The Best Hydration Bladder Review For Your Next Hiking Trip

If you have ever spent time in the great outdoors with only bottles to drink your water from ​hydration ​bladder, then you probably know how annoying it is to stop every mile or to just to have a sip.

And sometimes you get to the point where taking off your heavy pack to get your bottled water becomes tiresome that you ditch a sip altogether!

But, ditching a drink might be quite troublesome if you ask me. You need to be hydrated to reach your goals. But, the constant stopping to drink slows down your activity and is more tiresome than the hike itself.

So, what do you do?

Ditch the bottled water and get yourself one of the market’s best hydration bladders available today!

​The invention of hydration bladders has made drinking on the go way, way easier and dehydration due to laziness becomes a thing of the past!

From simple plastic pouch with a hose attached to it, hydration bladders have come a long way. From antibacterial plastics to quick connect valves, the bladders from the last few years are giving more than just carrying and drinking water easily.

They are now becoming more and easier to clean, maintain and use with improved water flow as well as compatibility with fillers.

So, in case you have never used or seen one before, then you are in for good treat! And if you have had an old one that mold started to grow an arm and legs, then you will most likely love what’s new in the world of hydration bladders!



Closure Type


​Our Rating


CamelBak Crux Hydration Reservoir

CamelBak Crux Hydration Reservoir

​Screw Top

1.5 Liters / 2 Liters / 3 Liters

Platypus Big Zip LP Reservoir for Hydration Packs

Platypus Big Zip LP Reservoir for Hydration Packs

​Zip Top

1.5 Liters / 2 Liters / 3 Liters

Mubasel Gear Hydration Backpack

Mubasel Gear Hydration Backpack

​Zip Top

​2 liters

Osprey Hydraulics Reservoir

Osprey Hydraulics Reservoir

Fold Top

2 Liters / 3 Liters

Widepac Hydration System Reservoir by Source Outdoor

Widepac Hydration System Reservoir by Source Outdoor

​Fold Top

1.5 Liters / 2 Liters / 3 Liters

Reviews of the Best Hydration Bladder 2018

CamelBak Crux Hydration Reservoir – Best Budget/Cheap Hydration Bladder

Camelbak Crux 2L Reservoir
1,284 Reviews
CamelBak Crux 2L Reservoir
  • CRUX REPLACEMENT WATER RESERVOIR: The CamelBak Crux 1.5-liter hydration bladder features an improved ergonomic shape and improved water flow fits easily in your CamelBak water hydration backpack.
  • MORE WATER PER SIP: This hydration bladder features our 1.5-liter Crux reservoir that makes it easier to load and refill. It delivers 20% more water per sip, keeping you hydrated while you’re navigating the outdoors
  • HIGH QUALITY MATERIALS: The Crux 1.5-liter water reservoir is made from durable, leak-proof material and has a tightened cap that ensures it won’t leak in your bag. The plastic is BPA-, BPS-, and BPF-free.
  • ENGINEERED FOR CONVENIENCE: CamelBak has engineered this hydration reservoir for optimal efficiency and convenience. Its ergonomic shape allows it to fit easily in your bags while the big bite valve allows you to intake more water per sip.
  • IF WE BUILD IT – WE’LL BAK IT: Our Got Your Bak Lifetime Guarantee covers all reservoirs, backpacks, bottles, and accessories from manufacturing defects in materials and workmanship for the lifetime of the product.

The newest addition to the CamelBak series, the Crux is much more improved than its siblings. It comes in 3 sizes: 3-liter, 2-liter, and 1.5-liter— so you can choose whatever size can accommodate your outdoor trips.

​The CamelBak Crux Hydration Reservoir has a square shape and is designed to be stored low in your backpack and maintain a lower center of gravity during high-intensity activity. Featuring a large, newly designed ergonomic handle, it allows easier holding and pouring as well as the fast connection of vertical hose.

CamelBak also improved the rate of water flow in the bite valve that now gives you around 20% more water out in every sip. It has an on/off lever on the bite valve and does a good job in preventing leakage since it self-seal after each sip.

Introducing Hydroguard technology together with the hundred percent BPF, BPS and BPA-free guarantee, this hydration bladder inhibits bacterial growth so your water will be safe from contaminations and chemicals.

