Best Water Bladder for Backpacking
Before I get into the best water bladder for backpacking reviews, I just want to quickly explain why I personally like them so much. I love to incorporate biking with my workout routine because for me it’s a good warm up and cool down.
Even though I’m 40 years old, I can easily bike 20 miles a day. My main issue with that is I constantly have to stop at gas stations to hydrate.
That’s what got me interested in a hydration bladder or pack. They’re perfect for hiking, running, or any outdoor activity.
When you’re expending energy doing your favorite activities, hydration is vital. Depending on how extreme your adventure is, a hydration pack could potentially save your life.
Things To Consider Before Purchasing Your Hydration Bladder
The Best Size For You
When choosing your hydration bladder, you want to make sure it can hold enough water for your needs but at the same time not be bloated and uncomfortable.
Most campers and hikers opt for the two-liter option because it gives you plenty of water without taking up too much space in your pack.
The best 2L hydration bladder I recommend is Miracol Hydration Backpack because you get both the bladder and backpack which is the best bang for your buck!
Anything larger than two-liters probably wouldn’t be a good idea for daily activities such as running or biking.
Hydration Bladders For Running or Biking
Anything from 0.5 to 2L is good for light activities such as biking without having to worry about making pit stops just to hydrate yourself. Besides for me, it can really be a “Flow-Killer” when I’m in a zone…
Hydration Bladders For Hike or Camping
For activities like trail running, hiking, camping…etc. Than a 3L or above hydration bladder would be more suitable because you may not have access to a convenient water source.
Wide or Narrow
If you are biking like myself than I would recommend a more narrow hydration bladder for your backpack.
On the other hand, if you’re using a duffle bag or camping, you may want a wide or more bulky hydration bladder.
The Hydration Bladder Opening
Depending on which opening you choose will determine if the hydration bladder is easy to fill or not.
You can choose a screw top, fold top or a zip top opening. The most popular one is the fold top because once you slide the closure over the folded top, you don’t have to worry about leakage.
Fold Top Hydration Bladder
The fold top opening also makes it easier to gather water from natural resources like steams and are a lot easier to clean out because you can flip them inside-out.
Zip Top Hydration Bladder
Identical to the fold top bladders, the zip top hydration bladder has closure that fits over the top of the zipper. It kind of resembles an over-sized zip lock bag.
Although they may be a little more easier to use, they do take longer to get them open and close them compared to the fold up hydration bladders.
They are also harder to clean up as you can’t flip them inside-out like the fold top bladders so you would have to use a brush which could make it more tedious and annoying.
Screw Top Hydration Bladder
Out of the three options, the screw top takes longer to open and close but are easier to fill compared to the fold top or the zip to bladders.
Again, since you can angle and maneuver them easily, this makes them easier to fill when using a fountain or a sink.
You can also top them off without worrying about spillage like the zipto or fold top bauces with them. You have to leave some air at the top for the inclosure.
They are also hard to clean compared to the fold or zip top because they have hard to reach areas. So keep that in mind.
All three options have their advantages and disadvantages when filling and storing water as well as cleaning. So it depends on your activities and your water source when choosing what’s best for you.
Size of The Valve
One of the most crucial things when it comes to selecting the right hydration bladder is the valve size.
Most of the bite valves comes with a locking mechanism and vary in types and sizes. Some are smaller while some bigger than other bite valves and the locking mechanism can be either a switch valve or a turn valve.
The switch valve is my favorite because it’s easier when biking, exercising and also a lot easier to clean compared to the turn valve.
You want a valve size that won’t let too much water out, but just enough water for you to drink easily. This will determine how easier or harder to suck when getting water from the bladder through the tube.
If you’re are camping and you need water for washing dirt, than a large valve would be more suitable.
A small valve is good for those that don’t need as much water coming out of the valve but doesn’t offer sufficient amounts of water to satisfaction.
A medium valve is a good balance of the two and is the best bet depending on your needs. Just keep in mind that you want one that’s comfortable in your mouth and easy to bite down on.
Pressurized or Unpressurized Hydration Bladder
When choosing your hydration bladder keep this in mind. Hydration bladders come in two types. The unpressurized bladder and the pressurized bladder.
If you’re looking to get a good flow and steady stream of water than it’s good to opt in for this option. These are good for camping and washing.
With the unpressurized option, you have to suck the water through the tube from the bladder. This is ideal for drinking on the go like biking and hiking.
In some cases you may wish to switch out the hose with other bladders. This makes having a hose that is versatile a must.
In most cases when it comes to hydration bladders, the hookup system is the same across the board so it makes it easier to find a bladder that works for you while keeping the hose you like.
The main thing you want from your hydration bladder is ease of use and cleaning. The last thing you want is to use a lot of energy sucking and biting the valve.
So I highly recommend going with a medium valve as I stated earlier because they offer an easy and steady flow of water and stick with the switch lock mechanism. .
As far as cleaning, make sure to go with one that is easy to clean and keep from bacteria and mold buildup. Cleaning is especially important if you’re using your hydration bladder for energy drinks or liquids with sugar. If you’re just using your bladder for water then you don’t have to clean it very often compared to other fluids.
