You might associate fanny packs with 80s fashion faux-pas or overly-obvious tourists, however, fanny packs can be incredibly useful for keeping your essentials close to you whilst also keeping your hands free.
Tactical fanny packs are great for a range of outdoor activities: from hiking to fishing to hunting.
These kinds of fanny packs are specially designed to be tough and durable and are usually water-resistant to keep your belongings dry.
They often feature multiple compartments so you can keep smaller items secure, and some larger styles can also accommodate a first aid kit, food, and even water bottles.
There is a range of different sized fanny packs on the market, and these also come in a myriad of different styles to suit your needs, for example, some also feature detachable straps so you can convert your pack into a sling bag or backpack.
In this article, you’ll find a selection of the best tactical fanny packs on the market, along with a handy buyer’s guide and Frequently Asked Questions section, so you can make an informed decision before purchasing.
In a hurry? Find our top pick below…
OUR TOP PICK
This tactical fanny pack from Waterfly is perfect for cycling or hiking thanks to the gauze pockets on both sides which allow you to store two water bottles.
This pack is constructed from high-grade, water-resistant nylon, and the manufacturer has also taken into account comfort, with the breathable back pad which is designed to promote airflow and relieve pressure.
This tactical fanny pack offers a range of additional features, such as a carry handle for versatile portability, interchangeable straps so that the pack can be carried as a sling bag, and a reflective strip to promote visibility at night or in poor light conditions.
This fanny pack can be adjusted to fit waists ranging from 22” to 52”, making it ideal for both men and women.
The carefully designed waist straps ease pressure on the waist to allow you to balance the weight of the pack and feel more comfortable when carrying your pack for long periods.
- Elasticated gauze pockets fit 2 water bottles
- Made of water-resistant nylon for durability
- Breathable back pad for air ventilation
- Reflective strip for safety in low visibility
- Carry handle and interchangeable straps for versatility
- Adjustable 22”-52” waist belt
- Multiple zipper pockets on exterior and interior
- The main compartment is slightly small to compensate for the water bottle storage
This BP Vision fanny pack is multi-functional and versatile.
It can be carried in three different ways, on the waist, on the shoulder, or on the back thanks to the two extra shoulder straps that come with the pack.
It’s made of wear-resistant nylon and has a breathable mesh lumbar to promote ventilation and boost comfort.
This pack will help you keep your gear organized thanks to the three exterior front pockets and two side pockets, as well as the main compartment.
It also has two water bottle holders to accommodate 25 oz water bottles, so there’s no need to buy any additional water bottle storage.
The exterior of the pack also features molle and bungee straps to conveniently hang any additional items from.
- Made from wear-resistant nylon
- Breathable mesh lumbar
- Highly versatile - can be carried in three different ways
- Dual water bottle storage
- Multiple pockets to keep your stuff organized
- Molle and bungee straps for additional storage
- The waist strap can adjust to fit 26” to 50” Inch waist
- The main compartment isn’t very deep, mainly due to the dual water bottle storage
This tactical fanny pack from DJY is one of the highest-rated online.
It’s designed for military usage and its durability is reflected in the high-density 1000D Oxford Nylon, which is both strong and lightweight.
This fanny pack is compact so it won’t weigh you down, but it’s also surprisingly spacious inside, with a large main compartment that’s big enough for valuables and essentials such as an Ipad mini, cell phone, glasses, food, or an umbrella.
The smaller compartments and zippered back pocket is perfect for smaller items or essentials such as your passport, credit card, or ID.
The front pocket also features a zipper and a quality ABS buckle for storing any loose items and keeping them secure.
The waist belt on this fanny pack is easily adjusted to fit a range of waist sizes, 25.5'' - 52'', making it ideal for both men and women.
This bag measures 7.9"-12.6"L x 5.1"W x 5.9"H, so is large enough for all of your essentials without being unnecessarily bulky or cumbersome.
