3 Best Hydration Packs for Hiking

Hey there hikers and welcome to my post where we will check out my three best hydration packs for hiking this year. When it comes to hiking, it is important to understand the necessity of staying hydrated. However when you are on the move, a water bottle is not always practical.

However, as there are numerous hiking hydration packs available, choosing the right option is not always easy. So to help you out, I have had a good look around and come up with three decent options below.

Let’s check them out.

My three recommended hydration packs for hiking

I will review these in more detail below however if you want to get moving without all the carry-on, my recommended products are listed here for your convenience: 

11/16/2022 10:45 pm GMT Lasso Brag

What are hydration packs for hiking?

A hydration backpack is essentially a portable water holder that sits as a backpack to provide quick access and hydration when you may not have easy access to water during your hiking trip. Thanks to the hydration reservoir, you can carry enough water for a greater length of time with an external ‘straw’ attached.

Some packs also work in a similar fashion to a standard hiking packs in that they have plenty of cargo space for food, extra layers, and other essentials you should bring with you on every trip. They range from small packs for short hikes to ultralight overnight backpacking packs.

Hydration packs for hiking - man with hydration pack

What should you be looking for?

Below are some of the main factors you should take into account as you shop for a good hydration pack for hiking:

  1. Ease of drinking
    • Ease of filling
    • Backpanel and ventilation
    • Pockets
    • Additions

    Ease of drinking

    Because the primary goal of using a hydration pack is to keep you hydrated when you need it, you must consider how the brand performs in terms of overall drinking performance. Examine the flow rate performance of the system as well as how well the hydration interacts with the pack itself. 

    Keep in mind that the hydration system’s overall design can significantly impact your drinking. Hoses that are poorly routed, kink, or have a low flow rate cause frustration. The same is true if you have a too small bladder and run out of water. Packs with larger water bladder volumes and better drinking hose attachment systems perform well in this category.

    Ease of filling

    The size of the opening of the hydration bladder you’re filling is critical to this metric. Certain brands have a three-inch-diameter circular opening that works well for sinks but is more difficult to fill from a lake or stream. However, some bladders have a much larger four-inch circular opening that is easy to fill and large enough to drop ice cubes into as well.

    Reservoir capacity

    As the name suggests, this factor determines whether you have enough water to keep you hydrated on your adventures.  A standard single-use water bottle holds approximately 0.5 liters whereas hydration pack reservoirs can range from that to more than 3 liters. When considering capacity, keep in mind that 1 liter of water weighs between 2 and 2.5 pounds.

    Reservoirs with a capacity of 2.5 liters are the most common with anything smaller being ideal for short-distance trips. Anything more significant then is ideal if water is not readily available on your trip or you don’t want to have to continually refill the reservoir on longer journeys.

    Hydration packs for hiking - hiker with hydration pack

    Backpanel and ventilation

    Some hydration packs have a suspended mesh back panel for increased airflow and ventilation. Though the difference is usually minor since your back will still perspire, many hikers find those frames more comfortable.

    Packs with simple back panel designs typically include foam padding for comfort and ventilation grooves.

    Pockets

    Look for a pack with several interior and exterior pockets if you prefer to have a defined space for (and easy access to) smaller items. Hip belt pockets work well for items close at hand, and exterior pocket along the top lid work well for small items like such as a compass or energy bar.

    Some also include a large, open main compartment for bulkier gear and some models even have storage on the front of the shoulder straps, allowing you to access food and essentials without removing your pack.

    Additions

    Other potential additions include:

    1. Hip belt: This item is intended to relieve weight from your shoulders and transfer it to your hips, making carrying more comfortable.
    2. Shoulder strap clip: This item helps keep your tube in place and is especially useful if you don’t want to stop whenever you want to drink.
    3. Waterproof cover: If you’re going to be caught in the rain, consider investing in a rain cover to protect your gear.
    4. Shutoff bite valve: This specific add-on keeps water from escaping. Some valves have a switch that turns them off, while others have a valve that you twist open or shut.

    My three recommendations broken down

    So based on the information above and my own experience, I recommend the following options:

    1. Mothybot Hydration Pack

      My first product makes hydration packs more affordable without missng any features such as a food grade BPA free bladder and convenient pockets included. See its specifications below:

      • Brand: Mothybot
      • Material: 600D polyester
      • Reservoir capacity: 2 L
      • Gear capacity: 22 L
      • Weight: 1.59 pounds
      • Dimensions: 16.89 x 13.23 x 2.99 inches

      Other inclusions:

      • Three storage compartments
      • Multiple mesh pockets
      • Chest straps
      • Waist straps
      • Bungee cord system
      • Lifetime full refund and free replacement

      Why have I chosen it?

      Despite its low price, this hiking hydration pack does not skimp on features that improve performance and functionality. This includes padded waist straps, zipper pockets and a large opening on the bladder, making it easier to fill and clean. The bladder compartment is insulated, so your drink will stay cold for up to 5 hours and it also has a removable insulated drinking tube with a click-in connection rather than a traditional screw connection, which effectively prevents leaks.


      2. CamelBak HydroBak Hydration Pack

      My second hiking hydration pack is for the minimalist hiker or ultralight biking enthusiast. If you are looking for a simple yet performing hydration pack, this product suits you well. See its specifications below:

      • Brand: CamelBak
      • Material: 100% polyester
      • Reservoir capacity: 1.5 L
      • Gear capacity: 5 L
      • Weight: 0.85 pounds
      • Dimensions: 15.31 x 9.65 x 2.8 inches

      Other inclusions:

      • Ventilated harness
      • Leak-proof lever
      • Ergonomic handle

      Why have I chosen this?

      This pack comes from an extremely well known and trusted brand with a 1.5-liter reservoir to keep you hiking for several hours. Two small zippered pockets on the back will hold your small-sized extras and it also features a lightweight and ventilated mesh harness and a breathable air mesh back panel for added comfort. The reservoir has an ergonomic handle to make refilling easier, and the drinking tube has a leak-proof on/off lever to prevent water waste.


      3. Osprey Skarab 30 Men’s Hiking Hydration Backpack

      My last hydration pack is a premium choice due to its top-notch design and performance. It’s made by a company known for producing high-quality hiking and camping gear with everything needed for short or long term hiking. See its specifications below:

      • Brand: Osprey
      • Material: Nylon
      • Reservoir capacity: 2.5 L
      • Gear capacity: 9 L
      • Weight:1.54 pounds

      Other inclusions:

      • Hipbelt pockets
      • Scratch-free slash pocket for sunglasses or devices
      • Compression straps
      • Trekking pole attachment points
      • Large-sized panel pockets

      Why have I chosen this?

      The integrated padded hip straps assist in balancing your load with pockets where you can keep your essentials. It comes with a 2.5-liter water reservoir and an additional sternum strap to even your weight distribution even more. This is a great option for hikers of all types in any conditions.

      11/16/2022 10:45 pm GMT Lasso Brag

      Conclusion

      There you have it; my three best hydration packs for hiking. I would be pleased to know how this article helped you, and as usual,  let me know of your experiences with them.

      Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, or corrections or would like me to check anything else out for you.

      Until next time.

      Have fun

      Paul

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      Hi, I'm Paul

      I am a passionate fishing, camping and four wheeled driving hobbyist who researches, tests and educates around issues and equipment relevant to them.

      I am by no means a professional however my passion is to assist you in making informed decisions about buying and using awesome gear that will give you the best chance of success at whatever you are doing for the best price.

      Please get in touch if you have any questions.

      Paul