to top 10 table

Best Hydration Backpacks Reviewed & Rated

last updated Apr 18, 2019

Hydration backpacks are more than just bags with a water cooler built in. Over the years they have even replaced some smaller consumer bags, offering extra space where needed. Depending on what you use them for, the designs will play a large role in which one will get maximum usage. With choices for casual, hobbyists and professional users, the choices continue to grow. Whether you need one for your next adventure or just something convenient while hiking and enjoying the outdoors, our list of top models on the market is sure to have the perfect fit for you. Our criteria and frequently asked question section will help guide you if you have any questions!

In a Hurry? The test winner after 14 hrs of research

icon
Teton Sports Oasis 1100
98.8/100 our score
Comfort
98
Durability
99
Capacity
100
Features
98
Brand
99
Teton Sports Oasis 1100
Why is it better?

Limited lifetime warranty

The most space of any bag on the list

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Teton Sports Oasis 1100
Test Winner: Teton Sports Oasis 1100
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
15
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
12450
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
14
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
15
Products Evaluated
Sorting Options
Comfort Durability Capacity Features Brand By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.8
Comfort
98 %
Durability
99 %
Capacity
100 %
Features
98 %
Brand
99 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.08.19)
Amazon Link
$37.89
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.4
Comfort
98 %
Durability
97 %
Capacity
90 %
Features
98 %
Brand
99 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.08.19)
Amazon Link
$21.24
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.8
Comfort
92 %
Durability
95 %
Capacity
99 %
Features
97 %
Brand
96 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.08.19)
Amazon Link
$29.95
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.8
Comfort
98 %
Durability
95 %
Capacity
94 %
Features
96 %
Brand
96 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.08.19)
Amazon Link
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95
Comfort
95 %
Durability
98 %
Capacity
92 %
Features
95 %
Brand
95 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.08.19)
Amazon Link
$35.99
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94
Comfort
93 %
Durability
93 %
Capacity
95 %
Features
94 %
Brand
95 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.08.19)
Amazon Link
$39.99
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.8
Comfort
96 %
Durability
90 %
Capacity
92 %
Features
93 %
Brand
93 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.08.19)
Amazon Link
$12.99
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.8
Comfort
97 %
Durability
92 %
Capacity
85 %
Features
91 %
Brand
94 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.08.19)
Amazon Link
$29.95
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.8
Comfort
88 %
Durability
93 %
Capacity
88 %
Features
80 %
Brand
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.08.19)
Amazon Link
$23.99
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.6
Comfort
90 %
Durability
87 %
Capacity
80 %
Features
78 %
Brand
88 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.08.19)
Amazon Link
$42.29
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Teton Sports Oasis 1100 Teton Sports Oasis 1100
  • Teton Sports Trailrunner Teton Sports Trailrunner
  • Sports Imagery-Hydration Sports Imagery-Hydration
  • OutdoorsmanLab OutdoorsmanLab
  • Unigear Tactical Hydration Pack Unigear Tactical Hydration Pack
  • High Sierra Propel 70 High Sierra Propel 70
  • Wacool Waterproof Bladder Pack Wacool Waterproof Bladder Pack
  • InnerFit Hydration InnerFit Hydration
  • Mubasel Gear Mubasel Gear
  • CamelBak 2016 Hydrobak CamelBak 2016 Hydrobak
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Expert Interviews & Opinions
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

BEST HYDRATION BACKPACKS REVIEWED & RATED

1. Teton Sports Oasis 1100

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.8
Teton Sports Oasis 1100
Amazon Link
Comfort
98
Durability
99
Capacity
100
Features
98
Brand
99
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$37.89
Pros:

Limited lifetime warranty

The most space of any bag on the list

Cons:

Very bulky

One of the best on the list is the Oasis 1100, one of the premiere bags from the Teton Sports lineup. This is the best you could possibly buy when you want a bit of everything in one bag.

Read more

Feature Rich

Having a lot of the best extras in one bag works out really well, and every included feature seems useful. Notable inclusions are the weather guard, butterfly opening, bungee cord system, and large pockets.

Features and Specifications

2 liter hydration bladder
Push lock bite valve

Cost and Value

All five colors are low priced, with minor variations between them. The value comes from being able to load just about anything in the pack like a normal backpack. There is a lot of space to play around with if you purchase this hydration backpack. And when it comes time to quench your thirst, it fulfills that role just fine.

