Do you ever wonder what might happen if you are on a survival run and you desperately need clean water? Well, we do wonder about that and we want you to be safe at all times and for that, we will help you chose the best hydration bladders available.
Having one with you during your outdoor excursion makes it very convenient to drink water. Whether you’re hiking, backpacking, cycling or mountaineering; a hydration bladder is simply one of the most necessary items that one must not forget to carry along.
These products are life saviors and are often the thing that adventurers, survivalists, hikers, and mountaineers need to keep going while they are on their adventure spree.
Do you know how to select the ideal hydration bladder for you? That is why we’ve carefully explained the main features that one needs to take a look at while purchasing a brand new one. The following blog post article also contains the review of the seven most popular products on the market.
|Osprey Hydraulic 2L Reservoir||0.7 pounds||17 x 0.9 x 0.2 inches||0.5 gallons||Check price on Amazon|
|Platypus Hoser Hydration System||1 pound||9 x 0.5 x 0.3 inches||0.2 – 0.7 gallons||Check price on Amazon|
|Geigerrig Hydration Engine||0.5 pounds||12 x 7 x 0.4 inches||0.3 – 0.7 gallons||Check price on Amazon|
|Camelbak Antidote Reservoir||0.4 pounds||16.62 x 6.75 x 2.5 inches||0.5 gallons||Check price on Amazon|
|MSR DromLite Bag||0.2 pounds||16.5 x 8 inches||0.5 gallons||Check price on Amazon|
|BONL Emerald||0.2 pounds||16 x 1.2 x 6.3 inches||0.7 gallons||Check price on Amazon|
|Mubasel Gear||1.1 pounds||10.5 x 3.2 x 9.1 inches||0.5 gallons||Check price on Amazon|
Features to Consider Before Buying
Now, while you are deciding on your hydration bladder, we’d like to give you a heads up on the list of features that you should consider before you make the purchase. Most of these features are common to most brands though ultimately, it all comes down to your personal preferences – don’t forget to take those into mind.
Size of the Bladder
The size of the bladder is one of the first things you should pay attention to. Hydration bags come in various shapes and sizes and you should pick one according to your needs.
Coming in sizes from half a gallon and more, larger bladders are suitable for longer trips – however, they will weigh more once you put them on your back.
On the other side, smaller bladders are ideal for day trips but won’t be much convenient during longer trips. The size of the bladder is also related to the bladder being able to fit into your backpack.
The bladder opening is very likely the second most important thing you should take into consideration. In order to choose the most suitable opening for your needs, think about the environment you’ll be using the hydration bladder in.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a zip top, a folding top or perhaps a screw cap – decide on the one that makes it easy for you to drink out of the hose. This feature will also help you estimate the refill time of the bladder – larger openings allow for faster refill time and vice versa.
Bite Valve Mechanism
The locking mechanism is a very crucial aspect that a lot of people often tend to oversee – you will need to keep the water inside the bladder. The switch and the turn valve are the two primary locking mechanisms available in the market from which you’ll very likely need to make your pick from.
We’d personally recommend using the switch type mechanism due to the ease of use. The turn valves may have a tendency to get stuck and may cause you to lose some valuable time when you’re out in the wilderness.
Pressurized or Non-Pressurized
Bladders can be pressurized or non-pressurized. Pick one according to your needs – both should be a pretty decent choice.
A pressurized hydration bladder squirts out water without any sucking action because of the presence of a pump inside one of its two chambers – it’s extremely convenient to be used! A non-pressurized is pretty much your standard bladder – you’ll need to suck the water out of the hose yourself.
Most of the time, the manufacturers use the same dimensions for the hose making, so different hoses are compatible with different bladders. However, it’s always for the best to make sure yours has a standard opening – if not, check to see what other bladders it would be most compatible with.
This feature also means that you can get a new hose whenever the old one gets used up. Hopefully, you’ve gotten some basic understanding by now about the things you need to pay attention to. Let’s move to the part with the actual reviews now.
