The Best Hydration Packs for Running in 2022

Natalie Cecconi
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Hydration is important. For a runner, it is vital. So when choosing a hydration backpack, it’s worth considering a few things. When choosing the best hydration pack, ask yourself:

  • What kind of runner are you?
  • What kind of runner will you strive to be?
  • How important is style?
  • How important is comfort?
  • Do you need a lot of storage?
  • Do you need a mobile office?
  • How important is weight?
  • Ergonomic?

Lots to think about.

Luckily, we have put together a comprehensive list of the best hydration packs for running on the market right now so you don’t have to.

NameCategoryProduct
Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 5 SetBest OverallSalomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 5 Set
CamelBak Circuit Running Hydration VestBudget PickCamelBak Circuit Running Hydration Vest
Nathan Men’s Hydration Pack / Running VestUpgrade PickNathan Men’s Hydration Pack / Running Vest

1. Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 5 Set

Our rating: 9 / 10

Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 5 Set

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Pros:

  • Pack comes in multiple sizes
  • Cooling technology
  • Durable and well-made
  • Stretchable side mesh for optimal comfort and breathability
  • Multiple storage pockets
  • Adjustable sternum straps and side straps
  • Sleek and sporty design
  • Ultra-lightweight
  • Comfortable to wear for long periods of time
  • Great fit

Cons:

  • Hard to access water if you are wearing a jacket on
  • No easy access compartment to store a phone

2. Salomon Advanced Skin 5 Set Unisex Trail Running Vest Backpack

Our rating: 9 / 10

Salomon Advanced Skin 5 Set Unisex Trail Running Vest Backpack

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Pros:

  • 4 L capacity is enough to carry all your hiking gear
  • Guaranteed to last for your lifetime
  • Easy to clean interior
  • Padded waist belt
  • Lightweight, durable, and compact
  • Multiple exterior pockets
  • Comes with an easy to use hydration system
  • The storage area is designed to securely hold your phone, keys, and wallet
  • Adjustable Sternum strap which can be locked
  • Stretchable and interchangeable shoulder straps

Cons:

  • The Rain cover may be too short for warm weather climates
  • The shoulder pads could be a bit wider/taller for more comfort
  • The design does not accommodate special needs for carrying water bottles

This running hydration pack from Salomon is designed to carry all your gear for the road while still being lightweight and comfortable. The 5L capacity is made of running vest backpack resistance fabric which helps to keep your gear organized. There are multiple pockets to help you stay organized as well as an easy access mesh pocket for your phone, GPS, or wallet.

3. Salomon S/Lab Sense Ultra 5 Set Unisex Trail Running Vest Backpack

Our rating: 9 / 10

Salomon S/Lab Sense Ultra 5 Set Unisex Trail Running Vest Backpack

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Pros:

  • Fully adjustable for any stature
  • Mesh design cools you down on warm days
  • Super lightweight
  • Pockets and utility features are well placed
  • Affordable price

Cons:

  • Fit is quite snug for some
  • Water bladder can be smaller

The Salomon S/Lab Sense Ultra 5 Set is absolutely fantastic for any athletic activity, including running. It comes with a handheld bottle with a whistle, a reservoir, the frame pack, and a vest. The design of the set allows for phenomenal heat and sweat management, a feature that we found to be quite welcome during the summer months.

The vest is made from a breathable mesh design, stretchable fabric, and an elastic bottom hem. The vest can fit comfortably even when running or biking. The vest can be adjusted to fit most body sizes effortlessly, and the design keeps everything nice and snug.

The pockets also provide excellent storage features. The vest has several pockets built in for storing whatever it is that you need to store. There is a small pocket on the back for your phone. The belt that comes with the set is also equipped with plenty of storage pockets.

