Best Hydration Water Bladders Compared

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Hydration is one of the most important parts of any runner’s routine. It’s what keeps them going through the sweat and the struggle of distance runs, and what helps to replenish us after that final push to the finish line. Dehydration isn’t just uncomfortable, it’s also dangerous. Our bodies are made largely of water and running can deplete us of our liquid resources in record time. The obvious solution is to make sure that we bring some source of water with us when we go out for a run.

Trying to carry a bottle with you can actually use more of your energy and add minutes to your time. Many runners have found that water bladders are a great way to carry your water with you without having to handle awkward or bulky bottles. If you’ve ever had to try and carry something while you’re running for more than a couple of miles, then you understand just how cumbersome and uncomfortable this can be. Water bladders can actually be worn on your person and carry enough water to satisfy your needs. Not only will your run be safer, it’ll also be more convenient. Check out our list of hydration bladders below.

Last Updated: July 27, 2018
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By Tess Bercan:

This list of hydration bladders has been updated to include the best choices on the market today. To give you these options, we have done extensive research and testing. Enjoy and check back again. We are always updating our lists to keep the content and products fresh for the picking.

Osprey Hydraulics Reservoir
  • Osprey Hydraulics Reservoir
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Anti-microbial bacteria prevention
  • Price: See Here
Aquatic Way Reservoir
  • Aquatic Way Reservoir
  • 4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • BPA-FREE anti-bacteria materials
  • Price: See Here
Platypus Big Zip LP Reservoir
  • Platypus Big Zip LP Reservoir
  • 4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Quick-release hose and shutoff valve
  • Price: See Here

How can you make sure that your hydrating properly? The answer to this question can be found from a combination of different sources. Each of us is just a little bit different, and your activity level can contribute to the amount of water that you require on a daily basis. The baseline recommendation is eight standard size glasses of water per day. This usually ends up being close to 64 ounces of fluid. If you’re running and sweating continuously, then you’ll need to increase your intake. In some cases, you may need to drink as much as twice that amount in order to stay properly hydrated. This is why it’s so imperative that you keep a water bladder with you during your runs. Dehydration can come on quickly, and can lead to symptoms like dizziness, lightheadedness, confusion, and even unconsciousness. These are all things that you need to be able to combat when you’re on your own. It’s amazing how quickly drinking water can make a difference to your health!

12 Best Hydration Water Bladders

1. Osprey Hydraulics

The first thing that stuck out to us about the Osprey Hydraulics Reservoir is has a 1/4″/6.35mm hose which allows water to flow almost effortlessly. The exterior of this bladder has handy capacity marking also which removes any guesswork you might have to make when checking your levels. If you’re turned off by the taste of plastic (lets face it who isn’t?) this bladder may be for you. The material is a Metallocene PE with taste-free film (BPA/PVC free) plus a antimicrobial formula to which works to stop the buildup of bacteria and mold. If all this weren’t enough the low profile of this bladders’ build keeps the weight of the water consistent and close to your body. This is a particular boon for runners.
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About the Product:

- Backer plate help to shape the reservoir, keeping it low-profile so it won’t mess up the ballast of your backpack
- Pour shield extends the collar (almost like a funnel) to make filling and pouring easy
- Has a welded chevron baffles to help prevent too much sloshing and to maintain the shape
- Has a magnetic sternum strap that you attach can attach to you pack, giving the magnetic bite valve a spot to rest while out of use
- Well formed bite valve offers fast and easy water flow

Specs:

Size: 15 x 7 x 3.1 inches

Capacity: 2 or 3 liters, depends on size

BPA- Free: Yes

Material(s): Metallocene PE Film
Pros
  • Internal baffles help prevent sloshing
  • Maintains a low profile structure
  • Bite valve allows fast water flow
  • Extended pour shield make refilling much easier
Cons
  • Has a bit of a plastic taste at first

