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Thread: Fanny Packs

  1. #1

    Default Fanny Packs

    I have fully embraced the dad mode with the fanny pack. I tested it out last weekend on the Sheltowee for 35 miles and loved it. Stowing away snacks, my wallet, sunglasses, and my trash. I picked up a cheap Appalachian Trail branded fanny to try out for about 10 bucks on ebay....as seen below:
    fanny1.PNG

    It was great for testing proof of concept! It carried my things, verified it would be comfortable to wear and did not interfere with my hiking or pack.

    But there was alot of room for improvement...For instance it is not waterproof. So when the rain came, I had to alter my protection of it which in retunr became uncomfortable. As well, the zipper is in the back. And I have a belly and so it was difficult to get in and out of it. lastly the buckle meets eachother behind you, where the lumber of the pack sits. Even though this was not uncomfortable, it did leave an impression in my back from wearing all day and I could see how over time and more miles this could cause issue with chafing etc.

    So I bit the bullet and upgraded to a rampage gear dyneema fanny pack. It is about the only thing on the market that checked all the boxes for me AND it looks super cool, even for a fanny pack.
    • It has a front opening zipper so I can easily get in and out of it
    • it is a great attempt at being waterpoof, as in it is dyneema and waterproof zippers.
    • the buckle is designed to clip on the side instead of the back so no lumbar interference
    • A plus is that it was hand made by a cottage company which I am always* a fan of supporting over the big names.



    173440794_840777046789449_7306738945171984438_n.png
    Trail Miles: 4,090.3 - AT Trips: 71
    AT Map 1: 2004.8
    AT Map 2: 265.0
    Sheltowee Trace Map: 116.0
    BMT Map: 57.7
    Pinhoti Trail Map: 31.5

  2. #2

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    Do you use it as a fanny pack? I incorporated the HMG Versa into my kit after testing it for Trailspace last year and find it most useful as a chest pack. I loop its belt through my shoulder straps and have my cameras right at hand along with other vital things like extra batteries and cheese sticks

    Being able to use it detached is nice for carrying cameras on summit spurs where you drop your pack or to bring into the hammock at night to keep the batteries warm on freezing nights. Very useful tool. I just never use it as a fanny pack.

    https://www.trailspace.com/gear/hype...a/#review40444
    “The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait until that other is ready...”~Henry David Thoreau

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  3. #3
    Journeyman Journeyer
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    Been thinking about this as well. I have not seen the Rampage pack. Looks interesting. Have you seen the one by LiteAF? https://liteaf.com/product/fanny-pack/ Wonder how these compare?

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by LoneStranger View Post
    Do you use it as a fanny pack? I incorporated the HMG Versa into my kit after testing it for Trailspace last year and find it most useful as a chest pack. I loop its belt through my shoulder straps and have my cameras right at hand along with other vital things like extra batteries and cheese sticks

    Being able to use it detached is nice for carrying cameras on summit spurs where you drop your pack or to bring into the hammock at night to keep the batteries warm on freezing nights. Very useful tool. I just never use it as a fanny pack.

    https://www.trailspace.com/gear/hype...a/#review40444

    I did check this HMG out, however I keep my phone on a belt clip on my chest strap and I did not care to alter that so chest strap applications were out for me.
    Trail Miles: 4,090.3 - AT Trips: 71
    AT Map 1: 2004.8
    AT Map 2: 265.0
    Sheltowee Trace Map: 116.0
    BMT Map: 57.7
    Pinhoti Trail Map: 31.5

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by grubbster View Post
    Been thinking about this as well. I have not seen the Rampage pack. Looks interesting. Have you seen the one by LiteAF? https://liteaf.com/product/fanny-pack/ Wonder how these compare?
    LiteAF was a contender for me but due to the zipper being on top, instead of a front wide mouth opening it did not make the cut.
    Trail Miles: 4,090.3 - AT Trips: 71
    AT Map 1: 2004.8
    AT Map 2: 265.0
    Sheltowee Trace Map: 116.0
    BMT Map: 57.7
    Pinhoti Trail Map: 31.5

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    I did check this HMG out, however I keep my phone on a belt clip on my chest strap and I did not care to alter that so chest strap applications were out for me.
    Phone is a low use item for me, so I keep that stashed in the pouch too

