Staying hydrated should be one of your highest priorities when you are hiking, trekking, mountaineering, backpacking or engaging in other outdoor activities. And the best way to ward off dehydration is to use a hydration bladder.

Hydration bladders have become more popular over the years. And rightly so. For one, they are very convenient to use. You can easily access the tube hovering around your shoulder and have a drink. No need to stop, no time wasted. Talk about drinking on the go.

Also, you won’t run out of water when using hydration bladders as they can hold water for 3-hour, 4-hour and 6-hour hikes depending on the size.

Hydration bladders are also comfortable to carry as they are compatible with many backpacks. And you’ll also be able to navigate difficult terrain easily.

That being said, you can now see why you should consider getting a hydration bladder for your hikes and treks. We’ll be reviewing some of the best hydration bladders in the market. And that will save you from the stress and sometimes confusion you’ll experience when searching for a hydration bladder.

After the reviews come an extensive buying guide. Stay tuned.

The 7 Best Hydration Bladder of 2020

Platypus Big Zip Water Reservoir

Platypus Big Zip Water Reservoir for Hydration Backpacks, 2-Liter, EVO with Fast Flow Valve

$37.85  in stock
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This is a quality hydration bladder that performs well in most outdoor activities. It’s very easy to use and Platypus’ hydration system ensures that you get water free from any kind of taste.

The wide mouth opening means you can get a scrubbing brush on the inside for thorough cleaning. Also, the large opening allows you to put ice cubes in the reservoir if you so desire.

Thanks to a silver-ion embedded in the reservoir, moulds or bacteria cannot grow inside this hydration bladder. The drink tube and bite valve are both high-quality. Water won’t come out of the bite valve until you actually bite it down. So there’s no dripping or wastage.

The plastic material is very durable and resistant to puncture. With a capacity ranging up to 3L, you won’t run out of water when hiking, trekking or mountaineering. And it’s compatible with a lot of backpacks. It will easily fit in the reservoir sleeves of your day packs.

 Quick Specifications

  • Dimensions : 7 x 15 in / 22 x 38 cm (for 2 Liters)
  • Weight: 6 oz / 170 g
  • Available Capacity: 1.5, 2 and 3 Liters
  • Material: EVA

Pros

  • Wide opening which makes filling and cleaning easy.
  • The drinking tube is long.
  • Large bite valve makes drinking easy.
  • Large water capacity.
  • High-quality and durable reservoir.

Cons

  • The bite valve does not come with a cover that protects it from dirt.

Other Buying Options:

Last updated on June 13, 2020 11:55 pm

CamelBak Crux 2-Liter Water Reservoir

CamelBak Crux 2-Liter Water Reservoir - Hydration Bladder - Faster Water Flow Rate - Leak-Proof Water Bladder - Ergonomic Shape - Big Bite Valve - BPA-Free - 70 Ounces

$32.99  in stock
3 new from $32.99
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This is a very versatile hydration bladder you’ll quickly fall in love with. The ergonomic shape allows it to easily fit in your backpacks.  With a capacity of 2L, this reservoir will hold enough water to keep you hydrated during your hiking, trekking, mountaineering and backpacking.

The plastic material used is durable and leakproof. There is also a tightened cap that protects against leakage, so you don’t have to worry about your backpack getting wet. CamelBak’s bite valve is designed to provide you with generous amount of water per sip.

The snap cap closure is big which is good for cleaning this hydration bladder. You can easily access the inside of the reservoir for thorough cleaning. Refilling is also super easy.

 Quick Specifications

  • Dimensions : 15 x 7.5 x 2.5 in / 38.1 x 19 x 6.3 cm
  • Weight: 7.4 oz / 209 g
  • Capacity: 2L
  • Material: BPA free plastic

Pros

  • Super easy to fill and clean.
  • Anti-leak design.
  • Good water capacity.
  • Ergonomic shape makes carrying comfortable.
  • Doesn’t support the growth of microorganisms.
  • Very durable.

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with a magnetic clip
  • Bite valve has no cover.

Osprey Hydraulics LT BladderOur Top Pick

Osprey Hydraulics LT Reservoir, 2.5L

$34.00  in stock
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This hydration bladder comes with a lot of features that enhances its functionality. There is the slide seal top opening, magnetic bite valve, twin baffles and the pour shield.

