Whether you’re biking, hiking, running, or taking part in other strenuous outdoor physical activities or exercises, it’s important to stay hydrated. Yet for many of these activities, it can be awkward or challenging to bring a water bottle or two along. That’s where hydration backpacks can be a practical solution, as they sling comfortably across your back and offer easy access to water without breaking your stride.
What Should You Consider in a Hydration Backpack?
Size, especially the size of the bladder that holds your water, is an important factor to consider. The amount of water you’ll need for a half-hour cycling trip versus a few days camping in the woods is quite different. The size of the backpack is also important based on your activity and the equipment you need to bring. A runner might seek out something more lightweight, while a backpacker will want a more heavy-duty and roomy pack. And if you plan to be outside at dusk or after dark often, a backpack with reflective qualities is a must-have.
Best Overall: TETON Sports Oasis 1100 Hydration Pack
The foam stabilizer and mesh covering of this backpack were designed with your comfort in mind. You’ll be able to wear it for hours without it digging in or weighing you down, and the straps adjust to fit people of all shapes and sizes. The large main pocket has plenty of storage space with a bungee cord system attached on the outside to hang your bike helmet or climbing helmet. The water bladder measures in at two liters, and the two-inch opening is large enough that you can slip in ice cubes on hot days to keep your water colder for longer.
TETON Sports Oasis 1100 Hydration Pack; Free 2-Liter Hydration Bladder; For Backpacking, Hiking, Running, Cycling, and Climbing; Black
A hydration backpack that's as comfortable and convenient as it is stylish.
Best for Budget: KUYOU Hydration Pack Backpack
Low cost doesn’t have to mean low quality, as this hydration backpack readily proves. The hydration bladder is pressure tolerant and leakproof, passing the company’s pneumatic pressure test, 24-hour swing test, and 24-hour vibration test. The backpack itself is made of light and airy mesh and high-quality nylon for both comfort and durability. The wide-webbed shoulder straps are designed to reduce the burden on your shoulders. Reflective material runs along the pack for evening and night runs or hikes.
KUYOU Hydration Pack with 2L Hydration Bladder Water Rucksack Backpack Bladder Bag Cycling Bicycle Bike/Hiking Climbing Pouch (Black)
A high-quality backpack without the high price tag.
Best for Long Hikes: MARCHWAY Tactical Molle Hydration Pack Backpack
This is a backpack that is every bit as tough as it looks. The webbing is military grade, strong, and anti-fading, and the nylon is water repellent and wear resistant. Yet the backpack itself is streamlined and compact, ergonomically fitted to your upper body with padded straps to avoid weighing you down. The back is made of soft air mesh to speed up airflow and help keep you cool on long hikes. The double main pocket design allows you to slip the three-liter water bladder in one pocket and your belongings in the other. The bladder also has an on/off valve so you may adjust the water flow to your liking.
MARCHWAY Tactical Molle Hydration Pack Backpack with 3L TPU Water Bladder, Military Daypack for Cycling, Hiking, Running, Climbing, Hunting, Biking (Black)
A tough, durable hydration backpack designed with extra storage space and increased airflow.