BIKEPACKING.com    GEAR INDEX

Handmade Hip Packs for Bikepacking

Once reserved for enduro riders and dawdling tourists, hip packs (also known as fanny packs or bum bags) have become increasingly popular in recent years. Here’s our Gear Index of over 30 handmade hip packs—mostly made in North America—along with some insight on why they’re practical for bikepacking, what to look for when picking one, and how to make a DIY camera insert...

Originally posted in July 2019; recently updated Jan 2024

Most of us on the team try to leave the backpack at home when we ride, but some situations demand the use of a small pack. Shy of a full-on backpack, a hip pack presents the perfect place for hauling a camera, a few extra snacks, a lightweight layer, and other essentials handy. Hip packs offer that little extra packing space without feeling cumbersome or restrictive, and they won’t irritate your shoulders or back throughout a long day of pedaling. Best of all, their dimensions make them hard to overpack, so you can focus on riding, not your (dis)comfort on the bike.

We’ve recently seen a huge surge of hip pack options, many of which are manufactured in North America by some of our favorite bikepacking bagmakers. To help you navigate the growing number of options, we compiled this list of around 30 hip packs we’ve either used extensively or heard good things about. Find it below, accompanied by some thoughts on when to use a hip pack and how to pick the one best suited to your needs.

  • Rockgeist Big Dumpling
  • Handmade Hip Packs for Bikepacking
  • Nittany Mountain Works Hip Pack Deluxe Review

Hip Packs for Bikepacking (Uses)

Here are three valuable uses for a hip pack.

Carrying a Camera

Hip packs make great camera bags. After years of riding down rugged roads and bumpy trails, camera gear takes a beating while mounted to handlebar bags and stem bags. Logan has killed two DSLRs in the last few years, and Josh and Lucas have killed their share of point-and-shoots. The constant vibrations and bumps from the bike don’t mix well with sensitive electronics, and with the potential to damage expensive gear, why not take it off the bike completely? Transferring your small mirrorless or larger digital camera to a hip pack is a great way to keep things relatively safe yet accessible. A quick rotation of the pack to your front provides fast and easy access to your camera. No camera-specific padding in your pack? No worries. Toss a small packable layer inside or invest in (or make, see below) a padded camera insert if your pack is large enough.

Hauling Water

If your frame bag is reserved for your camp kitchen and food or your bikepacking rig isn’t blessed with mounts for hauling a Nalgene or Klean Kanteen, a hip pack can literally be a lifesaver. Many of the hip packs below can easily hold up to a 1L water bladder and, with an extended drinking hose, can be ideal for drinking on the go. A few packs include separate bottle holders, which we’ve found particularly useful for tackling dry sections or carrying an extra fizzy drink before heading to camp. Water is one of the heaviest parts of a bikepacking pack list, so taking time to figure out where you will carry yours is worth some extra thought. Hip packs with a suspension system or elastic built into the hip strap and wider padding are likely your best option for carrying water.

The Essentials

Even if toting a camera or extra water isn’t necessary, a hip pack makes a great place to carry the essentials on long day rides and bikepacking trips, such as an ultralight rain jacket, a few energy bars, your wallet, and a cell phone. It can be a great place to carry those little essentials that can get lost in frame bags or items you’d like quick access to, whether on or off the bike. We’ve found it useful to keep a bit of cash, a passport/ID, and other such items that are best to have at hand. A hip pack also makes a great accessory for carrying essentials off the bike when traveling abroad. If you stop in a city for a few days of rest, it’s not always advisable to leave valuables in your hotel or hostel; that’s where the hip pack shines. Toss it over your shoulder, and it becomes a small sling bag.

If you like to use a hip pack in other ways, let us know in the comments below. Without further delay, here are over 30 handmade hip packs we’ve tested or heard good feedback about. As always, the hexagon “T” icon indicates bags we’ve used personally, and we’ve included additional photos, a mini review, and pros and cons after extensive testing.

  • €80
    Blind Chic Budapest Goliath

    Blind Chic Budapest Goliath

    • Type: Roll-top hip pack
    • Volume: 2L +
    • Made of: Waxed cotton
    • Made in: Hungary

    Tested by Cass Gilbert

    The Hungarian made Goliath Hip pack is just that… a goliath! The website lists it as 2l, but that’s with it tightly rolled down, as it feels much bigger when loaded full.

    Construction is on the stout side with excellent quality throughout. The back is lightly padded, with a wide hip support and narrow hip belt, and two metal D rings for closure. Once you’re used to it, it’s a very easy system to loosen and adjust, though actually threading the belt strap through can be time-consuming. Also, because the belt is rather long, it needs to be tucked into its sleeve, which is fiddly. As a result, the Goliath isn’t especially quick to actually put on and take off; in practice, I found it easiest just to loosen off the bag and ‘step in and out’ of it, which works very well, even if it looks a touch unconventional… On the other hand, there’s nothing to fail and it’s certainly a lot better looking than and more sustainably-made than a belt that uses a big plastic buckle.

    • blind-chic-budapest-goliath hip pack
    • blind-chic-budapest-goliath hip pack

    Similarly, metal D rings hold the roll top down; because there’s a velcro closure too, you don’t actually need to roll it each time, just folding it over will do. Like the belt, it takes a moment to get used to but once you figure it out, it’s refreshingly simple and satisfying: it’s just a case of quickly loosening the straps off and pushing them to one side.

    • Blind Chic Budapest Goliath Review
    • Blind Chic Budapest Goliath Review
    • Blind Chic Budapest Goliath Review

    Detail wise, there’s both an outside pocket and an internal zippered pouch. Because the bag is lined, I found it mostly waterproof too, given the roll and the use of waved cotton canvas. Lacking from a cyclist’s point of view is a LED tab. I’d also note that unlike more ‘technical’ bike-specific hip packs, it feels a bit bulky and heavy. I’d love to see a similar design using a lighter, more packable fabric (in the interests of sustainability, maybe something that’s been repurposed) to make it more performance orientated.

    This said, part of Blind Chic’s ethic involves creating bags that not only look good but are built to last and can be repaired – that’s definitely waved cotton canvas and metal buckles for you. All in all, this is certainly a unique bag that’s cleverly designed and sewn with love and attention. There’s a number of really nice colorways available too.

    • blind-chic-budapest-goliath hip pack
    • blind-chic-budapest-goliath hip pack
    • blind-chic-budapest-goliath hip pack
    • blind-chic-budapest-goliath hip pack
    • blind-chic-budapest-goliath hip pack

    The Goliath hip pack is made to order, those interested should contact Blind Chic directly to learn more.

    • Weight: 500 grams (17.6 oz)
    • Price: €80
    • Place of Manufacture: Hungary
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
    contract Close
  • $175
    Exile Designs Fannie Packer

    Exile Designs Fannie Packer

    • Type: Hip Pack / Handlebar Bag
    • Volume: 3.5 liters
    • Made of: VX-21 X-Pac
    • Made in : USA

    Tested by Miles Arbour

    Part hip pack, part handlebar bag, the Exile Designs Fannie Packer was quick to make it onto this list and I’m happy to report that the hype is well deserved. Exile Designs is a small one-person company based out of Colorado. The first round of Fannie Packers sold out almost immediately.