    Like I said in my review, it really is a utility pouch you can attach any way you like and that applies to yours or the LAF model grubbser linked. They are all pretty much alike in that way, with small differences in design and materials. It is the flexibility to use them in different ways that makes them valuable I find. You could strap it on top of a roll top to create a lid or hang it off the back. Only limitation is your imagination.
    “The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait until that other is ready...”~Henry David Thoreau

    http://lesstraveledby.net
    YouTube Channel
    Trailspace Reviews

  7. #7

  8. #8
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    I have used a fanny pack (Eastpack) for my digicam for many years, and developed a love-hate relation to it.
    Loved it for having the camera ready at the best possible position (which resulted in tons of fotos, some really nice snapshots included).
    Hated it for having the strap around the waist where there are too many straps tied around anyway, and hated it even more for hindering the movement of the thighs when taking huge upstairs-steps when bushwhacking.
    Now the Eastpack is broken and the digicam out of use, and I'm not ready to go the fannypack way again.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Odd Man Out View Post
    I bought two of these Thrupack waist packs. They are well made, light, etc. A large phone fits in the rear pocket up against one's body. The major issue I have is that they are basically one big pouch, so everything is jammed in with no organization. Lots of waist packs are like that, though, and extra zippers = more weight, so YMMV.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  10. #10

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    On my AT hikes, I use Gossamer Gear's Hipster for my wallet, Tracfone, etc., etc. I wore it front-facing and it worked very well, so well, in fact, that I haven't carried a purse in years. When shopping or traveling, I like having essentials right in front of me, and because it's small, it can't be stuffed with useless items.
    https://www.gossamergear.com/product...nt=30213287628
    Last edited by tiptoe; 04-15-2021 at 08:01. Reason: adding info

  11. #11

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    Watch out, it's a slippery slope... I've seen AT hikers who had a huge pack on their back, and another huge pack attached to their front. That's not hiking, it's pack animal behavior. I just get a backpack with huge cargo belt pockets.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by RockDoc View Post
    Watch out, it's a slippery slope... I've seen AT hikers who had a huge pack on their back, and another huge pack attached to their front. That's not hiking, it's pack animal behavior. I just get a backpack with huge cargo belt pockets.
    Interesting you bring up the belt pockets.
    1- The fanny will not be used to carry MORE stuff, rather to store things that I typically have to take my pack off to get to like snacks. I found it to be a great time saver to be able to snack and walk at the same time rather than take the pack off to sit down just for a couple snacks

    2- The hip belt pockets I have used (zpacks) have been really nice and I still have them on my pack however I have scoliosis pretty bad and so my body naturally leans to the right causing my left arm to rub against the belt pocket continuously. After about 30 miles the inside of my arm starts looking like i have poison ivy due to the chaffing. By the end of a 200 mile walk the inside of my arm has looked similar to hamburger meat. Now that I have validated the concept of the fanny pack for my own use, I will probable take the belt pockets off to give my arms more swing room.
    Trail Miles: 4,090.3 - AT Trips: 71
    AT Map 1: 2004.8
    AT Map 2: 265.0
    Sheltowee Trace Map: 116.0
    BMT Map: 57.7
    Pinhoti Trail Map: 31.5

  13. #13

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    A couple of years ago I found some fanny packs on clearance at REI and grabbed them up. On both my Flash 50 and my daypack I exchanged the waist straps with the fanny packs. Best adjustment ever! Since then I've replaced both with the Zpacks arc and on the trial hike was frustrated beyond belief that I had no quick access to my snacks, tissues, etc. I have a belt pack on order.
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

