8 Best Hiking Fanny Packs That Everyone’s Crazy About 
You woke up, and you’re suddenly in the mood to plan a short hiking trip. You start thinking of the personal things you need to take with you, and that’s when the bulb lights up: you don’t have any intention of getting dragged down by your huge, hiking backpack.
Settling for the small, regular bag is out of the question too, due to lack of storage and durability. So, what can you do in this situation? It sounds like you need to look for the best hiking fanny packs. See our top 3 recommendations now!
Well, if you’re worried that your search for a hiking fanny pack would take ages, we’re here to help. We always make sure to offer valuable information when it comes to picking hiking gear, and hiking fanny packs are not an exception.
We spent 35 hours collecting information, digging for the best products in this selection, and finding something that will definitely make your short hiking trip a success. We also put some samples into vigorous winter testing, and I can't wait to share the details with you.
Thankfully, we came across a range of products that many people have fallen in love with, and so we compiled the list you’re about to read.
In the following paragraphs, you will read about some of the top-notch hiking fanny packs on the Internet. Shortly after, a comprehensive buying guide will be awaiting you, with the mission to help you choose the right product for your journey.
Let’s get to it!
Our Top 3 Recommendations
Overall Rating: 5/5
Tested and approved by our expert team, the top-rated "All Adventures" has 8 various-sized pockets, superb suspension, and rugged waterproof fabrics. It comes with one-year full warranty and free shipping worldwide. Check it out!
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
An absolute bestseller, "Mountainsmith Day" gives you the first-rate comfort you dream of on hikes when you need to bring more than just a few items. This monster has compression load adjustment, FreeFlow EVA padding, and tons of trail-friendly bells and whistles.
Overall Rating: 4/5
Often called "The Perfect Day-Hiking Pack", Trail 5 boasts with the renowned quality courtesy of REI. Multi-pocketed, water-resistant, well-ventilated, and surprisingly lightweight, this fanny pack is ideal for hikers who like to pack strategically and have fun outdoors.
Three bum bags definitely stand out from the rest. We picked them up to narrow down your choice and make it easier.
Our first choice is VGO Outdoors All Adventures 5 L. We took this fanny pack on a rough winter hike and it impressed us with durability, amazingly comfortable back panel, and excellent carrying comfort.
We especially liked the shoulder straps that came with it. You can easily attach them and wear the fanny pack as a regular backpack. That's super for hikes when you need better load distribution because of heavier loads and on technical terrains. This is the pack with the best quality:price ratio on our list.
Roomy, durable, and smartly organized, our second recommendation is #5 Mountainsmith Day Lumber Pack. It’s especially designed for hiking and outdoor carry. That’s because it’s robust, water-resistant, and unbelievably comfortable.
You’ll notice that it’s larger than the others. Its volume of 13 L allows you to store everything you might need for a safe day hike. You can take enough amount of food, clothes, and other gear such as a medical kit, sun protection, knife, a headlamp with extra batteries, etc.
You can even take your tablet in a padded internal sleeve. The side mesh pockets are very spacious and you can put big water bottles in each of them.
As for the comfort, Mountainsmith excelled here. They decided to create a heavy-duty, yet lightweight bag that’s well-padded on stress points. Besides, the back panel and the waist fins have a spacer mesh that provides fantastic air circulation.
Our third recommendation, the Rei Co-op Trail 5 amazed us with its sheer amount of pockets. The hidden back pocket is quite handy! This bag is also made of waterproof sustainable fabrics and its ergonomic shape prevents the pack from flopping over when fully loaded.
Below you will find all fanny packs organized in a comparison table.
The Best Hiking Fanny Packs: Quick Overview
|Waterfly||View On Amazon →|
|Mountainsmith Day||Check Latest Price →|
|Rei Co-Op Trail||Checl Latest Price →|
|BP Vision||View On Amazon →|
|Vgooutdoors All Adventures||Check Latest Price →|
|Mountainsmith Knockabout||Check Latest Price →|
|Genius Earth||View On Amazon →|
|Vgooutdoors Nordic||Check Latest Price →|
#1 Vgo Outdoors All Adventures WaistBag
Multi-pocketed, extremely robust, and water resistant, this is one of the coolest bum bags on our list. With a volume of 5 L and convenient ergonomic design, you will immediately notice how comfortably it sits on your waist. The best part? You can carry it in several ways depending on how loaded the pack is. Plus free shipping and 1 year full warranty. Tested and recommended by our expert team. Check it out.
what we like
what we don't like
While doing our preliminary research for this list, I was amazed by the quantity of positive feedback the products of “Vgo Outdoors” had. And the brand boasts with impeccable reputation, despite the fact they are a relatively new player in the outdoor industry.