    The Fannie Packer may look pint sized compared to some of the other hip packs in this list, however it’s the size and unique design that makes it comfortable to wear all day long. Made of VX-21 X-Pac, the main compartment features a weatherproof zipper, and some stretchy elastic to keep things organized inside. On the outside, another small zippered sleeve provides a great place to store quick access items like a phone or credit card. On the hip straps, two cylindrical pouches securely hold standard water bottles when extra water storage is needed. Like other packs listed here, there isn’t much internal padding for contents, so if you’re interested in carrying a camera, a padded insert or some cushion is advised. Otherwise, it’s excellent for extra layers and snacks.

    • Exile Designs Fannie Packer
    • Exile Designs Fannie Packer

    Even with a small mirrorless camera and two bottles of water, I found the bag extremely comfortable last summer during the Julian Bikepack Challenge. Its wide hip straps with built in elastic and slim design makes the Fannie Packer my personal favourite of the several hip packs I’ve tried. It’s versatile enough to be used on extended bikepacking trips, but not overkill for long day rides.

    Each Fannie Packer is made-to-order, so your best bet is to reach out to Exile Designs directly to see if they can fit you in. Pricing starts at around $175.

    • Exile Designs Fannie Packer
    • Exile Designs Fannie Packer
    • Exile Designs Fannie Packer

    Pros

    • Comfortable, well-designed hip strap
    • Fantastic design, truly unique
    • Slim to back, yet spacious

    Cons

    • Availability
    • Price is a little higher
    • Weight: 200 grams (7.1 oz)
    • Price: $175
    • Place of Manufacture: Colorado, USA
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
    contract Close
  • $70CAD
    Farsik Waist Bag

    Farsik Waist Bag

    • Type: Zippered Hip Pack
    • Volume: 2 liters
    • Made of: Cordura
    • Made in: Canada

    Tested by Miles Arbour

    Farsik, a small bag manufacturer based out of Victoria, British Columbia, is perhaps best known for their cylindrical handlebar bag that’s often spotted on gravel bikes and bikepacking rigs around BC. The Farsik Waist Bag shares a similar overall design, providing just enough packing space for a small camera, light jacket, or a cellphone and snacks. A large main compartment, accessed via a waterproof zipper, features a key clip, an internal pocket for organizing small items, and a fluorescent green liner that makes keeping track of its contents that much easier. The secondary face pocket is large enough to slip in a few granola bars and a cell phone. It features the same waterproof YKK zipper. A small length of webbing provides exterior lashing options, perfect for a small rear light or GPS tracking device.

    • Farsik Waist Bag
    • Farsik Waist Bag
    • Farsik Waist Bag

    There isn’t much in the way of padding or a focus on overall comfort, as the hip strap is simple and small, plus the back of the pack is no more than a layer of Cordura. But when packed strategically, or when reserved for long day rides and commuting, the Farsik Waist Bag will likely be a popular option for those looking to support a small Canada-based manufacturer. I found the overall design and aesthetics of the bag to be quite appealing, and Emily has grown quite fond of this pack because of its smaller size and fun colour options.

    Pros

    • Simple, attractive design
    • Made in Canada
    • Great colour options

    Cons

    • Only ideal for lighter loads
    • Smaller than we prefer for bikepacking

    Looking for something larger? Check out the Farsik Hip Pack Pro, at 4.3L with compression straps and a large front flap.

    • Weight: 225 grams (7.9 oz)
    • Price: $70CAD
    • Place of Manufacture: British Columbia, Canada
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • $135
    High Above Lookout Pack

    High Above Lookout Pack

    • Type: Zippered Hip Pack
    • Volume: 2.5 Liters
    • Made of: VX21 X-Pac
    • Made in: USA

    Tested by Neil Beltchenko

    The Lookout Pack is a product of many years of trial and improvements. They have a winner in their latest iteration. This dual compartment hip pack comes with plenty of bells and whistles that will intrigue bikepackers as well as serve your day ride or work commute needs.

    Dual zippers accompanied with long zipper pulls will greet you into the main compartment. This spacious compartment tightly fit my Sony A6500 and my largest e-mount telephoto lens, and its interior padding helped keep it from annoying my lower back. Interior pockets on the front and back of the bag separate personal items, including a small key chain loop for must not lose items.

    • High Above Lookout Hip Pack review
    • High Above Lookout Hip Pack review
    • High Above Lookout Hip Pack review
    • High Above Lookout Hip Pack review

    A small but convenient zipper on the front of the pack provides access to a small compartment where you will find a couple of individual pocket sleeves inside. My wallet, camera batteries, along with some spare zip ties typically lived here. The oversized hip straps and buckles helped create a nice stable fit and allowed me to twist the bag to the front of my body for easy access to my camera, however, the non-locking buckles would loosen up over time on my skinny waist. To alleviate that, you may consider their aftermarket Cobra Buckle upgrade.

    The most unique feature just might be the Lookout’s removable water bottle mount. The pack comes with two sets of daisy chains on each side of the hip strap in which allow the separately sold Malice Clip and High Above’s Bottle Rocket to be connected. The Install took a bit of figuring out but it was nice to add or remove depending on water needs, and the new V2 Bottle Rocket should help hold the bottle in place better. While the water storage is nice, It conveniently fit my full repair kit, excluding tube and pump in my Angry Catfish Keg.

    After testing this hip pack, it’s clear they have been making these bags for over four years now. Thoughtful design, durable materials, and stable fit got my precious cargo through some rugged terrain. The Lookout Pack is available in a variety of color combos, too.

    • High Above Lookout Hip Pack review
    • High Above Lookout Hip Pack review

    Pros

    • High density padding on the back, really helps protect high dollar items (camera)
    • Stable fit over rough and rocky terrain
    • Exterior pocket got plenty of use, especially for wallet and snacks

    Cons

    • Non-locking hip straps/buckles would loosen over time
    • Water add on was a bit confusing to install, and felt unbalanced when used
    • Weight: 259 grams (9.1 oz)
    • Price: $135
    • Place of Manufacture: Bellingham, WA
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • $95
    Hunter Cycles Waist Basket

    Hunter Cycles Waist Basket

    • Type: Zippered Hip Pack
    • Volume: 3 liters
    • Made of: X-Pac, Cordura, or Waxed canvas
    • Made in: Canada

    Tested by McCullen Murphy

    The Hunter Waist Basket is made specifically for Hunter Cycles by Porcelain Rocket in Alberta, Canada. The design is simple and timeless, offering approximately three litres of storage, which translates to four 12oz fizzy drinks. The Waist Basket recently saw an update, adding a bungee cord lash system on the top of the pack—great for stowing a light layer when not in use. An interior pocket, key clip, and waterproof zipper provide enough organization without making things complicated. The Waist Basket is available in a variety of colours and fabric options, including a few different camo patterns, coloured cordura, X-pac, and even waxed canvas! McCullen Murphy has been using a Hunter Waist Basket for some time now, so we picked his brain for some thoughts below.

