10 Best Backpack Accessory Pockets of 2022

10 Best Backpack Accessory Pockets

Many hikers and backpackers like to attach extra accessory pockets to their shoulder straps and hip belts to provide extra storage and help organize their gear so it can be accessed quickly without removing their backpack. Extra water bottle sleeves, camera bags, phone pockets, or extra hip belt pockets are available and commonly used for this purpose, including ones that come from companies other than your pack’s manufacturer. Most accessory backpack pockets are designed so they can be used on any backpack but it’s important to understand how they’re attached, whether they’ll stay bounce-free and secure, and how easy they are to remove or switch to another backpack.

Make / ModelType
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Shoulder PocketShoulder
Gossamer Gear Shoulder PocketShoulder
Chicken Tramper Gear Water Bottle SleeveShoulder
Gossamer Gear Hip Belt PocketHip
LiteAF Hip Belt PocketHip
Mountain Laurel Designs Pack PocketHip
Superior Wilderness Designs Hip Belt PocketHip
Hilltop Packs Roll Top Fanny PacksHip
Zpacks Multi-PackChest, Hip, Top Lid
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Camera PodShoulder

Here are the top 10 backpack accessory pockets we recommend in 2022.

1. Hyperlite Mountain Gear Shoulder Strap Pocket

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Shoulder Pocket
Hyperlite’s Mountain Gear’s (HMG) Shoulder Strap Pocket is a waterproof pocket made with Dyneema Composite Fabrics that is perfect for carrying a Smartphone, point-and-shoot camera, or travel documents. It has a built-in sleeve that can be used as a hiker wallet as well as an external mesh pocket that will hold a phone securely, even when you take off your pack or it falls over on the ground. It’s easy to attach to packs with daisy chains on the shoulder straps with the included gatekeeper buckles. Works best with packs from HMG, Zpacks, ULA, and Granite Gear, among others.

Available from:
Garage Grown Gear | HMG

2. Gossamer Gear Shoulder Strap Pocket

Gossamer Gear Shoulder Strap Pocket

The Gossamer Gear Shoulder Strap Pocket has a three-way velcro attachment system that is compatible with just about any backpack under the sun. It’s available in a medium size that is compatible with most Smartphones and a large size if you want still more storage. Made with water-resistant Robic Nylon, these pockets have a second mesh sleeve on the outside which is great for stashing sunglasses or snacks for easy access. This pocket works well with all backpacks, especially those that don’t have daisy chains on their shoulder straps like packs from Osprey and Gregory.

Available from:
Garage Grown Gear | Gossamer Gear

3. Chicken Tramper Gear Water Bottle Sleeve

Chicken Tramper Water Bottle Sleeves
Can’t reach your water bottles when you get thirsty? That’s not a problem if you attach your water bottle to your backpack shoulder strap. The Chicken Tramper Ultralight Gear (CTUG) Water Bottle Sleeve can attach to backpack shoulder straps that have a daisy chain in front or a hydration hose keeper loop making them compatible with just about every backpack in existence. The sleeve is available in two sizes and compatible with 0.7L and 1L Smart Water Bottles (a hiker favorite). Durably made with X-Pac, these sleeves are attached at the top and bottom so your bottles won’t fall into the dirt when you bend over to tie your shoe.

Available from:
Garage Grown Gear | CTUG

4. Gossamer Gear Hip Belt Pocket

Gossamer Gear Hip Belt Pocket
The Gossamer Gear Hip Belt Pocket is a simple zippered pocket that is universally compatible with any backpack hip belt. It has two elastic loops on the back and gear loops at the ends that can be used to prevent the pocket from sliding back and forth along the hip belt (clips or cords, not included). Made with Robic Nylon, these pocket are water resistant and have a hook inside to secure your keys.

Available from:
Garage Grown Gear | Gossamer Gear

5. LiteAF Hip Belt Pocket

LiteAF Hipbelt Pocket
The LiteAF Hip Belt Pocket is a four point attachment system with two elastic loops on the back to fit over your hip belt and two end clips to lock it in place and prevent it from moving back and forth. It has a 1L capacity and is made with waterproof and seam-taped Ultra 200 fabric with a YKK water-resistant zipper. This pocket only available in a black color. Also, check out LiteAF’s fanny packs, which are optimized for use with the anchor points on LiteAF packs but may still work with your hip belt. They’re available in custom print colors and patterns to let your freak flag fly.

Available from:
LiteAF

6. Mountain Laurel Designs Pack Pocket

Mountain Laurel Designs Pack Pocket
The Mountain Laurel Designs Pack Pocket has a three-point attachment system with an elastic band on the back to slide over your hip belt and Z clips on the ends that can clip to a hip belt daisy chain, gear loops, or can be tied off with a piece of cord to prevent the pocket from moving back and forth. This pockets is available in Ultra 200 which are durable waterproof fabric and has a water-resistant YKK zipper on the front. It has a capacity of 0.74L/48 cubic inches and is available in grey, only.

