The-Best-Hiking-Fanny-Packs-for-Short-Treks-Courtesy-of-Janji

The Best Hiking Fanny Packs for Short Treks

When you're planning to tackle the trails for just an hour or two, ditch the heavy backpack and strap on one of these hiking waist packs instead.
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Once you decide to head outdoors for a short day hike, you probably grab your old college backpack out of the closet, load it with all of your gear, and hit the road without a second thought. But just an hour or two into your trek, that hefty bag — with its thick, non-breathable material — will likely make your back look and feel as sweat-soaked as if you had just raced a marathon. Not cute — nor comfortable.

The solution: Hiking fanny packs (aka hiking waist packs). Lightweight and compact, these bags rest comfortably on your waist and run across your hips (not your entire front or back), don't restrict your arm movement, and are still roomy enough to stash your day hike essentials, such as a map, a compass, a first aid kit, some snacks, your cellphone, and more. To keep you cool and dry, many hiking fanny packs are also equipped with a breathable mesh or honeycombed foam back panel, which promotes airflow and prevents the bag from feeling as if it's actually glued to your body. (Related: The Best Hiking Snacks to Pack No Matter What Distance You're Trekking)

Ready to retire your backpack and say goodbye to your sweat-drenched days? Snag one of these hiking fanny packs before your next outdoor adventure. (Related: Why You Should Do a Big Solo Hike This Year)

Related Items

Mountainsmith Drift Pack
Credit: Amazon

Mountainsmith Drift Pack

Buy It, $50

To ensure you stay hydrated while conquering the mountainside on a hot, sticky afternoon, strap on this hiking fanny pack, which can easily store two 24-ounce water bottles in its side pockets. Along with your H2O, the five-liter bag can also "easily fit a light rain jacket (or compact binoculars), first aid kit, energy bar, headlamp, wallet, keys, [and] small field guide," wrote one reviewer. And if your lumbar region starts to feel a bit too hot for comfort, attach the removable shoulder strap, transform it into a makeshift sling bag, and let your lower back or belly breathe.

WATERFLY Hiking Fanny Pack with Water Bottle Holder
Credit: Amazon

WATERFLY Hiking Fanny Pack

Buy It, $23

This hiking fanny pack may be one of the more budget-friendly options on the list, but the bag's nearly 3,800 five-star reviews prove it doesn't skimp on quality. The hiking waist pack, which is available in 14 colors, is made from a water-resistant nylon fabric that protects your gear from unexpected rainstorms and is equipped with a water bottle holder, allowing you to be completely hands-free while you march across unstable terrain. Plus, its two zippered compartments will help keep all of your hiking essentials (think: phone, keys, wallet, snacks, sunglasses etc.) organized. 

Janji Running Mulitpass Sling Bag
Credit: Janji

Janji Running Mulitpass Sling Bag

Buy It, $40, was $50

Though this hybrid shoulder sling bag and waist pack is technically designed for running, it's tough enough to tackle the trails. The hiking fanny pack is equipped with quick-drying, water-repellent fabric, a hidden back pocket that safely stashes your phone and wallet, and a breathable, honeycombed foam back panel that keeps you cool while it's strapped to your waist. The two-liter main compartment also has a key loop that'll prevent your car keys from getting buried under all your snacks throughout your trek. (ICYDK, Janji also has the stamp of approval from Shape editors themselves.)

L.L.Bean Stowaway Hip Pack
Credit: L.L.Bean

L.L.Bean Stowaway Hip Pack

Buy It, $25

Available in eye-catching colors, such as warm gold and ocean teal, this hiking fanny pack is sure to make you stand out at the crowded summit. The lightweight bag has two pockets, allowing you to keep your sunscreen, bug spray, and hand sanitizer separate from your phone, plus a mesh back panel to keep you cool and comfortable. Once you've finished your loop, tuck the entire hiking waist pack inside its hidden "stowaway" pocket, which makes the bag compact and easy to store. (Heading out for a longer trek? Strap into one of these hiking backpacks instead.)

Osprey Heritage Waist Pack
Credit: L.L. Bean

Osprey Heritage Waist Pack

Buy It, $60

This hiking fanny pack may look like a camera bag from the '80s, but trust, its ample storage space makes it well worth the retro design. Crafted from sturdy recycled nylon fabric, the hiking waist pack has a flap lid that covers two zippered compartments, ensuring your gear is well-protected from the elements, along with compression straps on each side that can be tightened to prevent your essentials from shifting with every step. And thanks to its eight-liter capacity, you can stash your water bottle, rain jacket, first aid kit, sunscreen, and binoculars without a hitch. 

Cotopaxi Coso 2L Hip Pack
Credit: Cotopaxi

Cotopaxi Coso 2L Hip Pack

Buy It, $55

Equipped with not one, but four pockets, this two-liter hiking fanny pack is a necessity for the ultra-organized, real-life Danny Tanners out there. The recycled nylon bag's interior phone pocket is lined with fleece to prevent scratching while you traverse up and down the rocky terrain, and the interior front pocket ensures your wallet is safely stashed throughout your trek — and won't end up on lost on the trail. Out of the woods and in the city, the hiking waist pack is just as useful. "This cross body bag is drip," wrote one shopper. "I've had it for several days now and it rides with me everywhere. I use it in the city as a way to free my pockets up while I commute and it holds everything perfectly in place. I plan to use it when I fly to Europe. Buy it. You won't regret it." (P.S., the brand also makes super breathable face masks for all your outdoor adventures.)

Caraa Hiking Waist Pack
Credit: Nordstrom

Caraa Hiking Waist Pack

Buy It, $110

You can think of this bag as a tool belt for hikers: The water-resistant waist pack is equipped with two water bottle pockets; two tiny, zippered pockets on the sides of the waist to store lip balm, hair ties, a lighter, and other small essentials; a front zippered pocket to stash your phone; and finally, a roomy main compartment to hold your windbreaker, map, and plenty of snacks. Thankfully, the hiking fanny pack is designed with a moisture-wicking mesh back, so even if you're traversing through the desert, the bottom half of your t-shirt won't be soaked with sweat in just a few minutes. (Related: The Best Hiking Snacks to Pack No Matter What Distance You're Trekking)