Sometimes a backpack is just too much. I’ve got you covered with my list of the best lumbar waist packs for hiking so you can keep your back cool and maybe even use it double duty for travel.
Not all are fanny packs are created equal. I’m a hiking backpack addict, but sometimes a fanny can do much better at stowing keys, water and even my mirrorless camera for shorter hikes or in hot weather when you don’t want a sweaty back.
Morgan’s Youtube About Hiking Fanny Packs
Crave the Planet is reader-supported. When you click on some links and you purchase, I may receive money at no additional cost to you. – Thanks, Morgan
I love that they are small, lightweight and sit on your hips and lower back, distributing the weight of your gear evenly and leaving your hands free.
| TL;DR From Author
For hikers and travelers looking for a versatile waist pack that is a lightweight and organized solution for staying hands-free when exploring new cities or hiking, you’ll want to try the Deuter Belt I Pack. Move safely among wonders, with gear as thoughtful as your care of the Outdoors.
Quick Verdict: What are the Best Lumbar Waist Packs for Hiking?
Short on time? Don’t have time to read the whole article? No Problemo!
BENEFIT: Not too big, not too small – This is the Goldilocks of fannys for hiking.
My Top 3 Recommendations
- 100% recycled body fabrics
- Custom BD Continuous Fit Harness waist belt
- Breathable back panel
- On-the-go side access water bottle pockets
- Two zip exterior pockets, including a water-resistant main compartment zipper
- 5L - 12.8 oz empty weight, 9.5in x 8.25in x 4.5in, optimal weight up to 12 lbs.
- Front panel compression stash pocket with drain hole.
- Side bottle pockets (fit up to 22oz). Headphone port.
- Tuck away waistbelt for over the shoulder carry.
- Lightweight design perfect for light day hikes and short bike rides.
Are Hiking Fanny Packs Worth it?
Not everyone needs a lumbar pack for hiking. But they are good for 👎🏻
- 🥾 Mountaineers, Trekkers, Hikers
- 🏜️ Desert Dwellers
- 🌏 Group Leaders
- 💗 Fitness & Wellness Enthusiasts
This review is targeted at people that want the best fanny packs for hiking and not end up dehydrated for with a sweaty back.
Easy Table Best Waist Packs for Hiking
I’ve listed where to find them on amazon here, but you can also shop at REI or directly with the retailer and I’ve included how to find them in the detailed review further down.
|Click on Product 👎🏻|
to See Prices & Purchase
|⭐️ Why is it good? 🔥|
|Black Diamond Unisex Pursuit||Overall Best Performance|
|Mountainsmith Drift||Best Price Best Dual Purpose|
|VISCNE Outdoor Fanny Pack||Best Price|
|Deuter Belt I||Best Hike to Travel Bag|
Next Best Lumbar Packs:
- Osprey Talon 6L
- Mountainsmith Day Lumbar Waist Pack
- Mountainsmith Tour Lumbar Waist Pack
- FIORETTO Hiking Fanny Pack
➡️ Don’t miss out on my other top travel recommendations for hikers, which you can find at the end of the article. More advice from a Physical Therapist Hiking & Travel Addict:
- Read my tips on the benefits of trekking poles.
- Hiking in the cold? Here’s my best soft shell jackets for hiking.
8 Best Lumbar Waist Packs for Hiking
So let’s jump in where I’ll share my personal experience, pros and cons, and expert recommendations for the ultimate waist bags for walking and hiking.
The best lumbar waist packs for hiking will have a variety of features to address breathability, weight, materials, fit, and cushioning – and I know which ones to look for.
1. Best Overall: Black Diamond Unisex Pursuit
If you’re looking for a durable and comfortable waist pack for hiking, the Black Diamond Unisex Pursuit 6 Liter Waist Pack is worth considering.
- The 100% recycled body fabrics make this a sustainable choice for environmentally-conscious hikers.
- The Custom BD Continuous Fit Harness waist belt provides a comfortable and seamless fit while on the move.
- The breathable back panel ensures all-day moisture management, keeping you cool and dry during long hikes.
- The Pursuit Waist Pack 6 L is only available in one size, which may not fit everyone comfortably.
- The water-resistant main compartment zipper is not completely waterproof, so you may need to take extra precautions to protect your belongings during heavy rain.
- The waist pack only has one interior pocket, which may not be enough for those who need to carry a lot of gear.
The Pursuit Waist Pack 6 L is a great choice for hikers who want a comfortable and sustainable waist pack. The 100% recycled body fabrics make this a great choice for environmentally-conscious hikers.
