How to Choose the Right Size Hydration Pack?

21 minutes read

Choosing the right size hydration pack is crucial to ensure comfort and convenience during outdoor activities. Here are some factors to consider when making your decision:

  1. Capacity: The first consideration is the amount of water and other essentials you plan to carry. Hydration packs typically come in sizes ranging from 1.5 liters to 3 liters or more. Determine how long you'll be out and the availability of water sources along your route. The longer the activity or the less accessible water sources are, the larger capacity you will need.
  2. Fit and comfort: It's important to choose a hydration pack that fits your body well. Look for adjustable straps and a harness system that allows you to secure the pack snugly to your back and chest. Consider the shape and size of the pack to ensure it won't rub or cause discomfort while in use.
  3. Activity type: Consider the type of activity you'll be engaging in. If you're going for a run, a smaller, lightweight pack may be more suitable. For longer hikes, biking, or other activities where you may need to carry more items, a larger pack with additional storage compartments might be necessary.
  4. Weight distribution: Look for a hydration pack that evenly distributes the weight and doesn't place excessive strain on your shoulders or back. Some packs have additional features like a waist belt or lumbar support to help distribute weight effectively.
  5. Extra features: Consider any additional features you might need. Some packs come with extra pockets for carrying snacks, keys, or other essentials. Reflective strips or a built-in whistle might also be important depending on the activity and location.
  6. Try it on: Whenever possible, try on different hydration packs before making a purchase. Adjust the straps and ensure it feels comfortable and secure on your back. Walk around the store to get a sense of how it will feel during your activity.


Remember, choosing the right size hydration pack is about finding the right balance between carrying capacity and comfort. By considering the factors mentioned above, you can select a pack that meets your specific needs and enhances your outdoor experience.

Best Hydration Packs of April 2024

1
TETON Sports Oasis 18L Hydration Pack with Free 2-Liter Water Bladder; The Perfect Backpack for Hiking, Running, Cycling, or Commuting,Olive

Rating is 5 out of 5

TETON Sports Oasis 18L Hydration Pack with Free 2-Liter Water Bladder; The Perfect Backpack for Hiking, Running, Cycling, or Commuting,Olive

  • WATER NEVER TASTED SO GOOD: During a long hike having water so convenient and still cold…there’s nothing like it. Lightweight with a custom fit, you’ll forget you have it on until you need it.18L pack give you plenty of storage for your day hike
  • HYDRATION BLADDER INCLUDED: 2-liter water bladder included; Complete with durable, kink-free sip tube and innovative push-lock cushioned bite valve; Large 2-inch (5 cm) opening for ice that also makes cleaning easy
  • GET THE PERFECT FIT: Low-profile athletic cut with full adjustment fits all body types comfortably; Comfort-taped straps with high-density notched foam stabilizer and mesh covering means you can wear this pack comfortably for hours, Water backpack for hiking fits men, women, and youth
2
MARCHWAY Tactical Molle Hydration Pack Backpack with 3L TPU Water Bladder, Military Daypack for Cycling, Hiking, Running, Climbing, Hunting, Biking (Black)

Rating is 4.9 out of 5

MARCHWAY Tactical Molle Hydration Pack Backpack with 3L TPU Water Bladder, Military Daypack for Cycling, Hiking, Running, Climbing, Hunting, Biking (Black)

  • Streamlined and Compact Design: 19.7”x8.7”x2.6” in size. Ergonomically fits for your shoulders chest and waist. 3 straps are all adjustable for reducing bounce. Soft air mesh back speeds up air-flow and makes your back cool. Foam padded shoulder straps are extremely comfortable.
  • Reliable Material: Heavy duty 1000 Denier water repellent nylon with superior wear resistance. Engineering plastic buckle is durable and impact resistant; Military grade webbing is strong, anti fading; SBS brand zipper is reliable and long lasting.
  • Practical Functions: 1 main pocket fits up to 3L water reservoir with either large or small opening. 2 external pockets for storing personal belongings wallet, gadget, towel, phone, keys. The MOLLE system allows you to carry more items.
3
Vibrelli Hydration Pack & 2L Hydration Water Bladder - High Flow Bite Valve - Hydration Backpack with Storage - Lightweight Running Backpack, Also for Cycling, Hiking, Ski, Snow for Men, Women & Kids

