Top 150 Best Reviewed Hydration Packs - Buyers Guide 2018


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.

To help you choose, we have checked 16,111 reviews to find the best reviewed hydration packs.

Check out the top 150 list below - and the top 3 most popular hydration packs, if you just want to check out some of the most popular models (the models that most people end up buying).
How we rate the bags

We have checked thousands of 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.



Top 3 most popular hydration packs 2018


Camelbak MULE backpack
Camelbak MULE
Rated 4.4 based on 109 reviews.

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Camelbak Lobo backpack
Camelbak Lobo
Rated 4.7 based on 303 reviews.

Check Amazon price
Osprey Raptor backpack
Osprey Raptor
Rated 4.7 based on 369 reviews.

Check Amazon price



Below is the top 150 list based on the thousands of reviews we have checked.


Top 150 hydration packs 2018


Gregory Drift backpack
Gregory Drift
Price range $$
Gregory logo
5.0
3 reviews

Camelbak Zoid backpack
Camelbak Zoid
Price range $
Camelbak logo
5.0
3 reviews

Camelbak Solstice backpack
Camelbak Solstice
Price range $$
Camelbak logo
5.0
13 reviews

Deuter Attack backpack
Deuter Attack
Price range $$$
Deuter logo
5.0
4 reviews

Salomon Skin backpack
Salomon Skin
Price range $$
Salomon logo
5.0
6 reviews

Osprey Radial backpack
Osprey Radial
Price range $$
Osprey logo
5.0
35 reviews

Osprey Dyna backpack
Osprey Dyna
2 bag types available.
Price range $$
Osprey logo
4.9
38 reviews

Camelbak Aventura backpack
Camelbak Aventura
Price range $$$$
Camelbak logo
4.9
46 reviews

Osprey Raven backpack
Osprey Raven
Price range $$
Osprey logo
4.9
81 reviews

Gregory Tempo backpack
Gregory Tempo
Price range $
Gregory logo
4.9
6 reviews

Camelbak Powderhound backpack
Camelbak logo
4.9
7 reviews

Dakine Session backpack
Dakine Session
Price range $$
Dakine logo
4.8
19 reviews

Gregory Citro backpack
Gregory Citro
Price range $$
Gregory logo
4.8
6 reviews

Camelbak KUDU backpack
Camelbak KUDU
Price range $$
Camelbak logo
4.8
25 reviews

Osprey Zealot backpack
Osprey Zealot
Price range $$
Osprey logo
4.8
131 reviews

Osprey Verve backpack
Osprey Verve
Price range $$
Osprey logo
4.8
28 reviews

Ultraspire Zygos backpack
Ultraspire Zygos
Price range $$
Ultraspire logo
4.8
5 reviews

Osprey Viper backpack
Osprey Viper
Price range $$
Osprey logo
4.8
247 reviews

Gregory Juno backpack
Gregory Juno
Price range $$
Gregory logo
4.8
8 reviews

Camelbak Fourteener backpack
Camelbak Fourteener
2 bag types available.
Capacity 20-24 l (1220.5-1464.6 cuin)
Price range $$
Camelbak logo
4.8
156 reviews

Deuter Race backpack
Deuter Race
Price range $$$
Deuter logo
4.8
428 reviews

Osprey Skarab backpack
Osprey Skarab
Price range $$
Osprey logo
4.7
30 reviews

Marmot Kompressor backpack
Marmot Kompressor
Capacity 22 l (1342.5 cuin)
Price range $
Marmot logo
4.7
171 reviews

Jack Wolfskin Moab backpack
Jack Wolfskin Moab
Price range $$
Jack wolfskin logo
4.7
13 reviews

Nathan HPL backpack
Nathan HPL
2 bag types available.
Price range $$
Nathan logo
4.7
14 reviews

Osprey Syncro backpack
Osprey Syncro
Price range $$
Osprey logo
4.7
682 reviews

Camelbak Phantom backpack
Camelbak Phantom
Price range $$
Camelbak logo
4.7
4 reviews

Camelbak Lobo backpack
Camelbak Lobo
Price range $$
Camelbak logo
4.7
303 reviews

Camelbak Skyline backpack
Camelbak Skyline
Price range $$
Camelbak logo
4.7
38 reviews

