When it comes to shorter hikes with stable weather, carrying a large backpack filled with all kinds of outdoor gear feels silly. On the other hand, not carrying any kind of bag at all is just as reckless – you need something for your essentials, like your water bottle, snacks, documents, and electronic gadgets.
Fortunately, there’s a simple solution to this problem – a hiking fanny pack. Also called waist packs, these little bags fit snugly around the wearer’s waist and often come with zippered pockets and an adjustable strap. The best models are also well-padded (ensuring comfort) and made out of premium materials (ensuring durability).
However, just like in the case of regular backpacks and daypacks, the market is oversaturated with dozens of different brands and models of hiking fanny packs. The result of this is pretty obvious – choosing the right waist pack for your needs becomes a challenging task.
To make things a bit easier, we’ve rounded up ten of the market’s most popular bags of this type and took a closer look at their design and features. If you’re currently shopping for one of these practical carryalls, keep reading – one of the models listed below just might be an ideal match for you.
Table of Contents
- 1 The Best Hiking Waist Pack
- 2 Best Hiking Fanny Packs Reviews
- 2.1 Genius Earth Hiking Fanny Pack
- 2.2 NZII Sports Hiking Fanny Pack
- 2.3 Everest Lumbar Hiking Fanny Pack
- 2.4 Mountainsmith Day Lumbar Hiking Fanny Pack
- 2.5 Osprey Talon 6 Hiking Fanny Pack
- 2.6 Mountainsmith Knockabout Lumbar Hiking Fanny Pack
- 2.7 Bp Vision Hiking Fanny Pack
- 2.8 Gopacka Insulated Hiking Fanny Pack
- 2.9 Patagonia Black Hole Mini Hiking Fanny Pack
- 2.10 Waterfly Hiking Fanny Pack
- 3 Best Hiking Fanny Packs Buying Guide
- 4 Conclusion
The Best Hiking Waist Pack
Choosing the best fanny pack out of all the models we’ve analyzed wasn’t an easy task. While each of these packs has a lot to offer in terms of functionality, comfort, and durability, one of them managed to stand out by combining a number of useful features into one well-designed, practical package.
Our top pick: Mountainsmith Day Lumbar
Best Hiking Fanny Packs Reviews
Genius Earth Hiking Fanny Pack
- Impressively adjustable belt
- Lightweight, comfortable, and durable
- Comes with two 20oz bottles
- No insulation on the water bottles
Practical but classy, Genius Earth is one of the company’s best-selling waist packs. While not flawless, it’s undoubtedly one of the best products of this type in its price category.
One of the first things to notice about this waist pack is its simple but attractive design. Genius Earth is available in two colors (blue and red) and it’s made out of water-resistant nylon fabric. In addition, it is quite lightweight (10 ounces) and comes accompanied by two water bottles.
Storage-wise, Genius Earth sports a capacity of 4.3 liters. While it’s certainly not the most spacious waist pack in our roundup, it easily fits all the essentials you may need for a short hike. In fact, you won’t even have to buy water bottles for its water bottle holders – these are included in the package, as we already mentioned.
One thing we particularly liked about this waist pack is its extremely adjustable belt (18”-50”). In other words, you’ll have no trouble finding a perfect fit for your waist. Finally, the model is backed by the manufacturer’s 100% guarantee.
NZII Sports Hiking Fanny Pack
- Multiple pockets allow strategic packing
- Durable belt, buckle, and zippers
- Integrated headphone port
- No water bottle holders
A great choice for day hikes, NZII Sports is a versatile waist pack with a couple of interesting features. If you’re looking for a fanny pack with lots of storage options, this model is one of your best choices.
This is because NZII Sports comes equipped with 6 zippered pockets. Besides the main compartment, this hip pack has a hidden pocket on the back, two on the side, and two on the front. Unfortunately, NZII comes without water bottle holders, but you can store a single 24oz bottle in its primary compartment.
Another thing we liked about this waist pack is the overall sturdiness and durability. Its plastic buckle works wonderfully, its flexible belt is quite thick, and its zippers are strong and long-lasting. In other words, NZII Sports looks and feels like a waist pack that easily withstands daily wear and tear.
