MightyGoods > Hydration packs

Top Hydration packs Reviews and Buyer's Guide

Last updated May 9, 2019

If you are into endurance sports, you know all to well that you can easily feel dehydrated after just an hour or two of training.

Some choose to carry a bottle, so they can hydrate on the road. Personally I think that's a bad choice, as it's much easier and comfortable to carry a hydration pack.

With a hydration pack, you can have your arms free to do whatever - and you can also carry a lot more water than you can in a bottle.

But don't buy the first hydration pack you find. Take some time to review the different brands and models, so you can choose a quality pack that can handle some hard sports.


The Best Hydration Pack


Having checked thousands of hydration pack reviews, we can say that the Camelbak Spark is the best choice for most people.

The Camelbak Spark got a rating of 4.62 out of 5, while the average rating in the list below is just 3.90.

Camelbak Spark
This is the best reviewed hydration pack.
How we rate the bags

We have checked 30,267 hydration pack reviews, so we can show you the weighted average rating of all the bags.

Using the average ratings, you can check what all the reviewers think instead of just viewing the subjective opinion of one specific reviewer.

It's much simplier to find the best bags that way.


Also Great


If the Camelbak Spark isn't your style, you might also consider the Osprey Dyna.

The Dyna is a close runner-up with a rating of 4.55 out of 5.

Osprey Dyna
The second-best reviewed hydration pack.
Finally, you might consider the Camelbak HAWG.

The HAWG is the third-best rated hydration pack with a rating of 4.54.

Camelbak HAWG
The third-best reviewed hydration pack.
Below is the list of all top 96 best hydration packs. Great if none of the three bags above are your style.



The 96 Best Hydration Packs


PS: We have checked 30,267 reviews to make this top 96 list!

