n a nutshell, there are three main types of hiking waist packs. Large, medium, and small waist packs all differ in storage capacity. The biggest difference between these three sizes is that small waist packs won’t be able to hold water bottles. Continue reading below for a more in depth review between these various size packs.
Large Waist Packs
Large hiking waist packs offer the most amount of storage. They can typically hold at least two water bottles, and have plenty of zippers and pockets for extra storage. Most of these large packs will also have a shoulder strap or carrying handle. As this helps you avoid keeping the weight in one place. Remember there will most likely be a weight limit for specific products, as you can only carry so much weight around your body.
Medium Waist Packs
Medium sized waist packs offer less storage, but are still highly effective for hiking. These packs won’t have an added shoulder strap, but many will have a carrying handle Where large packs might only have internal storage compartments, medium packs will have external storage for water bottles. You can typically hold two water bottles (one on each side of the pack). The specific product linked above includes padded straps for added comfort.
Small Waist Packs
- Compared to the other two sizes, small waist packs hold the least amount of gear and should only be used for short hikes. If you don’t need to bring food, small waist packs are perfect for storing your cell phone and car keys. Cell phones keep getting bigger and it can be annoying to feel that weight in your pocket with each step you take. The smallest size pack you should use is a running belt .It’s perfect for holding the essentials, but won’t weigh you down in the process.
Items You Can Pack
You might be able to get away with bringing more items in a regular backpack, but when it comes to wast packs to need to pack even smarter. So what kind of items can you store in hiking waist packs? The smaller the better. Below I’ll list compact gear that’s the perfect size for waist packs.
- Cell Phone – Many hiking waist packs have pockets specifically made for cell phones. They will stay in place and won’t slide around while walking. the smallest pack that allows you to carry your cell phone.
- Keys – Even when going on a short hike, you’ll still need to bring your car keys or house keys. I don’t recommend it, but even when not bringing food or water, a waist pack should at least hold your cell phone and keys.
- Compact Snacks – You’ll need to be concise as possible when packing your waist pack. This is where compact snacks come in handy. If you plan on bringing food, choose granola bars, nuts, or dried fruit.
- Bandages – These items take up very little space and you’ll be glad to have them when you need them. Make sure to take the bandages out of the cardboard box before packing, so they take up less space.
- Sunscreen – Try bringing a small bottle of sunscreen in your hiking waist pack. Small tubes will be anywhere from 3 – 6 ounces – which is the perfect amount for a day hiking trip. There’s no need to bring a full sized bottle.
- Bug Spray – Similar to sunscreen, it’s always a good idea to bring along bug spray for your hike. Make sure it’s a miniature bottle – somewhere around 3-6 ounces. And always apply it to your body before you leave the house.