The Best Hydration Bladders for Outdoor Junkies!

Best Hydration Bladders for Outdoor Enthusiasts - 2017 Buying Guide

Outdoor activities are becoming a favorite of many people across the world. Hiking, trail-running, mountaineering, cycling, camping and hunting are just but a few of the many outdoor activities contemporary humans engage in with utmost zeal. However, it is impossible to mention some of these activities without the word “hydration” coming to mind. Get me right, whether it is in the winter or summer, hydration during outdoor excursions is mandatory and means you stay alive and get the best out of your trip.

Now the question is: which is the best hydration bladder to buy in 2017? While this question is easy to come by, the actual process of searching for the best water bladders to select from is not a walk in the park.

But seriously guys, you can take this to the bank; these are the best hydration bladders to have ever been reviewed by outdoor experts:

Which are the best hydration bladders of 2017?

A detailed look at each of these hydration bladders will clearly reveal why this list should be the only one you can ever rely on for the thoroughly tested, top-rated water bladders. Let's dive right into it so you can find out for yourself:

best-hydration-water-bladders

1. MSR Dromedary Bag: A Camper's Top Pick

MSR-dromedary-bag-review

Check Price / Buy

I have learnt from experience that hiking, cycling, backpacking or camping demand more than just quenching your thirst. It is therefore always obvious that you will need more water than your ordinary water bottle can carry. Let us look at the features that make the MSR Dromedary Bag an effective solution to this nightmare.

Versatile Outdoor Water Bag

MSR manufactures 2L, 4L, 6L and 10L Dromedary bags. A bigger bag provides a capacity for more water and this saves campers and hikers the hassle of moving to water source every time they need water. The bag has a lid that reliably prevents any spillage; there is a wide opening for easy refilling or pouring of water. And if you thought your drinking needs are not considered then you are all wrong. This water bag comes with a detachable mouthpiece for easy sipping when there is need.

Collapsible and Easy to Carry

Space is an essential factor for campers, hikers and all other adventurers. This water bag is collapsible hence space and storage is not an issue. Collapse the Dromedary Water Bag and keep it in a travel bag or backpack and fill it with water only when necessary.

It is also important to note that the collapsible water bag comes with webbings and straps for easy storage and hanging when necessary.

Pros
  • Strong and durable.
  • Easy to store and carry.
  • Highly versatile and convenient in multiple situations.
  • Comes in different capacities.
  • Comfortable ergonomic handle.
  • Cons
  • Slightly heavy particularly when filled with water.
  • Bottom Line

    The Dromedary Water Bag comes in handy when you need a larger and more portable water container during your hikes or camps. Armed with this MSR product, you will get your water when you need it. I find this water bag easy to use. Its three in one cap enables filling, pouring and drinking with unimaginable efficiency.


    2. Deuter Streamer 2.0 Hydration Pack: A Hiker's Top Pick

    Deuter-Streamer-2-0-Hydration-Pack-Review

    Check Price / Buy

    Made of thick polyethylene material, the Deuter Streamer 2 liter hydration bladder offers an odorless flow of water that will see you stay rehydrated throughout your hikes for more than just a couple of years. Now we all hate that putrid taste of water stored in those hydration bladders made of polyurethane.

    Base-line hose connector

    One striking feature about this hydration bladder is the location of the quick connect for the hose. Right at the base of the bladder, the quick connect will enable extended flow of water until the bladder is almost empty. This is unlike other hydration bladders which have the hose connector about one third of the distance from the base.

    Bite valve cap

    The bite valve is just about the perfect size and has a nicely-fitting removable cap that features push and pull technology for closing and opening. Therefore, your water is kept safe from dust and you open the valve only when you want to sip the water. The cap also ensures absolute absence of leaks via the mouthpiece.

    Even then, some people hate the fact that one has to remove the bite valve cap every time they want to sip from the bladder.

    Full-width opening

    Ease of cleaning and hassle-free refilling of the Deuter Hydration Pack is all made possible by the zip-locking mechanism that sees it open for its entire width. You can turn it inside out then clean and dry with ease. Now some people may think that the full-width opening is a disadvantage which is likely to cause some leakages. But far from it! The Deuter has a locking top that also acts as handle. This seal is perfectly leak-proof and to be honest with you, you can never find a better leak-proof bladder.

    Pros
  • No odors in water.
  • Full-width opening makes it easy to clean and dry.
  • Long-lasting (made of thick polyethylene).
  • Easy to use.
  • Base-line location of hose connector makes it convenient with even small volumes of water.
  • Fully leak-proof.
  • Cons
  • We didn’t like the fact that you have to open the bite valve every time you want to sip water from it.
  • Bottom Line

    If you are looking for something that has been on the market for quite some time and which has been shown to stand the test of time, the Deuter hydration bladder is the perfect choice for you. No leaks, no bad odors, no disappointments.


    3. CamelBak Antidote Reservoir: Best Bang Per Buck

    camelbak-antidote-water-bladder-review

    Check Price / Buy

    The CamelBak Antidote Reservoir scores highly on quite some quality scales. This hydration bag is very easy to fill.

    Affordable

    If anything, the CamelBak antidote is one of the least expensive bladders one can find in the market today. Despite its highly affordable cost, this hydration bladder packs all the features of a premium product.

