The Hyperlite Mountain Gear Shoulder Pocket is the best pocket I’ve found for carrying a smartphone, camera, or a Garmin inReach Explorer+ strapped to my backpack shoulder pads, where I can easily access them during a hike. This accessory pocket is easy to attach to any backpack with a vertical daisy chain running down the shoulder strap, with a clever buckle system that can span a sternum strap without interfering with it. That is an awesome feature that sets this pocket apart from all the others I’ve used in the past.
Specs at a Glance
- Weight: 0.09 lbs | 1.41 oz | 40g
- Dimensions: 7″ x 3.5″ x 1.25″ | 17.7cm x 8.8cm x 3cm
- For complete details, visit Hyperlite Mountain Gear
Made with waterproof Dyneema (formerly cuben fiber), the HMG Shoulder Pocket has a waterproof zipper and is large enough that you can carry two devices with it, one inside and one in the outer mesh pocket. For instance, a smartphone and a point-and-shoot camera, or a smartphone and an inReach Explorer+, can be carried with the same pocket at the same time without over taxing the pocket. Plus, there’s a hidden sleeve on the inside that’s sized to carry an ID card, a credit card or cash.
The pocket has an outer mesh sleeve that is well-sized to carry a camera or a smartphone. If I’m on a navigation intensive route, I’ll carry my new waterproof iPhone XR there, so it’s easily accessible when I want to consult the Gaia GPS or ViewRanger navigation apps. On more scenic hikes, I carry my camera in the exterior mesh sleeve so I can take lots of pictures and keep my phone in the inside pocket. (Yeah, I still prefer a real camera over a smartphone camera. Better sensor. More pixels.)
It’s also easy to remove this pocket, for those times when you need to leave your pack in an unsupervised location like the front porch of a store during a resupply, or in the luggage rack on a train. Each buckle has a small metal gate that pops open when you squeeze it, and locks back when closed. A number of other pack manufacturers use these buckles and they’re quite durable.
The backpacking world is divided into people who like to attach gear to their pack shoulder straps and those that don’t. You can guess which camp I fit into. If you also like to attach gear to your shoulder straps, get yourself a Hyperlite Mountain Gear Dyneema Shoulder Pocket. You’ll quickly understand why this is such a great accessory pocket.
Disclosure: The author received a sample pocket from Hyperlite Mountain Gear for this review. He liked the pocket so much he bought two more. Awesome kit.Editor's note: Help support this site by making your next gear purchase through one of the links above. Click a link, buy what you need, and the seller will contribute a portion of the purchase price to support SectionHiker's unsponsored gear reviews, articles, and hiking guides.