Updated September 18, 2020
Tough Mudder is a true test of endurance. This obstacle-filled adventure includes races that last up to 24 hours on end where it’s crucial to stay focused and cramp-free. So what’s one key factor to staying on top of your game throughout such an event? That’d be staying hydrated. While there are hydration stations available, there’s no guarantee they’ll be stacked by the time you reach them and sometimes making such stops is a luxury you can’t afford. This is where a personal stash of water aka a hydration pack swoops in to save the day.
A hydration pack can make or break your performance. Bearing this in mind, we’ve selected, tested and reviewed a variety of packs brands to present you the top 6 hydration packs available on the market.
The DolfinPack is one that offers straight-to-the-point functionality with its light and minimalistic structure.
Small and durable, the CamelBak Rogue is here to cater to your water needs while laying low on the weight radar. Newly designed around the Crux bladder, it delivers 20% more water in a single sip than classic models. The back panel is made entirely of air mesh to ensure comfort and breathability. This pack features a magnetic holder that keeps your tube out of the way but also ready to use. The CamelBak Rogue includes some stretch pockets that’ll appeal to you if you’re looking to carry some essentials and not just 2.5 liters of water.
On the more affordable side of the spectrum, the Teton Sports TrailRunner is a solid option for the daredevils on a budget. Make no mistake though, the quality of this pack is pretty impressive with a sleek slim design. Holding up to 2 liters of water and maybe a snack or two, the Teton trail runner is still very lightweight with mesh-covered shoulder straps that make it quite easy to sport for a long time. The fit is widely altered to suit different frames with an antishock chest strap to minimize its bounce.
Hitting the sweet spot of the fitting spectrum, the Nathan VaporCloud snuggles to your body in all the right ways. Given that you choose the correct size measurement, the close fit can make you forget you’re even carrying a pack back there. The Nathan Vapour Cloud also has an awesome dual stabilization system for its bladder and contents to ensure a bounce-free run. The water capacity on it is reasonable at 2 liters and despite the compact design, you can definitely stack it up. The almost-vest hydration pack offer mesh straps with quick-release clips for top-quality comfort, an insulated bladder pocket and load lifters to keep its contents high up for easy access. So if you’re into the tailored lightweight style of packs, the Nathan Vapour Cloud could be the one for you.
With durability and comfort in mind, the Unigear tactical hydration pack is a powerhouse that’s built to last. Manufactured with heavy-duty rugged 900 Denier Polyester with PVC, you are guaranteed great resistance to tears and abrasion-damage which is invaluable when you are running into harsh obstacles. But don’t fret, the shoulder and chest straps are widely adjustable to suit all frames of both women and men with breathable mesh along the back to avoid thermal discomfort. The tactical pack can hold 2.5 liters in its BPA bladder which is enough to sustain you for quite a while. It also includes two front pockets, the bottom one being divided into three compartments to sort your stuff out. With a modular feel to it, the Unigear Tactical Hydration Pack is perfect for a solid performance.
Landing strong on our list, the Salomon Advanced Skin Hydration takes fitting like a glove to a whole new meaning. The idea of a pack that wraps up cozily around the body with practically zero bounce is truly what defines the appeal of the Salomon hydration pack. The material on this pack is excellent, elastic power mesh, deeming it one of the most well-ventilated hydration packs out there. It doesn’t contribute to your sweating and lets you move freely as it just goes with your flow. It’s rather light on the weight scale but still makes space for you to carry your essentials in the many pockets it offers. The only downside is that you have to purchase the bladder, a 1.5 liters maximum capacity, separately.
Simple and straight to the point, the Mubaseal Gear Hydration is everything a dependable hydration pack should be. The FDA approved food-grade 2 liters bladder is immensely durable as it can support weight up to 160 lb which means it can take on pressure like a champ. Moreover, with its upgraded larger bladder opening, cleaning and drying are easier than ever. The shoulder straps are foam padded as well as the back with breathable mesh fabric. It also features a large mesh pocket upfront and three separate pockets that deliver plenty of storage room without being a burden to carry. Sporting a sleek design, flexible sizings, and great insulation capability, the Mubasel Gear Hydration pack is no doubt, a respect-worthy contender.
