Fanny packs, also known as waist packs, aren’t nearly as common as backpacks, but they certainly have their use cases. Whether you plan to use your fanny pack for a trail run, short day hike, a bike ride, or for extra storage during a backpacking trip with a large backpack, this article will help you find the best waist pack for your needs. We’ve broken this article into three categories below, starting with the best overall packs, and then showing you the best budget fanny packs.
Best Hiking Fanny Packs / Waist Packs
Keeping your hiking requirements in mind, we have furnished a list of best hiking waist/fanny packs to choose from.
Osprey Tempest 6 (women’s) and Talon 6 (men’s)
Offering women-and-men-specific fit, they are suitable for hiking, mountaineering, trail running and quick outdoor excursions with ample hydration space. Both the men’s and women’s version come highly reviewed, and are tested thoroughly by the hiking community.
We like the wide waist belt for comfort and the larger sized compared to other fanny packs. This larger size makes it suitable for longer hikes or trail runs than other waist packs.
- Padded bottle sleeves with two included 570 ml BPA-free PackBottles
- Small front zippered compartment for chapstick or other smaller essentials
- Large, dual-zippered pocket panel access to main compartment
- Easily adjustable and flexible hip belt with dual zippered pockets
- Breathable and soft die-cut slotted foam for a comfortable carry
- Total volume: 6L
Nathan TrailMix Plus Insulated Hydration Belt 3.0
This waist pack by Nathan is extremely well designed, comfortable, has extremely easy bottle access, and a solid zipper and pocket system. It is a simple pack, which is exactly what we love about it.
It does a great job of avoiding that fanny pack bouncing feeling, even with full water bottles and a phone weighing it down. This is a minimalist hiking pack as it has small bottle space, and a small pocket, making it perfect for shorter trips. We like this size, as if we feel like we need to carry more than this, it likely is a longer trip, and a running vest, or a backpacki is likely better suited.
- Super efficient bottle holster
- Two 10oz / 300 mL insulated bottles
Evoc Hip Pack Race 3 L
The pack comes with a hydration bladder for a convenient hands-free usage during any activity. The Evoc Hip Pack Race 3L was designed with mountain bikers in mind but will do equally well for hiking, mountaineering, cross-country skiing, and other outdoor activities. If you happen to be a biker and a hiker, this is a super versatile hip pack.
- PU Coated Nylon w/ 3D Air Mesh
- EVA Back Padding
- Includes 1.5 L Reservoir
- Bottle Holder
- Adjustable Nylon Strap & Buckle
View Here On Amazon | Price: $70-$99
The pack arrives in several colors making it suitable for various types of activities. It is suitable for hiking, mountaineering, hunting and everyday use. The Mountainsmith Tour waist pack has the biggest capacity of 9 liters.
View Here On Amazon | Price: $60-$80
- Tuck-away waist belt with 1.5 adjustment webbing. Smartphone compatible waist belt pocket (fits plus sized phones). Interior padded sleeve for tablet carry. Front panel compression attachment sleeve w/ hidden stash zipper.
- FreeFlow ridged EVA back panel padding. Back panel stash pocket ideal for securing passport, boarding pass, etc.
- Patented Delta Wing Compression load adjustment. Side reinforced bottle pockets (fit up to 32 oz / 1 L). Inner Sanctum interior zippered compartment for small valuables.
- Zippered front panel pocket with key clip. Bottom panel compression straps.
- Bright yellow lining promotes interior visibility. Removable 1.5 shoulder strap(still compatible with 1″ Strapettes). Headphone port.
CamelBak Repack LR4
This pack has an internal 1.5L CRUX™ lumbar reservoir and a long tube to drink from when needed. The compression straps do not allow the water to slosh around. It is suitable for hiking, mountaineering, cycling. Although it has the smallest amount of storage space, it is cleverly designed with lots of pockets.
This is another pack designed for bikers that suits hikers extremely well. Those that love cycling and hiking will get great use out of this.
View Here On Amazon | $60-$80
- Hip belt with cargo pockets.
- 1.5 Liter reservoir
- Reservoir holding straps to keep water steady while moving/running
Best Budget Hiking Waist Packs
We recognize that the above packs are relatively expensive, and you may be looking for the best budget packs that are highly reviewed. Here we have curated a brief list of the packs under $30 for you.
Adidas Originals Unisex National Waist Pack / Fanny Pack / Travel Bag
This pack is simple, lightweight, and has thousands of happy customers. It’s small size makes it great for those looking to only take a few items and don’t want to haul around a bigger fanny pack.
