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The Best Hydration Pack

Last updated on October 23, 2019

We looked at the top 9 Hydration Systems and dug through the reviews from 57 of the most popular review sites including Camping Maniacs, Roberts Bushcraft, The Backpacking Family, Shortcut Gates, Mike's Gear Reviews, Tactical Gears Lab and more. The result is a ranking of the best Hydration Systems.

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Our Picks For The Top Hydration Systems

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall

Mubasel Gear

Insulated Hydration Backpack Pack

Overall Take

Best for StorageThis Mubasel Gear Insulated Hydration Backpack Pack contains three storage compartments, keeping your items safe during your activities.

Experts Included
DWYM Outdoor and Garden Experts plus Travel Gear Zone, Two Wheeling Tots, Globo Turf, Running Buzz, Baby Point Hub, Portable Beasts. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" It is comfortable with mesh padding and fotr the waist and the strips"
Cons
"Our main concerns with the Mubasel are its weight and lack of ventilation. The Mubasel does not offer any ventilation along the back and was the heaviest of the packs we tested."

Aquatic Way

Hydration Bladder

Overall Take

Most Versatile OptionThis standalone Aquatic Way Hydration Bladder requires a separate storage solution, but that makes it more versatile than backpack options.

Experts Included
DWYM Outdoor and Garden Experts plus Best Brand Reviews, Gear We Are, Wise Bread, Cool Hiking Gear, The Lake And Stars, Globo Turf and 5 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" This has a large opening which will make it easier for you to add ice or to clean whenever you need to do so."
Cons
"Only holds 2L of water"

Source

Widepac Hydration System

Overall Take

Experts Included
DWYM Outdoor and Garden Experts plus Camping Maniacs, Gear Junkie, Vital MB, Adventure Strong, Arbor Explorer. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" One of the things that struck me the first time I used this Source Widepac Hydration System is its reliability when it came to hose removal. The hose conveniently detaches from the reservoir giving you an easy chance of refilling,..."
Cons
"Every now and then we noticed that the hose and/or bite valve would get a little air in it between sips (probably pulled down from the bite valve), which meant the next sip would be a bit bubbly."
  The Best Value

Mubasel Gear

Hydration Backpack Pack

Overall Take

Best Cooling DesignThis Mubasel Gear Hydration Backpack Pack is built with breathable material that will keep you from overheating on those extremely hot days.

Experts Included
DWYM Outdoor and Garden Experts plus Globo Turf, Hiking Reviewed, faveable, Travel Gear Zone, The Gear Hunt, Portable Beasts and 1 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" The hydration bladder features a wide opening for easy cleaning and when sealed, is 100% leak proof. With this hiking hydration pack, you can scout the trails with ease."
Cons
"Not the most durable pack."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
16

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the hydration systems available to purchase.
9

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

57

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Camping Maniacs, Roberts Bushcraft, The Backpacking Family, Shortcut Gates, Mike's Gear Reviews.

14,894

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Walmart.

Our experts reviewed the top 9 Hydration Systems and also dug through the reviews from 57 of the most popular review sites including Camping Maniacs, Roberts Bushcraft, The Backpacking Family, Shortcut Gates, Mike's Gear Reviews, Tactical Gears Lab and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Hydration Systems.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

Mubasel Gear Insulated Hydration Backpack Pack

Our Expert Score
10.0
6 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.8
1,212 user reviews
Our Take

Padded shoulder straps keep the Mubasel Gear Insulated comfortably in place throughout your time wearing it. The bladder in this pack holds 2 liters of water, which will keep you hydrated for hours. One of the best things about this backpack, though, is its three storage compartments that keep your items safe throughout your activities. In our testing, we found this backpack to be so handy that we'd even want to use it without the hydration pack. We like that it clips around the torso, as well as the padded shoulder straps.

What other experts liked
It is comfortable with mesh padding and fotr the waist and the strips
- Travel Gear Zone
Easy to use on/off valve on tube (pull valve out to use, push in to lock)
- Two Wheeling Tots
January 10, 2019 | Full review
There are padded shoulder straps and a breathable system. This ensures that you are comfortable when carrying the pack, but you won’t sweat too much either with the hydration backpack resting against your backside.
- Globo Turf
Leakproof design: The screw is designed to securely fit onto the bladder, ensuring that there won’t be any leaks. It uses a click connection instead of traditional screws, which reduce the chances of water leaking from the top.
- Running Buzz
It is 100% leakage proof
- Baby Point Hub
April 9, 2019 | Full review
The adequately padded shoulder straps allow you to carry the pack comfortably while the lightweight build makes it a brilliant pick for virtually any outdoor sports.
- Portable Beasts
What other experts didn't like
Not so fit for the children
- Travel Gear Zone
Our main concerns with the Mubasel are its weight and lack of ventilation. The Mubasel does not offer any ventilation along the back and was the heaviest of the packs we tested.
- Two Wheeling Tots
January 10, 2019 | Full review
The water bladder is only medium quality and may wear down after a few months.
- Running Buzz
The insulation on the tube is not perfect, therefore; the first few of sips will be somehow warm
- Baby Point Hub
April 9, 2019 | Full review