4. Orange Mud Endurance Pack 2.0

Our rating: 9 / 10

Orange Mud Endurance Pack 2.0

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Pros:

  • Comes with a 2L bladder
  • Has additional pockets and compartments inside the pack
  • Has reflective strips for visibility at night
  • Very comfortable
  • Has a large holder for a phone, GoPro, etc

Cons:

  • Bulkier than some models
  • A bit on the heavier side
  • No insulated compartments inside the pack

Workout, Hiking, Gym Bag/Travel Bag/Yoga Bag/Purse/Pouch/Backpack Straps – Safety Orange.

The Orange Mud Endurance Pack 2.0 is one of the best hydration packs currently available on the market. It has a 2L bladder capacity 60 oz.

With the extra small pack you can expect the following:

Cons:

5. Osprey Duro 15 Men's Running Hydration Vest

Our rating: 8 / 10

Osprey Duro 15 Men's Running Hydration Vest

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Pros:

  • Super comfortable fit
  • Plethora of storage compartments make it easier to keep your belongings organised
  • Padded shoulder straps and waist belt for extra support
  • Water bottles are BPA-free
  • It is lightweight
  • The hydration bladder is easy to fill, use, and clean

Cons:

  • The strap that adjusts the flow of water to the mouthpiece is (sometimes) hard to use
  • The pockets are super-small
  • The small zippered pocket could be larger
  • The water bottles are a little hard to clean out.

The Osprey Duro 15 Men’s Running Hydration Vest with HotShot Hydration is a lightweight and very comfortable running vest. It also has a good number of compartments to carry water bottles as well as other essentials like a phone, keys, headphones, and gels, among other items.

The pockets are well designed, so everything is well organised. You can easily access what you need, when you need it.

Overall, this is a fantastic running hydration vest. But the only thing missing is a little bit more space for gels, music, keys, etc.

6. Nathan TrailMix Running Vest/Hydration Pack. 7L

Our rating: 8 / 10

Nathan TrailMix Running Vest/Hydration Pack. 7L

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Pros:

  • Cushioned shoulder straps
  • The reflective material and running belt were excellent features
  • Has a separate compartment for valuables
  • Relatively lightweight and comfortable to wear
  • Washable material inside and out

Cons:

  • Absorbs sweat
  • Material quality could be a little better
  • A little pricey for a hydration pack

Resistant, Exercise Belt.

If you are a serious runner, chances are you will want to bring along a few essentials – other than yourself – to any race you participate in. We got ourselves in a few situations in the past where we found ourselves in a dilemma of whether we should carry our hydration system, or our other belongings, or both. That is why we have decided to present you with some recommendations if you are trying to find the best hydration pack for running around town.

If you are not aware, hydration packs are usually used with hot weather when you are hiking or running long distances. One of the most important benefits of using a hydration pack is that it allows you to carry your water and other belongings around with you on long runs.

7. Ultimate Direction Mens Ultra Vest Signature Series 5.0

Our rating: 8 / 10

Ultimate Direction Mens Ultra Vest Signature Series 5.0

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Pros:

  • Reasonably priced while still being high-quality
  • Well-designed
  • Can easily fit waist sizes between 26 and 43 inches
  • Specialized for running
  • Lightweight design
  • Available in three sizes

Cons:

  • Some users have reported issues with stability and comfort
  • Cannot be used for a wide range of activities

Our pick for the best hydration pack for running in 2020 is the Ultimate Direction UD Men’s Ultra Vest Signature Series 5.0 which is a lightweight and naturally breathable running vest designed for trail.

Ultimate Direction is one of the large outdoor sports equipment companies that manufactures high-quality gear for runners, adventure racers, hikers and more. This Ultimate Direction’s vest is no exception, it is sturdy, durable, lightweight and comes with a great range of features that make it a top pick for the job.

The Ultimate Direction Men’s Ultra Vest comes in three sizes that can easily fit waist sizes between 26 and 43 inches. Its lightweight design makes it a great option for people looking to move fast and agile while not slowing you down.