The twin baffles help the bladder maintain an ergonomic shape by stabilising the water. That way, the bladder maintains a flat profile and easily fits into hydration sleeves or backpacks.

The slide seal top opening is one of the easiest to use lock systems we’ve encountered in hydration bladders. With a simple fold over, you can easily open the reservoir.

Now, the reservoir opens to its full length which makes filling and cleaning super easy. And you are not going to have any spillage or leakage problem with this bladder.

The bite valve design is another feature we really like in this product. It’s small but yet provides generous amount of water. And accidental leakage of any sort is prevented. There is also a magnetic clip that you can use to attach the tube to your sternum strap so it doesn’t dangle around.

This bladder comes in different capacities and the one you choose will depend on the weather and duration of your activity. We must also mention that you don’t get any plastic taste when you take water from this hydration bladder.

 Quick Specifications

  • Dimensions : 15 x 8 x 2 in / 38.1 x 20.3 x 5 cm
  • Weight: 9 oz / 167 g
  • Available Capacity: 1.5, 2, 2.5 and 3 Liters
  • Material: TPU

Pros

  • Dishwasher safe (only top rack).
  • Comfortable drinking angle and good water flow.
  • Filling and cleaning is super easy.
  • Taste of your water isn’t compromised.
  • Zero leakage problems.
  • Very durable.

Cons

  • The bite valve shut-off may not be easily operated with one hand.

Wacool 3-Liter Water Reservoir

WACOOL 3L 3Liter 100oz BPA Free EVA Hydration Pack Bladder, Leak-Proof Water Reservoir (Blue(Double Opening))

$17.99
$16.99  in stock
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With a capacity of 3L, it’s obvious this hydration bladder is for long hikes, trekking, mountaineering et cetera. The ergonomic design distributes the weight uniformly and makes it easy to carry.

We also like the valve design as it doesn’t require biting to deliver water. And water flows well through the valve.

On top of the reservoir is the large screw cap. The cap closes tightly ensuring there is no accidental leakage. It also makes it easy to fill and clean this bladder. There is also a second opening (double opening design) that allows you to refill this bladder under difficult conditions.

This hydration bladder also excels when it comes to durability. Made of high-quality EVA material that is BPA free, this bladder is incredibly strong and tough. It’s puncture-proof and perfect for high-impact adventures.

Nobody wants that annoying plastic taste or odour when sipping water from a hydration bladder. And this hydration bladder provides that. You’ll also appreciate the military-grade insulation that the manufacturer incorporated.

This insulation protects your water from external conditions. Your water won’t become hot if you are walking in the sun.

 Quick Specifications

  • Dimensions : 5 x 0.79 x 17 in / 16.5 x 2 x 43.2
  • Weight: 8 oz / 250 g
  • Capacity: 3 Liters
  • Material: BPA-free EVA

Pros

  • Easy to clean and fill.
  • Military grade insulation.
  • Good water capacity.
  • Leak-proof.
  • Ergonomic design and comfortable drinking valve.
  • Very durable.

Cons

  • The tough material can make the reservoir to not fully adapt to the shape of your back. It’s still comfortable to carry nonetheless.

Unigear Hydration Water Bladder Reservoir

Unigear Hydration Water Bladder Reservoir BPA Free FDA Approved and Taste Free for Backpacking, Biking, Hiking and Camping (Blue, 2L)

$14.99  in stock
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Another high-quality hydration bladder you should have a look at. The Unigear Hydration Water Bladder Reservoir is made from premium quality Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) material which is elastic, durable, transparent and resistant to abrasion. And your water will be free from any plastic taste or odour.

The opening is very large and that allows you to easily clean or fill this bladder. Also, the inside of the reservoir is easily accessible for thorough cleaning. And if you want cold or chilled water, you can easily add ice cubes straight from an ice dispenser.

The reservoir is ergonomically designed and this makes it comfortable to carry. The mouthpiece is soft and comfortable to use. And the water flow is also good. Also, there’s a valve that can easily be used to stop water flow. There’s also a cap to protect the mouthpiece from dirt during filling and after use.

Unigear Hydration Water Bladders come in different sizes and the one you choose will depend on the weather and duration of your activity.

