Best Hydration Bladder: How To Choose The Right Hydration Unit

Best Hydration Bladder: How To Choose The Right Hydration Unit

Surprisingly, before the 1990s I would not have heard much about hydration bladders at all, never mind looking for the best hydration bladder that money can buy. It was in the early 1990s that these convenient hydration units were made available commercially.

The amenities provided by a hydration bladder are innumerable, and that is why they are coveted by cyclists, hikers and other athletes who spend a lot of time outdoors. Of course, the main comfort of the hydration bladder is the fact that they offer hands-free access to the necessary water and liquids. Therefore, the athlete, the cyclist, the runner or the hiker can use the hydration bladder at any time, even while exercising without having to stop to do so.

Best Hydration Bladder: How To Choose The Right Hydration Unit

Bladder hydration manufacturers have continued to improve the characteristics of these units with each passing year, so there are many options for those looking to invest in a quality unit.

Backpack compatibility considerations

When you exercise outdoors, it is vital that you remain hydrated and that you consume the correct amount of water. If you are in normal weather conditions and are an average-sized athlete, you will need approximately 20 to 25 ounces of water per hour. If the outdoor conditions are cooler and you are a lighter athlete, you will only need 16 to 18 ounces of water per hour. Finally, in hot weather, heavier athletes require up to 28 ounces of water per hour.

Best Hydration Bladder: How To Choose The Right Hydration Unit

Initially, before you can invest in a hydration bladder, you will need to know what size you need and which bladder will be compatible with your existing backpack. Keep in mind that hydration bladders are, in general, similar in shape, but their size can vary and even with a similar shape you will sometimes notice some variations. The design differences are highly dependent on the manufacturer. The common sizes that hydration bladders can get and include all of the following:

  • 1 liter or 33.8 ounces
  • 2 liters or 67.63 ounces
  • 3 liters or 101.44 ounces

If you want to make the most of your investment, it is better to invest in the largest hydration bladder possible. When you buy the 3 liter bladder, you will pay approximately the same price you would pay for a smaller bladder and you can get almost as much as three times the liquid you would get with a 1 liter unit and almost 50% more. Liquid that you get from the 2-liter option.

Just keep in mind that you should only invest in a 3-liter unit if it really fits in your backpack. Otherwise, you will have a very tight fit in the backpack or buy a new one to accompany the unit: This means an additional cost to make your initial investment.

Bladder hydration styles.

Usually, there are two different styles of hydration bladders that you can choose from when you are looking for an exceptional hydration unit. The option to have before including the hydration units with zipper and top lid. The hydration bladder of the screw cap, of course, allows the user to screw the plug onto the bladder once it is filled with water. In contrast, the zippered top unit looks a lot like storage bags with a zipper closure with units that have additional closure reinforcements.

Best Hydration Bladder: How To Choose The Right Hydration Unit

With either of the two selections, you will find the bladder fairly easy to open and fill. If you are going to fill the unit from a sprue or sink with a shallow container, you will want the screw cap chamber unit, as it can hold the unit diagonally or horizontally when you fill it to the fullest.

If you think you might be filling your outdoor hydration bladder, where you can access fresh spring water, some dripping water or slow movement or near a stream, hydration caps with airtight closure are a better idea. The main advantage of the bladder with a screw cap on its counterpart is the fact that the user is able to fill the unit to the maximum. With bladders with zippers, there is an area for air to avoid spills when closing.

Best Hydration Bladder: How To Choose The Right Hydration Unit

When they were first introduced, hydration bladders were actually hydration packs. Once consumer demand made it evident that these packages were popular, the designers of backpacks began to make bags with compartments for the hydration bladder. Now there are many different bags that allow you to install a hydration bladder. The different designs determine how to insert the straw or configure the shoulder straps and drinking tube.

Loading space and package size.

Hiking: Just as it is important to consider the capacity of the bladder with which it is intended, it is also important to think about the capacity of the cargo space in the backpack to be used with the bladder. The largest backpacks compatible with hydration units have 2,500 cubic inches of cargo space: this equates to approximately 41 liters.

The last type of bag is ideal for overnight excursions. Alternatively, you can combine climbing packages with a bladder while still leaving 1,800 cubic inches of space inside the bag to carry your equipment and personal items: this is equivalent to 29 liters of equipment storage space.

