It isn’t always a good idea to carry a huge backpack while hiking. Yet, there are always some essentials that hikers want to carry on a hike. For an enjoyable experience during a hike, it is important to be able to carry the essentials while hands-free. This is only possible with fanny packs.
Quick Gear Recommendation
Below is a list of our favourite hiking gear that you check quickly if in hurry. Scroll down to read the rest of the article.
- Best Shorts: Tru-spec Men’s 24-7 Series Tactical Shorts
- Best Jackets For Cold Weather: The North Face Men’s Insulated Jacket
- Best Gloves: Mountain Made 2.0 Genesis Gloves
- Best Shoes For Flat Feet: Salomon Men’s Quest Hiking Boots
- Best Boots Under 100: Keen Men’s Targhee Ii Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot
- Best Insoles: Timberland Pro Men’s Anti-fatigue Insole
- Best Boots For Overpronation: Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Hiking Boot
- Best Boots Under 50: Sanearde Men’s Hiking Boots Insulated Hiker
- Best Compact Binoculars: Carson 3d Series Hd Waterproof Binoculars
- Best Knife: Opinel Stainless Steel Folding Knives
- Best First Aid Kit: First Aid Only 299 Piece
- Best Fanny Pack: Osprey Talon 6 Men’s Lumbar Hiking Pack
- Best Dog Backpack Carrier: Petami Pet Carrier Backpack For Dogs
- Best Microspikes: Kahtoola Microspikes Footwear Traction
We are going to review following fanny packs for hiking:
- Osprey Talon 6 Men's Lumbar Hiking Pack
- EVOC Hip Pack Race 3L Hydration Waist Pack -...
- Mountainsmith Tour Lumbar Pack
- High Sierra Express Lumbar Pack
- CamelBak FlashFlo LR Crux Lumbar Reservoir...
- CamelBak 2016 Tahoe LR Hydration Waist Pack
- Nike Lean 2 Running Bottle Waistpack...
- NZII Sports Fanny Pack for Men Women, Outdoor...
- Gopacka Insulated Fanny Pack Cooler for...
- Outdoor Fanny Pack Hiking Walking Fishing...
- WATERFLY Fanny Pack with Water Bottle Holder...
- KAVU Washtucna Belt Bag Fanny Pack with...
Before jumping into the detailed review, let look at the important benefits fanny packs provide:
Benefits of Using Fanny Packs
Let’s find out how fanny packs tend to improve our hiking experience.
- Easy snacks, some water, and other small accessories are easy to carry.
- If worn on the front, everything is within easy reach.
- Using fanny packs reduces the chances of developing back, or shoulder pain.
- Not carrying weight on the back provides for better balance during a hike.
- The body remains cool without a heavy backpack making one feel hot. It also prevents from hikers from perspiring profusely.
- Doesn’t rub against hikers’ bare shoulders and back on warm days, when hikers may be dressed in outfits where their arms or back are exposed.
- The use of fanny packs encourages hikers to go for minimalism. They are bound to carry only their bare essentials while hiking if they use a fanny pack.
The Types of Fanny Packs
Before buying a fanny pack for hiking, it is important that one knows which one to buy. Fanny packs come in four types.
Large Sized Fanny Pack
The storage space in a large fanny pack is around 600-800+ cubic inches. These fanny packs do not come with water bottles, or water bottle holders for that matter. Hikers can carry their own water bottles. They can insert the water bottles through plastic straps given on the sides of the fanny pack.
Fanny packs are supposed to be tied around the waist. But some of the large ones also come with shoulder straps. They can be worn in two different styles according to the hikers’ comfort.
Medium Sized Fanny Pack with Water Bottles
The cargo capacity in these fanny packs is around 250-400 cubic inches. They come equipped with water bottles, and have either one or two pockets to hold them. It isn’t always possible to fit other water bottles in these pockets though.
Medium Sized Fanny Pack without Water Bottles
These fanny packs have a cargo capacity of around 300-600 cubic inches. They’re like the large fanny packs. They do not have dedicated water bottle spaces. Hikers can simply insert their own water bottles in the elastic straps on the sides.