2. Aquatic Way

If you’re looking for a no frills and economical bladder to meet the basic need of easy access to water on the go a great place to turn is to the Aquatic Way Bladder Water Reservoir. This bladder is a good choice for a variety of reasons, but most of all it checks most all of the boxes you’d want checked. It’s made from food-grade BPA-Free and FDA (if you trust the FDA) approved materials, has leak proof seam technology, it is easy to clean and dry using its large opening, and best of all it has insulation that allows the water to resist quick temperature change. It may not be as finely engineered or calibrated as some higher end bladders, but the Aquatic Way Bladder Water Reservoir offers a great bang for your buck.
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About the Product:

- Extremely well constructed from thick TPU that is pressure-treated and wear-proof. Manufactured with built in leak proof sealing technology.
- BPA-Free and FDA approved material, has antimicrobial properties
- Oversized opening, ideal for cleaning and easy access. Drying is a breeze and you can even scoop ice cubes directly from the fridge into the bladder
- Soft yet durable mouthpiece, has a 90-degree turn mouthpiece. Easily accessible shutoff valve, no leakage.
- Neoprene insulated tube cover helps water stay cold on hot days and vice versa on cold ones
- Shop with peace of mind. Sixty day100% money back guarantee

Specs:

Size: 1.13 x 6.5 x 15 inches

Capacity: 67.6 oz

BPA- Free: Yes, FDA approved

Material(s): thermoplastic urethane
Pros
  • BPA-Free
  • Constructed of FDA approved material with antimicrobial properties
  • Oversized opening allows easy refilling and cleaning
  • 100% money back guarantee
Cons
  • May not be ideal for extreme situations

3. Platypus Big Zip LP – 3 Liter

Sometimes simplicity is best, and this is one thing you can certainly say about the Platypus Big Zip LP Reservoir, its simple. Its design is straightforward yet effective and its low profile makes it a great match for small running packs. Its got a slidelock opening at the top making access to the reservoir no problem at all. This system also stands up well to leaking in our experience, in that it doesn’t. The addition of silver-ion antimicrobial properties keeps things fresh and a quick-release hose and valve pairing make drinking and refilling easy. Overall this is an excellent choice for any runner.
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About the Product:

- Proudly manufactured in the USA
- Made from BPA-free polyethylene with silver-ion antimicrobial finish delivers fresh, sanitary and taste free liquids
- Has a wide opening with patented Slidelock™ closure is easy to refill and secure
- Lightweight, streamlined design is meant to ride flat in your pack — minimizes sloshing around and overall load
- Quick-release hose and shutoff valve make drinking and refilling the bladder a simple process

Specs:

Size: 17.2 x 8.8 Inches

Capacity: 101 fluid ounces

BPA- Free: Yes

Material(s): thermoplastic urethane, stands up extremely well over time
Pros
  • Refilling is easy with the wider opening and Slidelock closure
  • Low profile design
  • Limited sloshing
  • BPA free
  • No plastic taste
Cons
  • Probably not ideal for rougher activities

4. Camelbak Antidote 70oz

4. Camelbak Antidote 70oz
Camelbacks are such a well known and loved product that they have almost become synonymous with hydration bladder themselves. Is your Camelback full? So we are starting was the most logical. Camelbacks are smartly designed, have a good track record of durability, and can easily be matched with a line of backpacks/bags also produced by Camelbak. The Antidote is the flagship product of Camelbak and it has a BPA-free reservoir that comes in three different sizes to match just about any need. The valve is user friendly, effective, and won’t cause you any aggravation. Moderately priced, the Camelbak Antidote offers excellent value and is a simple and highly dependable hydration solution.
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About the Product:

- CamelBak Antidote reservoir has an access port which makes it filling it a breeze, the cap has also been redesigned and is easy to open/close
- Cleaning the reservoir is easy, the port is big enough that you can fit your hand or a toothbrush inside
- Has a Quick Link™ connection system so it’s easy to disconnect the drinking tube if you so desire
- The low-profile fit means leads to comfort and stability
- The Antidote has a built in baffle which is designed to stop water from sloshing all over the place and increasing tension on your back.
- Big Bite™ valve is super easy to use—just bite and swig; HydroLock™ valve shuts off water, making sure you don’t end up with a flood in your pack

Specs:

