Last Updated on

Hydration packs allow you to carry fresh drinking water wherever you go. Convenient and efficient, a hydration pack lets you take a quick sip of water without having to slow down and open a bottle. You simply drink from a tube attached to a bladder reservoir that you carry right on your back.

This hands-free drinking method is perfect for outdoor activities, including hiking, cycling, running, and even skiing. With so many activities that benefit from a hydration pack, the market has been flooded with an overwhelming selection. 

Despite the staggering number of models and features, choosing a good hydration pack is relatively simple. The best hydration pack will be comfortable to wear and will carry enough water to keep you hydrated during whatever outdoor activity you choose. 

To make your life simpler, here are our top picks for the best hydration packs.

Our Best Choice

Osprey Packs Escapist 32 Daypack

  • External sleeve for easy refills.
  • BioStretch harness and hip belt for load stability.
  • Plenty of storage space.

The perfect pack for everyone, the Osprey Escapist 32 Daypack earns our top spot. With an external hydration sleeve for easy filling, great load stability, and plenty of extra spots to stow your gear, this hydration pack is built for outdoor adventure.

7 Best Hydration Packs

1. Osprey Packs Escapist 32 Daypack - Best Overall

The Osprey Escapist Daypack is perfect for almost any outdoor activity. It features an external hydration sleeve for easy refills and its BioStretch harness and hip belt keep your load stable, no matter what terrain you’re trying to tackle. 

To make your life easier, this hydration pack also has an external pocket for sunglasses, as well as a helmet and blinker light attachment, making this pack absolutely perfect for cycling and mountain biking. 

It also has a front organization pocket for other random necessities and a stretchy mesh front pocket to conveniently stash a jacket or warm pull-over. Backpackers will appreciate the zippered divider pocket at the pack’s base that offers a dedicated space for dirty clothes or a light sleeping bag. 

Made of 100 percent nylon, the Osprey Escapist also has an integrated rain cover, making this pack ready to handle any type of weather.  

This pack comes in several bright colors and holds 32 ounces of fresh drinking water. However, the Osprey Escapist Daypack does not come with a bladder. You’ll have to buy one separately.

This is also a pretty sizable pack. Once you stuff it full of gear, it can be pretty hefty. We would like to see a metal frame on a pack this size, just to add some extra support.

Pros

  • External sleeve for easy refills.
  • BioStretch harness and hip belt for load stability.
  • Plenty of storage space.

Cons

  • Bladder not included.
  • Large size needs a metal support frame.

2. CamelBak HydroBak - Best Hydration Pack for Running

This fabulous minimalist hydration pack from CamelBak is a great choice for runners. The HydroBak has a narrow profile for maximum range of motion and reflective details to increase visibility on those early morning or late evening runs. 

The CamelBak HydroBak is lightweight and features an air mesh back panel for increased breathability and comfort on those hot, sweaty runs. 

The 1.5-liter reservoir is super easy to fill. You don’t even need to remove it from the pack. The only thing we would add to this highly functional hydration pack is a bit of insulation. With such a small reservoir, your water gets warm fast, and some added insulation would help keep your water refreshingly cool.

Pros

  • Lightweight.
  • Narrow profile is perfect for runners.
  • Reflective details.
  • Easy to fill. 

Cons

  • Lack of insulation allows water to heat up on hot days. 

3. Unigear Tactical Hydration Pack - Best Hydration Pack for Airsoft

This awesome outdoor hydration kit is the perfect addition to your tactical airsoft gear. Hydration is important on the competitive battlefield, and the Unigear Hydration Pack holds 2.5 liters of water in its upper pouch. The lower pouch is the perfect place to store additional gear like a headlamp or first aid kit. 

The shell of the Unigear Tactical Hydration Pack is made from tough 600D ripstop polyester and features a digital camo pattern that allows you to slip undetected into your surroundings. The pack also features plenty of MOLLE straps for attaching extra gear. 

With adjustable chest and waist straps, this pack provides plenty of stability, keeping your water supply well-balanced even when you’re navigating rough terrain. This pack isn’t just for hardcore airsoft play, it’s also a great option for staying hydrated during hunting season.

Pros

  • Includes a 2.5-liter bladder.
  • Tough construction.
  • Digital camo pattern.
  • Plenty of interior storage plus MOLLE straps to secure extra gear.

Cons

  • Some consumers experience minor leakage issues. 

4. BLACKHAWK! Titan Hydration Pack - Best Hydration Pack for Backpacking

The included 100-ounce hydration reservoir with Microban antimicrobial safety system that comes with the BLACKHAWK! Titan makes this hydration system perfect for long, thirsty hikes. This integrated system addresses one of the major concerns consumers have with hydration packs: they can be a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. 