Other features worth mentioning are the relatively low weight (16 ounces) and the presence of an integrated headphone port. Overall, NZII Sports is a well-made, multifunctional fanny pack – you won’t make a mistake by going for it.
Everest Lumbar Hiking Fanny Pack
- Two large water bottle holders
- Three roomy pockets for your essential gear
- Comfortable – adjustable strap & padded back panel
- Wider than most waist packs
Next up is Everest Lumbar, one of the best waist packs for those who often carry larger water bottles during their day hikes. Fortunately, the model’s water bottle pockets aren’t the only good thing about it.
One of the first things to notice about this stylish hip bag is that it’s made to last. While affordable, Everest Lumbar is made out of waterproof 600D polyester, whose job is to protect your gear from the rain. Most fanny packs can be worn in only one way, but not this one – you can wear it to the side as a hip bag, in front as a regular fanny pack, or on your back as a lumbar pack.
In terms of capacity, Everest Lumbar is equipped with three spacious, zippered pockets. You’ll be able to use these to carry all kinds of gear – from your phone to your bug spray. And, as we said, this pack also fits two water bottles thanks to its large side bottle holders.
Other features worth mentioning are the additional top handle, a breathable and comfortable back panel, as well as the adjustable nylon strap that accommodates up to 48” in the waist.
Mountainsmith Day Lumbar Hiking Fanny Pack
- Well-designed, feature-rich pack
- 13 liters of storage space
- Foam-padded sleeve for a tablet
- Non-removable belt
Considered by many outdoor enthusiasts to be the best fanny pack on the market, Mountainsmith Day Lumbar is truly something special. It’s an ideal choice for those looking for a spacious, durable, and feature-rich waist pack.
Significantly larger than most of the other waist packs on our list, Mountainsmith Day Lumbar provides a lot of storage space. As a 13-liter waist pack, the model can be used for more than just short day hikes. In fact, its roomy interior includes a special, padded sleeve for your tablet.
In addition, the Mountainsmith Day Lumbar pack is equipped with a number of other storage pockets. The ones we found to be particularly convenient are the document sleeve on the model’s back panel and its large, zippered belt pocket. Furthermore, the model features bungee cords and daisy chains, allowing you to attach additional gear.
We also liked the overall durability and comfort. The Mountainsmith Day Lumbar pack is made out of durable Cordura fabric and has a well-padded back panel with a breathable mesh. Finally, the pack is equipped with a tuck-away belt, a removable shoulder strap, a headphone port, and two water bottle holders.
Osprey Talon 6 Hiking Fanny Pack
- Well-padded and very breathable
- Comes with two 570ml bottles
- Exceptionally stretchy hip belt
- No liner between the outer pocket and the main compartment
Next up is Talon 6, a fantastic waist pack made by one of the most reputable manufacturers of hiking backpacks – Osprey. Is this hip pack as good as Osprey’s premium, feature-rich bags?
Being a renowned brand, Osprey did its best to design a model that is both eye-catching and practical. Just as we expected, Talon 6 is extremely comfortable to wear, as it is well-padded and very breathable. In fact, it’s pretty safe to say that it’s one of the best options for day hiking adventures during hot summer months – you won’t have to deal with excessive sweating. Check out the best Osprey backpack review you can buy.
The main compartment of this attractive fanny pack is roomy and will allow you to carry everything you may need for a shorter journey. There are some additional pockets, too, including water bottle sleeves and hip belt pouches. And yes, the pack comes together with two 570ml BPA-free bottles.
One particularly great feature of Talon 6 is its exceptionally stretchy hip belt – something you won’t find on most other waist packs.
Mountainsmith Knockabout Lumbar Hiking Fanny Pack
- Super lightweight but still roomy
- A water-resistant waist pack
- Two carrying options
- The strap material feels somewhat flimsy
Here we have yet another great hip pack made by Mountainsmith – the Knockabout Lumbar Hiking Fanny Pack. While not as spacious as Day Lumbar, it’s still one of the best products of this type on the market and a model worth checking out.
Available in three different colors, this convenient waist pack is made out of 610D Cordura nylon fabric and, as such, can take a lot of beating. And that’s not all – Knockabout is also water-resistant. Weather is an unpredictable thing, and having a pack that will protect your essentials from getting soaked is always nice.