2. Teton Sports Trailrunner

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.4
Teton Sports Trailrunner
Amazon Link
Comfort
98
Durability
97
Capacity
90
Features
98
Brand
99
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$21.24
Pros:

Available in 5 different colors

Lots of safety features built-in

Cons:

Plastic taste from the bladder until it is fully broken in

Teton Sports makes the list with their Trailrunner, a product that works as good as it looks. As one of the leaders in the industry, it’s only fitting that they make it in the top three.

Read more

Limited Lifetime Warranty

Teton Sports backs its products with this warranty, with an excellent customer service line. If something goes wrong, you won’t have to go through hoops to resolve the problem.

Features and Specifications

Weighs 0.9 pounds
2-liter hydration bladder

Cost and Value

All of the colors are the same price, and it has the same great value as other Teton Sports products. This is a real winner from top to bottom when you compare it to the others on the list. Buying from one of the best brands in the industry is always a smart choice. This is a hydration pack that is built for the long haul and has a warranty attached to back that up.

3. Sports Imagery-Hydration

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.8
Sports Imagery-Hydration
Amazon Link
Comfort
92
Durability
95
Capacity
99
Features
97
Brand
96
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$29.95
Pros:

Lifetime warranty

Plenty of space

Cons:

Bulky

There is a lot more meat to this hydration backpack than the others, for better or for worse. It has been reviewed favorably by many satisfied users, with praises for having more space.

Read more

One Size Fits All

Not only is it one of the bigger backpacks on the list, but it is also a universal fit for chest sizes of 27-50 inches. This is the first large volume backpack on the list, with more than enough room for all of your accessories.

Features and Specifications

Dimensions of 18x12x6.5
10-liter hydration bladder

Cost and Value

The price is low, even with this being one of the larger packs on the list. Buyers that need space will get the most value out of this backpack. With the extra bulk working as a pro and a con, users will have to decide if they will use all of the space. Even with moderate priorities, you’ll be surprised at how much space can be utilized with this backpack.

4. OutdoorsmanLab

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.8
OutdoorsmanLab
Amazon Link
Comfort
98
Durability
95
Capacity
94
Features
96
Brand
96
best offer for today
Amazon Link
Pros:

Absorbs shock and keeps dry

Lots of large pockets

Cons:

Only two colors

Being able to count on this hydration backpack from OutdoorsmanLab isn’t too hard when you consider the core features. While taking things to a new level this product also keeps the weight low.

Read more

Great Water Bladder

The included 50-ounce food grade water bladder is big enough to last all day without needing a refill. It’s FDA approved, and leak proof so beverages aren’t wasted.

Features and Specifications

Adjustable shoulder/chest straps
Breathable mesh

Cost and Value

Both colors are the same low price, so buyers can pick and choose whichever style they want. The bottle is the selling point of this backpack so there is value in that alone. There are good backpacks, and there are great backpacks in the hydration industry. This is right between the two, with the included bottle being one of the greatest additions on the list.

5. Unigear Tactical Hydration Pack

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95
Unigear Tactical Hydration Pack
Amazon Link
Comfort
95
Durability
98
Capacity
92
Features
95
Brand
95
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$35.99
Pros:

600 denier polyester

Hands-free hydration hose

Cons:

Not insulated

Unigear made a hybrid hydration backpack that will appeal to casual users that have never owned one before. They also included enough features in it so that even hardcore users would find it appealing as a purchase.

Read more

Replaceable Bladder

Having a removable bladder helps out a lot when it is the only thing damaged and you need a quick replacement. There is a tremendous upside to this feature and no downside.

Features and Specifications

Fits chest sizes from 27-50 inches
5-liter hydration bladder

Cost and Value

The low price of this product is a pleasure, including the replacement bladder if you need to purchase one. Users that are rough on their packs will find this the most valuable hydration pack on the list. There are two colors to choose from and endless options with this hydration backpack. With enough time to customize it, buyers will get the deal of a lifetime.

6. High Sierra Propel 70

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94
High Sierra Propel 70
Amazon Link
Comfort
93
Durability
93
Capacity
95
Features
94
Brand
95
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$39.99
Pros:

Fantastic design in all colors

Easy to fill

Cons:

No chest strap

A nice sense of style and good materials round out some of the better features of this hydration pack. With all of the basics included, this turns into a great choice for buyers that want a quality product.

Read more

Rich Color Choices

A lot of people will take a look at these hydration packs and admire the design. There are five available colors, all with distinct tastes in mind.

Features and Specifications

Nylon material with mesh
Five total pockets

Cost and Value

For what can be considered a great starter hydration backpack, the price is low. Buyers that need the most minimal of features will get a great deal. Some users have this as the main pack while others use it as a backup. No matter your preference, this bag will do the job just fine.