As described, it looks robust and tough. Good quality.
It is a good product, what is shown in photographs is what you receive. I would definitely buy more.
So I decided to take some of their products and test them on several day hikes myself. This is how the All Adventures bum bag landed on our list. Long story short, it impressed me.
I admit I’m skeptical towards fanny packs manufactured in China. I always tend to question their quality. I've had some bad experience with such products. That’s why I went rough with this pack.
First of all, I managed to load the kitchen sink in it. By the way it looks bulky, but at the same time it’s lightweight – only 411 grams or 14.5 oz.
I have to say, the volume of 5 L is super well organized. You have 8 various-sized pockets where you can store different types of gear.
I didn’t have any issues taking a bulky windbreaker in the main compartment. It required some folding and stuffing, but in the end it fitted nicely. I especially liked the zippered mesh pocket in the main compartment. I put my Kindle reader in there as well as some napkins. Very convenient.
There’s a tiny zippered pocket right on the front where you can easily put your car keys or some documents. It’s part of a larger pocket with a zipper also on the front.
That one is roomy enough for your wallet, first aid kit, or snacks. It required some tedious folding, but I succeeded in storing a polyester t-shirt in there.
You also have two mesh side pockets for water bottles. Those are not big if you look just the size of the pockets. But you can definitely put a 25 oz Nalgene bottle in each thanks to the handy straps with which you can tighten up the flasks.
I was a bit disappointed with the hip belt pockets. Yes, it’s great that they exist because other fanny packs on that list don’t have such. However, as with the case with many even quality backpacking packs, those are too small.
By small, I mean too shallow and short. I couldn’t put my Xiaomi Mi 10 Lite smartphone in. Maybe you will have more luck with a smaller smartphone, though. Anyway, those are great for storing small snack or protein bars. That’s what I did.
An area where the VG Outdoors fanny pack excels is the suspension. You’ll enjoy a terrific carrying comfort with this fanny pack. I know I did on my extensive day hike to a mountain peak close to my town.
Since I overloaded the pack (maybe more that I should have) it still stayed comfortably on my waist. The back panel is beefy and well padded with EVA foam that’s porous and quite well ventilated.
On top of that, there’s a ventilation channel in the middle that provides fantastic breathability. Not all fanny packs on our list offer that feature. Towards the end of my hike, the terrain got steep and rocky and I noticed the sling bag was dragging me down from the waist.
So I decided to attach the long shoulder straps (also called strapettes) that come with it and wear it on my back. In that way the load was better distributed and the load didn’t shift because of my frenetic body movements. I promise you will like and use the detachable shoulder straps a lot.
The hip belt is with a large buckle and unlike other bum bags, that one is (fortunately) quite broad. Many fanny packs have narrow belts that start to rub to your body at some point. Not that one, though. It’s designed to fit even larger frames, which is cool for big guys. The belt adjusts up to 44” or 110 cm.
If you prefer, on some occasions you have another way to carry the fanny pack. Thanks to the long shoulder strap (it’s a separate one you can attach), you can wear it over your shoulder. Very handy for everyday carry the urban style.
The material is a durable rip stop polyester. It’s advertised as water resistant, and it really is. I took the fanny pack with me on 2 rainy hikes (light drizzle) so far and it hold up pretty well.
The craftmanship is superb. The stitches are all very well sewn in and the zippers and buckles are obviously high-quality and robust. I stuff it with tons of gear and clothes. I can’t complain so far.
Want some more good news?
VGO Outdoors offers free shipping worldwide. Besides, you have a one-year fill warranty and 14 days to return the bag if you don’t like it.