 Quick Specifications

  • Dimensions : 5 x 8 x 6.0 in / 16.5 x 20.3 x 15.2 cm (for 2L)
  • Weight: 7 oz / 208 g
  • Available Capacity: 2, 2.5 and 3 Liters
  • Material: TPU

Pros

  • Easy to clean and fill.
  • Comfortable mouthpiece.
  • Protective cover on mouthpiece.
  • Ergonomic design.
  • Durable and long-lasting.

Cons

  • You may experience plastic taste on the first use. Thorough cleaning before using the first time can prevent that.

Widepac Hydration System Reservoir

Source Outdoor Widepac Hydration System Reservoir with Helix Bite Valve, 2-Liter / 70 oz, Transparent Blue

$44.08  in stock
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The sleek design of this hydration bladder is the first thing you’ll notice the moment you set your eyes on it. But this hydration bladder isn’t just about aesthetics as it comes with superb functionality.

Made from patented co-extruded polyethylene, this bladder preserves the natural taste of your water and prevents plastic from leaching in.

Using a thin glass like liner, the entire interior of this hydration bladder is smooth and won’t support the growth of microorganisms. This hydration bladder is also lightweight and comfortable to carry. There are three different sizes available for you to choose from, 1.5L, 2L and 3L.

Construction determines the lifespan of hydration bladders and this product is well-constructed. We also like the fact that this product is easy to use. Even someone using a hydration bladder for the first time will easily get the hang of it. The closure is wide making it easy to clean, fill, drain or add ice. And it is completely leak-proof.

The drinking valve is comfortable to use and has good water flow. And there’s also a shield that prevents dirt from accumulating dust, sand or mud from accumulating on the valve.

 Quick Specifications

  • Dimensions : 7.7 × 14 × 2.4 in / 19.5 × 35.5 × 6 cm (for 2L)
  • Weight: 6 oz / 170 g
  • Available Capacity: 1. 5, 2, 2.5 and 3 Liters
  • Material: Polyethylene

Pros

  • Sleek design.
  • Easy to use, fill and wash.
  • Doesn’t compromise the quality of your water.
  • Comfortable drinking valve and good water flow
  • Available in different sizes.
  • Sturdy and durable.

Cons

  • Not dishwasher-safe.

CampX 3-Liter Hydration Water Bladder

CampX 3L Hydration Water Bladder with Magnetic Clip BPA and PVC Free-Lightweight Large Mouth Big Zip Opening-Reservoir Bag Works for Hiking, Mountain Biking,Camping-Taste Free-Leak Proof No Drip

$16.99  in stock
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This is a very effective hydration bladder that will fulfil all your needs during your hiking, climbing, mountaineering and any other activity you participate in. For one, the plastic material used is of high-quality and won’t compromise the taste of your water.

The material also doesn’t support the growth of microorganisms. And it is totally leak-proof. Cleaning is very easy as the opening is wide. You can easily get your hand/brush on the inside.

In fact, you can even pull the inside out for thorough cleaning. And you can easily add ice cubes for cold water. The mouthpiece is very soft and comfortable to use. And the 360-degree turn incorporated in the valve lets you sip water comfortably.

Another feature of this hydration bladder that you’ll appreciate is that it’s dishwasher safe. You can put it on the top shelf of your dishwasher for easy and quick cleaning.

And the manufacturer included a free magnetic clip to help you secure the hydration tube and prevent it from dangling around. Also, the magnetic clip makes the hydration tube more accessible and this makes drinking easier.

 Quick Specifications

  • Dimensions : 17 × 6.9 × 2.8 in / 43.2 x 17.5 x 7.14 cm
  • Weight: 5.6 oz / 158 g
  • Capacity: 3 Liters
  • Material: TPU

Pros

  • Cleaning and filling is super easy.
  • Doesn’t support growth of microbes.
  • Quality/taste of water not compromised.
  • Includes a magnetic clip.
  • Dishwasher safe.
  • Sturdy and durable.

Cons

  • No protective cover on the mouthpiece.

Best Hydration Bladders – The Guide

Now that you’ve gone through the reviews, the question probably on your mind now is ‘How do I choose a hydration bladder that’s perfect for my activities?’ And it’s a valid question to ask.

We’ll be taking through a buying guide that tells you all you need to know about hydration bladders, features to look out for, what makes a hydration bladder great and so on.

By the end of this buying guide, you’ll be able to make an informed decision and buy the bes hydration bladder, the one that’s perfect for you. So here we go.

