It is essential to stay hydrated, whether for a day hike or several hours of cycling. The best hydration backpack will greatly facilitate such a gesture.
A bad hydration backpack does not allow you to sip water without stopping. It would also tend not to fit properly into your body.
It will tire you significantly, especially on the back and shoulders. You will then be slowed down in your hike or route. To avoid so many problems, choose a good quality water bag instead.
Hydration packs have special compartments to hold flexible water bags. This allows you to easily carry litres of drinking water with you anywhere. The tube attached to the tank also allows you to drink it at any time without having to stop.
The best hydration backpacks in comparison
If you are thinking about acquiring one already, it is more likely that you have looked for your options in the market and you have noticed that they are too many. Many times it happens that we are saturated with offers and we do not know what to choose, but do not worry.
Then you can see a complete comparative list that includes the 5 best hydration backpacks for you, so you can choose the right model for you.
This is nothing more and nothing less than the backpack with greater capacity on our list since it has a total space of 12 L so you can take everything in it and make outdoor sports an incomparable experience.
This model has a thin main compartment with a larger one and an emergency one, with the hydration compartment separated and protected where the 3 L bag is located.
At the same time, it has a fixing system to add a helmet, as well as an opening tool with a subdivision and easy access to all your things.
The Evoc backpack has a weight of 900 grams and has coverage for rain, which makes it waterproof and ideal for water sports and even to take to the beach.
Users love this hydration backpack because it offers comfort, versatility, convenience and is also of excellent quality and durability. In addition, it is also at an excellent price for what it offers.
This minimalist model of the popular Camelbak brand is ideal for short walks, running or hiking, as it is small, light and versatile: it weighs only about 190 grams.
It is an excellent bicycle backpack, also, since it maintains a very good balance, does not generate almost additional weight and even has reflective strips to give you safety on the road.
It is available in red, blue, black and green colours and also has useful lanyards when it is necessary to exceed the load capacity of the model.
It is one of the most affordable hydration packs on our list, which comes with shoulder straps as a backpack shoulder model, but with 3D Airmesh technology, so they are truly breathable.
The hip strap is adjustable, while also has a main compartment and 2 side mesh to store additional items or accessories.
It has a zipper on the belt, a pocket for waste and a unisex design that is available in several colours: red, black, various shades of blue, blue with orange and grey with green.
In turn, you can find it in its version of 10 litres for intermediate users and in another of 20 litres for the more advanced ones who will do mountaineering or who will spend one or more full days in their adventure.
We thus arrive at the hydration backpack that occupies the position of honour in our comparative list as the least expensive. It has a capacity of 2L of water and 5L for accessories and equipment.
It is excellent for cycling, hiking, hiking and more, so it is a totally multifunctional model.
In turn, it has received excellent opinions from its users, who love it for being resistant and durable, convenient, made with the best materials such as nylon and PEVA and for its lightweight of just 310 grams.
This backpack is resistant to water, is made of non-toxic materials and can be used in mountains, beach, swimming pool, under mild rain or even under the strong sun. It is quite practical and useful.
We can call it a water bag, a water bag, but also a reservoir bag, this accessory is a bag that contains water bladder, allowing us to go on excursions with the liquid of our choice. A flexible hose comes out of the bag, and it is held close to the mouth of the user so that the latter can drink as soon as he wishes. It is quite simply an alternative, much more practical, to the traditional gourd which moves and strolls in a lambda backpack. The American soldiers are the first to have benefited from this type of equipment, and gradually the hydration bag has become a must in many sports, especially for cycling, running, hiking, but also the motorcycle, or still hunting, rollerblading and even paragliding and mountaineering.
The shapes can vary from one bag to another depending on the uses and sporting activities it aims. So there are some hydration bags that are not designed for anything other than the transport of a certain amount of water, while other models are more complete and have several additional pockets that can carry clothes food, smartphone, etc.
The tank is usually made of plastic and most often rubber. Its capacity varies between 1.5 and 3 litres depending on the model. It can be thermally insulated so that the liquid does not heat up or freeze. A hose connected to the tank allows the user to drink easily without even having to use his hands. To fill it, a larger, unscrewable opening allows us to fill it easily and quickly.
Benefits of using hydration backpack
Hydration is one of the key elements of a performance. We must regularly hydrate in order to replace the water present in our body because a simple loss of fluid of 2% of the body weight contributes to facilitating fatigue and necessarily undermines performance.
The first advantage of a hydration pack is that it allows you to hydrate more easily, and especially more often with a small sip, which is very widely recommended. Whatever the sport, it is better to drink little and often than to drink 1 litre at each stop.
The hydration pack is also a very practical accessory. The end of the hose is within reach of the mouth, and it is caught directly with it without the help of the hands. A gourd is sometimes difficult to catch, it sometimes even requires the help of a teammate. We lose just as much time taking it out as putting it back in place.
The size is reduced. A bottle always keeps its original size and it always takes up as much space in our backpack, whether full or empty. The hydration pack water pocket adapts and takes any shape. It is not rigid and necessarily the space required for its transport is less compared to a gourd.
Despite taking up less space, the hydration pack offers greater capacity. So you can leave with between 1 and 3 litres of water on your back, without being cluttered with a large container that is difficult to transport. The weight is also better distributed.
In cold weather, a hydration pack usually keeps the water at the right temperature. In a gourd, especially if it is kept close at hand, the liquid will tend to freeze easily.
Types of hydration packs
Most of the hydration backpacks do not give all the space to the storage of the water, because they allow ensuring the hydration for no more than a day of the excursion. This is why they usually leave a very good space for clothes and personal items, but sometimes they do not have a great capacity for water storage.