The Custom BD Continuous Fit Harness waist belt provides a comfortable and seamless fit while on the move, making it easy to carry your gear without feeling weighed down. The breathable back panel ensures all-day moisture management, keeping you cool and dry during long hikes.
One downside to the Pursuit Waist Pack 6 L is that it only comes in one size, which may not fit everyone comfortably. The water-resistant main compartment zipper is not completely waterproof, so you may need to take extra precautions to protect your belongings during heavy rain.
Also, the waist pack only has one interior pocket, which may not be enough for those who need to carry a lot of gear.
2. Best Dual Purpose Bike/Hike : Mountainsmith Drift
If you’re looking for a versatile lumbar waist pack for light day hikes or short bike rides, the Mountainsmith Drift Waist pack is a great option. It provides ample storage space for your essentials and is built to last.
- The pack is lightweight and compact, making it easy to carry around for extended periods.
- It has a variety of pockets and compartments that make it easy to organize your gear.
- The pack is very well made and comes with a lifetime warranty, giving you peace of mind that it will last for years to come.
- The waist strap is not very comfortable and can dig into your skin if you’re carrying a heavy load.
- The side bottle pockets are not very deep, so larger water bottles may not fit securely.
- The pack’s square shape can make it uncomfortable to wear if you’re carrying heavier items.
If you’re wanting a robust hip bag with water capacity for hikes or short bike rides, the Mountainsmith Drift Lumbar Small Waist pack is a great choice.
It’s got room for 22 oz bottles and 5 liters of storage making it great for hikers in hot weather that need more water.
3. Best Hike to Travel Bag : Deuter Belt I
Want a hip bag that can also be cute for travel? Then the Deuter Belt I is perfect for you. It’s big enough for a mirrorless camera, keys and essentials.
- Very lightweight
- All black version easily doubles as a Gen z accessory
- No padded waist strap
- Limited capacity
- No water storage
If you’re in the market for a small, lightweight lumbar waist pack for light day hikes or short bike rides, the Deuter Belt I pack is a great choice.
It’s well made, but has limited storage space, and is built to last. However, if you’re planning on carrying heavier items, you may want to consider a pack with more comfortable waist straps and a bigger shape.
4. Best Technical Bag: Osprey Talon 6L
If you’re looking for a waist pack that’s perfect for adventurous full-day pursuits requiring technical gear or light-and-fast missions, then the Osprey Talon 6L Lumbar Hiking Waist Pack is a great choice. Made with lightweight and durable NanoFly® fabric, this waist pack is designed to move with you on the most technical terrain.
- Made in the USA
- Dual zippered hipbelt pockets
- Internal padded laptop sleeve
- Hand Wash Only
- Blinkie light attachment is not very secure
- Water bottle holders are designed to hold small water bottles only
This waist pack is perfect for those who want to take all the weight off their shoulders when hiking. It fits like it was made for your body and has adequate storage for the day uses you need it for. The BioStretch harness, continuous-wrap hipbelt and an injection-molded, die-cut foam AirScape® backpanel move with you on the most technical terrain.
This is the best camera waist pack for hiking due to it’s large pockets and protection.
The dual zippered hipbelt pockets are perfect for storing small items like your phone, wallet, or keys. The internal padded laptop sleeve ensures that your laptop stays safe and secure while you’re on the go.
The waist pack is also made in the USA, so you can be sure that you’re getting a quality product.
However, the waist pack does have some cons. It is hand wash only, which can be inconvenient for some people. The blinkie light attachment is not very secure, so you may need to find an alternative way to attach your light.
The water bottle holders are designed to hold small water bottles only, so you may need to bring extra water if you’re going on a longer hike.
5. Most Storage: Mountainsmith Day Lumbar Waist Pack
If you’re in need of a large waist pack for hiking, the Mountainsmith Day Lumbar Waist Pack is a great choice.
- The pack is lightweight and comfortable to wear, even with heavier loads.
- It has plenty of pockets and compartments to keep your gear organized and easily accessible.
- The pack is made with high-quality materials and comes with a lifetime warranty.
- The waistbelt may not fit well for those with smaller waist sizes.
- The pack may not be large enough to hold all the gear needed for longer hikes.
- The pack’s design may not be stylish enough for some users.
This waist pack is perfect for those who need a reliable and functional pack for hiking and other outdoor activities. With its foam padded sleeve for tablet carry, smartphone-compatible waistbelt pockets, and water bottle pockets, you can easily carry all your essentials with you on the trail.
