Waistpack for day hiking?

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gear, Survival Equipment & More' started by Buck268, Mar 25, 2017.

  1. Buck268


    Nov 5, 2006
    I have been using the same daypack for years now and its a bit tired, though still completely servicable. I'd like to try something a little more streamlined, and since small daypacks generally don't fit me very well (6'3" over 250) I'm considering some waistpack type units. Not really sure how much room I need, but assuming I can lash a jacket to the outside, that should seriously reduce interior space requirements. Some of the units offer nice features such as limited or extensive molle/pals webbing, while others have optional shoulder harnesses to increase weight capacity when necessary (I'm thinking maybe ad hoc UL rig with a sleeping roll lashed on).

    The two main units I'm comparing are the Mountainsmith Tour vs the Maxpedition Proteus. I like the modularity of the Proteus and the fact I could utilize my USGI canteens, though the Mountainsmith does have PALS webbing on the back to allow perhaps one to attach. That said, it would be just as easy to pick up a nalgene or two as well. The main sway to the Proteus would be that it would be more likely able to integrate onto my CFP-90 ruck while the Mountainsmith just seems like a better overall waistpack in its own right.

    The other thought I had was to check out a High Sierra Ridgeline (or lager Diplomat). My current daypack is a high sierra and has served very well over the years. Plus the price is a little less shocking; this way if I want to go back to a traditional daypack its not a big deal.
  2. mec003


    Jan 1, 2015
    I don't care for waist packs when hiking. They tend to shift too much and just get annoying. If you do find one that you like, please let us know and maybe do a review.
  3. bofe954

    bofe954 Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Jan 10, 2013
    I have both and may end up getting rid of both for a fatboy or jumbo or something. I carry my proteus hunting and I'm starting to carry more stuff than the proteus is capable of managing. I use a 5 inch model 25 Randall as a hunting knife it will barely get in the main compartment due to length. It is small enough that I never really had issue with it shifting around. I like that I can pull it around to my front and dig in it if I felt like it. Sort of like you can do while wearing the maxpedition one strap back packs. They may have done some kind of mild redesign since I got mine, the front pocket organizer looks slightly different now.

    I bought the mountainsmith on massdrop. Was kind of spur of the moment and I probably should have thought about it harder. I haven't used it yet and may try and get rid of it before I use it. It has padded straps and a padded back sort of similar to a backpack. It also has a shoulder strap you can use if you want. Between the wide padded waist straps and the shoulder strap I really can't see it moving around. The mountainsmith lacks interior organization. It just has several pockets. The padded waist band also effectively blocks any access to anything I would be carrying on my waist, although it does have a pocket on the right side that could hold a multitool or folder. The main compartment has a divider like a laptop bag, and the belt loops can be tucked away and it can be carried like a briefcase. It's almost like they were designing a laptop bag more than a hiking bag.

    Both are well built. The mountainsmith is a little less tactical looking, and I like that about it. It also has a bright yellow interior which makes finding stuff in it easy. If you can get what you need in the proteus you will probably like it. If you don't plan on having anything else on your waist the mountainsmith is OK. It is much larger than the proteus though. I think I could get 2 or 3 proteus in the mountainsmith at least.
  4. Rockywolf

    Rockywolf Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 16, 2005
    I had both at one point. As someone pointed out, they shift, drag on your pants, and cover your belt so accessing belt tools is tough. I liked the minimal feel to them though; I had to pack light and smart.
  5. rbmcmjr


    Apr 10, 2005
  6. neeman


    Apr 5, 2007
    I have tried and tried to use a Bum Bag
    But it never has enough volume and when it does it is too heavy
    So I have to cinch it very tight and it is not comfortable
    And when I try to put on suspenders as if it was a heavy tool belt, the back straps are too far apart
    So I gave up

    I do use a small waist bag as a 'purse' with a phone, sunglasses and wallet, that I carry in the top of my pack
    And if I am leaving the pack in the car or room, I just take it out the pack

    If I do not want to use a pack, I use a Messenger bag, X small or small
    I tighten the cross strap and it rides high on the back
    Very comfortable
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2017
  7. dalefuller

    dalefuller Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 2, 2005
    I've used a Maxped Proteus for a couple years now. Works fine for me and stays packed in the car for emergencies when I'm not wearing it. It is a bit heavy when loaded but I'm not into lightweight hiking. I also carry a .45 and a fairly heavy FbF Bushfinger.
  8. pinnah


    Jul 28, 2011
    I'm 6'3" and 190. I prefer backpacks.

    I've tried a bunch of waist packs. I like the Mountainsmith Daylite Tour as a shoulder bag for around town EDC. In town, the ability to slide a bag back to front to get something out or to sit on a train without taking off the bag is useful.

    But in the woods, I find waist packs annoying to manage. I find much easier to dea with a pack.

