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Best Bike Fanny Packs – Waist Storage Guide

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An alternative to a sweaty backpack, wearing a fanny pack (also known as a bum bag) is an increasingly popular way to stay hydrated and store equipment when out on the bike. Especially with mountain bikers and gravel enthusiasts.

Don’t let the naysayers put you off trying one. They have stood the test of time against all odds.

Here we take a look at the best bike fanny packs and walk through the features to look out for when choosing the right one for you.

Top Picks at a glance:

9 Best Bike Fanny Packs

1. Osprey Savu Lumbar (Best Overall)

CHECK PRICE AT REI

  • Weight: 10.58oz
  • Storage Capacity: 4 liters
  • Water: Two 600ml bottles (included)

The minimalist design of Osprey Savu belies some great features making it a great pack for riding all day.

Whilst there is no scope for a hydration bladder, the two 600ml water bottle holders have been carefully designed to provide easy on-bike access and can even be folded neatly away when not in use.

In line with most Osprey packs the ventilation stands out thanks to the AirScape lightweight mesh back panel.

Features:

  • AirScape – renowned ventilation to help with sweating.
  • Non-Scratch Compartment – the thin nylon material is designed to keep your smartphone (or glasses) in excellent condition.
  • Foldaway bottle holds – helps to evenly distribute weight on your hips even if you are only carrying one water bottle instead of two

2. Osprey Talon 6 (Best For Space)

CHECK PRICE AT REI

  • Weight: 10.58oz
  • Storage Capacity: 6 liters
  • Water: Twin bottles (included)

Although designed predominantly for walking and running, the Osprey Talon 6 has plenty to offer for mountain bikers.

In terms of storage, there are two convenient zipped compartments on the wings and one large main compartment at the back of the pack that will easily hold a rain jacket and a puncture repair kit.

The deep pad that sits against the back is well ventilated and comfortable. The array of adjustable straps makes it easy to find the comfort sweet spot.

Features:

  • Front Compartment – the small front compartment is a great place for storing your smartphone within easy reach.
  • Hydration – Two flattened 600ml water bottles provide hydration that is secure and comfortable against the back.
  • Comfort – great ventilation and plenty of adjustment to find the most comfortable position.

3. Spurcycle Hip Pack (Most Versatile)

CHECK PRICE AT COMPETITIVE CYCLIST

  • Weight: 8.82oz
  • Storage Capacity: 4 liters
  • Water: N/A

If you have seen the stunning and reassuringly expensive Spurcycle bells then you will have a good idea of what to expect in the Spurcycle Hip Pack. Understated and simple, this pack quietly and brilliantly goes about its business.

Dispensing with all the bells and whistles (pun intended), the clean lines make this pack one of the more stylish fanny packs around.

Features:

  • Dyneema construction – lightweight, tough and doesn’t absorb water making this a pack that will last.
  • High contrast internal compartment – the bright blue liner makes finding equipment, no matter how small, easy.
  • Lightweight – considering the capacity this is one of the lightest packs available.

4. CamelBak Repack LR 4 Hydration Pack (Best Hydration System)

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CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON

  • Weight: 10.58oz
  • Storage Capacity: 2.5 liters
  • Water: 1.5L bladder

Given their heritage, it is no surprise that the CamelBak Repack leads the way in terms of wearable hydration. Turning their attention away from their famous backpacks has paid off and this is a great addition for enduro riders and mountain bikers alike.

It is a vast improvement on its predecessor, the Palos LR4 that suffered from excessive movement when cycling. The new waistband fixes these issues having taken inspiration from hiking packs.

The storage is enough for half-day rides with plenty of room for any tools and mini-pump that you might need as well as nutrition.

Features:

  • CamelBak Reservoir – the reservoir, hose, and mouthpiece of the hydration system are as good as you would expect. Zero leakage and an easy-open lid.
  • Magnetic hose clasp – the long drinking hose is securely held in a convenient location even on the roughest terrain.
  • Waist-belt Pockets – the zippered pocket is great for holding your phone and the fold-over pocket is a great place to store nutrition for easy on-bike access.