Osprey Talon backpack
Osprey Talon
2 bag types available.
Capacity 33 l (2013.8 cuin)
Price range $$
Osprey logo
4.7
643 reviews

Osprey Raptor backpack
Osprey Raptor
Price range $$
Osprey logo
4.7
369 reviews

Osprey Skimmer backpack
Osprey Skimmer
Price range $$
Osprey logo
4.7
63 reviews

Ultimate Direction Fastpack backpack
Ultimate direction logo
4.7
73 reviews

Platypus Tokul backpack
Platypus Tokul
Price range $
Platypus logo
4.6
74 reviews

Osprey Manta backpack
Osprey Manta
Price range $$
Osprey logo
4.6
87 reviews

Camelbak Coronado backpack
Camelbak Coronado
Price range $$
Camelbak logo
4.6
12 reviews

Camelbak Cloud Walker backpack
Camelbak Cloud Walker
Price range $$
Camelbak logo
4.6
167 reviews

Camelbak HAWG backpack
Camelbak HAWG
Capacity 17 l (1037 cuin)
Price range $$
Camelbak logo
4.6
21 reviews

EVOC FR backpack
EVOC FR
Capacity 16-30 l (976-1830 cuin)
Price range $$$
Evoc logo
4.6
244 reviews

Camelbak Classic backpack
Camelbak Classic
Price range $
Camelbak logo
4.6
128 reviews

Osprey Mira backpack
Osprey Mira
Price range $$
Osprey logo
4.6
83 reviews

Camelbak Helena backpack
Camelbak Helena
Price range $$
Camelbak logo
4.6
15 reviews

Camelbak Motherlode backpack
Camelbak Motherlode
Price range $$$$
Camelbak logo
4.6
62 reviews

Fox Portage backpack
Fox Portage
Price range $$
Fox logo
4.6
6 reviews

Platypus Duthie backpack
Platypus Duthie
Price range $$
Platypus logo
4.6
113 reviews

Camelbak Thermobak backpack
Camelbak Thermobak
Price range $
Camelbak logo
4.6
377 reviews

Deuter Compact backpack
Deuter Compact
Price range $$
Deuter logo
4.6
31 reviews

Platypus Siouxon backpack
Platypus Siouxon
Price range $$
Platypus logo
4.6
13 reviews

Osprey Duro backpack
Osprey Duro
Price range $$
Osprey logo
4.5
73 reviews

Triwonder Marathoner backpack

4.5
660 reviews

Dakine Drafter backpack
Dakine Drafter
Price range $$
Dakine logo
4.5
4 reviews

Camelbak Kicker backpack
Camelbak Kicker
Price range $
Camelbak logo
4.5
4 reviews

Camelbak Ambush backpack
Camelbak Ambush
Price range $$
Camelbak logo
4.5
31 reviews

Osprey Rev backpack
Osprey Rev
Price range $
Osprey logo
4.5
38 reviews

EVOC Stage backpack
EVOC Stage
Capacity 3-6 l (183-366 cuin)
Price range $$
Evoc logo
4.5
51 reviews

Nathan Intensity backpack
Nathan Intensity
Price range $$
Nathan logo
4.4
25 reviews

Camelbak SnoBlast backpack
Camelbak SnoBlast
Price range $$
Camelbak logo
4.4
11 reviews

Camelbak Rogue backpack
Camelbak Rogue
Price range $
Camelbak logo
4.4
477 reviews

Camelbak Charm backpack
Camelbak Charm
Price range $
Camelbak logo
4.4
281 reviews

Camelbak Dart backpack
Camelbak logo
4.4
5 reviews

Camelbak Scout backpack
Camelbak Scout
Price range $
Camelbak logo
4.4
18 reviews

Camelbak Sequoia backpack
Camelbak Sequoia
2 bag types available.
Price range $$
Camelbak logo
4.4
51 reviews

Camelbak MULE backpack
Camelbak MULE
Price range $$
Camelbak logo
4.4
109 reviews

Nathan Vaporcloud backpack
Nathan logo
4.4
75 reviews

Camelbak Aurora backpack
Camelbak Aurora
Price range $
Camelbak logo
4.3
39 reviews

Maxpedition Condor backpack
Maxpedition Condor
Price range $$$$
Maxpedition logo
4.3
166 reviews

