Quenching the Adventure: Top 10 Hydration Bladders for On-the-Go Enthusiasts

Check out this list of the Top 10 hydration bladders and you be the judge which one to take out into the field on your next adventure.

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The Hydrapak HydraPak Velocity IT 1.5 Liter Hydration Water Bladder/Reservoir is a practical and versatile water carrier designed for military, survival, backpacking, and endurance athletes. Its durable and lightweight construction includes an insulated foam layer and welded seams within an all-season, waterproof sleeve, ensuring water stays cool and easily accessible in various weather conditions.

Its roll-top design allows for quick filling and secures tightly with buckles, making it portable and convenient for carrying or hanging on gear. With four lash points, it can easily attach to different gear or rigs, ensuring stability while on the move.

One of its key features is the Shape-Shift reservoir, which includes a slider top and adjustable baffle, maintaining a sleek and low-profile shape even when fully filled. This allows for ease of use and efficient water access without adding extra bulk or weight. Moreover, its 100% BPA-free material and top-rack dishwasher safe design ensure effortless cleaning and safe water consumption.

I like that it is backed by a Lifetime Warranty, this hydration reservoir offers peace of mind with coverage against manufacturing defects, ensuring long-lasting performance and reliability during demanding military missions, survival situations, backpacking adventures, or endurance activities.

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The Gregory Mountain Products 3D Hydro Reservoir is tailored for military, survival, endurance athletes, and backpacking enthusiasts, offering a reliable water source for various activities. It features a Drylock magnetic bite valve attachment system, ensuring a secure seal and preventing leaks during rigorous movements. This magnetic feature also ensures quick and convenient access to water without fumbling with hoses or valves, ideal for situations where immediate hydration is crucial.

The reservoir’s 3D design is another highlight, ensuring optimal stability by positioning the water flat against your back. This design minimizes sloshing, allowing for a more balanced weight distribution and enhanced comfort during intense activities. Moreover, the Gregory Lifetime Guarantee provides assurance of the product’s quality and durability, making it a reliable choice for military missions, survival situations, endurance sports, or backpacking adventures. With compact package dimensions, this reservoir is portable and easily fits into various hydration-compatible packs, ensuring you stay hydrated during demanding excursions.

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The CamelBak Crux 3-Liter Water Reservoir is a top choice for military, survival, endurance athletes, and backpackers, ensuring ample hydration during challenging activities. Crafted from durable plastic, this reservoir offers a substantial 100-ounce capacity, providing 20% more water per sip compared to previous models. Its leak-proof cap design enhances convenience, making it easier to open and close, allowing quick refills without worries of spills or leaks.

This hydration bladder features an on/off lever, enabling users to seal the drinking tube efficiently with just one hand. Its big bite valve, another standout feature, self-seals after each drink, eliminating bothersome drips and ensuring a consistent and reliable flow of water. Whether on military missions, endurance races, survival outings, or backpacking adventures, the ergonomic shape and leak-proof construction of the CamelBak Crux Water Reservoir offer efficient and convenient hydration solutions for various demanding scenarios.

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I bought two of these in the 3L size. They work perfectly. No complaints at all! My worries of leakage (think of a zip lock bag filled with water) are all gone. The big zip on the Platypus Big Zip SL 2-Liter Hands-Free Hydration System makes them easy to fill, clean, and dry. The zip stays shut!

The handle/zipper makes it easy to get the bladder zipped, and is a secure handle. I keep one in my Teton Sports Explorer 4000 backpack and one in my Osprey Stratos 24 day pack.

To make it easier to get the bladders into a full pack, I made socks for the bladders from the sleeves of a long-sleeve XL exercise shirt. The spandex-type material of the sleeves really helps to get the bladders in and out. No sewing skills needed, just cut the sleeves from the torso, and the bladder slides right in. Instant bladder sock!

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I purchased this as a requirement for a 10 hour athletic event. Part of the event (goruck.com, if you are curious) was to carry a bundle of bricks in a ruck sack. The very same ruck sack that this water bladder would be in.

After all was said and done, being tossed about with 40lbs of brick, laid on, dropped without care, and otherwise abused, this water bladder survived where others (looking at you, camel pack) did not. Playful ribbing aside, the Source WidePac Hydration System is an absolute beast of a bladder, and easy to fill/clean to boot.

This bladder is very easy to fill which means that cleaning, and draining is easier than ever while being 100% leakproof. It comes with a wide-mouth bladder, and a 90-degree design round Helix bite valve with tubing.

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I bought a few of these MSR Dromlite bags for a backpacking trip to desert country in Arizona and Utah. Knowing my routes would take me through some mostly water-less country, I needed something lighter and more comfortable than than my old 2-liter plastic pop bottles.

The MSR DromLite Bag is well made water storage bags. Though reasonably tough, they are lightweight, un-insulated, and made of fairly thin material, so aren’t meant to resist being stored outside the pack or dropped on sharp objects. Instead I carried them inside the backpack where they can be protected and insulated from excessive heat. I found the 2-liter and 4-liter sizes to be the most useful, not to mention easier to fill and pour.