The Best Bang For Your Buck

Mubasel Gear Hydration Backpack Pack

Our Expert Score
8.6
7 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.6
1,323 user reviews
Our Take

The breathable mesh build of the Mubasel Gear Hydration Backpack Pack keeps you cooler on those extremely hot days. A 100% leakproof design keeps fluids in the bladder, where they belong. Despite its small size, this system has a wide opening that makes it easy to insert ice and brushes for cleaning.

What other experts liked
The hydration bladder features a wide opening for easy cleaning and when sealed, is 100% leak proof. With this hiking hydration pack, you can scout the trails with ease.
- Globo Turf
The back panel is made of breathable mesh that allows air to flow freely and keep you cool throughout your trip. The chest loops keep the bag in place and prevent from moving.
- Hiking Reviewed
December 12, 2017 | Full review
A super comfortable, padded hydration pack
- faveable
It has two zipper compartments with mesh pocket, shoulder straps and adjustable straps
- Travel Gear Zone
Ice cubes can be added to hydration bladder
- The Gear Hunt
Equipped with three storage compartments (measuring 16.5 by 9.85 inches) this unit will carry everything that you need for a full day of outdoor activity.
- Portable Beasts
This is a very small bag that is specially designed to help you carry water or other liquid with you on your hikes.
- Outdoor Gear Advisor
July 14, 2017 | Full review
What other experts didn't like
Not the most durable pack.
- faveable
The Quick Link System is not included
- Travel Gear Zone
Straps rub shoulders sometimes
- The Gear Hunt
Also, this bag has some compartments, however, they are quite small.
- Outdoor Gear Advisor
July 14, 2017 | Full review

Overall Product Rankings

1. Mubasel Gear Insulated Hydration Backpack Pack

Overall Score: 9.6
Reviews Included: 8

2. Aquatic Way Hydration Bladder

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 12

3. Source Widepac Hydration System

Overall Score: 8.7
Reviews Included: 6

4. WACOOL 3L 100oz BPA-Free Hydration Bladder

Overall Score: 8.7
Reviews Included: 5

5. Platypus Big Zip Water Reservoir

Overall Score: 8.7
Reviews Included: 10

6. TETON SPORTS TrailRunner 2.0

Overall Score: 8.7
Reviews Included: 8

7. Mubasel Gear Hydration Backpack Pack

Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 9

8. MARCHWAY Tactical Hydration Pack

Overall Score: 8.4
Reviews Included: 5

9. FREEMOVE Camel Backpack 3in1

Overall Score: 8.2
Reviews Included: 9

Our Findings

Mubasel Gear Insulated Hydration Backpack Pack

What We Liked: Padded shoulder straps keep the Mubasel Gear Insulated comfortably in place throughout your time wearing it. The bladder in this pack holds 2 liters of water, which will keep you hydrated for hours. One of the best things about this backpack, though, is its three storage compartments that keep your items safe throughout your activities. In our testing, we found this backpack to be so handy that we’d even want to use it without the hydration pack. We like that it clips around the torso, as well as the padded shoulder straps.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Mubasel Gear Hydration Backpack Pack

What We Liked: The breathable mesh build of the Mubasel Gear Hydration Backpack Pack keeps you cooler on those extremely hot days. A 100% leakproof design keeps fluids in the bladder, where they belong. Despite its small size, this system has a wide opening that makes it easy to insert ice and brushes for cleaning.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Aquatic Way Hydration Bladder

What We Liked: The Aquatic Way Hydration Bladder is a lightweight, durable option that allows you to use an existing backpack or bag. This hydration system gives you a chemical-free drinking experience and uses antibacterial properties to resist mold. Superior insulation keeps your liquid cool from the time it leaves your bag until it reaches your mouth.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

TETON SPORTS TrailRunner 2.0

What We Liked: The straps on the TETON SPORTS TrailRunner 2.0 are adjustable, allowing you to find the perfect fit to keep you comfortable. One of the best things about this hydration system is how lightweight it is, totaling only 0.9 pounds when empty. One inconvenience of this system is that you’ll have to remove the bladder to refill it.