RankHydration PackRating
1Camelbak SparkCamelbak Spark
Available on Amazon
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4.62
27 reviews
2Osprey DynaOsprey Dyna
Available on Amazon
Check Deals
4.55
77 reviews
3Camelbak HAWGCamelbak HAWG
Available on Amazon
Check Deals
4.54
130 reviews
4Camelbak LoboCamelbak Lobo
4.54
809 reviews
5Camelbak FourteenerCamelbak Fourteener
4.51
390 reviews
6Fox ConvoyFox Convoy
4.51
19 reviews
7Camelbak PhantomCamelbak Phantom
4.50
41 reviews
8Osprey RavenOsprey Raven
4.49
312 reviews
9Camelbak AventuraCamelbak Aventura
4.45
124 reviews
10Osprey SkarabOsprey Skarab
4.44
89 reviews
11Platypus SiouxonPlatypus Siouxon
4.41
49 reviews
12Osprey MantaOsprey Manta
4.39
460 reviews
13Camelbak KUDUCamelbak KUDU
4.38
30 reviews
14Osprey VerveOsprey Verve
4.37
87 reviews
15Osprey RaptorOsprey Raptor
4.36
731 reviews
16Camelbak HelenaCamelbak Helena
4.36
160 reviews
17Dakine SessionDakine Session
4.34
28 reviews
18Camelbak ThermobakCamelbak Thermobak
4.34
1,037 reviews
19Osprey MokiOsprey Moki
4.32
150 reviews
20Camelbak SnoBlastCamelbak SnoBlast
4.30
107 reviews
21Camelbak SolsticeCamelbak Solstice
4.30
45 reviews
22Osprey DuroOsprey Duro
4.29
147 reviews
23Camelbak Cloud WalkerCamelbak Cloud Walker
4.29
462 reviews
24Osprey SkimmerOsprey Skimmer
4.26
236 reviews
25Gregory TempoGregory Tempo
4.26
14 reviews
26Camelbak Rim RunnerCamelbak Rim Runner
4.26
404 reviews
27Osprey ViperOsprey Viper
4.25
625 reviews
28Camelbak MULECamelbak MULE
4.25
320 reviews
29Camelbak DartCamelbak Dart
4.24
208 reviews
30Camelbak MotherlodeCamelbak Motherlode
4.24
147 reviews
31Camelbak PowderhoundCamelbak Powderhound
4.23
25 reviews
32Camelbak AmbushCamelbak Ambush
4.23
209 reviews
33Camelbak SkylineCamelbak Skyline
4.23
89 reviews
34EVOC StageEVOC Stage
4.23
130 reviews
35Fox PortageFox Portage
4.22
19 reviews
36Osprey SyncroOsprey Syncro
4.21
1,261 reviews
37Camelbak ScoutCamelbak Scout
4.21
202 reviews
38Platypus DuthiePlatypus Duthie
4.21
129 reviews
39Platypus TokulPlatypus Tokul
4.21
103 reviews
40Camelbak CaperCamelbak Caper
4.20
43 reviews
41EVOC FREVOC FR
4.20
374 reviews
42Gregory CitroGregory Citro
4.19
19 reviews
43Camelbak ClassicCamelbak Classic
4.15
925 reviews
44Dakine AMPDakine AMP
4.14
14 reviews
45Gregory JunoGregory Juno
4.13
34 reviews
46Camelbak BlowfishCamelbak Blowfish
4.13
94 reviews
47Osprey MiraOsprey Mira
4.11
210 reviews
48Dakine DrafterDakine Drafter
4.11
14 reviews
49Camelbak SequoiaCamelbak Sequoia
4.11
110 reviews
50Camelbak AuroraCamelbak Aurora
4.11
434 reviews
51Triwonder MarathonerTriwonder Marathoner
4.10
1,388 reviews
52Ultraspire AlphaUltraspire Alpha
4.06
33 reviews
53Camelbak SkeeterCamelbak Skeeter
4.04
157 reviews
54Osprey RevOsprey Rev
4.01
472 reviews
55Nathan HPLNathan HPL
4.01
297 reviews
56Osprey ZealotOsprey Zealot
3.99
233 reviews
57Gregory DriftGregory Drift
3.96
10 reviews
58Osprey HydrajetOsprey Hydrajet
3.95
32 reviews
59Exos BravoExos Bravo
3.95
554 reviews
60Camelbak OctaneCamelbak Octane
3.94
281 reviews
61Camelbak CharmCamelbak Charm
3.90
581 reviews
62Camelbak RogueCamelbak Rogue
3.88
1,308 reviews
63EVOC CCEVOC CC
3.86
67 reviews
64Camelbak MagicCamelbak Magic
3.83
84 reviews
65Camelbak HydrobakCamelbak Hydrobak
3.82
1,662 reviews
66CamelBak DaystarCamelBak Daystar
3.82
11 reviews
67Nathan VaporairNathan Vaporair
3.82
152 reviews
68Camelbak CircuitCamelbak Circuit
3.77
172 reviews
69Teton Sports OasisTeton Sports Oasis
3.75
2,380 reviews
70Ultraspire ZygosUltraspire Zygos
3.68
10 reviews
71Teton Sports TrailrunnerTeton Sports Trailrunner
3.58
1,741 reviews
72Nathan MoxyNathan Moxy
3.57
41 reviews
73Camelbak KickerCamelbak Kicker
3.56
10 reviews
74Orange Mud HydraquiverOrange Mud Hydraquiver
3.56
226 reviews
75Ultraspire AstralUltraspire Astral
3.55
74 reviews
76Geigerrig GuardianGeigerrig Guardian
3.53
36 reviews
77Camelbak PursuitCamelbak Pursuit
3.51
75 reviews
78Ultimate Direction WaspUltimate Direction Wasp
3.48
14 reviews
79Geigerrig RigGeigerrig Rig
3.46
577 reviews
80Outdoor Products MistOutdoor Products Mist
3.45
515 reviews
81High Sierra PropelHigh Sierra Propel
3.42
330 reviews
82Outdoor Products RipcordOutdoor Products Ripcord
3.41
131 reviews
83Camelbak AreteCamelbak Arete
3.38
248 reviews
84Camelbak FranconiaCamelbak Franconia
3.38
49 reviews
85Nathan SpeeddrawNathan Speeddraw
3.35
698 reviews
86Camelbak ZoidCamelbak Zoid
3.29
171 reviews
87Camelbak PalosCamelbak Palos
3.24
141 reviews
88High Sierra QuickshotHigh Sierra Quickshot
3.23
801 reviews
89High Sierra LongshotHigh Sierra Longshot
3.22
259 reviews
90High Sierra WahooHigh Sierra Wahoo
3.18
192 reviews
91High Sierra PiranhaHigh Sierra Piranha
3.11
590 reviews
92Camelbak UltraCamelbak Ultra
3.06
141 reviews
93Dakine ShuttleDakine Shuttle
2.93
178 reviews
94High Sierra WaveHigh Sierra Wave
2.87
690 reviews
95High Sierra RiptideHigh Sierra Riptide
2.81
30 reviews
96Nathan SwitchbladeNathan Switchblade
1.83
21 reviews

