Best Hydration Pack [Review] in 2021
written by Cycle expert Alex Bristol
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Any outdoor enthusiast will tell you the importance of staying hydrated, but it can be quite a tricky task as there are only so many water bottles you can carry before it gets too much.
If you’re looking to invest in a hydration pack but not sure where to start, then you’re at the right place.
Those who go on long rides need a hydration pack as it becomes difficult to ride for so long without being hydrated. It becomes difficult to breathe and ride during long rides, and carrying more water bottles also makes it difficult to ride as it is difficult to carry them.
Luckily, most hydration packs come with storage space to store all your essentials; it looks like a regular backpack with a twist. Some hydration packs will provide you with up to 5L of water supply, plus a hose to make it easy to drink.
But wait, let me tell you something.
To make things easier for you, I have hunted down the top hydration packs that offer ease of drinking, lots of storage space for all the essentials, durability, and lots of storage for water.
Here are my top picks!
We’ve spent the time so you don’t have to:
Top Picks Of The Best Hydration Packs Worth Your Money
Camelbak Classic Hydration Pack
My number one pick is for those looking for an affordable, top-of-the-line hydration system. CamelBak Classic is brilliant for those who want that little extra storage and stay hydrated.
Camelbak Classic Hydration Pack is the quintessential bike hydration pack. This hydration pack provides the convenience of external fill through the quick-release flap on the front of the pack. It has an industry-leading 2.5L Antidote reservoir.
Camelbak continues to reinvent hydration and carry solutions that empower active lifestyle; they are renowned for their award-winning products, from technical hydration packs to reusable bottles.
But that’s not all.
There is one small zip pocket at the front where you can keep keys and other essentials. The hydration pack has a breathable air mesh back panel which provides a lightweight, comfortable fit. It provides visibility in low-light environments because of reflective accents.
This is an ideal hands-free hydration pack that will make drinking while cycling so much easier. You can comfortably rehydrate yourself without having to stop. Plus, with 2.5L of liquid space, you’ll never run out.
- Great value
- Difficult to clean
Latest deal: Camelbak Classic Hydration Pack
Mubasel Gear Insulated Hydration Pack
Now I know more than anyone that hydration is super important when spending a full day riding, but there’s nothing worse than when you’re gasping for water and you’re faced with lukewarm horribleness– we’ve all experienced this.
Well, that will never be an issue again with this amazing hydration pack by Mubasel. Not only is the water bladder insulated and can hold up to 2L of water, but it also comes with insulated compartments to keep your lunch fresh too!
Mubasel Gear will keep your water cool for up to 4 hours, and it has a wide opening, so you can easily add ice to your bladder to keep it cooler for much longer. It lasted me a full day down the trails while keeping as cool as anything.
It is also super easy to drink out of too. With the pull & up mouthpiece and the high flow bite valve, it makes water flow easily and freely so you can enjoy that ice-cold water with minimal effort when you need it most—no need to worry about leaks either with the 100% leakproof design.
But wait, here’s the best bit:
This hydration pack isn’t just brilliant for keeping you hydrated, but it can also be used as a regular backpack on the go. It also includes 3 storage compartments that will fit all the essentials, clothes, keys, wallet, phones; you name it.
Customers love this hydration pack; it keeps their drinks colder for longer; it is also BPA-free, so no more plastic-tasting water. Comfort is in its name thanks to the padded shoulder straps and ventilated ergonomic back mesh.
It is not only the perfect companion for all your cycling adventures, but you can take it on a camping trip, maybe a weekend hike, or even while you run! The possibilities for this backpack are endless.
- Easy to use
- Could include better bottles
Latest deal: Mubasel Gear Insulated Hydration Pack
Osprey Raptor 10 Hydration Pack in Black
Coming in hot at number three is Osprey Raptor with their whopping 2.5-liter reservoir and enough storage space to haul all the essentials; this hydration pack will be sure to keep you fueled up and organized on the trail.
This hydration pack is BPA-free to help keep you hydrated during your ride without the horrid aftertaste of plastic. A magnetic sternum strap bite valve attachment helps hold the bite valve with ease and allows for easy access to water on the move.
It comes with a Lid Lock bike helmet attachment so you can stash away your helmet easily for transportation between rides. There are many other advantages, too, such as zip pockets, stretch mesh zippered hip belt pockets, and scratch-free slash pockets for sunglasses.
It even has a lower compartment with a roll-up tool pouch to organize bike tools, plus there are also blinker light attachments and a reflective patch for safety at night or down the trails with low light visibility.
