Small, lightweight pack for walks/hiking needed.
October 1, 2017 6:57 AM   Subscribe

I want a lightweight, unobtrusive, comfortable fannypack or other type of carrier that I can use as I take walks through my local forest preserves. Doesn't have to be large--all I need to pack are my ID, phone, keys, and a paperback. Pockets work, except for the book part. Suggestions/links, please!
posted by bookmammal to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
I actually use my Camelbak for this: it has enough pocket space for a few hours' hike snacks and whatnot, and one of them is big enough to hold a standard mass-market paperback (assuming I'm not reading a Wheel of Time-sized doorstopper tome). And, y'know, also water.
posted by fifthpocket at 7:06 AM on October 1 [2 favorites]

Yeah, a lot of hydration packs have a little bit of additional storage for this purpose.

The generic term is "daypack." I prefer a backpack-style daypack, specifically the REI Flash 18. It might be more storage than you need. Most of my volume goes to water, a spare layer like a windbreaker, and lunch, which you don't appear to carry. However, it has a tall and narrow shape that never gets in the way of my arms or blocks my view, so you might not mind the extra capacity.
posted by d. z. wang at 8:15 AM on October 1 [2 favorites]

Oh! Alternatively, have you considered a cycling jersey? They have very large pockets in the small of the back. I can definitely put a paperback in the center pocket of mine. I'd put it into a plastic bag first, though, because the shirt is wicking and the pocket will soon be damp with sweat.
posted by d. z. wang at 8:24 AM on October 1 [1 favorite]

You might consider the Fjallraven Kanken mini backpack.
posted by gudrun at 8:41 AM on October 1 [1 favorite]

I use my Patagonia Atom Sling for this and absolutely love it. It looks brand new despite four years of abuse. I've used it for exactly the things you describe (ID, money, phone, keys, and a book) and I've also used it for more adventurous days (the above, plus sunscreen, bug spray, a little first aid kit, snacks, and water). It's nice and small but holds a lot!
posted by schroedingersgirl at 9:01 AM on October 1 [3 favorites]

IKEA make the FĂ–RENKLA shoulder bag which might work. It's only 8 litres, seems pretty perfect for what you want to carry and is under $20. They also make a 6-ounce foldable backpack called KNALLA for $5.

Baggu make really small reusable shopping bags, but this might be too open/non-closeable for you.

More expensively, Hellolulu also has loads of bags that seem the right size - here's an example.
posted by mdonley at 9:02 AM on October 1 [2 favorites]

Seconding the Atom Sling. Phone, keys, wallet, snack binoculars. You can tie a light jacket on the outside and all straps can be tucked away if you don't need them. It does give me a shoulder ache if I overload it. None better and often on sale at Patagonia or ebags.
posted by firstdrop at 10:14 AM on October 1 [1 favorite]

If you are looking specifically for a lumbar pack, I cannot recommend Mountainsmith enough, who unlike most outdoor brands like to specialize in lumbar packs and thus have a lot of thoughtful design in a pretty good sized line of 'em. I have 2; the smaller one is the Knockabout (the newer version of what I have), which is easily convertible into a sling pack with its tuckable shoulder strap but also just straps around the waist. I like it explicitly because it can fit a book but isn't too much bigger length or width way than that, but still has some good enough volume for when I need maybe a little extra like sunscreen or packable raincoat (though it doesn't seem like it weight or size wise, which I like). There's also a smaller version, the Vibe, but I'm not sure if you could put a bigger paperback in there.
posted by barchan at 10:33 AM on October 1 [1 favorite]

If you want more of a belt pack thing, a Spibelt may work. The large may fit a paperback but I haven't tried that. They are very comfortable to wear and durable.
posted by darksong at 10:55 AM on October 1

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