8 Best Hydration Packs for Mountain Biking in 2020

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Mountain biking is perhaps one of the most physically intensive outdoor activities you can do. It requires a lot of strength. As such, it’s important to make sure your body is properly hydrated for optimal performance. Well, while there are several easy ways to hydrate outdoors, using some of the best hydration packs for mountain biking is often highly recommended.

A hydration system helps you carry enough water for the entire duration of the ride. These systems also have extra space for important outdoor supplies such as snacks, special tools, and additional outdoor clothing.

Best MTB Hydration Pack

As you can probably guess, there are hundreds of hydration packs out there.

Each of these packs is unique in its own right and would probably offer certain pros and cons. But at the end of it all, you simply want the best. Well, no need to worry.

We have done some extensive research and came up with a full list of some of the top-rated hydration packs for mountain biking.

1. Osprey Packs Raptor Hydration Backpack

There aren’t many large backpacks out there no doubt, but the Osprey Packs Raptor 14 should easily meet your needs.

This pack comes with a 2.5-liter hydration bladder that should be enough even for an all-day ride in the mountain. You’ll also love the immense storage in this pack. You can carry enough supplies to last you the entire day.

The pack also features additional pockets, including hipbelt storage space. Besides, you get a scratch-free compartment for your sunglasses too. There’s also a helmet attachment to ensure you’re fully organized on the road.

And there are more safety features. The pack doesn’t only feature a reflective patch but also comes with a blinker light to indicate to other road users that you’re around. It’s one of the few backpacks that combine excellent practicality, immense storage, and commendable safety add-ons.

Pros
  • Extra-large capacity for storage
  • Features a large hydration bladder
  • Comes with several safety features
  • Durable and weather-resistant design
Cons
  • The backpack is bulky

2. CamelBak Rogue Hydration Pack

The CamelBak Rogue Hydration Pack makes it into our list for nothing more than its practicality. It’s not the largest or the sleekest hydration backpack out there. But it’s a pack that will do its job pretty well.

First, the pack is small and compact so it should be easier and much more comfortable to carry. Secondly, it’s fitted with a single 85 oz. water reservoir or bladder.

While this isn’t the largest capacity, it still offers enough hydration for short to medium range rides. The bladder is also very easy to refill. And speaking of storage, there’s some space in there for a few things so it’s not all zero.

What we loved the most in this pack is the efficiency of the water supply. Every sip from this hydration pack gives you 20% more water than any other pack. This means that you don’t have to sip regularly to stay hydrated. Just one gulp should be enough for long distances. It looks sleek too, making it probably the best CamelBak for mountain biking on tough terrains.

Pros
  • Efficient water supply system
  • Easy refills are guaranteed
  • Lightweight and compact design
  • Durable build
Cons
  • Doesn’t offer a lot of storage capacity

3. Mubasel Gear Insulated Hydration Backpack

The Mubasel Hydration Backpack is suited for people who want something small and compact. It’s not that large either so you may not be able to carry a lot of stuff in it.

But it’s super light, fits very well around your back, and feels comfortable too. The pack comes with a built-in FDA-approved hydration bladder as well. The bladder comes with an innovative thermal insulation technology to keep the water cool for hours.

The pack also has a unisex design, making it a superb fit for both men and women. It’s constructed from highly durable waterproof materials that should be a huge plus for people who live in wet areas.

This hydration pack offers an incredibly versatile choice and it’s easily one of the best MTB hydration pack models you can buy.

Pros
  • Innovative cooling system that keeps the water chilled for hours
  • Durable weather-resistant design for extra longevity
  • You get a few extra bladders for free
  • Unisex design for versatility
Cons
  • Doesn’t have a lot of storage capacity

4. Thule Vital Hydration Pack

With an 8-liter storage capacity, the Thule Vital Hydration Pack isn’t the largest hydration pack out there but it has so much to offer.

The compact design means that it will feel easy and comfortable to carry around. Besides, the pack has a neatly organized interior, something that should make it easier for you to carry way more.

