Whether you go running, kayaking, hiking, or mountain biking, it’s important to stay hydrated to keep your body properly functioning and maximize your performance. You have to be prepared and ensure you’ll have enough water for your sports session. Therefore, taking a hydration pack with you would be a pretty good idea. It’s the easiest and most convenient way to carry a sufficient amount of water with you. Hydration packs have many features that make them a more favorable option over conventional backpacks.
Things to Consider Before Buying
A hydration pack should be designed to be as lightweight as possible. You don’t want to carry something that will put a strain on your back. Choose a hydration pack that will be comfortable to carry when you’re running, hiking or on a bike.
Hydration packs’ reservoirs come in various capacities. Most hydration packs come with reservoirs that have a capacity of 2 liters but there are other options available like 1.5L and 3L capacities. Another thing to consider is whether the reservoir has a wide-mouth opening or not as it makes cleaning the bladder much easier because you can fit your hand inside the reservoir. Some bladders come with a quick-disconnect tube which allows you to detach the tube easily from the reservoir, which is a great feature to have when it’s time to refill the reservoir. You can conveniently disconnect the tube with the press of a button and pull the reservoir from your pack. This allows you to leave the tube in place, which is especially handy if you have it routed through a tube portal. A tube portal is just an opening that allows you to thread the sip tube from the reservoir.
Before buying a hydration pack, make sure that it’s made of durable materials that can withstand tough conditions and last for a long time especially when you do sports like mountain biking and hiking. You should also make sure that it’s breathable so it doesn’t make you sweat. Many hydration packs are designed to be waterproof, to some degree.
One important thing to consider when looking for a hydration pack is how good the bladder is insulated. You’d want your water to stay cool for as long as possible especially in very hot weather conditions.
Hydration packs usually have adjustable straps and hip-belts so it can fit a wide range of sizes. However, it may not be comfortable for everyone. Make sure to check the manufacturer’s specs to ensure that the pack is suitable for your waist size and torso length. It’s important to pick a hydration pack that doesn’t affect your mobility.
Most hydration packs double as regular backpacks. They usually have an extra compartment for carrying your belongings. If you carry a lot of stuff with you when you go mountain biking, make sure to pick a hydration pack with many/large pockets. Just make sure you don’t store unimportant things that could make the pack too heavy.
Best 5 Liter Hydration Pack
The wide range of hydration packs available on the market might be overwhelming which can make it hard for you to choose the best that’s suitable for your needs. To make things easier for you, we’ve reviewed some of the best 5-liter hydration packs available today. We’ve also listed the pros and cons of each of them.
AONIJIE Running Backpack Women Running Hydration Backpack for Men Lightweight Hydration Pack Running Vest for Trail Running Cycling Marathon Hiking Backpack 5L
The Aonijie hydration pack is made of nylon elastic fabric soft and thin mesh padding to provide extra comfort and absorb sweat. At only 190g, this is one of the lightest hydration packs out there. The front pockets can be used to store your water bottle, phone, keys, foods while the back pockets are made for the bladder and other items. The 1.5L bladder is made of a heat-resistant food grade 100% BPA-free material and it has a wide mouth opening for easy cleaning. You can also choose to get soft water bottles instead of the bladder. The bite valve lets you easily drink from the tube and shut it off when you’re done. Price is reasonable too.
- Breathable material
- Has many pockets
- Good price
- Bite-valve is of poor quality
ANEMEILU 5L Hydration Packs + 2L Water Bladder Bag, Water Resistant Ultralight Hydration Backpack Running Vest For Outdoor Sports Hiking Cycling Climbing Travel
Another good product on our list is the Anemeilu 5L hydration pack. It’s made of water-repellent and tear-resistant nylon for the outer layer, polyester, and spandex for the lining which provides good breathability and comfort. It’s also really lightweight and the zippers are sturdy. The close-fit design minimizes bouncing during running and cycling. There are many pockets when you can carry your personal items. There’s also a very handy detachable foil insulation bag to make your back extra comfortable and cool. Built-in reflective elements provide better visibility in dark environments to ensure your safety. The 2L bladder is made of BPA-free TPU and it’s pretty easy to clean. The tube’s auto-lock connector prevents leaking when it’s not in use.
- Contains a lot of pockets
- Built-in reflective elements
- Sturdy zippers
- Detachable thermally insulated foil bag
- It’s designed as a vest, not a backpack which might make it less comfortable
MARCHWAY Tactical Molle Hydration Pack Backpack with 3L TPU Water Bladder, Military Daypack for Cycling, Hiking, Running, Climbing, Hunting, Biking
The Marchway tactical molle hydration pack is ergonomically designed to fit your body and reduce bouncing. It’s made of Heavy duty water repellent nylon that offers extra wear resistance and longevity. The soft air mesh back improves air-flow and reduces sweating. The foam padded shoulder straps provide extra comfort. The huge 3L reservoir is made of 100% BPA free, food grade TPU and there’s a quick release valve which allows you to easily refill water without having to connect a hose.
