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Best hip packs: 10 mountain bike bum bags ridden and rated

Carry your trail essentials with these rucksack alternatives

Hip packs, bumbags, fanny packs… whatever you call them, they’re now one of the most popular ways of staying hydrated and storing kit on rides. For example, if you take off your sunglasses and want to keep them safe.

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Love them or loathe them, hip packs are a way to ditch your backpack on MTB rides and provide somewhere safe to store your best mountain bike sunglasses when not wearing them.

Here are our favourites in terms of price, practicality and comfort.

Best hydration hip packs for mountain biking in 2022

  • EVOC Hip Pack Pro 3l: £85 / $115 / AU$160
  • Bontrager Rapid Pack: £45 / $60 / AU$100
  • Lowe Alpine Lightflite Hydro: £28
  • Osprey Seral 4: £60
  • CamelBak Podium Flow Belt: £45
  • Dakine Hotlaps 2l: £30 (+ water bottle) / $40
  • Mavic Crossride Belt: £62 / $55 / AU$NA
  • Source Hipster: £69 / $99
  • Thule Rail 2: £60
  • Osprey Seral 7: £70 / $86 / AU$113

EVOC Hip Pack Pro 3l

4.5 out of 5 star rating
Best hip packs
A bottle will fit inside should you want to remove the 1.5l bladder for more room.
Steve Behr / Immediate Media
  • Price: £85 / $115 / AU$160
  • Weight: 618g

The Evoc Hip Pack Pro’s good-sized main pocket is backed up with plenty of well-considered stash and sleeve pockets, giving excellent carrying and organisation capacity.

It has a bladder holder and two bottle holsters, which are easy to use on the bike. The back panel is well formed, supportive and breathable.

Combined with the broad, stretchy wings and strap, this makes the EVOC exceptionally comfy. Materials and construction are top-notch.

It’s expensive considering it doesn’t come with a reservoir (EVOC’s own 1.5l hip pack bladder costs £29.99 separately). The top zip could do with being a little bit longer for easier access.

Bontrager Rapid Pack

4.0 out of 5 star rating
Best hip packs
Bontrager’s Rapid Pack only really has room for essentials.
Steve Behr / Immediate Media
  • Price: £45 / $60 / AU$100
  • Weight: 220g

There is a lot to like about the slim, minimal design of the Bontrager Rapid Pack. Two zipped pockets with internal mesh compartments offer plenty of easily accessible storage, with a space between them for a standard bottle.

The large foam back panel holds the bag in place securely and the waist strap doesn’t have any flappy loose ends.

With just 1.4 litres of storage, you can only pack the bare essentials. No bottle is supplied and the tight fit of the bottle holder makes it difficult to slide your drink back into place while riding. The back panel can also get quite sweaty.

Lowe Alpine Lightflite Hydro

4.0 out of 5 star rating
Best hip packs
Lowe’s Alpine Lightflite Hydro offers plenty of storage space.
Steve Behr / Immediate Media
  • Price: £28
  • Weight: 258g

The Lowe Alpine Lightflite Hydro bag offers four litres of storage, which is enough for racing and even longer days in the saddle if you pack light.

There are two exterior mesh pockets, in which you can stash smaller items, such as energy gels and multi-tools, within easy reach. The bag comes with a 500ml bottle, and the slightly angled bottle holder makes it easy to grab on the go.

It’s by far the cheapest bag here and for the price it’s hard to find much to fault.

It’s not a bike-specific pack and its less figure-hugging shape means it tends to move around a little when fully loaded, though.

Osprey Seral 4

4.0 out of 5 star rating
Male rider wearing Osprey Seral hip pack
The pack can hold large two bottles’ worth of water, with extra space for tools and snacks.
Immediate Media
  • Price: £60
  • Weight: 300g

With its wide wings, the Osprey 4l Seral feels comfortable and secure even when carrying 1.5l of water plus kit. The waist clip is easy to use, even with a pair of the best mountain bike gloves on.

Thick back padding prevents anything in the large single pocket from digging in. It’s not too sweaty, either. Capacity is decent, even with a full reservoir.

Build quality meets Osprey’s high standards. A handy magnetic clip holds the hose in place.

The hose doesn’t release from the bladder for easy refilling. It’d also be better if it were held in a separate pocket, rather than an internal sleeve. We missed having exterior stash pockets for trail snacks.

Also consider

The following packs scored fewer than four stars, but are still worth considering.

