Call them what you want – fanny packs, waist packs, belt bags, bum bags – but I’m going to go ahead and say it: fanny packs are underrated! I ditched my purse for a fanny pack years before they were cool and I haven’t looked back.
Fanny packs are perfect for hiking because they’re a convenient way to carry your essentials, but also allow you to keep your hands free and your belongings secure.
But hiking fanny packs aren’t just for the trail! They can also be great for everyday use, whether you’re running errands, traveling, or just going for a walk around your neighborhood. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the best hiking fanny packs that are versatile enough for everyday use. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just looking for a convenient way to carry your belongings, we’ve got you covered.
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Best Fanny Packs at a Glance
- Bearfoot Theory team favorite: lululemon Clean Lines Belt Bag
- Best budget fanny pack: REI Co-op Trail 2 Waistpack
- Bst small capacity fanny pack: Kavu Spectator Waistpack
- Eco-friendly fanny pack: Cotopaxi Bataan 3L Fanny Pack
- Best hiking fanny pack: REI Co-op Trail 5 Waistpack
- Best hydration fanny pack: DAKINE Hot Laps 5L Hydration Waistpack
- Best ultralight fanny pack: Patagonia Ultralight Black Hole Mini Hip Pack
- Best fanny pack for travel: Pacsafe Vibe 100 4L Hip Pack
lululemon Clean Lines Belt Bag
Bearfoot Theory Team Favorite
Where to shop
- What we like: simplistic design, 2L capacity fits all the essentials, stealth pocket for credit cards and keys, water-resistant fabric
- What we don’t like: outer pocket zipper is low so if you fill the fanny pack completely things could fall out when you open it
The lululemon Clean Lines Belt Bag is a spacious and fashionable 2-liter fanny pack that’s perfect for carrying all of your essentials. I recently upgraded to this fanny pack and I absolutely love it. It’s got two pockets. The big outer pocket I use for my phone, snacks (because I always carry snacks), my lip balm, sunglasses, business cards, and other essentials. This pocket also has a mesh compartment to help with organization and a string with a clip that you can attach your keys to.
The other pocket is a little more stealthy and close to your body. This is a great place to stash your credit cards, cash, and other valuables. The 2-liter capacity means you won’t have to cram all of your stuff in here… there is plenty of room.
The fabric is water-resistant and lululemon incorporated recycled nylon into the body of the fanny pack (bonus points!). While not totally waterproof, you don’t have to worry about your stuff getting ruined if you encounter some rain. The waistband is highly adjustable so it can fit a variety of body sizes, and I really like that the excess waistband material is held flush by a little clip so it’s not hanging by your butt.
REI Co-op Trail 2 Waistpack
Best Budget Fanny Pack
Where to shop
- What we like: straightforward design, secret pocket for valuables, comes in a print option, made of recycled materials, water resistant
- What we don’t like: thin strap doesn’t distribute weight well if carrying a heavy load
If you want a low-profile fanny pack that also has some technical design details, go for the REI Co-op Trail 2 Waistpack. A smaller option that’s also great for short hikes, it’s made for storing your essentials with features like a bucket-style, top-loading main compartment for easy access while you’re on the move.
Plus, it’s even got a front and secret back zippered pocket for valuables. This is Linda’s (BFT’s Director) hiking fanny pack of choice since it’s small and simple with the perfect amount of space to carry the basics.
Kavu Spectator Waistpack
Best Small Capacity Fanny Pack
Where to shop
- What we like: no frills, small enough to stash in your pack to have on hand, comes in a ton of fun prints
- What we don’t like: small capacity means room for only the bare essentials
The Kavu Spectator Waistpack is a simple, stylish, and straightforward option for everyday or casual outings. It has two zippered compartments, an adjustable strap, and an easy side buckle. This waist pack comes in a variety of prints that punch up the look enough so you can go without a bag and not have to worry about stuffing everything into a pocket. We’d recommend using this fanny pack for walks around the neighborhood vs. long day hikes.
