On those long, or short, hiking adventures, it’s always best to prepare and pack accordingly. One of the best ways to do so is to buy a hiking fanny pack, but why? Well, it simply comes down to what a fanny pack provides for a hike.

It’s a small pouch that you can wear around your waist, and it allows you to hold some essential items on your hike. Such items will be at your fingertips at any time. Better yet, there are several fanny packs out there that will not add too much to the overall weight of your equipment.

You’re convinced that you want one already, right? Just kidding but we’ll say this. After going through this list of what we believe are the five best (and lightweight) hiking fanny packs, we think you might be making a purchase shortly after. Alright, enough talk from us, let’s do this.

1. Osprey Daylite Waist Pack

Osprey is a fan-favorite brand in the hiking world and for good reason. It’s no surprise to us that we think their Daylite Waist Pack is the best in the business. On top of everything else, what virtually everyone notices about this hiking fanny pack is just the sheer top-notch craftsmanship.

The price is a little steep, but this pack is going to last you for several years (if you treat it properly that is). Past the quality, the functionality is pretty great too. It’s not the most complicated design, but there’s a small front zippered compartment, an interior mesh zippered pocket, and also the zippered main compartment.

Regarding total volume, this is a two-liter pack. As for the fit and feel of the pack, both are really good. It sports a buckled closure and can be adjusted. Then again, the fabric does cover most of the closure system so it can be a little tricky to lock.

Additionally, there’s NeoSpacer mesh built-in, and this is really just a fancy way of saying that the pack is breathable on your waist. Light, durable, functional, breathable, and pretty stylish too, we encourage anyone to add this to their hiking gear collection.

✅ Pros

  • Many colors are available
  • Top-notch craftsmanship
  • The zippers are well implemented

❌ Cons

  • Can be tricky to lock
  • Not a fancy design
  • Cheaper options exist

2. Osprey Talon Hiking Pack

Well, would you look at that? Osprey has another spectacular hiking fanny pack, but this one’s better suited for more hardcore hikers. After all, at 14.7 ounces in weight, this is a bigger pack. Still, at under one pound in weight, we felt it was light enough to qualify for this list.

Osprey designed their Talon Pack to be able to account for several essentials while remaining not overly bulky or uncomfortable. They accomplished quite the feat, quite honestly, as this is able to maintain a great balance. In addition to the plethora of zippered compartments that you can find on this pack, it can also hold a pair of water bottles.

Oh, and as with the last Osprey hiking fanny pack, this is built to endure a long time thanks to the quality control and also the high-tenacity nylon construction. Plus, soft and breathable die-cut slotted foam allows for a breathable and comfortable carrying experience.

Yet, let’s just address the elephant in the room. This sucker is expensive for a fanny pack. It may have too many bells and whistles for some hikers, which is why we said this is better suited to devoted hiking enthusiasts.

✅ Pros

  • Plenty of space
  • Very comfortable to wear
  • Built to last for years

❌ Cons

  • Probably overpriced
  • Might be too heavy for some
  • Overkill for some hikers

3. Waterfly Fanny Pack

One of if not the most coveted resource that a hiker has is water. Well, that’s the most coveted resource for anyone on this planet, but we digress. The point in bringing that up is for a hiker, having quick access to their water is very important.

That’s one of the reasons we love this hiking fanny pack so much as it allows you to account for a couple of water bottles and while the holders are a bit too shallow, the design feature is fantastic overall. Of course, there’s also the main compartment and some outer pockets that can hold other essential items.

Quality-wise, this sucker’s impressive too. The high-grade nylon construction couples with the durable plastic buckle system, and the straps are solidly made too. Oh, and they’re also adjustable, and combined with the ventilation-focused design, it makes for a comfortable experience.

Really, the only main complaint we have is the shallow drink holders. There’s probably a good chance they won’t hold your current water bottles. It just depends on how big they are, we guess. Otherwise, though, this is one of the best designs on the market.

✅ Pros

  • Plenty of room
  • Very well-made
  • Comfortable to hike with

❌ Cons

  • Bottle straps only work when using belt
  • Logo on the front should be removed
  • Shallow drink holders

4. Genius Earth Hiking Fanny Pack

Is this fanny pack attempting to reinvent the wheel when it comes to hiking fanny packs? Not really. But what the company did attempt to do was make a versatile fanny pack for hikers and others alike. Guess what? They accomplished their feat and provided the world with an excellent pack.