In terms of comfort, you can’t beat this breathable design; the redesigned Airscape back panel provides an improved, secure fit and increased ventilation to keep you cool and comfortable in every ride, road and trail.
To top it all off, this bag is made with durable, rip-resistant nylon making it ideal for tackling any condition. It is the best in the market for mountain biking.
- Reflective patch
- Reflective patch
- First taste has plastic-like notes
Latest deal: Osprey Raptor 10 Hydration Pack
Camelbak MULE Hydration Pack
best hydration pack for mountain biking
CamelBak is another great option; it is an updated classic designed for maximum stability on the technical terrain; the CamelBak Mule 9L hydration pack offers 6L of storage and a whopping 3L of water capacity.
This is perfect for all-day fun-packed rides.
The Camelbak MULE Hydration Pack features a rich design and is the perfect balance of cargo and hydration. It has a narrow profile to keep the pack light and manoeuvrable while riding. There is a magnetic tube trap that snaps easily into place in the latest version.
The Magnetic Tube Trap keeps the tube secure and easy to access when you need it, the flow you get from the hose is pretty impressive and with the amount of water you can store, you’ll be hydrated for hours– you may need to find a few bushes though…
But wait, here’s the kicker:
In terms of comfort, this hydration pack is super adjustable and comfortable. The adjustable sternum strap offered a range of adjustments for custom fit and increased stability, plus the Air Director™’s back panel ensures enough ventilation to keep you comfortable.
The storage is super useful too, it has a secure phone pocket, stretch overflow pocket so you can stash that extra layer, and integrated tool organization to keep all your kit like CO2 cartridges, bike pump, patch kits, anything you need securely and easy to find.
Plus, just like Osprey, Camelbak comes with a helmet holder to secure your helmet while popping into the cafe or fetching a couple of groceries on your way home. It is a great hydration pack for any journey.
- Back panel
- Poorly ventilated back panel
Latest deal: Camelbak MULE Hydration Pack
Osprey Kitsuma 7 Women's Hydration Pack
This one is for the ladies.
If you want a hydration pack that travels light but can still hold a substantial amount of water, then Osprey Kitzuma 7 may be the one you need. This hydration pack offers only 7 liters of storage but 2.5 liters of water– this is still enough storage for all the essentials.
The external reservoir sleeve allows for quick and easy water access; this hydration pack also has the magnetic sternum strap with bite-valve attachment included making it easy to sip on the go and stay hydrated while riding.
This Hydration Pack has a hydration compartment that has BPA-free Hydraulics LT 2.5L Reservoir by Hydrapak. The hydration pack has a low-profile design with AirScape back panel. It comes with a rolled, soft-edged harness that provides maximum comfort.
As if that was enough…
Kitsuma 7 has a good amount of storage space too, 7L is enough for all the essentials such as a bike pump, extra pair of clothes, phone, wallet, keys, etc. Not everyone needs a massive backpack while riding, and not having to compromise water storage is definitely a plus.
It has a blinker light attachment to provide safety while riding at night. There are dual stretch mesh side pockets for small items, zippered pockets, and scratch-free slash pockets for sunglasses or devices.
Comfort, hydration, and enough storage to store all the essentials without feeling bulky? Osprey is bossing this one!
- Tends to hug tightly
Latest deal: Osprey Kitsuma 7 Hydration Pack
Gregory Nano 18 H2O Hydration Pack
Here’s another handy companion for spontaneous rides and hikes, Gregory 18 H2O hydration pack will haul all your must-haves as well as being able to hold 3L of water, making it ideal for long days of riding.
This hydration pack includes a 3L quick-drying 3D hydro reservoir and an easy pull top drawcord opening to allows easy drinking access to help keep you hydrated on the go.
Storage is pretty good going too, with a whopping 18L gear capacity, you’ll never run out of space again. The easy-pull op drawcord opening allows for easy access to your things quickly, and the plenty of pockets makes it easy to organize your things.
But wait, I’m not finished.
This hydration pack even has a reflective attachment loop to secure extra water bottles (if need) and other trail accessories such as a bike lock or even your helmet. This is brilliant for fun-packed days, hitting the trails with family and friends.
In terms of comfort and stability, this hydration pack comes with a removable webbing hip belt that can help balance out your load, as well as a padded tubular webbing haul handle for carrying comfort; you will never run out of storage space again.
Nano is of tremendous value for the price point, and you get some pretty cool features with this pack.
