Best Hydration Packs

Review & Comparison, Last Update March 16, 2017
Do you like riding a bike? If your answer is yes, this review of the best hydration packs will surely come in handy. A hydration backpack will help you carry a large amount water and drink it right during the ride! ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Material
Storage capabilities
Hydration capacity
Cap type
Valve type
Conveniences
Weight
Warranty
 
PROS

Thanks to soft harness straps, this hydration backpack fits your back. A mesh spacer on the back panel provides effective ventilation. There are lots of compartments for tools and other necessities you may need on a bike ride.

CONS

The chest and waist straps are rather narrow and require occasional adjusting.

OUR VERDICT

This Osprey hydration pack is perfect for backpacking, hiking, and mountain bike riding. It offers a considerable capacity and truly elaborate design with lots of handy compartments.

detailed parameters
Material
70D x 100D nylon
Storage capabilities
Hydration sleeve, Scratch-free sunglass pocket, Zippered hipbelt pockets, Front stretch mesh pocket
Hydration capacity
100 oz
Cap type
Screw-on
Valve type
Magnetic lockable bite vavle
Conveniences
Side compression straps, Blinker light, Removable roll-out tool pouch, Lid lock attachment (for a bike helmet), Soft harness straps, Chest and waist straps, Whistle
Weight
1.41 lbs
Warranty
Lifetime
PROS
The water bladder is totally leak-proof thanks to the HydroGuard™ technology. You can control the amount of water you drink by switching a lever on the valve.
CONS
The mesh straps are rather fragile, so make sure not to tear them.
OUR VERDICT

It's one of the lightest hydration packs which suits people who don't wish to carry extra weight and need just water. You can wear this water backpack even under your overclothes.

detailed parameters
Material
210D nylon
Storage capabilities
Exterior zippered pocket (for small items such as a cell phone, a wallet or keys)
Hydration capacity
68 oz
Cap type
Screw-on
Valve type
Big Bite™ valve
Conveniences
Easy to open and close cap, Breathable air mesh back panel
Weight
0.41 lb
Warranty
Lifetime
PROS
The front storage pocket is expandable, so you can put your jacket or a rug there. This hydration pack comes with a rain cover. The water backpack provides enough storage space for everything you need on a backpacking tour.
CONS
The mesh side pouches might tear up if you put large bottles there.
OUR VERDICT

The Teton Sports hydration backpack is a great choice for backpacking and hiking tours as well as for bike trips. You will be able to carry a lot of your personal stuff along with water!

detailed parameters
Material
210D Honeycomb Ripstop / 600D PU
Storage capabilities
Hydration bladder pocket, Large storage compartment (for clothes or food), 2 mid-sized pockets for minor items (keys, wallet, first aid kit, etc), Mesh side pouches
Hydration capacity
68 oz
Cap type
Screw-on
Valve type
Bite valve
Conveniences
Chest and waist straps, Soft breathable harness straps, Bike helmet mount, Soft breathable back panel, Whistle
Weight
2 lbs
Warranty
Lifetime
PROS

The valve is protected against dust thanks to the plastic lid. The water remains cool for quite a long time thanks to the bladder material and the insulated hose.

CONS
Side pockets are quite small.
OUR VERDICT
It's a compact and lightweight hydration pack for runners and bike racers. This water backpack will provide you with enough water and put no pressure on your shoulders and back.
detailed parameters
Material
Nylon
Storage capabilities
Hydration bladder compartment, 3 pockets
Hydration capacity
50 oz
Cap type
Screw-on
Valve type
Extendable bite valve
Conveniences
Chest and waist straps
Weight
0.95 lb
Warranty
60 days
PROS

The Miracol hydration backpack has a thermal insulation that allows keeping liquids cool for more than 4 hours. There are lots of small storage compartments for holding your necessities.

