What’s the secret to going through a successful hiking expedition, biking tour or skiing adventure? Staying hydrated, of course!
You might have rolled your eyes just now and we don’t blame you. Hydration gets offered as the solution to any problem from concentration issues to battling the first signs of aging. It’s easy to become jaded to it.
Still, this is one piece of universal advice that is actually worthwhile. You need to keep water nearby to maintain your endurance in any kind of sport. Also, you need to train yourself not to forget about taking a sip regularly.
Using hydration packs can help you remember to adhere to your hydration schedule. Since you can usually sip water directly from the pack through a tube, you won’t have to slow down or break your flow. But how do you choose the very best hydration pack?
Best Hydration Pack 2018: The Quick Answer
Hydration packs come in different sizes and designs. Their water bladder size varies too – the bladder is, obviously, where you store your water. It is perfectly hygienic and shouldn’t leak at all.
It’s up to you to decide what kind of hydration pack will fit your needs. Do you need something lightweight or a heavy-duty pack that can carry you through hours of hiking or running? Is it thermal isolation important to you?
The 1.5L InnerFit Hydration Pack is the best hydration pack for running. But if you’re looking for the best hydration pack for mountain biking, go for the 2.0L Live Infinitely Hydration Backpack.
Best Hydration Pack Comparison
Here’s a chart of the different hydration packs this article covers.
|Product Name||Water Storage Capacity||How Do You Drink from It?||Best Features|
|InnerFit Hydration Pack||1.5 L||bite valve||designed for comfort|
|Live Infinitely Hydration Backpack||2 L||bite valve and on/off valve||good for biking, camping|
|Triwonder Hydration Pack||two 0.25 L bottles||bottles or buy a water bladder separately||long-distance races|
|Triwonder Hydration Pack with Water Bladder||2 L||on/off valve||long-distance races|
|OUTON Hydration Backpack||2 L||mouthpiece with cap||performs great in cold climates|
|Osprey Packs Women’s Skimmer 16 Hydration Pack||2.5 L||bite valve||designed for comfort|
|GoPro Hydration Pack||2.5 L||mechanical valve||performs great in cold climates|
|SLS3 Running Hydration Race Vest||two 0.75 L bottles||bottles||long-distance races|
Best Hydration Pack Reviews
So what do you need to know about these products? And what makes each of them the best hydration pack for a particular situation?
Best Hydration Pack for Running: InnerFit Hydration Pack
This hydration pack is both light and versatile. If you’re a very organized packer, you can make use of all six secured and independent compartments. You’ll never have to worry about finding your stuff.
The InnerFit Hydration Pack has adjustable straps, making it a good choice for kids as well as adults. Even more importantly, it’s designed to be bounce-free, which will make running an exceptionally comfortable experience.
As for the water bladder, it can store 1.5 liters. You can use the bite valve for easy access to fresh and cool water. It’s designed with an attention to detail – there is a headphone output, in case you need music to help you stay motivated.
- The InnerFit Hydration Pack is made to last long. Everything from the breathable mesh to the BPA-free water bladder was made from high-quality materials
- It is a highly adjustable pack, making it a good choice for young or slim runners. Both women and men can enjoy using this pack
- The bounce-free design has health benefits
- 5 liters may not be enough for long distances or very hot weather
- Although this hydration pack is made to be water-resistant, heavy rain can seep through the zippers
Who It’s Best For
This is the best hydration pack for you if you’re planning to run or jog for recreation. The bounce-free design makes it a great choice for professional short-distance runners as well. However, it’s not ideal for very long distances or extreme weather conditions.See It on Amazon
Best Hydration Pack for Mountain Biking: Live Infinitely Hydration Backpack
This two-liter hydration pack provides a very snug fit. This means that it won’t slow you down or disrupt your balance if you decide to wear it on biking trips. It’s also a perfect choice for camping and hiking, so if you like combining your vacations with cycling, this could be the best hydration pack for you.
The Live Infinitely Hydration Backpack is both spacious and is entirely of FDA-approved materials. The neoprene tube is guaranteed tangle-free. You have both a sliding shutoff valve and silicone bite valve. There is also a dust cover, which makes your drinking experience more hygienic.
What about storing your equipment?
This backpack has three big compartments that can fit all your essentials as well as some camping gear. There are many additional pockets and a headphone jack as well.
