When you’re heading out on the trails for an entire day or even a multiday hike, you probably need a large backpack with all the frills. However, if you’re only going for a short hike then carrying something so cumbersome seems nothing more than a hassle. But what’s the solution?
A hiking waist pack is a great way to carry your essentials without weighing yourself down. But of course, you cannot go out on an adventure without a supply of water, especially in hot weather. You could carry your water bottle separately but that leaves you without your hands free. The answer is to choose a hiking waist pack with a water bottle holder.
The good news is that there are plenty on the market and we’re here to help you choose the best option for you. We’ll give you some handy buying tips as well as showing you some of our favourite products. Don’t ever worry about staying hydrated on a short hike again!
Is A Waist Pack Good For Hiking?
Let’s start by saying that if you are heading out on a long hike then a waist pack won’t be the right accessory for you. In this case, you’re going to need something much larger that can hold many more items, perhaps even a tent and camping equipment if you’re heading out for several days.
However, for people who are only going on an adventure that’ll last for a few hours, a hiking waist pack is the perfect solution to carrying your belongings. There are some slightly larger packs that are also suitable for day hikes so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for these if you’re going out for the whole day.
The great thing about a waist pack for hiking is that it allows you to have hands free experience but still have somewhere to store your most important belongings. This might include nothing more than your phone and car keys but depending on the waist pack you choose, it might also have room for a few extras.
The key to the hiking waist packs we will be looking at in this guide is that they all come with a water bottle holder. There is nothing worse, or potentially dangerous, than being out on a trail, miles from anywhere and feeling thirsty. The simple addition of a water bottle holder is what makes this a great accessory for hikers.
Hiking Waist Packs - Our Top Picks
If you’re as struck on the idea of a hiking waist pack as we are then you’ll likely have been trawling the internet trying to find the best one. We know! There are a lot. But don’t waste any more time than you have to. Check out our top picks which include some of the very best on the market and there is something for everyone.
OUR TOP PICK
What is there not to love about this versatile and spacious hiking waist pack? Well, let us tell you. For starters, this pack has a large four litre capacity which is spread over several pockets. Each pocket is sealed using a strong, waterproof zipper for added security.
What’s more, the SINOKAL waist pack comes with not one, but two water bottle holders so if you’re out for a slightly longer hike, you aren’t going to go thirsty. The pack is made from waterproof materials and features a breathable back to keep you more comfortable, but that’s still not our favourite feature.
Where this waist pack really stands out is its multifunctional use. Wear it as a waist pack if that’s what you feel like but you also have the option to wear it as a shoulder bag, mini backpack and even a carry bag. So, when you’re done on the trails, you can make use of this elsewhere.
We couldn’t find anything wrong with this waist pack
Made from durable materials
Multifunctional and versatile
Lots of pockets and two water bottle holders
Best for wet weather! Just because the weather decides to take a turn for the worst, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t continue to enjoy nature. A little drizzle shouldn’t stop you and nor will it when you use this reliably waterproof waist pack from Waterfly. Not only this but being made from durable materials, it’s ideal for outdoor adventures.
We also love that this waist back is so compact. If you want something for short hikes that isn’t going to weigh you down, the design of this one is ideal. It’s got two large pockets for your essentials as well as a drink holder so you’ll still have plenty of room for everything you need.
Moreover, this is a very stylish waist pack. Some products, it seems, are designed to make you stand out like a sore thumb. This one, on the other hand, features sleek and a fashionable design that’ll keep you looking your best.
Smaller than some other packs
Breathable and comfortable
Waterproof and durable
Best for Trial Runners. Not everyone who heads out on the trails is going for a hike, some of you will prefer to get a little speedier. You need a compact and comfortable waist pack when you’re running and this one is designed specifically for the job.
The design of this one is a little different with the water bottle holder placed horizontally across the front of the pack as opposed to vertically at the side. This makes it more compact and easy to carry. There are three pockets inside to keep all your essentials while you’re out enjoying yourself.
The material is super breathable so no matter how much you exert yourself, you needn’t worry about getting sweaty and uncomfortable. Moreover, the whole thing is waterproof so it’s ready for any challenge you throw at it.
Great for runners
Only suitable for carrying essential items
Breathable and comfortable
Adjustable strap up to 49.2 inches
Reflective strips for night time
BEST LARGE WAIST PACK
While you are probably looking for a waist pack to keep what you carry to a minimum, there are some short hikes where you might need that little bit of extra space. Without compromising too much, this large capacity waist pack with plenty of pockets affords you that perfectly.