7. Wacool Waterproof Bladder Pack

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.8
Wacool Waterproof Bladder Pack
Amazon Link
Comfort
96
Durability
90
Capacity
92
Features
93
Brand
93
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$12.99
Pros:

Airflow system keeps backpack dry

Good nylon material

Cons:

The mouthpiece is prone to dripping

The Wacool hydration backpack is exactly what buyers need on a long trip. With a lot of extra accessories that aren’t available in other hydration packs, it gets a leg up on the competition.

Read more

Built For All Weather Conditions

Along with being waterproof, the backpack is also anti-scratch. This turns out to be quite a formidable product when you take it through the punishment test.

Features and Specifications

Double layer design
2-liter water bladder

Cost and Value

Following the lead of the other products on the list, this is also another low priced choice. Available in 3 colors, you’ll be able to find one that matches your style the most. Buyers can consider this a good deal if they value tough bags. Even if hydration backpacks aren’t known for their durability, this one stands out more than most.

8. InnerFit Hydration

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.8
InnerFit Hydration
Amazon Link
Comfort
97
Durability
92
Capacity
85
Features
91
Brand
94
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$29.95
Pros:

Can fit up to an 11-inch laptop

Comfortable to wear for hours at a time

Cons:

Waist straps are unnecessary

Another option on the list is the Oasis 1100, one of the premiere bags from the Teton Sports lineup. This is the best you could possibly buy when you want a bit of everything in one bag.

Read more

The Perfect Fit

With a fit size from 27 inches to 50 inches, teenagers and adults will have a use for this hydration backpack. As a bonus, it’s also comfortable and won’t rub your shoulders while you wear it.

Features and Specifications

Replaceable 50 ounce bladder
Water resistant

Cost and Value

This is another on the list that rocks the low price point, with extra attention going to the replaceable bladder. There’s always value in that since it saves you money from repurchasing the whole bag. With so many people having good things to say about this hydration pack, it’s a hard purchase to pass up. Fitting both teens and adults, the universal fit is one of the better ones available.

9. Mubasel Gear

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.8
Mubasel Gear
Amazon Link
Comfort
88
Durability
93
Capacity
88
Features
80
Brand
90
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$23.99
Pros:

High quality nylon

Ice cubes can be added to hydration bladder

Cons:

Straps rub shoulders sometimes

This sometimes hard to find hydration pack from Mubasel Gear makes its place on the list with some really cool features. The FDA approved hydration backpack is more than just looks and is a functional jack of all trades.

Read more

Storage Compartments

While the storage compartments on hydration backpacks can sometimes be an afterthought, it’s not the case here. They are roomy and placed in an area that’s easy to reach from any angle.

Features and Specifications

2-liter hydration bladder
Weighs 0.77 pounds

Cost and Value

Like all the other items on the list, this one bears a low price. The value is pretty high if you want an extra wide hydration bladder opening. This is a bit of a standout on the list, and one that you’ll be using for many years. This applies to cycling, climbing and other big-time sports.

10. CamelBak 2016 Hydrobak

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.6
CamelBak 2016 Hydrobak
Amazon Link
Comfort
90
Durability
87
Capacity
80
Features
78
Brand
88
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$42.29
Pros:

Comes in five different colors

Lightest bag on the list

Cons:

Pocket is small

When the bare minimum is what you need, a good choice becomes the 2016 Hydrobak. It’s been featured in magazines as a must-have pack in the industry.

Read more

Minimalist Design

The barebones look and feel of the back are fantastic when you don’t want to lug around extra weight. You’ll barely notice it’s there, and still, get the extra benefits of a hydration backpack.

Features and Specifications

210 nylon
1 exterior pocket

Cost and Value

Depending on which color you get the price will fluctuate, but still remains low. This is a good value for cyclists or other users that need as low a weight as possible. Good materials and a very attractive overall weight make this a winner for many users. As a bonus it holds a nice amount of fluids, so you won’t run out anytime soon.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Comfort

A proper fit is critical. That’s obvious the moment you start sticking external objects on to your body. This is especially true when you’re running or participating in a long distance physical activity. A proper hydration pack will fill the contours of the human body accurately and allow adjustments with straps, buckles, etc. Make sure to check if there are adequate adjusting points for the straps that hold the pack to your body. If it’s a solid strap design, it's likely a cheap knock-off and will be a pain trying to deal with it bouncing around on you. Rashes and irritation are common with improper fitting packs. On the other hand, a pack that fits too tight in any area will restrict blood flow, and, well, that’s a whole other article and problem.