Size: 18 x 8 x 3.5 inches

Capacity: 70 Oz

BPA- Free: Yes

Material(s) Polyurethane
Pros
  • The large access port makes refilling and cleaning super easy
  • The Quick Link system allows the drinking tube to be easily removed for cleaning
  • Built in baffles reduce sloshing inside the bladder
  • Camelbak's Big Bite valve provide fast flowing hydration
Cons
  • The large closure may leak some when thrown around, or used under rugged conditions

5. Hydrapack First Wave Water Bladder

5. Hydrapack First Wave Water Bladder
To each one of those athletes occupied with exercises including hieghts,speed and an high state of physical effort in extraordinary conditions, you will require a particular gear in respect of or for your body's hydration. To specify, the best, is a hydrapak first wave water bladder to go with you in whatever extraordinary conditions you are presented to. It is more than a repository
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About the product.
Hydrapak is the Original First Wave Military Water Reservoir. It conveys an amount of up to 1liter of water or more. The change in its plan is progressive contrasted with other ordinary drinking systems.This sort is novel based since it has just a single crease on it which makes it hearty yet exceptionally unique.It has a bladder which is twice as thick and as harder than typical bladders.

The water bladder is intended for most extraordinary states of exercises and operations. Its dependability, adaptability and solidness highlights makes it a definitive water stockpiling framework in the market for intense operations. The US Military uses this stockpiling and conveyance framework for extraordinary operations.

Specs.

Capacity:2 Liter/70 -Ounce

BPA Free: Yes

Size:6.75 x 12.25-Inch

Material:Polyurethane.

Pros

·         It is reversible and with an anti-microbial properties to help in cleaning and avoiding bacterial infections.

·         It is durable and built for a lifetime of tough use.

·         It can be frozen or filled with water of up to a maximum temperatures of 170F/77°C

·         It also contains a No- Leak lifetime guarantee.

·         It has been tested and used by the US Military.Which makes it best for harsh environs.

 

Cons

Most users complain of the hose connection problem,sometimes it comes bigger or smaller.you have to check to avoid such instances.

6. GoFriend Outdoor Hydration Bladder

6. GoFriend Outdoor Hydration Bladder
It is a high quality bladder great for any outdoor activities that one can engage in including,running,walking,cycling hiking among others.it has a capacity that goes upto 3 litres.it fits so well in any backpack this makes you stay hydrated during all your adventures.
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About Product.
It has a foldable design which makes it easy to carry around,it has the antibacterial material that is good for use at any given time, its dual opening design allows you to clean and fill at any given conditions, it has the self lock feature that makes it easy to dissemble when cleaning and storing or sometimes when you need to replace its parts. Can easily fit into pocket and can store water at a cool temperature in case it is very hot.

Specs.

Size: 15.94*7.87 inches / 40.5 x 20cm

Capacity: 3L/100oz

BPA Free: Yes

Material:Food grade EVA.
Pros

·         Its foldable design makes it easy to carry around even in your pockets.

·         Easy to clean due to its self lock feature,that makes its easy to dissemble.

·         Its dual opening makes it easy to fill at any given condition.

·         Can keep water upto -20 degrees cold in a hot weather ,you feel right at home with it in any activity.

 

Cons

Can develop leaks when the hose is not well tightened to the bladder.

7. Freemove

7. Freemove
If you love running extra miles but you’re running out of water, Freemove hydration bladder. The TPU material here is antimicrobial and it’s the highest quality material. This bladder doesn’t change the taste of water, like some bladders do. It is also BPA free and FDA approved. There’s special mouthpiece and all you need to do is press the on/ off button.
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About the Product:

The bladder is made from neoprene which can regulate the temperature and the water doesn’t heat very much so you can enjoy cool water even if it’s very hot. It has special antilock system so no worries about licking. The water flow is very fast and the drinking is very simple. There’s also cap to prevent any dirt to get inside of the bladder. Many runners appreciated special cleaning kit delivered with the bladder. Runners said that it was very helpful to clean the bladder. There are also special drying supporters that help your bladder to dry faster.