- Increased visibility
- External fill
- Limited accessory space
Latest deal: Gregory Nano 18 H2O Hydration Pack
Evoc Ride 12L Backpack
Last but certainly not least is Evoc Ride 12L Backpack. This hydration pack has a brilliant blend of storage space and comfort for your ride; it has an easy-to-access bladder, a good amount of storage, and some awesome added features.
The small hydration pack compartment is ready to hold a hydration bladder of up to 3L in size and comes with a 2L hydration bladder and clip included. The design allows for more storage while also making the bladder incredibly easy to clean.
In terms of storage, this hydration bladder will carry everything you need on the go; it has many different size compartments within the backpack and can hold 8L of storage space, making it ideal for cycling and every day.
But wait, here’s more.
This hydration pack provides next-level comfort; the air pad system is arranged with five ventilation channels and provides optimal breathability. The extra-wide hip belt helps to distribute the weight and keep it comfy for long hours.
Just like a few other hydration packs I have picked out for you today, Evoc ride also comes with a helmet transport flap on the back of the backpack; this allows you to carry your helmet with ease when traveling off your bike.
This hydration pack is so comfortable you’ll forget it’s even there!
- Essential storage
- Cooling airflow
- Side pockets could be bigger for cell phones
Latest deal: Evoc Ride 12L Backpack
Best Hydration Pack Buyers Guide
One can think of many questions while buying a product, such as price, advantages, best one, ratings, quality, and much more. Before buying a product, one should get authentic and trustworthy information about it so that the product picked up can be reliable.
It will make a great difference if you buy a product after comparing different products based on quality, ratings, features, pros, and cons and can make a list of those products. You can go for the one that suits your requirements and preferences the most.
Make sure you should look at the cost of the product, too, as it plays an important role in buying the product. Most of the great quality products are of high prices so one should see his range too.
One can look at the ratings and reviews given by the customers to have an idea about the product as these customers have experienced those products, and most of the reviews given are honest. If you are looking for the best hydration pack, you should look at the pack’s features to get the best one.
Let’s break down everything you need to know to get the very best hydration backpack for your cycling adventures.
What Is A Hydration Pack?
Let’s kick start with the question a few people may be wondering, what is a hydration pack anyway?
A hydration pack is a backpack or drink back with a hydration system built in the backpack; it contains a reservoir or a water bladder. This reservoir is made from rubber or flexible plastic to fit nicely in the pouch and feels comfortable on your back.
The reservoir is also paired with a capped mouth of hose, which the rider can easily access; it allows riders, hikers, anyone really to drink hands-free and stay hydrated while exercising with ease.
You don’t need to stop or slow down to drink your water; you can attach the hose and mouthpiece and drink when needed, without even stopping. No more stopping, getting off your bike, and grabbing your water bottle when you’re gasping for water.
Things to check when buying hydration packs:
The recurring features of the products we mentioned above are given below:
Hydration Pack Reservoir Capacity:
There is a need for water in the long rides or even in the short rides. One has to carry the water with him, but it’s not easy to carry water bottles.
The hydration pack has reservoirs with a large capacity in which you can fill water to the level you think would be enough for the ride. While buying a hydration pack, you should consider the reservoir’s capacity according to the distance you travel.
If you’re a long-distance traveler, then you should carry a large reservoir. You should fill the reservoir according to the ride’s requirements as it will keep weight low on shorter trips.
Most of the products mentioned above have a large capacity. The hydration pack’s reservoir capacity should be enough; that is why if you want to get a good hydration pack, you have to compare different options.
Hydration pack fit:
When you buy a hydration pack, you should look for the one providing a great fit. All the products mentioned above come with a harness and provide a great fit.
Some hydration packs come with padded straps and ventilated backs for improved airflow and comfort; this also adds to the overall fit of the hydration pack as if it’s not comfortable, it’s not a good match for you.
Ease of drinking:
The main purpose of using a hydration pack is to make drinking easier while cycling, no more carrying around 4 water bottles. All hydration packs should come with a hose that has a high and easy flow rate with low leaks.
The bite valve system is super important as it can make the difference between being able to drink with ease and only being able to drink a couple of sips before feeling like you’re suffocating.
Ease of filling:
Along with ease of drinking, you should consider a hydration pack that can be easily filled; I would recommend going for a hydration pack with a big hole to fill with water as it also allows you to add ice to keep your drink cooler for longer.
It also depends on how you choose to fill up your water bladder. Do you use the kitchen sink? Are you constantly on the go and struggling to fill up your water bladder in shallow hotel sinks or even lakes and rivers? The size of the bladder opening makes a world of difference.
Luckily most water bladders nowadays are extremely user-friendly and are made with cyclists in mind; they’re easy to remove and provide massive openings so you can fill your water bladder with ease.
