A waist pack is a small bag that attaches to a hiker’s waist for hands-free storage while engaged in a strenuous outdoor activity. Also known as a “fanny pack” or “outdoor waist bag,” a hiker’s waist bag features several pockets for storing small items and sometimes, even a special sleeve for a water bottle!

While waist packs are not the most stylish mini bags available, they do serve a lot of purpose. Before we go in-depth on the factors you need to consider when hunting for the right waist bag for you, here’s an extensive review of the best waist packs available on the market right now!
On to of a mountain

Image used under Creative Commons from Trekking Rinjani

Best Waist Packs for Hiking

Image
Name
Pros
Cons
Bottom line
Everest Signature Waist Pack
  • Durable polyester material
  • 3 zippered pockets
  • Stylish colors to choose from
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Limited storage space
Waterfly Unisex Outdoor Waist Pack
Waterfly Unisex Outdoor Waist Pack
  • Durable nylon material
  • Unisex design
  • Roomy storage size
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Uncomfortable fit when filled with items
EGOGO Travel Sport Fanny Pack
EGOGO Travel Sport Fanny Pack
  • Roomy storage size
  • Durable riptop nylon material
  • Life-proof and water-resistant
  • Bulky
Sunhiker Outdoor Waist Bag
Sunhiker Outdoor Waist Bag
  • Roomy storage space
  • Made with 100% nylon material
  • Lightweight and versatile
  • With dedicated space for a bottled water
  • Reported quality issues

Everest Signature Waist Pack

Everest Signature Waist Pack
The Everest brand is renowned for its extensive selection of outdoor gears and the company’s signature waist bag is one of the brand’s bestsellers. Compact, light, and oh so affordable, the Everest brand’s signature waist pack is made from thick polyester material so it’s durable, able to withstand extreme wear and tear. Inside the backpack are three zippered compartments for storing small items, as well as a main compartment.The belt features a snap buckle that locks the bag in place for hands-free use. We love how tough the stitching is, we see this surviving even the toughest hike with ease! What’s more, the signature fanny pack comes in 30+ colors to choose from so there is something for everyone.

As for the downsides of using this model, the storage space tiny so you can’t store more than a few items, such as your wallet + phone + keys. We wish the Everest brand would come out with a larger size just so users can store more items inside. For this Amazon user who gave the Everest signature waist pack a 5 star rating, the size is just right and the performance has surpassed his expectation:

If you’re looking for a pack to replace a backpack, this isn’t it, but if you want to carry keys, camera, phone, memo pad, sunscreen, it’s just right. A fantastic price for a well-made product! The seller was great, too–shipped immediately.

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Waterfly Unisex Outdoor Waist Pack

Waterfly Unisex Outdoor Waist Pack
The Waterfly outdoor belt bag is crafted from durable but lightweight nylon. Featuring a unisex design, this fanny pack comes in 4 exciting colors, including blue and red. The bag’s waist belt is padded and made of PV valentine breathable pads to boost airflow and prevent deformation. It features a portable hand-carry design with a large capacity main compartment and zipped smaller compartments.We love how durable the material is, it can certainly hold up when exposed to extreme weather conditions. We also loved the versatility of the bag; it’s neither small nor bulky. It can hold a portable water bottle, snacks, mobile phones, IDs and even a paperback! The design is versatile so you can wear it as a belt bag or as a shoulder bag thanks to the adjustable strap. This is a great belt bag that’s ideal when you’re hiking, jogging, or cycling.

As for the downsides, it does get pretty heavy when filled so the wear can get uncomfortable. This is, of course, a minor issue because it’s only natural for a bag to get too heavy when filled with stuff. Not a deal breaker but something to keep in mind when checking out this model. For this Amazon user, the Waterfly waist pack is simply perfect for her needs:

This is the perfect pack for me! Holds everything I need on hikes with my dog. It carries my cell phone, a first aid kit, hand sanitizer, pepper spray, utility knife, knife, comb (to remove cactus), tweezers, small flashlight, tissues, wet wipes, folded up garbage bag, dog snacks, dog water bowl, two bottles of water, lip balm, sunscreen. Love it!