Our Expert Consultant

Vicki Liston 
Home Improvement Expert

Vicki Liston writes, produces, and narrates “On The Fly…DIY,” an award-winning home improvement and DIY show of unique project tutorials for the casual DIY’er.

Home improvement and all things DIY have been Liston’s passion since she bought her first house in 2007 and she started making video blogs in 2014. She’s performed hundreds of DIY projects, from small ones to major, wall-smashing renovations and can teach you how to make a trendy DIY barn door for cheap. The proceeds earned from “On The Fly…DIY” are donated to no-kill animal shelters and rescue organizations. You can find her show on Prime Video.

Our Hydration System Buying Guide

Hydration is important when you’re engaged in strenuous activities, particularly while outdoors on a hot day. Whether you’re cycling to work, hiking or indulging in some other type of sporting activity, keeping fluids in your system is essential. Without it, you could start suffering from dehydration, which can include a drop in energy, headaches and dizziness. If left unchecked, dehydration can even cause fainting.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

But dragging along enough water to last for hours can be tough, especially if you’re trying to keep your load light. Hydration systems are designed to make it easy to stay hydrated without having to deal with water bottles. A hydration backpack affixes to your body to keep your hands free, so you can focus on the day’s activities. You’ll drink through a tube that serves as a giant, flexible, leakproof straw.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Before you start shopping, consider whether you want an all-in-one hydration backpack or a separate water bladder that you can slide into whatever pack you’re carrying. You can save money and get more versatility from a hydration bladder, but you’ll need to consider how you’ll attach it to your body or bicycle to keep your hands free.

The type of activity you’re doing will also affect which hydration pack you choose. “Many manufacturers have tailored the design of their packs in terms of weight distribution, the location of straps and its profile to your body’s movement,” says our home goods expert Vicki Liston. “Cycling systems, for example, will fit differently on your body than a running or hiking system.”

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Since most hydration packs feature similar water capacity, pay close attention to the weight and size of the model you choose so that you can keep your load as light as possible while you’re out and about.

As for the bladder itself, there are plenty of features to consider before you buy. You’ll want a hydration system that doesn’t leak, as well as one that insulates the liquids inside to keep them cool as long as possible. That means the tube that runs from the bag to your mouth should also be insulated to keep the liquid cool as it moves through.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

The opening on some hydration systems is small, which will keep you from being able to insert ice cubes or get in to clean it. Look for one that allows for this if you plan to use ice, or you’re concerned about keeping it clean. You’ll be glad, in the end, that you chose one that makes clean-up easy.

Lastly, there’s safety as a consideration. Some consumers prefer to steer clear of materials made with BPA, so you’ll want to search for one that promises to be BPA free if this is important to you. Some hydration bladders are also antibacterial, which will help protect against mold forming, even if you accidentally leave liquid in the pack for days at a time.

DWYM Fun Fact

When experts discuss the importance of hydration, it’s easy to assume plain water is the only option. But there are plenty of other liquids that will hydrate you. In fact, for some athletes, sports drinks heavy in electrolytes may be more beneficial. Tea and coffee can hydrate, but they also contain caffeine, which acts as a diuretic, flushing some of that fluid from your body before you can get the benefits of it. Decaffeinated tea and lemonade can keep you hydrated, as long as you keep them as low in sugar as possible. Milk is also good for hydration, as are some foods, including fruits, soups, hamburger meat and chicken breasts.