8. Nathan Men’s Hydration Pack / Running Vest

Our rating: 7 / 10

Nathan Men’s Hydration Pack / Running Vest

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Pros:

  • It includes a large 12 L water bladder which allows you to stay hydrated throughout a long run.
  • Its 2-litre capacity means it is suitable for people who are planning to embark on a multi-day trek.
  • It incorporates a reflective design for better visibility in low light environments.
  • It includes an air flow back design for increased comfort. It comes with 3D mesh ventilation which makes the back pack breathable during outings.
  • The shoulder straps are easily adjustable.
  • You can use the running pack for other purposes besides running, including hiking and camping.
  • It comes with a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects.
  • There is a water bladder included.
  • It allows you to carry your hydration pack in the front or the back.

Cons:

  • It does not have a bladder cover.
  • It does not include a whistle.

Multifunctional.

The Men’s Hydration Pack / Running Vest from Nathan is a multifunctional running backpack, which can also function as a hiking hydration pack.

While there are similar products that cost more than this model, this one offers a lot of functionality at a reasonable price.

9. CamelBak Circuit Running Hydration Vest

Our rating: 7 / 10

CamelBak Circuit Running Hydration Vest

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Pros:

  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Pockets for water bottles, keys, and cell phone
  • Well-ventilated shoulder straps including breathable mesh material, perforated foam and elasticized mesh
  • Fluidsafe Integrity Technology
  • Triple-compartment design for storage capacity
  • 2-meter extension hose, bite valve, hose cover, and custom Fit Hammer chest wrap
  • 100% Leak Proof Guarantee

Cons:

  • The belt may fit a bit long, and wide for some consumers
  • The bladder may be a bit to small for some runners

Electric Blue/Black.

The CamelBak Circuit is a great option for runners who are looking for another alternative to hydration packs. It is ideal for people who feel that the smaller and mid-sized hydration vests may not feel comfortable to them.

The Circuit provides a large capacity of water and the pack itself is equipped with pockets for your belongings. With that, it is a great option to consider if you are an avid runner or enjoy hiking outside.

10. Ultimate Direction Marathon Vest

Our rating: 7 / 10

Ultimate Direction Marathon Vest

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Pros:

  • Comes with many features
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Good quality materials
  • Hydration bladder is large
  • Fairly easy to clean
  • Affordable
  • The lumbar pack is removable
  • Available in 5 different sizes

Cons:

  • Not a great option for shorter distances
  • The hydration bladder is not removable
  • Hydration valve doesn’t have a cover
  • Doesn’t include a hydration system

2.0L, Black/Red

The Ultimate Direction Marathon Vest is designed for distance runners who prefer minimal body water weight. This vest offers several tools and features to help you enjoy your run.

One of the key components is its large capacity bladder, capable of holding up to 2 liters of water. The drinking tube comes with a quick-release clip. The vest gives you easy and accessible access to your water while helping you stay hydrated on your training or race day.

11. Ultimate Direction 50oz Hydration Reservoir

Our rating: 6 / 10

Ultimate Direction 50oz Hydration Reservoir

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Pros:

  • Comes in a variety of sizes
  • Excellent durability
  • Easy compact storage
  • Affordable
  • Can be mounted on hydration belt or running vests
  • Can be used down to zero degrees
  • Wide mouth opening – easy to fill

Cons:

  • Wide perimeter – a bit heavy
  • Narrow mouth – hard to clean

The Ultimate Direction 50oz Hydration Reservoir is a hydration pack which comes in a number of different sizes depending on your needs. The 50oz model is great for the long distance runners while the smaller versions are perfect for shorter runs.

This reservoir comes in a variety of different colors. It also comes with a rain cover, hook-n-loop mount, and a hose wrap. The hose wrap is what makes this reservoir a great option to use for running.

This product is made of a BPA-free material and can be used down to temperatures as low as zero degrees Celsius. This ensures that you can continue to use your reservoir throughout the full life cycle of your run even when the temperature drops.

