Best Hydration Bladders For Runners and Athletes in 2021

Natalie Cecconi
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We all like when we have a nice, cold one to sip on. Drinking water is the best way to stay hydrated (or any other beverage for that matter) while you are active because water doesn't leave a bad taste in your mouth and you don't need to chew it.

If you are a runner, a cyclist, or some other active person, you probably already know how important it is to stay hydrated. But even if you stay constantly hydrated, you can still sweat a lot and run out of water. When that happens, you'll either be waiting a long time to restock your water supply or you'll have to take a break in your activity. Neither is a very good idea.

That's where hydration bladders come in. Hydration bladders are lightweight water containers that fit perfectly into your water bottle cage and are very easy and convenient to use which makes them great for runners, cyclists, and other athletes.

Without further ado, let's dive into this guide and discuss everything you want to know about hydration bladders for runners and athletes.

NameCategoryProduct
CamelBak 2018 Hydroguard Crux Reservoir Replacement BladderBest OverallCamelBak 2018 Hydroguard Crux Reservoir Replacement Bladder
Platypus Hoser Hands-Free Hydration System Water ReservoirBudget PickPlatypus Hoser Hands-Free Hydration System Water Reservoir
Source Outdoor Widepac Dvide Hydration SystemUpgrade PickSource Outdoor Widepac Dvide Hydration System

1. CamelBak 2018 Hydroguard Crux Reservoir Replacement Bladder

Our rating: 9 / 10

CamelBak 2018 Hydroguard Crux Reservoir Replacement Bladder

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Pros:

  • The reservoir is BPA and Phthalate free
  • Does not get stained easily and holds liquid for over 4 hours
  • The reservoir has a translucent, easy-to-read fluid gauge
  • Maintains water temperature, so it won’t make your water taste weird
  • It’s pretty lightweight, weighing just 5.4 ounces
  • It also has an easy-on/off bite valve
  • Can be used with all CamelBak and most non-CamelBak pouches
  • Unique EXO technology automatically purges air at the bite valve, so you can consume more water faster
  • The body is FDA-approved polycarbonate
  • Tight seal prevents leaking

The CamelBak 2018 Hydroguard Crux Reservoir Replacement bladder holds 3 Liter of water, and is BPA free and has a polyurethane base. It has a 3 by 5 inch opening which is compatible with all CamelBak and most non-CamelBak insulated Hydration Pouches.

2. HydraPak Force Ultra-Durable Water Bladder/Reservoir

Our rating: 9 / 10

HydraPak Force Ultra-Durable Water Bladder/Reservoir

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10 Liter.

This HydraPak Force Ultra-Durable Water Bladder/Reservoir for Hydration Backpacks is a great option for people who are looking for a safe and reliable hydration bladder. They are constructed out of thick double-polymer with a wide mouth opening that is easy to fill.

The tube for this hydration bladder is PVC free for a non-toxic option that won’t put you at risk for health problems.

3. Source Outdoor Widepac Hydration System Reservoir

Our rating: 9 / 10

Source Outdoor Widepac Hydration System Reservoir

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Pros:

  • Widepac comes in various sizes and designs
  • Better capacity than traditional soft flasks
  • Bite valve is more useful than regular straws
  • More durable than soft flasks
  • More stable than other soft flasks
  • Hydrates quickly and effectively

Cons:

  • Only available in squeeze bottle form
  • Not very good for hikers or backpackers
  • Doesn’t give temperature indication

Source Outdoor offers wide array of hydration products that include several bladder design in a wide range of colours. The narrows pack is designed for runners, cyclists, and hikers. The unique and extra-lightweight design of the narrows pack makes it easy to clip and access during exercise sessions.

This small hydration pack has a very fast flow rate and is suited for runners and triathletes.

The hydration pack comes with with Helix mouthpiece which is much better than traditional straws. The bite valve also locks into place, making it harder for water to leak out and preventing accidental spills.

4. Platypus Big Zip Water Reservoir

Our rating: 9 / 10

Platypus Big Zip Water Reservoir

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Pros:

  • Easy to fill, clean, and use
  • Good amount of storage space
  • Large opening to add ice and powder
  • High quality materials
  • Compatible with Platypus soft-sided backpacks

Cons:

  • Not good for narrow bottles
  • The color will fade over time
  • There’s an odd rubber smell when you first start using it

The Platypus Big Zip Reservoir is a high-capacity backpack water bladder that is easily attached to a backpack using zipping mechanisms. Made out of stretchable fabric, it is comfortable and easy to refill.