CamelBak Podium Flow Belt

3.5 out of 5 star rating
Male cyclist wearing Camelback Podium Flow Belt
This slimmed-down pack fits in the bare essentials.
Immediate Media
  • Price: £45
  • Weight: 181g

The Camelback Podium Flow Belt’s 2-litre volume is just big enough for ride essentials, with useful internal organisation plus a slim, zipped external pocket for your phone or keys.

We found the padded back and not-too-wide strap comfortable, and neither bulky nor sweaty. CamelBak’s excellent Dirt Series 620ml bottle with mud cover is included.

Replacing the bottle while riding is tricky. Your pump has to sit diagonally, taking up more space and limiting its length (to around 20cm). The waist clip needs a good squeeze to open, which is fiddly with thicker gloves on.

Dakine Hotlaps 2l

3.5 out of 5 star rating
Best hip packs
Dakine’s Hotlaps 2l is well priced.
Steve Behr / Immediate Media
  • Price: £30 (+ water bottle) / $40
  • Weight: 199g (no bottle)

Dakine’s Hotlaps is simple and lightweight, and sits comfortably against your back. The waist strap holds it securely in place, but it doesn’t quite match the stability of Mavic’s Crossride.

With a 2-litre volume, there’s space for spares and snacks. The main compartment features a fleece-lined pocket and a couple of extra compartments to organise your gear. There’s a foldaway bottle holder on the side. It’s well priced too.

This is the only pack here that doesn’t include a water bottle or bladder, and we found it hard to reinsert a bottle when riding. It’s also the least breathable of all the options we tested.

Mavic Crossride Belt

3.5 out of 5 star rating
Best hip packs
The Crossride Belt is a stable choice.
Steve Behr / Immediate Media
  • Price: £62 / $55 / AU$NA
  • Weight: 310g

With its triangular shape, the Mavic Crossride Belt is very stable. The 600ml bottle is easy to access (if you’re right-handed) and stays securely in its pouch.

There’s enough space for a tube, multi-tool and tyre levers, or a few snacks. The dedicated pump pocket is handy too. We like the elasticated waist strap, and the tabs can be tucked away neatly.

Breathability is okay, but not great. For the limited capacity it offers (don’t expect to take anything more than the bare necessities) it seems a little over-engineered.

Source Hipster

3.5 out of 5 star rating
Best hip packs
The Source Hipster also has a removable harness.
Steve Behr / Immediate Media
  • Price: £69
  • Weight: 465g

The Source Hipster’s removable harness (not pictured) does an excellent job of reducing movement, making it the most secure pack here.

The single-sided strap adjustment keeps the loose end tucked away, and there are bungee cords for a jacket, and the hose for the 1.5-litre reservoir is insulated.

Without the harness, the pack slumps a little. There’s no support from the back panel and no side straps to pull the weight in, so it bulges away from your back when loaded, which makes it move around more. Also, the three front pockets are very small.

Thule Rail 2

3.5 out of 5 star rating
Male cyclist wearing Thule Rail 2 hip pack
Clever inner pockets make the pack roomy relative to its capacity.
Immediate Media
  • Price: £60
  • Weight: 230g

Decent dimensions make the Thule Rail’s two litres of storage more generous than it sounds, so we rarely struggled to carry all we needed for a longer ride, including a larger pump.

It’s comfy to wear, thanks to its stretchy wings and belt. Construction quality feels premium.

We like the mesh stash pockets and soft-lined phone pocket. Bright internal fabric and dividers make it easy to find small items.

While there’s room for two bottles, none are included. Replacing them is difficult when on the bike.

The narrow waist strap means the pack isn’t as stable on rough tracks when fully loaded as others here. Its storage isn’t that flexible either.

Osprey Seral 7

3.5 out of 5 star rating
Best hip packs
Osprey Seral 7
Steve Behr / Immediate Media
  • Price: £70 / $86 / AU$113
  • Weight: 532g

The Osprey Seral 7 is one of the comfiest and most secure packs here, despite its 7-litre capacity. The 1.5-litre bladder is big enough for longer rides, with a mouthpiece that provides plenty of water with each gulp, and its magnetic connector is easy to find when riding.

There’s ample space for tools, plus two decent-sized pockets on the waist strap. Four compression straps enable you to tighten things down to keep the contents secure.

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The waist straps can’t be tucked away, so they hang loose. It’s not the most breathable pack because it sits so close to your back.