All the rage in the ’90s and the topic of much ridicule in the decades since, hip/waist/fanny packs are almost certainly here to stay. Heck, more than that — they’re making a strong comeback. From fishing to trail running and travel to bike commuting, fanny packs prove endlessly versatile and useful.

Our expert gear testers have been reviewing fanny packs since 2021, carefully researching dozens of models before choosing 20 of the best on the market to put to the test. Five new fanny packs have been added to the lineup for 2024, and each pack in this review has been carried around over the course of several weeks and over dozens of miles by our testers — from the Sierra mountaintops to the Washington coast, to the local dog park and farmer’s market. 

Even the skeptics among us have to admit fanny packs are pretty great. Whether you want to carry a snack, pack your phone, stash hydration, or speed through airport security, a fanny pack helps you do it all without the hassle of slipping shoulder straps or unreachable zippers.

Whether you’re looking for a technical pack to fit all the essentials on your next hike, or you’re looking for a more basic model to tote around town, our selection covers it all. And each model has been measured in categories such as capacity, carry, and comfort. 

At the end of our comprehensive review, you’ll find our buyer’s guide with helpful tips on how to find the best fanny pack to fit your needs. We’ve also included a specs chart for comparing bags and an FAQ section.

Editor’s Note: We updated our Fanny Packs guide on March 13, 2024 to add a new selection of bum bags, including the versatile REI Co-op Trail 2, the trail-run-ready Black Diamond Pursuit 6, and the do-it-all Gregory Nano Waist Pack.

The Best Fanny Packs of 2024


Best Overall Fanny Pack

  • Capacity
    2 L
  • Dimensions
    11.5” x 5” x 2”
  • Weight
    4.3 oz.
  • Number of pockets
    Two plus main compartment

The Best Fanny Packs of 2024


  • Made from recycled materials with a DWR finish

  • Back stash pocket for valuables

  • Simple and versatile for town-to-trail


  • DWR coating but no waterproof zippers

  • On the small side

Best Budget Fanny Pack

  • Capacity
    2.5 L
  • Dimensions
    6” x 12.5” x 4”
  • Weight
    4 oz.
  • Number of pockets
    One main zippered, one front

The Best Fanny Packs of 2024


  • Lightweight

  • Comes in many different colors and patterns

  • Affordable


  • No inner security pocket

  • No breathable mesh back

Best Running Fanny Pack

  • Capacity
    0.25 L
  • Dimensions
    12″ x 6″ x 5″
  • Weight
    6 oz.
  • Number of pockets
    One zippered stretch, one water bottle

The Best Fanny Packs of 2024


  • Minimalist running pack for water and essentials

  • Light

  • Comfortable and ergonomic fit with minimal bounce

  • Includes a water flask

  • Angled bottle holder allows for one-handed access


  • Very small capacity

  • No pocket for storing a jacket

  • Expect some bounce while running

  • Specialized, sporty look

Best Everyday Lightweight Fanny Pack

  • Capacity
    1 L
  • Dimensions
    8″ x 4.75″ x 2″
  • Weight
    3.5 oz.
  • Number of pockets
    Two zippered

The Best Fanny Packs of 2024


  • New version is made from all recycled materials

  • Can stuff into its own pocket making

  • Made of 70-denier, 100% recycled ripstop nylon for durability and weather resistance

Best Backpacking Fanny Pack

  • Capacity
    2.5 L
  • Dimensions
    9″ x 5″ x 3″
  • Weight
    3.5 oz.
  • Number of pockets
    One zippered, one drop-in

The Best Fanny Packs of 2024


  • Highly customizable

  • Can be worn five different ways

  • Made by thru-hikers, for thru-hikers

  • High-quality materials


  • Certain accessories sold separately

  • Interior pockets are quite small

  • No exterior pocket

Best Around-Town Fanny Pack

  • Capacity
    1.7 L
  • Dimensions
    6.5″ x 8″ x 2″
  • Weight
    5.7 oz.
  • Number of pockets
    Two zippered