Small Sized Fanny Pack
As the name suggests, these are a lot smaller than the other three types. They do not have space for water bottles at all, and therefore, do not come with water bottles. They may not even have elastic straps where water bottles could be inserted. The main compartment could be used to carry water bottles though. That will still leave space for a few other smaller items like keys, and a phone.
How to Wear a Fanny Pack?
There are three ways the fanny pack can be worn.
The first would be to wear it on the lower back. That means the main compartment would lie across the hikers’ back. It is quite practical to carry the fanny pack like that.
However, if the fanny pack has a shoulder strap then it could be moved to the shoulder instead. Especially if the hiker has packed a few bulky essentials, it is a good idea to switch it to the shoulder.
Yet, if the hiker is using a medium or smaller sized fanny pack, then they should wear it in the front. This also improves the accessibility of the contents of the pack.
When to Use a Fanny Pack?
A fanny pack is best used on shorter hikes. Fanny packs are great if the weather is right. It does not change drastically anyway. If the weather is not expected to be wet or cold, then one doesn’t need to carry any layers of clothing, and wearing a fanny pack would be a good choice.
How long and how far one plans on hiking will also influence their decision about carrying a fanny pack. A hike may be expected to last only a few hours. That would mean carrying only very few essentials. In that case a fanny pack would do.
A shorter hike would generally mean a day hike. It would not go on from sunrise to sunset. And it would probably be between 3-5 miles long.
Tips on Buying the Right Fanny Pack
Whether the hiker would need a large fanny pack or a small one can only be determined by the kind of hike they’re planning. Here are some things to consider while shopping for a fanny pack.
It is important to ascertain that a hiker has ample drinking water with them self. A lot of times it is expected that hikers would come across springs of water or other sources of drinking water during the hike. In that case they don’t need to worry about carrying a lot of water.
Otherwise the quantity of water being carried will have to be taken into consideration while getting a fanny pack. On warmer days specially, hikers would need a sufficient supply of drinking water to avoid becoming dehydrated. The ideal fanny pack should be able to carry around a liter of water for the hike.
Material of the Fanny Pack
The material of the fanny pack should be durable, and weather resistant to some extent. It should also keep the hiker from feeling extra warm. The material should allow for the hikers’ skin to breathe.
Fanny packs are not meant to carry too many items, or bulky items for that matter. However, pockets increase their utility as hikers can carry and organize multiple small items that way.
It’s generally a unisex item. A few brands do manufacture women only fanny packs. But that doesn’t really make a difference. Their purpose and their style is more or less the same.
A fanny pack with adjustable belts is most useful. How we dress for a hike depends on the weather. If we are hiking in summers, we will be wearing fewer layers of garments, and the fanny pack will need to be adjusted accordingly. Whereas, in colder temperatures or wet climate the fanny pack will have to be loosened to accommodate the different layers of garments.
In this article we are going to check out the seven best choices for fanny packs for hiking.
Review of the Best Fanny Packs For Hiking
The Osprey Talon 6 is lightweight and has a vintage look. It comes with two 600 ml water bottles. The space given for water bottles is padded and enclosed with bungee retainers.
The front has a zippered pocket. There are two zippered hip belt pockets as well.
It has a compression system that compresses and stabilizes the load. The hip belt has a slight stretch and the back panel is made with the Airscape system Osprey is known for.
- Stretchable hip belt
- Extra pockets
- Breathable material
- Doesn’t have a liner between the main compartment and outer pocket.
- Water bottles don’t stand upright as they don’t have flat bottoms.
This is a hydration waist pack. It includes a hydration bladder that makes for easy hand-free hydration. It has one side mesh pocket that is big enough to conveniently store a big water bottle. The Venti Flap System lets hikers individually adjust the distance of the fanny pack to their back and the ventilation along the back panel. The fanny pack is made with PU coated ripstop nylon. The back is padded with EVA and the straps are 3D Air mesh.
The name of the product itself suggests that it has 3 liters of storage space. Its availablein three colours.