- The chest strap helps secure this hydration pack by distributing its weight more evenly. You won’t feel weighted down even if you take it on longer treks
- The Live Infinitely Backpack is great for summer weather since it comes with foam pads. These will make sure that the air keeps flowing between your back and the backpack
- Easy to use high-quality drinking tube with an on-off switch
- If you need a really heavy-duty backpack for a lot of equipment, this product might be too small for you
- The water bladder is mostly secure, but occasional leakage is possible. Keep that in mind when storing your valuables
Who It’s Best For
This backpack is a good choice for both short-range and long-range biking. You should go for this choice if you’re planning to test your speed and skill or if you want to enjoy nature. But if you need to have a lot of equipment at hand all the time, this isn’t the best hydration pack for you.See It on Amazon
Best Hydration Pack for Marathon Running: Triwonder Hydration Pack with Plastic Water Bottles
If you like to test yourself by entering marathons, you need to look into backpacks that can store an appropriate amount of water without slowing you down. Remember that experts recommend drinking one liter per one hour of running. In hot weather, you may even need more than that.
The Triwonder Hydration Pack can let you carry a liter or two of water without weighing you down too much. However, this hydration pack doesn’t come with a water bladder, tube, and valve. It’s up to you to find a bladder that will fit it, or you can just use water bottles instead.
It does come with two leak-free water bottles, each of them large enough for storing 0.25 L of water. These are practical, and you can keep them in the front, so you won’t have to stop and rummage for through your backpack if you need a drink.
- The greatest upside to using this backpack is definitely the lightweight design. It’s big enough to store 5.5 L of your things. Additionally, the breathable mesh can keep you from sweating too much
- You can get any water bladder for it – anything between 1L and 2L
- The water bottles are convenient to reach, and they’re guaranteed not to bounce as you run
- Hydration packs that come with water bladders are more convenient to use.
- Although it’s very versatile and has a number of different compartments, this hydration pack might not fit every body type. Some women may not be able to adjust it comfortably around the chest area
Who It’s Best For
If all you need is a light but spacious backpack for running, this can be the best hydration pack for you. You should definitely go for this choice if you prefer using bottles instead of water bladders.See It on Amazon
Best Hydration Pack for Trail Running: Triwonder Hydration Pack with 2L TPU Water Bladder
The Triwonder Hydration Pack with 2L TPU Water Bladder has all the upsides that the previous one had, and it also comes with a high-quality 2L water bladder.
Why is that useful for trail running? Trail runners need to concentrate on many things at once. It’s an overwhelming and challenging sport many enjoy the thrill.
So between enjoying the sights, watching your step and keeping an eye on any competitors, you probably want to hydrate in the simplest possible way. Using the on/off valve is simple enough and makes this a completely hands-free option.
- Once again, you’ll have an easy and safe running experience. This backpack won’t affect your balance in any way
- The 3.44 ft. leak-free pipe will make drinking both easy and convenient
A well-fitting backpack is crucial to your enjoyment trail running. You should make sure this item fits you before you go for it.
Who It’s Best For
If you don’t want both speed and convenience and you don’t like the thought of shopping for a separate water bladder, this could be the best hydration pack for you.See It on Amazon
Best Hydration Pack for Skiing: OUTON Hydration Backpack
Staying hydrated is just as important when you’re surrounded by snow. However, you may be less likely to remember it when you’re feeling cold, which makes hydration packs extra important in the winter.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that not every hydration pack is good for keeping your stuff isolated from the cold. But the OUTON Hydration Backpack is a great choice for extreme conditions.
While you can take it hiking or camping, this hydration pack is primarily designed for ski trips. This means that it will fit your body closely but comfortably. You won’t sweat under this backpack, which is just as important in the winter as the summer.
It’s got an FDA-approved 2L water bottle and a mouthpiece with a cap on it.
- An aerodynamic design that will let you keep skiing at top speed.
- It’s got a carrying capacity of 18L, meaning that you can use it to store your equipment without needing to worry
- All the straps are wide and padded. There’s a waist strap that provides extra comfort and security
- If you’re planning an all-day trip in the snowy wilderness, 2L of water may not be enough for you
- The mouthpiece is very simple, but it’s got some chance of leaking
Who It’s Best For
This is definitely the best hydration pack for skiing enthusiasts who like having everything at hand. If you’re planning a holiday up in the mountains, this backpack is a great place to start.See It on Amazon
Best Hydration Pack for Women: Osprey Packs Women’s Skimmer 16 Hydration Pack
Do women need a different design of hydration packs? Not necessarily. But standard hydration packs don’t always comfort fit a woman’s frame, especially around the chest and waist.
Osprey Packs Women’s Skimmer 16 Hydration Pack solved this issue by offering a hydration pack designed specifically for women.
This hydration pack has a 2.5 L reservoir. The drinking tube ends in a magnetic bite valve. This guarantees a comfortable, leak-free drinking experience.
The design here is fairly elegant and simple, but it’s still a spacious backpack that can store 25 pounds of equipment. It’s a good choice for any situation, from hiking to biking and beyond.