As with many of the best, this is equipped to handle a pair of water bottles. Better yet is the fact that a couple of water bottles are included with your purchase. So, there’s no need to worry about if your water bottles will fit or not (though you still may prefer your water bottles over the ones provided).

Speaking for the comfort, there are mesh bags on each side of the pack that allow for better ventilation and also lumbar padding. The overall construction is quite good too with rip-stop nylon being the main material.

Now, not all is amazing with this pack. A few hiccups include straps that could’ve been a bit thicker and also the bottle holders that don’t hold their shape very well. Those minor blemishes aside, the ample storage space, water bottles, terrific build, and comfortable wear all make this worth the money for hikers.

✅ Pros

  • Comes with two water bottles
  • Stays snug on your waist
  • Built to last

❌ Cons

  • The opening is a little small
  • Bottle holders don’t hold their shape
  • Straps are a bit skinny

5. SoJourner Fanny Pack

If you’re just looking for a lightweight hiking fanny pack that just gets the job done without being too expensive, this is a great option. It can be considered the budget pick if you will, but that doesn’t mean it’s a piece of junk. Sure, the zipper tabs are a little cheap, but the overall build is still quite good.

There are three pockets in total (one back pocket), and each pocket has been designed with nylon lining with reinforced stitching to securely account for your items. For such a lightweight pack, the room that’s provided is pretty impressive.

As for the sizing, that has been a complaint in the past. The waistband is adjustable, but sagging has been an issue with this pack. Some DIY magic can be done to make the strap shorter if that ends up being the lone issue for you. This hiking fanny pack is also designed to be water-resistant, though you should definitely avoid submerging it.

We guess you could say this is just a really basic design at heart, but that’s something that many hikers will love. But it’s not as if organization isn’t possible with this as it most certainly is. Finally, there are some different colors that you can choose between.

✅ Pros

  • Designed with three compartments
  • Built well overall
  • Price can’t be beaten

❌ Cons

  • Zipper tabs are kind of cheap
  • Sagging can be an issue
  • Colors are not as bright as pictured

Frequently asked questions

Can you wear a hiking fanny pack on your shoulder?

So, a fanny pack is a pack that can be worn on your waist to allow you easy access to certain items. Yet, can it be worn in different ways and, in specific, can it be worn on your shoulder? It really just depends on how long the straps can be adjusted on the pack that you have.

Really, fanny packs have been worn in many different ways over the years. However, for hiking purposes, around the waist seems to make the most sense. It’s not as if you’re wearing a hiking fanny pack for fashion purposes, after all. Then again, if you want to wear it over your shoulder and the straps will allow for it, go for it.

Is a fanny pack good for hiking?

All this talk about the best hiking fanny pack and we haven’t even discussed whether or not a fanny pack is even good for hiking or not. Well, it’s not so just disregard everything that was said in this post. No, of course, we’re just joking around there. A fanny pack is tremendous for hiking.

Besides keeping essentials at your fingertips, they can also be used in place of backpacks granted you’re not backpacking. If you’re backpacking for multiple days, a fanny pack won’t be able to fully replace a backpack. Still, it provides a lightweight alternative and keeps those essentials close to the hip (literally).

Can you wear a fanny pack with a backpack?

The last question led into this one, as why couldn’t you just wear a backpack and a fanny pack. If a fanny pack won’t be enough but you still want the convenience of it, you could wear it simultaneously with your backpack. However, be aware that there are difficulties in doing this.

Virtually all the difficulties are associated with comfort, as it can be hard to position the hiking fanny pack, so it doesn’t feel uncomfortable with a backpack on. If you can figure out the logistics of everything, you can more than certainly wear both while hiking.

Are fanny packs waterproof?

Some might be but you have to buy a specific fanny pack that’s designed to be fully waterproof if you want maximum water protection. Now, water resistance is a feature that will be more common in fanny packs.

If nothing else, you can also use some DIY magic to create a fanny pack that is water-resistant (or possibly even waterproof). There are waterproof sprays on the market that you can use to allow your pack to better resist the water in case of rainfall.