Best Hydration Bladder: How To Choose The Right Hydration Unit

Mountain bike: These types of packages give you a couple of options. You can opt for a lightweight backpack with 100 cubic inches of space compatible with a 3-liter unit or if you want something larger, there are options of up to 23 liters or 1400 cubic inches of space.

In contrast, trail trail waist packs and road bike packs are small and light enough to ensure that wind resistance is minimal and that the package is carried on the user’s back.

Best Hydration Bladder: How To Choose The Right Hydration Unit

If you’re a skier or you like snowboarding, you’ll definitely want to bring extra clothes when you’re outdoors enjoying your favorite sport: if so, you can opt for larger hydration packs along with equally large cargo areas. Or, if you prefer, you can opt for a lightweight bag in a small hydration pack.

For the body’s natural heat, it will help prevent the water from freezing so you can drink it.

Recommend volumes for reservoirs.

The different reservoir options when it comes to hydration bladders are really ideal for specific situations. If you follow the guidelines presented here, you can make sure that the bladder you select meets your hydration needs. Choosing the right size of the reservoir will ensure that you carry only the load you need and that you will have all the water you need during your exercise / play sessions.

Size of the reservoir Recommended uses
1-1.5 liters of hydration bladder

34-50 ounces

Bike rides (recreational and / or short distances). The lighter bladder and bag will ensure easy transport and less wind resistance.

Keep children hydrated while enjoying outdoor activities.

Perfect for the minimalist who wants to deal with the least amount of equipment possible.

Hydration bladder of 2 liters


Hiking: You will work for a night excursion or a day trip.

Running / Running: The correct size so as not to be cumbersome during the exercise.

Cycling at close range: little or no resistance to wind.

Walk at speed / Walk: Provide enough hydration for your walking session.


Hydration bladder of 3 liters

102 ounces

Ideal in hot conditions if you are a heavier athlete.

A must have in a region where water could be limited

It is not recommended for someone who needs a lightweight backpack unless it only partially fills the bladder when it needs less water.

Regardless of the reservoir option you choose, you should know in advance that you only want to use water in your hydration bladder. Juices and soda can clog the unit’s hose in a hurry and are almost impossible to clean. You will also want to refrain from using milk through the sip tube because, again, it causes a problem with cleaning the unit.

Bite valves and sip tubes.

When it comes to drinking water in the hydration bladder, there are two means to do so: through the SIP tubes or bite valves.

With the drill valve, it has a small tube protruding from the bladder that acts as a kind of miniplug. The valve is made of polyurethane or silicone materials. If the bite valve is made of polyurethane materials, it is likely that the valve will produce a slight plastic taste when drinking water, especially when the bladder is newer.

Best Hydration Bladder: How To Choose The Right Hydration Unit

If you invest in bladders equipped with bite and disconnect valves, you will find that these units are much less likely to leak. You can also expect to have to replace the bite valve several times during the lifetime of possession of the hydration bladder. Experts recommend that you allow the inside of the bite valve to dry or remove the bite valve and dry it manually by shaking it.

A short period of time in sunlight can also help. To maintain the longevity of a bite valve, be sure not to bite too much when using the unit.

Some bladders have hoses with a quick release for faster cleaning of the units. The tubes are long enough to wrap around the body, so that the opening of the hose is close to the face and mouth during exercise. There are slots available to place the hose so that it can rest on either shoulder.

Best Hydration Bladder: How To Choose The Right Hydration Unit

There may be a clip that will also help keep the hose in position. Finally, you can also find a series of conditioning features for the winter, such as bite coverage valves, reservoir covers, isolated reservoirs and isolated sip tubes, among the special accessories that accompany some hydration bladders.

On the hydration of bladder pressure.

Some of the hydration bladders in the current market are pressurized and others are not. If the unit is pressurized, it has two bladder chambers. You will use one camera as a manual pump and the other for air. With a pressurized bladder, you can make water come out without having to suck the sip tube.

Keep in mind that hydration bladders do not need to be pressurized to be simple enough to use. Having said that, the benefit of pressurized water while in the open air is innumerable. Pressurized water facilitates the cleaning of things with greater efficiency.

