding sunglasses, as well as two invisible, drawstring pockets that securely accommodate bottles or umbrellas. Additionally, it’s made from water-resistant fabric and includes wide, breathable pads in the back to increase comfort.
12. Osprey Talon 6 Waistpack
The Osprey Talon 6 Waistpack is another popular pack that ticks all the right boxes. For unbeatable comfort, the pack uses a die-cut foam AirScape back panel which sits more naturally around your body. The design also includes a flexible BioStretch harness and hip belt to let the pack move as you do, delivering a more enjoyable experience for wearers. In terms of storage, the pack features multiple different pockets for easier organization. This includes two bottle sleeves, two zippered side pockets and several other front-facing zippered pockets.