Specs:

Size: 36 x 15cm / 14,1 x 5,9 inch size (when it is full)

Capacity: 2 liter / 70 oz

BPA Free: Yes

Material: Neoprene, TPU
Pros

It can be used for many different sports and you can easily wear it in your backpack

There’s special lifetime guarantee

In the package, there are also special instructions how to fight the potential odor and bad taste

Special measuring scale will show you how much water do you have

Cons

Some runners complained that it leaks but it’s very rare

8. OutGear

8. OutGear
Here with go with OutGear bladder. This is the next bladder that is very durable so you can take it even on the most demanding race. It has many features that are worth checking so let’s do it.
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About the Product:

This product has very high pressure tolerance. The drinking tube is detachable and at the end of it, there’s bite valve that makes drinking much more easier. We can’t talk about any unpleasant aftertaste here. Like many other products on our list, it’s BPA free and it has FDA approval. The filling hole is also quiet large so you can easily fill it with water. This also means that the product is very easy to clean. It works the best in temperatures -20 to 50 degrees.

Specs:

Size: 16.2 x 6.7 inches

Capacity: 2 liters

BPA Free: Yes

Material: EVA material
Pros

Many runners said that there was no leaking during usage

The construction of the bladder is very solid

It's veary asy to clean

Cons

The flow could be a little bit faster

9. Cherainti

9. Cherainti
Cherainti may not be the best known brand on our list but their hydration bladder is totally worth recommending. Even when you run in hard conditions, this bladder is very durable and it tolerate pressure very well. For greater durability, there’s special sealing side technique.
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About the Product:

The mouthpiece was specially designed for easy sipping. The opening of the bladder is also very large, it’s easy to fill the bladder with water. Don’t worry about the taste, it doesn’t leave any bad taste. If you want really cold water, you can put inside ice cubes. This product is BPA free FDA and SGS certified. The material maintain the water very fresh and prevents any bacteria. The wather conditions doesn’t make a change- this bladder works perfect from -20 to 50 degrees celcius. It is very easy in use but at the same time, it has special cover to keep all the dirt out. There’s also money back guarantee.

Specs:

Size: L 14.2'' x W 6.8

Capacity: 2 liters

BPA Free: Yes

Material: environmental friendly materials
Pros

It is compatible most hydration packs

Measuring scale let you know about water level

Really praised for wide opening and easy cleaning

Cons

Some runners said that it's less than 2 liters

12. Geigerrig Hydration Engine

12. Geigerrig Hydration Engine
This particular hydration bladder is the perfect option for anyone who lives a super active lifestyle, and who loves to just grab their gear and go. With extremely strong nylon reinforcement, this bladder is designed to last. It's also easy to clean and holds enough water for even your most challenging long-distance runs. The dishwasher safe design prevents the growth of bacteria and helps to keep the Geigerrig Hydration Engine ready to use!
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About the Product:
-3L Capacity
-Wide mouth and slide top for refills on the go
-Dishwasher safe and reversible
-Comes with a lifetime warranty
-Has a spray feature to cool you down
-Filter compatible
Specs:
Size: 16L x 7W in.
12L x 7W in.
Weight: 0.2 lbs.
0.25 lbs.
Materials: Polyvinyl Chloride
Pros
  • Easy to fill
  • Easy to use
  • Dishwasher safe/no bacteria growth
  • Easy to clean
  • Durable
Cons
  • Some runners prefer less pressure

11. Camelbak 3L Crux Resevoir

11. Camelbak 3L Crux Resevoir
This is a stylish addition to any runner's gear. Camelbak has already made a name for itself in the world of hydration, but their new innovations keep bringing it back to the top of the product list. Their newest offering provides runners up to 20-precent more water with each sip and allows you to open and close the tube with a simple valve. The ease of use combined with their patented Hydroguard technology to increase sterilization makes this one of the best options on the market. If you love going to the distance and need a hydration bladder that can handle every mile and bump in the road, then it doesn't get much better than this!
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About the product:
-Patented hydroguard technology prevents bacterial growth
-Easy to clean and sterilize
-Wide mouth design makes it easy to fill on the go
-20% more water per sip than their original design
-Durable lightweight materials
-Easy to manipulate valve for quick hose control
-Specs:
Size: 46 x 23 x 8 cm / 18 x 9 x 3 in
Capacity: 3L/100 fl oz
Weight: 235 g / 8 oz
Materials: Polyurethane
Pros
  • 20% more liquid per sip
  • Durable and lightweight
  • Ease of use
  • Easy to fill
  • Easy to use valve on hose
Cons
  • Too bulky and unforgiving