Ultraspire Alpha backpack
Ultraspire logo
4.3
25 reviews

Nathan Vaporair backpack
Nathan logo
4.3
106 reviews

Teton Sports Oasis backpack
Teton Sports Oasis
Price range $
Teton sports logo
4.3
1,675 reviews

Exos Bravo backpack
Exos Bravo
Price range $

4.3
367 reviews

Gregory Pace backpack
Gregory Pace
Price range $$
Gregory logo
4.2
4 reviews

Camelbak Arete backpack
Camelbak Arete
Price range $
Camelbak logo
4.2
61 reviews

Camelbak Octane backpack
Camelbak Octane
2 bag types available.
Price range $$
Camelbak logo
4.2
28 reviews

Camelbak Rim Runner backpack
Camelbak Rim Runner
Price range $$
Camelbak logo
4.2
60 reviews

Camelbak Skeeter backpack
Camelbak Skeeter
Price range $
Camelbak logo
4.2
5 reviews

Orange Mud Hydraquiver backpack
Orange mud logo
4.2
104 reviews

Camelbak Pursuit backpack
Camelbak Pursuit
Price range $$$$
Camelbak logo
4.2
9 reviews

Nathan FireStorm backpack
Nathan logo
4.2
56 reviews

Outdoor Products Mist backpack
Outdoor products logo
4.2
305 reviews

Ultraspire Astral backpack
Ultraspire logo
4.2
25 reviews

Camelbak Hydrobak backpack
Camelbak Hydrobak
Price range $
Camelbak logo
4.2
153 reviews

High Sierra Propel backpack
High sierra logo
4.2
309 reviews

Camelbak Molokai backpack
Camelbak logo
4.2
13 reviews

High Sierra Wahoo backpack
High sierra logo
4.2
191 reviews

Camelbak Arc backpack
Camelbak Arc
Price range $$
Camelbak logo
4.2
46 reviews

High Sierra Moray backpack
High Sierra Moray
Capacity 22 l (1343 cuin)
Price range $
High sierra logo
4.1
199 reviews

High Sierra Longshot backpack
High sierra logo
4.1
202 reviews

Nathan Speeddraw backpack
Nathan logo
4.1
299 reviews

Camelbak Palos backpack
Camelbak Palos
Price range $
Camelbak logo
4.1
112 reviews

Camelbak Circuit backpack
Camelbak Circuit
Price range $
Camelbak logo
4.1
36 reviews

Geigerrig Rig backpack
Geigerrig Rig
Price range $$
Geigerrig logo
4.1
162 reviews

Camelbak Quantico backpack
Camelbak Quantico
Price range $$
Camelbak logo
4.0
21 reviews

Camelbak Franconia backpack
Camelbak Franconia
Price range $$
Camelbak logo
4.0
21 reviews

Camelbak Magic backpack
Camelbak Magic
Price range $$
Camelbak logo
4.0
11 reviews

Outdoor Products Ripcord backpack
Outdoor products logo
4.0
123 reviews

Nathan Moxy backpack
Nathan logo
4.0
41 reviews

High Sierra Piranha backpack
High Sierra Piranha
Price range $$$$
High sierra logo
4.0
490 reviews

Dakine AMP backpack
Dakine AMP
Price range $$
Dakine logo
4.0
3 reviews

EVOC CC backpack
EVOC CC
Price range $$
Evoc logo
4.0
33 reviews

Salomon Agile backpack
Salomon Agile
2 bag types available.
Price range $$
Salomon logo
3.9
9 reviews

High Sierra Quickshot backpack
High sierra logo
3.9
803 reviews

Nathan Elevation backpack
Nathan logo
3.9
22 reviews

Teton Sports Trailrunner
Teton sports logo
3.9
1,184 reviews

Ultimate Direction SJ backpack
Ultimate direction logo
3.9
27 reviews

Nathan Mercury backpack
Nathan Mercury
Price range $
Nathan logo
3.8
281 reviews

Camelbak Delaney backpack
Camelbak Delaney
2 bag types available.
Price range $
Camelbak logo
3.8
53 reviews

Salomon S-Lab backpack
Salomon S-Lab
Price range $$
Salomon logo
3.7
13 reviews

Dakine Shuttle backpack
Dakine Shuttle
Price range $
Dakine logo
3.7
138 reviews

Camelbak Charge backpack
Camelbak Charge
Price range $$
Camelbak logo
3.6
4 reviews

