Call them what you want – fanny packs, waist packs, 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 ago. They’re convenient and functional for all the times when you need to have both hands free and they are the ultimate piece of gear to bring on road trips, hikes, or traveling pretty much anywhere. Since fanny packs sit snug on your body, they are great for keeping your valuables safe, too. From the best hiking fanny packs and waist packs to our favorites for everyday wear, we’ve got you covered.
Here’s our list of the best fanny packs that are both functional and cute.
Best Everyday Fanny Packs
Patagonia Ultralight Black Hole Mini 1L Hip Pack
The Patagonia Ultralight Black Hole Mini 1L Hip Pack is former BFT writer Katherine’s favorite waist pack for everyday wear as well as for hiking and traveling. It’s adjustable, roomy, and made of durable ripstop nylon that’s 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.
REI Co-op Trail 2 Print Waistpack
If you want a low-profile fanny pack that also has some technical design details, go for the REI Co-op Trail 2 Print 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) fanny pack of choice since it’s small and simple with the perfect amount of space to carry the basics.
Check Price: REI
Kavu Spectator Waistpack
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. It’s easily one of the best waist packs for going hands-free on a night out with friends.
Cotopaxi Bataan 3L Fanny Pack
The Cotopaxi Bataan 3L Fanny Pack has a large main zippered compartment that’s 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 it apart from the rest.
Best Hiking Fanny Packs
REI Co-op Trail 5 Waistpack
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.
Check Price: REI
DAKINE Hot Laps 5L Hydration Waistpack
The DAKINE Hot Laps 5L Hydration Waistpack 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. The biggest feature is the spacious main compartment that stores a 2-liter hydration reservoir and a bite valve, so you don’t have to remove it while drinking. Plus, a front zippered pocket that organizes everything else: keys, wallet, phone, snacks, and even a spare bike tube.
Mountainsmith Tour Lumbar Pack
The Mountainsmith Tour Lumbar Pack is one of the best hiking fanny packs with a water bottle holder. The pack holds a whopping 9L of gear and the side pockets fit 32oz water bottles (not included). There is an interior zippered compartment to secure your small valuables. The pack is extremely comfortable, ergonomic, and is one of the most popular hiking waist packs on the market.
Best Travel Fanny Packs
Sherpani Qube Hip Pack
The Sherpani Qube Hip Pack is the perfect travel fanny pack – it’s large enough to fit basics like your passport, phone, and other small necessities without looking bulky. It has RFID protection, a locking zipper closure, and an anti-slash fabric bottom to help keep belongings secure. This is a great hip pack for someone who doesn’t want a lot of frills but wants a lot of protection.
Check Price: REI
Pacsafe Vibe 100 4L Hip Pack
The Pacsafe Vibe 100 4L Hip Pack is another 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.
Do you like wearing a fanny pack on hikes, when traveling, or every day? What’s your favorite? Leave us a comment below!