    • Hunter Cycles Shred Pack
    • Hunter Cycles Shred Pack
    • Hunter Cycles Shred Pack
    • Hunter Cycles Shred Pack
    • Hunter Cycles Shred Pack

    “The Hunter Waist Basket. The name really says it all in this case, a minimalist pack intended for trail shredding! Low on features yet high in style points, this hip pack offers one large compartment with generous storage space likely designed around the portage of a six pack. When applied to bikepacking the lack of internal division can lead to a somewhat jumbled mess if not carefully organized but it can indeed carry an impressive amount of stuff given its larger volume. The narrow nylon hip strap is not the most stable nor comfortable when heavily laden with gear over long distances. This sleek offering is best suited to carrying a few essentials for shorter outings with an emphasis on getting rad!”

    Pros

    • Minimal, yet functional
    • Large, wrap-around zippered opening
    • Bungee for extra layers

    Cons

    • Narrow waist strap
    • Limited options for organization
    • Price: $95
    • Place of Manufacture: Alberta, CA
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
    contract Close
  • $195
    Mission Workshop The Axis

    Mission Workshop The Axis

    • Type: Zippered Hip Pack
    • Volume: 2.5 Liters
    • Made of: 500d Nylon (TPU)
    • Made in: USA

    Tested by Colt Fetters

    The Mission Workshop Axis is a bike specific waist pack that doesn’t scream “I RIDE BIKES!” With its minimalist aesthetic and slim profile, this pack can easily pass as street garb when slung over the shoulder or strapped around the waist. When riding, it’s sleek enough for you to completely forget it’s even there. Which is the reason most of us choose hip packs over backpacks in the first place.

    While I normally gravitate to larger bags, always wanting to carry as much as possible, I’ve enjoyed the compact size of the Axis. The size allows the pack to keep everything close to your body for a more comfortable feel. At 2.5 liters of capacity, there’s enough room for a small repair kit and a light jacket. This is a minimalists hip pack with a couple of hidden frills. The pack features a mini U-lock holder, a key clip, and an internal zippered compartment for things like a credit card.

    • Mission Workshop Thew Axis hip Pack
    • Mission Workshop Thew Axis hip Pack
    • Mission Workshop Thew Axis hip Pack
    • Mission Workshop Thew Axis hip Pack
    • Mission Workshop Thew Axis hip Pack

    Handmade in the USA, this seemingly simple bag has a trick up its sleeve. The Axis is compatible with their Arkiv Backpacks, allowing the pack to be attached to the back of their backpacks. The ultra-thin waist belt tucks inside the hip pack so that four clips can be attached then slid onto the rails of one of their backpacks for additional storage. While I don’t have one of their Arkiv backpacks to test this system, I can see how it would be useful. For instance, I carry a backpack when commuting to work but enjoy using a hip pack during lunchtime rides, this system would work well for this specific purpose.

    The laser-cut plastic liner on the back of the pack disperses pressure points nicely while the waist gussets are wide enough to support a decent amount of weight. The straps are a bit skinny for someone who like me, spends too much time eating pasta and gelato. They tend to pinch bellies of a more gelatinous nature. The pack is built from high tenacity nylon and uses a floating interior lining. In addition, a urethane coated zipper ensures the Axis is durable and weatherproof without compromising style.

    With a $195 price tag, this is definitely not the cheapest bag in the lineup. However, it’s hard not to enjoy the classically simple aesthetic of this pack. If you’re looking for a compact waist pack that can hold up to inclement weather, this just might be the one for you.

    Pros

    • Minimalist, sleek aesthetic
    • Compact and comfortable
    • Laser cut plastic liner holds bag’s shape

    Cons

    • Waist strap is narrow
    • Pricey, at $195 USD
    • Weight: 227 grams (8 oz)
    • Price: $195
    • Place of Manufacture: California, USA
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
    contract Close
  • $76
    Nittany Mountain Works Deluxe Hip Sack

    Nittany Mountain Works Deluxe Hip Sack

    • Type: Zippered Hip pack
    • Volume: 3.9
    • Made of: 1000D Cordura Nylon
    • Made in : USA

    Tested by Cass Gilbert

    The Nittany Mountain Works hip pack has pretty much stayed stuck to my hips during most of my waking hours these last few months. I’ve found its size — 5x15x9cm (2″x6″x3.5″) spot on for either a mirrorless camera and a short lens, or just snacks, a wallet, and other day-to-day sundries. It’s barely noticeable around your waist when lightly packed, and it’s more discreet than larger offerings. And the big chunky zipper makes it really quick to get into.

    • Nittany Hip Pack Deluxe Review
    • Nittany Hip Pack Deluxe Review
    • Nittany Hip Pack Deluxe Review
    • Nittany Hip Pack Deluxe Review
    • Nittany Hip Pack Deluxe Review

    Elsewhere, there’s enough padding to be comfy, without making me feel overly swaddled. The daisy chain is handy to hang a carabiner (ti mug dangle, anyone?), some keys, or an LED when I’m commuting. I like having two very usable pockets but because neither is waterproof, I do tend to stash a thin waterproof dry bag for winter use. Only the back is padded – there’s no sign of abrasion at all, after months of use – so for the way I use it, I add in the lightly padded insert from a Revelate Egress when I’m carrying my camera (see image). Detailing also includes two metal side clasps to cinch the bag down, which helps stabilise it for heavier loads. Build quality is excellent – the purple Cordura is now well worn and grubby from use but the stitching is holding strong.

    • Nittany Hip Pack Deluxe Review
    • Nittany Hip Pack Deluxe Review

    One comment I’d make is that the wide waist straps are velcro backed across their length. Although this means that there’s no chance that they’ll slip, it also means I couldn’t make quick adjustments on the bike — say, when I stop want and want to loosen off the bag a touch, to swing it around in front of me. Or if I want to let my stomach breath a little after some food, then make sure it’s snug against my back for a burly descent. It might not be a big deal for you, but it’s worth mentioning.

    It’s a great look bag, in a retro kind of way. And it’s super customisable, as Nittany offer a huge range of colour swatches, with all kinds of options for stitching, pocket, and daisy chain combinations. In theory, I’m guessing it’s possible that no two bags are ever the same! There’s also a smaller version, the Half Sack… which is half the size.

    Lastly, the Nittany workshop is 100% solar powered, which is very cool too, and orders generally ship within three days, so no long lead times to worry about.

