Best Hydration Pack for Cross Country Skiing

Cross country skiing dates back to 4000 years ago, it was a popular mode of transportation back then, and even though 1000 years ago it became a popular sport, many people still use it to go from place to place.

It has since developed its own traditions, trails, and preferred skiing equipment. One of those is the hydration pack. Water is life, and staying hydrated is paramount.

Buying the right gear is easy, once we know what we need and what’s in the market. Now let’s narrow down our choices.

Our Top Picks

RUPUMPACK Insulated Hydration Backpack Pack with BPA Free 2L Water Bladder

This is one of the good models. It’s a heavy duty pack, it’s lightweight, the insulated bladder holds 2 L of water and keeps them from freezing. It has ample storage space, but some of the pockets are a bit tight, so you might want to plan ahead what fits where.  

Its practical design and moderate price certainly place it high on our list.

Things we like

  • It’s designed with a thermal insulation compartment, which is a must in extreme weather conditions
  • It comes with a 2 L leak-proof bladder
  • It has an ON/OFF bite valve to ensure no spills
  • The bladder is taste-free, FDA approved, and has a wide opening for easy filling and cleaning
  • It has adjustable shoulder and chest straps to provide comfort and stabilization. Also, to fit both genders and age groups.
  • It weighs only 1.06 lb, so it is lightweight. This is essential, as the length of the trail would seem much harder with heavier gear
  • It is made from a sturdy material, that would keep your belongings dry and well protected
  • It has several pockets and 15 L overall storage volume
  • It is moderately priced

Things we don’t

  • The pockets are a bit tight

SKL Hydration Pack Water Backpack with Water Bladder 2L BPA Free Hydration Backpack

The SKL hydration pack is a very basic, and very affordable model.

The good price of this pack didn’t come with a reduction in the water bladder specifications or quality, both are on par with the rest of the models, even the pricey ones.

The insulation of the bladder is achieved by placing it in a thermally insulated pouch. The tube, however, is not fully covered.

The minimalistic design and limited storage capacity make it very lightweight and easy to move around with. It is however not very suited for the longer tougher trails.

Things we like

  • It’s a lightweight pack, so carrying it for a whole day is not difficult
  • The harness is adjustable for optimal fit and comfort
  • It’s made from a sturdy material. The Breathable mesh back panel and high-quality nylon make it durable and easy to clean
  • It has a 2 L bladder made of EVA material
  • The plastic is FDA approved and taste-free
  • It’s simple to drink from, so it’s easier to stay hydrated
  • The drinking end has an original design, you push the  mouthpiece to drink, and then pull it back when you’re done
  • The shoulder straps are adjustable, so it is fit for men, women, and youth
  • The wide webbed shoulder straps reduce stress on your shoulders, so you can wear it for a long day
  • The two-layer design keeps the water from freezing in the pouch
  • The price is very affordable

Things we don’t

  • Doesn’t have thermal insulation, but the way the pouch is placed keeps the water from freezing.
  • Pockets and storage space too small

CamelBak SnoBlast Ski Hydration Pack, 70oz

The CamelBack is a very sleek, very pricey model. It is designed with the skier in mind, so every attachment point, and every one of the 3 zipped pockets has a reason and a logic behind its existence.

This naturally comes at a price. A pretty high one!

Things we like

  • Triple zip design makes accessing the contents of the pack quite easy, especially with gloved hands
  • The insulated harness protects the water in the reservoir from freezing
  • The Crux reservoir is easy to refill
  • The drinking tube is insulated, and to further keep it from freezing it is tugged inside the shoulder strap zipper
  • An expansion panel can be folded out to add about 6 L of extra space for storage
  • It has a hook for attaching the helmet
  • It can carry a snowboard and snowshoe

Things we don’t

  • Very pricey

 

DolfinPack Lightweight, Form-fitting, Waterproof, Extreme Sports Hydration Pack

The DolphinPack is the most eye-catching. It has a design that doesn’t parrot any other model, and a color that is certainly unique in an elegant fun way. It is thus often picked by female skiers, it is not exclusively so. Men opt for it just the same.

It has a 1.5 L water bladder, so it suggests a shorter trail and easier terrain. As far as that condition is considered, then this pack would be practical and efficient.

Its price is midrange, so not too hard on the budget, but it isn’t very affordable either.

Things we like

  • It’s made from neoprene, which is a synthetic rubber known for its flexibility and durability
  • It’s a lightweight pack, weighing only 5.6 Oz, which makes it easy to carry around for extended periods of time
  • It has a 1.5 L reservoir with a high flow, easy to open and shut, bite valve
  • The reservoir has a neoprene cover for thermal insulation to keep the water from freezing
  • It has neoprene elastic straps for optimal fit and comfort
  • It is moderately priced
  • The design is aesthetically very pleasing

Things we don’t

  • The reservoir capacity is 1.5 L only
  • For a basic model, the price is not too affordable
  • There is no storage space

MIRACOL Hydration Backpack with 2L Water Bladder

The MIRACOL is a popular model. Its design is optimal for long trails and tough terrains. It has plenty of storage space, placed strategically and with various sizes to accommodate the needs of skiers.

It is moderately priced, especially for the many options it offers. This model too ranks high in our list.

