Balance Pockets and Bags— Are They The Same?

As a hiking and backpacking enthusiast in the USA and Canada, you're likely familiar with the importance of balance on the trail. Maintaining equilibrium while navigating rugged terrain is crucial for a safe and enjoyable outdoor experience.

Two gear innovations that have gained prominence in recent years for enhancing balance are "Balance Pockets" and "Balance Bags." But are they the same, or do they offer distinct advantages? In this blog, we'll delve into the world of balance gear, comparing and contrasting Balance Pockets and Bags to help you make an informed choice for your next adventure.

The Aarn Fishing Balance Pockets.

Balance Pockets: A Revolution in Weight Distribution

Balance Pockets, also known as hip belt pockets, are primarily created to attach to other backpacks and are typically used to improve balance as well as for storage purposes. At Light Hiking Gear, our balance pockets are designed exclusively to attach to mid- and large-capacity Aarn packs.

The pockets have special clips on the top that attach to Aarn backpack shoulder straps, along with tabs on the bottom that slide into sleeves that are part of the Aarn hip belts.The key innovation lies in their ability to distribute weight evenly across your body, reducing the strain on your shoulders and back.

Benefits of Balance Pockets

Enhanced Balance: By placing weight at your hips, Balance Pockets help maintain equilibrium during hikes, even on challenging trails.

Reduced Fatigue: The even distribution of weight minimizes fatigue, allowing you to hike longer and more comfortably.

Convenient Access: Essential items are readily accessible without removing your backpack, making it easy to stay hydrated and navigate.

Balance Bags: Adding Versatility to Your Gear

Balance Bags, on the other hand, offer a different approach to balance and convenience. These bags can be attached onto all pack brands that have a sternum strap and hip or waist belt. Our Universal Balance Bags therefore can be attached onto any backpack and offer you improved balance and agility.

Benefits of Balance Bags

Expanded Storage: Balance Bags provide extra space to carry gear that might not fit in your main backpack, ensuring you're well-prepared for extended hikes.

Balanced Load: By distributing weight both on your hips and within the bags, they offer a comprehensive approach to balance, particularly for those embarking on multi-day treks.

Customizable Gear: Balance Bags allow you to tailor your gear selection to the specific demands of your hike, making it versatile for different trip lengths and terrains.

The Universal Balance Bags.

Comparing Balance Pockets and Balance Bags

Now that we've explored the individual benefits of Balance Pockets and Balance Bags, let's compare them side by side:

Weight Distribution:

Balance Pockets focus primarily on redistributing weight from your shoulders to your hips. By attaching these compact pockets to your backpack's hip belt, they help maintain equilibrium during hikes, especially on challenging trails.

On the other hand, Balance Bags offer a more comprehensive approach to weight distribution. They not only redistribute weight to your hips but also distribute it within the bags themselves. This dual distribution ensures that your load is evenly balanced, making it an excellent choice for hikers tackling multi-day treks or challenging terrain.

Storage Capacity:

Balance Pockets are designed to accommodate smaller essentials like snacks, GPS devices, and cameras. They provide quick and convenient access to these items without the need to remove your backpack.

In contrast, Balance Bags excel in carrying bulkier items, expanding your gear-carrying capabilities significantly. With Balance Bags, you have the flexibility to carry clothing layers, a rain jacket, extra food, and other larger essentials that may not fit in your main backpack.


Balance Pockets are ideal for day hikers or those who prioritize quick access to essentials. They are perfect for maintaining balance on shorter trails and ensuring you have easy access to crucial items. On the contrary, Balance Bags are well-suited for longer hikes and multi-day trips. They allow you to customize your gear selection according to the specific demands of your hike.

This versatility makes them an excellent choice for backpackers and hikers embarking on journeys with varying terrain and weather conditions.

The Aarn Photo Balance Pockets


Balance Pockets offer the convenience of easy access to essential items without the need to remove your backpack. This quick access is valuable when you need to grab a snack or check your GPS device on the trail.

Conversely, Balance Bags require you to access your gear by opening the bags, which may take a bit more time. While they provide ample storage, they may not be as convenient for accessing items on the go as Balance Pockets.


Finally, Balance Pockets are a great choice for day hikers and those seeking to maintain balance on shorter trails. They provide the necessary weight distribution and quick access to essentials for these types of hikes.

Balance Bags, however, are ideal for backpackers and hikers embarking on extended journeys with varying terrain and weather conditions. Their larger storage capacity and comprehensive weight distribution make them well-suited for more challenging and extended hikes.

Choosing the Right Balance Gear for You

The choice between Balance Pockets and Bags ultimately depends on your hiking preferences and the nature of your adventures. Consider the following factors when making your decision:

Hike Duration: For shorter day hikes, Balance Pockets offer convenient access to essentials. For multi-day treks, Balance Bags provide the extra storage you'll need.

Terrain: The ruggedness of the terrain you plan to tackle should influence your choice. Balance Bags may be preferable for challenging landscapes.

Gear Needs: Evaluate the gear you typically carry and how it fits into the storage capacity of each option.

Comfort: Personal comfort is paramount. Test both Balance Pockets and Balance Bags to determine which feels more comfortable and suits your hiking style.

The Aarn Hipster Balance Pockets.

Balance Pockets and Bags each offer unique advantages, enhancing your hiking experience by improving balance and convenience. Whether you opt for the quick access of Balance Pockets or the added storage capacity of Balance Bags, incorporating balance gear into your hiking routine can elevate your outdoor adventures to new heights.

Balance Pockets And Balance Bags: Are They Different?

To explore a wide selection of Balance Pockets and Bags and find the perfect fit for your needs, visit Light Hiking Gear. We offer a broad range of top-quality and lightweight backpacking gear to suit a variety of backpacking and trekking escapades. Some of our best-selling products include Aarn backpacks that are designed with superior quality materials.

Visit our online store today to place your orders.  


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