It’s got a range of zip and buckle fastening compartments, both of which are incredibly secure and reliable. What’s more, the Yingstar waist pack has a removable bottle holder making it one of the more versatile products on the market.
It’s super comfortable to wear thanks to a breathable back and the wide, partially padded and fully adjustable strap allows you to fit it perfectly to your shape. It’s waterproof so it’s ideal for wet weather and the strong materials will easily stand up to more demanding adventures.
Very durable and resistant
Bottle holder is a little on the narrow side
Comfortable and easy to adjust
BEST FOR LARGER PEOPLE
Most waist packs come in a size that can be adjusted up to 45 inches but this is not good if you’re slightly larger. That’s why we love this waist pack as the adjustable strap goes up to 49 inches which allows you far greater fit and comfort.
What’s more, the GERIINEER waist pack features a range of compartments ranging from the good-sized main pocket to smaller zip pockets and of course, that all important water bottle holder. Everything is secured with durable and reliable zips so there’s no worry about losing your items.
The pack itself is very durable and made from high quality materials that will easily repel water making this a great all-weather choice. The back is made from a breathable fabric so you won’t feel sticky and uncomfortable when things heat up.
Lots of compartments
Clasp on bottle holder could be stronger
The Pros And Cons Of A Waist Pack
While there are a lot of advantages to using a waist pack, there are some things that might make them a little less suitable. Therefore, it is important to weigh up the pros and cons to make sure that you’re choosing the right accessory for carrying your bits and pieces.
One of the biggest benefits of using a waist pack is that it is kinder on the shoulders. When using a rucksack, it is not uncommon for the shoulders to be weighed down and they’ll quickly become sore or painful. Since all the weight is carried around the waist, this is no longer a problem.
While you could use a lightweight day pack, it’s still nothing in comparison to how lightweight a waist pack is. If you want to limit what you’re having to lug around, this is the ideal option.
If you’re carrying a backpack, this can throw you off balance which could be unsafe when hiking on sloped or rugged terrain. A waist pack won’t have this effect on your body so you’ll be better balanced and your posture will be more aligned.
Have you ever been on a hike and found yourself taking way more equipment than you’ll ever need? It’s mostly psychological; after all, nobody is going to need blankets, books, excessive spare clothing and an advanced first aid kit when they’re spending two hours exploring a local trail. Taking a waist pack forces you to only take what you’ll really need.
Most hiking day packs that are available on the market today are breathable and comfortable. However when you get hot, you’re still going to sweat even just a little when you’ve got a pack covering your whole back. Since the waist pack covers a smaller area, you won’t feel as hot and sticky, especially if you choose one with excellent air flow.
A waist pack is an excellent addition to a multi day hike if your pack is full. You have the capacity to carry a few extra things without the need for a whole other bag.
If you use a hiking waist pack, you are limited in what you can carry. This makes it difficult in less than perfect weather conditions. If you go out in the morning when it’s gloriously sunny but know there is going to be a significant downpour later in the day, you won’t have anywhere to store your jacket. For this reason, if you suspect the weather might not be on your side, it’s probably a good idea to ditch the waist pack and go for a daypack instead.
Waist packs are not designed for longer hikes. While you might want the luxury of not having to carry a heavy pack, these accessories simply don’t have the capacity you’ll need. Most importantly, this relates to how much water you can carry, especially in hot weather.
It is very easy to overload a waist pack. While the items may fit snugly inside, their weight may be too much and this will put unnecessary strain on the waist pack. Not to mention on you.
TOP WATER BOTTLES FOR WAIST BAGS
This shape of drinks bottle we have found to be the best for your waist bag so you can barely tell it is there, we like the ones these guys do as you can get them in a range of capacities from 350ml to 1ltr. We would recommend an insulated bottle for them longer days out especially on hotter days as it will keep the water nice and cold for hours.
Looking for something you can drink while running these sheefly bottles come in 500ml or 950ml sizes and the straw makes running and drinking at the same time a less wet experience!
If you are looking for the lightest possible bottle then a plastic option might be for you, we like these which are made from about 15 plastic bottles, they are not as light as a single use bottle by all means but as a reusable option they are great and the lid turns into a handy cup!
What To Look For When Choosing A Hiking Waist Pack
While we are super confident that our selection of the best hiking waist packs really does have something for everyone, not all of the packs will suit everyone. For this reason, we recommend spending a little time comparing features to make sure that you get a waist pack that will work well for you. These are just some of the things you should consider when choosing.
