By: Jeremy Neisser
We all know that running is an excellent form of exercise to stay fit and healthy. It can be challenging to keep hydrated during an extended period of running, especially in hot weather (hot summers in living in Arizona has proven that).
That's where hydration packs come in.
Hydration packs are backpacks designed to hold water and make it easy to drink while on the move. They are useful for runners, hikers, and anyone who needs to stay hydrated while on the go.
For runners, hydration packs are an essential accessory to keep them hydrated during long runs. They come in different shapes, sizes, and materials.
Choosing the right hydration pack can be a daunting task, but it's essential to consider factors such as capacity, weight, and comfort.
A good hydration pack should be lightweight, comfortable to wear, and have enough capacity to hold enough water to keep you hydrated throughout your run.
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When buying a hydration pack for running, it's crucial to consider the type of water bladder used. Some hydration packs come with a plastic bladder, while others use a soft flask.
A plastic bladder is more durable and can hold more water, while a soft flask is more comfortable to carry and can be compressed as you drink the water.
In this article, I will be reviewing the best hydration packs for running based on their capacity, weight, comfort, and water bladder type.
Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned runner, this guide will help you find the best hydration pack to keep you hydrated during your runs.
Best Hydration Packs for Running - Top 5 Picks
As a runner, I know how important it is to stay hydrated during a long run. That's why I've compiled a list of the best hydration packs for running.
These packs are designed to make it easy to carry water or sports drinks with you on the go, without weighing you down or getting in the way of your stride.
Whether you're training for a marathon or just trying to stay hydrated on your daily jog, these packs are sure to help you stay on top of your game.
1. Water Buffalo Hydration Backpack - Road Runner 12L Hydropack Backpack
I highly recommend the Water Buffalo Hydration Backpack for anyone who enjoys outdoor activities and wants to stay hydrated on the go.
- Ultra-Lightweight Design: The Road Runner water backpack for running is crafted with lightweight materials, ensuring minimal strain during your outdoor activities. Experience the freedom of movement and comfort for all your adventures.
- Generous Storage Capacity: Featuring multiple pockets and compartments, the Road Runner water bag for hiking provides ample storage for all your essential gear. Organize your belongings easily in your water pack and keep everything within reach.
- Efficient Hydration System: The Road Runner hiking water backpack comes equipped with a 2-liter BPA-free bladder and an easy-to-use bite valve, keeping you hydrated and refreshed throughout your journey.
- Adjustable and Breathable Comfort: Our ergonomic running backpack design offers adjustable shoulder and chest straps for a secure and custom fit. The breathable mesh back panel ensures optimal ventilation, keeping you cool in outdoors.
- Lifetime Warranty: Water Buffalo stands by the quality and craftsmanship of the Road Runner hydration pack backpack, offering a lifetime warranty to our customers. Invest in a reliable and durable outdoor companion, knowing that we have your back.
- The ultra-lightweight design makes it easy to carry during any outdoor activity.
- The generous storage capacity allows for easy organization of all essential gear.
- The efficient hydration system ensures that you stay hydrated and refreshed throughout your journey.
- The bladder has a tiny opening, making it difficult to clean.
- The fit might feel a little awkward if you have broad shoulders.
- The bladder might leak if left laying flat and full of water.
As someone who enjoys hiking and running, I found the Water Buffalo Hydration Backpack to be a great investment. The backpack's lightweight design made it easy to carry during my outdoor activities, and the generous storage capacity allowed me to easily organize all my gear.
The efficient hydration system, equipped with a 2-liter BPA-free bladder and an easy-to-use bite valve, kept me hydrated and refreshed throughout my journey.
One downside to the backpack is that the bladder has a tiny opening, making it difficult to clean. Additionally, the fit might feel a little awkward if you have broad shoulders. Lastly, the bladder might leak if left laying flat and full of water.