    • Price: $76
    • Place of Manufacture: Philipsburg, PA
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
    contract Close
  • $85
    North St. Bags Pioneer Hip Pack

    North St. Bags Pioneer Hip Pack

    • Type: Hip Pack / Handlebar Bag
    • Volume: 1.5 - 5.7L
    • Made of: X-Pac
    • Made in: USA

    Tested by Miles Arbour

    Portland’s North St. Bags is a small business that celebrates their own in-house manufacturing by “lowering the barriers between the process and the end user.” Besides a growing selection of duffels and backpacks, North St. Bags also offers a number of bicycle specific products including panniers, tool rolls, panniers, and more. The Pioneer Hip Pack is offered in three sizes, ranging from 1.5L to 5.7L.

    • North St. Bags Pioneer Hip Pack
    • North St. Bags Pioneer Hip Pack

    A rugged VX-42 X-Pac fabric provides great durability and protection from the elements, while heavy duty waterproof zippers and oversized pulls make accessing a small camera or cell phone quick and easy. The optional $12 handlebar kit adds two velcro straps, complete with quick release buckles, and an adjustable headtube strap. The waist strap, also removable, is simple and unpadded. It suits light loads over heavier cameras or water bladders. A zippered internal pocket with two dividers provides some organization, and large velcro strips on the opposing side can accept one of two available pocket add-ons as well.

    • North St Bags Pioneer Hip Pack
    • North St Bags Pioneer Hip Pack
    • North St Bags Pioneer Hip Pack

    Overall, The Pioneer 9 Hip Pack is a very versatile pack, and can be used in multiple ways, but is definitely better suited to lighter, smaller loads that deserve protection from rain and freak snow storms. The Pioneer hip pack is available in three different sizes, a variety of colours, and is stylish enough to be used for daily commutes or longer bikepacking trips. Don’t see a color you like? North St. Bags will whip up something custom for you with about a two week turnaround.

    Pros

    • Simple design
    • Made in USA
    • Many colour options

    Cons

    • Only ideal for smaller, lighter loads
    • Very basic waist strap
    • Weight: 180 grams (6.3 oz)
    • Price: $85 (Pioneer 9)
    • Place of Manufacture: Oregon, USA
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
    contract Close
  • $105
    Outer Shell Hip Slinger

    Outer Shell Hip Slinger

    • Type: Roll-Top Hip Pack
    • Volume: 1.5-3L
    • Made of: Cordura or X-Pac
    • Made in: USA

    First, the Hip Slinger features a roll-top main closure to provide expansion and compression, depending on what’s inside. The total volume can vary from from 1.5L to 3L. Secondly, instead of relying on standard buckles or velcro to secure the roll-top, the Hip Slinger features two elastic cords that anchor the roll-top for quick access and adjustment. Each cord hs a plastic hook that fastness around a D-ring at the bottom corner on both sides. A large perimeter zipper also provides access to the main compartment for easy access. The Hip Slinger also has several interior pockets to help organize contents. The Hip Slinger is constructed from a water resistant PU coated Cordura main fabric, Rubberized Hypalon side “wings”, and an air mesh back panel.

    • outer shell hip slinger review
    • outer shell hip slinger review
    • outer shell hip slinger review

    Pros

    • Comfortable
    • Practical and functional design
    • Low key aesthetic

    Cons

    • Inner compartments don’t seal
    • Weight: 340 grams (12 oz)
    • Price: $105
    • Place of Manufacture: California, USA
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • $110
    Oveja Negra Royale Hip Pack

    Oveja Negra Royale Hip Pack

    • Type: Roll-top Hip Pack
    • Volume: 4+ liters
    • Made of: X-Pac
    • Made in: USA

    Tested by Logan Watts

    Made in Salida, CO, Oveja Negra’s Royale is a unique and elegant take on a hipsack. This was the second hip pack I tried and I immediately fell in love with it. Honestly, out of the four hip packs in this roundup that I tested, I found the Royale to be the easiest to use. Here’s why. First off, Oveja Negra nailed the Royale’s simple roll-top closure. It has just one compression strap and an easy to operate buckle. The roll top itself isn’t too long and has a small strip of velcro that keeps it in place as you roll it, without the buckle connected. However, when bounding down the rough stuff, it usually won’t stay in place without the buckle.

    • Oveja Negra Royale Hip Pack Review
    • Oveja Negra Royale Hip Pack Review
    • Oveja Negra Royale Hip Pack Review
    • Oveja Negra Royale Hip Pack Review
    • Oveja Negra Royale Hip Pack Review

    Second, the bag’s interior is the perfect size; It holds about four liters according to Oveja—although I think it’s a little larger—and it fits my DIY camera insert (see bottom of post) and Sony A7III like a glove (with a rather large lens). It also has room to spare; on several occasions I’ve carried an extra lens in it as well as other odds and ends. Generally speaking, it handles a lot of weight pretty well and can carry as much or more than many of the other packs listed here without getting too floppy. This is partially owed to the closed cell foam reinforced hip wings. In comparison to the other bags I tried, it uses a firmer and more rigid internal foam panel. It also has nicely implemented side compression straps that can be tightened to further pull the load in at the sides, which helps keep it stable and secure. It features a 1 1/2″ waist belt, which seems pretty common amongst most of these bags. There is one downfall to the design. With larger loads, the top buckle placement sits just on the rolled top, placing it an angle which causes it to loosen if the cam lock isn’t engaged. Overall, this is a non-issue that I just noticed once or twice, but not something to be too concerned about considering it has a locking buckle.

    • Oveja Negra Royale Hip Pack Review
    • Oveja Negra Royale Hip Pack Review
    • Oveja Negra Royale Hip Pack Review

    Other features on the Royale include an interior zippered pocket, which I’ve found handy for a wallet, spare SD cards, and other small items. Furthermore, like other Oveja Negra packs, the Royale comes in an array of colors, including, “Wack Pack,” as shown here. This color combo isn’t set in stone, though. The wizards at Oveja Negra simply create them at their own whim, so it’s always a surprise, and they always look pretty rad.

    What’s to Like

    • Large volume and easy roll-top opening
    • Bright, funky color combo options
    • Nice strap design and compression system
    • Reflective logo

    Weaknesses

    • Not waterproof
    • Roll-top buckle placement can be awkward with larger loads
    • Weight: 293 grams (10.3 oz)
    • Price: $110
    • Place of Manufacture: Salida, CO
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
    contract Close
  • $105
    PackNW Ridgeline Roll-top Hip Pack

    PackNW Ridgeline Roll-top Hip Pack

    • Type: Roll-top Hip Pack
    • Volume: 4 liters
    • Made of: 1000d Cordura or X-Pac VX21
    • Made in: USA

    Tested by Cass Gilbert and Colt Fetters

    Pack NorthWest—no doubt in part due to their geographic location—says that the beauty of their hip pack “is in carrying just what you need, but if you find some mushrooms on the side of the trail or stop for beer on the ride home, the Ridgeline Roll-top has you covered.” I have yet to find edible mushrooms on my current ride, but this hasn’t stopped me making the most of the roll top design to stuff it with extra supplies and a light layer. Size wise, it’s listed as being 12″(w) x 3″(d) x Approx. 8″(h) when packed, with the roll-top expanding to 12″ when open. There’s over a half dozen colors on offer; but I do rather like the Grey-Teal Xpac color way on my test bag.