#2 Waterfly Outdoor Fanny Pack 5.2 L
Take a look at this Waterfly fanny pack – isn’t it beautiful? It’s crazy to think you can pack enough for your hiking trip in this small-sized pack. However, it was purposely designed for short trips and, on top of that, it comes with a variety of features to make the best out of your adventure. The coolest thing is that the pack has multiple pockets, so you can sort your items properly and store even more things.
The fanny pack’s design makes it very comfortable to wear throughout your hiking adventures. It’s easy to adjust for your comfort, so it will fit multiple heights.
And considering that you also want to maintain your sense of style even while hiking, this fanny pack is a good choice. The multiple color combinations you can choose from make it a wonderful match for various clothing.
This fanny pack is flexible, as it has an adjustable waist belt size, ranked 22”-52”. It’s useful when you don’t want to feel any pressure on your waist. Moreover, the design allows you to store water bottles on both sides.
You can also choose to hand carry it if you don’t want it on your waist, as it’s a multi-functional pack. In addition, due to the PV valentine breathable pads, the inside of the pack will get better ventilation.
Also, the ribbon is quite durable. The weight of this pack is only 0.22 kg or 0.48 lbs.
Now, let’s see the pros and cons of this pack.
What We Like
What We Don't Like
#3 BP Vision Pack 6 L
Check out this uniquely designed hiking fanny pack. Doesn’t it make you just want to go hiking all the time? There’s a lot to love about this pack. Despite its detailed design, the pack is quite lightweight, and it also comes with multiple pockets for more storage options. Since you can also carry two whole bottles on each side, it is perfect for an outdoor adventure with your partner.
This Bp Vision fanny pack is a great pick if you want something easily adjustable. The strap that attaches it to your waist can be adjusted between 26 to 50 inches.
In addition, the water bottle holders can fit 3” diameter bottles, so around 25 oz bottles. This pack measures 11 inches long, 5 inches wide and 6 inches tall. You get a warranty with it too, respectively a 12-month one.
Besides, if you’re not satisfied with your purchase, you have a 30-day money-back or replacement guarantee.
Made of nylon, the pack has different color schemes, and it is also quite durable and spacious. The weight measures 20 oz /567 grams.
What’s especially great is the presence of zippered pockets on each side of the waist belt. Even though you won't be able to fit in your hiking snow shovel, they are still roomy. Super useful!
We’ve established the key features – now let’s see what we liked and what we didn’t like about this item.
What We Like
What We Don't Like
#4 REI Co-op Trail 5 L
Combining classical look with powerful performance, Trail 5 from REI would certainly please those who like to pack strategically. The waist pack boasts with awesome internal organization and it features a total of 5 external pockets, including a convenient hidden pocket for your wallet. Reasonably priced and made of rugged water-resistant fabrics, Trail 5 is a fantastic choice for day hikes on which you don’t feel like taking an entire backpack.
What We Like
What We Don't like
What I’m really fanatic about in any backpack is the suspension and ventilation. For me, that’s one of the things that contributes most to the overall carrying comfort.
We interviewed people who regularly hike with the fanny pack and asked for their honest feedback. All of them were happy to note that they didn’t have any issues to report in that regard.
Verified buyer, REI
This is my favorite short day-hiking fanny pack, and I also use it for xc skiing in the winter. The small front zip compartment has become a glorified treat container for my dog, and for a 3-4 hour hike or xc ski, it carries everything you need it to. I even attach my dog's poo bag holder to it (extra stylish).
Verified buyer, REI
I have searched far and wide for a waist pack that has it all - and THIS is it! holds everything you need inside, has a phone pocket, and even a pocket for a bladder if you want to put one in, but also holds 2 water bottles. It is perfect!!
The back panel has a porous padded mesh that well circulates the air and doesn’t produce any rubbing or strain even if you carry the pack fully loaded extensively.
Having a widely adjustable and broad hip belt, the pack will sit steadily on your waist, even when you hike on technical terrains. If you wish, you can wear it as a sling bag on your shoulder. I don’t like that style, but if you do, then good.
As a big fan of Osprey, I know that nothing beats their quality of ventilation. Still, rest assured that you will have a comfortable enough hike with the Trail 5.