- Offers excellent ventilation
- Hikers can either use the hydration bladder or carry a big bottle of water
- Great pockets
- Conforms to body shape
- Comfortable to wear
- Storage space decreases if the hydration bladder is used
- Hydration tube is short
- A bit pricey
This one is a really spacious fanny pack. Hikers can carry snacks, their phone, and even their tablets in it. It is padded well and boasts two special features: the removable shoulder strap, and the tuck-away waist belt.
This fanny pack also offers a side pocket for water bottles, a port for headphones, and a waist belt pocket for smart phones. There is also an interior tablet sleeve, and a zippered front panel pocket that has a key clip.
The fanny pack is made with Cordura, and is lined with embossed Nylon. The YKK zippers add to its durability. The design is casual, and the shoulder strap makes it more useful. It can hold bottles up to 1 liter.
- It has a load adjustment system
- Great pockets
- Removable shoulder strap
- Comes with a lifetime warranty
- Great padding and durability
- Can carry tablets safely
- Since the pack is spacious, it gets quite heavy when loaded.
- The belt cannot be removed, but can only be concealed
This fanny pack is most appropriate for the occasional hiker. Two 500 ml water bottles could be carried in it. The main compartment is good to hold other basic essentials, and snacks. There’s also an accessory pocket where any other contents could be kept.
A zippered pocket is given in the front also. This pocket has a key fob and a webbing daisy chain loop in case someone wants to attach a carabiner. The pack is padded, and the back panel and sides are covered in HEX-VENT mesh. This keeps hikers from getting sweaty.
The load can easily be kept stable with the adjustable compression side straps.
- Great pockets
- Quite affordable
- Back panel ventilation isn’t great
This fanny pack also features a water reservoir system. It also has a nice long tube that hikers could drink from. It’s equipped with compression straps that keep the water from swishing around as the hiker slowly drains it away. It’s been designed so that the Reservoir rests low on the back. That way the weight of the water doesn’t interfere with stability.
The storage space is good enough to accommodate the essentials smartly. It has lots of great pockets for storing the contents conveniently.
- Reservoir comes with compression straps
- Lots of pockets for easy organization
- Belt buckle lends custom fit
- Storage space isn’t great enough
- Not everyone can maintain the Hydration System efficiently
As the name suggests, this is another fanny pack that comes with a hydration reservoir. It has an easy open and close cap. The design is basic, and low-profile. The water in the Antidote bladder distributes well giving stability to the hiker. The pack is designed to carry a PFD, electronic devices or cameras, and small snacks.
It also has a paddle holder and a safety whistle for those taking it in the water.
- Made with water proof material
- Extremely functional
- Reservoir not very insulated
- Storage space is just alright
This fanny pack by Nike has an angled water bottle holder. This feature makes it easy to take the bottle out of the pack while on the move. The pack is lightweight, and efficient. The zippered storage pouch is large enough to accommodate most personal items, and basic snacks.
The adjustable elastic belt is easily customizable to get the right fit. The bottle storage space is customizable with the expandable stretch mesh. The two squeeze bottles that come with it have a 6oz. volume. The reflective detailing gives it excellent visibility.
- Can carry phones really well
- Easy handling of water bottles
- Stays put on the move
- Offers less storage
- The bottles are quite small
- Smart phones of all sizes do not fit
NZII Sport Fanny Pack is a great addition to your outdoor gear by a company famous for amazing products. It is one of those bags that can carry almost everything on your trip. The room is enough with gracious pockets made up of strong fabric. There are six separate pockets to help you keep all the accessories in their respective compartments. You can put pretty much all of your everyday carry things in it.
The pockets are zippered so it can also be worn during trail running. Also, the waistbelt has a really strong build quality. The buckle can withstand wear and tear and the overall system is quite efficient and durable, to say the least. It is easily adjustable as per the waist size.
The metal having clasps are also there if you need to hang something during your travel trip. The fabric used to make the product is of high quality. The finishing is done pretty nicely and it is very durable. There is no official word on the waterproof ability of the fabric but it looks waterproof up to some extent. At this price, this is one best fanny pack for your outdoor trip.