The Best Fanny Packs of 2024


  • Large capacity

  • Simple and stylish

  • Made of high-quality recycled materials

  • BAGGU will send a strap extender for free

Best Mountain Biking Fanny Pack

  • Capacity
    3 L
  • Dimensions
    11″ x 7.1″ x 3.1″
  • Weight
    15.2 oz.
  • Number of pockets
    Two zippered front, two zippered hipbelt, and two stretch mesh

The Best Fanny Packs of 2024


  • Comfortable waist wrap

  • The pack stays super secure

  • Tons of room for water and supplies

  • Additional water bottle sleeves

  • Waterproof phone pocket


  • Pack runs warm

  • Storage might not be enough for true all-day epics

  • Spooky phone pocket placement

Best of the Rest

  • Capacity
    6 L
  • Dimensions
    25” x 5.5” x 3.5”
  • Weight
    8 oz.
  • Number of pockets
    4+ main compartment

The Best Fanny Packs of 2024


  • Very comfortable, BD continuous fit harness

  • Large carrying capacity

  • Side pouches for water bottles

  • Lightweight


  • Waterproof zipper flap can make the main zipper hard to open quickly

  • Capacity
    3.5 L
  • Dimensions
    13” x 5.5” x 4”
  • Weight
    7.4 oz.
  • Number of pockets
    2+ main compartment

The Best Fanny Packs of 2024


  • Spacious

  • Breathable back panel

  • Great as a waist pack or cross body bag


  • No loop to hold the long tail of the waist band

  • Not waterproof

  • Capacity
    2 L
  • Weight
    6.5 oz.
  • Dimensions
    N/A
  • Number of pockets
    1+ main compartment

The Best Fanny Packs of 2024


  • Comes with removable 14 oz hydration flask

  • Extra crossbody strap helps limit movement while running

  • Hidden back panel pocket


  • Awkward to wear with torso strap

  • Less comfortable and convenient than a running vest

  • Strap can chafe neck when worn crossbody as intended

  • Capacity
    6 L
  • Weight
    14.4 oz.
  • Dimensions
    10” x 8” x 6”
  • Number of pockets
    3+ main compartment

The Best Fanny Packs of 2024


  • Women’s and men’s versions for tailored fit

  • Large capacity

  • Padded bottle sleeves

  • Made with high quality materials


  • Can get heavy quickly to the point where a daypack might be a better choice

  • Water bottles not included

  • Capacity
    9 L
  • Dimensions
    13″ x 9″ x 9″
  • Weight
    1 lb., 6 oz.
  • Number of pockets
    One external zippered, one internal zippered

The Best Fanny Packs of 2024


  • Very large capacity can fit all your fishing essentials

  • Nylon with a PU face coating and a TPU back coating makes this a durable and waterproof pack

  • Exterior loops and webbing for additional gear carry space


  • Expensive

  • Large, technical fanny pack not meant for everyday wear

  • Can get heavy if packed full, making it more difficult to hike with

  • Capacity
    3 L
  • Dimensions
    11″ x 5.5″ x 3″
  • Weight
    4 oz.
  • Number of pockets
    One zippered

The Best Fanny Packs of 2024


  • Great carrying capacity for everyday use or for quick day hikes or dog walks

  • Stylish, fun colors

  • Made of repurposed nylon


  • Thin webbing hipbelt

  • Can’t order specific color combinations – each bag is unique

  • Capacity
    9 L (Men’s), 6 L (Women’s)
  • Dimensions
    11.5″ x 10″ x 5″
  • Weight
    1 lb., 9 oz.
  • Number of pockets
    Three external, two water bottle, two hipbelt