Things we like

  • It’s a lightweight pack, weighing around 1 lb, so it’s not an overload to skiers
  • Its inside is thermally isolated to keep the water from freezing
  • It has several pockets and a general purpose storage compartment
  •  It has a replaceable 2 L bladder
  • The bladder is made from an EVA plastic, it’s BPA-free, and FDA approved
  • It has an extra wide screw cap, around 3 in across, which simplifies filling and cleaning the bladder
  • The shoulder and chest straps are adjustable for best fit and comfort
  •  The price is moderate

Things we don’t

  • The material is not very durable

Baen Sendi Hydration Pack with 2L Backpack Water Bladder

The Baen Sendi is a very basic pack, holding only the bare necessities. It’s very nicely priced though, and can hold up to 2 L of water.

The limited storage space and minimal insulation make it more suitable for a shorter trip. And it would look so good every step of the way.

Things we like

  • It has a 2 L bladder, which is a good capacity for these long excursions
  • The bladder is made from an anti-bacterial, food grade, FDA approved, BPA-free, Environment-friendly material
  • The bladder material has no odor and doesn’t leave an aftertaste
  • It’s also pressure-tolerant and leak-proof
  • It has exterior zipper pockets to store miscellaneous objects
  • It has adjustable shoulder, chest, and waist straps to make sure it fits well and doesn’t bounce as you move
  • The main compartment is made from sturdy nylon, to keep the contents dry, and to increase the pack’s durability
  • Very affordable price

Things we don’t

  • The only thermal insulation it has is the body of the pack, and shoulder strap. It might not be sufficient to keep the water from freezing in extreme temperatures.

Atlapa Sports Lightweight Hydration Backpack

The Atlapa pack almost has it all, including a whistle in the strap buckle, to be used in case of emergency!

It is ready and eager to take on any trail, and it is versatile enough to suit the nature and character of any cross country skier.

The moderately affordable price is another aspect of this pack we appreciate a lot!  

Things we like

  • It has an insulated water bladder pocket to keep it from freezing
  • There are many pockets with various sizes to increase storage options
  • The main storage compartment is large enough to fit a windbreaker
  • There is a mesh of straps on the other side of the main storage compartment where more objects could be fitted, like gloves for instance
  • The shoulder straps are padded for more comfort
  • The straps are adjustable to fit men and women of various sizes
  • The back of the hydration pack is made from a padded breathable material, which is comfortable for the back, and much less messy even when it rains
  • The 2 L water bladder is made from TPU, which is a sturdy material
  • It’s also leak-proof, BPA-free, and FDA approved
  • The opening cap is extra wide for easy handling
  • The tube has neoprene insulation to keep the frost away
  • It has a silicone bite valve and sliding shut off, which makes staying hydrated much easier
  • There are conduits in both shoulder straps to pass the bladder hose in the preferred side. Some people like their tubes from the left, and accommodating them is easy
  • It has a whistle incorporated in the waist strap buckles for emergencies
  • The price is very moderate

Things we don’t

  • None

What are the Alternatives to a Hydration Pack?

Water belt

It is available for purchase everywhere, very affordable, and not hard to access while skiing. It is not very convenient though, as it has a very limited capacity and the water freezes easily in the bottle, especially on a long trail.

Insulated drink belt

The insulation overcomes the hitch of the previous option. It can also have some space for keeping the keys or a snack. It still has the capacity limitation, and the whole belt needs to be taken off just to take a sip!

A plastic water bottle inside the backpack

An out of sight bottle hiding inside the bag can easily be forgotten, and less frequent water intake quickly leads to dehydration. Also, taking plastic water bottles outdoors may not be the most environment-friendly choice, as they tend to be left out and clutter nature.

How to Choose a Good Hydration Pack for Cross Country Skiing

Long excursions in extreme weather conditions and possibly rough terrain requires being prepared with the right gear. This is a short list of useful features we like to have in our hydration packs.

  • The pack should be lightweight and made from a durable material
  • It should have various storage spaces with sufficient capacities
  • The back side should preferably be padded, and made from a breathable fabric
  • The capacity of 2 L seems to be optimal. A 1 L pack may not be sufficient for the day’s needs, and a 3 L one tends to be too heavy
  • The water bladder should be made from good quality material, it’s best if it is also environment-friendly
  • The plastic of the water bladder and tube should not have a taste or odor or leave an aftertaste. All this discourages frequent hydration
  • The water bladder and tube should be insulated to keep the water from freezing
  • The opening of the bladder should allow easy filling and cleaning
  • The tube should be equipped with a good quality valve and cap
  • The straps should be adjustable to fit various body forms comfortably
  • The harness and hydration system should be easy to setup, put on, and use while skiing
  • And of course, we would like it to be moderately priced and to look good

Are these Hydration Packs Unisex?

The comfortable fit of the hydration pack is very important, and as men and women bodies vary significantly, some models are designed with the gender of the user in mind.

Several models, however, managed to overcome these differences by making the harness straps adjustable.

This option has also made it possible for the same model to be used by younger skiers. The straps are that adjustable.

The color, shape, and overall design of the hydration pack is significant. Some models seem to be more suited to women than men, and vice versa.

So these hydration packs are mostly unisex. It’s nice to choose gear that is both functional and pleasing to the eye.    

Our Best Hydration Pack for Cross Country Skiing

The Atlapa Sports Lightweight Hydration Backpack easily tops the list. This one wasn’t too hard to choose, even though all the other packs were pretty good. However, it met almost every single feature we hoped for.  And it did that at a very moderate price.

Another pack we would recommend is the  DolfinPack Lightweight, Form-fitting, Waterproof, Extreme Sports Hydration Pack, which is designed with the female skier in mind but works just as well for the male skiers. It has a bundle of good features, and it is an award-winning pack. It’s a bit to the pricey side though. 

So have a good time on the snow, and always remember to stay hydrated!