Best Hydration Pack for Marathons

Updated September 19, 2020

The best hydration pack for a marathon will help you stay in shape to complete your race. It should also offer a little storage to carry some valuables while you’re focusing on the running event ahead. Luckily, there are lots of good hydration packs that you can pick from to choose the right one for your needs. If you’re currently looking for a suitable hydration pack, then you’ve come to the right place.

Marathon Hydration Pack Reviews

The more you train, the better you’ll become at assessing your hydration needs. You don’t need to drink large amounts of fluid while running as it may make you feel bloated or sick.

If you’ve prepared well before the race, a good hydration pack will provide the amount of fluids you need until you’re done with your race. Here are my top choices.

CamelBak 2016 Circuit Hydration Vest

The Best Hydration Pack

The DolfinPack is one that offers straight-to-the-point functionality with its light and minimalistic structure.

Our pick

This is a low-profile lightweight hydration pack for running the marathon. It weighs
0.51 pounds and is constructed from mesh nylon for maximum comfort and better airflow. The leak-proof reservoir features an easy open/close cap which is a must for runners. You can easily add ice to keep your water cold. There isn’t much storage offered, only a sweat-proof pocket for your phone and some snacks. In addition to the 1.5-liter bladder, there are two front pockets for extra water bottles. However, the bottles fit at a weird angle. Thanks to the dual system straps, this vest can be adjusted for a snug yet comfortable fit. It is washing-machine safe, and the bladder is very easy to clean. This might be a bit pricey, but it’s fitted with a compression system that will hold everything in place so it won’t bounce. The external fill feature means that you can fill water into the reservoir without removing it.

Osprey Packs Viper 9 Hydration Pack

The Best Hydration Pack

The DolfinPack is one that offers straight-to-the-point functionality with its light and minimalistic structure.

This is an excellent choice for runners who want a durable hydration pack. The mesh
ventilated back maximizes the airflow and distributes weight evenly to keep you comfortable. It comes with a 2.5-liter reservoir, in addition to a bite valve attachment to facilitate use while running. It weighs 1.2 pounds, but it’s not suitable for people with bigger frames. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly model, then this isn’t the right one for you. However, it features side compression straps to reduce fatigue while running for long distances. Moreover, the Biostretch shoulder harness provides a comfortable fit. There’s no risk of bouncing thanks to the hip belt. You can also fit a few objects into the harness or side pockets. There’s a special fleece-lined pocket for your shades, in addition to the LidLock helmet and blinker light attachments.

TRIWONDER Hydration Pack Backpack 5.5L

The Best Hydration Pack

The DolfinPack is one that offers straight-to-the-point functionality with its light and minimalistic structure.

If you’re looking for a lightweight and affordable hydration pack, then this might be the one for you. It’s made of waterproof nylon with mesh back and straps for extra ventilation and comfort. Weighing only 250 grams, this is an excellent choice for long-distance running. It features reflective trims for safety if you’re running in low light conditions. I think this is suitable for someone who wants a versatile pack that can be used with the BPA-free bladder or fitted with two water bottles. The 2-liter bladder is somehow temperature-resistant, so you can add cool or warm drinks. The adjustable slide straps allow you to customize the vest for the perfect fit. However, there is no mechanism to prevent the bladder from bouncing. There is little room for extra storage that might not fit a big smartphone. But it will secure your keys and credit card in place. However, you’ll have to unhook the front straps if you want to access any of the front pockets.

CamelBak M.U.L.E. Hydration Pack

The Best Hydration Pack

The DolfinPack is one that offers straight-to-the-point functionality with its light and minimalistic structure.

This hydration pack offers some storage, in addition to the needed hydration for
long-distance running. It features adjustable straps with mesh back panels that provide better breathability and comfort. It weighs 1.3 pounds and comes with a stability belt that eliminates bouncing. The 3-liter reservoir holds more water than other models on the market, so you won’t have to worry about refilling it. It features an easy to open cap so you can quickly fill and clean it. Thanks to the design of the bladder, you’ll get 20% more water per sip. The lever prevents leaks, keeping your pack dry and ready for use, while the magnetic trap keeps the tube in place. This pack comes with a hefty price tag, but it’s made of high-quality durable materials that resist abrasion. There are reflective trims for safety in low light conditions, in addition to an external hook to attach a helmet. However, for the price paid, you should expect to get more storage.

Nathan NS5025 Hpl Hydaration Running Backpack with 2L
Bladder

The Best Hydration Pack

The DolfinPack is one that offers straight-to-the-point functionality with its light and minimalistic structure.

