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Hydration Pack Buying Guide

Updated on August 29, 2013

Learn All About Them!

Welcome to this hydration pack buying guide. I have attempted to collect as much information on how to purchase a hydration pack as possible.

Below are videos, helpful information, and some tips and tricks to getting the best price and finding the right fit of hydration pack for you.

Whether you are a runner or other adventure athlete looking to purchase your next hydration pack, hopefully this page will help you to find the information that you need to help you reach a decision.

If you've never purchased a hydration pack before, I recommend that you follow some of the links down below to get a general idea of what some of the top hydration packs on the market are today.

I hope this information helps you on your journey to finding the very best choice for your next hydration pack.

By Guest Writer, Eli Tollefson

Image Credit: Wikimedia under a Creative Commons Licence

What Are Hydration Packs?

The Basics

Many people, when they first hear the word hydration pack, imagine a backpack that is made for the sole purpose of hydrating somebody.

The fact of the matter is that hydration packs are incredibly versatile and cover a broad range of sports and have even made their way into the military.

The trend towards using hydration packs in athletics, first started with motocross and mountain bikers. They needed an easy and versatile way to hydrate themselves without having to remove their hands from the handlebars.

As you can imagine, if you are trying to hydrate yourself using the standard bottle and you have to reach back into your pocket taking a hand off of the steering wheel, you create a dangerous situation for yourself.

Since the motocross and mountain biking movement, the military has adopted hydration backpacks as well. They have spent many years overseas in dry and arid climates. By finding solutions that hydrate soldiers and Marines while still offering a pack that can stiow gear, larger companies like Camelbak have come up with solutions that offer a good alternative to both situations.

Hands free hydration is now a common theme for many sports, particularly those in the distance ports like marathoners, ultra marathoners and triathletes. As technology increases some major companies are making their stand and making an impact with the research and development and products that they launch.

Right now, the number one company that is creating hydration packs is easily the Camelbak corporation. Camelbak was lucky in that early on they were given a government contract to create the hydration packs for the United States military. This allowed them a large budget to do research and development. They have taken this technology and offered it to the private sector in an incredible line of hydration packs that few other companies have been able to match in both quality, durability and versatility.

Hydration packs are not only limited to athletics however. Hydration packs make for great trip packs as well. For example, if you're taking a road trip to Disneyland you can use a hydro pack not only on the car ride over, but you can use it too hydrate yourself as you walk around the park. This type of activity presents a good opportunity to take advantage of the technology of hydration packs.

A Few Tips And Tricks for Shopping for a New Hydration Pack

If you are like most people, your local sports store probably will not have that great of a selection of hydration packs. You'll therefore have to purchase your hydration pack online.

We recommend that you use Amazon, as they have a great reputation and some pretty solid guarantees in any purchaser that you make.

Here are a few tips and tricks to watch out for when purchasing a hydration pack.

Know The Brand Name

As mentioned earlier, Camelbak is without a doubt the number one high quality hydration pack creator. Because of their position and because of the brand that they have built over the years, they are certainly not the cheapest. If you find that Camelback is outside of your budget, you can certainly check on cheaper alternatives.

The thing to watch for however, is the reliability of those second-rate brands. If you are not going to go with Camelbak, I recommend that you check out Osprey. They're quickly making a run on Camelback in terms of quality and durability, and they are are also coming to the table with some pretty creative solutions to problems that Camelbak has not been able to solve.

You may be tempted to purchase an off-brand hydration pack, but I'm betting you'll end up having to return it. A lot of the off-brand hydration packs have bladders that leak very easily and worst of all, their bladders commonly make the water taste disgusting. There's no point in purchasing hydration packs that makes your water undrinkable.

Highly Rated Camelbak Hydration Packs on Amazon

Camelbak Octane XCT Hydration Pack
Camelbak Octane XCT Hydration Pack

.Click through for full details....

Camelbak Classic 70 oz Hydration Pack
Camelbak Classic 70 oz Hydration Pack

.Click through for full details....


Highly Rated Osprey Hydration Packs on Amazon

Be Careful of the Size You Choose

It may be instinctual that you try and go for the lowest priced hydration pack. If you are ordering online, lower pricing can mean only two things.

Either you are looking at a smaller size pack or you're looking at an off-brand pack. We already talked about the off-brand packs, now lets talk about the smaller size pack.

If you are runner, you'll probably want the smaller size hydration pack because there's no point in carrying more water if it results in you not being able to run as far due to excess weight. So, finding that balance will be important.

If, however, you are something like a motocross or mountain biker, or you are wanting to do a lot of hiking, you can look for the larger pack and probably will want one of the larger hydration packs.

So, if you are wanting to get 100 oz. pack and you end up purchasing a 50 oz. pack, you'll end up having to return it. Luckily, in many cases Amazon does allow returns on these types of products, but just be careful to watch for pricing.

Gender Specific Hydration Packs

You may already know this, but if you don't, hydration packs are often designed with very specific uses in mind. For example, there are hydration packs for men, women, and kids.

Many of the hydration packs that are built for women have advanced S curve technology built in to conform to a woman's back. This type of technology would probably be a little bit uncomfortable for many of the men. Not to mention the size difference.

Hydration packs are not only designed based for gender, but many of these hydration packs are designed for activity.

There are hydration packs that are built specifically for runners vs. hydration packs built specifically for mountain bikers. Keep this in mind as you begin a search for your hydration pack.

Also Check eBay for Hydration Pack Bargains:

Which of these Hydration Packs Are You Choosing to Buy Today?

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