Best Hydration Bladder: How To Choose The Right Hydration Unit

The additional advantages that accompany the pressurized system include the fact that it is easier to keep the tube clean and free of debris: this, of course, does not mean that it can prevent the entry of liquids into the bladder that are not recommended for the unit. If a manufacturer suggests that you refrain from placing sodas, juices, milk or any other drink in the bladder, it is better to listen so as not to risk voiding the product’s warranty. For the advantages you get with a pressurized hydration bladder, you will pay at a higher initial cost.

The system is also heavier than the non-pressurized counterpart. The disadvantage of pressurized systems is that they are heavier, more complex and more expensive. So make sure you really find that the bonuses are worth it.

The best products on the market – reviews

Baen Sendi Hydration Bladder

The Baen Sendi hydration bladder is available in a two or three liter unit. The three-liter unit has a little more price, but you end up getting all that extra space at a considerable value. The bladder costs between $ 12.74 and $ 39.99, depending on where and when you buy it.

Best Hydration Bladder: How To Choose The Right Hydration Unit

The exterior of the hydration unit is military green. The bladder is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because it is manufactured with high quality food grade materials and has antibacterial attributes. Ideal for all enthusiasts of outdoor sports and to use while running, hiking, camping and cycling. Additional features include:

  • A design resistant to pressure.
  • A wear-resistant construction
  • Large openings measuring just over 3.5 inches to facilitate cleaning the unit. The larger openings make it easier for the user to put ice inside the bladder.
  • Manufactured with BPA-free (Bisphenol A), tasteless, odorless, (thermoplastic polyurethane) TPU, environmentally friendly materials.
  • Capable of withstanding water between -20 and 50 degrees Celsius or -4 degrees Fahrenheit at 122 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • The unit is durable and elastic.
  • A dust cover comes with the high flow bite valve
  • The bite valve is equipped with a leak prevention valve switch.
  • Guaranteed for the useful life of the unit.
  • Measures approximately 0.39 x 7.4 x 21.2 inches

If you like this product, you can find it and buy it on Amazon.

ErgaLogik Gravity Hydration Bladder

This unit, the Ergalogik Gravity, is available as a 2 liter bladder and is perfect for cycling, skiing, hiking and running. It has a reasonable price of $ 14.95 and is sold in blue or gray colors. This bladder has been designed by outdoor enthusiasts. The hydration bladder comes with a two-year warranty so you can rest easy knowing you are buying a unit without risk.

Best Hydration Bladder: How To Choose The Right Hydration Unit

Additional features include:

  • A shut-off valve in the nozzle to prevent leaks.
  • Valve system equipped with an automatic locking mechanism that allows disconnection of the tube even if the bladder still contains fluid
  • A unit made of plastic material approved by the FDA and that is free of BPA.
  • Ecological design
  • Insulated tube that is removable for cleaning. It will prevent overheating and freezing of the liquid inside the tube.
  • Measures of 0.79 x 4.72 x 11.81 inches.
  • It weighs a little less than 0.45 ounces

Do you like this amazing product? Then you can check its price here.

WACOOL 2 liter hydration vial

The WACOOL 2-liter hydration bladder is also available in a 100-ounce size. The unit costs between $ 13.99 and $ 29.99 depending on where and when the unit is purchased. This hydration unit is approved by the FDA and is free of BPA.

Best Hydration Bladder: How To Choose The Right Hydration Unit

The unit is available in gray, light blue and green. It measures around 13.4 inches by 7 inches. The entrance to allow water to enter the bladder is approximately 3.5 inches. The tube for drinking water in motion is approximately 39 inches long by 0.4 inches in diameter. Additional features include:

  • Leak-proof structure
  • Switch on / off
  • Fast launch
  • No smell and no taste
  • TPU materials
  • Lightweight at 250 grams
  • Also available in a 3-liter version.
  • 100 percent satisfaction guaranteed
  • Compatible with the CamelBak

If you like this product, you can find and check its price on Amazon.


An investment in one of the best hydration bladders on the market is definitely a smart investment. You get a lot of comforts from a hydration bladder. First, you do not have to interrupt your walk, workout or biking to hydrate.

Second, with water so accessible to you, you are more likely to consume the recommended amount of water you need every day. For a relatively small cost, you can get a hydration bladder that can serve you well while you use it for camping, hiking, biking, jogging, running or other sports activities.

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