November 17, 2023 5 min read

Hiking is a wonderful way to connect with nature and embark on exciting outdoor adventures.

Whether you're a seasoned hiker or a beginner, one essential piece of gear that can significantly impact your experience is a crossbody hiking bag.

This versatile bag can make your journey more comfortable and convenient, provided you choose the right one. With countless options available, it's important to understand the key features to look for in a crossbody hiking bag.

In this article, we'll delve into the top 9 crossbody hiking bag features that will ensure your hiking bag perfectly complements your outdoor explorations.

Size and Capacity

One of the first things to consider when selecting a crossbody hiking bag is its size and capacity. The bag should be spacious enough to carry all the items you'll need for your hike, such as water bottles, snacks, a first aid kit, extra clothing, and more.

However, it shouldn't be so large that it becomes cumbersome and hinders your mobility.

Look for a bag with a capacity that suits your hiking style, whether it's a short day hike or a longer backpacking trip. A bag that's too small may leave you without enough space for essential items, while one that's too large can become unwieldy and uncomfortable.

Comfortable Straps

Comfort is of utmost importance when it comes to a hiking bag. A crossbody bag should have adjustable and padded straps that distribute the weight evenly across your body.

Look for models with wide, cushioned shoulder straps that can be easily adjusted to fit your body size. This ensures that you won't experience discomfort or strain during your hike, even when carrying a heavy load. The right strap design and padding can help prevent shoulder and back pain, allowing you to enjoy your hike without discomfort.

Bag Durability

2 little hikers with their hiking bags

Hiking can be tough on your gear, so durability is a crucial feature to consider. Your crossbody hiking bag should be made from high-quality materials that can withstand the rigors of the outdoors. Look for bags made of ripstop nylon or other durable fabrics known for their toughness, much like the durability you'd expect from other hiking items like men's running trail shoes.

Additionally, check for reinforced stitching and sturdy zippers, as these are essential for ensuring that your bag can handle the wear and tear of the trail. Investing in a durable bag will save you money in the long run, as it will last through many adventures.

Weather Resistance

Weather can be unpredictable, and no one wants their gear to get wet during a hike. Therefore, a weather-resistant or waterproof hiking bag is a valuable feature to have.

Look for bags that have a water-resistant coating or a rain cover that can be easily deployed when needed. This feature will help protect your belongings in case of unexpected rain or moisture on the trail.

It's important to safeguard your gear and supplies, as a wet backpack can make your hike uncomfortable and potentially damage your items.

hiking backpack

Multiple Pockets and Compartments

Organization is key when hiking. Your crossbody bag should have multiple pockets and compartments to help you keep your gear and essentials neatly arranged.

Having separate pockets for items like your water bottle, smartphone, map, and snacks can make your hike more convenient. It's also essential for safety, as it minimizes the time spent rummaging through your bag to find what you need.

Easy access to specific items can be a lifesaver when you're on the trail, and it helps keep your hike enjoyable and hassle-free.


Hiking can be a sweaty business, especially on warm days or during strenuous hikes. To stay comfortable, look for a crossbody bag that features ventilation.

Some bags are designed with mesh or breathable materials on the backside that allow for air circulation, reducing the likelihood of a sweaty and uncomfortable back.

Good ventilation helps prevent overheating, which can be a significant concern during hot summer hikes. It keeps you feeling fresh and comfortable as you explore the great outdoors.

Hydration Compatibility

Staying hydrated on a hike is vital, so having a hydration reservoir compatibility feature in your crossbody bag is a great plus. Many hiking bags come with a designated compartment or pocket to accommodate a water bladder or hydration reservoir. This feature allows you to drink water without having to stop and take off your bag, making it more convenient and safer, especially on steep or uneven terrain.

Staying hydrated is crucial for your well-being, and having easy access to water can help you maintain your energy and avoid dehydration.

Weight and Portability

Lightweight gear is essential for hikers who want to keep their load manageable. A lightweight crossbody hiking bag is a significant advantage because it won't add unnecessary weight to your hike. Look for bags that are made from lightweight materials without compromising on durability.

The portability of your bag is also crucial. Ensure it's easy to carry and consider options with a handle or additional carrying straps for flexibility. A heavy bag can slow you down and lead to fatigue, so choosing a lightweight and easily portable bag can enhance your hiking experience.

Security Features

Safety is a top priority when hiking in the great outdoors. Look for crossbody bags with security features to protect your belongings.

Some bags include anti-theft features like lockable zippers or RFID-blocking pockets, which can safeguard your valuables from theft or unauthorized access. These features can provide peace of mind during your hike and make your overall experience more enjoyable.

When you're out on the trail, knowing that your belongings are secure can help you relax and fully enjoy your surroundings.

Consider These Features When Searching for a Crossbody Hiking Bag

When selecting a crossbody hiking bag, it's important to consider a range of features to meet your specific needs and preferences. The bag's size, comfort, durability, weather resistance, organization, ventilation, hydration compatibility, weight, and security features should all be carefully evaluated. By paying attention to these aspects, you can ensure that your hiking bag enhances your outdoor adventures, rather than hindering them.

So, the next time you hit the trail, you'll be well-prepared with a crossbody hiking bag that suits your needs perfectly. Happy hiking!

For more helpful articles, check out the rest of our website.

Author - Fred Felton
Fred Felton          

Content Creator / Editor

Fred Felton is a copywriter, editor and social media specialist based in Durban, South Africa. He has over 20 years of experience in creating high end content. He has worked with some of the biggest brands in the world. Currently Fred specialises in the adventure watersports space, focussing on surf, kayak and rafting. He is also a keynote speaker and has presented talks and workshops in South Africa.

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