CONS
The latches on the straps are fairly tough to open and close.
OUR VERDICT

This hydration backpack combines high quality and a really wallet-friendly price. It's pretty multifunctional and can be used with and without a water reservoir.

detailed parameters
Material
Nylon
Storage capabilities
Hydration bladder compartment, Multiple pockets (for a cell phone, keys, wallet, etc), Breathable mesh pad, Chest pouches
Hydration capacity
68 oz
Cap type
Screw-on
Valve type
Bite valve
Conveniences
Chest and waist straps, Earphone opening
Weight
1 lb
Warranty
30 days

What is a Hydration Pack

Hydration backpacks were designed to provide a cyclist with water right during the ride. This accessory is convenient primarily for bike riders as the amount of water that can be stored in a water backpack is usually larger than that in a bottle. Yet, hydration packs come in handy for other activities, such as running or hiking. A hydration pack allows drinking water right on the go, without halts or pauses. Basically, this accessory is a plastic bladder with a tube and a mouthpiece; it's filled with water and placed in a backpack. The tube runs through a special opening in a backpack and fixed on a shoulder strap so that a user can drink water. For this review, we have selected the best water backpacks and compared them according to the most important features you need to consider.

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What Features to Compare

Backpack & Hydration Capacity

The first thing to consider is the capacity of a backpack and its hydration bladder. For example, if you're keen on hiking or some other kinds of walking tours, consider a hydration backpack with the total capacity of 900 cubic inches, several compartments, and a hydration bladder able to store around 100 ounces of water. The backpack of the kind will let you carry not only sufficient amount of water but also some food and your other belongings. Joggers and runners should stick to smaller water backpacks that have just several pockets for a cell phone and keys; typically, these hydration packs have the capacity of around 50-70 ounces. All hydration packs are designed to be lightweight so they don't put any extra load on a runner, cyclist, etc. when in use.

Water reservoir & Valve

Today, there are two major types of hydration reservoirs: with a screw-on cap and with an upper seal. The models with caps are more popular as they securely hold water and don't leak (if the cap is screwed tightly, of course). Yet, they present a certain challenge when you need to clean them. In this case, you need to use a special brush. The hydration bladders with upper seals are much simpler to clean, but filling them with water is more difficult. The valves might seem all the same but they are not. There are bite or push-pull valves, with an anti-dust cover or without ones, etc. Bite valves are the most widespread as they are convenient and reliable; just bite it and drink, then release the valve and the water flow will stop. No leaks!

Material

Choosing a hydration pack, don't forget to check what material it is made of. Most frequently, nylon, polyester or Oxford fabric are used. The materials must be reliable, wear-, and water-resistant since you never know when it may start to rain. That's why nylon is considered to be the most popular material used in water backpacks. Yet, there is an important thing to consider: each manufacturer uses nylon of a certain density, so check it before making a purchase.

Convenience

Regardless of the size and capacity, any hydration backpack has to be convenient. That's why we recommend you to pay attention to the straps. They should be quite wide and thick on a large water backpack in order to ensure an even weight distribution. Some hydrations packs have mesh covered straps that boast an efficient ventilation. If you are a cyclist, check whether a hydration backpack has a special bike helmet mount where you could hang it. Finally, consider the weight of each water backpack. Keep in mind that you will carry water and other items, so a backpack might become rather heavy when fully loaded.

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Osprey Packs Raptor 10

Best For

Osprey is an American company that has been manufacturing top-notch backpacks for more than 40 years, making innovations, quality, and unique design their priority. The Osprey Raptor 10 hydration pack is an excellent option for hiking, backpacking, and cycling, particularly for those who adore cross-country and mountain bike rides. This water backpack has a comfortable shape, ventilated contact surfaces, and a hip belt for the maximally secure fit. The back panel of the water backpack is made of mesh-covered die-cut foam (it's Osprey's unique AirScape™ system) which ensures an efficient ventilation. This water backpack has a medium capacity, 610 cubic inches, though it's large enough for storing the most important items you need. The water reservoir is fairly big, making the total capacity of 100 oz. It's fitted with a special plate which maintains an anatomical shape and ensures a smooth water delivery. The Raptor 10 will surely provide you with water during a bike tour or any other activity.