  14. #14

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    The summer I spent in the greater Yellowstone area way back in 1986 I used a fanny pack for summiting. Made more sense then the 7 pound frame pack used to get to base camp. It had 7 pockets. One big one in the back, two smaller ones along the sides, with an additional two small pockets on each of the side pockets (and just the right size for a pack of cigarettes) . Was very handy. Fanny packs weren't main stream back then, so my hiking buddy and I were thinking of making a line of fanny packs called "Waist Products".
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    ...
    1- The fanny will not be used to carry MORE stuff, rather to store things that I typically have to take my pack off to get to like snacks. I found it to be a great time saver to be able to snack and walk at the same time rather than take the pack off to sit down just for a couple snacks...
    Yes, agree. In my case, I tend to load up my pockets with all that stuff I want to have on hand whole walking. The fanny pack is a good alternative. I too find side pouches interfere with arm swing. I would also point out that centering you load over your spine is the ergonomically best way to distribute your load, so moving weight up front can be quite advantageous.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Odd Man Out View Post
    Yes, agree. In my case, I tend to load up my pockets with all that stuff I want to have on hand whole walking. The fanny pack is a good alternative. I too find side pouches interfere with arm swing. I would also point out that centering you load over your spine is the ergonomically best way to distribute your load, so moving weight up front can be quite advantageous.
    Aarn, a small NZ company makes a line of packs based on that idea. A big bag on back, two small bags in front. I bought a set of front pouches some years ago and attached them to various packs. It was really noticeable that moving some of the load to the front changed how I walked; more upright with my head looking forward easily rather than pointed down. The benefits increase with load, so minor for Ultra Lighters but major for Ultra Loaders. Still, even with a lighter load, moving a little weight to the front feels good to me.
    “The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait until that other is ready...”~Henry David Thoreau

    http://lesstraveledby.net
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    Trailspace Reviews

  17. #17

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    Run of the mill fanny packs tend towards the heavier side although I see you got one that is more backpacking constructed. My original one was about 10 oz if I recall, it had a big buckle. They are versatile in that you put them different places on your pack to add some capacity if needed. I had a pretty deep pocketed one that I used to use. I have an added hip pocket now for packs that don't have one that has taken up its function. I have one I use more for car camping just to keep a few things organized like my headlamp, keys, a lighter, etc. Strategically added pockets will add a little weight here and there but if they are useful to your flow go for it.
    "Sleepy alligator in the noonday sun
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by LoneStranger View Post
    Aarn, a small NZ company makes a line of packs based on that idea. A big bag on back, two small bags in front. I bought a set of front pouches some years ago and attached them to various packs. It was really noticeable that moving some of the load to the front changed how I walked; more upright with my head looking forward easily rather than pointed down. The benefits increase with load, so minor for Ultra Lighters but major for Ultra Loaders. Still, even with a lighter load, moving a little weight to the front feels good to me.
    Here is a research article that compares the biomechanical efficiency of various load carrying techniques from a military perspective.

    https://academic.oup.com/milmed/arti...=1618578975293

    The conclusion is that carrying loads on your head is optimal, but as this isn't practical for soldiers, they recommend the dual pack with half the load in front. This aligns with a well known study I first read back in grad school that found that African women can carry 20% if their body weight on their heads on level ground with no increase of oxygen consumption. However they found that people untrained in this skill could not match this efficiency. Maybe I will practice this and do my next hike carrying my gear in a straw basket on my head. Another example of this are porters in Nepal who use a strap to transfer the weight of their load to their forehead. If you are uncomfortable with a big pack on front, an option I use is to carry water in the front, as this is the most dense thing in your pack, it puts the most mass up front with the least volume. The military article also cites the well known study that adding weight to your feet disproportionately increases effort.

  19. #19

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    I mainly use a fanny pack to carry a camera where it's easily accessible with some protection from the elements. My current fanny pack is also from ThruPack where I used their builder to have their 2L Brick made into a fanny pack which fits my camera with zoom lens better than the other fanny pack options out there. I let it hang over the top of my main pack's hipbelt which keeps it up higher and makes it easier to get my camera out. Of course, this means taking off my pack is 2 stepped as I have to remember to remove the fanny pack to. The nice thing about a fanny pack is it makes it easier to make a side trip (assuming it's safe to leave your pack behind) with a few items without having to carry all of them in your hands.

  20. #20

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    Much like Miner, I use a fanny pack to house my DSLR camera. The difference may be I attach my fanny pack to my backpack so the bag can hang on my left side, easily reached with the left hand. The fanny pack is deep enough I can keep it open to make getting the camera out faster without losing it and zip it up against weather or wet brush, etc. Though it is attached to the backpack, I can quickly remove it and strap it on for a side trip or two.

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