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Lumbar/Hip Packs

Top Picks

How we choose: The best lumbar/hip packs highlighted here were selected based on 214 reviews of 77 products. Our top picks are those that are readily-available in the United States and have received the highest overall ratings from reviewers.

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Mountainsmith Day

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (12 reviews)

To start with my Mnt. Smith Day pack is probally over 10 yrs. old. It was made in Golden, CO, before they sent all their work offshore. It is not as pretty and came without the bells and whistles of the newer packs but is absolutely bomb proof. You can use it for a school pack as well as a light pack for any outdoor adventure. It is big enough to produce a hot meal, including stove and pot, and still have room for some fleece or a shell. I was able to carry my wife sitting on top of this pack for about 5 miles in the Great Smoky Mnts when she broke her foot.

Read more: Mountainsmith Day reviews (12)

Mountainsmith Tour

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (11 reviews)

Very comfortable convenient lumbar pack for day hikes and touring.

Reasons to Buy

  • Well made
  • Made of recycled material
  • Excellent comfort
  • Well designed pockets and straps

Reasons to Avoid

  • None

If you are looking for the ideal day pack but, enjoy full freedom of movement, then a lumbar pack may be a good choice for you. I enjoy the comfort and convenience of my Mountainsmith Tour Lumbar pack. Comfort: I find it ideal for warm weather day hikes because the pack fits snugly against the small of my back leaving my upper body completely free and ventilated. I have used this on all kinds of hikes and even a 20 mile day hike with absolutely no comfort issues. Fit: This pack is super stable and if you carry water bottles no bigger than 20 oz, then you can even run with this, however I would not recommend serious trail running with this pack.

Read more: Mountainsmith Tour reviews (11)

Evoc Hip Pouch Pro

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1 review)

A compact, no-bounce fanny pack with a reliable water bottle holster and just enough pocket room for running and riding essentials. Cell phone pocket need optimizing and a raincoat.

Reasons to Buy

  • Solid materials and design
  • Easy in-out water bottle holster
  • Holds bars and layers enough for half-day runs and rides
  • Snug, bounce-free fit
  • Cell phone pocket

Reasons to Avoid

  • Cell phone pocket not optimal
  • Not seam sealed, zippers can also leak

I needed a runner’s fanny pack that works juuuust right. I have one with a nice, easy in and out water bottle holster, but the two thin, triangular pockets just barely hold a Snickers, never mind my cell phone or a buff. Toooo small. Another has a 1000L main compartment, nice to be able to hold Snickers and phone and a layer or two, but really toooo big and bouncy, and the water bottle holsters on either side are too soft and collapse when trying to holster on the move. For most of my runs I really only need one water bottle anyway.

Read more: Evoc Hip Pouch Pro review (1)

Mystery Ranch Hip Monkey

user rating: 4 of 5 (1 review)

Mystery Ranch's Hip Monkey is a roomy, durable, well-made lumbar pack that provides easy access to items on the go. With most of its 8-liter capacity in one large pocket, it's versatile for a wide range of uses year-round. Hiking, snowshoeing, mountain biking, traveling, fishing, and more, if the gear fits, you can carry it for your favorite activity in the Hip Monkey. Mystery Ranch even touts it can hold a six-pack or a set of frisbee golf discs. The Hip Monkey can be worn around your waist or diagonally across your chest (my preference), and its large capacity swallows up more gear than expected. Some users may want more organization than the large main pocket offers, rather than digging around to find items at the bottom. And I regularly wish I could attach items to the pack, like a trekking pole or a monopod underneath. However, I appreciate its roomy size, versatility, and sturdy construction. Overall, the Hip Monkey is a solid, dependable, larger capacity fanny pack that should last years of outdoor uses.

Reasons to Buy

  • Roomy
  • Easy access
  • Comfortable
  • Durable
  • Well-constructed
  • Versatile—holds lots of stuff and can be worn around waist or chest

Reasons to Avoid

  • Large main pocket can mean digging around
  • Some may want more organization
  • No way to attach items, like poles

  Hiking with the Hip Monkey (not fly fishing, though you could) Construction Sturdy, durable, burly—these are words that come to mind when describing the Hip Monkey. Made from a medium-weight 500D Cordura fabric, you will not worry about tearing this fanny pack sitting on a rock or brushing tree branches. It's solid and inspires confidence. 500D Cordura water repellent fabric I actually kept postponing writing this review because even after several months of use my pack still looks new-ish.

Read more: Mystery Ranch Hip Monkey review (1)

Gregory Nano Waistpack

user rating: 4 of 5 (1 review)

The Nano is a 3.5L waistpack that provides storage for gear or snacks in three zippered pockets. Coming in a wide array of colors, from subtle to bold, the Nano is ideal for hands-free storage of gear, meals, or snacks on walks, hikes, or bike rides—from a short, impulsive walk to an all-day trek.

Reasons to Buy

  • quality materials and construction
  • multiple compartments allow useful organization
  • capacious main pocket can stow much

Reasons to Avoid

  • single size may be too large for some users
  • DWR coating not as hydrophobic as some

Gregory Nano Waistpack A waistpack is a great grab-and-go option for carrying phone, keys, snacks, camera, and more, offering the user convenient access to items without the bulk of a backpack or as a means of adding extra carrying capacity at one’s fingertips. The Gregory Nano is a 214 cu. in./3.5 L waistpack that features three zippered pockets, a 1.5 in/3.8 cm wide strap, and a padded “Airmesh” back panel. The back bottom is made of 420D High Density nylon while the pack body is made of 210D Honeycomb CryptoRip nylon.

