Running Waist Pack or Running Backpack – Which One Should You Choose?


When looking for the best running pack to carry your necessities, you are usually faced with two options: waist pack and backpack. But how can you identify which one you should choose? After all, both have their own advantages and disadvantages. There are certain factors that must be considered, so let’s take a look at each one and help you decided what suits you best.

The Running Waist Pack

Running packs are ideal if you do not intend to carry lots of gear during your workout. Unlike backpacks, you will find running waistbands and packs to be easier to put on and take off. Additionally, because these packs weigh less, they can alleviate some pressure from your shoulders, neck or back. This can come in handy especially during warmer months when any added weight starts to take a toll on your endurance. If you use a backpack during extreme heat, it can seem like another sheet of clothing that holds in the heat, which is certainly not fun to deal with!

General convenience is also an added benefit when wearing a running waist strap. These straps and packs can easily fit your necessities, whether that includes fluid, food, your cell phone, or even a pair of sunglasses. In fact, many hydration waist packs can hold 3 to 5 bottles on the belt. And due to the fact that it sits right on your waist, you won’t need to stop to take things out of the pack. The opposite can be said about backpacks, which are fastened to your back and usually require you to stop to take out whatever you need.

The Running Backpack

What’s great about running backpacks is that they are perfect for the long haul. In terms of general use, you will not encounter any problems while running because you will still have a broad freedom of movement. Most of the running bags are equipped with adjustable shoulder straps for body-hugging. The waist straps are great for ensuring a stable and secure backpack.

Unlike waist packs, you can carry a lot of things with a runner’s backpack. These would also be preferable over waist straps if will be mountain biking, hiking or participating in a similar lengthy outdoor adventure. For instance, in a backpack, you can bring your water, food, extra socks and shoes, a second pair of workout clothes, bug spray, rain gear, and almost anything else you can think of.

Users of running hydration backpacks claim that one of the most pleasurable components of running is having the chance to get away from society and experience the liberty of being self-sustaining. This obviously can’t be done if you’re equipt only with a running belt or waistpack. For any activity that will require a decent amount of your time, we recommend going with a backpack. In addition, hydration backpacks can carry more liquids while you’re running. Some athletic backpacks are even designed with an easily accessible straw that allows you to rehydrate as you run.

Thanks to the large assortment of designs and sizes you can choose from, choosing the right running backpack for your next venture is easier than you might think. You can opt for a larger pack for long trips, or a smaller, lightweight pack if you only need to bring a few important items.

women running pack

So, which among the two should you choose?

If you prefer going for long runs and carrying a decent amount of stuff, you should go for a running backpack. But, if you only want to carry a few smaller and lighter items with you, then you should consider getting a running waist pack.

You should also consider where you will run and how long you will run. Wearing a hydration backpack is highly suggested if you want to do trail runs or ultra-trail marathons. On these runs, you’ll normally run 2 to 4 times longer than your average marathon, but off road. During these types of runs, you might be by yourself at times, so having a reliable source of water for miles on end would be highly advisable. A nice, light running backpack enables you to go for a run with enough storage to keep yourself hydrated.

As we mentioned before, when it comes to carrying items, waist packets only allow for limited, small items to be carried. This could be ideal for runners who only want to go on a small outdoor adventure, but also want to bring some small items with them. Backpacks, on the other hand, allow for essential gear and some snacks to be included.

Preference of access and comfort are also important factors that need to be taken into account. More often than not, an average waist pack holds one to two litres of water storage space. Also, running waist packs hang lower on your body, giving a lower gravity center throughout your run or other activity.

Although running backpacks often require you to stop whenever you need to grab something, well-made backpacks can be extremely comfortable due to their contoured shape that’s intended to fit cosily across your back. You can tighten the straps in a comfortable way to prevent it from shifting up and down or back and forth. This is essential during extreme physical activity, such as long distance running. But luckily, high-quality backpacks for running minimize any potential discomfort.

Final Thoughts

Now that you are aware of the pros and cons of running waist packs and running backpacks, be sure to think carefully when buying the one that is right for you. With the extensive selection available to runners and other athletes, it may seem complicated and confusing to pick the best pack for you. But if you cross reference the criteria we mention with your specific needs, we’re confident that you will make an informed decision.