High Sierra Marlin backpack
High sierra logo
3.6
76 reviews

High Sierra Wave backpack
High Sierra Wave
Price range $
High sierra logo
3.6
782 reviews

Ultimate Direction PB backpack
Ultimate direction logo
3.6
18 reviews

Camelbak FlashFlo backpack
Camelbak FlashFlo
Price range $
Camelbak logo
3.5
43 reviews

Camelbak Ultra backpack
Camelbak Ultra
2 bag types available.
Price range $
Camelbak logo
3.5
29 reviews

High Sierra Riptide backpack
High Sierra Riptide
Capacity 25 l (1526 cuin)
Price range $
High sierra logo
3.4
30 reviews

Salomon Hydro backpack
Salomon Hydro
Price range $
Salomon logo
3.2
4 reviews

Nathan Elite backpack
Nathan Elite
Price range $
Nathan logo
3.2
22 reviews

Ultraspire Velocity backpack
Ultraspire logo
3.0
6 reviews

Shimano Unzen backpack
Shimano Unzen
Price range $$
Shimano logo
2.3
3 reviews

Osprey Hydrajet backpack
Osprey Hydrajet
Price range $
Osprey logo

Osprey Moki backpack
Osprey Moki
Price range $
Osprey logo

CamelBak Daystar backpack
CamelBak Daystar
Price range $$
Camelbak logo

Nathan Switchblade backpack
Nathan Switchblade
Price range $
Nathan logo

Fox Convoy backpack
Fox Convoy
Price range $$
Fox logo

Geigerrig Tactical
Geigerrig Tactical
Price range $$
Geigerrig logo

Platypus Origin
Platypus logo

Ultimate Direction Wasp backpack
Ultimate direction logo

Gregory Amasa backpack
Gregory Amasa
Price range $$
Gregory logo

Camelbak Blowfish backpack
Camelbak Blowfish
Price range $$
Camelbak logo

Camelbak Bootlegger backpack
Camelbak Bootlegger
Price range $
Camelbak logo

Salomon Trail backpack
Salomon Trail
2 bag types available.
Price range $
Salomon logo

Dakine Nomad backpack
Dakine Nomad
Price range $$
Dakine logo

NRS PFD backpack
NRS PFD
2 bag types available.
Nrs logo

Patagonia Fore Runner backpack
Patagonia Fore Runner
Capacity 10 l (610 cuin)
Price range $$
Patagonia logo

Dakine logo

Camelbak LUXE backpack
Camelbak LUXE
Price range $$
Camelbak logo

Camelbak Mini-MULE backpack
Camelbak logo

Camelbak Caper backpack
Camelbak logo

Camelbak Gambler backpack
Camelbak logo

Camelbak Marathoner
Camelbak logo

Camelbak Trailblazer backpack
Camelbak logo

High Sierra Takopah backpack
High Sierra Takopah
Price range $
High sierra logo

Nathan Fireball backpack
Nathan logo

Nathan Journey backpack
Nathan logo

Nathan Grit backpack
Nathan logo

Matador HydroLite backpack
Matador HydroLite
Price range $$$
Matador logo

Orange Mud Endurance backpack
Orange Mud Endurance
Price range $$
Orange mud logo

Platypus B-line backpack
Platypus B-line
Price range $$
Platypus logo

Source Spinner backpack
Source logo

Dakine Low Rider
Dakine logo





Review Summary

16,111 reviews of bags checked.

Average rating is 4.3 out of 5.
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
66%
16%
7%
5%
6%



Top 10 hydration pack brands

The 10 highest rated hydration pack brands based on the 16,111 reviews we have checked + the highest rated bag from each brand.

BrandAverage ratingTop hydration pack
Deuter4.7Deuter Attack
Marmot4.7Marmot Kompressor
Jack Wolfskin4.7Jack Wolfskin Moab
Gregory4.7Gregory Drift
Osprey4.7Osprey Hydrajet
Platypus4.6Platypus Origin
EVOC4.5EVOC FR
Triwonder4.5Triwonder Marathoner
Camelbak4.4CamelBak Daystar
Ultimate Direction4.3Ultimate Direction Wasp



Related Ranking Lists



Whether 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 (Buyers Guide)

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.

Best Hydration Packs

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.


Last updated on May 23, 2018

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