New HMG Hip Belt Pockets Review

Hyperlite Mountain Gear makes some of our favorite ultralight backpacking gear and their Southwest 2400 and 3400 backpacks have been at the top of our Best Lightweight Backpacks list for almost three years running. The Southwest is super tough, ultralight, and nearly waterproof. We’ve used HMG packs to cover hundreds of miles on burly trails all over the world and they hold up great. So needless to say we’re pretty big fans. But HMG packs have had one key downside that’s always nagged us: small hip belt pockets.

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Well, HMG listened to customer feedback and completely redesigned their hip belt pockets this year to make them much bigger and easier to access. This past week we’ve been backpacking around the High Uintas of Utah (check out @cleverhiker on instagram for updates) to test out the new pockets, and we’re sold. The new hip belt pockets are large enough to fit a smart phone (we use ours for GPS, photos, and video) or a point-and-shoot camera, snacks, and any essential gear you may want easily accessible on the trail (sunscreen, chapstick, pocket knife, hand sanitizer, lighter, etc.).

They’re also made of durable materials and the zippers have a water resistant seal, which is a nice touch. Though the pockets are much larger, they don’t stick out or get in the way while hiking, which is also great.

Quick Specs

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Southwest

Price: $349

Capacity: 40 Liters

Weight: 1 lb. 13.2 oz. / 2 lb. 0.4 oz.


  • Durable
  • Nearly waterproof
  • Large hip pockets
  • Hip pockets don't get in the way when hiking


HMG’s new hip belt pockets are a great improvement to an already stellar product. If you have any feedback, comments, or questions, hit us up in the comment section below and we’ll be happy to help out!