The Best Fanny Packs of 2024


  • Large capacity

  • Water bottle pockets

  • Comfortable, padded back

  • Front compression attachment system for stashing a jacket


  • Bulky

  • Can get heavy if packed full

  • Not an everyday fanny pack

  • Capacity
    2.25 L
  • Dimensions
    2.25″ x 6″ x 9″
  • Weight
    3 oz.
  • Number of pockets
    One zippered main, one front, one back stash

The Best Fanny Packs of 2024


  • Ultralight

  • Made of waterproof, high-quality materials

  • Compatible with backpack waist belts and sternum straps


  • Expensive

  • Good for backpacking or everyday wear but not enough features for a day hike

  • White model gets dirty quickly

Fanny Pack Comparison Chart

Fanny Pack Capacity Dimensions Weight Number of Pockets
REI Co-op Trail 2 Waist Pack 2 L 11.5” x 5” x 2” 4.3 oz. Two plus main compartment
Jansport Fifth Avenue
Fanny Pack
2.5 L 6” x 12.5” x 4” 4 oz. One main zippered, one front
Nathan Peak Hydration
Waist Pack
0.25 L 12″ x 6″ x 5″ 6 oz. One zippered stretch, one water bottle
Patagonia Ultralight Black
Hole Mini Hip Pack
1 L 8″ x 4.75″ x 2″ 3.5 oz. Two zippered
Thrupack Summit
Bum Classic
2.5 L 9″ x 5″ x 3″ 3.5 oz. One zippered, one drop-in
BAGGU Fanny Pack 1.7 L 6.5″ x 8″ x 2″ 5.7 oz. Two zippered
EVOC Hip Pack Pro 3L 3 L 11″ x 7.1″ x 3.1″ 15.2 oz. Two zippered front, two zippered hipbelt, two stretch mesh
Black Diamond Pursuit 6 Waist Pack 6 L 25” x 5.5” x 3.5” 8 oz. 4+ main compartment
Gregory Nano Waist Pack 3.5 L 13” x 5.5” x 4” 7.4 oz. 2+ main compartment
Nathan Limitless 2 Liter Sling 2 L N/A 6.5 oz. 1+ main compartment
Osprey Talon & Tempest Waistpack 6 L 14.4 oz. 10” x 8” x 6” 3+ main compartment
Patagonia Guidewater
Hip Pack
9 L 9 L 1 lb., 6 oz. One external zippered, one internal zippered
Cotopaxi Bataan 3 L 11″ x 5.5″ x 3″ 4 oz. One zippered
Mountainsmith Tour
Lumbar Pack
9 L / 6 L  11.5″ x 10″ x 5″ 1 lb., 9 oz. Three external, two water bottle, two hipbelt
Hyperlite Mountain Gear
Versa Fanny Pack
2.25 L 2.25″ x 6″ x 9″ 3 oz. One zippered main, one front, one back stash

How We Tested Fanny Packs

The staff of GearJunkie has been around the block, and we aren’t afraid to admit we’ve been on the fanny pack train for a while now. From carrying essentials on day hikes to mountain bike laps where a backpack would be cumbersome, fanny packs make our outdoor adventures more enjoyable, and we’ve come to know a good pack when we see one.

Our testers have been researching the best fanny packs on the market since 2021, combing through dozens of models before choosing the 20 in our current review to put to the test. We made sure to include a variety of styles, from casual to sophisticated, technical to burly, keeping in mind that many different people use fanny packs for a variety of reasons, and wanting our review to reflect that. 

Each product was tested over the course of several weeks, with our testers based on the flanks of the Sierra Nevada mountains and on the Washington coast. To keep the testing standardized, we wore each pack for at least 5 miles, carrying an average of 3 lbs in each. This testing regimen will be used each time we test a new pack to add to the review, ensuring you get the best idea of each pack’s real-world feel and best application. 

Our lead tester, Miya Tsudome, has over 10 years of experience with gear in the outdoors. With extensive reviews of a plethora of gear under her belt, she knows the best ways to put a fanny pack to the test. Carefully assessing metrics such as carry style, capacity, compartments, and sizing, Miya made sure each pack was measured against the same categories.