The pack is also practical, with a tuck-away waistbelt, front compression attachment system, and removable shoulder strap for cross-body carry option.
The Mountainsmith Day Lumbar Waist Pack is also comfortable to wear, with its FreeFlow ridged EVA backpanel padding and patented Delta Compression System load adjustment.
The pack’s waistbelt fits waist sizes from 28″ to 48″, making it a good fit for most users.
6. Best for Bigger People: Mountainsmith Tour Lumbar Waist Pack
If you’re looking for a versatile waist pack that can be used for a variety of outdoor activities, the Mountainsmith Tour Lumbar Waist Pack is a great option.
- The pack is made with ultra-durable Ripstop Nylon fabric that will last for years of use.
- It has a variety of pockets and compartments, including a tablet sleeve and smartphone-compatible waist belt pockets.
- The FreeFlow ridged EVA backpanel padding and waistbelt fit make it comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.
- The waistbelt may be too tight for larger individuals, especially when wearing thicker clothing.
- The pack is on the heavier side, weighing in at 1 lb 12 oz when empty.
- Some users have reported issues with the zippers and outer pouch cinch pull.
The Mountainsmith Tour Lumbar Waist Pack is a great choice for anyone who needs a reliable and versatile pack for outdoor activities.
The Ripstop Nylon fabric ensures that it will last for years of use, and the variety of pockets and compartments make it easy to organize and access your gear.
The FreeFlow ridged EVA backpanel padding and waistbelt fit also make it comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.
If you’re a larger individual, you may find that the waistbelt is too tight, especially when wearing thicker clothing. Additionally, the pack is on the heavier side, which may be a concern for some users.
7. Everyday Value: FIORETTO Hiking Fanny Pack
If you’re looking for a versatile lumbar waist pack for hiking, running, or dog walking, the FIORETTO Hiking Fanny Pack is a great option.
- Made of thick, durable, water-repellent nylon and high-quality zippers
- Multiple pockets for storing essentials, including two side pockets that can hold water bottles and a front zipper pocket for small items
- Lightweight and portable with a detachable shoulder strap, making it easy to carry in different ways
- The adjustable waist strap can be a bit hard to adjust
- No extra loop to hold the extra belt, which can hang loose
- The bottle pockets may not be large enough for insulated bottles
This waist pack is made of high-quality and water-resistant materials, which makes it perfect for outdoor activities. The thick but breathable pads on the back part provide great softness and comfort.
The multi-pockets design allows you to organize your essentials in different compartments. The main pocket has a compartment to keep large phones and other plus-size items. The waist pack also features safe reflective stripes to make you visible in the dark.
The FIORETTO Hiking Fanny Pack is portable and lightweight with a big capacity, making it easy to carry enough water and daily necessities for hiking, running, dog walking, camping, cycling, climbing, fishing, sports, travel, and other outdoor activities.
You can wear it as a waist pack with the adjustable waist strap, or as a single shoulder bag or crossbody bag with the detachable shoulder strap.
8. Cheapest: VISCNE Outdoor Fanny Pack
If you’re looking for a versatile waist pack that can handle all your hiking needs, the VISCNE Outdoor Fanny Pack is definitely worth considering.
- The pack is designed for multi-purpose use, with 2 extra shoulder straps and 3 ways to carry it.
- The waist pack is made of wear-resistant nylon material and features breathable mesh lumbar padding for added comfort.
- The pack has dual water bottle holders, three exterior front zipper pockets, and two exterior side zipper pockets to keep your stuff separate and organized.
- The waist strap may not fit larger waist sizes.
- The pack may not be suitable for longer hikes or camping trips.
- The pack does not come with a water bottle included.
The VISCNE Outdoor Fanny Pack is a great option for day hikes or other outdoor activities. The pack is lightweight and practical, with enough space to carry water and gear for a day trip. The multi-functional design of the pack allows you to carry it in different ways, depending on your needs.
The breathable mesh lumbar padding on the pack ensures maximum comfort against your waist, even during long hikes. The dual water bottle holders are a great feature, allowing you to stay hydrated on the go. With three exterior front zipper pockets and two exterior side zipper pockets, you can keep your essentials separate and easily accessible.
While the waist strap can adjust to fit waist sizes ranging from 28 to 50 inches, it may not be suitable for larger waist sizes.