How To Clean Your Hydration Bladder
Remember, sports and energy drinks can contain sugar and other natural and unnatural ingredients which can cause bacteria build up especially in hot or warm areas.
Always make sure to read the instructions manual from the manufacture and look at the do’s and don’ts for maintaining your hydration bladder.
1. Platypus Hydration Reservoir – Best Water Bladder For Hiking
The Platypus Hydration Reservoir is designed with an interchangeable tube. And since the company provides a variety of hydration bladders that range from 0.5 liters all the way up to 6 liters, you can always use the same tube.
The mouthpiece doesn’t have a valve switch and the bag is a little difficult to clean despite the fact they’re transparent. The Platypus comes with a clip that attaches to the top of your backpack strap or shirt. But it can be difficult to utilize if you’re a biker like myself.
On the other hand, the ability to switch bags quickly can be ideal if you’re into long rides where water sources are scarce. They do give you the option to purchase the hydration bladder with a backpack but it can also fit into one you may already have or choose to purchase based on preference.
The Platypus has silver ions embedded in the bladder to prevent buildup of bacteria and mold. Also, you don’t have to worry about consuming harmful chemicals since the bladder is Phthalate, BPS, and BPA free. This hydration bladder is rugged and built using a food grade liner which makes it durable and safe to use.
A variety of sizes
Embedded Silver ions
Phthalate, BPA, BPS Free
Hard to clean for some
Other Brands of Hoses May Not Fit
My Take On It?
This is a simple hydration bladder that’s not as fancy as others but because of its versatility, it can be useful for long country bike rides since you can switch bladders easily. This could easily be the best water bladder for backpacking.
2. CamelBak Hydration Reservoir – 3L Hydration Bladder
The CamelBak Hydration Bladder is durable, BPS, and BPA free, and comes with a lifetime warranty which is a bonus in my opinion.
This bladder has a large opening to make it easier to fill and has a quick snap cap to make it easy to open and close while also preventing leaks.
It also come with quick link attachment mechanisms for additional features like a flow meter or a filter. Those hose is removable and the bite valves are medium so they give you a more constant water flow.
The CamelBak bladder is also affordable but provides all of the bells and whistle as the more expensive bladders offer without breaking the bank.
Quick Link Attachment Mechanism
3 Liter Capacity
BPA and BPS Free
Some Experience Leakage Over Time
Can Have a Plastic Taste
3. Osprey Hydraulics Reservoir
The Osprey Hydraulics bladder comes with a detachable tube and a mouthpiece that is magnetic that separates this from other bladders.
This bladder has a fold over closure which makes it easy to clean but can make it difficult to fill for some but provides a plastic handle on the front.
The on-off switch on the bite valve can be a little stiff and can be difficult to use with one hand if you’re biking.
Hard to fill
4. Deuter Streamer 2.0
The older version if the Deuter Streamer Hydration bladder used the fold-over bladder. The 2.0 version has a zip-lock design with two large pinch holes that makes it easier to open the mouth of the bag.
It comes with a detachable tube but unlike the old mouthpiece that was difficult to open and close because you have to turn it, the 2.0 version has a push-pull feature which makes it easier when biking.
If you leave the mouthpiece open it can leak when biking. It also comes with a bulky mouthpiece cover which is pretty annoying and useless in my opinion.
One of the best things about this bladder is that it provides an odorless water flow and is made with a durable polyethylene material so you don’t have to worry about the plastic taste that you get from other brands, so that’s a plus.
It has a quick connect for the hose at the base to provide a constant flow of water until you run out. Most other brands have the hose connection a little higher from the base.
Easy To Clean
Tube Connection At The Base
You Still Have To Open and Close Mouthpiece For Every Use.
5. Miracol Hydration Backpack
The Miracol Hydration Bladder package that comes with a backpack and a 2 liter bladder that fits perfect inside the pack.
One of the best things about this hydration systems is that the tube and bladder are insulated keeping your water cold for longer periods (up to 4 hours).
It’s very lightweight weighing only 1 pound which make it comfortable on your shoulders for hiking or biking.
It’s made with a rugged design and has extra storage pockets so you can store valuables and other things that normally would take up space on your body and has a built in earphone opening for you phone.
Includes Bladder and Backpack
Insulation Keeps Water Cool
Weighs Only 1 Pound
Cannot Machine Wash
May Leak Over Time
6. Geigerrig Pressurized Hydration Engine and Reservoir
The Geigerrig Pressurized Hydration Engine is perfect for spraying yourself down and cleaning items or dishes when camping.
The fully pressurized reservoir has a slit top which makes it easy to fill and can hold 3 Liters of water. This model is dishwasher safe and also has the ability to attach a filter which also makes it safe for drinking as needed.
Safe For Dishwasher
3 Liter Capacity
Some say it has a slight plastic aftertaste
Does not include a backpack
Before using, you must pressurize it
Always make sure to maintain your hydration bladder so they will last a long time. I will be adding more best water bladder for backpacking reviews to this article when I find some other good brands. Also check out my best resistance bands reviews as well to add to your workout routine. Thanks!… Julius