There’s never a bad time to equip yourself with a cycling hydration pack.
Even shorter rides can be deceiving. If the clouds shift to reveal a clear sky, the sun can be particularly harsh if you’re unprepared.
A jersey might keep you cool and ventilated, and an energy gel might help you feel replenished—but it’s dangerous to neglect your hydration.
Here you’ll find the best cycling hydration backpacks available on the market, alongside some tips on what to look for when making a purchase.
- 2.5L HydraPak reservoir
- Removable roll-up tool pouch
- Sternum strap magnet for easy access to mouthpiece
Kicking off our list is the Osprey Raptor 14, one of the best cycling hydration packs for mountain biking, thanks to its lightweight design.
The shoulder straps are wing-shaped and sit nicely against your body as you ride, as do the AirScape suspension and back panel. In terms of comfort, you certainly get what you pay for with this backpack.
A 2.5L reservoir by HydraPak will keep you hydrated, with the mouthpiece fitted to a sternum strap magnet for easy access as you ride. This is a great capacity considering the backpack’s compact nature.
To ensure you’re always prepared for troubles out on the trail, the removable roll-up tool pouch allows easy access to your essentials. Gone are the days of rummaging around before you can get to work.
Looking for a cycling hydration pack that matches the rest of your gear? You’ll be glad to know there are three different color options: wildfire red, black, and cedar green.
Related: The 10 best cycling accessories for all abilities
- 3L CRUX reservoir
- Ergonomic handle for easy refilling
- secure phone pocket
With a 3L CRUX reservoir, the Camelbak MULE provides a high water capacity at an affordable price.
CRUX is Camelbak’s branded line of reservoirs, and they deliver 20% more water per sip, thanks to their innovative design. They also have an ergonomic handle to make refilling easy and an on/off lever to prevent leaks.
Camelbak truly panders to cyclists looking to customize their gear, as this cycling hydration pack is available in four different colours:
- gibraltar navy
- racing red
After receiving customer feedback on the previous versions of the MULE, Camelbak has worked to perfect its design and provide a better riding experience.
The back panel is designed to provide air support, and the harness is ventilated, so you’ll receive maximum comfort wherever you ride. The internal phone pocket and helmet attachment will keep your essentials secure and easily accessible.
- 2L reservoir
- ultra light design
- EVOC Air Tune System
Thanks to its lightweight design, this cycling hydration pack from EVOC is one of the best choices for endurance races. Despite its compact nature, it can still store up to 2L of water alongside the rest of your cycling essentials.
The Air Tune System is impressive, to say the least. It combines ventilation channels, mesh padding and ventilated shoulder straps to provide a comfortable riding experience. If breathability is an area your previous backpacks have lacked in, we’d recommend placing your trust in EVOC.
Abrasion-resistant Ripstop nylon is the chosen fabric for this product, and the clue is in the name. Tear prevention has evidently been considered during its construction, making this one of the best cycling hydration packs for longevity.
The hydration equipment is easy to use, as the drinking tube clip can be attached to the front harness and accessed immediately.
Related: The 7 best cycling holidays in the UK
- 2L reservoir
- front reflective strip
- Expandable internal compartment & secure pockets
Considering its low price, the Obego 2L cycling hydration pack offers a wide range of features.
Storage is ample for a start, with an internal compartment that expands up to 40% to increase capacity. There are multiple secure pockets for storing smartphones and other belongings, as well as snacks and energy gels to keep you moving.
Obego is attentive to comfort, as the backpack comes with adjustable shoulder and chest straps, alongside padding within the back and shoulders to reduce chafing. The polyester inside the fabric makes it lightweight and breathable, so it won’t limit your movement or weigh you down.
The water reservoir has three handling points, making it easy to secure within the backpack. The filling hole is large and easily accessible and will keep your water cool for up to three hours once secured.
This is truly one of the best cheap cycling hydration packs available, and we’d highly recommend it to those looking to stretch their budget to include other forms of cycling gear.
- 2L reservoir
- 100% leakage-proof design
- Thermally insulated compartment
Available in 13 different colours, this is one of the most customizable hydration backpacks for cycling. If you’re concerned that some of the products we’ve discussed won’t match your current gear, this product from Mubasal Gear could be exactly what you’re looking for.
While aesthetics are important to many, you’ll be glad to know its features stretch far beyond this—the thermally insulated compartment being the most impressive. It can keep the 2L reservoir cold for up to 5 hours, so you’ll have cool refreshing water available on your longest rides.
The 100% leakage-proof design is another great feature. The large opening prevents spillages as you fill the reservoir, making it self-drying and easy to clean.
Drinking from the reservoir is simple, as the bite valve is extendable and easily accessible anytime.
The storage options are strong, with three separate compartments for securing belongings and a mesh front panel for easy access to energy bars or gels.
To top it all off, this product has over 7,500 reviews on Amazon, of which 96% are positive.
Related: 9 safety tips for mountain biking
What to look for in a hydration pack
1. Water capacity
This is the main thing to consider when making a purchase. If you opt for a hydration pack with a water capacity below 2L, you could have to invest in a second product.
Since you should drink 7 to 10 ounces of water every 10 to 20 minutes during exercise, according to familydoctor.org, you should have at least 2L of water for two hours of cycling.
If you’re likely to be cycling for over two hours, you should opt for a capacity of 2.5-3L.
2. Bite valve
When choosing a cycling hydration backpack, it’s important to look for a quality bite valve.
Opt for a low-quality valve that you can’t shut off, and you could end up with a leak or an unpleasant riding experience if the water doesn’t flow properly.
A functional bite valve should be operative via a quick squeeze or a mouth button, and it should have a lock feature to prevent leaking when not in use.
A comfortable backpack is a must. Cycling presents its own issues through saddle soreness or numbness in the feet, so at the very least, you can ensure your backpack isn’t causing you any d discomfort.
Look out for padded straps and tight harnesses to keep everything in place. Opting for a backpack made from breathable fabric is also good to keep you cool and ventilated as you ride.
4. Capacity for gear
If you’re heading out on a long bike ride, you’ll need multiple essentials to keep you on the go other than your water supply.
You’ll need energy bars, gels, and other snacks to keep you energized, alongside valuables such as your keys and smartphone.
Like each of the products mentioned above, a decent hydration backpack will come with various internal storage pockets to keep your belongings safe and secure, rather than just providing a place for your water to be stored.
Always out on your bike? Looking to get out on some longer rides? If so, you must ensure you’re covered through the right insurance.
At Cycleplan, our specialist cycling insurance covers all types of cycling. Whether you’re cycling on the road or heading out on the trails, we offer up to £5m Public Liability cover if you are deemed liable for accidentally injuring someone or damaging their property.
We also offer Personal Accident cover and Theft and Accidental Damage protection, so you can rest assured you’re protected on all fronts.
Click here to learn more about our cycling insurance and get an online quote now.