Our testers also made sure to evaluate the materials, seams, buckles, waist belts, and zippers of each model, as well as loaded each of them up with a similar load of accessories to test their comfortability. Read on in our guide below to find out more about how each stacked up.

Buyer’s Guide: How to Pick the Perfect Fanny Pack

Now that you’ve seen how awesome fanny packs are, you want one but don’t know which to choose. Here are a few considerations to help you pick the perfect pack.

Primary Use

First and foremost, how do you plan to use your pack? Do you need something sleek for travel or a carryall for hiking? Or is water capacity of utmost importance? These are important considerations.

What you’ll use your fanny pack for the most will determine what type of fanny pack to buy. Take care to look at each pack’s specifications closely, as some of them will specialize in a certain activity, while others are more hybrid.

Compact or mid-sized? More pockets or less? There are many things to consider when choosing your next fanny pack; (photo/Miya Tsudome)

Fanny Pack User Profiles

The Backpackers & Hikers: The day-hiker will want to choose between a small pack to carry their phone, wallet, keys, and a snack, or look into purchasing a bigger pack with pockets for water bottles and space for a layer. Backpackers will typically use a fanny pack as a small accessory pouch for items that are nice to have easily accessible, such as sunscreen, GPS devices, bug spray, etc. 

Some packs like the Thrupack Summit Bum Classic and the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Versa are made specifically for backpacking, and can even be integrated into a backpack’s waist belt. The Patagonia Ultralight Black Hole Mini Hip Pack is perfect for going on a hike where you just want to carry the bare essentials, and the Black Diamond Pursuit 6 and the Osprey Talon & Tempest Waistpacks are our top choices for when you want a pack that can carry a lot more. 

BAGGU Fanny Pack Strap
The BAGGU Fanny Pack is made to be carried as both a fanny and a shoulder bag, and the strap can be extended to accommodate all frame sizes; (photo/Miya Tsudome)

The Casual Users: Fanny packs are now ubiquitous for men and women alike, and are undeniably useful for carrying around the day’s essentials without resorting to a bag or overstuffed pockets. The casual user will want to look for a pack that is between 1 and 2.5 liters in capacity, with 3 liters bordering on too big to carry around all day comfortably. Choosing a fanny pack that can also be worn across the body will increase the functionality of this everyday carry. Other features to look for are a key leash, front pockets for organization, and a separate back pocket to keep valuables close to your body. 

Style is likely an important consideration for those seeking a daily driver as well. For the more casual, color-appreciating user, the Fjallraven Kanken Hip Pack is a good choice. The BAGGU Fanny Pack comes in a variety of colors and patterns, and is also our top choice for “Best Around-Town Fanny Pack.”  

The Mountain Bikers: A solid waist pack is a great addition to the mountain biker’s kit. Backpacks tend to get very sweaty and often are overkill for what most bike enthusiasts may need on a ride. A fanny pack with a stretchy waistband, breathable back panel, pockets for small water bottles, and enough capacity to fit snacks, sunscreen, and some small bike tools will be the perfect companion on your next trail ride. 

The EVOC Hip Pack Pro 3L is a great specialized pack that even includes a 3L bladder to make sipping water an easier affair. We also love the Black Diamond Pursuit 6 with its stretchy, comfortable waistband for long rides.  

Plenty of space for bike tools in mountain-bike-specific fanny packs; (photo/Paul Mandell)

The Runners: Let’s be real, running with any sort of bag on your body isn’t the most ideal. But when you start increasing the mileage, carrying some water and some nutrition becomes important. Runners will want to look for a fanny pack that has either integrated water bottles or flasks, or a dedicated place to securely put your own bottle. You’ll want the bottle or bottles to be small so as not to feel cumbersome or slosh around too much as you trot, and you’ll want a comfortable, secure waistband that keeps everything in place for wherever the trail takes you. 