    • Pack NW Ridgeline Review
    • Pack NW Ridgeline Review
    • Pack NW Ridgeline Review
    • Pack NW Ridgeline Review
    • Pack NW Ridgeline Review

    In terms of organisation, the Ridgeline features a big main pocket, a couple of inner sleeves, and a zippered front sleeve, helpful to keep things from jangling around. The back is well padded with a big wide belt and buckle for a comfortable fit. I passed it over to Nancy for six weeks while bike touring and travelling in Europe, and she found it a comfortable, roomy pack that’s light on the scales too, making it very versatile for both on and off the bike. We even slung it around her handlebars and rested it on her handlebar roll, if your waist needs a break (given the size, it’s tempting to overload it). Build quality is excellent.

    Colt’s Take

    The extra wide waist gussets distribute weight nicely and are lightly padded for extra comfort. Typically hip packs have to be packed purposely to be comfortable, with soft/moldable goods against the body. The padded back adds a little comfort when carrying rigid items like a pump or a camera. My one gripe is with the width of the waist belt. It’s just a bit skinny for comfort. A wider belt would distribute weight better, especially when filling the bag to its fullest.

    • Pack NW Ridgeline Review
    • Pack NW Ridgeline Review
    • Pack NW Ridgeline Review

    The Rolltop is a personal choice over a zipper. I noticed it can be a bit cumbersome compared to a zipper, especially when trying to access the interior contents with one hand. The zippered exterior pocket is nice for accessories that need to be accessed quickly. I keep things like my bike tool or cell phone for ease of access. The interior has a couple of separate pockets as well to keep your items separate. Usually, I use these for important items that I want to keep on my person, like a credit card or even a passport when traveling abroad.

    At $105, you’re getting an awful lot of pack from Ridgeline. With its modern look, comfortable fit, and voluminous capacity, it’s sure to become a favorite amongst bikepackers.

    Pros

    • Great attention to detail and quality for $100
    • Comfortable, extra-wide hip straps
    • Handmade in USA, several color options, and rear light tab

    Cons

    • Waist belt is a little narrow
    • Tempting to overload it, given its size
    • Weight: 278 grams (9.8 oz)
    • Price: $105
    • Place of Manufacture: Bellingham, WA
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • $130
    Randi Jo Fabrications Portage Hip Pack

    Randi Jo Fabrications Portage Hip Pack

    • Type: Roll-Top Hip Pack
    • Volume: 5L
    • Made of: Waxed Canvas
    • Made in: USA

    In true Randi Jo fashion, they kept the Portage Hip Pack design minimal but utilitarian. The waist strap has two adjustment points to make swinging the pack to the front quicker and easier, a ladder lock buckle on the right side of the strap for quick adjustments, a roll-top closure, and a magnetic Fidlock buckle on top.

    The bag’s main body is reinforced with foam padding, the exterior zippered pocket has an expandable inverted pleated pocket, and there’s a second zippered pocket on the inside for small personal items. With the waist strap tucked into the side pockets, webbing on the back and bottom of the bag enables it to double as a small handlebar bag. It looks like it could hit a sweet spot for hauling cameras, and Eric has been using his to carry around his photo setup with his longest lens without issue.

    • Randi jo Fabrications Hip Pack
    • Randi jo Fabrications Hip Pack

    The Portage Hip Pack was included in Logan’s 2023 Summer Editor’s Dozen roundup, and here’s what he had to say about it: “It’s a really nice design that’s worked very well with my Fuji X100V. We also used it on a recent scouting trip in Colorado to haul an extra lens, swapping out a 24-70 f/2.8 and a 70-200 f/4. It had plenty of room to spare and can easily carry a full-frame mirrorless camera with a decent size lens.”

    Pros

    • Very well made and durable with a lovely aesthetic
    • Good volume for smaller mirrorless cameras
    • Side compression straps makes for easy access
    • Large wing designed small form factor is comfy

    Cons

    • Hard to close tightly due to short strap
    • Not big enough for larger camera
    • Weight: 362 grams (12.8 oz)
    • Price: $130
    • Place of Manufacture: Oregon, USA
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • $165
    Rockgeist Big Dumpling

    Rockgeist Big Dumpling

    • Type: Roll-top Hip pack
    • Volume: 6 liters
    • Made of: PU-coated 420D
    • Made in: USA

    Tested by Logan Watts

    Originally made by Porcelain Rocket, the Dumpling hip packs (Big and Little; 6 and 3 liters, respectively) add to Rockgeist’s growing line of seam-welded, fully weatherproof bags. The Big Dumpling is the only hip pack listed here that’s 100% weatherproof; note the “weatherproof” designation instantiates that it’s not submersible. But, based on using it quite a bit, I will attest that it’s pretty much waterproof. That means, no matter the deluge, contents will remain dry. That fact alone will convince a lot of photographers looking for a hip pack for camera-carrying duties. And, this is the main reason that it has been my choice hip pack for bringing on longer multi-day trips and shorter ones where weather was questionable. This includes our weeklong trip in Ethiopia, a recent trip in Montana, and several others.

    • Porcelain Rocket big Dumpling Hip Pack Review
    • Porcelain Rocket big Dumpling Hip Pack Review
    • Porcelain Rocket big Dumpling Hip Pack Review
    • Porcelain Rocket big Dumpling Hip Pack Review
    • Porcelain Rocket big Dumpling Hip Pack Review

    Similar to Rockgeist’s 52hz frame pack, Horton handlebar system, and Nigel handlebar bag, the Big Dumpling is neatly designed and constructed with their own “LightBlack” PU-coated 420D fabric. Having extensively used several of the aforementioned bags over long periods of time, I can certainly back the waterproofness and durability of this fabric and construction. And, like those other bags, the Big Dumpling is designed around a roll-top closure which has a sewn in plastic stiffener to make it easy to roll.

    Similar to Nigel, it has a single elastic cord which loops around a replaceable plastic hook to keep it in place. The plastic hook is the one thing on the bag I was worried might break, but I’ve had no problems with it over 1,000+ miles of use. That said, if I did, it’s replaceable and would be an easy fix out on the trail. One other thing to note is that when the Big Dumpling was loaded with my DIY camera insert (see below), the double elastic straps were quite tight and put a lot of tension on the clip. I ended up removing the smaller elastic strap which gave it the perfect amount of tension.