Review of Osprey Packs Raptor 10 Hydraulics

Compartments and Storage Options

This water backpack comes with Osprey Hydraulics reservoir that has the capacity of 100 oz. It's a plastic bladder with a screw-on cap for trouble-free and fast refills even without removing the reservoir from the backpack. The hydration system occupies a special sleeve, so it's well protected and it doesn't contact other items inside the backpack. The bite valve is fitted with a small magnet and attaches to the right sternum strap. Therefore, you need just to bite the valve and drink! The Osprey water backpack's main compartment is large enough to store some clothes or foodstuff, for example. The water backpack is equipped with a small scratch-proof sunglasses pocket that you will find extremely handy in case you use rather expensive cycling glasses. If you like long-distance bike rides, you know well that a technical failure might leave you stranded many miles from the nearest town. That's why this fantastic hydration pack has a removable roll-out pocket for holding all the tools you need for a repair (such as a bike pump, tubes, tools, etc). If you need to cycle around your neighborhood, you can remove this pocket in no time. The hip belt has two pockets for small items (such as energy gels, for example). Thus, despite a relatively small size, this Osprey hydration backpack will hold everything you need on a cycling tour.

Osprey Packs Raptor 10 Hydraulics in the use

Attention to Details

Apart from a variety of storage compartments, this water backpack has some additional features that make it extremely convenient to use. We would like to mention the Lid lock system that allows you to store a bike helmet when you aren't wearing it. We recommend you to read our review of the best bike helmets and choose the model fitting your requirements.

The front compartment has a couple of meshed pockets for keys and other important belongings. Riding at nighttime is far more dangerous that at daytime, so this Osprey water backpack has a light reflecting pattern and a place for a blinker light.

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Osprey Packs Raptor 10
Osprey Packs Raptor 10
 

CamelBak 62176

Durable, Light, Compact

The CamelBak Classic is a small hydration pack for cycling, jogging, skiing, and even snowboarding. This compact item is made of durable 210D nylon, which guarantees its top durability and wear-resistance. The empty water backpack weighs just 0.41 lb, hence you almost don't feel it on your back. Apart from the compartment that holds a water reservoir, the backpack is fitted with a smaller one where you could keep such necessities as a smartphone, a wallet, or keys. Being quite compact, this hydration pack can be worn over or under your clothes. Wide mesh straps are breathable and provide an even weight distribution. This water backpack is available in several colors, so you can choose the one you like better.

Review of CamelBak 62176 2 liters

Optimum Hydration Capacity

This compact backpack has 68 oz Antidote® water reservoir. Due to the size and capacity of the bladder, you almost don't feel it during a bike ride or while jogging. On average, a person needs to drink around 35 oz of water per hour during physical exercises, so the capacity of the reservoir is great for an intensive 2-hour cycling. The cap of the bladder is leak-proof and is easy to open and close (just 1/4 turn). The opening is rather wide, so it's easy to refill the bladder and clean it (with a special brush). The patented Big Bite™ valve is very reliable and has a special on/off lever which allows you to control the water flow. The hydration system is fitted with the HydroGuard™ anti-leak technology. In general, this small item is great for people who wish to drink enough while exercising and who don't need any extras.

CamelBak 62176 2 liters in the use

What to Fill a Water Reservoir With?

The manufacturer recommends filling the hydration bladder with pure water or with a special energy drink that helps your body recover after strenuous activities. You may try adding carbonated water; the bladder somewhat inflates as the pressure builds up inside, so the water flows really well when you bite the valve. Yet, professionals don't drink carbonated water. It isn't recommended to fill the water reservoir with juice, lemonade, soda, and other sugary drinks. The sugar contained in them accumulates on the inner walls of the bladder and in the tube, so cleaning them is rather troublesome. Thus, fill the reservoir with clean water and the hydration pack will serve you for ages.

