The most important thing to bring for any longer-lasting outdoor activity is water. If you know that you will be passing by sources of drinkable water on your trip, you don’t have to bring much more than a half-liter bottle, but otherwise, it is crucial to bring enough water to stay sufficiently hydrated. This is especially important on warm summer days where you can easily become dizzy or disoriented when dehydrated. How much water you need depends on your speed, body weight, and the weather. As a general rule, you should drink 33ml of water pr. kg bodyweight pr. day, but more when you are exercising and/or in a very warm climate. For this list, we have prioritized waist packs which can carry 1 liter of water or more. The majority of them come with water bottles or hydration reservoir included, but you can, of course, replace with your favorite bottles of aluminum etc.
Lumbar waist packs for hiking should be made out of durable materials and offer some basic weather protection. The back panel should, like on a backpack, provide some ventilation.
Although waist packs self-evidently can only contain a few accessories and a snack besides water containers, they should have conveniently placed pockets which allow you to arrange your necessary gear.
Lumbar waist packs can easily be worn by both genders – no matter the model. A few brands, like for example Osprey, have made slightly diverging models for men and women respectively, but we would dare to suggest that any women’s model can be worn by a male and vice versa. This is not to diminish the efforts of Osprey and others, but simply due to the fact that lumbar waist packs are meant for carrying relatively small loads, unlike backpacks where it might be smart to choose a model that serves your body shape best.