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The 5 Best Hydration Bladders
Staying hydrated is extremely important while camping, and having the best hydration bladder can help you accomplish that. Hiking is one of the most magical activities you can participate in. Not only are you able to connect with nature, but you can also get exercise and see some great sights in the process! However, one of the important things to consider when hiking is that you need to be fully prepared. You’d be surprised at how many people go hiking for the day and assume that they don’t need to bring a hydration reservoir because it’s just a day trip.
The tricky thing about hiking is that you should definitely take as much as you can with you, but you don’t want to have a heavy load to carry. This is why you must stay focused on items that truly benefit your well-being. For example, protein bars and other types of protein shakes are great things to bring along with you. However, by far the most important item you must have is water, and one of the best ways you can carry around your water is through a hydration bladder. If you need a new water bladder, keep reading for our hydration bladder reviews and ratings.
In This Article
Best Choice: Hydrapak 3L (100oz) Shape-Shift Reservoir
The Hydrapak 3L Shape-Shift Reservoir is the best hydration bladder because it’s made of durable TPU and has a wide opening that makes it easy to fill up and clean after camping trips.
Out of all of the products I looked at while making this buyer’s guide, none impressed me as much as this Hydrapak 3L (100oz) Shape-Shift Reservoir. It is a very easy product to use, including a uniquely wide slider that allows you to fill it much quicker than other products on the market. You can also use this product to carry 100oz of water at a time, a perfect amount that gives you a sufficient amount to drink without the bladder itself being too heavy to carry.
This hydration reservoir is also made of durable thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) to ensure that it will last. When I was done using it, the ability to turn inside out was incredibly convenient and made it intuitive to clean properly. The price is on the moderate side and therefore might not be affordable for some, but in my experience, it’s well worth it.
Item Key Features:
- Made of durable TPU
- Carries 100oz of water
- Wide slider makes it easy to fill
- Internal linkage design may cause problems
Premium Pick: Platypus Big Zip Water Reservoir
The Platypus Big Zip Water Reservoir is the best hydration bladder because it holds up to three liters, making it the largest capacity bladder money can (currently) buy.
The Platypus Big Zip Water Reservoir is able to hold an astounding three liters of water, making it the largest capacity bladder on this list. On top of this, I think that it is the best hydration bladder with a fast valve so you sip water remarkably fast.
When you’re done using this hydration reservoir, just use the shut-off valve to ensure that it doesn’t leak at all while you’re not using it. The Secure SlideLock also allows you to fill it quickly and easily access it to adjust.
Item Key Features:
- Secure SlideLock included
- Holds three liters
- Effective shut-off valve
- Can be heavy to carry when completely filled
Best Value: CamelBak Crux 2L Reservoir
The CamelBak Crux Two-Liter Reservoir is the best hydration bladder because it’s an affordable choice that is designed to have an ergonomic shape that makes carrying it on treks more comfortable.
The CamelBak Crux Two-Liter Reservoir is priced affordably for campers who are trying to stick to a budget, and it has a great value on top of its low price.The tightened cap is incredibly effective and doesn’t let any unnecessary liquid leak out while the big bite valve allows you to easily sip a good amount of water.
This is definitely one of the best hydration bladders because of the convenient ergonomic shape that fits into any bag easily. This hydration reservoir may only carry two liters at a time, but it is definitely worthwhile.
- Carries two liters of water
- Convenient ergonomic shape
- Includes a tightened cap
- Big bite valve
- May give water a plastic taste
Durable Pick: CamelBak 100 oz/3.0L MIL SPEC Antidote Accessory Reservoir Short
The CamelBak 100 oz MIL SPEC Antidote Accessory Reservoir Short 90854 is the best hydration bladder because it’s extremely durable and also insulated to keep your water colder for longer.
If you’re somebody who wants to find a bladder to take with you on frequent, intense trips, you should definitely get the CamelBak 100 oz MIL SPEC Antidote Accessory Reservoir Short 90854. It comes with a QL HydroLock Bite Valve Adapter that is incredibly durable and does not wear down after repeated usage.
If you end up taking it out in hot weather conditions, you will be glad to know that it also has protection from UV rays and abrasion. The inside of the hydration reservoir is also insulated so your water will stay relatively the same temperature no matter what!