    • Porcelain Rocket big Dumpling Hip Pack Review
    • Porcelain Rocket big Dumpling Hip Pack Review
    • Porcelain Rocket big Dumpling Hip Pack Review

    The fact that it’s waterproof is not all that sets the Big Dumpling apart. It’s also quite large, both in volume and its strap framework. The structured hip wings and belt are larger than the other two bags I tried, which make it the most capable of carrying heavy loads. I often loaded it up with a full-frame Sony A7III and two large/fast prime lenses, among other things. This resulted in a 2 kg (4.4 pound) load, which the Big Dumpling still handles really well. The larger wings and belt also make it quite comfortable and stable.

    • Porcelain Rocket big Dumpling Hip Pack Review
    • Porcelain Rocket big Dumpling Hip Pack Review

    Other features include an internal cell phone/wallet sleeve, MOLLE webbing along hip wings for additional accessories, and front and bottom accessory loops for adding carry straps for extra clothing, a fishing rod, knee pads, etc. All this coupled with the quick-access roll-top closure and the burly/waterproof construction adds up to a highly capable hip pack that is without a doubt the best-in-class for protecting gear from the elements. As such, the Big Dumpling is most often my choice hip pack for carrying a camera on a big trip, or even a small one when weather is questionable. The Big Dumpling weighs 413 grams and fits up to a 42” waist. Like all other Rockgeist bags, it’s made in the US.

    Pros

    • It’s completely waterproof
    • Massive volume; excellent for a large camera
    • Compression straps, large wing design, and big 2” strap/buckle makes it very stable under load

    Cons

    • Might be a little bulky for smaller riders or small loads (but there’s always the regular Dumpling).
    • Weight: 377 grams (13.3 oz)
    • Price: $165 (Big Dumpling)
    • Place of Manufacture: North Carolina, USA
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • $198
    San Util Design Whirlpool Hip Pack

    San Util Design Whirlpool Hip Pack

    • Type: Roll-Top Hip Pack
    • Volume: 6L
    • Made of: X-Pac
    • Made in : USA

    The San Util Design Whirlpool Hip Pack is a roll-top hip pack with a variable 3.5L to 6L volume and a 100% recycled fabric construction. Winter Park, Colorado-based maker Adam Nicholson dreamed up four versions of the Whirlpool to accommodate a broad range of pedal-powered pursuits from day riding to racing to loaded bikepacking. The Base is a standard roll-top hip pack and weighs in at 335 grams. The Race has a 1.5L bladder and a removable sleeve and weighs in at 488 grams. The Alpine prioritizes internal space, includes two bottle holsters, and weighs in at 422 grams. The Bikepacker, which is the model we tested, includes two bottle holders, the removable bladder, and a utility cord to lash extra gear to. It’s the heaviest and most feature-rich option at 575 grams. Find our review here.

    • San Util Design Whirlpool Hip Pack Review
    • San Util Design Whirlpool Hip Pack Review
    • San Util Design Whirlpool Hip Pack Review

    Pros

    • Generous water capacity
    • Overstuffed design maximizes capacity
    • Variety of customizations and models

    Cons

    • Secure phone-specific pocket would be handy
    • Bikepacker model is expensive when the costs of all features are tallied
    • Weight: 422 grams (14.9 oz)
    • Price: $198
    • Place of Manufacture: Colorado, USA
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • £195
    Wizard Works Hobgob

    Wizard Works Hobgob

    • Type: Zippered Hip Pack
    • Volume: 4.8L
    • Made of: Cordura
    • Made in: UK

    Deriving its name from hobgoblin, a mischievous household spirit from English folklore, the new Hobgob is Wizard Works’ first hip pack. They gathered rider feedback to inspire a design that combines the fit and comfort features of big brands with the home-grown aesthetic they’re known for.

    • Wizard Works Hobgob Hip Pack Review
    • Wizard Works Hobgob Hip Pack Review
    • Wizard Works Hobgob Hip Pack Review

    The Hobgob features a main zippered compartment, a smaller front zippered pocket with a weather flap, and an optional Bottle Pocket that attaches to MOLLE webbing on the hip straps. The pack is constructed from a burly 500-denier Cordura fabric (although the version I tested is made from 1000-denier Cordura), super thick spacer mesh on the back and hip straps, and a low-profile magnetic waist strap buckle from Fidlock’s Hook range. The inside of the pack is lined with high-vis nylon, the main compartment has two mesh organizer pockets and a key ring, and the smaller pocket has a length of elastic daisy chain to hold smaller items in place.

    Pros

    • Handmade in London, UK
    • Impressive build quality and attention to detail
    • Large capacity with organization options
    • Plush padding and large hip straps makes for a comfortable fit, even when fully loaded
    • Magnetic “hook” Fidlock buckle is the slickest we’ve used
    • Lots of color options, including full custom colors and strap length

    Cons

    • Possibly too big for some riders’ needs
    • Not waterproof
    • One of the most expensive hip packs we’ve seen at £195 (~$240 USD)
    • Spacer mesh likes to attract dirt and grime, which is sometimes hard to clean out
    • Weight: 425 grams (15 oz)
    • Price: £195
    • Place of Manufacture: London, UK
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • £145
    Wizard Works Oglah

    Wizard Works Oglah

    • Type: Zippered Hip Pack
    • Volume: 2.2L
    • Made of: Cordura
    • Made in: UK

    The overall design and shape of the Oglah and Hobgob are nearly identical, and that’s no coincidence. According to Harry, they knew early on that they “couldn’t make one hip pack that did it all and that they would need to develop more than one bag to provide for the range of uses we wanted to cover.” The Oglah shares the Hobgob’s wide padded hip wings, offset buckles that don’t dig into the user, breathable spacer mesh on the back, and the same magnetic Fidlock buckle. Both bags have MOLLE webbing on the hip straps for their optional Bottle Pocket, which is attached using two plastic Blackhawk Speed Clips that weave through the bag and pocket webbing for a secure attachment. Instead of a cinch or elastic cuff, the bottle pocket uses an elastic cord with a chunky zipper-style pull that wraps around the top of the bottle. The pocket has some structure to make getting the bottle in and out easier. We only used one during our test period, but you can run two additional bottles when needed.

    • Wizard Works Oglah Hip Pack Review
    • Wizard Works Oglah Hip Pack Review
    • Wizard Works Oglah Hip Pack Review

    Unlike the Hobgob, the Oglah has no additional exterior pocket and a single interior Ultra Stretch fabric sleeve instead of two mesh pockets. At 2.2L, the Oglah is about half the size of the Hobgob, which Wizard Works says makes it better for “trail shredding and carrying essentials.” The Oglah still has thick spacer mesh on the back, but they got rid of the contoured air-flow channel in the center. Read our full review here.

    • Weight: 315 grams (11.1 oz)
    • Price: £145
    • Place of Manufacture: London, UK
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • $75CAD
    Alpine Threadworks Cox Fanny MTB Hip Pack

    Alpine Threadworks Cox Fanny MTB Hip Pack

    • Type: Roll-Top / Zippered Hip Pack
    • Volume: 6L
    • Made of: X-Pac
    • Made in : Canada

    The Alpine Threadworks Cox Fanny MTB Hip Pack is handmade in Canada, made-to-order, and is named after a classic Alberta ride that owner/maker Neil first rode way back when he was 12. Pricing ranges from $75 to $250+ depending on what features are selected. There are options for a bladder system/port, upgraded zippers, hip pockets, additional exterior pockets, and each pack is made from 100% recycled EPX X-Pac, Dyneema ripstop, and massive made in Canada YKK zippers.

