Next time you go hiking, cycling, or climbing, you can leave your heavy water bottle at home.

By Hillary Maglin
August 05, 2020
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We all know hiking, cycling, and rock climbing are some of the best activities for outdoor exercise or simply enjoying some fresh air, especially in the midst of a pandemic. But nothing burdens the experience like carrying around a heavy water bottle, or worse — having to rummage through your backpack for it every time you want to rehydrate. That's where functional, perfectly compact hydration packs come in.

courtesy of brands

Hydration packs, born of thrill-seekers' desire for hands-free sipping during activity, are the key to nonstop outdoor adventures and extra-hot days. Many popular packs are slender and lightweight, spacious enough for just a canteen of water. Others are larger, like standard hiking backpacks, to store more gear. But no matter the size, each one is equipped with a small hose that reaches from inside the pack up into your mouth — which means never having to carry a bottle. Here are our absolute favorite hydration packs for outdoor venturing.

Outdoor Products Ripcord Hydration Pack

Courtesy of Target

This basic hydration pack from Outdoor Products is perfect for any type of outdoor excursion, whether it be a short hike or multi-day camping trip. The lightweight body is spacious enough to hold two full liters of water while a raised, padded backing with a central air channel keeps air flowing and your body cool.

To buy: target.com, $41

MIRACOL Thermal Insulation Hydration Backpack

Courtesy of Amazon

Keen on hiking on the hottest days of the year? This option from the hydration pack specialists at MIRACOL has you covered. Not only is the pack's water canteen large enough to keep you quenched for hours, but its thermal insulation technology will keep liquids cold for extended periods of time, too.

To buy: amazon.com, $35

High Sierra Hydrahike 24-liter Pack

Courtesy of Dick's Sporting Goods

If you're in need of a backpack that carries a couple liters of water and then some, look no further than High Sierra's oversized Hydrahike backpack. Equipped with a large hydration reservoir plus multiple additional compartments and divider pockets, this option was made for those who take the outdoors seriously.

To buy: dickssportinggoods.com, $75

High Sierra Hydrahike 8-liter Pack

Courtesy of Dick's Sporting Goods

Essentially the lighter, more compact version of High Sierra's 24-liter model, the 8-liter Hydrahike is designed to keep you hydrated on shorter trips while offering safekeeping for a few essentials, such as car keys, headphones, and a snack. Plus, super-comfy straps mimic the feeling of wearing nothing over your shoulders at all.

To buy: dickssportinggoods.com, $38

Kuyou Hydration Pack

Courtesy of Amazon

With over 2,300 reviews on Amazon and dubbed one of the site's best sellers, you know this hydration pack from regarded sports gear brand Kuyou is a must-buy. Its slender build paired with wide, mesh straps and leak proof construction makes for an ultra-comfy and worry-free outdoor experience, guaranteed.

To buy: amazon.com, $24

REINOS Light Water Pack

Courtesy of Amazon

Not only is this option by far the most fun, but it's also the easiest to carry. The pack weighs in at just 13 ounces, but still manages to hold a 2-liter canteen for water. The best part? It's available in 20 different holographic colors and prints! This is truly functional fashion at its finest.

To buy: amazon.com, $26

Fieldline Tactical Surge Digital Hydration Pack

Courtesy of Target

This hydration pack may look bulky and heavy, but it's actually one of the smaller options on the list. At just 17.5 inches high, this durable pack has enough space for its built-in 2-liter water pocket and plenty of outdoor accessories without weighing you down.

To buy: target.com, $40

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