10. Crystal Creek Hydration Bladder

10. Crystal Creek Hydration Bladder
Crystal Creek is a smaller brand in the hydration bladder market, but they are a brand dedicated to customer service. Normally we like to gauge a product by its quality alone but so many users of Crystal Creek’s hydration bladder users noted the exceptional service that we decided it was worth mentioning. Aside from their customer care, the other point of exception with Crystal Creek is its quality insulation. The bladder has been known to keep liquids cold for four hours or more. Even the hose is insulted, so that any water within it will keep its temperature as well. Crystal Creek’s bladder is also easy to fill and easy to clean. The problem with plastic taste in the water is said to be nonexistent or ,at the very least, it will fade quickly. Some users have had durability issues with parts of the hydration bladder, but Crystal Creek was quick to address and replace any parts needed. This is a quality hydration bladder from a quality company.
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About the product:
-Large opening and detachable tube makes it easy to clean and fill
-Dishwasher safe
-All aspects of design are improved and insulted to preserve the temperature of the water
- A double reinforced sleeve for a no leak guarantee
- Money back satisfaction guarantee

Specs:
Size: 17.5 inches x 9 inches x 1 inches
Capacity: 3 liters
BPA free
Pros
  • Well insuled, including the hose
  • Excellent customer service
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to fill
  • Clear plastic makes it easy to know when it needs to be cleaned 
  • Plastic taste fades/ is nonexistent
Cons
  • Cap sealing issue
  • Some durability issues

 

 

Criteria of Selection

Hydration bladders are a relatively new invention for the athletic and outdoorsy communities. They’ve been around since the 90s and offer athletes a hands-free way to access water while they’re in the middle of a run or some other activity. Many of these actually resemble backpacks that utilize a drinking straw that gives the athlete an easy way to get a drink on the go. Hydration bladders differ from the standard water bladder in the fact that they offer a straw or hose that allows a runner a hands-free way to stay hydrated. A regular water bladder simply attaches somewhere on your person and will still need to be detached and opened in order for you to drink from it. Many runners prefer the hands-free apparatus to the one that requires more attention.

Having the best hydration bladder is very important not only to runners but also to athletes who engage in various sporting activities. That’s why we make sure to give you information on the best hydration packs on the market. We looked at several factors when we were looking at the different hydration bladders from different brands, these features include:

Size and Compatability 

The major thing to think about is whether the bladder will be a good fit with the compartment found in the backpack. Most bladders have similar shapes however they have little variations. The most important factor is the size. Almost all the bladders come in sizes of 2 and 3-liter capacities, though some are closer to 1 liter. The best bladder to use would be the 3-liter bladders since they cost similar to the other bladders (1 and 2 liters), the 3- liter bladder will offer more water capacity. Though the bladder will have to be refilled. it’s not appropriate for small packs as it won’t fit. If you need something that is more versatile, opt for a larger bladder, for those who look for bladders for specific purposes, go for a bladder that will suit your pack. Though larger bladders usually work fine, it never hurts to purchase the size that works best for you.

A 1 or 1.5 Liter bladder: They are perfect for minimalists with regards to size, preferred by kids and commuters. It is preferred for trail runs and quick hikes.

A 2 Liter bladder: This is the most popular type/ option. They are best for skiing, hiking or snowboarding. Perfect for those who don’t like filling up the bladder frequently. It offers a good amount of fluid/ water for the day.

A 3 Liter bladder: They are the most versatile bladder of all. It is perfect for athletes who don’t want frequent refills and tend to need water in large amounts. This capacity of this hydration bladder offers you the option of having little or plenty of water.