This reservoir is BPA free, highly durable, and compatible with other Platypus hydration packs. It has a 70z capacity, which means you can store plenty of fluids to keep you hydrated and refreshed when you’re out enjoying the great outdoors and up to 3 liters of fluids.

It also includes a fast flow easy clean valve that lets you get the water you need quickly and easily. It can be taken apart and cleaned. That makes it easy to maintain and easy to keep clean. You can even add ice or powder for extra cooling when you’re outside working on those runs or playing in sports.

5. Platypus Hoser Hands-Free Hydration System Water Reservoir

Our rating: 8 / 10

Platypus Hoser Hands-Free Hydration System Water Reservoir

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Pros:

  • Easy to clean
  • Virtually indestructible
  • Holds your water securely
  • Easy to add ice
  • Affordable
  • No leaking

Cons:

  • Smaller bladder
  • Large and bulky

And Bladder (1.8 L)

The Platypus Hoser Hands-Free Hydration System comes with a 1.8-liter bladder and easy-clean tube. What makes this bladder is its ability to carry water hands-free, making it super convenient and easy to add water on the go.

It allows you to submerge the bladder inside a stream or lake for water filtration and purification. This makes it a great addition as a hydration bladder for runners and avid athletes.

6. Nathan Replacement Bladder

Our rating: 8 / 10

Nathan Replacement Bladder

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Pros:

  • Great for runner, cyclists, and athletes
  • Holds up to 1.8 L of water
  • Works with both the Nathan Quickdraw 3L and 5L Hydration Vest
  • BPA Free Material
  • Leak Free
  • Easy to clean
  • Lightweight
  • Hydration Bladder Replacement
  • Food Grade Material
  • Soft Bite Valve

Cons:

  • The new valves are not compatible with any of the Nathan hydration vests they have manufactured prior to the release of this bladder
  • Users reported leaked are still more common than not

With a design that's been refined over the last decade, the Nathan Replacement Bladder – 1.8 Liter (1.8L) / For Hydration Vests, Hydration Pack (BPA Free) is a great investment for both athletes and casual users alike.

With a capacity of up to 1.8 liters, this bladder will hold more water than most of its competitors on the market. The quality and design of this product make it an ideal choice for simple hydration.

7. Hydrapak Velocity 1.5L

Our rating: 8 / 10

Hydrapak Velocity 1.5L

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Pros:

  • Has a wide mouth opening that makes filling incredibly easy
  • Very lightweight – it weighs just 0.62 pounds
  • Various colors available
  • Easy to store
  • Leakproof
  • Highly durable
  • BPA and Phthalate free
  • Bottle has a smooth feel to it
  • You can use it for any activity – cycling, hiking, jogging, paddling, and much more

Cons:

  • The bite valve can pull off of the mouthpiece if you’re not careful
  • There’s a chance that it can leak a little bit

The Hydrapak Velocity is a lightweight hydration bladder that can be used for everyday activities as well as athletic use. You can use it for hiking, cycling, running, or any other adventure.

It has a large opening that makes filling it up with water or liquids very easy. It has a tapered tip end that allows for a smooth flow. The Hydrapak Velocity is BPA and Phthalate free as well. You can even use it with ice for cold liquids.

8. Nathan Insulated Hydration Bladder

Our rating: 7 / 10

Nathan Insulated Hydration Bladder

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Pros:

  • Exceptional value
  • Superior hydration
  • Ergonomic design and leak-proof
  • Highly durable materials
  • Good insulation for hot and cold liquids

Cons:

  • The container's slim opening can get harder to clean over time
  • No color choices

Inside the Nathan Insulated Hydration Bladder’s bag you’ll find a reusable 1.6 litre bladder made from medical grade TPU and PET composite with a soft PE liner that won’t irritate your skin. The 2 auto locking ExoSeal– clips at the top of the bag provide a fast convenient solution to keep the bladder clean and germ free.

However, the slim opening may become more of a problem with age. Since you’re opening and closing it quite often, bits of food may get stuck on the bottom and around the threads. It may eventually require some scrubbing, but it’s nothing sinister.

That said, this bladder will help you keep hydrated through whatever activity you’re participating in.