With this hydration pack, you’ll have enough water for 2 or 3 hours of continuous running. It’s suitable for people who sweat a lot thanks to the perforated padded back. This pack is more expensive than other models, but it’s made of durable nylon and polyester to resist tears. It weighs 400 grams, so it’s lightweight and practical to use. Dehydration is not an issue because you can easily fit an extra water bottle in addition to the antimicrobial 2-liter hydration bladder is easy to fill and clean. It’s also dishwasher safe. The tube is BPA and PVC-free. However, the bite valve tends to leak a little bit. I wouldn’t recommend this to someone who uses colored energy drinks because the bladder will be stained. The snug-fit zipper pocket allows quick access to the bladder for refilling. You can also keep your keys, protein bars, and other essentials in the back zipper compartment. The pack features a 3-way propulsion harness to eliminate bouncing, keeping the bladder and all your belongings in place.

High Sierra Propel 70 Hydration Backpack Pack with 2L BPA
Free Bladder

The Best Hydration Pack

The DolfinPack is one that offers straight-to-the-point functionality with its light and minimalistic structure.

Weighing 600 grams, this pack is the best option for someone who wants an affordable hydration pack and doesn’t mind carrying a little bit more weight. It features a 2-liter BPA-free bladder. Cleaning and filling the bladder is a breeze thanks to the wide opening. It’s antimicrobial for maximum safety. The hands-free reservoir pressure valve guarantees that you’ll keep your focus on the trail. The tube is insulated to prevent water from freezing inside. There are elastic hoops to position the hose conveniently. Although this is designed for runners in the first place, it features a special meshed flap to attach a helmet. There is also a reflective loop to add a blinker, so I would recommend it to someone competing in a triathlon. There are two specific fits for men and women. Both models feature mesh back panels for better airflow and an external pocket, but there are no chest and waist straps to prevent bouncing. Moreover, accessing the reservoir can be a little bit troublesome due to the position of the straps.

Picking and Maintaining the Right Bladder

The bladder or reservoir sits in a special compartment in your hydration pack. It
has a tube that allows you to drink while running.

Bladders are usually made of soft materials and have tubes that go to the front so you can easily drink. You should always make sure that your bladder is BPA-free. Some bladders have some insulation that keeps your water or energy drinks cold for longer periods.

Make sure that the tube has a bite valve so you can drink as if you’re using a
straw. This means that the tube won’t release water accidentally. It should also be leak-proof and has a mechanism that will restore the tube safely to its place.

Some bladders have a big opening for easy filling and cleaning. Most water bladders
are between 1.5 and 2 liters. However, there are bigger bladders that suit people who want to run for longer distances.

Regular cleaning keeps your bladder in good shape. You should clean it using a mild
detergent, and then stuff it with paper towels to absorb all moisture. Place the bladder upside down or keep it open to make sure that it’s completely dry.

What to Consider When You’re Shopping for the Best Hydration Pack for Marathon?

Runners need to be healthy and hydrated to carry on until the end of the race. Here are some factors to consider when you’re shopping for the best hydration pack for
marathon.

Comfort

Will be comfortable carrying this hydration pack for a long distance? It should have
some padding on the back and shoulders to distribute the weight.

Breathable and lightweight materials are essential as they prevent the accumulation of sweat which can lead to skin irritation. Moreover, you should look for a pack that’s not bulky as it can get in the way when you’re running the marathon.

Capacity

A bigger hydration pack means that you won’t have to think about refilling when you’re running for a long distance. Nevertheless, it means that you’ll have to deal with some extra
weight.

In addition to water capacity, your hydration pack can have some extra pockets for
energy gels, bars, snacks, and an extra jacket. These packs aren’t designed to carry lots of stuff. They should, however, have a pocket to carry your valuables like the credit card, keys or phone.

Weight

Marathon runners are considered about any extra weight that can affect their speed and comfort. This is why you should look for a hydration pack that’s well-built but
isn’t heavy to carry.

Stability

If your hydration pack shoulder or waist straps, it will stabilize the weight and
prevent bouncing. This reduces discomfort, especially if you’re running for a long distance.

Extra Attachments

An attachment to secure your helmet or light is a must if you are competing at the triathlon or running at night. However, if you’re only running for long distances on sunny days, then you don’t those.

Wrap Up

For a marathon runner, I think that CamelBak M.U.L.E. Hydration Pack is a good choice. It features a durable hydration pack that delivers more water every time you sip. This pack is very comfortable to carry around thanks to the breathable materials and doesn’t bounce while running.

If this model is out of your price range, I would recommend the TRIWONDER Hydration Pack Backpack 5.5L. This is one of the lightest models on the market and holds water in the bladder or in water bottles to provide the best hydration for longer runs.

Hydration packs for marathon provide a lot more than what an ordinary water bottle can deliver. Choosing the right one depends on your personal preferences, and isn’t
tough when you know what to look for.