The Titan comes with a ton of internal and external storage compartments to keep your gear well-organized. There are also plenty of MOLLE straps for attaching extra gear like a sleeping bag.

The heavy-duty construction of this hydration pack make it rugged enough to withstand anything you might encounter on the trail. This pack is made of 1000 denier nylon with Dupont Cordura, making it abrasion resistant and virtually tear-proof, and since it is also made with reinforced stitching, it’s obvious this bag is built to last.

Although the BLACKHAWK! Titan Hydration Pack is large enough to haul all your gear, it is on the heavy side, which could fatigue backcountry hikers.

Pros

  • 100-ounce reservoir with Microban antimicrobial safety system.
  • Plenty of internal and external storage.
  • MOLLE straps for attaching extra gear.
  • Durable construction.

Cons

  • Heavy. 

5. Osprey Packs Raptor 14 Hydration Pack - Best Hydration Pack for Cycling

Perfect for keeping the serious cyclist well-hydrated, the Osprey Raptor 14 has several useful features, including a lid lock attachment for securing your bike helmet and a blinker light attachment near the base to increase visibility at night.

Cyclists will also appreciate the integrated, roll-out zippered tool pouch and the 3-liter bladder engineered to minimize sloshing so you can easily maintain balance.

Designed for easy, hands-free drinking access, the Osprey Raptor 14 features a hydration sleeve that keeps the drinking hose over the shoulder. It is held in place by a magnetic disk, so your drinking valve is always within reach.

The ergonomic design of the Osprey Raptor 14 makes this pack easy to carry, whether on your bike or off. However, this one comes with a pretty hefty price tag.

Pros

  • Lid lock attachment for securing your bike helmet.
  • Blinker light attachment.
  • Roll-out, zippered tool pouch.
  • 3-liter bladder.
  • Easy access drinking valve is held in place with a hydration sleeve and a magnetic disk.

Cons

  • Expensive.

6. CamelBak Phantom LR 24 Ski Hydration Pack - Best Hydration Pack for Skiing

The perfect hydration pack for snowy outdoor adventure, the CamelBak Phantom LR features a snowshed back panel that repels ice and snow. External straps provide multiple options for attaching your snowshoes, skis, or snowboard, and there are even hooks for your safety helmet. 

CamelBak goes the extra mile with this wintertime hydration pack, providing a Therminator  insulated sleeve to protect your water supply from freezing and a special storage compartment designed specifically for avalanche gear. 

When it comes to weight, CamelBak understands it's not how heavy your pack is, but how you carry it. The Phantom 24 LR has a 3-liter lumbar bladder that keeps the water weight low and close to your back. This reduces balancing issues as well as fatigue. 

The only problem with this awesome winter hydration pack is it only comes in one size. While this shouldn’t be a problem for most people, shorter skiers may find the pack uncomfortable since it won’t exactly fit their body structure

Pros

  • Snowshed back panel.
  • Multiple options for carrying skis and other gear. 
  • Insulated sleeve keeps water from freezing.
  • 3-liter lumbar reservoir.

Cons

  • Only available in one size.

7. Nathan Vaporhowe Hydration Pack - Best Hydration Vest

This lightweight hydration vest from Nathan is body-mapped, form-fitting, and breathable for maximum comfort. Made with BPA-free nylon and polyester, this durable vest is soft and comfortable, yet built to last.

With pockets, pockets, and more pockets, there is plenty of space to store your stuff, and it holds a 1.8-liter hydration bladder specially designed to reduce sloshing. This hydration vest is perfect for almost any outdoor activity, including running, hiking, and cycling. However, it is only made for women, so male athletes will have to find another method of hydration.

Pros

  • Soft and comfortable.
  • Durable design is built to last.
  • 1.8-liter hydration reservoir.
  • Plenty of pockets.

Cons

  • For women only.

The Final Verdict: The Best Hydration Pack

Because it is so well-suited for just about any outdoor activity, the Osprey Packs Escapist 32 Daypack earns the top spot on our list of the best hydration packs. Easy to fill, easy to carry, and because it holds 32-ounces of fresh drinking water, this pack makes staying hydrated a breeze. 

It has plenty of space to store your stuff. Plus, this hydration pack is ready to take on outdoor activity in any type of weather. It even features an integrated rain cover!


Osprey Packs Escapist 32 Daypack

While we think this is the best hydration pack overall, any on this list will transform the way you approach outdoor activities like hiking, cycling, running, and skiing. Say “goodbye” to cumbersome water bottles. These hydration packs allow you to reach a higher level of outdoor fun and adventure and stay well-hydrated while you’re doing it.