Another good feature is the wide-mouth opening which makes cleaning easy and convenient. The military grade webbing is tear-resistant and the zippers are quite sturdy. There’s a large 3L pocket to store water or anything you need and there are 2 front pockets where you can store personal belongings like wallet, gadget, towel, phone, keys, etc. This is an excellent hydration pack for the price.
- 3L reservoir capacity
- Ergonomic and stylish design
- Wide-mouth opening for easy cleaning
- Good storage space
- Affordable price
- A little heavy compared to some other products
iOutdoor Products 5L Riding Backpack Lightweight Water Resistant Small Daypack with Reflective Strip for Hiking, Cycling, Climbing-Unisex (Red)
This running backpack utilizes super diamond fabric which provides protection against abrasion and scratches. In addition to that, the backpack fabric is water repellent which ensures that your items stay dry. The shoulder straps are breathable which makes it dry fast when you sweat. At only 0.33kg, It’s very lightweight too The back is made of a double-layer of breathable mesh padding which provides extra comfort and minimizes the friction between your back and the backpack. There’s also a reflective strip which ensures your safety in low light conditions. This hydration pack is very versatile and suitable for numerous sports activities such as cycling, running, walking, rock-climbing and hiking. It’s also quite cheap and should fit within any budget.
- Light and breathable
- Safety reflective strip
- No bladder or drinking tube
Osprey Packs Syncro 5 Hydration Pack
This hydration pack is made especially for mountain biking but it can be used for other sports too. It features a sleek design that is also practical and versatile. It’s also very comfortable. The 2.5L reservoir is designed to minimize liquid movement so it won’t interfere with your balancing. The sleeve is easily accessible and it’s zippered for easy refills. The hydration tube goes from the shoulder straps through the chest strap, where it’s anchored with a magnetic disk providing troubleless access to the drinking valve. One notable feature is the lid Lock helmet attachment which allows you to securely attach your bike helmet. Another good feature is the Blinker Light Attachment strap which allows you to attach a light for better night-time visibility. A removable high-visibility rain cover for the rainy days is included too.
In addition to all of that, You also get extra space for all your belongings; it’s essentially an awesome backpack that happens to have a bladder attached to it. A removable roll-out tool pouch is included too in which you can store your bike essentials in an organized way. There’s a Scratch-free heat-embossed zippered slash pocket that is convenient for storing your sunglasses and electronics. The foam frame sheet allows good mobility by distributing the load across the back panel. However, This hydration pack is more on the expensive side. It can also be a little heavy for some people.
- Sleek and practical design
- Huge room for carrying lots of stuff
- 2.5L reservoir
- Helmet attachment strap
- Blinker light attachment strap
SHARKMOUTH Rave Hydration Backpack Pack with 2L BPA Free Bladder Holographic Insulated Backpack for Raves Festivals Concert, Coachella, EDC, EDM, Life is Beautiful Festival
This is the coolest looking hydration pack you’ll ever find. It’s actually themed to be used for raves festivals and music concerts but at the end of the day, it’s just a hydration pack that can be used for sports, and it’s quite inexpensive too. The holographic Rainbow Glitter is made of a PVC material and it shines in the light(which actually makes it double as a safety feature). It comes with a thermally-insulated odorless leak-proof 2L bladder that can keep your water cool for up to 4 hours. It’s also quite lightweight.
- Cool design
- Thermally insulated bladder
Frequently asked questions
What is a Hydration Pack?
A hydration pack is simply a backpack (or waist pack) that contains a bladder filled with drinking water to allow you to drink hands-free. It can be handy when doing sports like running, mountain biking, kayaking, etc.
Do I really need a hydration pack?
Well, you can just use a regular backpack and store your items and some water bottles in it. However, a hydration pack is a more convenient solution because you can easily drink from the drink tube while cycling or running without having to stop. In addition to that, the bladder found in hydration packs is thermally insulated and keeps your water cool for hours. Some of the advantages of hydration packs are:
- Hands-free drinking using a tube
- Insulated bladders that keep water cool for a long time
- Extra room for carrying your essentials
How do I clean my hydration pack?
You can clean your hydration pack using hot water and a spoon or 2 of bleach. Blend the solution thoroughly inside the reservoir and hold it up over your head while you squeeze the bite valve to let the bleached water run through the tube.
Do hydration packs keep water cold?
Yes. Most hydration packs have insulated bladders that keep water cool for several hours. Make sure the one you’re buying has good insulation.
We’ve reviewed some pretty good products and it’s up to you to decide which one fits your needs. If we have to pick a winner, it would be the Anemilu 5L Hydration Pack. We really the design of this one. The material is breathable and very light. You also get a detachable foil insulation bag. If you can spend some extra cash, the Osprey Packs Syncro 5 Hydration Pack is an excellent choice too especially if you go mountain biking. It has pretty much everything you need like roll-out tool pouch, lid lock attachment strap, lots of space for storing your items, and a blinker light attachment. Nonetheless, the other products are excellent too and should get the job done.