Dehydration seems to be a common hurdle that a lot of underprepared resort skiers encounter on the slopes. While extremely fun and exhilarating, skiing is still a very demanding form of exercise. And similar to all other forms of exercise, it’s crucial to remain hydrated so that you can function at peak performance.
The human body has certain fluidal needs, which can be easily unmet when in the snow since you often don’t feel like you’re thirsty. Not only that, but the combination of cold weather, altitude, and dry air can vastly increase your body’s fluidal requirements.
Dehydration can be avoided by a number of precautions that include skipping the alcohol, making sure you’re fully hydrated in the morning, avoiding overdressing, and carrying a fairly commodious hydration pack.
A hydration pack is simply a backpack that’s mainly designed to hold a “bladder” that’s attached to a hose from which you can take a sip of water at any time. Most hydration packs are pretty small, but some are designed to store other sorts of gear.
In this article, we’ll be covering everything you need to know before buying a hydration pack, and then we’ll be revealing our top picks of the best hydration packs on the market today, stay tuned.
Best Hydration Packs for Skiing
Even with the buying guide above, you’re still bound to find yourself lost in the deluge of products on the market. To narrow down your choices, we’ll be presenting the top hydration packs for skiing today.
The Mubasel hydration pack is a very popular pack that’s great for almost all outdoor activities. This pack gives you 2 liters of reservoir capacity that’s linked to an extendable bite valve for easy reach. The pack is very well-built and is completely water-resistant. Also, the material is pretty soft on the skin. Moreover, the shoulder straps and back side of the pack padded with ventilated mesh for better wearing.
The waist straps are adjustable to fit the waist and comfortably bear the load. There are also elastic straps that you can use to stuff your clothes, towels, or other sorts of cargo. Aside from the bladder compartment, you’ll find an additional zipper compartment that’s large enough to take your cargo with you along the way. Lastly, the bladder itself is made from BPA-free material and is FDA approved for more assured, taste-free water drinking.
- Great looking and fashionable design
- Extendable bite valve for easy reach
- Features 3 storage compartments
- Highly insulated bladder compartment
- Adjustable waist straps for an ideal fit
- The bladder can use some improvements
- Mouthpiece and tube connection suffer from leakage
The TrailRunner 2.0 is an ideal pack for skiing because of its rather small and compact yet sizable design. A 2-liter bladder is included with the pack, which is enough for your average skiing trip. The bite valve is cushioned and it has a push-lock mechanism to prevent water from leaking. Further, there is a 2-inch opening that makes cleaning this pack easier.
The good thing about this hydration pack is that low-profile athletic cut makes it a great choice for men, women, and children. It’s also fully adjustable to fit all sizes. Further, the mesh-covered straps make it comfortable to wear the pack for hours. There’s a safety whistle, reflective trim, and strap clips included with the pack for ultimate security.
- Very lightweight and compact design
- An ideal choice for short skiing trips
- Cushioned push-to-lock bite valve
- Fully adjustable to fit all sizes
- Comfortable mesh-covered straps
- The bladder is of poor quality
- The bite valve barely gets the water out
The Kapka is arguably one of the absolute best hydration packs that you can find on the market today. Combining a super lightweight design with a sizable 15-liter cargo capacity and a premium, taste-free, 3-liter bladder that will help you cover vast distances without the need to refill.
This hydration pack offers a high-flow bite valve that features a shut-off button that completely prevents the fluid from leaking out. Also, there’s a magnet retainer that helps auto-locates the bite valve easily. Additionally, the pack comes with a fleece-lined sunglasses pocket, bottle holsters, and an external shove-it pocket.
- Compact and lightweight design
- Ideal for longer skiing excursions
- Has a 3-liter reservoir capacity
- Bite valve has a shut-off button
- Auto-locate magnet retainer
- Comes at a very steep price tag
- The pack lacks winterized add-ons
This durable and lightweight pack comes with tons of intelligent features that will surely win you over. The taste-free, 2-liter hydration bladder is made completely from medical grade materials. The high-flow bite valve features a one-handed shutoff button that won’t allow the water to drip on your shoulder when it’s locked. Further, both the water bladder and hose are insulated to keep the fluid warm.
The pack features a safety whistle for emergencies, reflective safety tabs to help you stay visible, and an easy-access outer mesh pocket. There are also external bungee straps that help with carrying additional gear. The pack has adjustable waist and chest straps to ensure a perfect fit for you. And finally, the pack offers ergonomic side stabilizers to keep it centered and firmly anchored to your body.
- Great value for your money
- Bite valve with a shut-off button
- Reflective safety tabs for visibility
- Adjustable waist and chest straps
- Has ergonomic side stabilizers
- Quick-disconnect tubing mechanism
- The pack’s gear capacity is too small
- Main compartment could use a few pockets
- Flimsy material that could rip easily
With a BPA-free, leak-proof 2.5-liter bladder, the Gelindo pack is a more than sufficient option for your next skiing experience. The insulated design prevents any heat transfer between the bladder and your back. This pack offers 4 large storage compartments with built-in layers, along with a number of different size pockets for various purposes.
The Gelindo hydration pack features ergonomic air mesh padding panels in the back and ventilated shoulder straps that can be easily adjusted for a better fit and airflow for your back. Additionally, it features adjustable chest straps that can be extended up to 10.8 inches and waist straps with a maximum of 18.9 inches in length.