What We Like

  • ​Inhibits bacteria growth
  • ​Good bite valve lever
  • ​Excellent water flow
  • ​Durable
  • ​Ergonomic handle
  • ​Inexpensive

What We Like

  • ​Heavy
  • ​Difficult to clean
  • ​The top hook is not robust
  • ​The screw top is not easy to secure

Platypus Big Zip LP Reservoir for Hydration Packs

Platypus Big Zip Water Reservoir
839 Reviews
Platypus Big Zip Water Reservoir
  • Premium taste-free, leak-proof reservoir with low profile design offers hydration on the go for hikers, backpackers, travelers and mountain bikers
  • Secure SlideLock slides both ways to open reservoir easily and close it securely
  • Low-profile design with center baffle helps reservoir ride flat in a pack
  • Features Standard Valve with 1/4-inch drink tube
  • 3.0-Liter measures 9 x 17.2 inches and weighs 6.5 ounces; manufacturer’s limited lifetime warranty; made in the USA

The hydration packs from Platypus is designed to be light and durable to withstand the harsh outdoors. Even though it is made from thick Polyethylene plastic, this hydration pack will never leave a plastic taste and is BPA-, BPS- and phthalate-free.

​The Platypus Big Zip LP Reservoir owes its name to its large zip lock opening at the top. Sealed with Slidelock closure, this hydration system is so easy to use and competes fiercely with eh fold tops of other brands which can be clunky sometimes. Its LP or low profile is the result of the internal baffle which provides some stability when using it in intense activities.

​It has a standard quick release hose valves and an excellent silicone bite valve that can be twisted open and close fairly in a pinch with one hand. This hydration bladder also has built-in bacteria and mold protection. It is finished off with an excellent top hanger which doubles as a carry handle for those who need something strong, yet lightweight for high-intensity adventures.

What We Like

  • ​Lightweight
  • ​Bacteria and mold protection
  • ​Low profile
  • ​Good carry handle
  • ​Easy to use
  • ​Shut off valve at the drinking end of the tube

What We Didn’t Like

  • ​Internal baffle is not removable
  • ​Not easy to clean
  • ​No cover for the bite valve

Mubasel Gear Hydration Backpack

This next product is not just a hydration bladder, but Mubasel Gear innovated a hydration backpack to carry the weight of the water while also being manageable for you to carry it. And this hydration backpack is specifically made to stabilize the weight of the water making it excellent storage for the hydration bladder with a few more pockets for your gears!

​This hydration backpack includes a 2-liter food grade bladder which is made up of high-quality nylon material that does not give a heavy burden on you while enjoying your outdoor activity. It has compartment storage that can fit clothes, keys, and electronics such as a tablet or phone. The straps of the backpack can be adjusted easily to accommodate your back size for a more comfortable outdoor adventure!

​The hydration bladder has a large opening to have an easy and quick cleaning and drying and is 100% leak-proof. This backpack can be used as a pillow, so you can take a rest and lay down in the middle of your activity. Don’t worry about bursting hydration bladder though, since it can bear up to 132 lb.

What We Like

  • ​Easy to clean
  • ​Lightweight
  • ​Comes as a set with a hydration bladder and backpack
  • ​Affordable Insulated system to keep bladder temperature for a minimum of 4 hours
  • ​Padded back system

What We Didn’t Like

  • ​Not as durable as other backpack hydration system
  • ​Sucking water can be hard
  • ​Leaves a plastic or chemical taste
  • ​Only available in 2-liter size

Osprey Hydraulics Reservoir – Best Professional Hydration Bladder

Osprey Hydraulics Reservoir
3,820 Reviews
Osprey Hydraulics Reservoir
  • Easy Slide-Seal top opening, seals watertight and provides wide access for easy filling and cleaning
  • Hydrostatic backerplate provides structure to shove a full reservoir into a fully loaded pack and maintains a flat profile
  • Hydrapak Blaster bite valve offers fast, smooth water flow with a ¼ twist on/off switch
  • QuickConnect system and carry handle make removal and filling easy
  • Magnet clip attaches to the reservoir hose and pairs with the included sternum strap magnet for easy water access and hose management

The Osprey Hydraulics Reservoir is built with a hydrostatic backer plate that is used to uphold the bags structure and allowing it to fit in a pack while still maintaining its flat profile.