12. AGILE 2 SET

Our rating: 6 / 10

AGILE 2 SET

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Pros:

  • 3-piece set
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Collapsible
  • Easy storage
  • Includes a carrying pouch
  • Leak-proof
  • Food-grade polypropylene textures
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use
  • BPA-free

Our top pick for the best hydration pack for runners is the AGILE 2 SET. This hydration system is made of thick high-quality BPA-free copolyester. It includes straws that are 100% leak-proof, making walking around the house, doing yard work, and other tasks much easier.

This also includes a 2-pack of 24OZ (0.7 L) Blender Bottles and 2 straws. The ergonomic BlenderBall® wire whisk inside mixes formulas and powders in a glass, cup, or bottle. The BlenderBottle® patented push-button release system gives you one-handed access to your beverage.

The new Lok® design has a smaller threaded² top, which eliminates over tightening when coupled with the patented flip cap®. The flip cap® is made of a virtually unbreakable impact-resistant plastic, which is BPA-free.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the best hydration packs for running?

One of the most important gear for nearly every fitness enthusiast runner is the backpack hydration systems which help you to stay hydrated during longer runs when you do not have the time to constantly sit for a cup of water.

When you plan to become a long distance runner in the near future, you should already have some experience in running and backpacking. After all, how can you ensure that these two activities are compatible for you? What you need is a hydration backpack which can hold water bottles. Many different brands and models are available at the moment, and it is very important to choose the right one for your needs.

Some hydration back systems are available with just one bottle. Which would work best if your long distance runs are less than 4 hours. Other backpacks can hold up to 3 or 4 bottles.

Do marathon runners wear hydration packs?

Yes! Hydration packs are becoming very popular among long distance runners. There are a few different reasons why endurance runners are now using them on the trails. It's not uncommon for distance running events to last for hours and even sometimes days. This kind of endurance requires a lot of hydration.

Some events are so long that runners can become dehydrated or even lose the ability to swallow without water. Therefore, water is always a necessity. Most people will carry a water bottle or two. While this can work, carrying shakers, energy bars, and other water-related gear can be an inconvenience when you need to carry equipment for many different parts of the event.

Should I run with a CamelBak?

Camelbaks give you the ability to carry water, and that is the most important aspect of hydration during a run, but there are several other considerations you must take into account.

The Camelbak is one of the most popular hydration packs on the market. But to understand just how well it performs, you need to understand the different styles of hydration packs.

One of the most popular styles is the traditional backpack. This version features a hard outer shell with lots of room for gear. They feature pockets for all your essentials and can range anywhere from 5 to 40 liters.

Other popular variations feature vest systems. These packs have an upper half, which rests over the shoulders with a strap going across the chest to hold it in place. The lower half is where you place the water bladder. The compression strap helps to stabilize the pack during running. This style typically has a much smaller bladder than a traditional pack.

How do you hydrate during a long run?

There are two main ways to hydrate while running: water and running hydration packs.

Many veteran runners and trainers prefer water bottles or hydration vests to running hydration packs, primarily because of the increased weight in their back.

If youd prefer to just carry a few water bottles with you on a run, go with the kind that is lightweight, ergonomic, and easy to carry. Also, make sure to get yourself water bottles with the right capacity for your training.

But hands down, running hydration packs are your best bet if you are serious about training and taking your performance to the next level. Running hydration packs are made from ultralight materials, specifically designed for runners, and equipped with a series of features that ensure your run is optimal.

Nowadays, most people who run use hydration packs.

Conclusion

With hundreds of different running hydration packs available on the market, it can be very difficult to figure out which one is perfect for you. The best one for you will depend on the size you need, the pockets and compartments you need, and of course the price. This article will provide you with a list of the factors that you should consider when choosing the best running hydration pack for you.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 5 SetBest OverallSalomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 5 Set
CamelBak Circuit Running Hydration VestBudget PickCamelBak Circuit Running Hydration Vest
Nathan Men’s Hydration Pack / Running VestUpgrade PickNathan Men’s Hydration Pack / Running Vest