Best Hydration Pack for Running

The best hydration pack for running allows you to maintain your fluid intake. All you have to do is to fill it up, and you’ll be ready to take on any running track without feeling dehydrated.

There are different models of hydration packs for runners, and shopping for the most suitable one can be quite overwhelming. This is why I’ve reviewed some of the top-selling ones and will tell you exactly how to pick the one for your next running adventure.

Reviews of the Best-Selling Hydration Packs for Running

Not all hydration packs are the same. Here is a review of some of the top models on the market.

1.     Unigear Tactical Hydration Pack Backpack 900D with 2.5L Bladder

This hydration pack can fit teens as well as adults and features chest straps to keep it in place while running. It’s made of heavy-duty rip-stop polyester, so it’s resistant to tears and features MOLLE system with loops for your outdoor gear.

Thanks to the 2.5-liter bladder and the 360-degree swivel spout, you’ll stay hydrated while running the trail. It’s BPA-free and will keep your drinks relatively cool. There’s an opening that allows you to add ice cubes and facilitates cleaning after use. However, the design of the mouthpiece lets some air bubbles in, especially if you’re drinking fast.

The sleek minimalist design suits runners who don’t want an extra weight that can slow them down as it weighs only 1 pound. You can also adjust the chest and waist straps so your load won’t bounce or affect your balance while the shoulder pads decrease discomfort.

If you’re looking for a bright or colorful hydration pack, then this might not be the suitable one for you. It doesn’t provide much storage as there is only a top pocket for your valuables, three small mesh pockets in addition to a clip for your keys.

Things We Like

  • Minimalist design with a 2.5-liter bladder
  • Rip-stop polyester to resist tears
  • MOLLE system for attaching outdoor gear
  • Adjustable straps

Things We Don’t Like

  • The mouthpiece lets some air in if you’re drinking fast
  • Doesn’t offer much storage

2.    TETON Sports TrailRunner 2.0 Hydration Pack

A lightweight and comfortable hydration pack is a runner’s best companion. This affordable hydration pack features a BPA-free 2-liter bladder to keep you hydrated while running or engaging in any outdoor activity.

It features a kink-free sip tube with a lock that prevents accidental spilling. There is a big opening for ice and easy cleaning, guaranteeing that your pack is always ready for use.

Size is adjustable to fit all frames. It comes in several bright colors and weighs 0.9 pounds with mesh straps that guarantee better breathability. There isn’t much room for storage, but there is a front pocket that can fit your essentials when you’re running.

The reflective trim guarantees safety when you’re running at night. There’s also a whistle that you can use in case of an emergency. The bite valve doesn’t work very well so you might have to sip right out of the tube. This might be a bit messy, but the pack is still a bargain given its affordable price.

Things We Like

  • Affordable hydration pack
  • BPA-free 2-liter bladder
  • Easy to clean bladder
  • Reflective trim and whistle for safety

Things We Don’t Like

  • The bite valve doesn’t work well
  • There isn’t much room for storage

3.      Hydration Backpack Pack with 2L BPA Free Bladder

You don’t need any extra weight that can slow you down when you’re running. This affordable hydration pack weighs 0.7 pounds with a 2-liter food grade bladder in addition to extra storage for your belongings. Moreover, you can use the bladder as a pillow if you decided to spend the night away from home. It’s made of durable material so it won’t leak.

There is a big opening so you can add ice to keep your drinks cool for up to 4 hours. The opening also allows for easy cleaning and fast drying.

This pack lies flat even when the bladder is full and doesn’t swing when you’re running. But it could use a front strap at the front to keep it from moving.

The mesh back guarantees that you won’t feel hot or uncomfortable while carrying this hydration pack for long hours. It comes in 3 different colors.

I would recommend this to someone who goes running regularly. It can withstand the washing machine and will hold its form. However, positioning the hose is a bit tricky, especially if this is the first time you use the pack.

Things We Like

  • Affordable and lightweight hydration pack
  • Big opening to add ice and easy cleaning
  • Mesh back for better breathability
  • Durable bladder that can be used as a pillow if you’re away from home

Things We Don’t Like

  • Positioning the hose isn’t easy
  • It moves around when you’re running

4.      Osprey Packs Raptor 14 Hydration Pack

Available in three colors, this 14-liter pack has a 3-liter hydration reservoir. It features a foam sheet that distributes load across the back panel so you can run comfortably.

This pack has side compression straps in addition to lower compression straps which can serve as gear carry straps. They also increase stability while running by reducing the movement of fluids.

There’s a blinker light attachment for running at night, and you can also attach a bike helmet for a different outdoor activity. The mesh hip belt guarantees better breathability while carrying this pack. There are several pockets and pouches for organizing your belongings making it a great addition to your outdoor gear.

Although this hydration pack is more expensive than other models, it doesn’t feature a mesh back. This means that runners might feel hot while carrying it for long distances. But it weighs 1.9 pounds and provides plenty of room for tools and fluids, so I would recommend it for someone who needs that extra room.

The pack doesn’t have a quick release tube. Every time you wish to clean the bladder, you’ll have to fish out the entire tube. However, if you need a durable hydration pack with plenty of storage, then this is the one for you.