Now, what makes this fanny pack stand out from the rest on that list are two things:
- Its internal pocket organization is crazy good
- It’s made of sustainable materials
When it comes to compartmentalization, the Rei Co-op Trail 5 delivers. The entire volume of 5.25 L is quite well-organized.
Thanks to the many small internal pouches, you’ll be able to securely and neatly store all your essentials so that you have quick access to each.
There’s a zippered mesh pocket on the top where you can stow items you want to be separated from the rest. How about some tickets or socks?
In that main compartment, you also have an internal divider which itself is divided into two small pockets. Those are super convenient for storing tiny objects. Some folks prefer putting their outdoor multi-tool in there. There’s even a key clip for your keys. How nice is that?
Moving to the external organization, we have some cool features to mention too. You have a front zippered pocket that’s suitable for a wallet or just some cash with documents.
On the back of the bag, there’s a zippered hidden pocket that’s large enough to accommodate items that you want to be extra safe. I don’t know, maybe a can of beer? Just kidding.
Moving on seriously, what’s really nice is that there are daisy chains on the front. These allow you to secure a rain poncho or your jacket so that you have quick access to that whenever you need to.
But the good news doesn’t stop here.
REI upgraded this model with DWR coating, which makes the fanny pack water-resistant. It holds up pretty well to some slight drizzle. And as we mentioned, the sturdy fabrics are recycled. Perfect for those who are keen on sustainable travel.
Now, what’s not so good about this fanny pack is the size of the mesh water bottle holders. They are somewhat small and it’d be difficult to fit in a regular-sized bottle. Keep that in mind.
On the good side, another pleasant surprise is the weight of the bum bag. It’s only 9 ounces or 255 grams.
#5 MountainSmith Day Lumbar Pack 13 L
Just look at this top rated hiking fanny pack. Mountainsmith Day Lumbar could be your good friend in your hiking journeys – particularly if you are in need of a spacious bag. As it comes with the proper amount of padding, it is suitable for carrying multiple belongings, from snacks to smartphones and even your tablet. It features Mountainsmith's Inner Sanctum™ secret stash pocket where you can safely store small items with ease and compression system load adjustment for better carry. Let’s see it!
When you need a fanny pack for hiking, one thing is clear – you cannot settle for one that cannot store everything you need for the day. You should go for something such as this pack from Mountainsmith, as it is more than suitable for most people’s short nature adventures.
This version of the Day collection might be the best one. There are multiple features that make it worthwhile, such as the removable shoulder strap and the tuck-away waist belt.
These help you with carrying the pack easily and with no discomfort. Yet what stands out is the storage capacity. Apart from the side water bottle holders, there is also a headphones port, as well as a waist belt pocket for smartphones, interior tablet sleeve, and zippered front panel pocket with a key clip.
Measuring 13 x 6 x 12 inches and having multiple pockets, organization is well-guaranteed. The weight of this waist pack is also good for its size and capacity – only 1 lbs.12 oz or 793 grams.
Let’s check out some important things about this solid fanny pack.
What We Like
What We Don't Like
#6 MountainSmith Knockabout Pack
This is somewhat smaller Mountainsmith fanny pack, but it feels just perfect for a short hiking trip. Well, that’s if you don’t want to take the entire house with you. This lumber bag offers plenty of pockets to give you various storage options and better organization. And let’s be fair - you need to stay organized during your trips. So, check it out!
You should stop and consider this Mountainsmith creation because you can get it in multiple colors – something that allows you to maintain your style while hiking. Of course, that’s not even close to being the best thing about it.
Among the things that make this lumbar pack such a blessing is the number of pockets available. You get a zippered main compartment that has an organizer sleeve. With that, it’s more than easy to organize some of your belongings.
Other pockets include a front panel accessory one, back panel hidden stash one, and a headphone port. Measuring 10.5 x 2 x 7 inches, it’s enough for a one-day trip.
This pack is super light – only 7.2 oz or 204 grams. Perfect for a day ultralight hiking adventure at the nearest trail.
What are the things we liked and disliked, though?