Being a Tough Mudder means that your abilities will be insanely pushed to the limit, and then some more. It’s no picnic, which is why you should carefully consider the different features of a hydration pack and how they can boost your performance to match the intense competition.
The idea of carrying extra weight during Tough Mudder is cringe-worthy, to say the least, but that’s just at first thought. Looking deeper into it, having extra water or energy drinks is a secret weapon that not many would share, but you can rest assured that it’s totally worth it. I can’t even tell you how many times those sips of water saved me from calling it quits.
It’s obvious that additional weight equals more effort and strain on your body and muscles, which is the last thing you would be needing in the middle of an already tiring course. Companies understand this very well and it’s the reason they thrive to manufacture their hydration packs using the lightest materials available while always trying to find the next best thing. Keeping in mind that more water and supplies mean heavier weight, the choice comes down to what you need out of your hydration pack, just water? Snacks and gear? It’s about what you want.
Remember, even if you pick to roll with extra weight, no matter how much, training using this weight will ultimately help you feel like it’s not even there!
As an athlete, you know that when choosing sports equipment you almost always go to the lightest options which don’t necessarily correspond to the highest quality materials as it’s normal for heavier to equal stronger. However, that’s not the case anymore as you can definitely find hydration packs where lightweight meets reliability.
What you want is a hydration pack made with materials sturdy enough to withstand the extreme conditions you expect to encounter as a Tough Mudder. Fire, electric shocks and freezing water are a few examples of the obstacles that you and your hydration pack will share facing. So it’s vital that the straps, tubes, and valves of your hydration pack are least affected by such hits to avoid distracting tears and leaks.
When we talk size we opt to talk compactness. Other than running, Tough Mudder will put you through numerous events where you’ll be crawling underwires and through tight tunnels, climbing walls, jumping and swinging. Hence, it makes sense for you to look for a pack size that will work with you and not against you when you deal with all the madness. It should have enough room to hold your essentials while being not so bulky to allow sleek and smooth movement. Hydration packs come in a variety of shapes and sizes so you get to pick the one that does the trick for you.
Keep in mind that you can always take off the hydration pack for certain events, which gives you the freedom to go a little bigger with the pack size if you need to.
Who wants to wear something that inconveniently sticks to their skin making them more sweaty than they already are? Exactly, no one does. This annoying result of impermeable fabrics is something you should absolutely stay away from when looking for a hydration pack.
Materials such as mesh allow air to flow through them, providing
proper ventilation for maximum comfort and that’ what you need to keep an eye for.
Fortunately, to make your decision easier, the hydration packs that made it on our list offer great breathability options.
Some additional features in a hydration pack can really make a difference to the overall quality of your experience, so keeping an eye out for them would be most beneficial to you.
Nothing like a cool sip of water to rekindle your energy after taking part in exhausting activities which are often the case in Tough Mudder. Hydration packs are specifically designed to keep liquids cool for extended periods of time. The bladders are made with special materials derived from rubber which promise effective insulation for everlasting refreshing gulps.
Hydration packs save you plenty of precious time that you might waste making stops for water and other refreshments. Credit for this one goes to the hands-free delivery of water via valves and the pouches that are strategically placed for you to simply reach and grab whatever you need without them being in the way.
For the outrageous Tough Mudder conditions, you want a hydration pack that won’t slow you down. It should feel like a breeze of cool air on a hot summer day. Being tough and sturdy is a must-have quality to let you focus on the action instead of worrying about whether it’s intact or not. In my book, the CamelBak Rogue Hydration Pack checks all these boxes.
With its high-quality material, bigger water sips, 2.5 liters bladder, and magnetic tube holder, the CamelBak surely won me over. However, If you’re a fan of the more basic water-only approach, I suggest considering the Teton Sports TrailRunner 2.0. It’s very lightweight, sleek and really breathable which makes for an all-around wholesome hydration pack. Add in the fact that it’s budget-friendly and you got yourself a happy coincidence.