- Comfortable straps that will allow you to carry this backpack all day
- Kids and women with exceptionally small frames can use it as well
- It’s made from enduring materials and has an appealing number of pockets
- This backpack isn’t waterproof, so it’s not a good choice for rainy weather. However, you can buy water-proof covering separately
- It doesn’t have much padding on the back, so there’s a chance you will find it uncomfortable despite the clever design
Who It’s Best For
If you frequently have trouble adjusting straps, this could be the best hydration pack for you. Osprey is known for high-quality products, so you are guaranteed to use this backpack for a long time.See It on Amazon
Best Hydration Pack for Snowboarding: GoPro Black Color Hydration Pack Backpack
Extreme sports can make you extremely thirsty. Here’s a backpack that’s perfect for both amateur and expert snowboarding. It provides you with 2.5L of water and comes with a cold-resistant tube and valve.
The GoPro Black Color Hydration Pack Backpack looks impressive and it has heavy-duty double zippers. The dimensions are what make this the best hydration pack for snowboarding, but it holds up on skiing trips as well. However, keep in mind that it’s fairly small and it carries only the essentials.
- You get endurance and a design that lets you move around easily
- This hydration pack performs well even at -20 degrees Celsius
- While it looks very simple, there are enough compartments to fit your most important belongings and keep them safe from the snow
- The valve is prone to leaking, so you may want to replace it.
- The GoPro Hydration Backpack definitely isn’t big enough for a camping trip or a long trek in nature.
Who It’s Best For
This is the best hydration pack for anyone who wants to enjoy outdoor recreation but doesn’t plan to carry around too much stuff. The thermal isolation is especially cool.See It on Amazon
Best Hydration Pack for Ultra Running: SLS3 Running Hydration Race Vest
Here’s a nice German-designed product for anyone who wants to look impressive while running extremely long distances.
The SLS3 Running Hydration Race Vest is specifically designed for men and women who have large builds and wide shoulders. Slim runners may not be able to adjust it comfortably enough.
To enjoy ultra-running, you need a considerable amount of endurance, and the SLS3 will help you along the way. You’ll have easy access to two 0.7L bottles on the front of your chest. Note that bottles aren’t generally included with this race vest.
- High-quality, ultra-light materials, chosen with running in mind
- A good, no-bounce fit for larger people
- It’s an entirely unisex product
- Water bottles can be messier than water bladders
- If you are going on an extra-long run, you’ll definitely need to stop a few times to change or refill your bottles
Who It’s Best For
If you’re planning a long distance race, this could be the best hydration pack for you. It’s highly recommended for runners who dislike drinking from valves. But if you weigh less than 150 lbs., you may want to go for another product.See It on Amazon
Buying Guide: What to Look for in the Best Hydration Pack
This article has covered the best hydration pack options spanning a number of different sports. But that isn’t the only matter you should consider. Here are some important things you have to consider before you make your purchase:
Some people require hydration packs that can withstand the extreme cold, while others need to know their belongings will be safe in the rain. If you expect to use your backpack in a desert climate, is it large enough to store enough water? And will it keep the water cool?
Look for hydration backs made from breathable mesh or other high-quality materials. You want to avoid overheating. Foam pads on the back of your hydration pack are a really good choice too.
A Good Fit
This is the most important consideration. Always look for comfortable straps that won’t dig into your shoulders. Chest and waist straps can help immensely.
Best Hydration Pack FAQs
You may not have much experience with hydration packs yet. So here are the most common questions people ask before investing in their first hydration pack:
Is a water bladder always better than a bottle?
Not necessarily! It’s up to you to decide which best fits your needs.
Water bladders are great because you can get a drink without stopping to think but there are some downsides too. For example, you won’t be able to keep track of how much water you have left if you use a water bladder. Cleaning is slightly more complicated than getting a new bottle every time. On the other hand, water bladders are the more environment-conscious choice.
How do you clean a water bladders?
They’re detachable, as are the tubes and the valves you use to drink from them. You can get a special detergent designed for this purpose, but your best bet is to start with checking the instructions.
How much water storage do you need?
Hydration packs usually store around 1L-3L, but some have bigger capacities. Are you planning long trips or short ones? It’s also very important to consider how often you will get the chance to do refills.
The Final Word
If you like going on long nature treks where you don’t have to worry about anything at all, the best hydration pack for you will have a drinking valve and a nice big water bladder. But there are a bunch of different variations that could be closer to your preferences.
Whichever type you decide to go for, your hydration pack is going to make packing easier. It will also inspire you to keep enjoying nature and explore the limits of your own endurance.
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