Durability

Durability is an important factor to consider, especially if you plan on using it in rougher environments. Considering that it will be holding liquid, the material needs to be able to hold it without leaking and at the same time remain comfortable against your back. The outside of the backpack also needs to be made with material that will be able to withstand snags and bumps as well as different weather. Check out reviews from other customers and see what they also had to say about the product's durability. After all, you should get your money's worth!

Capacity

Depending on your particular venture with the hydration pack, the liquid volume adequate for the task will differ. Most of the time, you will see long distance runners utilizing 3 liters (or in that range) packs. They will be carrying much less liquid than someone with a 15-liter hydration pack but the more hardcore you are, the likeliness that you understand the need for less weight and rationing is much higher. What I mean to say is less weight equals less energy spent. The right balance is key.

Features

There are many useful features that may go un-noticed so I’ll take this time to highlight some things we really liked about hydration backpacks we’ve tried. Your hydration pack will come with a bladder that holds the liquids. From this bladder, there is a tube that feeds the water into your mouth. The quick-disconnect feature on these tube components is very handy. It makes cleaning as simple as can be and allows for extensions. Our suggestion is to shy away from bladders that lack in this regard.

You will also do well to pay attention to the mouth that allows feeding water into the bladder component. A wide mouth is much better and much more practical. It will save you time and effort compared to trying to fill a narrow-mouthed bladder. Hydration backpacks allow for interchangeable bladders so if you find yourself with a great hydration pack but the bladder is less than adequate, don’t panic. Just find a replacement bladder that works for you. You don’t need to buy a different pack. Most bladders are crack resistant and allow freezing, but they will break over time. We do not recommend freezing them, but a quality pack will contain a bladder with thermoplastics strong enough for the elements.

Brand

Teton Sports reigns supreme on this list and others, as the company continues to expand its products. The best thing about the company is its limited lifetime guarantee, which is backed by one of the best customer support teams in the industry. Any product from this company deserves special attention since it always lives up to expectations.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
Sort criterias acording to:
Experts Opinion Editors Opinion Users Opinion By Default
Click on a to rate the most important criteria:
#1
ico Comfort
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
#2
ico Durability
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
#3
ico Capacity
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
#4
ico Features
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
#5
ico Brand
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
expert tips icon
Maintenance and Cleaning Tips

The most important thing to keep clean in a hydration bag is the mouthpiece. They usually have advanced features like dust covers and leak-proof designs, but that doesn’t mean you can neglect minor upkeep. Always clean the mouthpiece when you’re done using the pack for the day so that the entire system remains bacteria free.

Choosing The Right Style

What you plan on using it for will make a huge difference in deciding what type of backpack to purchase. There are smaller designs that are meant for the cyclist, then the larger designs for regular outdoor activities. If the only thing you want is to stay hydrated, then a smaller style will work best. Users that want to utilize space in their hydration backpack will end up settling on the bulkier models.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: How are hydration backpacks and ordinary backpacks different?

a:

Hydration packs are small with the focus on one small bladder fit into its minimal design. That’s practically it. Let’s compare that to a day-pack that although can be used as a hydration pack is very much different. A daypack fits all the items that you may take on the trail. A hydration pack is made to follow you in and out quickly, as with trail runs.

q: Where can I buy high-quality hydration backpacks?

a:

Hydration packs can be found in popular retail locations such as REI, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Big 5 and other similar places. If you want it easy, you can save a trip to the store and make a few clicks. Amazon is a popular go-to for products from the best brands. Alternatively, hydration backpacks can be ordered directly from the brand’s website.

q: Is size an important factor?

a:

Yes. Size is extremely important. This is especially true for endurance runners. Size equals weight, and in the long run, any extra or un-needed ounces will take their toll. Not to mention, a bulky, large pack while running isn’t something you want. Hydration packs typically consist of small pockets and one main compartment for the bladder. The bladder will be most of the weight be far when filled.

q: Will The Water Stay Cold?

a:

Only with insulated backpacks. There are also styles that let you drop ice in the bladder, so that may prove to be more valuable than insulation.

q: What Happens When The Bladder Is Punctured?

a:

A punctured bladder is only a big issue if you don’t have a removable model. So if you tend to be rough on your accessories, a brand that offers removable hydration bladders is the best choice.

q: What Liquids Can You Put In A Hydration Backpack?

a:

Water, Gatorade, Propel and other non-carbonated liquids. As a rule, rinse it out after each use and store it in the freezer when you’re not using it since that prevents bacteria growth.