When it comes to buying the best lumbar waist pack for hiking, there are several factors that you should consider. Here are some features to look for to ensure that you choose the right product for your needs:
Size and Capacity
The size and capacity of the lumbar waist pack are important factors to consider. You want a pack that is large enough to carry all of your essentials, but not so large that it is cumbersome or uncomfortable to wear. Look for a pack that has enough room for your water bottle, snacks, first aid kit, and other essentials.
Comfort and Fit
Comfort and fit are crucial when it comes to choosing a lumbar waist pack. You want a pack that fits securely and comfortably around your waist, without bouncing or shifting around while you hike. Look for packs that have adjustable straps and padding to ensure a comfortable fit.
Durability and Quality
The durability and quality of the lumbar waist pack are also important factors to consider. Look for packs that are made from high-quality materials that are designed to withstand the rigors of hiking and outdoor activities. You want a pack that is durable, waterproof, and able to withstand wear and tear.
Features and Accessories
Finally, consider the features and accessories that come with the lumbar waist pack. Look for packs that have multiple pockets and compartments, as well as features like hydration compatibility, reflective detailing, and compression straps. These features can help to enhance the functionality and usefulness of your pack while you hike.
Final Verdict> Best Fanny Pack for Hiking
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some top-rated lumbar waist packs for hiking?
Which lumbar pack brands offer shoulder strap options?
Many lumbar pack brands offer shoulder strap options, including Osprey, Mountainsmith, Deuter, Patagonia, and CamelBak.
What are the benefits of using a lumbar pack for hiking?
Using a lumbar pack for hiking can provide several benefits, such as reducing the weight on your shoulders and back, improving your balance and stability, and allowing for easy access to your gear and essentials.
Are lumbar packs better for your back than traditional backpacks?
Lumbar packs can be better for your back than traditional backpacks because they distribute the weight of your gear evenly across your hips and lower back, which can reduce strain on your shoulders and upper back.
Do hikers prefer lumbar packs or fanny packs for day hikes?
Hiker preferences vary, but many hikers prefer lumbar packs for day hikes because they offer more storage space and are designed to distribute weight evenly across the hips and lower back.
Are there any lumbar packs with water bottle holders?
Yes, many lumbar packs come with water bottle holders, such as the Osprey Talon 6, Mountainsmith Tour, and Deuter Speed Lite 5.
More Buying Guides for Hikers
At Crave the Planet, I’m all about honest and relatable reviews of outdoor products. As a physical therapist, hut to hut hiker, downhill skier and mom, I’m constantly trying new gear to make my outdoor experiences more comfy and fun but with science in mind.
I’ll be real with you, I don’t do every outdoor activity. But, who does? I’m just a regular person who loves exploring the planet. Perfectionism is my enemy and I hope to help you ditch that vibe too.
My review process involves testing each product in real-life outdoor situations, but if it’s a really horrible day I’ll probably find a hotel in the valley. I’ll let you know what worked for me and what didn’t, so you can make informed decisions about your gear choices.
I don’t do sponsored reviews or take payment for my reviews. All comments are based on my personal experience. Sometimes I’ll test something and then send it back for a refund. Usually there’s a hefty fee. Bummer. So, if you’re looking for a relatable and honest take on outdoor gear, you’re in the right place.
Prefer Video? Why Are Fanny Packs Back in Style?
More Hiking & Outdoor Gear Resources
Here’s more awesome gear to empower your journey. I have written in-depth comparisons of products that make hiking and exploring the Great Outdoors safer and more fun, especially if you’re a beginner (or like me, a little rusty in the knees).
Physical Therapist Curated Gear Guides for Hikers
- 🧎 Make your knees feel better while hiking and walking: Best Knee Braces for Hiking
- 🌳Make the downhills stop hurting and hike with more confidence Best Trekking Poles Review
- ⌚ Never get lost on the trail and navigate the wilderness safely with My Review of the Best GPS Watches for Hiking
- ❄️ Go hiking on uneven terrain safely: The Best Hiking Boots with Ankle Support
- 🥾 Don’t get lost in the backcountry during a big hike: My Review of the BEST PLB – Personal Locator Beacons
My Guides to Bucketlist Hikes in Europe
(That I’ve personally done and loved.)
If you’re an avid hiker or walker in warm climates, you know that deyhdrated or losing your keys can be a frightening experience. I hope this list of the best lumbar waist packs for hiking help you feel safer to explore.
Author profile: Morgan Fielder is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and passionate hiker who believes in exploring the world on foot with good food. Follow her journey as she shares science-based hiking tips and advocates for sustainable tourism.