How To Choose Your Hydration Bladder

Purpose, Size and Profile

The very first thing you should consider when buying a hydration bladder is its purpose i.e what you’ll be using the hydration bladder for. Are you going hiking, mountaineering, backpacking or trial running? Or is it biking or exploring on foot? And the reason for this is that there are different features on hydration bladders that make them better suited to certain types of activities than others.

About size, you should by now know hydration bladders come in different sizes with the most popular ones having capacities of 2 and 3 Litres. Now, the bigger your hydration bladder, the more the weight you’ll have to carry.

You’ll agree it makes sense to carry a bigger hydration bladder if you will be covering longer distances. The need for a bigger bladder is even more obvious if the weather is very hot as that means you’ll be more thirsty and likely drink more water. But if you’ll be covering shorter distances or if the weather is cool, then it makes more sense to carry a smaller bladder.

We’ll like to point out that while it’s enticing to buy smaller bladders for easy transport, there’s no law that mandates you must fill your 3L bladders to capacity. If you’ll be going on a short trek, you can just partially fill your 3L bladders.

The profile of your hydration bladder determines if it will fit into backpacks. Most backpacks come with hydration sleeves to hold your bladders and you should make sure the hydration bladder you are getting is the right fit.

Material

We are pretty sure we’ve used “BPA-free” and the likes a number of times in this article. Bisphenol A (BPA), and its replacements bisphenol S (BPS) and bisphenol F (BPF) are plasticizers. This means they make plastic lightweight, stronger and more flexible. But these compounds have been shown to have a number of harmful health benefits.

So whichever type of material your hydration bladder is made from (TPU, polyethylene), it should be free from these plasticizers.

Ease of Cleaning and Filling/Refilling

You have to consider how easy it is to clean the hydration bladder. Some bladders have large openings that allow you to easily access the inside with your hand or a brush. The inside of some hydration bladders can be pulled while there are some that can be cleaned by a dishwasher.

The wide opening also allows you to easily fill the bladder. Some bladders have two openings with one opening allowing refilling  in difficult situations.

Whenever you put fluids other than water in your hydration bladder, you must take extra care to wash it. And washing will be made a lot easier if the bladder can be easily dismantled.

Bite Valve Features

Since the bite valve is what delivers water into your mouth, it’s important it has a number of features for you to have a good experience during your outdoor activities.

For one, the bite valve must be soft and comfortable to use. Also, there must be a shut-off switch to stop the flow of water when you want done sipping. There are bladders that have a turn valve to shut off water but the switch mechanism is easier to use and clean.

The bite valve ideally should have be medium-sized. Too large and it becomes uncomfortable to use. Even sipping water becomes difficult because of the reduced pressure. And a small bite valve has the disadvantage of providing little amount of water per sip.

Versatility

Hydration bladders can also be versatile and used for a number of purposes. Of course, the primary purpose of your bladder is to provide water for you during your activities. But sometimes when you are outdoors, a little improvisation now and then will come in handy.

You can use your hydration bladder to wash your gear. Just open the valve and position the nozzle towards your valve. Also, you can also use it to wash your dishes in a similar manner. Of course, there has to be good water flow for you to use it for these activities comfortably.

 

How to Avoid/Get rid of Plastic Taste?

Let’s face, no one wants to drink water that tastes of plastic. But this has happened so many times with hydration bladders. However, the good news is that hydration bladders are made of food-grade plastics so there’s no harmful health effect. But still, plastic tastes aren’t great, right? We agree with you.

There are now high-quality hydration bladders that don’t leach plastic into your water. We considered the possibility of getting plastic taste when compiling our list.

But the truth is that it’s possible to get plastic taste from a hydration bladder especially during the first time of use, no matter the quality. So our advice is to thoroughly wash your hydration bladder after purchase.

Just fill the bladder to about ¾ of its capacity with warm water, add one or two tablespoons of baking soda (you can also add a cup or two of vinegar), and allow the contents to sit for 30 minutes to an hour. Then rinse thoroughly and dry. No more plastic taste fella. Hurrah!

Final Thoughts

There you have it, our top hydration bladders and their buying guides. You see, choosing a hydration bladder doesn’t have to be a difficult task.

Now that we’ve provided you with all the information you need, you should now be able pick a bladder that meets all your needs.

So get a hydration bladder now and enjoy a hands-free and on the go hydration process!

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