Profile of the Bladder

The profile of the bladder is crucial and refers to the size and shape of the apparatus. Some bladders have narrow profiles while others have wider profiles. Some bladders become fat or flat when filled with water. Before buying a bladder it is good to consider take the hydration pack. Bladders that are compatible with packs have built in sleeves. Check the sleeve to know how narrow and wide the sleeve is, this will help you to determine the type of bladder to pick from. The most ideal profile of bladders tends to be long and narrow because they fit into many hydration packs.

Different Types of Openings

When considering the type of bladder opening on your hydration bladder, you should consider the ease of filling the bladder, the filling environment, and how easy it is to open or close the bladder opening. There are 3 types of openings of typical water bladders: Screw cap, Fold Top or Zip Top

Fold Top Opening

With the folding top opening the tops part flips up, then folds over; then once they are folded over, slide the closure over on the top, this prevents the bag from experiencing leaks. It is the best bladder opening if you have to fill up your bladder when filling up in streams or any other outdoor water points especially where there are limited resources. It is easy to wash and clean, especially when it’s turned inside out.

Zip Top Opening

This bladder opening is similar to the folding top with a few marked differences. These platters utilized a zip locking system to make sure that their free of leaks and to make access a little bit easier. Many runners trade the ease-of-use for the time that it takes to fill them up. They take a little bit longer to arrange and to close afterward. Many runners recommend these four regular faucets or slow flowing water sources. One of the biggest differences is the way that these bladders have to be cleaned. The zip top bladder will need to be brushed out and can’t be turned inside out to sterilize the inside. This means that it takes a little bit longer to sanitize than other models.

Screw Top Opening

These bladders tend to take more time when opening and closing than both the zip top and fold top bladders. When looking for a shallower bladder basin, these are a much better option. These are perfect for camping trips, long trail hikes, and for long-distance runners who have the ability to fill them up at resources that are easier to access. They can also be filled to capacity, unlike bladders with other types of openings. Although, it’s always a good idea to leave a small amount of air under the cap to make sure that they don’t spill or leak on the go.

Bite Valve Size

The size of the bite valves is different and varies in type. Most will feature the locking mechanism. Some valves are bigger in size, while other valves tend to be smaller. The size determines how hard or easy you will suck water from the bladder, via the tubes. In summary, this means that large bite valves are harder to suck fluid via the tubes (if you don’t have the pressurized system). Small valves are sufficient, even though they cannot offer a large water flow, which is provided using medium valves. Medium valves are usually preferred by runners.

For the locking mechanisms, we have 2 types which are: switch and turn the valve. But the switch mechanism tends to be most preferred because it is easier to use and clean while doing some workout or exercising sessions. Turn valve is fairly hard in terms of use and might get stuck when sugary drinks are stored in them and cleaning was not done properly. This is not a big deal, because most bladders will have an interchangeable tube & valve options. Therefore, if you like a different type of tube or valve but want to keep the reservoir, then simply have it changed out.

Ease of Cleaning

Cleaning the bladders can be difficult. Many hydration bladders will have parts that are difficult to clean and dry; this makes it a good place for bacteria to grow. Bladders vary in cleaning difficulty. For those who only put water into their bladders, frequent cleaning of the bladder is not necessary. But for those who use sugary drinks, you have to make sure there is no sugar residue in the bladder during cleaning. There are 3 main parts to clean: the mouthpiece, the bladder, and the hose. When buying your bladder, take into consideration how hard or easy it will be to clean it. Look for bladders with wider mouths, as this will allow you to easily flip it inside out. Then easily fit your brush inside, for a more thorough cleaning. Make sure that you are able to carefully disassemble your bladder (the hose & mouth piece) with no difficulty. Most bladders will have a mechanism that is quick-release which allows the hose to be disconnected easily.