    • Price: $75CAD
    • Place of Manufacture: Alberta, Canada
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • $125
    Bedrock GreySill Hip Pack

    Bedrock GreySill Hip Pack

    • Type: Zippered Hip Pack
    • Volume: 2L
    • Made of: CORDURA/X-Pac
    • Made in: USA

    First released back in 2018, the Bedrock Bags Greysill Hip Pack was updated in 2023 to make it slimmer and easier to access without sacrificing the stability it’s known for. Version two has the same generous volume and stable design as the original but with a few tweaks to make it more low-profile and easier to access on the go. The Greysill still has an exterior flap/storage space but it no longer covers the main zippered compartment, which means both are easily accessible. The main compartment offers 2L of storage, an internal sleeve pocket, and a two-way zipper for those running a bladder/hydration hose. The Graysill v2 has an adjustable waist strap that fits people with a body circumference between around 28-48″. It comes in five stock colors and can be made in a custom color for an additional $40.

    • Weight: 280 grams (9.9 oz)
    • Price: $125
    • Place of Manufacture: Durango, CO
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • $130
    Buffalo Bags Bar & Ale

    Buffalo Bags Bar & Ale

    • Type: Roll-Top Hip Bag / Handlebar Bag
    • Volume: 11.5L
    • Made of: X-Pac, Cordura, or Canvas
    • Made in: Thailand

    The Buffalo Bags Bar & Ale Hip Pack is a roll-top hip pack that doubles as a handlebar bag. “Ale” means “hip” in Thai, so the name seems fitting. The Buffalo Bags Bar & Ale Hip Pack uses a magnetic Fidlock buckle on the main waist strap, the straps tuck away behind the padded rear panel for handlebar mode, and there are side compression straps to keep the bag tight to your body. There are also several daisy chains along the front of the bag for lashing gear to and one side pocket for quick-access items. The Bar & Ale Hip Pack provides 11.5L of storage, is made from X-Pac, Cordura, canvas, and a 210pu ripstop liner, and its dimensions are 10″ x 15.5″ x 4.5″. Buffalo Bags offers a wide range of stock colors and fabrics, at bags can also be customized upon request. Read more about it here.

    • Price: $130
    • Place of Manufacture: Bangkok, Thailand
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • $70
    Cedaero Moon Lander Hip Pack

    Cedaero Moon Lander Hip Pack

    • Type: Zippered Hip Pack
    • Volume: 2L
    • Made of: Cordura, X-Pac, or Waxed Canvas
    • Made in: USA

    The Moon Lander Hip Pack has a two-liter capacity, is perfectly sized for three 12-ounce cans, features in interior key clip, and is made from your choice of 1000D Cordura nylon, 15-ounce waxed canvas, or RX30 X-Pac. It measures out to 10 x 5.5 x 3.5″ (WxHxD) and doesn’t have taped seams but is water resistant. The best part? The Moon Lander comes in 27 color/fabric combinations, including a funky mismatched Wild Child option with a mix of Cornflower, Turmeric, and Paprika RX30 recycled X-Pac. Read more about it here.

    • Price: $70
    • Place of Manufacture: Minnesota, USA
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • $160
    Dark Realm Dual Duty Hip/Handlebar Bag

    Dark Realm Dual Duty Hip/Handlebar Bag

    • Type: Hip Pack / Handlebar Bag
    • Volume: 5.5L
    • Made Of: X-Pac / Cordura
    • Made in: USA

    The versatile Dark Realm Dual Duty Hip/Handlebar Bag has handlebar attachment straps with foam spacers and a lower shock cord mount while in handlebar bag mode. Plus, the hip straps tuck away when not in use. It uses a magnetic Fidlock waist buckle, all zippers are water resistant, and it’s available in a variety of different colors, including Dark Realm’s hand-dyed X-Pac.

    • Price: $160
    • Place of Manufacture: USA
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • $100
    Dispersed Roll Top Hip Pack

    Dispersed Roll Top Hip Pack

    • Type: Roll-Top Hip Pack / Handlebar Bag
    • Volume: 4.5L
    • Made of: X-Pac
    • Made in: USA

    The Dispersed Roll Top Hip Pack is a minimalist hip pack/handlebar bag combo designed for those who want to avoid unnecessary weight and bulk. It features a lightly padded back panel, un-padded hip straps, a magnetic closure, hydration hose port, and some additional exterior webbing to strap items to. Dispersed also makes an optional padded camera insert for those carrying a camera.

    • Weight: 230 grams (8.1 oz)
    • Price: $100
    • Place of Manufacture: USA
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • $125CAD
    Field & Forest Hip Pack

    Field & Forest Hip Pack

    • Type: Roll-Top Hip Pack
    • Volume: 4L
    • Made of: X-Pac
    • Made in: Canada

    Handmade in Canada, the Field & Forest Hip Pack is a large capacity, roll-top style pack with one large compartment and two smaller stash pockets for organization. According to Field & Forest, it’s large enough to fit a full-frame mirrorless camera (Nikon Z6/Z7 / Canon R5/R6 / Sony A7/AR7) with 24–70mm 2.8 lens attached with a little extra space. They can also accommodate different camera sizes and adjust the pack’s dimensions as needed. The back panel is padded, additional padding can be added to the front and sides for more protection, and the exterior is made from your choice of X-Pac fabric.

    • Price: $125CAD
    • Place of Manufacture: BC, Canada
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • $179AUD
    Framework Designs Middle Management

    Framework Designs Middle Management

    • Type: Roll-Top Hip Pack / Handlebar Bag
    • Volume: 3L
    • Made Of: Canvas
    • Made in: Australia

    Part hip pack, part handlebar bag, The Middle Management has tuck-away hip straps, daisy chain webbing on the back for multiple strap positions, a roll-top closure, and 3mmm foam padding to protect its contents. Like all of Framework Designs’ offerings, it is handmade in Melbourne from Australian-made waterproof canvas, and you have your choice of plastic side release buckles or brass g-hook style buckles.

    • Price: $179AUD
    • Place of Manufacture: Australia
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • $170CAD
    HMPL No.6

    HMPL No.6

    • Type: Roll-Top Hip Pack
    • Volume: 3-5L
    • Made of: Cordura/X-Pac
    • Made in: Canada

    Handmade in Vancouver, Canada, the HMPL No.6 features a roll-top closure, adjustable waist belt, small interior stash pocket, and exterior zipper access. It is made VX21 XPac or 1000D Cordura, and is available in a wide selection of colors and fabrics.