To keep the bladder leak-proof and provides easy refilling, Osprey used a sliding seal along the top. Meaning the bag can be open entirely for refilling water as well as ice, then folded over and sealed for 100% no leakage.

This hydration bladder features a pouring shield which helps you fill it up when in a shallower environment and can also be folded to help you pour water easily in bottles and pots.

Equipped with the magnetic bite valve, you should not have any trouble with the hose since the magnetic valve can secure the tube onto the sternum strap. This only means that you will always have access to the hose and place it back without stopping your routine. The Osprey Hydraulics Reservoir has only 2 size options— the 2-liter and 3-liter water capacity.

What We Like

  • ​Magnetic bite valve
  • ​Carry handle
  • ​Pour shield
  • ​Wide fill opening
  • ​Slide seal
  • ​Hydrostatic backer plate

What We Didn’t Like

  • ​Plastic pieces are delicate
  • ​The flow rate is slow

Widepac Hydration System Reservoir by Source Outdoor – Best Outdoor Hydration Bladder

Source Outdoor Widepac Hydration System Reservoir
417 Reviews
Source Outdoor Widepac Hydration System Reservoir
  • The Widepack Hydration Reservoir has the most innovative, smart, and successful design as it makes filling, cleaning, and draining easier than ever while being 100% leakproof. It comes with a wide-mouth bladder, and a 90-degree design round Helix bite valve with tubing
  • Widepac Closure: The original user-friendly Widepac Slide Closure opens wide, allows easy filling, cleaning, draining, and ice insertion. Airtight seal. Most SOURCE Hydration Systems and Hydration Packs feature reservoirs with our signature Widepac Closure.
  • Easy Care & Low Maintenance: Simply refill with water and drink again and again without special care. Water will remain fresh for days and even weeks
  • Glass-Like Technology: SOURCE's Glass-Like Film is 2000% smoother than standard TPU films, with virtually no difference from glass itself.
  • Taste-Free System: Our co-extruded PE film retains the pure taste with absolutely no plastic flavor, also over time.

The hydration bladder from Source Outdoor is the best of the best hydration bladders available today! Using a glass-like liner and with the Grunge Guard Technology, this bladder is designed to prevent the buildup of any bacteria and moisture inside the system, giving you a peace of mind that the water you are drinking is not contaminated in any way!

​You have 3 choices regarding size: 3L, 2L or 1.5L— so you can choose which would fit your daily outdoor needs! Each size is fully equipped with a wide opening that is great for fast filling and the addition of ice if you want a cool sip in your hike.

Its tube is shorter, which only gives you a quicker flow when drinking. And the way it is angled around your body is meant to avoid any hold-ups or kinks while in use. It also has a rounded helix bite which is soft and quite simple to use that only needs a little force to have the water flow out.

​This hydration system also has a built-in safety mechanism which will shut off the water when requires to keep it leak-free!

What We Like

  • ​Rounded helix bite
  • ​Glass-like liner
  • ​Grunge-Guard Technology
  • ​Wide Opening
  • ​Fully flexible
  • ​3 Size option
  • ​Airtight Slide Closure

What We Didn’t Like

  • ​Some users find a plastic taste
  • ​Interior might leave a sticky residue
  • ​Not low profile

Buying Guide

1. Weight

​In general, hydration bladders are slightly heavier than disposable water bottles since they are made of durable and tougher materials. However, like any other gears for an outdoor adventure, you should look for a hydration bladder that is lightweight so you will not be heavily burdened during your activity.

More: Check Best Bivy Sacks Here

​2. Size or Capacity

Most hydration bladders offer 3 sizes:

  • 1.5-LITER: Great for kids, commuters or minimalists. It is the perfect size for trail runs or quick hikes or if you know that there will be a lot of fill-up opportunities on the trail.
  • 2-LITER: Arguably the most popular option, this size is perfect for those who will be taking a day hike, snowboard or ski into the backcountry. If you hate filling up every now and then, then this is the size for you since it can provide enough water for the day (probably).
  • 3-LITER: This is the safest size of all. It is perfect for those who drink plenty of water or who have high-intensity or multiple day outdoor activity. Many backpackers find this to be the sufficient size when they are going to areas with little to no fill-up chances all through the day.