What We Like
What We Don't Like
#7 Genius Earth Pack
Classy and super functional, this bestseller is a worthy travel companion, especially when you want to ensure your hydration along the way. The pack comes in two nice colors, and it also has a sturdy build, as well as water resistance for safety. Coming with two water bottles in the side holders, you will never run thirsty on your hiking days.
Backed by the Genius Earth’s 100 percent guarantee, the fanny pack has been manufactured following a meticulous testing, to make sure you get a wonderful experience. This fanny pack won’t disappoint you. Just read the reviews.
One of the biggest benefits you get is the fact that it fits most waist sizes. A man, a woman or child can smoothly carry the pack with no troubles.
What makes this possible is the adjustable belt – it can adjust from 18” to 50” for your waist. The bag has a 13-inch length, 5-inch width, and 6-inch height. Although small and cute, it is still spacious and able to fit various things inside. You even get 2 free 20oz BPA-free plastic bottles with it.
Without the bottles, this cool pack weighs around 10 Oz only or 283 grams. The volume is close to 4.3 L, which is totally fine for a light day-hike.
Here’s what made us love this product and what we didn’t really like about it.
What We Like
What We Don't Like
#8 Vgo Outdoors Nordic 3 L
Tested and approved by our expert team, Nordic impressed us with an ample capacity and tough fabrics that are tear-resistant and waterproof. We never thought we would be able to store so many things in a fanny pack that’s only 3 L. You will especially like the adjustability of this sling bag, as well as its beefy padding that adds up to the overall comfort. Check it out!
What we like
what we don't like
I have some fellow hikers who have the stylish Nordic pack, and they are all very happy with it. So I got myself one and took it on a strenuous day hike in the mountains near me.
I was surprised that I was able to load the pack with everything needed for a light hike – a second t-shirt, a hat, sunglasses, medical kit, socks, snacks, and water. The belt bag has 6 various-sized pockets. All are easy to use and super useful.
You will find the internal divider in the main compartment very handy for stowing important stuff you want separated. I put some documents in that one.
Very good quality, with a very practical size. Pleasantly surprised! Fully recommended.
Super quality!!!! Very fine workmanship!!! Super price!!! Recommended!!!
Unlike the other Vgooutdoors fanny pack on our list, the Nordic has a very roomy zippered pocket on the waist belt. I was able to fit in my smartphone in there without issues.
You will notice that since this is a pack designed for lighter trips, the hip belt has only one pocket. Half of the belt is quite beefy and well-padded as it’s the entire back panel. That’s very comfortable when the pack is fully loaded and you walk extensively every day It helps in relieving the pressure off your waist.
The nylon on the Nordic is very durable. I’m sure that this fanny pack will last for long time of rugged use. The material is anti-abrasion and since the pack is advertised as waterproof, I tested that immediately.
I just spilled some water on it, just like the manufacturer does on the promo video on their website. My belongings remained intact. So I can guarantee that your belongings will be safe on those rainy days when you are outside.
There’s a single water bottle holder on the Nordic fanny pack. It’s quite capacious and you will be able to attach a 25 oz. and even a 30 oz. Nalgene bottle easily.
Did you notice I used the word “attach” instead of store or “put”?
That’s because the pocket doesn’t have a sewn in bottom. It has two attachment straps with buckles. You can use those to tighten up the bottle and safely carry it in the pocket. While that gives you plenty of options to play with the size of the bottle, I found it difficult to attach and detach my flask every time I needed it.
The buckles and the stitching are high quality and very sturdy. I am also a big fan of the zippers on that fanny pack. They have huge pulls and never stick.
What you will like a lot is that the pack is extremely lightweight. It weighs only 7 oz. or 200 grams. It’s also suitable for various waist sizes. The waist band is narrow and adjustable (25.5” – 43.3”). That makes the fit unobtrusive, even when you add or remove clothing layers.
Moreover, you can easily change the way you wear the pack thanks to the adjustable hip belt. You can wear it over your shoulder or the classical way – on the waist.
Being a cool brand, VgOutdoors gives one-year full warranty and 14 days for you to return the pack in case you decide so.
Useful Tips On Choosing The Most Suitable Fanny Pack For You
As you already know, a fanny pack should be picked carefully because there are many features that come into play. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind when purchasing one.