9. Deuter Streamer Thermo Bag

Our rating: 7 / 10

Deuter Streamer Thermo Bag

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Pros:

  • Good 5 out of 5 star rating
  • Ice stays frozen for 18 hours
  • Easy to clean and dry
  • Stylish and lightweight

The Deuter Streamer Thermo Bag is a high-performance hydration bladder with an insulated design. You can easily store it in your backpack or suitcase when travelling.

It’s from Deuter, a renowned brand trusted for outdoor activities. The insulated design keeps liquids cool for longer. It can keep ice and temperature for up to 18 hours.

The bag features an easy slide in TSA-compatible hook design, a zip-through entry, and a super-flat design for convenient carrying.

10. Source Outdoor Widepac Dvide Hydration System

Our rating: 6 / 10

Source Outdoor Widepac Dvide Hydration System

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Pros:

  • A versatile hydration bladder that’s compatible with Source, Camelbak, and many other popular models
  • It is 100% BPA-free
  • The reservoir is very flexible and lightweight
  • It’s compatible with most hydration packs
  • The wide-mouth opening is easy to fill

Cons:

  • When you’re running, the reservoir bounces around a little
  • Despite the fact that it’s leak-proof, the reservoir can’t really be submerged in water, just like most hydration bladders

This product is manufactured by Source, a family-owned company based in California. They make the most innovative and high-quality hydration bladders in the market.

The Source Outdoor Widepac Pro Dvide Hydration System is their top-of-the-line widepac bladder and it’s surprisingly affordable. It’s designed to fit with Source bladder packs, Camelbak, and many other popular bladders. It’s basically a super-sized hydration bladder that can hold almost a liter of water.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best CamelBak for running?

When it comes to hydration packs, the Camelbak Drom is one of the best performing and best-selling models available on the market. If you are looking for a comfortable, waterproof backpack that offers a complete feature set and delivers the results you want, you need look no further.

This is a well-designed, army-green colored, fabricated, insulated bag that features a 1.75” x 1.5” external pocket for stashing your keys, cell phone, and other essentials. Additionally, this pack features a small patch on the shoulder that’s able to hold a carabiner. Since the carabiner is held to the shoulder strap, this feature provides added freedom of motion, especially during your run.

What is the best hydration bladder?

A hydration bladder is a reservoir that you can use to carry water with you while you exercise. It is used to beat the heat, reduce the chances of dehydration and make you last longer. In this guide we will look at what to consider when purchasing the best hydration bladder for your needs.

Should I run with a CamelBak?

Some runners and athletes still prefer running without hydration and nutrition packs. They say it makes them lighter or faster.

However, for those who enjoy the comfort and convenience of a hydration and nutrition pack, the best hydration bladder is a must have. It helps you keep your body well-hydrated and full of energy with nutrition when you run, work out, cycle, or hike.

The main features you should consider when choosing the best hydration bladder are the portability, durability, size, and your preferences about the materials and colors. Below are 10 popular options that should help with picking the most suitable water backpack for various purposes.

How do I choose a hydration bladder?

A hydration bladder is a hydration system that can be filled from a tap or other receptacle and then connected to a drinking tube via a quick-release bite valve. Some offer an internal filter and a hose that runs from the bladder to the mouthpiece. Although drinking from a hydration bladder generally takes more effort and results in a larger mess, it allows the drinker to consume liquids more quickly and conveniently. It also allows the drinker to drink while wearing a helmet or other head gear that would not be possible with a water bottle.

Water bladder and hydration systems are used to carry water, flavored vitamin water, sports drinks, isotonic drinks, non-carbonated soft drinks and energy drinks for endurance events, while cycling and running and as emergency water supplies for hiking and backpacking.

Here are some factors you need to consider:

Conclusion

If you’re an avid runner, the best hydration bladder for you needs to allow you to run hands-free and without any worries. It needs to be well-made, sturdy, and comfortable to wear. If you’re an athlete, then you need a great hydration bladder that will allow you to train for your sport comfortably and effectively.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
CamelBak 2018 Hydroguard Crux Reservoir Replacement BladderBest OverallCamelBak 2018 Hydroguard Crux Reservoir Replacement Bladder
Platypus Hoser Hands-Free Hydration System Water ReservoirBudget PickPlatypus Hoser Hands-Free Hydration System Water Reservoir
Source Outdoor Widepac Dvide Hydration SystemUpgrade PickSource Outdoor Widepac Dvide Hydration System