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Lumbar Pack - Trail Running and Mountain Biking

I am looking for a pack that I can use for both trail running and mountain biking.

The hydration pack that I use for mountain biking isn't very comfortable and would love to have a pack that I can use for both regular mountain bike rides and longer trail runs. For a longer mountain bike ride, I have a pack I can use.

I live in Minnesota, temperature can change pretty quickly depending on time of day. I would love to have enough space for a lighter outer layer, my phone, and a multi-tool and tube while riding. For running, I'm not super concerned about weight as much as I am it not moving around too much. 

Are there any packs that work well for both? 

Thank you!

3 Replies

@Dog_Jogger Thanks for reaching out!

Yours is a situation where a running specific lumbar pack will likely work better for biking than a biking lumbar pack will work for running. The only concern would be if the pack has enough volume for your cycling needs. We encourage you to check out the UltrAspire Synaptic Hydration Waistpack - 18 oz, it has some external loops for attaching an extra layer, plus pockets for a phone, hat, or gloves. 

As an often-times mountain biker and occasional trail runner, I can attest to the enjoyment of getting a pack off your back and onto your hips. When I ride my bike, I use an REI Co-op Trail 5 waistpack that I really enjoy. I can get a water bottle, a can of bear spray (Alaska, you know?), a rain jacket, some bug spray (again, Alaska), snacks and a multi-tool for my bike with no trouble at all. I also have a fold up water bowl for the dog that I pack along sometimes. While it is a versatile pack that works great for light hikes as well, I would not recommend using it for running. Waistpacks for cycling tend to flop around and bang against you when you try to run.

Hopefully this helps, please let us know if you have any other questions!


At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Hi @Dog_Jogger !

@REI-JohnJ provided some awesome ideas to get you started with finding the right lumbar pack. I've got a couple more suggestions:

Nathan VaporKrar Hydration Waistpack: This is probably the largest belt-style running pack we carry, and the only one that has extra cinch points to secure your contents.

FlipBelt Zipper: You could probably get away with a smaller belt-style pack like  if you have a thin layer that packs into itself and the ability to carry a phone in a pant pocket or seatpack--they're probably too small to accommodate a layer, phone, and softflask.

Hopefully we've given you some ideas that have a secure fit on the body, and shouldn't move too much while running. But if you happen to visit Alaska to go running with @REI-JohnJ , you'll probably need to switch to a vest instead to carry the bear spray, too! 

Happy trails! 

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Hello @Dog_Jogger !

To add to @REI-JohnJ 's and @REI-PearlD 's great suggestions, I just discovered the REI Co-op Link 15L Hydration Pack . I haven't used it for running, but I am impressed with how it stays in place while I am mountain biking, and the hydration bladder feels very comfortable in the lumbar area. I appreciate the breathable back panel, and it has great compartments for my necessities. I encourage you to take a look!

Enjoy the trails!


At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.