    Also, at our size, jackets are bigger and bulkier than the ones worn by rail thin trail runner types. My jacket is too big to fit in a waist pack and tied to the outside, the load becomes unstable.

    For me, 25l is the minimum size pack I can deal with and really, I prefer 35l. In this range, I can usually live WITHOUT a hip belt so long as the pack straps are long enough and the straps have a sternum strap. I find there to be a huge variance in how pack straps fit on my shoulders so I would recommend visiting a store if you can and trying many on. It may be that you had a bad fit problem with your High Sierra pack and different brand or model would work better.

    If not, and if you stay in the upper end waist pack range, add Jandd Mountaineering to your list. Very rugged for reasonable prices.

    But again, I gave up on fanny packs.
  9. Mannlicher


    Nov 19, 2008
    I have tried waist packs, and find them lacking. They did not live up to expectations.
    jmh33 likes this.
  10. Brad "the butcher"

    Brad "the butcher"

    Dec 15, 2008
    The 80's are calling they want their failed fanny pack back

    I tried a couple....one really fancy padded one with dual waterbottles and it sucked

    Oh and if you are single and want to remain that way.....rock the fanny pack in public...LOL
    Cryptyc and jmh33 like this.
  11. kamagong


    Jan 13, 2001
    I don't like waistpacks. But given that my most common outing is a day trip in a Mediterranean climate, full-sized backpacks are a bit much especially during the summer. Enter the Mountainsmith Tour. It's a waistpack, but the Tour is designed so that you can attach their strapettes. Perfect. I get the effortless carrying of a backpack, but since the Tour is waistpack sized my back can breathe easy during those hot summer days.

    bacpacker likes this.
  12. Buck268


    Nov 5, 2006
    definitely no fit issues with my current high sierra pack, just don't need the volume for most of my outtings, nor the extra back sweat! Combine that with how most of the smaller packs fit and it lead me to waistpacks... That said, maybe you guys are right and I just need to spend some time and B&M stores to try on various makes/models and find the right daypack for my torso.
  13. pinnah


    Jul 28, 2011
    I can *tollerate* my Mountainsmith Daylight if and only if I keep the shoulder strap on. The shoulder strap keeps the fanny pack in position while I attach the belt around my waist. Without it, I have to bend over and pull the pack up against my back hard while i work on the waist belt. When I need to get something out of teh pack, I just undo the waist belt and spin the pack to the front.

    The shoulder strap also helps minimize flop when I snug up the shoulder strap. I don't really carry weight on it when the hip belt is deployed. More accurate to say I use it as a stabilizer.

    All this to say that I can see how the full, double shoulder straps would help.

    Hike your own hike, as they say. If you can deal with the size and it's comfortable for YOU, that's all that matters.
  14. Alan2442


    Jan 12, 2011
    You could always run a kifaru scout...or for somthing smaller you might be able to find a tailgunner on the second hand market.

    I haven't used a tailgunner, but the scout does a good job of sucking the weight into the small of your back and had minimal shifting....YMMV

    I had a mountain smith for a long time, but it wasn't my favorite. I usually ended up overpacking it and making it to heavy.

    As to actually using a waist pack that's going to be up to your preferences. I don't mind it, but everything the others have posted on here is true concerning the issues associated with lumbar packs. The only way to know if you like it or not is to give it a shot.
  15. slimb


    Jul 28, 2004
    You do lose a bunch of points from your man-card by wearing something called a strapette. Them being quite practical notwithstanding.
  16. Alan2442


    Jan 12, 2011
    Lol...very true. Can't even count the times my mountain smith was referred to as my "purse" by my wife and others

    But hey if you like it just remember real men where pink
  17. Fuori


    Oct 13, 2014
    What about a chest rig like a Ribz pack?
  18. hauntedchild


    Mar 6, 2015
    I have the Day with the strapettes . Great day bag .
  19. Finan47


    Apr 18, 2017
    I would recommend the walkabout fanny pack by Marmot. I owned one about 17 years ago and I used it all the time. I'd even strap a wool blanket to it and do overnight hikes in the green mountains (VT).
    They also have the highlander lumbar pack if you would like something bigger.
    Only reason I got rid of it is that I went overseas for 3 years, had it stored in my parents garage, and when I came back to the US it was all moldy - beyond cleaning.
  20. bacpacker


    Jun 13, 2012
    I've had a Mountiansmith Tour for several years now. I did get the shoulder strap kit for mine. While 6'-4" and 260lbs I've never had any problems with it, or have I been uncomfortable while wearing it. I've loaded it down and done overnights with it multiple times (no shelter included). I keep it loaded in my truck as a GHB should the need arise. I liked it so well I got the wife a smaller version (she is 4-11) and has had no problems either. They are well made and are fairly adjustable.

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