Nathan is an athletic brand that makes fanny packs specifically for the dedicated runner. The Nathan Peak Hydration Waist Pack is a great minimalist pick that includes a water bottle, hugs the body securely, and has enough space for a few essentials. If you’re looking for a bit more space, the Nathan Limitless 2 Liter Sling is a good bet.

Wearing your fanny pack on your back works well for most applications as shown here with the Black Diamond Pursuit 6, but some packs can be worn in different ways; (photo/Miya Tsudome)

Carry Style

While the classic way to wear a fanny pack is on your hips with the bag facing the front, there are actually a few different ways to wear one which will change based on the weight of the pack, personal preference, or activity.

Larger bags for everyday use can be great to wear across the body. Some packs in our review, like the Thrupack Summit Bum or Hyperlite Mountain Gear Versa, can be fitted onto your backpack hip belt or attached to your bike as a bike bag. Some packs are heavy and are better worn on the back of the hips rather than the front for less awkward carrying.

ThruPack Summit Bum Classic Fanny Pack Carry Styles
The Thrupack Summit Bum can be worn a full five different ways, making it a very versatile fanny pack; (photo/Miya Tsudome)

Capacity

Not all fanny packs are created equal. It’s important to note the capacity of a pack before purchasing and also look at the number of pockets the pack has to make sure it’s going to fit your needs. We tested fanny packs ranging from ultra-lightweight to the 9-liter Mountainsmith Tour and Patagonia Guidewater Hip Packs.

Some packs only have one major compartment, while others have a variety of pockets, pouches, and even water bottle holders. Consider what level of organization you’re looking for in a fanny pack.

Consider what you will be carrying in your fanny pack. A few snacks and your phone and wallet? Or do you need something that has more space like in the Gregory Nano pictured here; (photo/Miya Tsudome)

Compact

A compact fanny pack ranges in size from around a 1-liter capacity to 2.5 liters. A fanny pack traditionally falls around these sizes, while bigger packs are sometimes referred to as “waist packs.” Being compact allows for a more comfortable carry throughout the day, as the weight they can hold is limited. Many fanny packs of this size can also be worn across the body, providing a different carry style.

This size pack is typically limited in the number of pockets it has, and is usually just big enough for a few small accessories. The BAGGU Fanny Pack, REI Co-op Trail 2, and Patagonia Ultralight Black Hole Mini Hip Pack are great compact packs that you’ll find yourself grabbing for your everyday carry. But if you want to carry around a full-size water bottle, eBook, or a light layer, you’ll have to delve into sizes beyond 2.5 liters. 

Mid-Sized

Mid-sized fanny packs can range anywhere from 3 to 9 liters in size. These packs are typically more technical, and can be valuable for specific activities that require packing more accessories like hunting, fly fishing, mountain biking, or hiking. Mid-sized fanny packs will sometimes have thicker, padded waistbelts to enable you to carry weight more comfortably, and tend to have a variety of pockets, water bottle holders, and compression systems. 

The Gregory Nano and Cotopaxi Bataan are the larger casual packs we tested, both being 3 liters. The Black Diamond Pursuit 6 and Osprey Talon sit in the middle range at 6 liters, and the Patagonia Guidewater and Mountainsmith Tour Lumbar Pack are the largest in our roundup with their 9-liter capacities.

The Osprey Talon & Tempest Waispacks are mid-sized with a 6-liter capacity; (photo/Miya Tsudome)

Materials

While nylon is a popular fanny pack material, it certainly isn’t the rule. Many innovative packs utilize high-tech fabrics to gain water resistance and durability or simply add some flash.

