Buying a good hydration pack is one of the important aspects of a kayaking trip. It’s no secret that water is essential for life, so choosing the right water source can often be lifesaving. The best way to ensure you have fresh, clean water on your trip is to carry it with you in a hydration pack. Here are some tips on which packs are best and why.
- Consider how much water you need
A general rule of thumb is one litre per hour when paddling, two litres an hour if hiking at higher altitudes or carrying heavy gear such as camping equipment or camera gear. The number of people you are travelling with, how far you plan to kayak, and how much gear they are carrying also play a role in deciding which package is best. If you are travelling solo or with one other person, a smaller pack like the Camelbak 10L Relay is ideal. This pouch will hold a little less than one litre of water at a time.
- Type of pack
Hydration packs come in two main types: bladder packs and soft-sided day hikers. For those travelling in warmer climates that do not require full-blown winter apparel, soft-sided day hikers provide an inexpensive alternative to the more expensive insulated hydration pack.
A bladder pack such as the Camelbak Chute is a good choice for overall comfort, especially if you will be using the package for multiple hours or overnight. The pack has more carrying capacity than most day hiker packs and can carry up to 3 litres of water. A built-in mouthpiece makes drinking easy and prevents it from getting dirty.
- Other considerations
For more advanced outdoor enthusiasts or those who intend on taking their trip on multi-day trips, a backpack system might be the best choice. These have become very popular, especially for women, because of their versatility with features such as pockets, organizers, and waist straps. However, the weather may play a role in deciding which pack style is best. A day hiker will most likely be better off with a soft-sided pack on a cold day. On warmer days or when carrying heavy gear, the insulation of a backpack system will give you enough warmth to offset the heat produced by an increasing amount of water.
Other things to look for when buying a hydration pack are adequate storage space, comfort straps, and padding on the shoulder straps. You should also be aware that different manufacturers make similar products in different sizes and colours, so it can be difficult to weed out which one is objectively better additional kayaking gear.
Things to consider when choosing the best Hydration Pack
You will be wearing your hydration pack for a long time, so comfort is a top priority. The best hydration backpacks are softer and lighter and ideally have ventilation, so the water does not become too hot.
The pack will take some abuse from being thrown in the back of trucks while you are hiking and from being dragged around on the ground as you walk along. It must also prevent any leaks from occurring when it inevitably gets bumped against rocks or brush along the trail. Finally, it should also be waterproof to protect any belongings inside it from getting soaked if you decide to go rowing or kayaking!
Some packs hold just a few litres, while others carry up to 3.5 litres. The amount you will carry depends on how long your hike will be and how much water is needed to keep you hydrated.
The price of the hydration pack depends on the brand, quality and size that you choose. There are many online stores to choose from, so shop around for the best deal before buying one for yourself.
The bladder inside the pack should have a large opening for easy filling and cleaning. It should also have large holes on the sides so that air can circulate, keeping the water from condensing. This is important if you will be sculling or kayaking in hot weather.
6. The Hydration Pack’s Shape and Size
There are different shapes and sizes available for today’s hydration backpacks. The size depends mostly on what you need it for, and how long you plan to use it. You will need a larger pack with a greater capacity and more pockets for longer hikes. Some packs also come with supplemental equipment such as a one- or two-litre water bottle, waist belt, and shoulder straps. These are good for hiking and camping trips because they allow you to carry additional items (and water!) without having to wear them on your back.
7. Additional Equipment
Some hydration backpacks feature additional equipment, such as extra bottles and water containers to increase the volume of water you can carry or additional pockets for storing other important items such as maps or medkits and smartphone while reducing the amount of that needs to be carried on your back. The downside is that this equipment can reduce the comfort level of your backpack. While these features are great for hikers who want to carry a lot of gear, they may not be ideal or even necessary for campers who plan to spend most of their time in the water or to paddle a canoe.
8. Reflective Material and Safety Features
This material makes your pack more visible if you’re out during the day and makes it much easier to spot in the dark. Reflective material is especially important if you plan on hiking or walking along roads or bike paths during the evening or at night. Pack safety features can vary greatly based on the type of hydration pack you choose, so look for additional safety gear such as blinking lights on the straps and reflective patches if you will be using your pack at night.
9. Extra Features
Some packs include extra storage pockets for storing other items you may need, such as additional water bottles or a map. There are also backpack bladders with built-in GPS tracking, which allow you to track how much water you have left and where you have been. However, not all hydration backpacks come with this feature, so look for a pack that includes it if that is important to you. Also, pay attention if the pack has an integrated bottle opener, as this can help save some time when filling up your water bladder!