Things We Like

  • Plenty of pockets
  • Foam sheet and compression straps to distribute the weight evenly
  • Light and helmet attachments for other outdoor activities

Things We Don’t Like

  • Cleaning the bladder isn’t easy
  • Not that breathable, especially if you carry it for long distances

5.      CamelBak 2016 Hydrobak Hydration Pack

The ergonomic design of this 1.5-liter hydration pack holds enough water for 2 hours of continuous running. It’s made of durable nylon and delivers 20% more water in every sip to keep your hydrated.

Thanks to the mesh ventilated harness, you won’t feel hot after carrying it for long distances. The harness also distributes the weight of the pack. The front strap keeps it in place.

The pack is easy to fill and clean with an on/off lever that prevents leaks. The antidote access allows you to add ice to keep your drinks cool in hot weather. There’s an external pocket for your essentials.

It weighs 9 ounces, so it’s one of the lightest hydration packs on the market. This pack comes in two colors and features some reflective accents for safety in low light conditions.

The hydration pack doesn’t provide much room for storage. I would recommend this for someone who goes on regular runs and doesn’t want something that will slow them down. It’s not a suitable choice for someone who wants to carry lots of stuff while running the trail.

Things We Like

  • Lightweight hydration pack
  • Easy filling and cleaning of the bladder
  • Delivers more water to keep your hydrated

Things We Don’t Like

  • Small room for storage

6.      Nathan VaporAir Hydration Pack

The tight fit of this pack guarantees that it won’t bounce when you’re running as it stays close to your body. The mesh back provides maximum breathability. 

In addition to the 2-liter bladder, there is a 7-liter storage room distributed over several pockets that can fit your belongings for an all-day run. There’s a magnetic hose clamp that provides easy access to keep you hydrated, in addition to 2 front pockets for water bottles.

I think that this is the perfect choice for someone who is going to spend a long time running. The shoulder straps are adjustable to provide maximum comfort, and the reflective features keep you safe when you’re running at night or in low light.

The fabric is easy to wipe clean, and the pack comes in several cool colors. Nevertheless, it’s quite expensive compared to other models on the market.

Sizing is an issue when you’re ordering this pack. You should make sure that you’re ordering the perfect fit; otherwise, you won’t feel comfortable wearing it all day long.

Things We Like

  • Comfortable fit and adjustable straps
  • Easy access to the bladder
  • Breathable material
  • 7-liter storage room

Things We Don’t Like

  • Ordering the right size is a bit difficult
  • Expensive model

How Do I Use the Best Hydration Pack for Running?

Hydration packs are pretty straightforward to use. The bladder comes with a hose or mouthpiece that you can use to sip on water or other fluids while running. There’s usually a valve that allows the fluid to flow smoothly, so you don’t have to stop to drink.

Using the hydration pack is like drinking using a straw. Make sure that you’ve secured the hose after use.

How to Choose the Right Hydration Pack for Running?

Here are the factors that you should consider before buying a hydration pack for running.

Weight

Think of the weight of the hydration pack when it’s empty. It should be lightweight, so it doesn’t slow you down, especially when you fill the bladder with water.

Carry System

To protect your back, the hydration pack should feature compression straps and pads that distribute the weight. Foam sheets provide more comfort, especially if you’re running for long distances. You should look for a hydration pack with mesh straps and back to provide better breathability.

A low-quality back panel can cause chaffing and discomfort when you’re running for long distances. It can also lead to the undesirable accumulation of sweat.

Chest and waist straps offer more stability, so your pack doesn’t bounce when you’re running. They will also keep the load well-distributed.

Design of the Bladder

A big bladder holds more water but is also heavier. Think of the distance that you’re likely to spend running and the amount of fluids you need to stay hydrated.

If you’re going for a morning run, you don’t need an oversized hydration pack that might be too heavy. Bigger hydration packs are suitable for people who can’t refill the bladder while running the trail.

Think of the hose and how it attaches to the bladder to prevent leaking. You should be able to move it to drink comfortably while running.

A big opening will allow you to add ice cubes to keep your drinks cool for the long runs. It also allows you to clean the bladder thoroughly after you’re done running.

Extra Storage

A hydration pack will have extra pockets for storage. Some packs are suitable for long runs and will have plenty of room to fit an extra jacket or a meal if you’re going to spend all day away from home.

If you’re going running for an hour or two, you can pick a small hydration pack with small pockets. These are enough to fit your valuables like your phone or keys.

Some models have extra room to attach other outdoor gear like a bike helmet. This will make your hydration pack more versatile.

How Do I Clean the Bladder?

High-quality bladders are made of food-grade and BPA-free materials. Nevertheless, you will have to clean them before the initial use. Moreover, you should dry and clean the bladder thoroughly after every use, especially if you fill it with juice.

  • Mix some baking soda with water and let it sit for half an hour. Shake the bladder then hold it upside down and empty it. Rinse it several times and let it dry.
  • Use a mild detergent and water to clean the bladder. Shake the bladder and rinse it well to make sure that there’s no detergent inside.

Wrap Up

Whether you’re an amateur or avid runner, I think that the CamelBak 2016 Hydrobak Hydration Pack might be an excellent choice. It’s lightweight and doesn’t move around when you’re running so you will stay hydrated while exploring the trail.

This high-quality hydration pack features a streamlined design for maximum comfort. It doesn’t offer much extra storage, but if you want something that won’t slow you down and will keep you hydrated, then it’s the right one for you.

With the right hydration pack, you can take your running to the next level. Think about the various options available and pick one that suits your trail needs.