Hiking is a great way to exercise whilst getting in touch with nature. Hiking trips can sometimes go on for days at a time, in which case, the most obvious storage and transport solution is a hiking backpack.
However, if you’re more of a fan of short hikes than extended, days-long trips into the wilderness, a hiking backpack can turn into more of a hindrance than a help. Hiking backpacks are generally designed to provide high capacity and durability, but these features often also make them heavy and cumbersome pieces of kit.
A fanny pack, on the other hand, is a small and lightweight, pouch-like bag that fastens around your waist. These bags are ideal for short walks and hikes because they offer enough storage for essential items whilst being light and portable enough not to weigh you down on your adventures.
If a fanny pack sounds like just the bag you need to get the most out of your hiking trips, then look no further, because we’ve made a list of the best fanny packs on the market for hiking, along with a buyers guide and FAQ section.
OUR TOP PICK
This fanny pack from WATERFLY is perfect for keeping you well-stocked and hydrated during your hikes without slowing you down.
Made from water-resistant nylon material and featuring breathable PV pads, this fanny pack is suitable for wear in all weather, from rain to intense heat. Its compact size of 7.5 x 8.3 x 4.7 inches makes it easy to carry for long distances.
Perhaps the biggest selling point of WATERFLY’s fanny pack is its bottle storage capacity. The pack’s 2 bottle holders feature elasticated bottle mouths and adjustable, anti-fall straps. This means that you can carry 2 water bottles securely whilst hiking, ensuring you stay properly hydrated. Alternatively, you could use one of the holders for an umbrella or similar item if you wish.
The several, small interior compartments inside this pack are ideal for storing small items such as your phone and keys.
The pack’s waist belt is adjustable, ranging in length from 22 to 52 inches. It also features a carry handle and removable shoulder strap, meaning you can wear this pack however feels most comfortable for you.
This pack is available in a wide variety of colors, from classic black or gray to brighter hues such as rose red and turquoise, so whatever your personal style, WATERFLY’s fanny pack can match it.
- 2 water bottle holders
- Waterproof nylon material
- Breathable PV back pads
- Interchangeable, adjustable straps
- Wide color range
- Straps loosen easily
Bp Vision’s Outdoor Fanny Pack is designed to carry everything you might need on your hike whilst remaining easily portable and compact at a size of 11 x 5 x 6 inches.
The durable, water-resistant nylon material and breathable mesh make this pack a long-lasting investment that is both practical and comfortable to wear.
With 2 water bottle holders, 3 exterior front pockets, and 2 exterior side pockets, you can be sure that this pack has enough storage space to carry all of your essential items.
The waist strap can adjust between 26 and 50 inches, but the carrying versatility of this pack doesn’t stop there. This pack also comes with a backpack strap and a shoulder strap so you can wear it however you like depending on what feels most comfortable.
This pack is also available in 6 different color options.
- Water-resistant, durable nylon material
- Design incorporates breathable mesh
- 5 exterior pockets
- 2 water bottle holders
- 3 carrying straps
- Reported concerns about the durability of the buckles
Despite its extremely compact size, the fanny pack waist bag from ENGYEN has enough internal and external storage for all your essential hiking items.
Measuring at just 5.5 x 8 x 4.5 inches, this fanny pack has 4 separate pockets, including the main pocket, a front zipper pocket, and two side pockets, one of which is ideal for holding your water bottle, keeping you hydrated during your hike.
The waist belt is adjustable between 21.5 and 47 inches, and the additional shoulder strap included with the pack means that you can carry the pack across your body rather than around your waist if you wish.
The material is water-resistant and scuff-resistant, ensuring the durability of the pack. This material is also healthy and comfortable to wear. Plus, with 6 color options, this pack offers plenty of choice in terms of style.
- 4 separate pockets
- Water bottle holder
- Water-resistant and scuff-resistant material
- Adjustable waist belt
- Shoulder strap included
- Water bottle holder may not be secure enough for large or heavy water bottles
Genius Earth’s Travel/Hiking Fanny Pack is available in red or blue and is made of durable, lightweight nylon material and features high-quality mesh on the pack sides for increased air circulation.
Measuring 11 x 6 x 5 inches, this pack is sizeable enough to carry all of your must-have hiking essentials whilst remaining compact enough for ease of portability.
With 2 bottle holders (1 on either side) and two pockets (a large main pocket measuring 8 x 6 x 5 inches, plus a front zipper pocket), this pack has plenty of storage space.
The waist strap is highly adjustable, fitting waists measuring between 18 and 50 inches, so it’s suitable for both adults and children.
This pack also includes 2 20 oz water bottles, making this product an even better deal.
Mountainsmith’s Tour Lumbar Pack is designed to withstand serious outdoor use.