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Cotopaxi Bataan 3L Fanny Pack
Best Eco-Friendly Fanny Pack
Where to shop
- What we like: large main compartment, each colorway is uniquely one of a kind, made of reclaimed textiles
- What we don’t like: no zippered compartment for keeping valuables safe
The Cotopaxi Bataan 3L Fanny Pack has a large main zippered compartment that is great for holding bigger items (think: sunglasses, snacks, even a packable layer) and smaller mesh pockets inside, so you aren’t fishing around for the car keys.
It has an adjustable strap so you can wear it on the front, side, above the bum, or even as a sling bag. Plus, you get to choose from one of the many unique colorways which set Cotopaxi gear apart from the rest.
REI Co-op Trail 5 Waistpack
Best Day Hiking Fanny Pack
Where to shop
- What we like: lots of exterior pockets for easy organization & storing valuables, daisy chain loop for easily hanging a rain jacket or extra layer, water-resistant, made from recycled materials, 2 water bottle pockets
- What we don’t like: water bottle pockets are too shallow for 1L bottles
Made from recycled polyester and recycled nylon, the REI Co-op Trail 5 Waistpack is an eco-friendly option that can be worn on the trail or as a larger everyday option. The outer shell has a water-resistant coating making this perfect for all seasons, and daisy chains on the front allow you to loop your jacket for even more hands-free convenience.
It has 2 water bottle pockets that each fit a 1L bottle (not included) as well a large main pocket and handy small front and back organizational pockets for smaller items.
DAKINE Hot Laps 5L Hydration Waistpack
Best Fanny Pack w/ a Hydration Bladder
Where to shop
- What we like: includes a 2L removable hydration bladder, several pockets for easy organization, extremely durable
- What we don’t like: belt doesn’t fit above 36″ inch waists
The DAKINE Hot Laps 5L Hydration Lumbar Pack is a workhorse of a fanny pack. Designed for mountain biking, but versatile enough for day hikes or traveling, this is one of the best hiking fanny packs for female travelers who like doing a little bit of everything.
It has a 2L water bladder, two large pockets for snacks, and some straps on the bottom that you can use to secure an extra layer. You could even fit a smaller camera in here. It also has a pocket on the waistband. That pocket is too small for my iPhone, but it’s handy for chapstick or other small essentials.
I found it very comfortable on hikes up to 9 miles. It feels very secure and doesn’t bump around much when you are walking. You can easily tighten or move it up or down your waistline to find the most comfortable spot. My lower back did end up a little sweaty, but no more sweaty than a normal backpack. The hydration hose has a magnet, so the hose stays secure and is easy to reach at all times. I also wore it to 4 nights of Phish concerts (without the hydration bladder which pulls out fairly easily).
Patagonia Ultralight Black Hole Mini Hip Pack
Best Ultralight Fanny Pack
Where to shop
- What we like: most lightweight fanny pack on our list, main compartment has a pocket that doubles as the pack’s stuff sack, tons of different color options, made from eco-friendly materials
- What we don’t like: only fits the bare essentials, belt strap may be too small for some
The Patagonia Ultralight Black Hole Mini 1L Hip Pack is former BFT writer Katherine’s favorite waist pack for traveling as well as everyday wear. The waistband is adjustable and the bag is roomy and made of durable ripstop nylon that is also waterproof and easy to clean.
True to its name, this is a lightweight and versatile pack that looks cute and does everything that it’s designed to do while you’re out and about. Katherine wore this one on our Central California Coast Road Trip.
Pacsafe Vibe 100 4L Hip Pack
Best Fanny Pack for Travel
Where to shop
- What we like: security clip for keeping the pack safe, strap & bag material are slash-proof
- What we don’t like: limited color options
The Pacsafe Vibe 100 4L Hip Pack is a great travel fanny pack, offering a ton of room. The main pocket fits up to a 7-inch tablet, among other must-haves. It has a PopNLock security clip for quickly securing the bag to a fixed object (like a chair leg) and slashguard material on both the bag and strap for an added layer of security.
This is the perfect travel or everyday hip pack for those wanting to stay safe and organized.
Recommended Hiking Packing List
Below are a few of my favorite pieces of day hiking gear and recommendations:
Have you tried any of our best fanny pack picks for hiking, traveling, or everyday wear? Which one is it and what do you love about it? Leave us a comment below!