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Rock + Run Hipsac | Waist Pack Review

By Morgan Cvetkovic-Jones

Simple, stylish and efficient, everything you’d want from a running bag, right? The Rock+Run Hipsac not only nails these fundamentals but boasts a pioneering pedigree that no other kit carrying sack can challenge. Originally designed and crafted behind the R+R Ambleside shop in 1984, the Hipsac sought to revolutionise a bum bag market that was suffering a bounce and bulk issue. R+R achieved this by inventing the side compression straps we see adopted across the quality bag market today. Having revolutionised the running bag design, it’s safe to say the Hipsac has earned itself a place in the running bag history books. But, enough of the history lesson, how does the latest Hipsac iteration fare on the fells?

Image credit: Ben Cannon

A Simple Revolution

In an industry dominated by over-designed running packs, the latest incarnation of the Hipsac could well be as revolutionary now as it was back in the 80’s – a timely reminder that understated simplicity reigns supreme. At 90 grams, the recycled Ripstop fabric is feather light in the hand and barely noticeable on your waist, the perfect companion for those fast and light missions in the mountains. What’s more, this slimline composition, with its polyurethane coating (PU), is tough as old boots; tackling the perils of British fell terrain and weather with consummate ease. The robust build of the Hipsac is a testament to its exquisitely, British craftsmanship; being manufactured by Dirtbags, a Lake District based company specialising in the production of outdoor kit with an environmentally sound ethic - recycled/upcycled fabrics, low production runs, bombproof construction etc. 

On the move, the Hipsac is as seamless and super comfortable. “Carry anything from a banana to a building brick without bounce” was the Hipsac’s original motto and it resonates as proudly as ever in this latest version. The side compression straps are a revelation, proving far superior to market rivals which often feature an adjustable elastic cord system that always seems to work loose on the move. No elastic here means the side straps and waist belt are easy to tighten and stay in place no matter how rough the terrain or how much kit you’re carrying. At 4 litres, the Hipsac has a perfect kit carrying capacity, proving plenty big enough for a day’s worth of running gear. I managed to fit a spare jacket, water bottle, two gels, headtorch, a hat, phone and keys (securely attached to the included R+R accessory carabiner) with room to spare. Did it bounce around? Never. Was it easy to access whilst moving? Thanks to its stability and oversized zippers, absolutely!

Key features at a glance:

  • Side compression strap stability. The original, and arguably still the best.
  • Two-way double zippers with extra long zip-pulls make entry and closure quick and easy.
  • Bound seams add to the durability.
  • An internal key loop with integrated mini, alloy carabiner is an indispensable feature
  • A 25mm reflective strip is a neat touch and could prove to be a lifesaver if any part of your run includes a (heaven forbid) road or in the unlikely scenario where you need rescuing.
  • UK Made

To zip it up…

The Hipsac is an exceptionally crafted, bespoke piece of running history. Just as essential now as it was in the 80’s, the Hipsac is the best all-round bum bag I have used. It’s versatility, robust quality and capacity to carry lots of stuff not only makes it the ultimate running companion, but the perfect waist pack for any mountainous adventure – the only question is, which colour to choose!

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