Overall, the Water Buffalo Hydration Backpack is a reliable and durable outdoor companion, backed by a lifetime warranty from Water Buffalo. I highly recommend this backpack to anyone who enjoys outdoor activities and wants to stay hydrated on the go.
2. Nathan VaporKrar 2.0 Hydration Vest
If you're a long-distance runner looking for a hydration vest that can keep you hydrated throughout your run, then Nathan VaporKrar 2.0 Hydration Vest is the perfect choice for you.
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Ample storage space
- Comes with two 20oz soft flasks
- The front pockets can be difficult to access while running
- The hydration tubes can be a bit tricky to keep in place
- The price is on the higher side
As someone who has used this hydration vest for several long-distance runs, I can confidently say that it's one of the best hydration vests out there. The vest is incredibly lightweight and comfortable, which makes it perfect for long runs.
The ample storage space allows you to carry all your essentials, including your phone, keys, and snacks. The two 20oz soft flasks provide enough hydration for a long run.
However, the front pockets can be a bit difficult to access while running, which can be a bit frustrating. Additionally, the hydration tubes can be a bit tricky to keep in place, which can be a bit annoying. Lastly, the price is on the higher side, which might not be affordable for everyone.
Overall, if you're looking for a high-quality hydration vest that can keep you hydrated and comfortable throughout your long-distance runs, then Nathan VaporKrar 2.0 Hydration Vest is definitely worth considering.
3. CamelBak Octane Dart Hydration Pack
If you're looking for a minimalist hydration pack that is perfect for running, the CamelBak Octane Dart Hydration Pack is a great option.
- The Crux Reservoir delivers 20% more water per sip, with an ergonomic handle for easier refilling, and an on/off lever that makes it easy to prevent leaks.
- Reflectivity for early morning or evening runs
- Made with ultralight materials
- Front-facing pockets on harness for easy fuel and gear storage
- Tube trap holds your bite valve in place between sips
- The Crux technology delivers 20% more water per sip, making it easy to stay hydrated on long runs.
- The ultralight materials make it comfortable to wear, even on hot days.
- The front-facing pockets on the harness make it easy to store fuel and gear.
- The tube trap can be a bit tricky to use at first.
- The pack is only available in one size, so it may not fit everyone comfortably.
- The zippered essentials pocket in the back is a bit small.
I recently used the CamelBak Octane Dart Hydration Pack on a long trail run, and I was impressed with how comfortable it was to wear. The ultralight materials meant that I barely noticed it was there, even when it was fully loaded with water and gear.
The Crux technology made it easy to stay hydrated, even on hot days when I was sweating a lot. The front-facing pockets on the harness were a great feature, as they made it easy to store my gels and other fuel.
One downside to the pack is that the tube trap can be a bit tricky to use at first. It took me a few tries to figure out how to get the bite valve to stay in place between sips.
Overall, I would highly recommend the CamelBak Octane Dart Hydration Pack to anyone looking for a minimalist hydration pack that is perfect for running. It's comfortable, easy to use, and has plenty of space for all your essentials.
4. Neboic Hydration Backpack Pack
If you're looking for a lightweight and comfortable hydration pack for running, hiking, or cycling, the Neboic Hydration Backpack Pack is a great option to consider.
- 2Packs Lightweight Hydration Backpack-They are compact and low-profile , perfectly built for lightweight pursuits like running, road biking and ultralight hiking . They feel light and stable on your back and won’t create any wind resistance.
- Hydration Pack with 3 Extra Pockets -Including one easy access mesh front pocket and other 2 zippered side pockets will ensure you enough space for different essentials.
- Perfect Form Fitting Water Backpack- It has adjustable hipbelt and shoulder straps that can be modified to fit your torso.
- 2 liters (70 oz) BPA Free Hydration Bladder-The perfect size offer a nice balance of reasonable weight and bulk while providing a sufficient quantity of water.