5. Cotopaxi Bataan (Best For Sustainability)

CHECK PRICE AT REI

  • Weight: 3.99oz
  • Storage Capacity: 3 liters
  • Water: N/A

It is not often that wearing a fanny pack can also make you feel good about yourself but you can with the Cotopaxi Bataan Fanny Pack.

Not only is it extremely bright and colorful but each pack is made from leftover fabric and offcuts that would otherwise fill up landfills.

Power is also put in the hands of the seamstress making the packs and the upshot is that no two are the same.

What every pack does have in common is a great construction and a thoughtful layout.

Features:

  • Lightweight – if you like to save weight on the bike this pack is a great option.
  • Sustainable – every pack is made from leftover materials without compromising on built quality.
  • Unique – power to the seamstress means every pack is slightly different.

6. Backcountry Mid Mountain (Best Organization)

CHECK PRICE AT BACKCOUNTRY

  • Weight: 11.81oz
  • Storage Capacity: 2 liters
  • Water Two external bottle holders.

Named after a famous Utah mountain bike trail, the Backcountry Mid Mountain 2L Hip Pack is a great choice for shorter rides. There is no internal hydration bladder but the two side water bottle holders are easily accessible.

The main compartment is well organized with plenty of extra straps to secure any loose items that you don’t want rattling out on the trails.

Features:

  • Brilliant organization – there is a strap for everything in the pack to get your tools organized. Tools can be strapped to the inside of the main flap leaving more room for other essentials.
  • Tie-down straps – the external tie-down straps are a great place for packing an extra layer just in case.
  • Stability – the pack stays put even on technical descents.

7. Patagonia Black Hole (Best Budget Fanny Pack)

CHECK PRICE AT REI

  • Weight: 3.5oz
  • Storage Capacity: 1 liter
  • Water: N/A

The Patagonia Ultralight Black Hole Mini Hip Pack is a great little hip pack that is perfectly sized for carrying just your essentials. Not a pack for all-day cycling but one that would great for cycling to the shops when your pockets don’t cut it.

It has everything you would want in a mini pack; a decent sized main compartment for your smartphone and a smaller front compartment for essentials.

Features:

  • Great for travel – the packs folds into its own pocket and is extremely lightweight.
  • Herringbone-webbing strap – durable and comfortable with some neat strap keepers.
  • Nylon ripstop – extremely rugged material making this a pack that is built to last.

8. Evoc Hip Pack

CHECK PRICE AT COMPETITIVE CYCLIST

  • Weight: 11.82oz
  • Storage Capacity: 3 liters
  • Water: Space for 1L bladder and two external bottle holders.

The main compartment of the Evoc Hip Pack is thoughtfully divided into three mesh elastic pockets that make organizing all your tools and gear easy.

With this pack staying hydrated is not an issue. In addition to two external water bottle holders, there is also the option of a bladder

Features:

  • Air Flow Contact System – EVA padding and channeling provide plenty of airflow to keep your lumber region well ventilated.
  • Aero Flex – the nylon fabric waist belt transfers weight efficiently without losing flexibility.
  • Venti Strap- a neat feature that when pulled, the pack is brought tight against the small of the back to keep it more secure on demanding downhill sections.

9. USWE Zulo

CHECK PRICE AT COMPETITIVE CYCLIST

  • Weight: 13.40oz
  • Storage Capacity: 6 liters
  • Water 2L water bladder (sold separately)

Turning their attention from motos to mountain bikes, the USWE Zulo 6L Waist Belt has a minimalist design that manages to somehow hide an abundance of organizational pockets for neatly carrying gear.

Hydration is achieved through a 2L bladder that is sold separately but you can easily fit a bottle in the main compartment if you are looking to save costs.