Rating is 4.8 out of 5

Vibrelli Hydration Pack & 2L Hydration Water Bladder - High Flow Bite Valve - Hydration Backpack with Storage - Lightweight Running Backpack, Also for Cycling, Hiking, Ski, Snow for Men, Women & Kids

  • High Flow Bite-Valve: The ‘Easy-Twist’ mouthpiece doesn’t leak, water flows fast and won't drip on your shoulder when locked, making it an ideal cycling backpack and water backpack for running, skiing, snowboarding, and trail running
  • Taste-Free Hydration Bladder: Made from medical grade materials, the water bladder is free from BPA and PVC. There's nothing worse than a plastic taste in your water, this bladder keeps your water tasting fresh, all day
  • Multiple Storage Options: Vibrelli's hydration backpack design has intelligent storage options and pockets without being bulky
4
Zavothy Lightweight Hydration Backpack with 2L Water Bladder Water Backpack Hydration Pack for Cycling Running Biking Hiking Backpack Black

Rating is 4.7 out of 5

Zavothy Lightweight Hydration Backpack with 2L Water Bladder Water Backpack Hydration Pack for Cycling Running Biking Hiking Backpack Black

  • LIGHTWEIGHT — The hydration backpack is only 0.73lb/333.5g. Made of waterproof and anti-scratch oxford fabric. Durable and portable water backpack. Enough to get you through a day of hiking, cycling, running or biking
  • CONTAIN WATER BLADDER — Zavothy hydration pack backpack with 2L water reservoir. The bladder is BPA-free and anti-leak guaranteed. Stay hydrated in any time without taking an extra water bottle. Convenient and frees up your hands
  • LESS PRESSURE TO BACK AND SHOULDER — The backside of the hydration backpack is designed with breathable Y shape soft air mesh. Combining with length-adjustable shoulder gird. Minimize pressure, less tiredness, comfier
  • MULTI-FUNCTIONAL — The mountain bike backpack can easily store a bike helmet.Practical for daily running exercise, biking, or short-distance hiking
5
CamelBak Rogue Light Bike Hydration Pack 70oz, Gibraltar Navy/Black

Rating is 4.6 out of 5

CamelBak Rogue Light Bike Hydration Pack 70oz, Gibraltar Navy/Black

  • Lightweight and Durable Materials
  • Air Support Light Back Panel: Designed with body mapping technology for efficient ventilation and lightweight comfort
  • Ventilated Harness: Lightweight and breathable
  • Integrated Tool Organization
  • Secure Zippered Pocket: Perfect for keys, phone, or other essentials
6
Lightweight Hydration Backpack, Running Backpack with 2L Water Bladder, Hydro Water Daypack for Cycling Hiking Rave for Men Women

Rating is 4.5 out of 5

Lightweight Hydration Backpack, Running Backpack with 2L Water Bladder, Hydro Water Daypack for Cycling Hiking Rave for Men Women

  • 【Lightweight 12L Hydration Backpack 】Super lightweight 8.5 oz hydration pack backpack with 2L water bladder. Waterproof and tear-resistant fabric, PU coated nylon hydration pack bears 25 lbs.
  • 【Leakproof & Anti-popping Water Bladder】Water backpack for hiking with 2L bladder, BPA-free, food-grade PEVA material, and hose clamp. Leakproof bite value, water flows fast and never drips on when locked.
  • 【Comfortable & Breathable & Adjustable】Multi-adjustable shoulder straps on hydration Pack, adjustable to 19"-34" on should straps, 2.4"-7.9"on chest strap(up & down). Hydration packs are suitable for adults. Ergonomically fits for your shoulders, chest, and waist. Soft air mesh back speeds up the air flow and makes your back cool.
  • 【Thoughtful Storage Details】Running backpack bidirectional main zipper pocket for a water bladder, small storage compartments on front, two small mesh pouches for umbrella, mineral water, BlueTooth stereo, two mesh pouches on the shoulder on phone, and keys.
7
EVERFUN Hiking Hydration Backpack with Water Bladder 2-Liter Water Backpack Women Men Lightweight Insulation Hydration Day Rucksack for Hiking, Cycling, Running, Climbing, Camping