- Quick-Disconnect Tubing -The drink tube that easily disconnects from the body of the water bladder which makes simply to refill midhike. And the wide-mouth openings allow you to fit a hand inside the backpack water bladder, which makes cleaning easy.
- The backpack is compact and low-profile, making it perfect for lightweight activities like running and ultralight hiking. It feels light and stable on your back and won't create any wind resistance.
- With three extra pockets, including one easy access mesh front pocket and two zippered side pockets, you'll have plenty of space for different essentials like snacks, phone, keys, and more.
- The backpack is form-fitting and has adjustable hipbelt and shoulder straps that can be modified to fit your torso perfectly.
- Some users have reported that the backpack has a bad taste, which can be a turn-off for some.
- It can be hard to completely dry the bags and hoses for storage when not in use, which can lead to mold growth.
- The backpack is only available in red, which may not be everyone's preferred color.
I've been using the Neboic Hydration Backpack Pack for a few weeks now and I'm really impressed with its performance. The backpack is lightweight and comfortable to wear, and it stays in place even during intense activities like running and cycling. The hydration bladder is easy to fill and the drink tube is long enough to reach your mouth without any issues.
One of the things I really like about this backpack is the number of pockets it has. The mesh front pocket is perfect for storing items you need to access quickly, like snacks or your phone. The two side pockets are great for storing items you don't need as often, like a map or a first aid kit.
The backpack is also form-fitting and adjustable, so it fits snugly against your back without bouncing around. The straps are easy to adjust and the hipbelt helps distribute the weight evenly across your body.
Overall, I would definitely recommend the Neboic Hydration Backpack Pack to anyone looking for a lightweight and comfortable hydration pack for running, hiking, or cycling. It's a great value for the price and has all the features you need to stay hydrated and comfortable during your activities.
5. Nathan TrailMix Running Vest/Hydration Pack
If you're looking for a hydration pack that is suitable for running, hiking, walking, or riding, then the Nathan TrailMix Running Vest/Hydration Pack might be the one for you.
- MEN or WOMEN – Select either the Men’s bronze/green or the Women’s astral/majesty vest. Trail Mix is built around men and women’s distinctive features. Extended strap size available for all body types.
- FUNCTIONAL – Trail Mix is equipped with a 2L bladder, 2 zippered shoulder, 2 rear stretch, 1 zippered back, 4 front stashes, 2wo easy-access front bottle pockets (bottles not included).
- DESIGN - Lightweight and comfortable mesh material that wicks away sweat and water. No bounce, No chafe binding, Reflective visibility. For running, hiking, walking, ridding etc.
- FIT - Vest fit is snug and overall sizing tends to run slightly on the smaller side, so it is recommended that anyone on the higher end of a given size may want to size up!
- SPECS – Weight without bladder: 11.62oz. Weight with bladder: 12.8oz. Storage capacity: 12 Liters (732 cu in). Comes with 2L hydration bladder.
It's lightweight and comfortable, and it comes with a 2L bladder, 2 zippered back storage, 2 easy-access front bottle pockets (bottles not included), and an extra front pocket.
- Lightweight and comfortable mesh material that wicks away sweat and water.
- Equipped with a 2L bladder and plenty of pockets for storage.
- Reflective visibility for added safety during low-light conditions.
- Chest strap buckles don't hold tension well.
- Sizing tends to run slightly on the smaller side, so it's recommended to size up.
- Some users have reported that the chest straps come loose easily.
I recently purchased the Nathan TrailMix Running Vest/Hydration Pack, and I have to say that I'm pretty impressed with it. The mesh material is lightweight and comfortable, and it does a great job of wicking away sweat and water.
The vest fit is snug, and I like that it has reflective visibility for added safety during low-light conditions.
The pack comes with a 2L bladder, which is plenty of water for a long run or hike. The two zippered back storage pockets are great for carrying snacks or other small items, and the two easy-access front bottle pockets are perfect for carrying extra water bottles (not included).
