Staying hydrated while hiking, biking, climbing, or running is a must, and having the best hydration bladder for your needs will keep you hydrated and safe on long trips. Hydration bladders allow you to carry water without heavy bottles taking up room in your backpack. They also allow you to drink without stopping along your journey, thanks to hands-free tubes! When choosing a hydration bladder, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Here are just a few!
Capacity: Most hydration bladders come in 2L or 3L sizes, so choose the right size for you. Choose a smaller pack for short trips or if you have a small bag. Larger bladders are great for long trips or large backpacks.
BPA Free: Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a synthetic chemical commonly found in plastics like water bottles, and it potentially mimics estrogen in the body. It’s unclear how harmful BPA is, so avoiding plastics that use BPA is a good idea just in case.
Leak-proof: Hydration bladders are all typically made of leak-proof materials. However, some of them have added features like shutoff valves, extra stitching, and high-grade tubing to ensure your hydration bladder won’t leak, even with during exercise like running, biking, or climbing.
Hose Length: The hose length can vary quite a bit. Shorter tubes are good for small backpacks or keeping the mouthpiece close to your face. Longer tubes work best with large backpacks or if you prefer keeping it away from your face.
Size: In addition to the liquid volume a pack can hold, pay attention to the pack’s size. To ensure a proper fit in your hydration pack or backpack, choose a bladder that fits snugly and gives you room for extra equipment.
Shutoff Valve: Shutoff valves are located where the tubing connects to the bladder, and they allow you to remove the tubing without leaks. This allows you to store your water for later, or bring an extra bladder with you on long trips.
Now that you have an idea of what you’ll need, let’s look at several of the best hydration bladders out there! We found 10 styles at different price points that are heavy-duty, leak-proof, and easy to use. Whether you are new to hiking or want to upgrade your current equipment, there is a hydration pack for you! If you’re short on time, no problem – just check out our Top Pick and Budget Pick, then come back later to learn more!