Backpacks are the go-to vessel of choice when it comes to spending a day in the outdoors, but depending on the contents, it can be taxing on your upper back and shoulders. This kind of muscle strain can pave the way for more serious injuries in the future, which is the last thing you need on the trail. Lumbar packs are a great alternative to backpacks, as they often have the same capacity, but distribute weight evenly on your hips to eliminate muscle strain in your back. Many of them include straps that allow it to be carried in different ways, making the lumbar pack a great choice for any activity from running the trail to climbing peaks. For hands-free pack options, we love the freedom of the lumbar pack!
Simple in its design, the Oriole lumbar pack from Kelty is just the thing for a day trip. It has a large 6L capacity, with plenty of room for sunscreen, a first aid kit, and snacks, and an internal divider to keep your things organized. Two oversize mesh water bottle pockets sit on each side of the main compartment, and a zippered stash pocket keeps valuables secure. The padded waist belt is covered in mesh for proper air circulation, and can be tucked into the bag for use with its shoulder strap or carrying handle instead. Nylon loops on the front allow you to clip on more gear if needed, expanding the carrying capacity of this durable and versatile pack. Available in grey or blue.
For the committed adventurer, who will face the outdoors no matter what the weather conditions will be, we recommend this waterproof waist pack from Mad Water. Rain does nothing to compromise the integrity of this belt, as it can be submerged up to 16 feet in water! The back is comprised of lightweight, breathable foam padding, while the main compartment is completely waterproof and protected with Mad Water’s patented Zip-Quick closure that ensures it stays that way. Two mesh water bottle pockets with drawcord closures sit on either side of the 4.5L main compartment, and the pack also features external pockets with Velcro closures for smaller items. Fixed D-rings and removable clips allow you to add gear as necessary.
Camelbak has long been an industry leader in pack innovation, particularly with their introduction of their versatile hydration packs. Their FlashFlo hydration lumbar pack is perfect for staying hydrated whether you’re training athletically or have a long hike ahead of you. With a 50 oz hydration bladder and over 3L total capacity, you’ll have no problem fitting your car keys, electronics, energy bars, or whatever is most important to you in the outdoors. The super padded back is made of Velvetex for the ultimate in comfort, and both the front and back of the pack feature reflective piping for high visibility. Available in a variety of colors.