Pressurized System or Non-Pressurized System

A pressurized system in a hydration bladder will have two chambers. The first one is for water and the other for air. By using a pressure pump, you are supposed to blow the air up so that you have a reservoir that is pressurized. Water will come out of the bite valve minus any sucking. The real advantage of pressurized systems: they make use easy when working out. Also, they are able to keep the tubes cleaner and free of any bacteria. They also need fewer cleaning sessions. Nevertheless, if you use sugary drinks in the bladder, you will need to clean the tubes whether it’s a pressurized system or a non-pressurized system. This is because sugar residues need intense flushing, using soap, brush and warm water; to come out.

Hose Compatability

Look for a release mechanism that is quick and it ought to be vertically oriented. Most of the hydration hoses tend to connect to the bladder using a quick release mechanism, which eases the opening and closing process of the bladder.  Most manufacturers will use a similar system which has maximum compatibility; you have the bite valve or hose replaced with models you like. Though you will find some bladders with mechanisms which are oriented horizontally, having a specific attachment. When another model of the hose is plugged in (orientated vertically), it will stick out. Normally on the side of the bladder instead of it sitting up & down in the bladder. This will interfere with the durability of the bladder. Make sure there is maximum compatibility.

 Further Criteria
Daily Intake of Water

In general its highly recommended that we take  17-25 oz. of water per hour for hydration during endurance activities. The range is dependent on the air temperature and your exertion level. We generally take 18 oz. an hour for most activities (more when it gets hot). Based off this metric, you can determine how much water you should plan to carry (if there are no water sources to fill up).

Winter Use

When the temperature drops below the freezing point, there are chances that the water inside the bladder will freeze, even at the mouth piece and hydration tube. To avoid this make sure that you blow the water back, then clear the bladder’s’ hose after every sip of water you take. Or better get tubes that are made specifically for the winter season, they cover the hose part with neoprene. This acts as an insulator of the hose, preventing the water from freezing.

Sizing
  • Common Sizing – Most hydration bladders use a similar shape but they all vary a little bit. More important is the size. Almost all bladders come in two-liter and three-liter sizes, and some come in even smaller sizes (1 liter = 33.8 ounces or a little more than a quart). The best one to use is the 3L hydration bladders because compared to 1L and 2L bladders they are about the same price and weight but give you 50 percent more water.
  • Preferred Size – The best one to use is the 3L hydration bladders because compared to 1L and 2L bladders they are about the same price and weight but give you 50 percent more water. Though a larger hydration bladder is perfect, it’s good to check which size is best for you:
    1 Liter (or 1.5L): A great size for minimalists, commuters, or kids. It’s perfect for quick hikes and trail runs, or if you intend on filling up often on the trail (if you’re out for a day or more).2 Liter: The most popular option. This is best for those taking off for a day hike, ski, or snowboard into the back-country. If you’re not a fan of constantly filling up, this is a great option. It provides a sufficient amount of water for most of the day (depending on how thirsty you are!)3 Liter: The most versatile of all sizes. This is perfect for those who don’t plan on filling up or are in need of a lot of water. This size of hydration bladder size gives one option of carrying a lot or a little water.

It is very important that you practice good hygiene, cleaning your reservoir consistently, and caring for it properly after use. Cleaning instructions are as follows:

  • Start with hot (almost boiling) water then add bleach/baking soda (2 tablespoons).  Mix this solution thoroughly inside. Hold the bladder up just above your forehead as you continue applying pressure to the bladder’s bite valve, make sure the solution runs via the tub also.
  • Allow the bladder’s reservoir and the cleaning mixture soak for roughly 30 minutes
  • Rinse the reservoir using hot water together with non-chemical soap. Be certain you’ve cleaned all the bleach before resuming use. You may also take a toothbrush (or other small brush) and gently scrub the interior of the  bladder’s reservoir
  • Once you are sure the bladder’s reservoir is thoroughly clean, make sure you air dry so that no moisture ends up trapped inside the bladder. Sometimes stuffing clean rags inside can help to this end.

 

FAQ

We have done some extra research, looking into what many other were asking when searching for similar products. As a result, we have put together a few frequently asked questions which might be helpful in your search.

Q. What is the Difference Between Hydration Bladders and a Water Bladders?

A. Hydration bladders and water bladders are similar enough, the key difference being that a hydration bladder is designed to make drinking easy while on the move, usually with a hose, where a standard water bladder is meant for general water storage in situations where clean water is limited, like when camping.