Buyers Guide to Hydration Packs


Cycling couple with hydration packsWhether you are hiking or going for a run, hydration is the key to staying safe and healthy for the duration of it. Water bottles can be heavy and cumbersome and since you need to stop every time you want a drink, they can be time-consuming as well. This is where a hydration pack really shines and why you need to take one with you on your journey. Now, if you are looking for this type of product, you are going to find that there are a lot of types out there. So, how are you going to make sure that you end up with the one that works best for you?

Tips for Choosing a Hydration Pack

Hydration packs come in all shapes and sizes, and some even have additional features. To decide whether or not a pack is right for you, you need to first understand what qualities are right for you and which ones are redundant. Here, we will take a look at the various aspects that make up the different hydration packs so that it will become clearer which one you should choose. The following is what you need to consider:

Lightweight and Full Hydration Packs


There are some packs that are just hydration packs and nothing more – these are lightweight packs. On occasion, these type of packs may have small pockets or D-rings where you can keep small items with you. The main focus of these packs is efficiency and low weight.

Full hydration packs, on the other hand, resemble small backpacks. This is because while their main function is to hold a hydration reservoir, they also offer storage. They are multi-purpose and have larger capacities to hold a greater number of items.

Deciding Between Lightweight and Full Hydration Packs

So, how to determine which one is better for you? Well, this all depends on the type of activity that you hope to do:

Running

For instance, most runners, particularly those who are short-distance or competitive runners will benefit from a lightweight pack. This is because it will keep the weight down and will let them take only the bare essentials with them on their run. On the other hand, marathon runners or long-distance athletes may require greater amounts of water. In this case, the full backpacks may come in handy. This is especially since certain full-size hydration packs also come with water bottle holders.

Cycling

With cycling, too, the type of hydration pack will be determined by the type of cycling. Those who are racing or performance-oriented will find that the smaller packs help to keep their weight. Nonetheless, if you are want to go exploring on your bicycle or are headed somewhere where water is scarce, the full packs make more sense.

Hiking and Camping


If you will only be out hiking for a couple of hours, a lightweight hydration pack with a large reservoir could be the only thing that you require. If the trek is any longer than that, however, you should consider upgrading to a full-size pack. The same logic can be applied to camping, especially since this type of pack can help to keep your burden to a minimum.

Reservoir Capacity


As you can imagine, one of the more important aspects of choosing a hydration pack is determining how large its reservoir is. The reservoir refers to the part of the pack that actually holds the water. Reservoirs tend to range from as little to 0.5 liters to upwards of 3 liters.

The size of the reservoir that you require will depend on two main things. First, just how long will your journey be? For instance, if you will be running for an hour or more, you will need to drink at least half a liter, each hour.

The other thing that you will need to factor in is the temperature and the client. The more water that you are liable to lose through sweating, the more you will need to drink to replace it. So, on a warm and sunny day, you can expect to lose more.

If are having trouble deciding on the reservoir size, just pick one that is about 3 liters. Then, when heading out on a short hike, fill it only halfway through. For longer journeys, top it off. This way, you are fully prepared, regardless.

Weight of the Reservoir


Since most people think in terms of liters when it comes to water and hydration pack reservoirs, few stop to think how much weight you will be carrying. Water has weight, so for every liter that you carry with you, you are lugging around a load weighing almost a kilo. You will need to keep this in mind as well when deciding on a reservoir as well as when you are filling it up.

Storage Capacity


If you do decide to opt for a full-size backpack, you will have to think about how much you want to carry with you. The smallest of these type of hydration backpacks can usually hold around 5 liters in capacity. The larger ones can accommodate over 20 liters.

If you expect your run or hike to last less than four hours, you should be able to get away with taking a pack with a 5 liter capacity. For those that are lasting up to a day, you may require anything between 6 liters and 20 liters. The larger packs are good options for those that need to carry gear on their running, climbing, or cycling trip.

If you are planning on staying overnight, you should look for packs that are able to take up to around 28 liters in volume capacity. You should know that you will need considerably more space than this if you want to go on a multi-day trip.