The product measurements of 14 x 11.1 x 3.2 inches combine compactness with abundant storage space, striking the perfect balance between internal size and portability.
Made of durable CORDURA material and featuring EVA padding on the back panel, this pack is both long-lasting and comfortable to wear. The tuck-away waist belt and removable shoulder strap make this pack a versatile piece of equipment suitable for a variety of activities.
Featuring an interior foam-padded sleeve, this pack is suitable for carrying your phone and tablet safely. The back panel stash pocket is ideal for storing important items securely, such as passports and other documents, making this pack perfect for travel as well as hiking.
This pack also includes 2 water bottle holders, a front zipper pocket, and a headphone port, so it will help to cater to all of your hiking needs from hydration to music.
- Made of durable CORDURA material
- EVA padding on back panel
- Foam-padded interior sleeve for tablet and phone transport
- 2 water bottle holders
- Removable shoulder strap
- Secure stash pocket
- Includes headphone port
- Reports of design being uncomfortable to wear
Best Fanny Packs for Hiking Buying Guide
If you’re still not sure which fanny pack best corresponds to your hiking requirements, don’t worry! This buyers guide will summarise everything you need to consider for hiking practically, safely, and in style with a fanny pack.
When purchasing a fanny pack for hiking, it’s important to take into consideration the material it is made from.
Since you’ll be wearing your fanny pack outside for hiking, it should ideally be made of waterproof material, such as high-quality nylon.
Additionally, you’ll want your fanny pack to be as durable as possible to withstand potentially adverse weather conditions and physical activity. Nylon is also a great material in terms of durability, and CORDURA material is another ideal option.
The incorporation of mesh in the design of your pack can help to improve breathability and ventilation.
EVA padding material is also a desirable feature for the back panel of your pack as it ensures added comfort.
Waist Strap Length
Before you purchase your fanny pack, check the waist strap measurements.
Most waist straps are adjustable to allow them to sit comfortably against the user, but if your waist measures under 26 inches or above 45 inches, it’s best to check that the waist strap will adjust to your measurements.
When it comes to fanny packs, especially ones used for hiking, the more pockets the better. Having all your items jumbled up in a single pocket can lead to them getting damaged, so it’s best to purchase a fanny pack that has multiple pockets.
If you’re considering taking your phone or tablet with you on your hikes, it’s worth thinking about purchasing a fanny pack with a padded internal sleeve for fragile or valuable items.
Secure stash pockets are also useful for securely storing documents such as a passport, boarding pass, money, or ID, which is particularly useful if you’ll be taking your pack with you on your travels.
If you’re going hiking, it’s absolutely crucial to make sure that you stay hydrated. Therefore, any fanny pack that you plan to use for hiking should ideally incorporate at least 1, if not 2 water bottle compartments, depending on the average length of your hikes.
To ensure that the bottle holders on your fanny pack are sturdy and secure enough to support the weight of your water bottles and stop them from falling out, look for features such as elasticated bottle mouths and adjustable anti-fall straps.
The most common additional feature included with a fanny pack is an additional shoulder strap. This is a particularly useful feature because although the typical waist strap of a fanny pack is great for accessibility purposes, this method of wearing the pack can feel uncomfortable for some users.
A shoulder strap offers an extra option so that you can always change the position of your pack should you feel the need.
Another fantastic additional feature sometimes included with fanny packs are free water bottles. Where packs have a water bottle storage pocket, the inclusion of one or several water bottles can be really useful, as you can be sure that these bottles will be the correct size to fit in the bottle compartments.
Plus, included water bottles give you better value for your money.
Safety is key with any outdoor activity, and hiking is no exception. A great feature included on some fanny packs is a reflective strip, which can increase your visibility (and, by extension, your safety) if you ever find yourself out hiking after dark or in shaded areas.
If you like to listen to music on your hikes, consider investing in a fanny pack with a headphone port! This useful feature will allow you to keep your phone or other music playing device tucked away securely while the headphone cable exits the pack through the port, meaning you can listen to music without fear of dropping your phone or getting it wet in rainy weather.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you wear a fanny pack?
One of the best things about fanny packs is the versatility in terms of how you can wear them.
All fanny packs have a waist strap, which can be worn in different positions around your waist. You can wear it so that the pack falls at the front of your body, making it easier to access your possessions when you need them, or at the back to keep the bulk of the pack out of your way.
If you want to keep your possessions reasonably accessible but don’t want to have the pack directly in front of you, you can always wear it on your hip at the side.
Some fanny packs come with additional straps, such as a shoulder strap or backpack strap. These straps allow you to wear your fanny pack either over your shoulder, across your body, or as a backpack, depending on what feels most comfortable or convenient for you.