The 600D ripstop polyester of the Jansport Fifth Avenue Fanny Pack is a tough weave; (photo/Miya Tsudome)

On the technical side of the spectrum, the Dyneema composite material of the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Versa gives it exceptional durability, while the TPU of the Patagonia Guidewater Hip Pack makes it 100% waterproof. We were also impressed with the Jansport Fifth Avenue Fanny, which is a budget pick still made with 600-denier ripstop fabric — a highly durable material.

Fanny packs also often integrate other textiles into their design to add special functionality, such as a stretch mesh used in a water bottle pocket or a neoprene divider that adds structure to the pack.

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Versa Fanny Pack Material
The Hyperlite Mountain Gear Versa is made from Dyneema Composite Fabric, a high-tech textile that is very strong and waterproof; (photo/Miya Tsudome)

Compartments

From zippers to drop pockets to water bottle hostlers, there are a number of different ways to tote around your kit in a fanny pack. In any zippered pocket, look for high-quality YKK brand zippers that will last longer than their generic counterparts. Some will even be water-resistant.

A drop pocket won’t have any type of closure to keep things secure, but often these can be handy for quickly tossing a phone into while you’re out and about. We also greatly appreciated whenever a fanny pack included an internal compartment with a key loop to clip our keys to.

Straps

Because most fanny packs can only carry so much (the average across the packs we tested was 3.5 L), large padded waist straps aren’t often needed. Many will use a simple webbing hipbelt, brought together with a single side-press buckle.

There are some fanny packs, like the larger Mountainsmith Tour, that offer slightly more padding in their straps and even include pockets that add to the overall capacity. We also especially appreciated the adjustable elastic and Velcro waist wrap of the mountain bike-specific EVOC Hip Pack Pro 3L.

The stretchy, breathable waistband on the Black Diamond Pursuit 6 does a great job moving with your body; (photo/Miya Tsudome)

Sizing

It’s always a good idea to take your measurements and check the pack specs. Most bags fit a variety of people, but some packs don’t cinch down small enough for petite packers while others run surprisingly small. Measuring will help you pick the right pack for your body to maximize success and comfort.

Now it’s time to buckle up and get ready for a life of fanny-pack adventures. We’ll even let you call it a lumbar bag or hip pack if it makes you feel better. Just get out there and enjoy the awesomeness that is hands-free packing, whatever the activity.

The elastic waist wrap on the EVOC Hip Pack Pro makes it amenable to moving around on a bike; (photo/Paul Mandell)

FAQ

You can wear a fanny pack however you like! There are a number of different ways you might choose to saddle up your fanny pack, including across your waist (with the pack at the front or back) or worn as a crossbody bag.

Worn at the front of your waist can provide quick access to essentials, while a fanny pack worn at the back carries better if you choose to run with your pack. There are also fanny packs, like the Thrupack Summit Bum, designed to integrate with your backpack hipbelt.

It all boils down to geographic slang! While calling it a fanny pack or waist bag is common with American English speakers, British English speakers will often call them bum bags. Other terms we’ve come across include lumbar packs, hip packs, and rump rucks (all right, we made that one up).

In many ways, fanny packs often are safer than purses when it comes to traveling internationally where pickpockets may be an issue. Because they are buckled around your waist as opposed to slung over a shoulder, they are much more connected to your body.

Fanny packs, often by default, will close with a zippered entry, which while not 100% secure can be a deterrent to prying eyes. And positioned at the front of your waist, fanny packs allow you to keep your valuables in view at all times.

It would be simple to say nylon, but the truth is there are a variety of textiles fanny packs can be made from that lend themselves to different uses. There are even different types of nylon. For example, TPU-backed nylon creates a 100% waterproof pack that is ideal for fishing.

Also, consider the Cotopaxi Bataan, a fanny pack made from 100% repurposed nylon.

Fanny packs are exceptionally useful for activities where you might want quick access to a number of essentials. From backpacking trips where you might store a map, compass, and a snack to exploring a new city and keeping your wallet and boarding pass secure, fanny packs are made to make things easy to grab on the go.

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