The Hydration System: Types of Valves


While there are numerous things to consider in a hydration system – i.e. the part of the hydration pack that brings the water to you, the valves are perhaps most important. There are a couple of different valves available, with some designs unique to their manufacturer:

Bite Valve


The bite valve is perhaps the most common type of valve available. Here, all you have to do is to bite down and the water will flow into your mouth. When you stop, the flow of water is sealed off. The benefit of this, of course, is that it is a hands-free way to get your water, especially while cycling.

Push/Pull Valves


Then there are the valves that have to be pulled out so that the flow of water can be resumed and pushed back in to stop it once more. With these, you typically have to use your hands to manage them. On the plus side, though, they do tend to prevent leaks a lot better.

When choosing which valve you prefer, there is one more thing to remember. This is the rate of the flow of water. Typically, the higher the rate of flow, the better. This way, you can get the water that you need in quick intervals and minimize the time of your breaks.

The Size of the Bladder Opening


The opening of the bladder is where the water can be filled in. Typically, you can either decide on a smaller opening or a wide opening. While this decision does depend on personal preference, you should know wider openings are often better. With wider openings, you are able to fit your hand inside the reservoir. As such, it makes it much easier to clean out your hydration packs. This can be quite tricky to manage with smaller openings. In fact, with the smaller openings, you usually need a specialized cleaning kit to get the job done.

Positioning of the Bladder on the Pack


Where the bladder will be positioned will be contingent upon what type of hydration pack you are using. More often than not, people prefer bladders that are in an easy to reach position. This way, you don’t have to take off the entire pack to have to refill the bladder. So, if you are short on time and want to incur as little hassle as possible, you should look for bladders that are in the front of the pack and are easily accessible.

The Fit of the Pack


With smaller hydration packs, the fit is not something that you have to be concerned with too much. However, if the pack capacity is upwards of 10 liters, then you will need to start considering how this pack will fit you when you wear it.

To ensure maximum comfort, the pack should sit between the base of your neck and topmost part of your hips. In this position, it will not interfere with your natural gait and your movement will not be restricted in any way. To ensure this, you should first measure the area of the base of your neck to your hips. Then, compare this with the height of the hydration pack that you want to buy.

The bigger hydration packs also come with hip belts. In this case, you will need to make certain that the belt can be adjusted so that it will comfortably sit just above your hips.

The Suspension System


Once more, this feature is more important with larger packs where you will be carrying a greater amount of weight. It is best if you carry the most amount of the load around your hips. Therefore, look for thick, padded and sturdy hip belts with bigger packs. This will reduce the amount of stress on your shoulders.

You will need to check that the load is evenly distributed between both of your shoulders. This way, the weight will not be press down on particular pressure points and cause you discomfort. For this effect, you will require wider shoulder straps. Padded straps increase the comfort factor as well.

Durability of the Bladder


One of the most important things that your bladder needs to do is to keep the water within its reservoir until you choose to drink it. Therefore, the bladder is going to need to be quite durable so that it will not be punctured easily. Some bladders are made from harder plastic which does add weight but makes it a lot harder to tear or break through.

If you want a lightweight bladder but still require durability, look for puncture proof options. This is particularly important if you are planning on carrying a lot of gear in your pack or will be walking across rough terrain.

These are all of the elements that you should consider when you want to choose a hydration pack for yourself. Once you have carefully examined the above features on a pack you want to buy, you will be able to tell whether or not it is what you need.

14 More Hydration Packs


Classic hydration packs and models that haven't yet got enough reviews to be ranked.

RankHydration PackRating
1Gregory PaceGregory Pace
3.67
26 reviews
2Camelbak GamblerCamelbak Gambler
4.90
48 reviews
3Camelbak ChargeCamelbak Charge
2.90
15 reviews
4Camelbak MolokaiCamelbak Molokai
3.52
13 reviews
5Camelbak TrailblazerCamelbak Trailblazer
4.25
100 reviews
6High Sierra MarlinHigh Sierra Marlin
2.85
76 reviews
7High Sierra MorayHigh Sierra Moray
3.66
196 reviews
8Patagonia Fore RunnerPatagonia Fore Runner
3.70
10 reviews
Gregory AmasaGregory Amasa
Camelbak LUXECamelbak LUXE
Camelbak BootleggerCamelbak Bootlegger
High Sierra TakopahHigh Sierra Takopah
Nathan JourneyNathan Journey
Platypus B-linePlatypus B-line


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Last updated on May 09, 2019