Rating is 4.4 out of 5

EVERFUN Hiking Hydration Backpack with Water Bladder 2-Liter Water Backpack Women Men Lightweight Insulation Hydration Day Rucksack for Hiking, Cycling, Running, Climbing, Camping

  • UTMOST STORAGE CAPACITY: 10.5-inch large opening 18-Liter main compartment to fit clothes/notebook/first-aid kit/pets' stuff. Built-in mesh pocket for personal valuables. Exterior upper velvet pocket perfect for protecting cameras, mobile phones. Trekking poles, extra water bottle in the side mesh pockets for easy access. Helmet carry between the outer pocket and middle pocket. Don't worry, the EVERFUN Hydration backpack has the utmost storage capacity for you.
  • HIKING/CYCLING/SKIING WITH EASE -- With Ultra-Elastic 3D breathable padded back & adjustable chest, waist straps, this 2 pounds lightweight hydration backpack is comfortable and stable, perfect fits all sizes.
  • HANDS FREE DRINKING -- This Hydration Backpack comes with 2-Liter water bladder & bilateral hose outlets designed to free your hands. A separate insulated bladder compartment for 6 Hours' Cooling(with ice packs) . The 2-Liter bladder is replaceable and supports up to 3-Liter.
8
Water Buffalo Hydration Backpack - Hydration Pack Water Backpack with 2L Hydration Water Bladder - Hydropack Running Backpack 12L - The Essential Water Pack for Hiking, Running, Biking, Ski, and Raves

Rating is 4.3 out of 5

Water Buffalo Hydration Backpack - Hydration Pack Water Backpack with 2L Hydration Water Bladder - Hydropack Running Backpack 12L - The Essential Water Pack for Hiking, Running, Biking, Ski, and Raves

  • Adventure Awaits You – Go the distance with the help of a Water Buffalo running water backpack. Your water backpack for hiking, running, cycling and biking is designed to keep you hydrated for the road ahead. Also the perfect kids hydration backpack!
  • Satisfy Your Thirst – Keep fresh, cool water on deck thanks to your insulated hydration backpack and 2L water bladder. Your insulated pocket and tube maintains the temperature for up to 5 hours in your hydration bag.
  • Lightweight and Comfortable – Fit any essential in your backpack water bottle without overloading yourself. Your water bottle backpack includes a chest strap so you can travel long distances with ease making it the ideal water backpack for biking.
  • Party Pack – Bring your own festival hydration backpack to your next rave. When you stay hydrated with your rave hydration pack, you make the good times and vibes last even longer.
9
CamelBak Arete 14 Hydration Backpack, 50oz, Black/Reflective

Rating is 4.2 out of 5

CamelBak Arete 14 Hydration Backpack, 50oz, Black/Reflective

  • Lightweight and breathable materials: Designed for all-day comfort
  • 3D Vent Mesh Harness: Lightweight and breathable with added cargo.
  • Laptop Sleeve: Keep your 13" laptop protected
  • Secure Phone Pocket: Conveniently located with a zipper closure for secured quick access
  • Stretch Overflow Pocket: Quickly stash or shed an extra layer
10
NOOLA Hydration Backpack with 3L TPU Water Bladder, Tactical Molle Water Backpack for Men Women, Hydration Pack for Hiking, Biking, Running and Climbing (Black)

Rating is 4.1 out of 5

NOOLA Hydration Backpack with 3L TPU Water Bladder, Tactical Molle Water Backpack for Men Women, Hydration Pack for Hiking, Biking, Running and Climbing (Black)