More: Check The Best Folding Chairs For Camping and Hiking Here

3. Durability

Although hydration bladders rarely cause leakage, joints at points like the tube-to-mouthpiece and water reservoir-to-tube can usually leak. Therefore the durability of a hydration system depends on the quality of such joints.

​It would be great if you get a bladder that has a detachable mouthpiece and tubes since it will allow you to change damaged or worn-out parts instead of replacing the whole bladder.

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4. Closure Type

There are 3 styles of a hydration bladder opening:

  • FOLD TOP: The most popular style, a fold top bladder has tops that flip up and fold over. Once it is folded, you can slide the closure over the top, and the bag will be free from leaks. This is the best closure type when filling up in streams or gathering water from trickling sources.
  • ZIP TOP: Quite similar to the fold top style, a zip top resembles a huge Ziploc bag with a closure which fits overtop the zipper. They might be easy to use. However, they take longer to open or close than fold tops.
  • SCREW TOPS: This style takes a little longer to close and open than the other two styles; however it is the easiest to fill. Screw tops are held diagonally or horizontally when filling and are especially handy at places where you do not want the bladder to touch more surfaces than necessary. The main problem with this style is that it can be quite difficult to clean.

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​5. Mouthpiece

​Hydration system uses bite valves to provide hassle-free access to water. By applying some pressure to the mouthpiece, the valve will be opened, and the water will be ready for drinking. Another type of mouthpiece is the pull/push valve that is slightly harder to use since it requires you to close the valve with your teeth or hands after drinking.

6. Accessories

​Some manufacturer often offers extra accessories for their bladders like flow meters, cleaning kits, tube insulators for cold weather, magnetic clips, tubes with water filter and more.

More: Check Fjallraven Kanken Classic Review Here


Why should I purchase a hydration bladder?

If you love the great outdoors and sweat so much, then a hydration bladder will give you great benefits. Dehydration is the main concern during outdoor and enduring activities which is not only uncomfortable but can raise a series of health concerns.

​Dehydration, when extended for a long time and becomes severe, can cause injury to your kidneys and other internal organs. It is therefore essential that you have hydration bladders with you during exhausting activities for you to always have access to safe and clean water.

How do I clean my hydration bladder effectively?

Effectively cleaning your hydration bladder will ensure that you are drinking clean and uncontaminated water.

  • Add hot boiling water and two tablespoons of baking soda or bleach in the bladder. Mix the solution thoroughly by shaking it. Hold the bladder up just above your forehead as you apply pressure to the bite valve and making sure that solution runs through the tub.
  • Let it sit for roughly 30 minutes.
  • Rinse the bladder with hot water and a non-chemical soap. Be sure that you have cleaned all bleach before using. You can also use a toothbrush to scrub the interior of the reservoir gently.
  • Once clean, air dry the bladder so that no moisture will be trapped inside the bladder.

How often should I clean my hydration bladder?

​As recommended, it is good to read the instructions for any gear or product you buy. On such note, you should not wash the bladder very frequently. Also, if you notice a chemical taste in your water, then it might be good to increase the frequency of cleaning to get rid of the taste.

Can I fill my hydration bladder with other drinks?

Depending on the type of hydration bladder you have, you can use it to carry any drinks that you want to provide the necessary motivation for your outdoor fun— whether it is sports drinks or energy drinks. 

However, a word of caution, these drinks provide a conducive environment for bacterial and microorganism growth by giving them a source of food. Thus, it is vital that you thoroughly clean the bladder after every use with these kinds of drinks.


If you want a smart hydration bladder, then I recommend you get the Widepac Hydration System Reservoir from Source Outdoor. This hydration system is an excellent choice since it is built to handle tough situations and gives you as much water as needed. It is leak-proof, can withstand a lot of pressure, and is quite easy to maintain.

​For the outdoor lovers, purchasing a reliable and high-quality hydration bladder is a must! Hydration bladders are quite useful and provide a comfortable way to carry water efficiently without restricting your movements. Not only that, they are quite affordable and provides versatility so you can better engage with your favorite activity with no hassle!

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