Features:

  • LED light attachment – great safety feature for attaching a light to get home safely in the dark. The reflective details also help.
  • Banana shape – Helps to keep the bag secure against the bag and avoid excessive movement.
  • Compression straps – keep everything neat and tidy and stop loads moving around.

Features To Look For When Choosing A Fanny Pack For Cycling

Hydration

The integration of hydration and storage is the main selling point of fanny packs.

There are two main ways to store fluids in a fanny pack. The traditional method uses pouches to hold water bottles, usually two.

The other method of carrying fluids is using an integrated hydration bladder. Most people are familiar with CamelBak products. A bladder holds the liquid and can be drunk using a long, flexible straw.

Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages in terms of capacity and ease of use. Although hydration bladders seem a neat feature, some riders still prefer bottles.

Storage

The amount of storage you need depends on the type of riding your do.

Extra external compartments on the wings of the pack are great for quick access to essentials without having to stop.

If you are only doing short rides then it makes sense to look for a smaller fanny pack that has enough storage for some gels and tools.

For longer trips, you can get fanny packs with up to 7L of storage for spare clothes and hydration combined.

features of a fanny pack for bicycles
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Layout

For cycling, the best fanny packs have smaller external compartments that are easy to access.

These are great for keeping things like your phone and nutrition close at hand.

Extra compartments are also great for storing any fragile equipment, like cameras, away from the junk that tends to fill the main compartment.

Safety

Reflective details help to keep you seen in low light and it is always great if a pack comes with a rear light mount.

Style

It might seem odd to talk about style when it comes to fanny packs but it does vary significantly from one pack to the other.

Some have a more minimalist design that looks great on and off the bike whereas others have pockets and compartments coming out of every available space.

Comfort

Since you are looking at alternatives to rucksacks, it goes without saying that any fanny pack you choose should be comfortable on the bike. This means no hip chafing or digging into your stomach when you are pedaling along.

Although very much a personal choice since everyone’s body is different, you should look for a broad, soft waist strap with good ventilation.

What Are The Alternatives To Wearing A Bike Waist Bag?

There are endless possibilities when it comes to carrying equipment. Water bottles can be stored in cages on the bike. Spares can be placed in a discrete saddlebag or top tube bag. Phones can be stored in jersey pockets.

Countless on-bike storage racks are also great for carrying equipment and it is often better to let the bike take the weight rather than your hips.

Bike vests are also a popular choice for carrying fluids and tend to distribute the load better than fanny packs but storage space is limited.

Video: Hydration Pack Vs. Fanny Pack

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Ok To Wear A Hip Pack With A Road Bike?

Judged on the heated debate on cycling forums, wearing a hip pack on a road bike is a divisive subject.

This is a sport that obsesses over sock length after all.

If it works for you then don’t let anyone stop you but the increased drag will inevitably slow you down.

Are Fanny Packs Comfortable To Wear When Cycling?

Fanny packs tend to be more comfortable than a backpack since your back is free to breathe.

How Important Is Ventilation When Riding A Bike With A Hip Pack?

Compared to a backpack, ventilation is less of an issue. More important is sweat absorption with some fanny packs excelling at staying dry no matter how hard you are working.

Final Words

Riders that boldly choose to ditch the rucksack and try a fanny pack rarely look back. They can still carry all the equipment they need and stay hydrated without worrying about a sweaty and uncomfortable back.

The minimalist design and outstanding ventilation make the Osprey Savu the pick of the bunch. It also has little features like the non-scratch pocket and the fold away bottle holders that make it such a well-executed pack for cyclists.

If you have ditched the CamelBak rucksack but still want the same easy access to hydration then the CamelBak Repack is an obvious choice. The new waistband design fixes any excessive movement on the hips and the hose is always where you need it.

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Mark W
Mark W
I’m a cycling enthusiast, and the founder and chief editor of Bike Push. If I’m not working on this website, then I’m out on the bike clocking up the miles. I want to help others get the most out of cycling.

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