Read more: Gregory Nano Waistpack review (1)

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Versa

user rating: 4 of 5 (1 review)

Versatility is implied in the name for good reason. HMG refers to the Versa as a Fanny Pack and Pack Accessory with suggested uses far beyond just strapping it around your waist. Wearing it around the chest, like a bandolier, or attached to your pack are just a few of the options. Light at just over 4 ounces with strap and under 3 ounces with strap removed, it makes a nice addition to a pack or great standalone space for shorter adventures. Perfect for carrying items you want easy access to like electronics, first aid, and snacks.

Reasons to Buy

  • Many different ways to use
  • Multiple zippered compartments
  • Exterior stash pocket
  • Belt can be removed
  • Water resistant material and zippers

Reasons to Avoid

  • Big investment for small pack

Updated Oct 27, 2020 after extended testing. Hyperlite Mountain Gear has made a name for themselves over the years with their UL packs and shelters. Folks have come to expect innovation in materials and design as well as ultra light performance. As cutting-edge makers of outdoor gear it makes perfect sense that they would take on the old school "fanny pack" and do their thing. The end result is the aptly named Versa which starts with a traditional look, but lends itself to much more in the way of utility.

Read more: Hyperlite Mountain Gear Versa review (1)

Mystery Ranch Forager Hip Pack

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1 review)

A well made, nice sized pack for everyday and shorter outings.

Reasons to Buy

  • comfortable
  • well made
  • reasonably priced

Reasons to Avoid

  • can't bring the kitchen sink :)

Now that I'm retired I find myself hiking the myriad of single-track trails we have close by daily.   I was carrying a 20 oz handle water bottle and nothing else. I'm pretty dialed in to the weather and what to wear, but would sometimes find I wished I had brought gloves or a beanie or a windshirt or a little more water or a snack, etc. I've got a few day packs that would certainly work, but was looking for something smaller. Enter the Mystery Ranch Forager. A small (2 liter) lumbar pack.

Read more: Mystery Ranch Forager Hip Pack review (1)

Patagonia Ultralight Black Hole Mini Hip Pack 1L

user rating: 4 of 5 (1 review)

$29 for a basic 1-liter fanny pack? Do I really need this? Yes, I do. My Ultralight Black Hole Mini Hip Pack lives in my car's glovebox and is extremely useful for unexpected walks and hikes. Sometimes I find myself with a half hour or hour between appointments or waiting to pick up a kid. If possible, I like to spend those snippets of time outdoors—walking a trail, visiting nearby woods or arboretum, looking for birds and wildlife, and so on. This little hip pack from Patagonia allows me to stow my iPhone, car key, and other items on my person for an unplanned short hike, walk, birdwatching, or photography session. Essentially, I paid $29 for a pocket (with its own tiny pocket), and I'm glad I did.

Reasons to Buy

  • Well-made
  • Lightweight
  • Packable
  • Simple
  • Adjustable
  • Water-resistant
  • Extremely useful

Reasons to Avoid

  • Cost
  • Too simple or small for most uses

This basic hip pack/bum bag is simple, straightforward, and designed to hold the bare essentials whether hiking, traveling, walking, biking, or whatever your interest. front Construction Patagonia's Ultralight Black Hole Mini Hip Pack is well constructed from lightweight 100% recycled body fabric, lining, and webbing. Patagonia says it weighs 100 grams (3.52 oz), though mine comes in at just 77 grams. It's Fair Trade Certified sewn and is weather-resistant with a DWR finish. While it won't keep out a deluge, it is plenty durable and resistant enough for most uses.

Read more: Patagonia Ultralight Black Hole Mini Hip Pack 1L review (1)

Lowe Alpine Mesa 6

user rating: 4 of 5 (1 review)

A comfortable, well designed pack, which can carry the essentials for a day hike, dog walk, or mountain run, in a stable and unobtrusive way.

Reasons to Buy

  • Well designed
  • Solid construction
  • Durable materials
  • Comfortable padding and straps
  • Compressible, in two planes
  • External carry options are a bonus
  • Versatile

Reasons to Avoid

  • No external or internal bottle pocket
  • A little bulky for a smaller person, perhaps?
  • Not super-lightweight

I chose this pack to replace a very old Pod Sac, from my climbing days. That was a minimal nylon bag, with a thin attachment strap. By contrast, 30 years later, this is a clever and complex design, which offers the potential for all-day comfort, fully or partially laden, during strenuous activity or a gentle stroll. The bag is a roomy 6 litres in capacity, with a full width (12-inch) zipped internal pocket against the wearer's back and a 6-inch wide, external zipped pocket on the rear of the bag.

Read more: Lowe Alpine Mesa 6 review (1)

More Reviews of Lumbar/Hip Packs

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Other Types of Backpacks

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Daypacks (under 35L)

Overnight Packs (35-49L)

Weekend Packs (50-69L)

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