- Very durable
- Insulates the inside liquids
- Has UV ray protection
- Stylish leather design
- Valve sometimes leaks
All-Included Pick: FREEMOVE 2 Liter Hydration Bladder & Cleaning Kit
The FREEMOVE Two Liter Hydration Bladder & Cleaning Kit is the best hydration bladder because its affordable price comes alongside a cleaning kit included in your purchase, making it a great all-in-one-pick.
The FREEMOVE Two Liter Hydration Bladder & Cleaning Kit will truly fit within any budget. It holds up to two liters of liquid and is the perfect size for a day trip. However, what truly makes this one of the best hydration bladders is the cleaning kit it comes with.
You’ll never have to worry about not not being able to clean this bladder thoroughly! This is definitely the most affordable best hydration bladder available, and it doesn’t skimp out on the features and usability.
- Affordable price
- Carries two liters
- Comes with cleaning kit
- Water flow from tube is slow
Important Hydration Bladder Features to Consider
When looking for a bladder, the most important thing you need to keep track of is how much liquid it carries. Water bladders that have more liquid capacity allow you to carry more water, but also requires you to carry more.
You are the best judge of how much weight you can take on at any given time, so I recommend that you think about what is best for you before committing to a product. Something else to take note of is if the bladder you’re looking at has sufficient protection against leaks and punctures. Though most products are fully equipped and made of durable materials, there is never any harm in making sure that you’re fully prepared.
What are the Benefits of Hydration Bladders?
Hydration bladders are necessary if you want to stay properly hydrated while camping. There’s almost no such thing as having too much water, so all campers should have a bladder to help ensure they don’t run out
Water bladders are an affordable way to carry extra water while camping or hiking, and they’re much more durable than your basic disposable plastic water bottle. And, a bladder can be used to fill a camping kettle or camping mug. If you plan on spending time out in the wilderness, a hydration bladder is a must.
What’s the Best Way to Use a Hydration Bladder?
Using the best hydration bladder will let you bring water with you without having to worry about purifying and filtering water in the wilderness. The best way to use a bladder is to put it in your hydration pack and use the mouthpiece to drink the liquid. Though it is possible to adhere it to your actual other parts of your body, a bladder is most effective when you wear it on your back. This also allows your body to distribute the weight better so it’s not too overwhelming compared to hand-carrying a different water storage container.
At the end of a hike, you can also pour the water out manually to use it while cooking. Never waste water while camping—always find another use for it, whether you use it to make coffee or pour it into a camping cooking pot for soup.
Can You Fill it With More Than Just Water?
Yes. While water is always recommended in order to stay properly hydrated while camping, water bladders can hold any type of liquid. It’s possible to fill it with juice, sports drinks, or any other drink you could possibly want to take with you
Precautions to Take When Using a Hydration Bladder
When using a hydration bladder, it’s important to ensure that the bladder itself does not leak when you’re using it. Though the best hydration bladders have extensive anti-leak measures, you never know if a particularly rough fall or a collision with a branch will dislodge or puncture the water bladder itself. This can eventually lead to the bladder itself leaking and you losing water during an important situation.
Another precaution you should take when using a hydration bladder is that you should always have some sort of backup. Whether it’s a second bladder, a water canteen, or a camping water bottle, you need to be prepared to prevent dehydration.
You should also be sure to clean your hydration reservoir regularly, especially if you put something other than water inside. If you don’t sufficiently maintain your bladder, you risk consuming bacteria that might grow inside of it over time. Think of it like a water bottle that you use—if you keep water in it and leave it out in the sun for long periods of time, it’s probably more sanitary for you to clean it out and replace it with fresh water!
Out of all of the best hydration bladders I looked into for this buyer’s guide, the Hydrapak 3L (100oz) Shape-Shift Reservoir is the best product currently available on the market. Not only is the product itself BPA and PVC free, but it is also incredibly easy to use and often lasts you a while due to the 100oz storage. I also think that the materials it is made with make it a great value for the money, staying durable while not requiring a premium price. If you are not sure which bladder to get and want to know which one is the overall best hydration bladder, I recommend you get this one.
At the end of the day, though, it’s worth noting that you should be the one who decides which bladder is for you. I can give you all of the specifications and reasons as to why you should have a certain product, but if you don’t feel comfortable with it, then it isn’t for you. That being said, I hope that my buyer’s guide has been helpful so that the next time you’re looking for a hydration bladder for your hiking trip, you’re able to make an informed decision!