  • High-quality Outdoor Hydration Backpack- Our hiking hydration pack has comprehensive features for hiking adventures and outdoor sports. The 900D abrasion-resistant nylon material, multi pockets (9 pockets including 4 zippered pockets and 5 multi compartments), BPA and odor free TPU hydration bladder, 3L large capacity hydration reservoir, double fastened shoulder and waist straps, tactical molle compatible system integrate into NOOLA unique hiking water backpack.
  • Well Organized Ample Space - Keep all of your essentials organized and secure inside 9 functional and separated pockets, including 4 zippered pockets and 5 multi compartments for conveniently storing bladder, clothes, towel, snacks, phone, sunglasses, keys etc.
  • Molle Compatible: our tactical molle hydration pack is well constructed with 5 molle straps, which is appropriated for attaching your hiking gear, camping or any other essentials and expand your stuff into a day’s trip.
11
QuickStart 2.0 6 Liter Hydration Pack Charcoal/Reflective Silver / OSFM

Rating is 4 out of 5

QuickStart 2.0 6 Liter Hydration Pack Charcoal/Reflective Silver / OSFM

  • One size fits most
  • Adjustable sternum straps
  • Moisture wicking stretch woven fabric with chafe free binding materials
  • Breathable mesh shoulder straps
  • Two main zipper pockets on the back
12
CamelBak SnoBlast 22 Hydration Pack 70oz, Black/White

Rating is 3.9 out of 5

CamelBak SnoBlast 22 Hydration Pack 70oz, Black/White

  • SnowShield Material: Repels snow and keeps it from sticking to your pack
  • Therminator Harness: Drinking tube zips into an insulated sleeve in the shoulder strap to protect your water supply from the elements
  • Ski Carry: Use the external straps to carry skis A-frame or diagonally on the outside of the pack
  • Tri-Zip Access: Three-zipper design lets you unzip the side of the pack for quick access to gear stored at the bottom
  • Expansion Panel: Expansion panel unzips to add more storage capacity to your pack
13
Outdoor Products Tadpole Hydration Pack (Black) (Violet Tulip) (Violet Tulip)

Rating is 3.8 out of 5

Outdoor Products Tadpole Hydration Pack (Black) (Violet Tulip) (Violet Tulip)

  • RELIABLE & DURABLE MATERIAL: 13. 5 x 7. 5 x 2. 1 inches, Capacity: 3. 5L; The Tadpole Hydration Pack is made of high density durable polyester fabric
  • RESERVOIR INCLUDED: 1. 5L reservoir to keep you hydrated while enjoying the outdoors
  • COMFORTABLE & FUNCTIONAL: Heavy duty zippers and utility-style cord pulls, top carry handle, compression straps and lightweight and breathable mesh shoulder straps


What size hydration pack should I get for cycling?

The size of a hydration pack for cycling depends on various factors, including the duration of your rides and your personal hydration needs. Here are some general guidelines:

  1. Short rides (1-2 hours): A small hydration pack with a capacity of 1.5-2 liters (around 50-70 ounces) should be sufficient. This will provide enough water for staying hydrated during shorter rides.
  2. Medium rides (2-4 hours): A hydration pack with a capacity of 2-3 liters (around 70-100 ounces) should be suitable. This will allow for more hydration without adding excessive weight.
  3. Long rides (4+ hours): For longer rides, consider a larger hydration pack with a capacity of 3 liters (100 ounces) or more. This will ensure you have enough water to stay adequately hydrated throughout the duration of the ride.


Additionally, consider factors such as the climate, intensity of your rides, and availability of refill points. If you frequently ride in hot or dry conditions, you may want to opt for a larger hydration pack to accommodate increased fluid needs.


Ultimately, it's essential to choose a hydration pack that meets your specific requirements and ensures you can easily carry enough water to stay properly hydrated during your cycling sessions.


What size hydration pack is suitable for backpacking trips?

The size of a hydration pack suitable for backpacking trips can vary depending on individual preferences and the duration of the trip. However, a pack with a capacity between 2-3 liters (70-100 ounces) is typically sufficient for most backpacking trips. This allows for an ample supply of water to stay hydrated throughout the day without being too heavy or cumbersome to carry. Additionally, it's a good idea to consider factors such as availability of water sources along the route and the climate of the backpacking destination when choosing the size of the hydration pack.


How many liters should a hydration pack have for a marathon race?

The recommended size for a hydration pack for a marathon race is generally between 1.5 and 2 liters. This allows for sufficient water intake to stay hydrated throughout the race without being too heavy or cumbersome. Ultimately, the ideal size may vary depending on personal preference and the availability of water stations along the race course.

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