If you have just discovered the many different hydration packs available, and have decided to get one for yourself for the first time, then you want to make sure you are getting the most out of it. Used properly, a hydration pack can really make your excursions, whether on foot or by bike, that much easier and more comfortable.
The primary purpose of a hydration pack is to enable you to keep yourself hydrated by carrying around your drink in an easy-to-carry backpack style holder. Some hydration packs are very basic, and they do require a little more movement for you to get the drink when required. But other hydration pack designs will be much more user-friendly, and have been designed to be hands-off, so you can consume your drink whenever you want without having to fumble around for the straw of drink bottle.
What type of hydration pack do you need?
Hydration packs come in all shapes and sizes, so it is definitely not a 1-size-fits-all scenario, so be aware of this before you buy. If you are a hiker, and you want a pack that will not only fit in your drink for hydration purposes, but also have enough room for a few essentials, then you need to look at something that is a bit bigger, and can accommodate some additional clothing and other essential items that you may been to take on your trip.
If this is the case for you, then you can consider hydration packs like the Camelbak Arete 18 or the Camelbak Alpine Explorer, which are both day-hiker packs. They have been designed to allow you to carry some additional clothing, and things like maps, food and essential items such as wallet, phone and keys.
With these packs, you will be able to stay hydrated without having to stop and take the pack off your back. They have straws that come from the reservoir in the pack to the mouth, and have a bite valve built into them so you can control the flow of liquid easily.
Hydration packs for cyclists
If you are a cyclist, then you will want a different design pack than if you were a hiker. You will not need a pack that is so big if you plan on hitting the trails and doing some off-road riding. You do not want to be weighed down by the pack, or to have your movement restricted too much either.
You also need the pack to rest securely on your back without it moving around too much. When you are trail riding your balance is very important, and a pack moving around on your back is not going to help this.
If you are a cyclist you should look at the smaller hydration packs, the ones that have either a 50oz or 70oz reservoir. You can find packs that really are minimalist in their design, such as the Camelbak Hydrobak or the Camelbak Rouge.
These packs are very light and slim-line, and will not restrict you in your movement at all. You can fit a few essentials in the small pockets on these smaller hydration packs, but their primary purpose is just to provide you with a convenient way to carry and consume your liquid when you are riding.