Top Products on Today’s Market
Here are some of the best hydration bladders available out there.
Price: Approximately $40
Weight: 0.71 pounds
Capacity: 0.5 gallons
Dimensions: 2.6 x 5.9 x 13.8 inches
Specific features: Hydrostatic backer plate, slide-seal, pour-shield, carry handle, magnetic bite valve, hydraulic reservoir
Best use: Sports, outdoor, recreation, camping, hiking, backpacking
The Osprey Hydraulic 2L Reservoir is one of a kind – if you’re going to be gone out in the wilderness for quite some time, we suggest you carry one of these along with you. It offers half a gallon of storage for water or any other drink you’d like to drink to stay hydrated, making it ideal for both longer and shorter trips.
The bladder is designed with high-quality materials that not only make it appealing to the user but also should allow it to be pretty durable and resistant to leaks.
It comes with a hydrostatic backer plate that helps in maintaining the complete structure. On top of that, the backer plate also allows for the entire bladder to fit comfortably into a backpack.
Accessing the water is very simple due to the magnetic bite valve functionality. It easily connects to the hose of the reservoir and should allow you to sip water out of it without much fuss.
All of the necessary features implemented in the bladder make it perfect for all sorts of outdoor activities whether it is camping, wilderness survival, hiking or trekking – all of it can be tackled if you have one of these!
- Decent storing capacity
- Sturdy and durable
- Affordable price
- Some users may prefer bladders with larger capacity
- The magnetic bite valve might not be to everyone’s liking
Related: The Osprey Hydraulic Cleaning Kit might be considered essential to any hydration bladder – it’ll make the maintenance process go much smoother and faster! The cleaning kit comes in one size and it features a soft cleaning brush, a cleaning brush for your hose as well as a drying rack – everything you might need to get ready for your next trip!
Price: Approximately $25
Weight: 1 pound
Capacity: 0.2 – 0.7 pounds
Dimensions: 9 x 0.5 x 0.3 inches
Specific features: Dual layer construction, slime guard, antimicrobial treatment, threaded outlet, closure caps, hyper flow bite valve
Best use: Camping, hiking, backpacking, trekking.
The Platypus Hoser Hydration System comes in four different sizes allowing the user to pick one that suits their needs the most – depending on how long your trips in nature are, pick a size that will work best for you.
The hydration bladder is easy to carry around and features a hanging loop as well, making it convenient for most users. This hydration system is incredibly tough in nature – since it features a dual-layer construction, it should be pretty durable.
The outlet hose is made long enough so you could drink comfortably and is threaded in the end to accommodate a closure cap. To protect the content inside, the bladder has embedded silver-ion, making it resistant to bacteria and mold.
On top of that, its antimicrobial treatment features a slime guard. The bladder is BPA-free as well as taste-free – meaning that you won’t feel any aftertaste from the water you’ll be drinking.
However, some users might be bothered by the bigger weight of the empty bladder – if you’re not used to carrying a larger load on your back, this bladder might not be the perfect choice for you.
- Comes in four different sizes – versatile use
- Silver-ion protects content inside
- Should be pretty durable and last you for years
- Some users might be bothered by the extra weight
- Closure cap might start leaking after prolonged use
Related: Check out the Platypus Bite Valve Cover if you’re looking for ways to keep your valve clean! The cover is compatible with all Platypus products that have a Shutoff valve and should work well in keeping any dirt from entering inside. On top of that, it gives another layer of protection and minimizes the chances of leaks happening.
Price: $40 – $70
Weight: 0.5 pounds
Capacity: 0.3 – 0.7 gallons
Dimensions: 12 x 7 x 0.4 inches
Specific features: Slide top, quick release valves, filter ready, reversible reservoir, dishwasher safe
Best use: Hiking, backpacking, mountaineering, cycling.
The Geigerrig Hydration Engine takes hydration systems to a whole new level – it can be said that it works almost perfectly! A great thing about it is that it doesn’t necessarily mean that its use is limited for one user only – with an easy maneuver, you could spray some water on it for cooling or sharing.
