Idiot’s Guide To Hydration Packs for Mountain Biking Explained

Mountain biking can be one of the most exhausting pursuits, thus why a hydration pack for mountain biking has become so popular. Since biking, in general, requires a lot of exercise and force from the bicyclist to operate, it’s a no-brainer that hydration packs have become so widespread.

Although hydration packs have become more common in the biking world, there’s a lot of confusion surrounding the subject. Many bike riders aren’t too familiar with what they do, their differences, and much more.

With this in mind, we’re going to take an in-depth look into the subject!

Hydration Pack for Mountain Biking Explained

Hydration Pack for Mountain Biking Explained
Source: rei.com

As noted, we’re going to be discussing everything you’ll need to know about hydration packs for mountain biking. Outside of going over what one does, we’ll discuss water capacity, storage, size, and comfortability.

From there, we’ll highlight men’s and women’s packs, features, and the budget of one. To conclude the article, we’ll discuss a few common questions related to the subject. Nonetheless, let’s get started!

What is a Hydration Pack?

For those of you that don’t know, a hydration pack is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a pack designed to hold water as a way to transport water and allow easy drinking while a bicyclist rides their bike.

Outside of bike riding, anyone involved in the outside world utilizes hydration packs for various reasons. They store more water than a water bottle, can hold more water, are easy to use, and are incredibly affordable.

Basically, a hydration pack makes any particular setting in the outdoors a lot easier. Since the outdoors can be a slightly frightening or overwhelming experience, it makes sense to be so heavily used.

Since mountain biking requires a ton of energy from anyone interested in the field, hydration is essential. Although a standard water bottle can work, a hydration pack is a lot more feasible.

Although there are countless hydration packs to choose from, they all play a similar role in their functionality. As you can assume by the name, hydration is the main component and element of what they hope to achieve.

Nonetheless, there are quite a few differences between them all that are worth noting. Since every person has different tastes and interests, it’s hard to pinpoint what hydration pack is best for you. Let’s take a closer look at some of their fundamental differences.

Water Capacity

Hydration Pack Water Capacity
Source: gearjunkie.com

Like you’d expect in this kind of field, water capacity is significant. Since people rely on their hydration packs to stay hydrated, obviously, the more water it can hold, the better.

However, having a large capacity isn’t always crucial regarding packs. In fact, it mostly depends on what you’re using the pack specifically for. The lengthier and more demanding of an activity demands more water.

On the other hand, if you only need one for somewhat quick trips, then the water capacity might not be your primary interest. Plus, with a light water capacity leaves room for other features.

If you’re a smaller person who isn’t the greatest with a lot of weight, realize a large water capacity will cause more weight—just something to keep in mind when you’re looking at your options.

All in all, the water capacity of a hydration pack is critical, but it depends on what you’re using it for. If you’re looking to save weight and have more room for other features, a smaller capacity is better. If hydration is your only concern, then go for a larger pack.

Storage

Now that we’ve covered water capacity, you might wonder what else is there to talk about. Well, whether you’re aware of it or not, the capacity of a hydration pack isn’t the only concern.

For starters, storage is the next concern with hydration packs. Although some of you might correlate storage with water capacity, they’re entirely different. Most hydration packs carry a storage unit outside of the underlying capacity function.

The storage area comes in a variety of sizes, ranging from only holding a phone to being a plus-sized backpack. Generally speaking, the more storage it has, the more expensive it is.

Similar to the capacity of one, the more storage it has, the heavier it be. Plus, individual variations can have less room for water if storage is the primary concern.

Either way, just make sure you’re aware of the main differences between storage and capacity. Although they might appear to be the same, they both serve a different role in the scheme of hydration packs.

Size

KUYOU Hydration Pack with 2L Hydration Bladder Water Rucksack Backpack Bladder Bag Cycling Bicycle Bike/Hiking Climbing Pouch (Black)

Now that we’ve gone over the capacity and storage of hydration packs, now comes the actual size as one. With the knowledge of capacity and storage variation in mind, obviously, these two correlate with the size of one.

Like anything else, there are a few size options for hydration packs. They tend to come as a small, medium/large, or as a hip pack. All three offer a variety of advantages and disadvantages.

For starters, a small pack is generally a more modest-sized backpack. They’re light and efficient but still have a decent amount of storage space. However, they don’t have as much room storage and capacity-wise compared to larger packs.

Larger packs have a similar design to smaller packs but have a more abundant storage and capacity area. Both options look like a backpack but come in all shapes and sizes. The specifics of each depend on the product itself, but they all offer something interesting.

Lastly, hip packs are similar to fanny backs. Although they have a water capacity attached to them, the storage for them is incredibly small. However, with the reduction of storage and capacity comes with a lighter pack altogether.

Considering what you need and how much weight you’re willing to carry will help you determine which size option is best for you. All three offer something unique, but remember to check out the detailed features of each.

Comfortability

Outside of the pure functionality of a hydration pack, your overall comfort is just as important. Considering you’re going to be wearing your hydration pack for an extended period of time, you need to make sure you’re comfortable wearing it.