- High-density 1000D Oxford Nylon fabric
- Multiple compartments for a range of essentials
- Durable zippers and ABS buckle
- Compact design but spacious interior
- Unisex thanks to the adjustable waist belt
- Features molle straps for additional storage
- Some people found some of the pockets difficult to access
This G4Free fanny pack is simple yet functional. It features a main pouch, front pocket, and two side pockets which all have a zipper closure to keep your belongings secure.
It's constructed from 600D high-density polyester fabric that’s lightweight yet durable.
This pack is versatile and can be carried on the waist, via the top handle, or used as a sling pack thanks to the detachable strap which can be extended up to 45 inches.
The molle straps on the exterior of the bag allow you to extend your storage and hang essentials from the front of the bag for easy access.
The straps of this pack are thick and durable for extra reassurance, as are the upgraded zippers and buckle closures.
- Multi-functional design - can be carried in various ways
- 600D high-density polyester fabric
- Lightweight yet durable
- Molle straps for extra storage
- 4 easy to access zipper compartments
- Strap extends up to 45 inches
- Waist and shoulder straps are thick and durable
- The main compartment isn’t very deep
This tactical waist pack from Creator is great value for money.
It’s constructed of high-density, water and scratch resistant 1000D nylon to withstand a range of conditions and frequent use, but it’s also lined with soft, waterproof cotton to keep your belongings safe and dry in poor weather conditions.
This fanny pack measures 7.9"-12.6"W x 5.9"H x 2"-5.1" D and contains two side pockets and a close-fitting zipper pocket for your valuables.
This versatile pack can be worn as a waist bag, across the chest, or as a shoulder bag, and the molle and bungee straps offer a range of additional storage for items such as sunglasses, a flashlight, and a water bottle.
This pack is durable and lightweight with a simple design for easy access to your items.
- Durable, scratch-resistant 1000D nylon
- Water-resistant outer and inner
- Can be worn in multiple styles
- Molle and bungee straps for additional storage
- Adjustable waist strap
- Multiple compartments
- Durable zippers and buckle
- May not be big enough for longer day trips
This Oleader tactical fanny pack comes in a choice of eight colors, including a camo design for military training or hunting.
The pack is constructed of 600D nylon and has been designed to organize all of your outdoor essentials.
It contains a large main compartment that’s big enough to fit a 500ml water bottle, three zipper pockets on the front and side for smaller items, and a padded pocket on the back to keep your mobile phone or money safe and dry.
This fanny pack measures 7.9"-13"W x 5.9"H x 2"-5.1" D but weighs just 0.9 pounds, making it lightweight for long expeditions but large and deep enough to carry all of your essentials.
It features SBS heavy-duty, two-way zippers and a durable buckle for keeping your belongings secure, plus it has mole straps so you can easily attach additional storage or items, should you need to.
- Durable 600D nylon
- Multiple pockets and a large main compartment
- Lightweight feel
- SBS zippers and durable buckle
- Fits waists up to 43.5”
- Molle straps for extra storage
- The tapered shape means the size of the main compartment is reduced
Best Tactical Fanny Pack Buying Guide
Now that you’ve seen some of the best tactical fanny packs on the market, we’ll help you narrow down your choice by pinpointing the key figures you should consider before purchasing, to find the perfect pack for your needs.
Most tactical fanny packs are made from durable nylon or polyester, and you may have noticed that they’re usually between 600-1000D. The “D” stands for “denier” which, in simple terms, is an indication of the fabric’s thickness. So, the higher the figure, the thicker the material.
You should consider how much you’re hoping to store in the bag, for example, if you think you’ll be carrying quite a bit of weight, it’s worth ensuring that the bag is strong enough to withstand this, and that it is well-stitched at the seams to prevent any of the stitches coming undone.
You’ll also want to consider whether or not the bag is water-resistant and scratch-resistant. Ensuring the bag will keep your belongings dry in adverse weather conditions is usually essential for any activity, but particularly fishing or hunting, where you may be out for the majority of the day.