The Hydration System Tips and Advice

  • As you start shopping, you’ll notice multiple options when it comes to the design of your hydration pack. Backpack-based designs build the hydration pack into a padded garment that you wear like a vest or backpack. Then there are freestanding hydration packs that you can slip into an existing backpack or bag.
  • If you opt for the backpack design, make sure you choose a model that’s comfortable. The Mubasel Gear Insulated Hydration Backpack Pack is built with padded shoulder straps, while the TETON SPORTS TrailRunner 2.0 Hydration Pack has straps that are adjustable to help you find the perfect fit.
  • Ventilation is also important if you’ll wear your backpack outdoors in hot weather. The Mubasel Gear Hydration Backpack Pack is made from breathable mesh that promotes airflow as you move, keeping you cool whether you’re bicycling around town or hiking your favorite trail.
  • It’s also important to look for a hydration pack with an easy-to-use on/off valve for when you’re ready to drink. With the Mubasel Gear Insulated Hydration Backpack Pack, you simply pull the valve out to use, then push it back in to lock it in place until it’s time to hydrate again.
  • Leaks are no fun, especially with a product like the Aquatic Way Hydration Bladder, which is designed to go into an existing backpack or bag. The Aquatic Way Hydration Bladder is designed to keep liquids inside the bag when you aren’t drinking. The Mubasel Gear Insulated Hydration Backpack Pack uses a click connection that keeps leaks at bay much better than traditional screw designs. The Mubasel Gear Hydration Backpack Pack is also 100%  leakproof.
  • Over hours of wear, a hydration pack can weigh you down, so you’ll find you benefit from not choosing a pack that adds weight to the water you’re carrying. The Aquatic Way Hydration Bladder weighs only 0.8 pounds when empty, putting it among the most lightweight you’ll find, but you’ll have to add the weight of the pack you choose to carry it in to that weight. The TETON SPORTS TrailRunner 2.0 Hydration Pack is a bladder and pack in one and weighs only 0.9 pounds when empty, and the Mubasel Gear Hydration Backpack Pack beats that, weighing 0.8 pounds without liquid. The TETON SPORTS TrailRunner 2.0 Hydration Pack and Mubasel Gear Hydration Backpack Pack are also very small in size, which means they won’t take up much room on your back.
  • You won’t want to worry about your hydration pack breaking when you’re far from home. Fortunately, many water packs are built to last. The Aquatic Way Hydration Bladder is both pressure- and wear-resistant, meaning you can expect to enjoy many years of use. If you have a problem with it, the company offers a 100% money-back guarantee.
  • Science has come up with all kinds of ways to keep liquids cool for hours using insulation. But with hydration packs, you’re not only dealing with the bag storing that liquid, but also the tube through which you drink. The Mubasel Gear Insulated Hydration Backpack Pack insulates its tube, but the initial sips often are warmer than later sips. The Aquatic Way Hydration Bladder features superior cooling, with a seal that keeps water cool. The long hose is also insulated.
  • The openings on some hydration packs make it tough to insert ice. With the Aquatic Way Hydration Bladder and the Mubasel Gear Hydration Backpack Pack, you’ll get a large opening that makes getting ice inside easy. Another benefit of this large opening is that it lets you easily insert cleaning brushes inside to keep it clean.
  • The TETON SPORTS TrailRunner 2.0 Hydration Pack does require you to fully remove the bladder from its pack before you can refill it.
  • Consumers are increasingly looking for materials that don’t contain bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical being reviewed by the FDA for its safety. BPA is found in cans and certain plastics. If you’re concerned about BPA, the Aquatic Way Hydration Bladder is made from BPA-free material.
  • Safe or not, bags that leave an aftertaste make hydration difficult. The Aquatic Way Hydration Bladder doesn’t have that chemical taste that can be especially noticeable when drinking water. The material in the bladder is also antibacterial — a helpful feature to have in a product that will be exposed to moisture for hours at a time.
  • “Look for a hydration system that’s easy to clean,” says Liston. “The bladder, drink tube and mouthpiece will be teeming with bacteria if you don’t thoroughly clean,  sterilize and allow it to dry. If it’s hard to get inside the bladder, you’re probably going to miss some spots and the growth will begin.”
  • If you’re hitting the trails for the day, you’ll want a pack that can hold enough water to get you through. The Mubasel Gear Insulated Hydration Backpack Pack, Aquatic Way Hydration Bladder, TETON SPORTS TrailRunner 2.0 Hydration Pack and Mubasel Gear Hydration Backpack Pack hold 2 liters of water, which compares to the amount of liquid you get in a large bottle of soda.
  • Pockets can be helpful no matter where you’re wearing your hydration pack. The Mubasel Gear Insulated Hydration Backpack Pack and Mubasel Gear Hydration Backpack Pack have three storage compartments, handy for storing your keys, money, glasses and other items.
  • For those on a budget, most hydration packs are priced reasonably. However, it’s important to keep in mind what you’re getting for your money. With the Aquatic Way Hydration Bladder, you can save significantly over competitors, but keep in mind you’ll need a bag to carry it in, which is an extra expense.

About The Author

Avatar
Stephanie Faris 

Stephanie Faris is a novelist and professional writer. She lives in a beautiful one-acre home in the suburbs on the outskirts of Nashville. Her home and garden work has appeared on popular home sites. She's a true homebody and loves looking at new houses for sale for inspiration on her own home remodeling projects.