Q. What size should I get?

A. Most hydration bladders use a similar shape but they all vary a little bit. More important is the size. Almost all bladders come in two-liter and three-liter sizes, and some come in even smaller sizes (1 liter = 33.8 ounces or a little more than a quart). The best one to use is the 3L hydration bladders because compared to 1L and 2L bladders they are about the same price and weight but give you 50 percent more water.

The best one to use is the 3L hydration bladders because compared to 1L and 2L bladders they are about the same price and weight but give you 50 percent more water. Though a larger hydration bladder is perfect, it’s good to check which size is best for you:
1 Liter (or 1.5L): A great size for minimalists, commuters, or kids. It’s perfect for quick hikes and trail runs, or if you intend on filling up often on the trail (if you’re out for a day or more).

2 Liter: The most popular option. This is best for those taking off for a day hike, ski, or snowboard into the back-country. If you’re not a fan of constantly filling up, this is a great option. It provides a sufficient amount of water for most of the day (depending on how thirsty you are!)

3 Liter: The most versatile of all sizes. This is perfect for those who don’t plan on filling up or are in need of a lot of water. This size of hydration bladder size gives one option of carrying a lot or a little water.

Q. How do you effectively clean a hydration bladder?

A. It is very important that you practice good hygiene, cleaning your reservoir consistently, and caring for it properly after use. Cleaning instructions are as follows:

  • Start with hot (almost boiling) water then add bleach/baking soda (2 tablespoons).  Mix this solution thoroughly inside. Hold the bladder up just above your forehead as you continue applying pressure to the bite valve, make sure the solution runs via the tub also.
  • Allow the bladder’s reservoir and the cleaning mixture soak for roughly 30 minutes
  • Rinse with hot water together with non-chemical soap. Be certain you’ve cleaned all the bleach before resuming use. You may also take a toothbrush (or other small brush) and gently scrub the interior of the  bladder’s reservoir
  • Once you are sure the reservoir is clean, make sure you air dry so that no moisture ends up trapped inside the bladder. Sometimes stuffing clean rags inside can help to this end.

Q. How often should I clean it?

A. As we always recommend, its good to read the specific care instructions for any product or gear you buy. On that note, you shouldn’t need to wash the bladder too frequently. Additionally, if you are still noticing a chemical taste in your water it may be good to increase your frequency of washes in order to rid the bladder of the taste.

Q. How much should you plan to drink daily?

A. In general its highly recommended that we take  17-25 oz. of water per hour for hydration during endurance activities. The range is dependent on the air temperature and your exertion level. We generally take 18 oz. an hour for most activities (more when it gets hot). Based off this metric, you can determine how much water you should plan to carry (if there are no water sources to fill up).

Q. Can I drink other liquids from it besides water?

A.Strong flavored drinks or anything that can leave a residue behind, like a drink mix powder, will leave a lingering flavor in the bag. So yes you can, but the question is whether you should. If you don’t have a problem tasting your leftover cherry drink during a 5k, then go for it.

Q. How should I store my bladder when it’s not in use?

A. Make sure that it is completely dry, roll it up and stow it in the freezer. This will ensure nothing can grow in it. If you’ve got limited freezer space anywhere dry will do.

Q. Where can I buy quality hydration bladders?

A. You can purchase quality bladders on any sporting equipment retail store and also in online stores.


Here are some sources we used while conducting our research:

Sources

  1. Running Competitor, How to Properly Clean a Hydration Bladder , Sporting Website,
  2. Bicycling, The Best Ways to Clean a Hydration Pack Bladder, Sporting Website,
  3. Backapacker, Cleaning a Hydration Bladder, Sporting Website,
  4. Seal Grinder Pt, Top 10 Hydration Bladders, Fitness Website,
  5. Basque MTB, Hydration Bladder Reviews: Camelbak, Dakine and Osprey, Sporting Website,
  6. Survival Mastery, Best Hydration Bladder: How To Choose The Right Hydration Unit, Consumer Website,