But in case you feel this pack is just not large enough for you, you’ll be happy to know that it has unique expandable cargo storage that can get you 8 additional liters of space. Secondly, even for its small stature, the pack still has commendable water capacity thanks to its 2.5-liter bladder.

The bladder is fitted with a proprietary hose from the manufacturer that should easily help you sip on the go. The hose is also attached to the pack using an innovative magnet so that it stays firmly strapped even on rough and bumpy roads.

Pros
  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Has a low center of gravity for optimal load distribution
  • Hands-free ReTrakt magnetic hose that stays strapped on the pack all the time
  • Made in the US for extra quality
Cons
  • Doesn’t work well for female cyclists

5. TETON Sports TrailRunner 2.0 Hydration Pack

The TETON Sports TrailRunner 2.0 Hydration Pack is designed to achieve two things. First, it offers better safety for tough terrains and night riding.

It comes with a large reflective trim for excellent visibility. You also get a durable design with additional shock-absorbing technology that can be massively important in case of an accident.

These two features combine to make the pack a safer option for most people. Besides, you also get a safety whistle built into the design.

Secondly, the pack will deliver exemplary hydration all through. The TETON pack also offers great value for money thanks to its sturdy design.

Pros
  • Sleek design with excellent durability
  • Comes with adjustable straps to offer the perfect fit
  • Works for both men, women, and young adults
  • Breathable mesh-covered shoulder straps for added comfort
Cons
  • The pack is smaller than we expected
  • It leaks a lot

6. DAKINE Session Bike Hydration Backpack

The DAKINE Session is perhaps one of the most practical packs. It comes with an 8L capacity and a 2-liter hydration bladder.

The backpack isn’t the biggest out there but it offers just enough space for you to carry the essentials you need outdoors. It also features well-organized internal pockets, something that will easily make it carry way more than its capacity.

You’ll also get special pockets for things like gloves, keys, a hand pump, your smartphone, and lots of other smaller items. The pack carries enough water to keep you well hydrated for at least 4 hours.

Despite these amazing features, it’s affordable too. You get a breathable strap design that makes the pack feel comfortable under any weather condition. With everything considered, you’ll agree that this is the best hydration pack for biking, especially for people who are looking for simple, non-fussy, and high-quality products.

Pros
  • Constructed from highly durable 200D nylon Ripstop for long-lasting service
  • Offers up to 8L in storage capacity
  • 2L water bladder to keep you hydrated for at least 4 hours
  • Air mesh design around the shoulder straps for added comfort
Cons
  • The snap clips are very small

7. Deuter Casual Daypack

If you want a larger hydration backpack, the Deuter Casual Daypack is highly recommended. The pack offers a 12-liter capacity with a built-in 3-liter water bladder. In essence, it won’t only provide you with enough water on the road but offers loads of storage space for all your outdoor biking supplies.

The great news about the pack is that it’s collapsible. You can condense the storage that you don’t need, something that makes the pack much more compact. There’s also a rain cover and a good harness system that makes the pack perfectly secure for any type of weather.

You’ll love that the Deuter Casual Daypack is constructed from a combination of HexLight 100, a super lightweight rip-stop polyamide fabric.

The pack also features additional small pockets to hide your valuables including watches, wallets, and phones. It’s quite breathable all thanks to its incredible ventilation system, which makes it very comfortable to carry. With all these features, it’s no wonder the pack ranks among some of the best mountain biking hydration packs.

Pros
  • Properly ventilated airy mesh design that makes the pack breathable and super comfortable
  • Comes with an integrated rain cover that can also be de-touched when not in need
  • The pack offers a beautiful ergonomic design
  • You get a relatively larger water bladder and storage capacity
Cons
  • Some people have complained that several aspects of the pack are defective

8. CamelBak HydroBak Hydration Pack

The CamelBak offers a unique combination of practicality and convenience. First, the pack features a 1.5-liter bladder that should offer enough hydration for a 3 or 4-hour hike.

Additionally, the pack is super light and comes in a unique minimalist design that will blow you away.

You also get additional pockets for small stuff like your phone, wallet, and others. The CamelBak feels super comfortable to carry thanks to its perfect fit.

