The most annoying aspect of any human existence is doing the same thing day in and day out without any break to go out camping, hiking, or trail running. If you do decide to see what the outdoors have to offer, it would behoove you to bring along your own hydration pack as an easy way of replenishing lost bodily fluids. Before I get into some of the juicy details in this hydration backpack reviews, an appropriate definition of this product is called for.
What exactly is a Hydration Pack?
It is simply a product that is designed to look like a backpack with an internal component for holding fluids and a long attached straw you can use to sip the water as you run or hike. It has made carrying water bottles while hiking or running seem old-fashion.
The original hydration packs were designed for military personnel while in combat or training. The key to finding a functional running hydration pack is the way it is designed to hold and dispense the fluid.
In this modern era, the newer hydration backpack models will have small pockets for holding other essentials like your digital device, wallet, quick snacks, etc.
The pricing for the top of the line pack you can use while mountain climbing or trail running will be influenced by the fluid holding capacity and the type of materials used.
Other names this product goes by include waist backpack, waist pack. while the internal mechanism holding the fluid is commonly referred to as “bladder” or “reservoir”.
Hydration Pack Reviews
It took several weeks to gather all the relevant information presented in this assessment of the top hydration packs for either runners or hikers.
I took into consideration the feedback from current users and tapped into the valuable opinions of army veterans and outdoor enthusiasts that I work with on a regular basis.
The hydration backpacks listed below are not only among the premium brands within this niche market, they’re also made out of high-quality materials and should last many years with the right care.
1 – CamelBak Octane XCT Hydration Pack
This hydration pack is made by a dominant player in this niche market, and the CamelBak Octane XCT is one of over a dozen products from this firm that specializes in making life easier for people that enjoy doing quality activities outdoors.
While it is available for purchase in three separate colors, your purchase price will be determined by your color selection. The red and black hydration packs are made from mostly nylon materials, while the vibrant yellow is constructed from fabric mesh materials.
The Octane XCT hydration backpack can hold up to three liters of fluid due to the unique design of the reservoir tank. There are several pockets within this pack to use as a holding place for your prized valuables.
To enhance safety during your outdoor activities, additional reflective materials were added to the front. Within the harness is a whistle that can be used to call for help in case of danger.
Since this hydration pack from CamelBak is lightweight, you can use it effectively to carry your water or other fluids while cycling, running, hiking, or other outdoor activities.
2 – Source Outdoor Dune 1.5L Hydration Pack
While this brand is not as well-known as the CamelBak, it is slowly making significant in-roads into this competitive market for goods with outdoor applications. I like the fact that the hydration tube that holds the fluid is protected from ultra-violet rays of the sun.
This hydration pack product is also popularly known as Dune X-Fit and can be purchased in five different colors, which include black/red, dark blue/green, orange/blue, orange/yellow, and purple
It is only capable of holding up to 1.5-liter of any type of fluid. The way the shoulder straps are made to attach to the body ensures the right fit regardless if you’re running, hiking, or mountain climbing.
It is lightweight due to the use of nylon and air mesh breathable materials. The hydration pack from Source Outdoor comes with several pockets, which will come in handy for storing your small tools, wallet, digital devices, keys, snacks, and other gear.
Buying Guide Features for Hydration Backpacks
While the usefulness of a waist pack is not in doubt, it might not be appropriate for all types of outdoor activities. Hydrations packs are more suitable for outdoor activities requiring less camping accessories.
The convenience of this device is that you can drink your fluids hands-free, which means you can bring along other required essentials for your outdoor activity.
The key to finding the most durable brand is to know what you’ll be using one for, and the amount of water it can hold. The products found in this running hydration pack critique were chosen using the following features.
Waist Pack Weight and Sizes
As you debate which of the hydration packs will work for you, pay careful attention to the water holding capacity of the model. Be mindful of the number of pounds you can carry based on the type of outdoor activity you have in mind.
Your calculation for the hydration pack size should be influenced by the other items you’ll be bringing along to make it a fun and exciting outdoor activity.
You might want to invest in a hydration backpack that is as light as possible but can also hold enough water to last for the duration of your outdoor fun activity.
Fluid Dispensing System
Even if you intend to use your hydration backpack for running, hiking or mountain climbing, the way the fluid dispensing mechanism is designed to work will influence the durability of the product.
You should be able to take a sip of your drink without the need to stop what you’re doing or requiring other steps. Pay attention to the design of the straw, and make sure it is long enough to reach your mouth based on how you wear the pack.
Is the reservoir or tank of the hydration pack made out of rubber material or is it made out of stainless steel? Most will be made out of rubberized materials that are collapsible when not in use.
Those with water holding tanks made out of stainless steel are rare, and probably too expensive for any outdoor enthusiast to consider getting one.
Can You Use Extra Pockets in the Hydration Pack?