Although comfort is hard to judge before buying something, it’s not as difficult as you might think. In fact, the actual design of a hydration pack can correlate directly to a person’s comfort.

Similar to the size options, there are a few different design variations among each size. As noted, most operate similarly to a standard backpack. If you have any disdain to backpacks, definitely don’t go with that particular kind.

The hip pack ones operate like a fanny pack but are a bit tighter. If you don’t mind wearing a tight belt, then this option will work great for you.

Although comfort might be forgotten when discussing hydration packs, it shouldn’t be overlooked. Remember to look at their designs and compare each design to one another. From there, you’ll be able to determine which one is best suited for you.

Men’s and Women’s Packs

Men’s and Women’s Hydration Packs
Source: runnersworld.com

Now that we’ve touched on designs and differences, some companies specify hydration packs meant for men or women. Although it might seem a bit odd to differentiate between hydration packs, it can be instrumental.

Since men and women’s bodies tend to be very different, obviously, a woman or man-designed hydration pack will work better for each sex. This isn’t always the case with every company, but they indeed do exist.

Hydration packs geared for women tend to be shorter and designed-straps to be better fitted for a woman’s chest. However, keep in mind that a woman doesn’t need a woman-designed hydration pack.

Similar to most subjects, hydration packs are unisex. There just might be an option available that’s better suited for a man or woman. Either way, don’t let this sway you from purchasing a particular hydration pack.

Notable Features

Other than the pure essence and functionality behind hydration packs, there are other features to consider. Although these features aren’t mandatory, they’re worth highlighting. Plus, for some of you, these features might be required.

For starters, be aware of packs that are waterproof or not. Although this isn’t required, some of you might be more inclined to purchase one that is waterproof.

Outside of being waterproof, be aware of the overall appeal of the hydration pack. Although popularity and reputation are always great to know, it’s useful for people who go across the world.

If a hydration pack is popular, then it’ll be easier for you to seek repairs anywhere in the world if something is wrong with it. On the other hand, if it’s not popular, some people might not be as knowledgeable.

Although this isn’t too big of a deal, it’s something to consider in the grand scheme of things. You never know when your hydration pack might break, and you need help.

Budget

Lastly, the budget is essential when discussing any subject. Since every person has different financial means, it’s vital to go over the variety of options available.

Luckily enough, the budget for hydration packs is very flexible. You can find a hydration pack as cheap as $20. Keep in mind, more affordable hydration packs aren’t as durable and don’t have as many features.

Plus, cheap hydration packs generally serve the sole purpose of hydration. Generally speaking, the capacity size of cheap hydration packs isn’t as large as well.

On the other hand, expensive hydration packs can range well over $100. These typically have all of the features you’ll need and are incredibly versatile in the field.

What you plan on spending depends on your financial situation and what you’re willing to spend. Be sure to weigh out the options and determine it from there.

FAQ

TETON Sports Oasis 1100 Hydration Pack; Free 2-Liter Hydration Bladder; For Backpacking, Hiking, Running, Cycling, and Climbing; Green, 18.5-Inch x 10-Inch x 7-Inch (1001) Before we conclude entirely, let’s discuss some of the most common questions regarding hydration packs.

“Are Hydration Packs Worth It?”

As noted, hydration packs are undoubtedly worth it. Although it depends on what you plan on using one for, they offer users a massive advantage than not having one.

“Can You Put Ice in a Hydration Pack?”

Depending on the size of your hydration pack, you can undoubtedly put ice on it. Just insert the ice like you usually would, and it should work fine.

“Can You Put a Hydration Pack in a Regular Backpack?”

Yes, you can put a hydration pack in a standard backpack. Make sure nothing in the backpack can pierce it in any way. However, keep in mind, most hydration packs operate like a conventional backpack.

“How Long Can You Keep Water in a Hydration Pack?”

Technically speaking, if the inside of the hydration pack is clean and hasn’t been touched, water can sit in it for several months. However, I don’t recommend going over a few weeks.

“How Do I Choose a Hydration Pack for Me?”

It all depends on your budget, preferences, and objectives. First, narrow down what you’re using it for. From there, go over your preferences and your budget. Before you know it, you’ll have a hydration pack picked out.

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed our article about a hydration pack for mountain biking. Before we conclude entirely, let’s quickly recap everything we discussed.

We started the article off by describing what a hydration pack is and the interests in one. From there, we went over critical components such as water capacity, storage, size, and comfortability.

Afterward, we highlighted men’s and women’s packs, features, and the budget required for one. Rather than end the article, we discussed a variety of questions related to the subject.

We discussed if they’re worth it, how you put ice in one, and how you can put a hydration pack in a standard backpack. Afterward, we went over how long water can stay in one and how to determine which one is best for you.

No matter what hydration pack you end up going with, make sure it’ll fill all of your needs. Not doing so can cause you to only waste your time and money.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Since you’re more literate on the subject of hydration packs, hopefully, it’ll be easier to find one right for you.