- Strong and sturdy construction
- High-quality nylon fabric
- Good price point
- Ample capacity to carry things
- Can be worn in different styles
- No information about waterproof abilities
Gopacka Insulated Fanny Pack has a simplistic design with an enormous capacity to carry gear. The best thing is that it has thermal insulation which helps you keep your drinks chill during long travels. It can easily fit three cans.
The waist strap is adjustable. It can be tightened so that it fits despite the items carried. The buckle is quick and efficient as well. There are a lot of pockets available on the inside to store your belongings. Everything like cards, phone, soda cans, keys, etc. can be organized inside. They are also highly accessible all the time.
The fabric is strong enough to carry things. It is a great choice for outdoor lovers and it can carry almost everything you need.
- A personal travel cooler
- Great capacity for carrying items
- Efficient waist strap
- A lot of pockets on this waistpack
- One of the durable products
- None found
Bp Vision always makes good products and this fanny pack looks strong and sturdy at first look and it lives up to the expectations. The design is different from the others as it has a lot of pockets for different purposes. The material is water-resistant nylon that is durable along with its outside adjustment belt. It is a great addition to your hiking gear at this price point.
It is a multi-purpose waistpack for outdoor usage. It can be used for various other purposes as well. It can be worn in different styles as per one’s preferences. The fanny pack itself is lightweight and made up of strong material i.es nylon. It is made specifically for those who use a mountain bike. Its lightweight shoulder straps make it an obvious choice for those who are going to wear it while riding a bike.
Different pockets help with the better organization of items for easy access all the time. The company offers 12 months of warranty to put the customer at ease.
- Great for use on a mountain bike
- Easily accessible pockets with large capacity
- Good organization ability
- Plenty of room on the inside
- Equally suitable for men and women
- Useless compression strap unless you want to go running
The name says it all. This fanny pack comes with two additional pockets on the outside for easy access to the most important thing on any outdoor tip and that is water. The pack features a robust design and it looks cool.
The best thing about this backpack is that it can be hand-carried. The construction is sturdy and versatile design makes it one of the best products available in the market. Your kids will love it.
The adjustable strap has a unique feature as well. It reduces pressure on your waste during some intense outdoor activities such as running or cycling. The price is also good for this good piece of gear. It is a great choice for any outdoor activity loving guy. It is lightweight, durable, and caters well to your hydration needs.
However, the only drawback is that the fabric is not waterproof. Even it cannot be deemed as water resistant as well.
- Sturdy and robust design
- Unique and efficient strap design
- Durable construction
- Good capacity for carrying things
- Excellent for day hikes, running, cycling, etc.
- The price is also amazing
- Equally suitable for men and women
- Not waterproof or even water-resistant
Made up of high-quality material, this is another good option from KAVU. It has a versatile design that allows it to be worn in any way you like. Be it a sling bag or waist pack or something to carry around, it is equally suitable for any of these options.
The thing that makes it different from the others is its detachable beverage holder that is attached to a belt bag. The storage offered by this fanny pack at this price is gracious. It is suitable for a variety of outdoor activities. It is easy to be worn while riding a bike as well.
The number of pockets available on the inside helps you keep everything you are carrying, organized. You won’t feel short of space at any time during your outdoor trip. There is not much information about the fabric whether it is waterproof or water-resistant. But the construction quality looks good.
- Good fanny pack for hiking at this price
- Keeps everything organized
- Unique belt design
- Detachable beverage holder
- Not a very durable option
If I were to vote for one fanny pack it would be the MountSmith Tour Lumbar Pack. It’s a well-designed fanny pack that boasts pretty decent features. It allows easy access to the contents of the pack without having to remove it. Hikers have an enjoyable day hike experience with the freedom of movement it provides. It fits well, and is quite stable. It has a great compression system for load adjustment that further helps with the hikers’ stability.
Summing up, the pros of this product outweigh its cons. It sounds like a must-have for anyone on a day hike.