Even while running or hiking, you will still have your personal essentials you need to bring along for the adventure. Some of the high-end hydration packs will come with additional side pockets you can use to store your digital devices, wallet, keys, small notepad, pens, etc.
It is also true that every item you add to your hydration pack will increase the carrying weight, which means do you calculation carefully, so as not to put undue strain on your back.
The Popularity of the Brand
This niche market is highly competitive, with dozens of brands competing for your spending dollars. If you come across a popular brand there is a valid reason why people that like the outdoors are buying it. I think you should focus on the durability of the brand.
If you do decide to give a young upstart hydration pack manufacturer a chance, do keep in mind your decision will come with some risks. The company might not survive the rigors of internet commerce with fickle consumers that might decide to skewer a product for any slight imperfections.
An established hydration backpack manufacturer will have a website that is filled with ample resources for consumers. I have seen a few with how to videos, online user’s manual, and clear directions on how to contact the support staff.
What About Pricing for the Hydration Backpack
While everyone that shop online is looking for a good deal, it would be nice to focus on the performance metrics of the brand you have in mind. Premium hydration packs can range in price from less than $30 to over $100, depending on the included features, size and functionality.
You should try to base your buying decision on a brand that delivers what you expect a hydration backpack to do for you. While price can be subjective, the hydration backpack you purchase will be with you to either cause you joy or irritation.
Pay Close Attention to the Feedbacks from Current Users
Despite picking the products with enviable feedbacks for this review, I would still urge you to take a few minutes to look at the opinions from people that bought and currently use the item.
While it is very hard to find a hydration pack without a few disgruntled or unhappy buyers, the vast majority should at least have positive things to say about it.
At Amazon.com the top of the rating system is 5-Stars, and the hydration waist pack you’re thinking about buying should be rated at least 4-Stars or better.
3 – Camden Gear Hydration Pack
The hydration pack from Camden Gear is capable of holding up to 1.5 liters of water and can be utilized by both men and women seeking the most fun outdoors. Some of the outdoor activities you can use this pack for include hiking, running, biking, and others.
Both the chest and shoulder strap are made to be adjustable, which ensures you can wear one to fit the right way. This is probably the best hydration backpack with room to hold more of your personal belongings like smartphones, cameras, clothes, and up to a 12-inch laptop.
The section that holds your personal belongings is made from water-resistant materials, which ensures that medium or light rainfall will not ruin your goods. Your purchase entitles you to a sixty-day no-questions-asked money back guarantee from the manufacturer.
4 – Teton Sports Oasis 1100 2 Liter Hydration Backpack
This is a low-budget hydration backpack with impressive features. The Teton Sports Oasis 1100 hydration backpack is designed to hold about two liters of water or other fluid. You can buy one in five different color variations.
Some of the most impressive features of this brand include the multiple adjustable straps, plus the ones for the shoulders are ventilated. This hydration pack from Teton Sports has three zippered pockets to store some of your valuables as you hike or run a trail.
This is a capable hydration pack for both men and women and you get a free rain cover with your purchase. You do not have to worry about the quality of this product as you get a limited lifetime warranty from the manufacturer, which is the best coverage terms within the industry.
Sensible Care Tips for Your Hydration Pack
In a perfect world, everyone will deploy clean habits to keep germs at bay, but you paid for the hydration pack and the following are just suggestions to help you get the most use out of the product.
If any of the tips conflict with the care instructions from the manufacturer of the brand you bought, please go with the manufacturer’s suggestion to ensure it is done the right way.
A – Try to only use water inside the reservoir tank of your hydration pack. If you use other types of fluids, the inside of the tank will acquire some of the scents of the beverage. Sugary or sweetened drinks also attract germs, unless you take the right steps to keep the inside of your hydration pack clean after each use.
B – If you do use it for other beverages, you should soak the pack itself in hot water adding some baking soda. Let it soak for a few minutes and then thoroughly rinse it out. Better if you hung it upside down to dry.
C – Read the care instruction that came with your hydration pack and following the recommended steps to keep the product clean that is if you want to prevent the growth of bacteria or mildew.
5 – Osprey Packs Raptor 10 Hydration Pack
The Osprey Packs Raptor is able to hold up three liters of liquid and can be purchased in three distinctive colors. This is a good hydration pack, but some might think it is on the expensive side of things.
It does have a few extra features like the zippered hydration sleeve, which makes it easier to refill the reservoir. The strapping design is also quite impressive, as it can be made to fit snuggly tight, unlike some of the cheaper brands sold online.
It has several pockets, and one is specifically designed to hold sunglasses in a scratch-free environment. Another impressive feature not found in other brands is the lid lock system for your helmet.
If you have the additional funds and would like to get the best hydration pack out of all the brands, the Osprey hydration backpack is a good choice.