When choosing a bag, make a list of the items you’re likely to want to carry in it. It’s worth considering not only the length and height of the bag but also the depth and how much additional storage it has.
For example, a bag may be smaller if it has water bottle holders on the sides, but this will also mean you won’t need to pack a water bottle inside the main compartment, which will free up space.
Consider also how many smaller compartments the bag has on the exterior and the interior, as these are handy for smaller or loose items.
Molle straps or bungee cords are also useful for adding items and additional packs to the exterior of your bag.
Can the bag be carried in more than one way, and how important is this to you?
Some tactical fanny packs come with additional straps that you can attach to carry the pack as a sling bag or even a backpack.
This can be useful for using the bag in different scenarios, or for switching things up if you want to reduce the strain on your waist now and again.
This links in with material, which we discussed a few paragraphs up.
As well as the fabric that your bag is made out of, you should also consider aspects such as the stitching and the inner material of the bag.
Ensure that the pack is scratch and weather-resistant for added durability.
It’s also a good idea to pay attention to the straps - are they thick and do they look well-made?
If you’ll be packing your fanny pack with a lot of weight, you want to make sure it’s not going to split at the seams or break at the strap.
As you can see from our best picks, the fanny pack has evolved over the years and there is now a range of styles on offer.
You should consider whether or not you want a fanny pack that can be converted into a sling, shoulder, or backpack, or whether you want a simple, traditional waist pack.
This depends largely on what you’ll use the bag for. Versatility can be great for everyday use, whereas a traditional fanny pack is more suitable for hunting, hiking, or fishing.
The color of the pack is a personal choice, but if you’re hunting or fishing you may want to opt for a camouflage pattern or a darker shade, and many tactical fanny packs are available in these colors.
Consider any extras you want the fanny pack to feature. For example, mesh paneling can be great for added breathability, while water bottle holders are ideal for additional storage, as you won’t need to put your water in the main compartment, thus saving space.
You may also want to consider a pack with added features such as a reflective strip for nighttime visibility, or molle or bungee straps for adding items such as a flashlight or sunglasses.
Cost and affordability
Regardless of your budget, there’s a range of tactical fanny packs out there to cater to different price points.
On average, most cost between $15-$30, though you’ll be able to find cheaper and more expensive options, too.
The main thing to consider is the quality of the fanny pack, as it’s worth paying that little bit extra if it means a more durable fabric or better stitching.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I put in my fanny pack?
That depends largely on where you plan on taking your fanny pack, but some essentials to consider include a first aid kit, water, snacks if necessary, your cell phone and money, a flashlight, and if necessary, sunglasses.
Fanny packs are mainly designed to hold your essentials and to free up your hands, so you’re not going to be able to get tonnes of extra layers and food in your pack, but you’ll comfortably fit the essentials.
Where do you wear a fanny pack?
There are multiple ways to wear a fanny pack, and you should choose to wear it in a way that feels most comfortable for you.
Many people wear the fanny pack at the front of their waist, whereas others prefer to have the load on the back of their waist, which is how it was traditionally worn.
Many people prefer to wear their pack on their front so that they can access it more easily, and to avoid pickpockets in busy areas.
Additionally, you could fasten it over your shoulder or across your chest, and as we illustrated above, some packs come with detachable straps for carrying as a sling or shoulder bag, or even as a backpack.
Are fanny packs worth it?
As we said, you can’t fit a great deal in a fanny pack, as they’re designed to be compact and lightweight and to carry your main essentials.
Hence you’re not going to fit days’ worth of supplies in them. Fanny packs are best for those who are going to be hunting, fishing, or hiking for a few hours and want to take water, snacks, and their valuables with them.
They also free up your hands - which is essential for hunters and fishermen - and they’re not heavy or cumbersome like a backpack, which often feels too big for a short hike or a few hours outdoors.
So whether or not a fanny pack is worth it depends on what you intend to use it for.
If the above sounds relevant to you, then yes, a fanny pack is worth it, particularly as many are available for a very low price.