One particularly great thing about this pack is that it offers more organization than its looks suggest. While it does look a bit small from the outside, the Knockabout allows its user to pack more than 10 pounds of gear into it. Besides the primary compartment, this hip pack has an organizer sleeve, a hidden back-panel pocket, and a front panel accessory pouch. There is also a headphone port.
Unlike many other waist packs on the market, this one comes with two carrying options. You can swing the Knockabout around your shoulder, but also clip it around your waist.
Bp Vision Hiking Fanny Pack
- Water-resistant & breathable
- Three different carrying options
- Zippered pockets on both sides of the waist belt
- The buckles could be of better quality
One of the best fanny packs on the market, Bp Vision is well-made, water-resistant, and easy to carry. The model is available in seven different color combinations and is equipped with a number of features that turn it into a worthwhile investment.
As one of Bp Vision’s best-selling models, this waist pack offers various carrying options. In other words, you can carry this pack in a couple of different ways. You can use the shoulder strap or the backpack strap, but also carry the pack using the waist back style. No matter which style you go with, comfort is guaranteed.
Perfect for day hikes, Bp Vision comes with a couple of pockets, including the zippered pockets on both sides of the waist belt and two water bottle holders. The belt itself can be adjusted between 26” and 50”, so it’s pretty easy to find a perfect fit.
The nylon construction of this hiking waist pack is water-resistant. Bp Vision is also one of the most breathable packs on our list – its mesh does a great job of preventing the wearer’s lumbar area from overheating and sweating.
Gopacka Insulated Hiking Fanny Pack
- Extra insulated – keeps the drinks cool
- Adjustable waist strap & quick-release buckle
- Multiple sleeves and slots
- Could be slightly bigger
In a market saturated with hundreds of different brands and models of hiking waist packs, finding a properly manufactured pack of this type isn’t easy. Finding one with high-quality insulation is even harder, which is precisely why the Gopacka Insulated bag for waist is such a worthy mention.
The market’s best fanny pack in terms of insulation, Gopacka has an outstanding ability to keep the wearer’s drinks cool. Unlike most of the other packs on our list, this one sports thermal insulation and a special sort of slim gel in its construction. This allows the pack to maintain the low temperature for your drinks for an extra-long time.
Fortunately, that’s not the only great feature of this impressive hip pack. Even though it’s not among the most spacious packs out there, Gopacka easily fits three 12oz cans or two 17oz water bottles. There’s also an extra lycra pocket for your phone, a couple of credit card slots, and a huge zippered pocket.
Perfect for day hiking in hot weather, Gopacka also sports a very adjustable waist strap with a quick-release buckle. It is also extremely lightweight and can be purchased in six vibrant color combinations.
Patagonia Black Hole Mini Hiking Fanny Pack
- Extra-small & lightweight
- Comfortable & easy-to-adjust
- Packs into its own pocket
- Not suitable for more demanding day journeys
Not everybody needs a spacious pack for their hikes. Out of all the waist packs on our list, Patagonia Black Hole Mini is the smallest and lightest – it’s a perfect choice for those carrying only the bare essentials.
Although small, this Patagonia fanny pack is quite durable, as it is made out of nylon ripstop fabric with a special polyurethane coating. Due to its size, the pack can be folded into its own pocket. Once we combine this convenient feature with the model’s low weight, we get a tiny pack that you can toss into your regular bag and barely tell it’s there.
In terms of internal organization, there’s not much going on here. Unlike most of the waist packs on our list, Black Hole Mini has only a couple of pockets, which you can use to carry your passport, headphones, wallet, keys, phone, and maybe a snack or two. The pack is equipped with YKK #5 Reverse Coil zippers, which are among the most durable on the market.
In terms of comfort, this pack nicely contour’s to the wearer’s body and the fit is easy to loosen or tighten thanks to the adjustable herringbone-webbing strap. In summary, If you’re a bit more serious about day hiking, you’re better off with something that can hold a water bottle or two. Those who need a truly minuscule hip bag, on the other hand, will find this model to be a better choice than all other waist packs on our list.