This again, is a minimalist pack. We don’t recommend this for any longer trips as it doesn’t have much space or room for hydration. That being said, if you need something just to hold a snack, and a phone, the lighter weight, the better.
View On Amazon | Price: $24 – $30
WATERFLY Hiking Waist Bag Fanny Pack
This is an awesome versatile pack with water bottle holder, durable materials, and sturdy zippers. This is highly reviewed, well priced, and is versatile and suitable for nearly all situations.
View On Amazon | Price: $22 – $25
Bp Vision Outdoor Fanny Pack Hiking Camping Fishing Waist Bag
This pack is a uniquely designed waist pack with tons of storage. The nylon materials make this a durable pack, and the more than a thousands reviews mixed with a satisfaction guarantee make this a great budget choice.
View On Amazon | Price: $22.99
FREETOO Waist Pack Bag Fanny Pack
This simple pack has several storage compartments making for easy organization. Sturdy zippers and thick material mean this pack will last. The thousands of reviews agree.
View On Amazon | Price: $17 – $20
Everest Signature Waist Pack-Standard
Another simple and light pack with durable materials and zippers. With three storage compartments, this is another great choice for someone looking for just a tiny bit of extra storage.
This is another minimalist pack only for the shortest of trips, or for carrying a snack, phone, wallet, and keys.
View On Amazon | Price: $9.50 – $12
Key Fanny Pack Features
Capacity / Volume
One of the topmost requirements of your waist/fanny pack is capacity. Whether you want a high capacity, low capacity, or something in between is up to your preference. For longer hikes, you need enough space for snacks, keys, wallet, and water at a minimum. However, for us, we personally don’t like the larger fanny packs, as we would transition to a running vest, or a backpack if we needed to carry more. FIgure out what works best for your use cases, and go with that!
For example, if you always hike with your significant other who has a backpack, maybe you only want to carry some hydration and your phone. Take this into consideration.
Waist Size / Fit
Obviously, you need to purchase a size that will fit you. Most waist packs can fit a very wide range of waist sizes. Most can get a waist range of 20″-45″, making it suitable for both sexes, many age groups, and nearly everyone. Regardless, you should check the waist sizes to ensure the pack you are looking at fits your waist.
Companies like Osprey create different packs for men and women as they are designed to fit each body type a little differently. Thin straps in our opinion get uncomfortable over time.
The lighter your pack, the better. This is especially the case for long days or running. A heavier pack will move up and down more (have bounce), and will be slightly less comfortable than a lighter pack. Most packs are within 8-20 oz (222 – 567 grams), but a high quality pack will be on the lighter end of that spectrum. A heavier pack doesn’t necessarily mean lower quality, it could just be more durable, more waterproof, or have a much larger volume. Simply keep in mind the weight of your pack when choosing.
Take a look at the height width, and depth of your pack. Is it huge? Small? Long and thin, or short and wide? Just determine the size and shape that you are looking for and be sure to check the dimensions so you can verify it fits your agenda.
Pockets, Zippers & Carrying Features
Having the right pockets that separate and organize your gear makes your hike or runs a lot easier. Keeping your your blister kit, phone, wallet, keys, snacks, or other gear will keep you more prepared, more organized, and make for an easier trip.
You’ll want to look for a pack with quality zippers, easy to use water bottle holders, and a pack that segments gear really nicely. Take a look at inside the pack pictures to get an idea if that pack fits your needs. Maybe you’ll want just one large space, that is up to you. For example, the Nathan pack listed above has an incredibly easy to use bottle system that makes it easy to pull out bottles, drink, and put them back all while running.
Design and Ventilation
You don’t want your hiking pack to smell of sweat when you have it fastened around your waist or on your fanny, for hours. A wet hiking pack can pose danger to your accessories. It should not constrict you from stretching, climbing, or running. The material should be all-weather friendly. Well designed packs will keep a little airflow to your waist region for added comfort. Look for packs that advertise breathability.
Max DesMarais is the founder of hikingandfishing.com. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor adventure, travel, and marketing websites. He is an experienced hiker, backpacker, fly fisherman, trail runner, and spends his free time in the outdoors. These adventures allow him to test gear, learn new skills, and experience new places so that he can educate others. Max grew up hiking all around New Hampshire and New England. He became obsessed with the New Hampshire mountains, and the NH 48, where he guided hikes and trail runs in the White Mountains. Since moving out west, Max has continued his frequent adventures in the mountains, always testing gear, learning skills, gaining experience, and building his endurance for outdoor sports. You can read more about his experience here: hikingandfishing/about