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


CamelBak 62176
CamelBak 62176
 

TETON Sports Oasis 1100

Impressive Storage Capabilities

Planning a backpacking or a cycling tour, you surely wish to carry all the items you need, such as food, clothes, etc. Yet, it's equally important not to overburden yourself. The Teton Sports Oasis 1100 hydration backpack is just what you need! It has an impressive total capacity of 1,100 cubic inches and lots of storage compartments. The hydration system occupies a special well-protected pocket. The main storage compartment is quite large, allowing you to put some clothes and/or food in there. The two mid-sized front compartments can be used to store a first aid kit (that you should always have at hand when going to the woods), a smartphone, a wallet, keys, and other minor items. The mesh side pockets are large enough to accommodate bottles, maps, sunscreen, and other items you use rather frequently during a trip. Cyclists will certainly appreciate the Bungee cord system for attaching a bike helmet or other items.

Review of TETON Sports Oasis 1100 2 Liter Free Rain Cover Included

Convenience Above All

As the very name of this backpack suggests, it comes with a hydration system. It isn't big but the capacity (68 oz) is sufficient for a mountain bike ride. The bladder is made of soft BPA-free plastic and, therefore, is totally safe for your health. The screw-on cap of the water reservoir makes refills easy and is leak-proof. The water tube is soft and resistant to bending and wringing. The hydration system is fitted with a reliable bite valve. Fill the bladder with water, put it into the backpack, then draw the tube through a special opening in the backpack, and you are ready to go! The harness straps are padded and breathable for your extra comfort and the optimum weight distribution. Thus, your back and shoulders won't get tired during multi-hour cycling or backpacking trips. To make you visible on the road at nighttime, this hydration pack has light reflective strips. Your clothes and other items will never get wet since this backpack comes with a handy rain cover. And last but not least, you will also find an emergency whistle in the box, which will come as a nice bonus!

TETON Sports Oasis 1100 2 Liter Free Rain Cover Included in the use

Verdict: Worthy Purchase

Summing the brief review up, this hydration pack is one of the best as it combines a fairly large capacity, lots of storage compartments and pockets, impressive package, and high-quality materials. What makes it even more attractive is its low price! 

If you adore backpacking even in cold weather, you need a storage of a hot drink. So, we recommend you to read our review on thermoses.

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


TETON Sports Oasis 1100
TETON Sports Oasis 1100
 

Camden Gear

Best for Running and Road Cycling

Undoubtedly, this compact hydration backpack from Camden Gear is one of the best products you could get to use for jogging, trail running, and road cycling. Why do we say so? Let's discover some of its really peculiar advantages that set it apart from many other similar models. 

Today a lot of people practice a so-called trail running, a kind of sports consisting of running and hiking over trails. These trails are usually found quite far from the towns, so all sports enthusiasts can also enjoy the wilderness and fresh air. The only problem they all face is lack of water supply, meaning they need to have several bottles of water on them when heading down these trails. They problem is still worse considering the fact that they cannot possibly bring around heavy bags that hinder running and directly impact trail runners' performance. This is the situation where you wouldn't do without a running hydration backpack like the Camden Gear, small, compact and lightweight, offering the capacity of 50 oz of water and 3 additional pockets for holding your other personal belongings and light snacks.

This hydration pack is also a fantastic choice for road cycling as every excessive pound matters in this kind of sports. Wearing this compact water backpack, you will be able to ride a bike at a really high speed. So, don't miss out on our review of the road bikes.

Review of Camden Gear with Chest Sizes 27" - 50"

Hydration Reservoir Maintenance

A hydration reservoir of this pack is a small plastic bladder usually with a screw-on cap. It's easy-to-use and leak-proof but cleaning the bladder might seem quite difficult. Yet, there is nothing to fear as you can use a special brush. The bladder is fitted with a flexible hose with a bite valve. To drink, just bike it! Unlike many other valves, this one has a plastic lid that prevents the accumulation of dust or dirt. We don't recommend you to fill the water reservoir with sugary drinks, such as juice or lemonade. The tiny sugar particles will make a sediment inside the bladder and you might find cleaning it a challenging task. If you are an avid trail runner or a cyclist, you need to keep the water bladder clean so that no dangerous bacteria or mold proliferate in it. Fill the reservoir with hot water, add some dishwashing liquid, then rinse the bladder with cold water. If you wish to avoid using any chemicals, you can add two tablespoons of soda and go over exactly the same procedure. Do it once a month and the water reservoir will always be clean and safe for your health!