That is not something beneficial for those who carry out such a demanding activity and in which they often have help from miles away. So, no matter what the size of your backpack, we recommend that you really look at the capacity of water you have. Sacrifice space for anything but water.
If you are a road cyclist, your first choice has to be bicycle backpacks. It is proven that it is more beneficial for the balance of the bicycle to carry the weight on it than on the cyclist’s back.
The most important thing for those who practice this activity is that the backpack does not bounce. That is why it is important to have a lightweight and mooring system that allows stability. For this, in the market there are two styles specially designed for running comfort:
Vests to run: They have the design of a vest and have a lanyard that allows fitting very well to the body. Although they look like regular backpacks, they are less visible and have front pockets and tie-down straps like shoulder bags, but do not have a lumbar belt. Most vests also have hydration tanks, although they are sometimes sold separately and others include dedicated water storage facilities in their design.
Backpacks to run: They have the design of any common backpack of simple excursions, of a day. However, they have operating characteristics specifically designed for this activity, such as a discreet design, some have a lumbar belt, pockets easily accessible for the runner who has more storage than the backpacks to run, most have a good hydration capacity to drink water while running.
Hydration backpacks are excellent for outdoor sports such as skiing and snowmobiling because they can be used perfectly without having to go through the tedious ritual of removing gloves. Although some users find a greater benefit of buying a hydration backpack.
It is best to look for light hydration backpacks with a thin layer or shell that protects it. In addition, it must be taken into account that the hydration reservoir should be adequate for about 5 or 15 hours of activity in these mountaineering activities. And, in most cases, an extra hydration reservoir is placed.
Most backpackers do not usually have higher expectations or demands on their hydration backpacks. Due to the nature of their activity, they tend to prefer more storage for their clothes on the trip and other belongings, since they do not usually have problems filling the water tank of their backpack constantly and do not usually require so much hydration, at least not constantly like others of higher demand such as hiking or cycling.
You may have noticed by its name, these are a variation of the hydration backpacks that are placed around the waist. Most include water bottles instead of a deposit. By their nature, they are designed to store very few things, only the essential ones. This is why they are ideal for short-term activities such as running, skiing or short walks, for example.
What to look for when buying hydration backpack?
Comfort and stability
One of the reasons to buy a hydration backpack is that they are lighter and thinner than a normal backpack. In fact, even the largest ones are quite narrow, thin and convenient. The smaller ones direct the weight to your back or in the lower part of the waist. Look for models that stay in place as you are running.
Many of the most popular brands use hoses compatible with each other, which is quite practical to try several options from different manufacturers until you find the one that makes you more comfortable without dripping.
Pressurised or non-pressurised
With pressurized systems you do not have to suck, since a second hose applies pressure so you do not have to make almost effort to take. They are quite comfortable, but they are not really necessary and they do add some weight to the system in general.
Ease of cleaning
All backpacks must be cleaned regularly. As they are reusable, you have to avoid creating dirt and growing bacteria or fungi. In turn, if you are taking sweetened drinks or powdered electrolytes, you have to clean the entire backpack every one or two uses.
Clean the reservoirs: the bags that open at the top are the best and some can even be washed in the dishwasher. If the opening is wide, it is also easier to wash it at depth and dries faster too. Sometimes you can also use brushes to clean better.
Clean the hose: especially if you drink with sugar, you have to clean the tube thoroughly with a brush and soapy water. In fact, there are kits to clean them that include these convenient
In this section we talk about the capacity of the water bag and the hydration backpack in general, to carry your equipment and accessories:
Reservoir capacity: Remember that each liter of water weighs 1 kg, so you must take into account the amount of water you want and need to drink normally and buy a backpack suitable for that need. Sometimes it is advisable to have the highest capacity model, but fill it just where you need it. There are 1L, for mild activities, 2L for longer and stronger training and 3L for high performance, people who drink a lot of water or hot summer days.
Equipment capacity : The capacity of the backpacks to carry your equipment and accessories can go from 5 to 50 liters. Before choosing a specific model, think about everything you need to carry and the size of the bag. If you only go hiking, hiking or short races, the little ones are enough. the medium ones are better for running, camping and climbing mountains, while the bigger ones are better for mountaineering, long climbs and should be waterproof and breathable.
You need a bag that fits you well so that everything maintains a correct balance, your back does not suffer and so you can go with total comfort. To achieve this adjustment to your body, look for a model taking into account the following:
Length of the torso: the backpacks come in different sizes that fit almost any torso, from short to longer. In fact, some products come with adjustable suspension to fix your shape.
Waist size: these products can adjust many waist widths, in measures of 63.5 to 101.6 cm or more.
For women: these shoulder bags have ergonomic shapes designed specifically for the woman’s body, so the torso is narrower and smaller.
For young people: they have lower capacity and come with adjustable suspension to graduate to the child’s body as it grows.
Closure of the bite valve: some valves can be turned to close them securely, while others have a switch to avoid unnecessary spills.
Portal for the tube: they are holes in the backpack that allow to pass the hose through it. Some models bring two holes or one in the center of the backpack.
Clips: these are placed on some of the shoulder straps and serve to keep the hose in place and make it easy to access and use it.
Quick disconnect tubes: some reservoirs have easy disconnect systems to quickly remove hoses and fill in a few seconds. You only use a button to disconnect both parts, take out the water bag and leave the tube in its place if you use it through a portal.
Wide opening: if the bag has this, it will be easier to pass the hand inside to clean it. You can even use a brush and get to the bottom. On the contrary, if it is a small opening, you can buy a special cleaning kit for these products.
Accessories for cold climate: there are accessories for the temperate climate, such as hoses and bags with insulated insulation or covers for the nozzle. They can be useful, but they also add some weight.
Protection against rain: these waterproof covers are great if you do outdoor sports.