It’s durable too and comes with a reflective strip to keep you safe on the road. If you’re looking for the best hydration packs for mountain biking that works, then this is the pack for you.

Pros
  • Made in the US for impressive quality
  • Has an external zip pocket to keep your stuff secure
  • Durable, abrasion-resistant design that will last for ages
  • Offers the perfect fit even for people with small upper bodies
  • Quick-release shoulder straps for easy operation
Cons
  • The bladder doesn’t have a quick-release feature which can be an issue for some people

How to Buy the Best Hydration Packs for Mountain Biking

As you can see from our list above, there are a lot of brands as far as hydration packs go. The question is, how do you pick something that works for you?

Remember not all packs will be suitable for everyone. Here are a few important factors to keep in mind before you buy an MTB hydration pack:

Capacity

There’s a reason why these items are called hydration packs.

Their primary purpose is to simply keep you hydrated out there on the trail. This is why you need to carefully consider the amount of water a pack can carry before you buy it.

In case you prefer short rides of about two or three hours, then going for low capacity hydration packs is highly recommended. You’ll save money and end up with a lightweight pack that feels super comfortable.

But in case you prefer those long, sometimes all-day rides, in the middle of nowhere, go for high capacity hydration bags. A 3-liter hydration bladder should be the bare minimum for long trails.

Type

Hydration packs may feature several categories, each designed for different mountain bikers. For example, the first common category is the lightweight option.

This is the bare minimum as far as hydration packs are concerned. Packs in this category are typically very light and offer very little storage and hydration capacity. They are normally designed for people who want to travel light and those who simply enjoy short rides.

The second option is the trail hydration pack. Typically, these packs will have relatively better hydration capacity with at least a 2-liter bladder. You also get several storage pockets and a relatively larger storage capacity. In essence, these are packs designed for medium to long rides.

The final option is the all-day hydration pack. As the name suggests, these are packs designed to last for the entire day outdoors. They have a large hydration capacity with at least a 3-liter bladder and enough storage to carry food and other essential supplies.

Ventilation

Breathable hydration packs have to be your number one choice.

It’s already hot out there in the wild and the last thing you need is a pack that makes you even warmer. It will be super uncomfortable and you’re likely to get tired faster.

Packs with a breathable design along the back and the straps are in particular highly recommended. They are easier to carry and feel very comfortable for most people.

Design

Hydration packs come in two major designs. You can go for the complete backpack or the waist option.

The full backpack is often the most recommended. This is because it’s easier to carry. In most cases, full backpacks tend to also suit the physique or body types of most people.

But in case you prefer a waist option, it’s all good. The golden rule is to always pick something that works for you specifically.

Fit

The comfort of your pack is dependent on how properly it fits. Don’t buy something that’s either too large or too small.

A good mountain bike water backpack should fit perfectly around your shoulder to prevent any risk of potential injury or discomfort.

Weight

Always make sure that you go for a hydration backpack that feels light.

You’ll save yourself a lot of hassle along the way. However, do also make sure you get the right balance between lightweight and storage capacity.

Maintenance Tips

  • Use the pack only for water and no other sugary drinks or alcohol
  • Make sure the packs are cleaned as soon as you come home from a ride
  • Rinse the hydration bladder with as much water as possible
  • Don’t use harmful chemicals to clean your bladder

Conclusion

Getting the best hydration packs for mountain biking should be an easy thing, right? Well, we all know that going through all the options out there requires time and effort.

But even then, it’s clear that the Osprey Packs Raptor 14 does stand out from most backpacks. The pack features an array of incredible safety features, a durable construction, and excellent storage and water capacity.

You also get additional features including a LidLock helmet attachment and a hipbelt pocket to expand your storage options. It’s a highly recommended product.

James is a passionate bicyclist who has done about every kind of biking there is. He loves the wind in his hair, the sun over his shoulder and maybe even the bugs in his teeth. No, just kidding about that last item. He isn’t crazy about road burns, either, but acknowledges that to have the good there is the occasional tumble. James feels that his bike is the place where he can unwind, leave troubles alongside the road, meet new people, go new places, and live the life of adventure that he loves. He is ready to share the ride with you.

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