When it comes to hiking, there are few things better to have by your side than a good hydration backpack. These packs are specifically designed to transport water and make drinking more convenient while on the trail. With most hydration packs, you don’t ever have to stop or slow down to use them. Simply grab the drink tube, take a sip, and keep on going!
What is a Hydration Pack?
Hiking can be a great way to get out and see the world. It is not all about walking long distances, though. You have to stay hydrated. That’s where hydration backpacks come in handy.
A hydration pack typically has a large capacity of around 3 liters and a hose that you connect to your mouth so you can drink without having to take off the pack. There are also pockets for storing snacks and other necessities that you want to bring with you on your hike.
In order for the water in your backpack to stay fresh, make sure it is properly sealed before leaving home, or at least every time you refill it from a water source along the trail.
Best Hydration Packs
If you are in the market for a new hydration backpack, you will first want to make sure it is going to be the right fit for what you need. Consider things like the size, fit, water capacity, and added features that will cater towards your intended use. Let’s take a look at some of the best hydration backpacks that you can buy today, and find the perfect pack just for you!
Best For: Day-Trips, Mountain Biking, Cycling, Running
Latest Price: $65
Overall Rating (700+ reviews):
First on our list is an affordable option from a company that gets its name from its superior hydration systems. CamelBak makes some of the best hydration packs out there, and the Classic is no exception. This is a very affordable option for those that want a quality pack from a top-of-the-line company that is also super lightweight. It features a 2.5 liter Crux hydration system in the pack, and is one of the lightest bags on our list.
This pack has a very simple and basic design, and is essentially just a water bladder with some shoulder straps attached. Throw in a few small pockets for things like a phone or wallet, and you have a pack that is perfect for minimalists. If you want a hydration pack that is affordable and very lightweight and don’t plan on carrying much, then the CamelBak Classic could be the best choice.
Best For: Climbing, Hiking, Running, Biking
Latest Price: $100
Overall Rating (45+ reviews):
A relatively new pack from a German company, the Evoc Ride 12L is a great all around hydration pack that could be used by anyone. It is extremely comfortable and is capable of carrying any size of load in addition to the water. The main compartment is large enough to carry things like a large jacket, snacks, and anything else you want to bring along on your hike. Smaller storage pockets are perfect for things like keys, phones, wallets, and cameras that can be easily accessed.
The bladder that this pack comes with is 2 liters but can be easily upgraded if you need a larger capacity. It’s hydration system utilizes a High-flow Blaster bite valve that has one of the best flow rates out there and is easy to use. Because of this pack’s comfort, large storage capacity, and overall light weight, it is a great option for the average hiker or outdoorsman!
Best For: Day-Trips, Camping, Hiking
Latest Price: $159
Overall Rating (19+ reviews):
Next on our list is the Citro H2O from Gregory Mountain. This pack, like others from this company, combines an excellent hydration delivery system with a cooling design to give you ultimate comfort when hiking. The bag it comes included with is the 3D Hydro Reservoir that has a drying hanger built into it to allow proper drying after a trip. Everything from the bite valve to magnets to keep the water tube in place.
While this high end and luxury pack has plenty of great features, it does weigh a little more than others here on our list. This does, however, allow it to carry a lot more equipment than others. If you find yourself wishing that you had a pack that could carry more than just water while still keeping you cool and comfortable, then the Citro 36 H2O could be just what you are looking for in a hydration backpack.
Best For: Day-Trips, Mountain Biking, Trail Running, Climbing
Latest Price: $129
Overall Rating (200+ reviews):
From its excellent storage and organization designs to its comfort and breathable construction, there are few hydration packs as popular or worth the money than the Osprey Syncro 12. This pack shines in just about every category, from its large capacity for carrying extra gear to well-placed pockets for organization. The drinking tube has a release clip that helps to quickly fill and replace the water bladder faster than ever.
One of the best aspects of this pack is its high quality construction, ensuring that it will last you for years to come. It does an excellent job at balancing this with its storage capacity, comfort, hydration system, and organization.
Best For: Day-Trips, Mountain Biking, Trail Running, Climbing
Latest Price: $124
Overall Rating (170+ reviews):
Last on our list but certainly not least, we have the Thule Vital 6L. This hydration pack shines in its ability to keep the bite valve and water hose secure and in place when other packs can’t. While most packs use a hose clip or magnets on the bite valve to keep everything in place, this pack uses a magnetic strip along the hose to keep it right where you need it.
While the Vital does not have the biggest water capacity, the bladder can be swapped out if needed. It also has plenty of room for other gear like a jacket or snacks as well. If you want an overall great pack that won’t have your water hose flapping around while you are hiking or biking, this is one to be looking at!
All of these hydration backpacks are great options no matter what you need them for, whether it is a quick hiking trip to your favorite spot or an all day adventure. Be sure to consider your own personal needs and wants, and then find the perfect hydration pack for you!
Jeremy Alderman is an outdoor enthusiast in Scottsdale, Arizona. He writes on all things camping, hiking, outdoor sports, and travel. His weekends are often filled exploring the desert with his wife Madison and their 3-year-old German Shepherd rescue, Grace. His favorite spot in all of North America is the Oregon Coast.