• Home
  • /
  • Blog
  • /
  • How to choose a hiking backpack with water bladders?

How to choose a hiking backpack with water bladders?

Hiking means a lot of walking, and the distance depends on individual preferences. While packing your hiking backpacks, it is fundamental to include a water bladder in them. Among the essentials of hiking backpacks, a water pack or hydration backpack is most important.

Hiking is a good exercise; It has plenty of benefits. Hiking refreshes your body and mind. It helps you rebuild your stamina mentally and physically.

You must maintain your energy from the advent to the end of your hiking. To retain stamina while hiking, you must stay hydrated. And for that, always choose a water-carrying backpack.

Every backpack may not have a water reservoir in it. Such backpacks will have an interior sleeve where you can hold a water bladder.

What are hydration backpacks

Hydration packs are bags that include features to hold water in them. To understand the detailed information regarding hydration packs, read further;

Know the Varieties of Hydration Packs

Hydration backpacks and Hydration waist packs are the two types of hydration packs. Similar to regular backpacks, hydration backpacks are also available in different varieties.

Hydration packs vary based on specific activities. The size, shape, and model depend on your selection for the hiking process. You must select a hydration pack that is designed for and benefits your voyage.

The hydration pack has a bladder in it. Water bladders are also known as inbuilt water reservoirs. Water bladders are usually made of rubber or flexible plastic.

Hydration backpacks include a water reservoir, drinking tube, and valve cover. Hydration waist packs are preferred for adventures that are carried out shortly or at a lower time.

How to choose a hydration backpack

While choosing a hydration backpack, explore the capacity required for your journey. In a hydration backpack, you must be aware that the pack you choose will accommodate enough gear and water.

Hydration packs are to be selected wisely. You have to know the individual capacity of the pack to hold your goods apart from the reservoir capacity.

how to choose a backpacks

Hiking Backpack size based on gear capacity

Gear capacity of the backpack means the capacity of holding essentials other than the water bladder. The more essentials you want to pack, the more will be the space needed in the pack.

The cargo you have to pack counts on the distance and days of trekking. The cargo comprises clothes, solid foods, medicines, jackets, trekking poles, gloves, headwear, etc.

There are varieties of hydration packs available in different sizes. Before selecting a pack, the first and foremost task is knowing the amount of gear you need for the particular trip.

Having an estimation of packing will help you find a hiking backpack with a preferable gear capacity. The range of gear capacity varies from 5 to 20 liters and even more up to 50 liters.

Backpack size required for day Hiking

10 to 30 liters of gear space packs are quite bigger with extra layers. You can select such packs for day hiking. You can load food and commodities in additional layers provided in hydration packs of these sizes.

Backpack size required for two to three nights

Hydration packs with 30 to 50 liters of gear spaces come with extra pockets. Such midsize packs with bigger capacity allow you to put in additional items for more extended exploration. Essentials can be organized in the additional compartments of the pack.

Backpack size required for three or more days of hiking

Packs with gear capacities of 50+ liters or more are designed for more extended and overnight adventures. These packs have distinct baggage spaces and supporting features.

Lest choose a reservoir capacity/ water bladder capacity

[1 liter water = 2 to 2.2pounds i.e. 1 kilogram]

[1 liter water = 35.27 ounces]

Reservoir capacity is the capacity of water that can be filled or carried in the backpack. You must know how much each liter of water weighs and adds your backpack's total weight.

Water is not a lightweight fluid. Carrying water throughout your journey is not easy. Predict an approximate value that will be needed for your voyage.

Be clear that the water you carry is not just for drinking. You have to take as much water as you want by foreseeing your demand. Reservoir capacity ranges from 0.5 to 3 liters and more.

Bladder capacity to carry water for a short hike

Water bottles of 0.5 liters or less can be used for light hike and fast journeys. Waist packs holding water bottles are desirable for running or walking in a short time.

Capacity to hold water for an estimated 9 miles

1 to 1.5 liters is sufficient for short-distance hiking and running. The hydration pack comes with bladders to fill in the water or to carry it.

Reservoir quantity desired for Extended Hiking

2 to 2.5 liters is more than enough to store a satisfactory amount of water. Packs offering such reservoir sizes must be bulky and carry reasonable weight. You can carry a reasonable amount of water by filling it and refill if necessary.

You can choose a hydration pack with a reservoir size of 3 liters or more if you don't want to refill it occasionally. Whenever you trek or hike in places with scarce water, this size seems to be the best.

Features of a  hydration pack- both backpack and water bladder

The hydration packs are not like regular backpacks. It has got specific attributes that make it different from the others. Whether it's a separate water bladder or an interior one, the reservoirs possess additional features. 

Features of hydration reservoir

Wide mouth opening:

In a 1L bag or a 2L bag, there will be a wide mouth opening. This wide opening helps you to fill water without spilling. Most importantly, the wide opening benefits in fitting your hands to clean the inner bladder.

There are reservoir cleaning kits available in case of any difficulties cleaning them.

Bite valve shutoff switch:

A bite valve got its name because you bite it, you drink it. A bite valve is made of a silicone cap that seals the mouthpiece.

The bite valve has a twist to close it. Some packs have a switch to stop water from dripping.

Features in the backpack

Tube portals:

Tube portals are slits in the backpacks. The light rip or opening tube portals helps you to thread the sip tube through it. Hydration packs include two portals on either side or a single central portal.


Clips in the shoulder strap of the hydration pack help you to access the tube easily. This clip enables you to hook the end of the tube in it for convenient access.

Quick-disconnect tubing:

Hydration packs contain a drinking tube connected to the reservoir. Some hydration packs have a button for disconnecting the tube. You can press the button and pull the tube effortlessly to refill the bladder.

Magnetic Sternum strap:

A magnetic sternum strap helps you to lock the bite valve. After clipping the strand that joins both the shoulder strap, you can dock the bite valve. Magnetic docking of the bite valve is included in few hydration packs.

How to fit your hydration pack flawlessly

Packs of numerous kinds and sizes, from extra small to large, are available in the market. Selecting a perfect backpack can be done by following two steps.

  1. Torso measurement
  2. Waist size

Backpacks specifically for women are smaller in size. The torso length in such packs is shorter and fits perfectly on young backpackers of either gender.

There are also hydration packs with insulated bladders and insulated tubes. You can choose a perfect hydration pack with different qualities depending on your preference of terrain.

You may have enough experience and personal favorites; even if you are a fresher, try different bladders or bottles in different adventures. This will help you find a better and comfortable one.

Clean your bladders after every trekking or expedition you go. A clean reservoir helps you to carry clean water.

  • What are the complications while carrying a small reservoir?

Let us know your answers through the comments.

How helpful was this article? Click a star to rate.


water bladder

You may also like

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}