    • Price: $170CAD
    • Place of Manufacture: British Columbia, Canada
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • $50
    Paper Roads Fanny Pack

    Paper Roads Fanny Pack

    • Type: Zippered Hip Pack
    • Volume: 1.5L
    • Made of: Cordura / X-Pac
    • Made in: New Zealand

    Handmade in New Zealand, the Paper Roads Fanny Pack is simple and minimal. It’s made from DWR-coated fabrics, a PU coated liner fabric, waterproof zippers, and has both a front and rear zippered pocket. There’s a small attachment point for a rear blinky light and the pack os 240mm wide, 105mm tall, and 50mm deep.

    • Price: $50
    • Place of Manufacture: New Zealand
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • £95
    Restrap Utility Hip Pack

    Restrap Utility Hip Pack

    • Type: Roll-Top Hip Pack / Handlebar Bag
    • Volume: 6L
    • Made Of: TPU
    • Made in: UK

    Handmade in the UK, the Restrap Utility Hip Pack is designed to be versatile and dependable, perfect for long rides and bikepacking trips. The hip straps are designed to tuck away into the back panel for use as a handlebar bag, the roll-top closure provides access to a fully waterproof, seam sealed main compartment, and the closure is secured in place with a magnetic Fidlock buckle. The Utility Hip Pack has reflective detailing, stretchy mesh side pockets, can hold up to 6L of gear.

    • Weight: 361 grams (12.7 oz)
    • Price: £95
    • Place of Manufacture: United Kingdom
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • $80
    Road Runner Lil Guy Fanny Pack

    Road Runner Lil Guy Fanny Pack

    • Type: Zippered Hip Pack
    • Volume: 1.6L
    • Made Of: Cordura / X-Pac
    • Made in : USA

    The Road Runner Lil Guy Fanny Pack is designed specifically to be lightweight, versatile, simple, and better than your grandma’s fanny pack. It has a zippered main compartment, 1000D Cordura construction, minimal hip straps, daisy chain webbing across the front, and side compression straps. Want an X-Pac version? They’ve got that to!

    • Weight: 113 grams (4 oz)
    • Price: $80
    • Place of Manufacture: California, USA
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • $180
    Ron’s Bikes Fabio’s Fanny

    Ron’s Bikes Fabio’s Fanny

    • Type: Roll-Top Hip Pack / Handlebar Bag
    • Volume: 7L
    • Made of: X-Pac
    • Made in: USA

    Part handlebar bag, part hip pack, the Ron’s Bikes Fabio’s Fanny is a nifty bag with a one-handed magnetic closure, fold-away hip straps, a reinforced rigid body to keep its shape, and large velcro side pockets for smaller items. They include 2 voile 6″ nano straps for handlebar mounting, there’s a front zippered pocket, and it’s highly weather resistant but not waterproof.

    • Price: $180
    • Place of Manufacture: USA
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • $100CAD
    Stealth Hightop

    Stealth Hightop

    • Type: Roll-Top Hip Pack
    • Volume: 4L
    • Made of: Cordura / X-Pac
    • Made in: New Zealand

    The Stealth Hightop is one of several hip packs that the New Zealand based bag maker offers. It’s a roll-top pack with a 4L capacity, custom Polypropylene and EVA foam back panel, and a reinforced by an alloy strut for added structure. Two extra cargo loops on the base of the pack provide extra carrying capacity for a jacket or spare layer. They also offer the Yopro, a smaller zippered hip pack, and the Limpet, which doubles as a small handlebar bag thanks to its fold-away hip belt.

    • Weight: 370 grams (13.1 oz)
    • Price: $100CAD
    • Place of Manufacture: New Zealand
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • $150
    Swift Industries Ardea Pack

    Swift Industries Ardea Pack

    • Type: Zippered Hip Pack
    • Volume: 2.5 liters
    • Made of: X-Pac
    • Made in: Surabaya, Indonesia and Seattle

    The Swift Industries Ardea Pack is a bicycle handlebar bag that converts into a hip pack. It features removable handlebar straps, hip straps that tuck behind the padded rear panel of the pack, additional webbing straps on the bottom for strapping gear to, and it’s compatible with Swift’s Sidekick Stem Pouch and Rando Pocket. It’s made from Challenge ECOPAK 100% recycled polyester, a 400D packcloth liner, and uses YKK water-resistant zippers throughout.

    • Weight: 283 grams (10 oz)
    • Price: $150
    • Place of Manufacture: Surabaya, Indonesia and Seattle
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • €200
    What Happened Outdoors Custom Hip Pack

    What Happened Outdoors Custom Hip Pack

    • Type: Zippered Hip Pack
    • Volume: 3L
    • Made of: Dyneema / Ultra
    • Made in: Slovenia

    Slovenia-based bag maker and gear repair expert Neza, founder of What Happened Outdoors, doesn’t have a standard hip pack option on their web store but does offer fully custom, made-to-order options. Each pack is made from your choice of Dyneema or Ultra (woven UHMPWE), has a padded back panel, a small front zippered pocket alongside a main zippered opening, and there’s a bungee on top for lashing a jacket or baguette to. Like everything from What Happened Outdoors, their hip packs are handmade in Slovenia.

    • Price: €200
    • Place of Manufacture: Slovenia
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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Other Hip Packs

While this Gear Index highlights some of the best handmade hip packs we’ve used and heard good things about, many other options are worth checking out. Some of these hip packs are readily available, have shorter wait times than made-to-order bags, and are ideally suited for bikepacking.

DIY Padded Camera Insert (For Your Hip Pack)

Stuffing a down jacket into a hip pack to provide padding for your camera is pretty easy, but that’s not always ideal. Instead, we recommend a dedicated padded camera insert if you plan on regularly using your hip pack as a camera bag. There are quite a few camera inserts available from consumer websites such as Amazon and BHphoto, however, they are rarely the perfect size. You can easily make your own if you have access to a sewing machine (and even a little sewing skill). We made this one out of a recycled flannel shirt and three pieces of lightweight closed-cell foam from a packing insert.

DiY Padded Camera Insert

Aside from being free, the great thing about making your own padded camera insert is that you can use a soft old T-shirt or other cotton fabric that’s easy on the camera. The store-bought versions often have a nylon outer fabric, which can be abrasive to the finish of a camera.

  • DiY Padded Camera Insert
  • DiY Padded Camera Insert

In brief, we traced the camera with the largest lens on a piece of cardboard. Then, we matched that profile with a single piece of foam for the bottom and sides. With the main body established, we made the front and back panels. Then, all three pieces of foam were sewn inside of two pieces of cut fabric. Once each was enclosed in flannel, we joined them all together by stitching the perimeter with homemade 1.5cm wide grosgrain (we just used some old fabric we had on hand), which binds the edges of the stitched panels. The result isn’t exactly pretty, but it works like a charm, and this one now has a couple thousand miles on it.

In closing, leave us a comment below if you have a handmade hip pack that you can recommend…