The soft, conformable design of the bag was a lot easier to pack than the old hard plastic soda bottles and made for a more balanced pack. You can attach a modern supply tube and bite piece to these water bags, but I didn’t use that for my trips. I just poured the water as needed into a smaller insulated water bottle on my waist.

On another trip I added a hose and mouthpiece from my Osprey rig. So far that has worked out well. The MSR hydration bladder is easy to clean and last a long time. I have used mine for more than 7 years.

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I have owned two Camelbaks and the is a superior design. The wide mouth makes it easy to clean and dry out, the clip that closes the bladder opening is very easy to use.

The Water Buffalo Oasis bladder has a mouthpiece design that is very effective because it doesn’t need a shut-off valve to prevent it from leaking if pressed on accidentally. This bladder has Advanced Leak-Proof Technology: The Oasis hydration pack bladder is designed with a high-quality and durable TPU material, ensuring a leak-proof experience for all your outdoor adventures. Plus, the tube detaches for cleaning. A really fine product.

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I bought this bladder for my Maxpedition Condor II. It is the first hydration bladder I’ve owned so I have nothing to compare it to, but I am very impressed with the build quality of the CamelBak Omega Water Reservoir.

The wide mouth that appears to be common on all hydration packs makes filling it up very easy even as it becomes heavy under the weight of the water.

There is a nice handle integrated into the mouth that looks to be designed as to allow for not only at the sink fill ups, but also the ability to dip it into a stream and hang onto it as it fills on its own (of course you’d want to treat water gathered from a body of water).

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I like to use the Hoser in my Day pack which fits perfect. I purchased this 3L Platypus reservoir to go in a reservoir compatible small day pack I already owned. I found that the Platypus Hoser 3.0L Hands-Free Hydration System fit well in the pack, and I was able to use it easily.

The biggest plus I found with this reservoir is that it had absolutely no taste what so ever. Even at the end of a 3 hour hike the water tasted as if I had just poured it into a glass from the fridge. I own the 3l (100oz) version of this and I really like the size of the reservoir, as it allows me to carry the majority of my water needs all in one container.

This makes it excellent for a single person on a long hike, or even for sharing among family members. I always have a back up vessel in case of a problem, but assuming all is going well with a 3L reservoir I don’t have to worry about running out quickly and finding water sources on the trail.

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I recently purchased the Osprey LT Hydraulics Reservoir, and it has truly exceeded my expectations. This hydration reservoir has proven to be an essential addition to my outdoor adventures. Its sleek design fits perfectly in my Osprey backpack, and the quick-release hose system makes refilling and cleaning a breeze.

The magnetic bite valve is a fantastic feature, allowing for easy one-handed operation on the go. The reservoir’s 2.5-liter capacity provides ample hydration for long hikes and bike rides, and the quality of the materials used ensures durability. What I appreciate most about the Osprey LT Hydraulics Reservoir is its leak-proof performance; I’ve had no issues with dripping or leaking, even during rough terrain. Overall, it’s a reliable and well-designed hydration system that I highly recommend to fellow outdoor enthusiasts.
Weight 0.35 Pounds
Dimensions LxWxH 12.6 x 12.6 x 1.6 inches

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#11 Geigerrig Pressurized

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#12 Aquatic Way Hydration Bladder

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Why would you need a hydration bladder?

A hydration bladder is crucial for military, endurance athletes, backpacking, and survival scenarios because it ensures convenient and continuous access to water in demanding situations. Unlike traditional water bottles, a hydration bladder is worn like a backpack and fits snugly inside a bag or a carrier.

This hands-free system allows individuals to drink water on the move, without the need to stop and reach for a bottle, making it ideal for military personnel during missions or endurance athletes engaged in high-intensity activities. In survival situations or backpacking adventures, where carrying ample water can be challenging, a hydration bladder provides a lightweight and space-saving solution, ensuring access to vital hydration for extended periods in remote or challenging terrains.

Additionally, a hydration bladder’s large capacity allows for carrying more water than a typical bottle, enabling individuals to stay hydrated for longer durations without refilling frequently. Its design minimizes sloshing, which is particularly beneficial for stealth operations in the military or when moving quietly in the wilderness. Hydration bladders are also equipped with hoses and bite valves that facilitate easy sipping without needing to stop or slow down, ensuring individuals can stay focused on their tasks or activities without compromising hydration needs, making them an essential tool for various demanding situations.

Questions from our SGPT Athletes
QUESTION: I need a way to keep my hydration bladder cool during hot summer trail runs.  Do you have any suggestions?

ANSWER: In a pinch you can use a t-shirt cloth around the bag. Check out the thermal sleeves that you can buy to place around the bladder.

You can also add a thermal hose sleeve to the hose as that area can get really hot if you are walking in full sun.

The thermal sleeve and hose sleeve will also keep your water from freezing if you are hiking in a cold part of the world.

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