10. Customer Reviews
Reading reviews about the packs on the market is a great way to find out what people have found most useful. Also, check the customer reviews and other positives and negatives of each brand. Most importantly, you need to make sure that you purchase a pack designed for hiking or camping in hot weather, which is made from high-quality materials such as water-repellent waxed canvas or Cordura® fabric. Consider checking reviews other kayaking gear like shoes that will have good compliment with your packs.
How To Choose The Best Hydration Backpack
Once you know what features and options you will want in your personal hydration backpack, it’s time to decide which brand is best for you. As you can see, there are a lot of choices when it comes to hydration backpacks, so you may want to narrow things down by looking for a specific brand or style before making your final decision. Here are some ideas to minimize the options on your list for the best hydration backpack.
1. Brand Name and Price
You may want to choose a specific brand because it will be more familiar to you or because you have used that brand before and had good experiences with them. If that is the case, then do your research to see which brands may fit your personal tastes and preferences. Another factor in choosing a brand is price, and you want to make sure that there is enough variety in the price range of any brand, so you have a wide range of choices within your budget.
Many of the products reviewed on this site are hydration backpacks, but there are also options for hydration belts and other styles as well. Depending on your activities, you may want to choose a backpack or a belt. If you know that you will be hiking while carrying water bottles or other supplies, then a hydration backpack is best for you. On the other hand, if you know that everything can fit into one large pocket, then choosing a hydration belt might be your best option, and they usually have multiple pockets that help keep your personal items safe as well. It’s important to think about how often and how far you will carry your backpack before making this decision.
3. Invest in a quality backpack
It’s pretty obvious that if you’re going to spend money on something, it might as well be on something that is going to last you for years and years. This means buying a quality backpack that will last you for as long as you need it. Luckily, there are plenty of high-quality options in different price ranges, so there is no reason why anyone should have to settle for something cheap or poor quality.
Not only will this help keep your backpack from wearing out quickly, but it will also keep your backpack safe because when they wear out after using them for an extended period of time, they start to fail at holding the weight, which leads to the straps breaking.
It is also important to choose a pack that has good padding, especially on the straps, for added comfort. You will be wearing your backpack for long periods of time during activities like hiking and biking, so it’s important to have something comfortable while you’re doing this.
The final thing you may want to consider when choosing a hydration backpack is what purposes you plan on using it for. For example, if you know that most of your hikes are going to be on hot days, then you will want one that has ventilation and water-repelling material as well as one that has plenty of pockets for storage space or additional water bottles.
On the other hand, if you are going to use your hydration backpack in cold weather, then you will need something with insulation that also has big pockets for water bottles or extra gear. This is another reason why it’s important to think about what types of activities you participate in so that you can be sure to get a hydration backpack that has the features you need for your individual activities.
The Best Hydration Backpack on Test and Review
Ease of Use
Ease of use belongs to the most important things you should consider when choosing the best hydration backpack. You want a backpack that is simple to use and easy to get in and out of without getting wet or your stuff damaged. Here are some points to consider when deciding which type of pack will be best, based on your personal preferences.
1. Water Bladder Size
If you plan on going for a long hike where you will be carrying water bottles, then you will want one that accommodates two water bottles plus the bladder inside so that it does not have too much of a weight burden on your back. On the other hand, if you will be carrying water bottles on your waist or in your hands, then either a smaller or larger bladder should be sufficient.
2. Water Source Accessibility
You want to make sure that you can easily access water from both small and large sources. Smaller sources might include streams and small puddles, while large sources might include lakes, streams and puddles all at once! If you like to get your water from small sources as well as big ones, then look for packs that have additional pockets with zippers that allow for easy access to the main pocket of the hydration backpack so you can carry extra bottles on the outside of your backpack.
3. Water Bottles Storage Pockets
This is a big one for some backpackers, especially those who like to use both a bladder and a hydration bottle while out on their adventure. If you don’t mind carrying two types of water bottles at the same time, then your package will be able to accommodate that. The advantage of doing this is that you can also carry things like food and snacks with your water in the main pocket of your pack or a separate backpack.
4. Water Bladder Features
If you have fixed bladders, you will want to look for ones with special features that allow them to stay attached to your pack without slipping around. A good example of these straps with built-in clips or fasteners, but also look for ones with an adjustable strap so it can be taken off and on as needed.