Best Hydration Pack for Mountain Biking
Mountain biking can be a sweaty business! Pushing up hills and over bumpy terrain can really get the heart rate going and increase your perspiration levels. It is important to continue drinking water while you ride so you avoid becoming dehydrated.
Mountain bikers have a couple of choices for staying hydrated — using water bottles or using a hydration pack. This article will explain why using a hydration pack is the better option and list a few of the best hydration packs for mountain biking.
Why Use a Hydration Pack For Mountain Biking?
There are a number of reasons why hydration packs are the best choice for mountain biking including:
You can drink while keeping two hands on the handlebars
Unlike a water bottle, you don’t have to take a hand off the handlebars to drink. You can drink while navigating difficult terrain, while doing a wheelie or while moving downhill at a rapid pace. Being able to keep two hands on the handlebar makes it a safer hydration option than a water bottle.
You have less weight on your bike frame
If you have spent hundreds or thousands of dollars on a super lightweight aluminum or carbon frame, attaching 1 or 2 kilograms of water to the frame is a ridiculous idea! You want to keep your bike frame lightweight so you can handle tricky trails and perform jumps. By keeping the water on your back, your bike will remain light and agile.
It doesn’t interfere with you or your bike’s center of gravity
Having a hydration pack attached to your back keeps the weight in the middle of your center of gravity. It won’t make your bike feel imbalanced by adding kilograms of weight to a part of the frame.
You can carry more water
Hydration packs come in a variety of sizes, but 1.5 liter, 2 liter and 2.5 liter packs are common. This is a substantial amount of water that will be enough for a few hours of riding. If you tried carrying this much water in bottles you would have 3 or 4 bottles attached to your frame! Carrying extra water means you can ride further, ride harder, explore longer trails and you don’t need to find a water source to refill bottles mid-ride.
You can carry food and tools in your hydration pack
In addition to carrying a water bladder, most hydration packs have room for bananas, energy bars, spare tubes, bike tools and other items.
Some of the Best Hydration Packs For Mountain Biking
There are plenty of great hydration packs on the market. The following hydration packs are particularly well made and have many great features.
TETON Sports Oasis 1100 Hydration Backpack — $37.99
The Teton Sports Oasis 1100 is one of the most highly rated hydration packs on the market. It is an 18.5 ” x 10″ x 7 backpack with 1100 Cubic Inches (18 Liters) of space. It contains a BPA-free 2-liter hydration bladder that is puncture resistant.
This backpack has a large main pocket with a weather guard to prevent water penetration. It also has a butterfly storage space, zip pocket for smaller objects, and side mesh pouches ideal for food or bike tools.
It has a higher fit than a normal backpack, which allows you reach the pockets on your riding jersey. The breathable back panel also provides some ventilation as you ride.
- 2-liter bladder
- Very deep pockets perfect for longer objects like bananas!
- The weather guard is handy for protecting items like your phone
- None, this may be the best hydration pack for mountain biking on the market for this price range.
GRESAHOM Outdoor Hydration Backpack — $24.99
Despite being smaller than the Teton Sports Oasis, there is still plenty of room for an extra shirt, your phone, some food and your keys. The outer mesh pocket is also the ideal spot to put a banana or energy bars. The backpack is water resistant and very durable, featuring “rip stop nylon” material.
The bladder is food grade and BPA free. It is fairly well insulated inside the backpack and will keep your beverage cool during long rides. This hydration pack is a “Y” shape design, which some people find more comfortable to wear.
- Water resistant
- Really durable and rip-resistant
- The “no worry guarantee” — 100% money back guarantee if you don’t like the product
- Reflective material on straps
- Slightly less room than some other hydration packs
Camden Gear 1.5 Liter Hydration Backpack — $29.95
This is a great little backpack from Camden Gear that can be worn by children and adults (between 27” to 50” chest size). Despite only having a 1.5 liter bladder, the backpack is quite large and can hold larger items like iPads, SLR cameras and 12-inch laptops. It is a great choice for rides where you need to carry a little extra gear.
The main compartment is shielded by a diamond-shaped piece of water-resistant “rip stop nylon”. This section helps to prevent water from entering the backpack and makes it simple to access the contents of the pocket.
The 1.5 liter bladder is food grade and BPA free. It has a large screw cap which allows you to add ice cubes for a refreshing drink.
- Wide opening on the bladder makes it easy to clean
- Larger pocket allows it to be used for big items
- Weather resistant
- Extendable bite valve
- 60 Day 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
- Only a 1.5 liter bladder
CamelBak Hydrobak Hydration Pack — $35.99
CamelBak has a reputation for making some of the best hydration packs for mountain bike riding. They make very high-quality gear that targets bike riders specifically. The Hydrobak is one of their most popular products and is often used by mountain bike riders.
This is a streamlined hydration pack that is designed for use by riders who take their riding seriously. It has a narrow profile to minimize wind resistance and to ensure it doesn’t interfere with the rider’s movements. The Hydrobak only has one small front pocket and it holds a 1.5 liter BPA-free bladder. It is available in a range of stylish colors
- Streamline design
- Super light-weight and designed for performance
- Not much room to hold additional objects or food for the trail!
CamelBak M.U.L.E. Hydration Pack — $80.99
The M.U.L.E. is one of CamelBak’s most famous products. It combines great cargo space with an excellent water bladder. It is designed to carry plenty of gear and could easily hold your helmet, pump, spare tube, an extra layer of clothing, mobile phone, lunch and car keys.
This hydration backpack is crammed with innovative features! The Antidote reservoir system has an easy to open cap, fill port, low-profile design, and center baffling. It has a magnetic tube trap, bike tool pocket organizer, helmet hooks and four-point compression system for comfort.
It has three interior pockets and three exterior pockets, giving you plenty of options for where gear goes.
- Big enough to carry 3-liters of water!
- Incredibly build quality that CamelBak is known for
- High adaptable design with many pockets
- Waterproof in light to medium rain
- A range of great colors
- An outstanding choice for longer rides and treks
- More expensive than other hydration backpacks