Hyperlite Mountain Gear makes some of our favorite ultralight backpacks, tents, and accessories, and they’ve done it again with the Versa Ultralight Fanny Pack. This bag is seriously VERSAtile – it feels like I come up with new ways to wear it and use it every other day. Is it necessary? Definitely not. Is it super cool, and will it make you the envy of the trail? For sure.
MEASURED WEIGHT: 4.2 oz.
DIMENSIONS (L x W x H): 9 x 6 x 2.25 in.
VOLUME: 2.25 L.
VERSATILE – Crossbody, waist pack style, attached to the hip belt, attached to the sternum strap, on your front, on your back – the list of ways you can wear/attach the Versa goes on and on. I use it as a crossbody sling for around town, a waist pack for day hiking, and attached to my hip belt or compression straps when backpacking. Since HMG backpacks don’t include a brain/top lid like a lot of other packs do, the Versa serves as an alternative for keeping frequently used small items close at hand.
ROOMY – Despite having only 2.25 L of storage capacity, the Versa feels like a bottomless Mary Poppins bag. For a quick day hike I fit my Granite Gear Hiker Wallet, the Black Diamond Spot 325 headlamp, my Patagonia Houdini Jacket ( check out the men’s Houdini Jacket here – it’s a seriously cool clothing item!), some chapstick, a Bobo’s Oat Bar, a full Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight .3 Medical Kit, a Goal Zero Flip 24 Power Bank, and some other random bits and bobs (like keys and hair ties).
That’s pretty impressive. It’s also a great shape and size for storing your smartphone or small cameras and accessories. The Versa features a large, zippered main pocket with a separate mesh pocket (with a sewn-in key clip), a zippered front pocket, and a stash pocket that sits against your body.
DURABLE – The Versa is constructed out of 50-denier Dyneema Composite Fabric that’s known for being ultra-strong and ultralight. I’ve already gotten quite a bit of use out of my Versa fanny, and it still looks brand new.
ULTRALIGHT – You may have guessed from the name, but Hyperlite Mountain Gear doesn’t make heavy stuff. They use high-quality ultralight materials to construct all their products and at only 4.2 oz., the Versa is no exception.
WATERPROOF – Dyneema Composite Fabrics (DCF) are, by nature, waterproof (and resistant to UV light and chemicals for that matter). The DCF body of the Versa is waterproof and the reinforced zippers are highly water resistant. I’ve tested this quality in the infinitely soggy Pacific Northwest, and not a single drop of moisture has crept in.
IT’S DIFFICULT TO ACCESS HIP BELT/STERNUM STRAPS WHEN THE VERSA IS ATTACHED – The stash pocket on the body-facing side of the Versa is cleverly designed with sleeves to stash the fanny pack strap and for accessing your hip belt/sternum strap. But I stillfound it difficult to buckle/unbuckle and tighten my HMG Southwest 2400 backpack straps while the Versa was attached. The system works a lot better with backpacks/daypacks that have narrower hip belt straps like the REI Co-op Flash 22 (we love this pack and it also comes in a lot of fun prints!).
STIFF STRAPS – The straps on the Versa fanny are a little stiff and can be hard to tighten – it takes two hands to get it to cinch. I’ve used it quite a bit already, but I’m hoping the straps soften up and slip through the buckles easier with time.
EXPENSIVE – Anything made with Dyneema comes at a steep price since it’s such a high-tech material. The Versa performs well and looks great, so it’s worth the splurge in my opinion if fannies are your jam.
HMG Versa Fanny Pack Gallery
I’m in love with the Versa Ultralight Fanny Pack from Hyperlite Mountain Gear for its versatility, durability, and weather resistance. It won’t be something I take on every single trip, but it makes backpacks without enough pockets more functional and you can certainly catch me rocking it in town on any given day.
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