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EGOGO Travel Sport Fanny Pack

EGOGO Travel Sport Fanny Pack
The EGOGO travel pack is an outdoor fanny pack that features wider strap for comfortable fit, zippered compartments for storage, and an air mesh backing pocket. This waist pack is made from durable ripstop nylon so it’s not just life-proof, it’s also water resistant. Perfect for hiking, travelling, and fishing, this outdoor fanny pack is big enough to hold all your essentials but light enough to prevent muscle soreness or muscle tiredness!

We like the size of this fanny pack because it’s able to hold a mobile device as well as passports, ID cards, accessories, and keys. It’s also made from a durable textile so it won’t rip easily even when subjected to extreme everyday abuse. The waist belt is also sturdy too, it doesn’t roll up or down when worn. If you’re looking for a compact fanny pack though, this is not the best item to get. This is a sizable waist pack that holds a lot of stuff so if you’d like a subtler, less bulky design, better look elsewhere. Other than the large size, this fanny pack is a solid performer, as this Amazon user attested:

What’s great about this pack is that it is made of sturdy material, is soft and flexible so it fits comfortably, and that the belt is easily adjustable. Also – it has three separate compartments which makes it perfect for carrying iPhone, money cards, stamps, and a spare set of reading glasses.

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Sunhiker Outdoor Waist Bag

Sunhiker Outdoor Waist Bag
Sunhiker’s outdoor waist bag is made from 100% nylon material so it’s lightweight, durable and water-resistant. The perfect companion to any outdoor activity, this fanny pack is not just comfortable to wear, it also offers more room for your essentials + a dedicated space for your water bottle, talk about convenience!The Sunhiker outdoor waist bag is large enough to keep your water bottle, mobile phone, MP3 player and IDs inside its multiple zippered compartments but comfortable enough to wear for hours on end. The practical design is really where this product shines. It managed to combine compactness and versatility in one sleek bag.

As for the negatives, some users say the material is on the thin side, which means it might not be as durable as the manufacturer claims it to be. We did not come across any quality issue with this product but the thin material is something worth considering when checking this model out. That said, an Amazon customer loved his outdoor waist bag because of its perfect size and roomy compartments:

This is a nice waist bag that has multiple size pockets (all with zippers) for you to store things in. It also comes with a detachable belt as well as water bottle holder. The water bottle holder has an elastic cord that you pull to securely tie the bottle to the waist bag. You won’t have any problem holding numerous items in the pockets. Your cellphone, keys, wallet, compact camera, ID/business cards, & other accessories will all fit in the pockets.

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Benefits of a Waist Pack During Hiking

Thinking of getting a waist bag for your next adventure? Apart from being versatile, outdoor waist bag makes it so easy to carry your essentials hands-free. Here are just a few of the many benefits of a waist pack:

Lightweight Design
Waist packs are so lightweight, they feel like nothing when put on. Most outdoor waist packs are made from light but durable textile so they are light enough to use but strong enough to withstand extreme weather conditions.

Say Good-Bye to Shoulder Pain!
A heavy backpack can put a strain on the shoulders, causing muscle soreness, friction burns, and painful joints. An outdoor fanny pack may not be the most ideal alternative to a backpack but it can certainly lighten your load during hiking.

Improved Balance
Waist packs are attached on the waist and the light weight put on the hips can improve balance. In addition, walking is easier when wearing a waist pack as opposed to using a day pack.

Comfortable Hiking
The problem with wearing backpacks all day is it can cause profuse back sweating, making hiking uncomfortable. Wearing a fanny pack means you don’t have to be stuck with your backpack at certain points of the hike, improving comfort and convenience in one go!

Image used under Creative Commons from Moyan Brenn

Sizes of Waist Packs

There are three sizes of waist pack, learn all about the specifics of each product to find out which size is the perfect one for your needs:

Large Waist Pack
Large waist packs provides around 600 to 800 cubic inches of storage. The fanny pack may include a dedicated slot for bottled water as well as zipped pockets for storing small items. The waist band is typically wider so it’s comfortable when worn.

Medium Waist Pack
Medium waist packs provides about 250 to 600 cubic inches of storage. Certain models offer bottled water holders, but others do not come with the same feature. The waist belt is also wider, allowing for comfortable fit when worn.

Small Waist Pack
A small waist pack provides a storage capacity of between 150 to 300 cubic inches. It has enough room to store keys, wallet, mobile devices, and even a small first aid kit. Usually, the fanny pack does not come with a bottled water holder due to the smaller size. However, it does come with extra compartments + a large main compartment for storing small items.