Remember when buying hydration bladder that comfort is key; you’ll probably be hauling this backpack around with you for hours on end; as soon as it begins to chafe, it’s game over. Plus, no one wants a hot and sweaty back while riding.
To prevent this, you should go for hydration packs made with breathable designs to ventilate airflow and keep you cool. Padding is also essential; ensure your hydration pack has padding around the shoulders and potentially hips to keep you comfortable and ease pressure points.
Most cycling backpacks come with a belt around the middle to evenly distribute weight and add stability to your ride; we don’t want our hydration packs slipping from one side to the other when weaving in and out of corners.
Insulation is also another important factor to consider, especially if you’re an adrenaline junkie and love spending full days down the trail during the summer months. Any cyclist will tell you the horribleness of warm water when you’re dehydrated.
It is the absolute worst when we’re desperate for a drink; this is the last thing we want. I switched my hydration pack to an insulated one, and let me tell you; it CHANGED my life. It kept my drink cool all day, and I found that when I added ice, it was still cold when I got home too.
Plus, the hydration pack I bought was also BPA-free, so no more of that horrid plastic aftertaste; the water was always crisp and fresh, everything you need during intense rides. I was energized in no time!
Now I know no one here is just looking for a hydration pack with zero storage space; we still need to carry all the essentials. Luckily most hydration packs are built into a storage backpack; there tends to be a water bladder storage separate from the rest.
You can store all your kit such as clothes, phone, wallet, snacks, first aid. You need to think about how much storage space you’ll need to carry it all. When reviewing products for my list, I considered a wide range of storage space requirements, some people don’t need much, and some need lots.
I find that organization is crucial, too; I have spent far too many hours searching through my backpack for the smallest of things, taking out everything else and finding it right at the bottom– everyone’s been there.
Little compartments and organizers make a world of difference as everything is easy to find, and you don’t need to interrupt your ride looking for a pair of gloves; they’re in the right-hand side pocket– easy!
Another nice touch about hydration packs and cycling backpacks, in general, is when they come with helmet loops– who knew they needed it so badly?! When popping into the grocery store, taking a breather at a cafe, it is a godsend, no more hauling around your helmet!
Before you click to buy any hydration pack, just take a moment to think about how much storage you need, whether you’d like added features like a helmet loop, whether you need a waterproof pocket to hold your phone, it’s important to be safe than sorry.
Frequently Asked Questions:
The questions that people frequently ask are as follows:
Are hydration packs worth it?
There are many benefits of having a hydration pack, such as storage, capacity for water, and comfort. Most hydration packs come with pockets and provide stability. It is easy to carry a water reservoir as it is space-saving compared to carrying two large water bottles in your backpack.
There is no awkward shape of the reservoir, and it’s more streamlined. It allows you to pack and carry other belongings more easily. Thus, hydration packs are worth it.
What can you put in a hydration pack?
You can carry many things with you if you have a hydration pack, such as a water reservoir halfway up with ice; bring along one of those ice bricks. It allows you to carry your essentials such as the keys and mobile phones as it has pockets.
The iced water would not last long without proper insulation in the hot weather, so you should have this hydration pack that provides proper insulation.
How do you clean a hydration pack?
The best way to clean your hydration pack is to soak it in cool water with some mild soap; I recommend doing this for like 10-15 minutes and then rinse thoroughly with cool water.
Unless your hydration pack specifically says not to, you should hang up your hydration pack to dry for a few hours, and it should be good to go!
There is a need for the best mountain bike hydration packs as they had to go through many things such as rammed with gear, poked by tree branches, dragged over rocks, soaked by rain, and splattered with mud. The hydration bag should be of good quality and should be strong and durable.
There is a need for a hydration pack on the long rides to stay hydrated otherwise it can be difficult to ride on the long and difficult trails of mountains. The hydration pack should have a larger capacity of the reservoir so that you can carry the required amount of water with you.
Most of the hydration packs come with a harness, so it is easy to hold them. They also provide pockets for essential things such as keys and mobile phones. The best hydration packs offer the most versatility, enough space for essentials and a water reservoir.
All the products mentioned above in the article are of great quality and have amazing features. You can compare them and can select the one that matches your requirements. These hydration packs are something you never knew you needed until you have one, they make life so much easier.
Content Manager at Pedallers
Alex is a cycling expert at and focuses on reviewing bikes, accessories, and general cycling. He searches for the most up to date products that match the needs of cyclists across the world. Whether it's recent news or the best bike set-ups, Alex is a trusted source for anything around cycling.