Available from:
Mountain Laurel Designs

7. Superior Wilderness Designs Hip Belt Pocket

Superior Wilderness Designs EcoPak Hip Belt Pocket
The Superior Wilderness Designs Hip Belt Pocket has a four point attachment system that includes two elastic bands on the pack that can slip over any hip belt and Z clips on the ends that can clip to a hip belt daisy chain, gear loops, or can be tied off with a piece of cord to prevent the pocket from moving back and forth. This pockets is available in EcoPak or Ultra 200 which are durable waterproof fabrics, and has a water-resistant YKK zipper on the front. It has a capacity of 0.8L/50 cubic inches and is available in different colors.

Available from:
Superior Wilderness Designs

8. Hilltop Packs Roll-Top Fanny Packs

Hilltop Roll Top Fanny Packs
Hilltop Pack’s Roll-Top Fanny Packs expand when you need more storage or roll-down when you need less. It’s such a simple idea, you have to love it! These fanny packs, which have a storage capacity up to 4L, can be strapped in between your backpack shoulder straps, worn lower in front of your waist, or worn as a regular fanny pack. When used over your chest or waist, they’re great for carrying all of your food for the day, a camera, sunscreen, hats, gloves, etc. The top of the bag closes with snaps as well as the roll top for maximum security and waterproofness. They’re available in waterproof fabrics including Ecopak and Dyneema, with the option of custom printing.

Available from:
Garage Grown Gear | Hilltop Packs

9. Zpacks Multi-Pack

Zpacks Multi-Pack
The Zpacks Multi-Pack is a large pocket that can be used as a chest pocket, a fanny pack, top lid on roll-top backpacks, or as front pocket attached to your shoulder straps or hip belt. Its value in its versatility and the fact that its available in waterproof and seam-taped fabrics, including Dyneema and Ultra. Zpacks also makes smaller volume pockets that are worth a look including the Front Utility Pack Accessory (FUPA).

Available from:
Zpacks 

10. Hyperlite Mountain Gear Camera Pod

HMG Camera Pod
The Hyperlite Mountain Gear Camera Pod is an accessory camera pocket that can be hung from your backpack shoulder straps or hip belt. It has 8 points of attachment that allow a user to custom fit the pod virtually anywhere on a backpack and comes with two mini-carabiners, that are optimized for attaching it to daisy chain webbing or gear loops. The camera pod is available in two sizes: a regular/small that fits most smaller mirrorless and point and shoot cameras including Sony ?6000 Series, Canon EOS M6, and Sony RX100 cameras; and a large size that fits most professional mirrorless and DSLR cameras with a medium zoom or kit lens including Sony A7 Series, Canon EOS Series, and Nikon Z Series camera systems. It’s made with 1/4″ closed cell foam padding for shock protection, waterproof Dyneema fabric with a water-resistant zipper, and comes in a white or black color. It also makes a good chest pocket if you want something that’s large as well as multi-purpose.

Available from:
Garage Grown Gear | HMG

Backpack Pocket Attachment Systems

There are a number of different ways to attach extra pockets to a backpack shoulder strap or hip belt. Some of these are universal in that they can be attached to any backpack and some are limited by the anchor points available on the backpack shoulder straps or hip belts such as daisy chains. In any event, you can often overcome these limitations with a small of cord to secure a pocket or prevent it from bouncing too much.

Here is a selection of setup videos from the vendors listed above to give you a sense of what is involved and whether it will work with your backpack (or you need to kludge something up).

Gossamer Gear Shoulder Strap Pocket/Hip Belt Pocket Setup Video

Chicken Tramper UL Gear Water Bottle Sleeve Setup Video

Hilltop Roll-Top Fanny Pack Setup Video

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9 comments

  1. I’d also like to highlight JustinsUL on Etsy. He seems like almost a pioneer in the water bottle shoulder strap holder. They sell out every week it seems like. I own several and their quality is superb.

  2. Christopher Marshburn

    I loved the HMG pocket when I had a pack with daisy chains. But since switching recently to one without (Osprey) I can attest the Gossamer Gear pocket and the Chicken Tramper water bottle sleeve (I have the smaller one) both are great.

  3. CNOC just came out with a shoulder strap pocket for their Vesica bottle. I haven’t used it – has anyone else used one?

  4. Let’s not forget the Clakit or the REI Packmod pocket.

  5. Bill in Roswell GA

    Many thanks for providing much needed yet rarely addressed pocket info! Im addicted to accessory pockets. Just to add to the mix, Superior Wilderness Designs and Zimmer Built both offer should strap pockets with a horizontal waterproof zipper vs the U shaped zipper on HMG and GG pockets. Zimmer offers either DCF or VX material. SWD offers similar. Snap clips on both, elastic strap on back. I have pockets from SWD and Zimmer fit to GG packs, Durston pack and Gregory Octal. Never leave home without shoulder pockets!

  6. I bought Elemental Horizons water bottle sleeve and attached them to my shoulder strap and was disappointed that they bounced side to side. I solved that by stitching both sides to the shoulder strap. It works great and very convenient. After reading Philips review of the REI Flash backpack I purchased one and found the forward positioning water bottle mounts on the hip pad worked much better than the shoulder strap mounts.

  7. Thanks Phil. This was a needed review. Beats earthing the web.

    Would you consider doing a backpack side pockets review. I always add to my “pocketless” backpacks 2 aftermarket side pockets of at least 1 liter size for gear I may need in a hurry like 1st aid, water treatment or potty kit.

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