- Has a sizable 2.5-liter reservoir capacity
- Adjustable shoulder, waist, and chest straps
- Features 4 large storage compartments
- Padded with ergonomic air mesh panels
- Small pack despite the large compartments
- The bladder needs some improvements
The Tactical MOLLE is among the best hydration packs for short trips. Its lightweight design of just 26 ounces makes you feel like you’re carrying nothing at all. The shoulder, waist, and chest straps are all fully adjustable to suit all sizes. Moreover, the back of the pack is padded with soft, ventilated mesh to keep your back dry and cool.
The 2-liter water bladder is odorless, BPA-free and, taste-free, keeping you hydrated throughout your skiing trip. The large opening allows you to clean, refill, or dry the bladder with ease. The bladder is kept within an insulating layer of thick aluminum foil that helps maintain the liquid’s temperature for up to 4 hours. Lastly, the 2 tapes on the top are there to help prevent the bladder from bouncing during your trip.
- Lightweight and comfortable design
- Great storage capacity for the size
- The back is padded for more comfort
- Features 2 tapes to stabilize the bladder
- The drinking tube is a little short
- The straps are too small for bigger people
Factors to Consider Before Buying a Hydration Pack
When you’re shopping for a hydration pack, you want to make sure that the pack is designed for the intended activity, and then considering the pack’s capacity for water and gear, the torso length and hip size, and additional features that can enhance your overall experience.
There are numerous types of hydration packs. With skiing, however, you’re primarily looking for a snowsports hydration pack. Such packs are winterized through reservoir and drink tube insulation to prevent your fluid supply from freezing. Some models feature carry straps or even lash points for easier, hands-free transportation of your gear.
Carrying a huge water supply that exceeds your needs might not be the smartest idea as 1 liter of water weighs around 2 pounds. You need to carefully ponder the amount of water that you really need and whether you’ll be able to refill your pack along the slopes or not before deciding on your new hydration pack.
For skiing, there are two ranges of reservoir capacity that you want to consider: a reservoir of 2 to 2.5 liters for a nice balance of weight, bulk, and quantity, or a reservoir of 3 liters or more if you’re an extreme adventurer who doesn’t want to stop for a refill. If you’re exploring extensive terrain where water is rather scarce, we’d recommend that your water reservoir capacity be as large as you can possibly carry.
Gear capacity is a very tricky part when it comes to picking a pack. Most hydration packs have a gear capacity that ranges from less than 5 liters and up to 50 liters. You need to figure out whether the pack can accommodate all of your needs or not by running a mental inventory of the gear you’ll be carrying on your next skiing expedition.
Midsize hydration packs that have a gear capacity of 2 to 5 liters should be ideal for intense skiing situations. The compact and lightweight design of such hydration packs provides enough room for the essential skiing gear and maybe an extra layer for some snacks or your keys. You can always go for more storage space but be careful of too much gear as it can slow you down on the slopes.
Hydration packs come in a variety of sizes that range from small to large, providing a good fit for most torso lengths. However, these ranges vary depending on the gender and the manufacturer. It’s recommended to check the sizing chart of the product you want before making your purchase. There are a few models on the market that feature adjustable suspension for an idea torso fit. You’ll find this helpful if you often find yourself stuck in-between sizes.
Hydration packs are equipped with hip belts that fit the majority of hip sizes of around mid-20 to mid-40 inches, sometimes even more. As per usual, make sure that you check the product specs tab provided by the manufacturer for size details as different manufacturers tend to have different sizing charts.
While not necessary, the following features can enhance your skiing experience and make it much more enjoyable. Also, we’ll list a few add-ons that you should consider before skiing in extremely harsh weather conditions.
This function allows you to disconnect the drink tube from the reservoir’s body with a single press of a button, which is helpful when you wish to refill the water supply mid-hike. Further, if you have the tube routed through a portal, it will allow you to leave the tube in place.
A tube portal is simply a slit in the pack that allows you to thread the tube from the water reservoir within the pack to the exterior. Some hydration packs feature double portals that allow you to position the tube over either one of your shoulders, while others have a single, centered portal.
Such openings allow you to fit an entire hand inside the water reservoir for easier cleaning. If your hydration pack happens to have a small reservoir opening, it’s advised to buy a cleaning kit. Cleaning kits include brushes that will help you scrub out the inside of the reservoir.
Bite Valve Switch
Hydration packs feature bite valves with two types of on and off mechanisms. Some valves can be twisted to open or close, while other valves use a switch that prevents any water from coming out when not needed.
You should look for a hydration pack that features a shoulder strap clip to ensure that the tube remains in a position that allows for easy access. This is important for sports such as skiing since it involves a lot of movement that can alter the position of the tube.
Cold Weather Add-Ons
Most snowsports hydration packs come with winterized add-ons that serve a bunch of different functions. These add-ons include reservoir and bite valve covers, along with insulated reservoirs and sip tubes. Having these additions will increase the weight and bulk of the pack, but they can be extremely useful. You might also want to consider a pack that features a rain cover just in case it starts pouring.
To wrap this up, we’ve come to the conclusion that the clear winner of this competition is the Gelindo Insulated Hydration Pack for its ability to combine sufficient storage space and a sizable 2.5-liter water reservoir. Not to mention that it’s fully adjustable to fit all sizes. However, if you’re going on a short trip and you’re looking for a lighter pack, then we highly recommend the SHARKMOUTH Tactical MOLLE Hydration Pack.
Hopefully, the information we’ve provided was able to give you some insight about the type of hydration packs you should be looking for before embarking on your next skiing adventure.