When looking for a hydration pack, it’s essential to consider several factors to ensure that it’s suitable for your needs and activities.
First, find a pack that’s designed for the activities you’ll be doing. Different types of hydration packs are available, such as running hydration packs, hiking hydration packs, and biking hydration packs, each with specific features and designs to accommodate the needs of each activity.
Next, consider the capacity of the pack. Be sure that the pack has enough space for your water and gear. Hydration packs come in different sizes, and you want to make sure that you choose one that can carry enough water to last for your entire trip.
The fit of the pack is also crucial, you want to ensure that it fits your torso length and hip size comfortably. Adjustable straps and padded shoulders are features to look out for when choosing a hydration pack.
Additional features like bite valve on/off switches, quick-disconnect tubing, or even insulation can enhance your experience when using the hydration pack.
Lastly, if you already own a daypack or backpack without a hydration reservoir, keep in mind that most newer models have an interior sleeve that can hold a reservoir, enabling you to make your existing pack into a hydration pack by simply adding a reservoir to it.
What are the Different Types of Hydration Packs?
When it comes to hydration packs, there are two main categories: hydration backpacks and hydration waist packs. Within these categories, there are packs designed for specific outdoor activities such as hiking, running, cycling, skiing, and snowboarding.
Hiking Hydration Packs:
These packs are similar to standard hiking packs and usually have ample cargo space for food, extra layers, and other essentials. They come in different sizes, from small packs for short hikes to larger ones for overnight backpacking.
Cycling Hydration Packs:
These packs are designed specifically for road cycling and mountain biking. Those made for road cycling are typically compact and low-profile, while those for mountain biking are often larger to accommodate extra gear, clothing, and tools. They usually have a low-profile waist belt that won’t interfere with pedaling.
Running Hydration Packs:
These packs are designed specifically for running and come in two main types: running vests and running backpacks. Running vests are designed to fit snugly to the body and usually have pockets on the front of the shoulder straps. Running backpacks are similar to daypacks and have low-profile designs and pockets that are easy to access while running. They typically accommodate a hydration reservoir for easy sipping.
Snowsports Hydration Packs:
These packs are designed for activities like skiing and snowboarding, with insulation on the reservoir and drink tube to prevent water from freezing. Some snowsports-specific packs include carry straps to allow hands-free transport of a snowboard.
Keeping Your Hydration Pack Clean
Properly maintaining your hydration reservoir is crucial to ensure safe and clean water consumption. In order to keep it in top condition, it’s important to clean it regularly. The process is relatively simple but it’s helpful to have the right supplies and know a few tips.
To clean a hydration bladder, you will need a mild dish soap, cleaning solutions, brushes, and drying aids. Here are the steps to properly clean your hydration reservoir:
Gather your cleaning supplies, including cleaning tablets or a mixture of household ingredients such as baking soda, household bleach, lemon juice, or denture-cleaning tablets.
Mix hot water and cleaner, then fill the system. Soak and drain, then scrub and rinse. Allow to air dry.
Add the cleaning solution to the reservoir, seal it up, and shake it. Let it soak for five minutes (if using cleaning tablets) or 20 minutes (if using a mixture of household ingredients). Drain the system.
Wash the reservoir and tube with dish soap, then thoroughly rinse everything.
Disassemble all pieces (tube, reservoir, and bite valve), place the reservoir on a hanger, or set it upright to dry. Hang the tube and set the bite valve aside. Find a non-humid, out-of-the-way location for drying and give everything in the hydration system plenty of time to thoroughly dry, as putting it away with even a small amount of moisture inside can invite mold growth.
It is essential to properly clean your hydration reservoir to ensure safe and clean water consumption. With the right supplies and some tips, it’s easy to maintain your hydration reservoir and make sure you stay hydrated and healthy on your adventures.
Utilizing the Features of your Hydration Pack
When selecting a hydration pack, it is important to consider additional features that can enhance your outdoor experience. Some hydration packs feature a bite valve shutoff switch, which allows you to easily control the flow of water. Additionally, many packs come with tube portals that provide easy access to the drink tube and allow for routing it over either shoulder. To keep the drink tube in place, many hydration packs come with clips attached to the shoulder straps.
Some hydration packs feature quick-disconnect tubing, which allows for easy refilling of the reservoir without having to remove the tube. A wide-mouth opening on the reservoir makes it easy to clean and add ice to your water.
For cold weather activities, you can look for a hydration pack that includes insulated sip tubes, insulated reservoirs, reservoir covers and bite valve covers, which can help keep the water from freezing.
Finally, if you’re planning to recreate in all types of weather, consider getting a hydration pack with a rain cover, which will protect your pack and its contents from getting wet.
How To: DIY Hydration Pack at Home
Step 1: Gather the Materials
- Materials Needed
- A backpack
- A sewing kit with a thimble (to avoid poked fingers)
- A strap
- A clip or carabiner
- A water bladder
- Scissors or a knife (optional)
- An additional strap or pocket (optional)
Step 2: Sewing the Strap
Attach the strap near the top, on the inside of the backpack. To make this easier, consider using pliers or forceps since waterproof materials can be difficult to work with. Be sure to sew between the soft and rough sides of velcro straps to ensure a secure hold. Avoid sewing the strap upside-down as this will cause it to come loose.
Step 3: Cutting a Hole
There are multiple ways to make a hole in your backpack for the water tube. You can punch a hole slightly smaller than the tube, but this hole will stretch over time. Alternatively, you can create a starburst pattern and sew a circle around it to keep the aperture from opening further. For extra reinforcement, sew a circle of cloth on the back of the aperture.
Step 4: Optional Step
A pocket or additional strap can be added to keep the water pack from moving around. This is particularly important when running, but not as much for hiking if your pack is already full. Additionally, a pocket can help minimize damage to other items in your backpack in the event of a leak or burst. If you’re just using straps, use two velcro straps sewn about 2/3 of the way up from the bottom of the water pack. If you’re sewing a pocket, cover the entire pack. Keep in mind that the latter option requires a significant amount of sewing or gluing and requires confidence in your sewing abilities.
Step 5: Testing
Before using your homemade water pack, test the strength of your sewing job. Clip the carabiner onto the strap, clip the water bladder onto the carabiner, feed the water tube through the aperture, and turn the pack right-side up. If the strap holds and the thread does not lengthen, it’s time for a final test. Fill the bladder with water and wear the pack while walking or jogging around your house for five minutes. If your sewing job holds, your water pack is ready to use.
How to choose a Dirt Bike MX Hydration Pack for you in 2023
When selecting a hydration pack, it is important to ensure that it fits properly in order to have a comfortable and efficient experience. To find the right fit, consider the following:
Hydration packs come in various sizes, with ranges that vary by manufacturer and gender. It’s important to find a pack that corresponds to your torso length, as opposed to your overall height. Some packs have adjustable suspensions, which can be modified to fit your torso.
Hydration packs typically have hip belts that fit a wide range of waist sizes. The product specification will indicate the size range of the hipbelt.
Women-Specific Hydration Packs:
These packs are designed with female anatomy in mind, featuring contoured hip belts and shoulder straps. They also tend to have smaller torso dimensions than men’s packs and are available in smaller sizes, which can work well for young backpackers of either gender.
Youth-Specific Hydration Packs:
These packs usually have smaller capacities and adjustable suspensions, which can accommodate a child’s growth. Women’s backpacks or small sizes of men’s packs can also be suitable for young backpackers.