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Waist Packs

Whether you use them when you go jogging, are out on a short hike or just walking around enjoying the sights while travelling, belt-like waist packs provide a handy, no-fuss way to carry small necessities.

BUYING

Before choosing a waist pack, take some time to consider what you will be using it for.

If you’re a runner, better to go for an ergonomic pack that fits the shape of your body well and fastens securely above your hips, which will make it more stable. Waist packs designed for this type of activity can also include several water bottle pockets and small water bottles. This distributes their weight better around the waist, which will in turn avoid causing an imbalance as they are emptied.

Roomier waist packs (up to 10-litre capacity) are the option of choice for walks in the woods or short cross-country skiing or snowshoeing outings. If you want to use it to carry a wind shell or polar fleece top to offset any possible variations in temperature, look for a model whose inside pouch has few or no compartments, or that comes with elastic cords for fastening on gear.

On the other hand, if you intend to carry a number of small items (cross-country ski wax, compact camera, energy bars, lip balm, wallet, change, etc.) that will be easy to find without emptying the waist pack’s entire contents every time, it will be better to choose a model featuring several compartments.

Waist packs are usually made of nylon, a lightweight material that is somewhat, although never completely, waterproof.

Finally, the width of the pack’s strap is vitally important. The wider the strap, the more comfortable the waist pack will be to wear.

USE

All waist packs are worn on the lower back, straps fastened in front to make them easier to get at.

Make sure the waist pack’s strap or belt fits snugly—although not inordinately so—so that the pack does not jiggle around excessively when you are walking or taking part in any other activity.


MAINTENANCE

Waist packs do not require any particularly special care. Their outside surface only needs a regular cleaning with a damp cloth. Some models can even be included with the usual household laundry in the washing machine, although they should be air-dried, not put in the dryer, whose high heat will damage nylon.