It doesn’t matter if you are a professional or a recreational athlete, the physical exertion involved in your sporting activity demands regular hydration. Hydration packs are designed to make sure that nothing comes in the way of your body being hydrated, throughout the duration of your sport. Here is some information that will help you choose the right hydration pack.
From an athlete’s point of view, what could be worse than having to carry an extra load of bottled water every time you venture outdoors? A hydration pack is the accessory, which puts an end to this particular misery. You could be a cyclist, a trekker, a snowboarder, a camper or even a recreational walker; a hydration pack is a must-have, as it tends to your body’s basic requirement – water.
Choosing the Correct Hydration Pack
The importance of keeping your body hydrated has been well documented. When you are on the move, it does feel a little cumbersome to reach out to a bottle for that much-needed sip of water. Fret not, for a hydration pack gives you a steady supply of water, and we’re here to help you choose one that suits you best.
Ready, Steady, Choose!
Yes, it is actually as easy as that. A point to remember and rejoice about is that a good hydration pack also doubles up as a backpack. Although its basic purpose is to store water, you will find variants that allow you to throw in a few handy supplies too. All you need to do is keep the following factors in mind.
It’s All in the Game
And isn’t that fairly obvious? The sport you indulge plays a major role in deciding the kind of hydration pack you ought to be using. For instance, a recreational hiker would find a hydration pack with just a reservoir sufficient; a mountain biker, however, would need more space in the pack to include, say, another tire tube or even some food. Although hydration requirements are variable, the sport you will be playing is an important factor when it comes to buying a hydration pack.
Selecting the reservoir volume is crucial, as you wouldn’t want to be lugging a heavy load on your back unnecessarily. On the other hand, being dehydrated despite carrying a hydration pack is a tragedy too. You need to consider the activity you will be involved in, and keep the weather conditions in mind as well. Reservoirs can be insulated in order to control the water’s temperature, this is a useful feature for skiers.
(35-50 fl. oz.)
(70 fl. oz.)
(100 fl. oz.)
Measure it Up
Your cargo requirements will dictate the size of your hydration pack. As a serious hiker, you may need a pack that has a lot of space, especially if you plan overnight trips. If you happen to be a trail runner, a small waist pack should suffice. In case you plan a long trip, you could consider buying the hiking pack which comes with 2500 cubic inches of cargo space. Similarly, for people who are into winter sports, a bigger pack equals more space for warm clothes.
Sip or Bite
Hydration packs come with a tube which has either a mouthpiece that you would need to bite to release the water, or sip directly from it. Why is this important? Well, the tube needs to be flexible enough to reach out to when you are thirsty, more so if you happen to be cycling or snowboarding. Tubes made of polyurethane are known to pass a plastic odor to the water, so ensure that you wash it and dry it after every use. Alternatively, silicone tubes are a popular option as well.
Along with the above factors, you must consider the pack weight and essentially try it on to ensure that the pack fits you snugly, and that the tube is easily accessible. You can find clips that are designed to keep the tube in the correct position. Make sure that you prioritize comfort above everything else. There are specially designed packs for women and children available in stores. Also look out for packs that come with padded shoulder straps and adjustable hip straps. Some packs come with a detachable reservoir, which makes it easy to clean, do inquire about this feature.
Hydration packs were originally designed for professional cyclists, but considering its utility, it is not surprising that they’ve become a rage among sports enthusiasts the world over. It feels a little sad to bid farewell to the good, old water bottle, and with it, to all the fun squirting wars. But hey, utility wins every time, so good luck with finding the right hydration pack.