Type Of Hiking Waist Pack
Looking at a waist pack for hiking, you might be forgiven for thinking that it’s nothing but a glorified bum bag. You know, those accessories that were hugely popular in the 80s and 90s? In America, they’re called a fanny pack but however you say it, they’re one of the same thing.
Now, you could use a bum bag for hiking if you don’t need to carry a lot of stuff but the problem is that you’ll be hard pushed to find one with a suitable bottle holder.
On the other hand, lumbar packs, like those we have been looking at in this guide, are much larger and have more storage compartments, often including a water bottle holder. Moreover, where a bum bag or fanny pack buckles up at the back and has pockets in the front, the opposite is normally true of a lumbar pack.
For anything longer than just a couple of hours, we would recommend going for a larger lumbar pack. This is purely for the reason that you’ll be able to store more things and they’re far more versatile.
Comfort And Design
You might have found the best waist pack for hiking in the world that has all the features you expect, but when you try it on, it’s the most uncomfortable thing you’ve ever experienced. In this case, there’s very little point in even trying to hike whilst wearing it.
This is why it is incredibly important to try on your waist pack before hitting the trails. If possible, spend some time wearing it around the house, already packed with things so you can get a good idea of how it’ll feel when you’re out and about. If you’re not happy, return it and choose a new one.
When it comes to comfort, one of the most important things to think about is how well the pack fits. Choosing an adjustable waist pack is the best idea as this will allow you to customise the fit to your shape. Luckily, most waist packs have this feature and will extend between around 20 inches and 45 inches, so they’re pretty versatile.
That said, it’s still a good idea to double check the size before buying so you don’t have any surprises when it reaches you.
While a hiking waist pack will normally be made from breathable material, this isn’t always the case. If it isn’t and air cannot flow around, you’ll find that the skin underneath quickly gets sweaty and moist. This is even more of a problem on summer hikes. Not only is this extremely uncomfortable but it could do more damage if it begins to rub on your skin and chafe. You also don’t want the pack to get stinky, which, let’s face it, will happen if it’s constantly exposed to sweat.
The final thing to think about when it comes to comfort is whether the waist pack stops you from moving as you normally would. Hiking can be a very strenuous activity that often involves bending, climbing and stretching your body in many different ways. The last thing you want is a hiking waist pack that prevents you from moving in a natural and comfortable manner.
Yes, we are talking about using a waist pack for hiking as it is much smaller so naturally, you won’t be able to take as much as you would in a full backpack. However, you should make sure that the waist pack is large enough to accommodate your basic items. This might include various things including your phone, keys, wallet, ID documents, charging cables or power banks, a torch and perhaps a snack. And of course, don’t forget that water bottle.
Before buying, check the dimensions of the waist pack as well as how many compartments it has. The water bottle holder should be large enough to carry more than enough water for the length of time you’ll be out.
A waist pack is never going to be the heaviest item in the world; it’s much smaller than any other type of accessory used for carrying your hiking equipment. Although, some are heavier than others and the last thing you want is to be already weighed down before you’ve even packed your belongings.
Keep in mind that a waterproof pack or one that is made from more durable materials is likely to be a little heavier but you wouldn’t expect it to weigh more than around half a kilo unloaded.
One of the great things about having a waist pack for hiking is that there are different compartments so you can keep certain items separate from one another. However, it’s important that these pockets and compartments are secure so there’s no risk of losing your things.
In order to determine how secure they are, you’ll want to first look at how they fasten. This might be a zip, velcro, a press stud or anything else. Studs and zips are generally more secure but velcro gives you quick and easy access to your bits and pieces.
Once you have chosen the right type of fastener for you, you’ll then want to look at its quality. For example, you’ll want zips that don’t get stuck and that are made from durable materials so they won’t break.
If there’s anything that the UK is famous for, it’s that the heavens can open at any time, often without warning. Moreover, if you’re hiking on trails where there are water crossings or you’ll have any sort of contact with water, you won’t want your pack getting wet.
That’s why it’s super important to look for a hiking waist pack that’s made from waterproof or at the very least, water resistant materials. This will prevent anything inside from becoming damaged by moisture which is also essential if you start sweating and it gets through into the pack.
When you’re going out on a short hike, there’s really no need to carry a huge backpack around with you. While there are daypacks out there, these are often still too large, especially when you only have a few bits and bobs to carry.
The solution is a waist pack. These are ideal for hikers who want something lightweight, easy to carry and that is great for half day or perhaps day hikes. Just make sure you choose a pack that has a water bottle holder because there is nothing more important than staying hydrated while you’re on the trails.