Number Of Pockets
It shouldn’t be a surprise that you might need a pack with as many pockets as possible. More compartments make it possible for you to store multiple belongings and will help you organize your stuff much better.
If you find an item that has water bottle holders, that’s ideal. In addition, the pockets should be well sized and easy to access on the go.
Although most hiking fanny packs will be one size fits all models, there are also some products made specifically either for men or women. Since they have been designed this way, their features will have different body requirements. So consider this before you buy a pack.
Often a bag for men will nicely fit a woman and vice versa. What could be an issue is the belt. Does it adjust to your waist size? Don’t forget to check that carefully.
The fabrics are an important consideration because it is what offers durability to a fanny pack. Since the environment is unpredictable and often the weather can get harsh, you need to go for a strong, durable fabric.
Nylon or polyester are usually the right choices, and they will also resist water. In case you’re wondering how robust the material exactly is, look for the denier.
It’s an important measurement of the density and sturdiness of a given textile. The higher the number, the better. In our selection process, we picked some quite robust fanny packs because that’s a benefit when you hike.
For instance, #5 Mountainsmith Day Lumbar Pack and #6 Mountainsmith Knockabout Lumbar Pack both are made with 610D Cordura nylon, which makes them quite dependable and durable.
When it comes to the comfort, it’s highly recommended that your fanny pack has foam or neoprene padding. Moreover, the cushioned part (which usually is the waist belt and the back of the pack) should consist breathable material to provide air circulation.
This is crucial to your comfort when you hike extensively during the day, especially on rough terrains. Most of the fanny packs on our list have such a padding, and that’s a main feature that makes them suitable for hiking.
Be extra careful when considering cheap fanny packs because often the craftmanship is bad as are the zippers. Sure enough, there are exceptions just like with the backpacks.
Make sure you find something with adjustable belts. This way, the pack will fit multiple people in case you’re not the only one carrying it. Even if you take the product just for you, adjustable belts are helpful because they offer more flexibility when using the pack.
That’s especially true when you wear it during the summer when you’re not so dressed and when you wear it during other seasons when you have more layers. The latter implies that your waist size would be slightly bigger.
Pay attention that it’s not only the waist belt that should be adjustable. The shoulder strap (if any) should be adjustable too. Also, it would be more comfortable if you’re able to wear the pack as a sling pack (on either shoulder).
Can fanny packs be used for more than hiking?
Yes, they can. More often than not, they are multipurpose, so you can wear them while going for a walk, to the gym or anything else that doesn’t require you to store too many things. It’s a perfect EDC pack or even a carry-on pack.
How a hiking fanny pack is different than a regular fanny pack?
First, a waist pack designed for hiking has more pockets and often – a slightly bigger volume. That’s to store some important essentials such as water bottles, snacks, first aid kit, etc. Second, the materials are different. Usually they are stronger and weather-resistant. Plus, they have padding and sometimes even a breathable mesh on the waist strap to provide comfort when you walk.
Are there disadvantages to fanny packs in general?
Since they have limited space because of being smaller, they are not so comfortable for long hiking trips.
How can I maintain my hiking fanny pack?
To find out the best way to clean your hiking fanny pack, it’s best to check the instructions of the particular product you want to buy. Usually, they can be hand-washed, though. Don’t iron it, and don’t wash it with bleach. Consult this guide that refers to washing backpacks. The process is pretty much the same.
The Bottom Line
I truly hope that this detailed guide on how to find the perfect hiking fanny pack for your journey will be useful for you.
In general, you don’t take that many things with when going on short trips, so you don’t need the huge hiking backpack you’re used to.
The hiking hip bags are smaller, but provide enough space to let you carry everything necessary for your trip. Make sure to analyze the pros and cons of the items and choose the most suitable one for your needs.
Enjoy and see you around!
Founder of this website, Asen is a passionate hiker and writer who is also a gear nerd. He’s been featured on many established hiking websites where he gives hiking advice & tips. When he is not trekking with his family or friends, he is writing articles and product reviews. Asen spends most of his time in Bulgaria but he constantly travels the world in seek of more unforgettable experiences. Read more about Asen here.