Waterfly Hiking Fanny Pack
- Durable, breathable, and water-resistant
- Plenty of internal and external pockets for your gear
- Portable hand-carry design
- Holds only standard-size water bottles
Next up is something special – one of the most lightweight, spacious, and well-designed packs available on the market. Waterfly’s newest waist pack is perfect for daily use – it has everything a bag of this type should have to be practical and useful.
Available in 12 different colors, this affordable model is one of the best bags for waist use when it comes to design and construction. This hip pack is made out of durable nylon material and is water-resistant. Furthermore, its back pad is very breathable (great for summer hikes) and its waist belt provides much-needed pressure relief.
However, the best thing about the Waterfly waist pack is its amazing packing ability. This pack is equipped with a number of internal and external zippered pockets, all of which you can use for your essential gear. For example, one of the pockets fits a 7.9” iPad Mini, and you can use the model’s side mesh pockets for your water bottles.
Besides being capable of housing a lot of gear, the Waterfly waist pack is very flexible thanks to its adjustable belt. What’s more, it’s one of those packs with a portable hand-carry design – you don’t have to wear it on your waist all the time.
Best Hiking Fanny Packs Buying Guide
Fanny packs are all about hands-free hiking, low weight, and minimalistic design. When shopping for a bag of this type, keep the following factors in mind:
This one is a no-brainer – always go for a pack with as many storage options as possible. More sleeves, pouches, and compartments will allow you to store more gear, as well as to organize it better.
The best bag of this type will be equipped with one or two water bottle holders. However, this isn’t as important if you’re often combining a light daypack with a fanny pack. In such cases, a smaller model (like Patagonia Black Hole Mini) will work well too.
Besides allowing hands-free hiking, fanny packs are also supposed to protect your most essential gear from getting lost, damaged, or soaked. And to do that, they need to be made out of durable materials and provide protection against water.
Fortunately, most of the hip packs in our roundup use quality nylon or polyester as their main materials and can easily withstand daily wear and tear. If you’re often hiking in regions with unpredictable weather, make sure to pick a water-resistant hip pack.
Heavy waist packs, particularly when they’re filled with gear, can and will bring unwanted fatigue. This is precisely why it’s so important to go for a model that’s lightweight, portable, and easy on the hips.
Fortunately, almost every bag of this type will use materials we’ve mentioned above – polyester and nylon – and therefore sport a low weight. In addition, the way in which these bags are made ensures that they don’t put too much strain on your body as you’re moving.
Still, some models are significantly heavier than others. For example, Patagonia Black Hole Mini weighs mere 3.5 ounces, while our top recommendation, the Mountainsmith Day Lumbar, weighs close to 30 ounces. Keep this in mind while shopping for your next fanny pack.
Choosing a fanny pack that was made with comfort in mind is just as important. Besides providing enough space for your gear, the best fanny pack also needs to be comfortable to wear.
And when it comes to comfort, you’ll have to pay attention to features such as the fully adjustable hip belt and the well-padded, breathable back panel. In a way, these features determine how comfortable (or uncomfortable) a particular fanny pack will be to carry around.
And there you have it – ten of the market’s most popular waist packs, all with their own sets of advantages and disadvantages. Out of these, we’ve picked Mountainsmith Day Lumbar as our top recommendation, and for a couple of good reasons.
First of all, this is a very spacious pack with a lot of sleeves and pouches that you can use to store your hiking essentials. Furthermore, Mountainsmith Day Lumbar is extremely durable and comfortable to wear thanks to its Cordura fabric and a breathable, well-padded back panel.
Finally, it is equipped with a number of convenient features, such as the bottle holders, a tuck-away belt, a headphone port, a removable shoulder strap, as well as bungee cords and daisy chains. All of these perks turn it into a worthwhile investment and one of the best fanny packs you can get in today’s market.
I love hiking. From the Camino de Santiago to the West Highland Way in Scotland or simply a great day hike on the weekend. Hiking refreshes me, my mind, and keeps my body reasonably fit. So far I have walked three Camino routes and many other long distance hikes in the UK, Canada, and around the rest of Europe. One of the best was my hike up Ben Nevis.