The opening of the hydration engine is wide and allows for extremely quick and easy refills. The hydration pack is extremely convenient to maintain, clean, and dry. One of the many top-notch features of this hydration system is that it’s dishwasher safe – once you’re done with your trip, feel free to wash it and store it for further use.
The chances for leakage are minimum since the slide top provides a strong seal that gives you a leak-proof system. In order to avoid the hassles of unthreading, the Geiger rig hydration engine offers a very easy quick release valve for quick cleaning and drying options.
On top of that, it has a lifetime warranty against air or water leaks – a feature most of the users would appreciate. All in all, the hydration system is easy to use, convenient to carry and priced affordably as well.
- Can be washed in a dishwasher
- Wide opening that allows for quick refills
- Not limited to only one person
- Pressure problems may arise – too strong or too weak for some users
- You may need to pump it first
Related: If you’re worried about losing your bulb, get yourself a Geigerrig Power Bulb Holder – it’s supposed to make carrying the hydration pack much easier! The product should keep the water pump essential for your pressurized pack in place, making sure it’s both safe and working properly. The holder is made out of durable materials and comes with an affordable price.
Price: Approximately $22
Weight: 0.4 pounds
Capacity: 0.5 gallons
Dimensions: 16.62 x 6.75 x 2.5 inches
Specific features: Quick snap cap, unmatched stability, air-light fill port, low profile fit
Best use: Mountaineering, cycling, trekking, mountain biking
Priced reasonably lower than other hydration systems, the Camelbak Antidote Reservoir is a top notch product in its class. The product comes with numerous features that should make it a nice hydration product for most users – its use is extremely easy no matter whether you’re a trekking beginner or more experienced camper.
The product should be of excellent quality due to the material used for the manufacturing – polyurethane, that should stay sturdy for years. On top of that, you won’t have to worry about bacterial infection or any other sort of fungal activity happening on the inside, as the reservoir gives protection against that as well.
The reservoir is extremely lightweight in nature, so carrying it around with you should be a piece of cake. It should fit in most average-sized backpacks though remember that it’s a reservoir, not a pouch – some users might expect something sturdier or softer, depending on preferences.
The snap cap is airtight and should prevent any leaks from happening. No matter what the use it whether it is cycling, trekking, or hiking, this hydration reservoir plays its part very well.
- Affordable price
- High-quality materials make it durable
- Some users might experience an aftertaste of the water
- Some users could find the tube too short
Related: The Camelbak Max Gear Cleaning Kit should work great with any Camelback hydration bladder! Apart from two soft cleaning brush, the kit features cleaning tablets as well, which some may think of as a nice addition – they should help prevent any aftertaste to the water! The dryer racks included in the kit feature a click-in handle and are sturdy enough to last you for a while.
Price: $20 – $33
Weight: 0.2 pounds
Capacity: 0.5 gallons
Dimensions: 16.5 x 8 inches
Specific features: Interior liner, wide mouth, tough exterior, Cordura 200 d film
Best use: Hiking, backpacking, mountaineering, camping
The MSR DromLite Bag is the product for you if you’re seeking a more budget-friendly alternative of some of the higher-end hydration bladders. Amongst the many hydration bags in the market, this one is especially more appealing due to its lower costs and tougher construction.
Since it’s designed for heavy-duty use, whether it is mountain biking or survival training, this hydration bladder shouldn’t fail you. The 200-denier Cordura won’t give up under any circumstance.
On top of that, this bladder is practically one of the lightest hydration bags available in the market – at 0.2 pounds, it weighs 30% less in comparison to other hydration pouches.
The bladder is very compact and should easily fit even in a full backpack, giving you much-wanted room in your backpack. The collapsibility functionality of the hydration bag makes it all the more compact in nature.
Apart from all of the above-mentioned specifications, this hydration bladder offers clean and BPA free water even after hours of storage.
