There are many different types of hydration packs available, so if you are looking to buy a new one you really need to make sure you get the one best suited for your needs. They come in many different sizes, and you have a lot of different design features on the many models available. You also need to consider quality and price too.
Fortunately, there are many good quality hydration packs available at reasonable prices, so you do not need to spend a fortune in order to get a really good quality one. Due to the nature of a hydration pack, and the extensive use they can receive in outdoor conditions, you need to look at the durability of a pack. If it means spending a few extra dollars to get better quality, you really should, as it will pay off in the long run.
Choosing the right hydration pack for you
If you are a cyclist or a hiker, and you just go out for short 1 or 2 hour rides or hikes, then you do not need a big hydration pack; a 50oz or 70oz at the most would be sufficient. Something like the Camelbak Rouge (70oz) or the High Sierra Wave 50 (50oz) are ideal options for these shorter trips. Both are very good quality hydration packs, and they are really light so you will not be weighed down by any excessive weight.
If you plan on longer trips, for either hiking, running or cycling, then a larger hydration bladder capacity will be required. The Camelbak Lobo is another really good quality hydration pack, that comes with a 100oz reservoir to ensure you can keep yourself hydrated for longer. This pack is ideal for both cyclists and hikers, and you will love the comfortable and lightweight design.
Another great option if you need a bigger pack is the Camelbak Octane 18X. The Octane has just been updated for 2014, which an even better design and useful features. The pack also comes with a 100oz reservoir to keep you hydrated on longer trips.
The main purpose of a hydration back is to give you the ability to carry around fluid that you can drink on your trips. Some packs focus mainly on the hydration aspect and do not offer much in the way of additional storage, while others have a great mix of providing ample storage as well as the hydration capabilities.
If you just need a smaller hydration pack, then you should always look for models that at least offer one or two small compartments to carry some essential items such as wallet, keys and phone. A pack such as the Camelbak Blowfish is fairly small and compact, yet it still offers you a decent amount of storage space for additional items. This just helps to make your trip that much easier.
One of the main focuses for a lot of the better quality hydration packs these days is the comfort they provide for the wearer. As you could be wearing them for several hours in some cases, you do not want a pack that digs into your shoulders and makes for uncomfortable wearing. Some of the better hydration packs use a special ventilation system on the back, so it allows air to pass between the wearers back, and the pack.
We have a good mix of some of the best hydration packs currently available on this site, and have provided detailed reviews of each one so you can see what each one has to offer.