Camden Gear with Chest Sizes 27" - 50" in the use

Top-notch Hydration Pack for Everyone

This hydration backpack is made of durable nylon which is really wear-resistant and serves for years. Also, this material is water-resistant, protecting your belongings in case it starts raining (though, it is unlikely to protect them from a heavy downpour). The chest and waist straps offer a wide adjustment range, so both men and women can find the perfect fit. Moreover, even a child can wear this water backpack! The chest sizes vary from 27'' to 50''. The storage compartments aren't record-large but they can easily fit some of your clothes, an iPad, or even a small laptop (with the screen size of 11"-12''). By the way, you can remove the hydration system and use the backpack alone.

If you need to carry your laptop every day, you should certainly use a special backpack for it. Take a look at our shortlist of the best laptop backpacks and choose the one you like the most!

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Camden Gear
Camden Gear
 

Miracol Water Bladder

Reliable and Versatile

This Miracol backpack with a hydration system is a pretty versatile accessory for anyone who's fond of running, cycling, hiking, and other similar activities. This item is quite compact and fits both men and women since it's easily adjustable. The unit is made of nylon, which is water- and tear-resistant. Also, this material makes the backpack very light, just 1 lb. The soft and durable harness straps fit your shoulders and cause no discomfort. This hydration pack is equipped with the adjustable waist and chest straps. Hence, you can find the most comfortable fit and the backpack won't slide or wiggle when you run or cycle. If you wish to have a walking tour in the neighborhood, you can easily remove the hydration reservoir and use the backpack alone.

Review of Miracol Water Bladder 2L

Drinking Cool Water is Cool!

This small water backpack is fitted with multiple pockets for all items you need for picnicking, hiking, or cycling. The main storage compartment fits your clothes of food, whereas several small pockets are perfect for such necessities as gadgets, a wallet, a first-aid kit, etc. There are two small waist pouches for small items, such as keys or cards, for example. Yet, what makes this water backpack unique is the presence of the insulated water bladder compartment which can maintain a water temperature for about 4 hours, supplying you with cold water on hot summer days. Owing to a big size of the screw-on cap, all refills are hassle-free and will take you minimum time. To make water even cooler, you could add some ice cubes just before going on a journey. 

Miracol Water Bladder 2L in the use

Why You Need a Hydration Pack

A hydration backpack is a useful accessory, but this fact isn't obvious to everyone. Some people prefer taking a sports water bottle and a conventional backpack, whereas cyclists might use a bike bottle holder. However, in order to have a drink, you will need to stop each time which might be rather challenging for your body, trying to keep the same breathing rhythm along the route. Try and go cover a couple of miles and then, just before crossing a finish line, make a stop to have some water. You will instantly feel very hot and exhausted and might not manage to proceed to run at all. That's why wearing a hydration pack comes handy with water right at your hand. There's no need to halt during your run; you can keep drinking water while exercising (no matter where you cycle or run). The other thing is, you can always keep some other essentials like your phone, maybe some snacks, documents, keys, a badge, etc. in one of its smaller pockets so that nothing important could be left behind. 


Miracol Water Bladder
Miracol Water Bladder
 

Sources:

1. Hydration Packs: How to ChooseREI.

2. Hydration pack buying guideWiggle.

3. Helena Kotala How to Choose a Hydration Pack for Mountain Biking, Singletracks. November 1, 2016.

4. How to Choose and Use a Hydration Pack, wikiHow.

5. Jenny Hadfield How to Choose an Ultrarunning Hydration PackRunner's World. March 28, 2013.

6. Hydration Pack Buying Guide, eBay. March 3, 2016.

7. Hydration System Buying Guide, GO Outdoors.

8. How to Choose Hydration PacksEASTERN MOUNTAIN SPORTS.