- Reasonably priced
- Designed for heavy-duty use
- No aftertaste to the content inside
- Users could potentially want more holding capacity
- No security system to prevent leaks from happening
Related: The LOFTEK Tactical Flashlights are pocket-sized and should be a welcoming addition to your camping gear. The flashlight can work in five different modes and features an adjustable focus, depending on what you might need them for. They come with batteries included – so you won’t forget any for your next trip!
Price: Approximately $20
Weight: 0.2 pounds
Capacity: 0.7 gallons
Dimensions: 16 x 1.2 x 6.3 inches
Specific features: Anti-bacteria material, dual opening design, rigid hydration bladder, patented mouthpiece, and auto-lock function
Best use: Camping, mountain biking, hiking, survival situations
The Bonl Emerald Hydration Bladder may be just the right thing if you’re looking for a cheap and durable hydration bladder. One of the best parts of it is that even though it’s extremely light, it can hold a large amount – you could go on for a full day before having to refill it!
In order to make the interiors much smoother, BONL has incorporated a patented GlassAS technology to achieve the feature. On top of that, the hydration bladder is designed with an anti-bacterial material, which helps to prevent bacteria contamination happening on the inside.
The hose connector of the hydration bladder should be secure enough. The mouthpiece is patented as well though you’ll need to bite it in order to drink water. Rinsing, cleaning, and drying the hydration bladder is simple though it takes a few steps in order to do it properly.
The auto-lock function should be helpful enough to prevent any accidental leaks from happening. All in all, this is a great product for those looking to get a budget-friendly bladder with a reasonable performance.
- Budget-friendly price
- Decent performance and quality
- No bacteria contamination can happen inside
- You need to bite in order to drink water, which some may find annoying
- Some might be bothered by the cleaning steps
Related: The SurvivalSPARK Fire Starter is one of the best fire starters on the market. It uses magnesium to give you those much-needed sparks while at the same time, it’s extremely weather-resistant, meaning you can use it even in times of strong winds and rain. On top of that, it comes with a whistle – a nice addition that could come in handy in emergencies.
Price: Approximately $20
Weight: 1.1 pounds
Capacity: 0.5 gallons
Dimensions: 3.2 x 9.1 x 10.5 inches
Specific features: Shock absorbing, adjustable straps, easy cleaning, side pockets
Best use: Camping, mountaineering, hiking, running or jogging.
The cheapest of the lot is the Mubasel Gear Hydration Pack – a decent choice for anyone shopping on a budget! You won’t face any inconvenience as far as the fitting is concerned. The straps that go around your chest, shoulders, and waist are adjustable and ensure that you’ll get a great fit.
Unlike other hydration bladders, this one comes in a backpack that features side pockets as well – you’d be able to store items in the backpack while you run or go hiking.
However, if you’d prefer to carry a pouch, then you might be disappointed that this one resembles more of a backpack rather than a hydration bladder and its use is somewhat limited.
The pack is leak-proof, BPA proof and stays dry on the outside at all times. Cleaning or drying is easy and simple and everyone could do it.
The additional padding provided on the back and around the waist absorbs shock in cases of bounce movements and help prevent any leaks. The bladder comes with a full package and most users should be happy with its performance.
- No weird aftertaste in the content inside
- Maintenance is quick and easy
- Sturdy and durable
- You can’t carry anything else on your back
- Drinking hose might be too short for some
Related: The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter might be an essential product for your camping gear – it can even easily fit in the pocket of your hydration pack! Being able to kill 99.9% of bacteria, it will make any contaminated water safe enough to drink it. The straw is extremely light, making carrying around fairly easy for the user.
Hopefully, you’ve realized by now what matters to you the most when it comes to hydration bladders. Even though bladders are considered a fairly simple product, they do make your life easier while outside in nature – pick one wisely!
We encourage you to go through the list carefully and double-check whether a bladder meets your criteria before deciding which one to buy.
Do you have any favorite hydration bladders that never failed you? If that’s the case, feel free to share with us in the comment section – we love hearing about great products!