There's also an extra front pocket that's great for carrying your phone or other small items.
One downside to the Nathan TrailMix Running Vest/Hydration Pack is that the chest strap buckles don't hold tension well. If you pull a strap tight, it tends to come loose pretty easily. Also, the sizing tends to run slightly on the smaller side, so it's recommended to size up if you're on the higher end of a given size.
Overall, I think the Nathan TrailMix Running Vest/Hydration Pack is a great option for anyone who is looking for a lightweight and comfortable hydration pack for running, hiking, walking, or riding. It's functional, well-designed, and offers plenty of storage options.
When it comes to choosing the best hydration pack for running, there are a few things to consider. Here are some key features to look for:
The first thing to consider is how much water you need to carry. This will depend on the length of your run and how much you sweat. Look for packs with a capacity of at least 1.5 liters, but if you're going on longer runs, you may want to consider a pack with a larger capacity.
The fit of the hydration pack is crucial for comfort and stability while running. Look for packs with adjustable straps and a snug fit. Make sure the pack doesn't bounce or shift around while running.
The material of the hydration pack can affect its durability, weight, and breathability. Look for packs made of lightweight, breathable materials that are also durable enough to withstand wear and tear.
The bite valve is the part of the hydration pack that you use to drink water. Look for packs with a high-quality bite valve that is easy to use and doesn't leak.
Some additional features to consider include:
- Pockets for storing snacks, keys, and other essentials
- Reflective materials for visibility in low light conditions
- Hose clips to keep the hose in place while running
- Compatibility with a variety of water bladders
Overall, choosing the best hydration pack for running will depend on your individual needs and preferences. Consider the above features when selecting a pack, and make sure to try it on and test it out before hitting the trails.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the top-rated hydration vests for runners?
There are several top-rated hydration vests for runners, including the Nathan VaporAir, CamelBak Ultra Pro, Salomon Advanced Skin, and Ultimate Direction Ultra Vesta. These vests are designed to provide runners with a comfortable and convenient way to carry water and other essentials during long runs.
Which hydration pack is the most lightweight and comfortable for running?
The Salomon Advanced Skin hydration vest is one of the most lightweight and comfortable options for runners. It is made with breathable materials and features a snug fit that allows for maximum mobility during runs. Other lightweight options include the Nathan VaporAir and CamelBak Ultra Pro.
What is the difference between a hydration pack and water bottles for running?
A hydration pack is a backpack or vest that holds a bladder filled with water, while water bottles are handheld or waist-mounted containers that hold water. Hydration packs are more convenient for longer runs because they allow runners to carry more water and other essentials, while water bottles are better for shorter runs or races.
Are hydration packs necessary for long-distance running?
Hydration packs are not necessary for all long-distance running, but they are recommended for runs over 10 miles or in hot weather. They provide runners with a convenient way to carry water and other essentials without having to stop or carry heavy water bottles.
What features should I look for when choosing a hydration vest for running?
When choosing a hydration vest for running, it is important to look for features such as a comfortable fit, breathable materials, multiple pockets for storage, and a hydration bladder with a capacity of at least 1.5 liters. It is also important to consider the weight of the vest and whether it will be comfortable to wear during long runs.
Which brand makes the best hydration vest for trail running?
Several brands make excellent hydration vests for trail running, including Salomon, Nathan, Ultimate Direction, and CamelBak. The best brand for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences, so it is important to try on different vests and compare features before making a purchase.
Hi, Jeremy Here,
I am the the guy behind Train for a 5K. On this site, I share everything that learned along my running journey. The content I create is the running training I wish I had before we started this journey. About Jeremy.
I have run over 250 races including the California International Marathon, Clarksburg Country Run, and various other 5K & 10K races throughout the United States. I am a former Athletics department employee at University of the Pacific and Shoe Consultant with Dicks Sporting Goods
Last update on 2023-09-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API