Best Hydration Packs for Running & TOP 13 Running Backpacks Reviewed 2019
We can all agree that hydration is extremely important, especially as we enter the summer months.
Most people don’t drink the recommended daily amount of water and this can lead to numerous health impacts.
But for runners, this can be especially dangerous, as well as slowing the recovery process and hindering future running performance.
For shorter distances, drinking before and after the run can be enough.
But in summer temperatures, it would be beneficial to be carrying water for runs longer than an hour.
Hydration vests are the most convenient way to carry water while you run, without the bulkiness of a conventional backpack cramping your stride and without having to stop and rummage through said backpack to find your bottles.
The best ones are also designed to minimize bounce so that you forget you’re wearing them, and provide plenty of ventilation across your back so that you and the vest don’t get excessively sweaty.
Some hydration vests are even gender specific which makes for a more comfortable fit.
In order to decide on these considerations, you need to know what you want to use your hydration pack for.
Different priorities will be at play depending on whether you want to hit mountain trails or a road marathon, whether you want to be out for hours on end or just 1 hour, and whether you will be encountering changeable weather or constant sun.
For example, the best hydration packs for marathon running are going to be those packs that provide a comfortable, bounce free fit, are as light as possible and focus on the hydration system without necessarily providing room for storage of things that you may prefer not to be weighed down by on race day.
Conversely, if ultra running is your thing, hitting the trails and variable weather conditions of the mountains may call for more storage space in order to be prepared for a wide range of situations, and a water proof pack may be advantageous.
Once you’ve decided on your criteria, will the help of the following list, you should be able to choose the best running backpack to tick all of your boxes.
Review: The Salomon Advanced Skin 12 Set sits at the tops of the list and comes with 2x 500ml soft bottles, is 1.5L water bladder compatible (though this needs to be purchased separately) and claims to have a 12L pack capacity.
Designed for European mountain ultras, it has the storage solutions to let you carry all sorts of gear.
Also designed with serious comfort in mind with its stretchy mesh and figure hugging strap design, the advanced Skin 12 Set is ideal for running long distances.
Unique kangaroo pouches are a novel but effective way to store your snacks or extra layers of clothing and the heat shielded bladder sleeve keeps your water cool.
At 17.5 oz including the bottles, this is a lightweight pack.
Breathable mesh back panel.
Many sizes available.
Multiple pockets of different styles.
Very comfortable figure hugging mesh.
Bladder sold separately.
Arguably the best running backpack on the market, if you are willing to front up the cash for a comfortable and convenient running partner.
This is the best hydration pack for ultra running and the best trail running hydration backpack.
Review: The Nathan Vapor Air comes with a 2L water bladder, 7L gear storage capacity, a magnetic hose clamp for easy access, adjustable shoulder straps, external bungee cords for extra storage and reflective features.
What more could you want?
If you prefer chest mounted water bottles, this is not the pack for you, but the 2L water bladder more than does the job of keeping you hydrated and comfortable.
It isn’t as sung a fit as the previous 2 vests on the list, but is still at the very comfortable end of the spectrum when compared to other vests on the market.
At just 9.3 oz. with the bladder, this is likely to be the best lightweight running backpack 2019.
Easy to use and refill on the go.
Plenty of roomy pockets.
On the expensive side.
This is the lightest hydration pack for running so a great choice when looking for the best hydration pack for marathon running or the best hydration pack for running half marathon races that uses a bladder hydration system.
Review: 20% lighter than the Ultra Vesta 3.0, this vest just gets better and better. Less comfortable but comparatively less expensive than the Nathan Vaporhowe, this vest is the next best choice for serious women runners.
Pack capacity is 10.1L and there is space for the addition of a 2L bladder which must be bought separately. It comes with 2 x 500ml bottles which may or not be adequate depending on the length of your run.
They are also positioned a little high which could make on-the-go access awkward. The Ultra Vest is the male version, equal to the Ultra Vesta and a fantastic choice for male runners who don’t want to fork out for the Salomon Advanced Skin 12 Set.
Ample pockets and rear storage space.
Highly adjustable sternum and waist straps for a snug fit.
Bladder must be bought separately.
Among the best women’s running backpacks and another great choice when looking for the best hydration pack for marathon running or best hydration pack for trail running for women.
Review: This is CameBak’s most popular hydration vest for running, designed to carry everything you might need for your marathon distance run.
It comes with a 2L bladder and a pocket for an extra drink bottle. It is simple, comfortable and reliable. It can be adjusted to cope with differing loads and not bounce with any of them, while its easily accessible and refillable bladder makes rehydrating easy while on the go.
Weighing in at 9.5 oz without the bladder, this is a seriously lightweight pack.
Mesh panels for breathability.
Sweat proof phone compartment.
Ample pockets for snacks and an extra layer.
Reflective strips for night safety.
Comes in only one size.
2016 model so may not be available for too much longer.
This is the best CamelBak for running provided you don’t want to carry endless amounts of knick knacks, and is similarly CamelBak’s best hydration pack for marathon running.
Review: The Teton Sports Trailrunner comes equipped with a BPA free 2L water bladder and is great for both road and off road running.
Reflective trim keeps you visible at night, chest shock absorber reduces bounce, and a deep mesh pocket provides storage for valuables and snacks. With the different sizes to choose from and the highly adjustable straps, you can be assured of a snug, bounce-free fit.
Weighing in at 14.4 oz., this is a great option for those who don’t want to fork out for a top of the range pack.
Extremely good value for money.
Many sizes to choose from.
Highly adjustable straps.
Includes safety features such as orange whistle and reflective strips.
Easy refill and cleaning.
External bungee for extra storage.
Limited extra storage.
This is excellent value for money option for trail runners and road runners alike who are looking for a comfortable pack with ample hydration volume and don’t need too much extra storage space.
Review: Includes 2 x 300ml bottles so less liquid capacity than a hydration vest, but if you’re just after a little rehydration and the convenience of being able to carry some snacks and valuables, then a belt might be a great way to go.
Stretchy straps make for a snug, bounce free fit, while secure bottle holsters reassure you that you won’t lose your bottles mid-run. The bottles are also easy to access while on the go.
Not as roomy in terms of pocket space compared to some other belts on the market, but the Trail Mix carries everything you need for a minimalist run – keys, phone and snacks.
Non-bounce and non-twist design.
Zip pockets for valuables.
Durable materials and well made.
Doesn’t fit larger smart phones.
This is likely to be the best hydration belt for running 2019 owing to its great design. If you want to be able to fit your iPhone 6, may need to upgrade to the Trail Mix Plus.
So there we have it, the best hydration backpacks for running on the market.
We hope you enjoyed reading this guide and manage to find a hydration solution that leaves you running comfortably and hydrated!
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