    The Camelbak Antidote water bladder comes with a limited lifetime warranty. The lifetime warranty enhances its long-term value. The Camelbak hydration bladder is highly recommended for those people who are on a tight budget but still want something that is still classy with great service.

    Cool and Latest features

    The Antidote is the latest Camelbak bladder in a lineage that dates back to decades ago. Over the years, CamelBak has continually modified its hydration bladders.

    Compared to earlier versions, the Antidote has a larger wide mouth opening, a baseline hose-connector, a larger grab handle for filling and two water chambers. The modified features ensure that it sloshes around less. Additional features include a removable hose and drying plastic tabs. The bite valves are neither too big nor too small, and they don’t come off easily and loosely as was the case in the previous models.

    Pros
  • Easy to fill.
  • It has a large screw top opening.
  • It is affordable.
  • It has a great bite valve.
  • It has a narrow profile.
  • It is compatible with most packs.
  • It has compartments that prevent sloshing.
  • Cons
  • It is difficult to clean.
  • It is usually harder to fill in trickling streams.
  • Bottom Line

    The Antidote is the hydration bladder of choice for many, the reason being CamelBak has been a major player in hydration bladders for some time. The Antidote scores highly and is of great value. It has won the hearts of campers and hiking non-campers alike.


    4. Miracol Hydration Backpack with 2L Water Bladder: The Top Backpacker's Choice

    Miracol-Hydration-Backpack-Water-Bladder-Review

    Check Price / Buy

    It is not logical to review the best water bladders without mentioning the Miracol Hydration Backpack with 2L Water Bladder. The sleek backpack and water bladder has all the features that make it your number one adventure buddy. Read along to learn about some of its unique features!

    Versatile Outdoor Gear

    If you love adventure then the Miracol Hydration Backpack is going to be your friend and companion. The combination of a backpack and a hydration water bladder makes it unique and arguably the most versatile. The built-in 2L hydration bladder provides a convenient storage for the water.

    The Miracol product solves the storage problem for most hikers by providing many storage compartments in the backpack. You therefore have spaces and pockets of different sizes to safely carry your phone, keys, fishing reel or that extra sweater that you will need during your outdoor trip. Moreover, entertainment lovers will find the incorporated earphone opening all they need for their favorite music or gigs. Isn't this interesting and fulfilling?

    Reliable Thermal Insulation

    You obviously need water to quench your thirst during your outdoor adventures. However, what is the need of carrying water when you can't keep it cool? Thermal-insulated backpacks are trendy and best suited for long hikes or adventures.

    The Miracol Hydration Backpack with 2L Water Bladder guarantees that! At least four hours of cool water during your adventure.

    Durable and Cost Effective

    The economy today demands that we look into the lifespan of everything we spend on. While this backpack is definitely trendy, its strength and durability is not sacrificed for the sporty look.

    Pros
  • Adjustable chest and shoulder straps to help secure the backpack.
  • Sleek and attractive.
  • Comfortable on the back.
  • Replaceable 2L water bladder.
  • Comparatively more affordable.
  • Cons
  • Not machine washable.
  • The bladder may leak after several uses but this is easy to replace.
  • Bottom Line

    Hiking, cycling, trail running, trekking, skiing and other outdoor adventures are becoming common ways of spending weekends and holidays. The Miracol Hydration Backpack with 2L Water Bladder makes these exciting and memorable by providing you with cool water as well as sufficient and comfortable storage. Apart from not being safe for machine washing, this product scores very highly and is a must have for outdoor adventurers.


    5. Geigerrig Hydration Engine: Most Innovative Water Bladder

    geigerrig-hydration-engine-hydration-bladder-review

    Check Price / Buy

    The Geigerrig Hydration Engine is the most innovative and versatile water bladder tested. With its sleek design and pressurized system, it has a multiplicity of uses that no other bladder tested can match. The sleek profile is thin and narrow, which allows compatibility with all sorts of backpacking backpacks and running packs. The bladder offers you the ability to keep it pressurized or unpressurized with a double chamber - one for air and one for water. When pressurized, it is the easiest to drink from and doubles as a sun shower.

    Versatile

    With its versatility, it is a great way to get rid of dog dirt or dirty sports utility before throwing it into your car. A caveat with this system is that when fully pumped, the water does slosh around quite a bit.

    Dishwasher-Safe

    With its dishwasher safe technology, this was one of the two bladders that could easily be flipped inside out and cleaned right in the dishwasher. We also found that manual cleaning was easy with a simple brush. All parts were easy to take apart. The Geigerrig hydration engine is a bit pricey than most other reservoirs. The hydration engine’s many innovations considered, it is worth the price. Carrying the pump around is tedious because it is a bit weighty.

    Pros
  • Has many innovative uses.
  • Has a slim profile.
  • Has a pressurized system.
  • It is light.
  • It is easy to fill.
  • Safe to be used in a dishwasher.
  • Cons
  • It is expensive.
  • It has a small learning curve.
  • Has no measurements on the bag.
  • Bottom Line

    The Geigerrig hydration engine is loved for the versatility and creativity that it offers. The machine finds new applications daily, from pet grooming and cleaning to showering. Initially, it was supposed that this would be a product geared for nerds only, but recent evidence suggests otherwise, and its uses have been observed to extend past the tech-obsessed outdoor user.


    6. Crystal Creek Hydration Bladder: All Weather Hydration Bladder

    crystal-creek-hydration-bladder-review

    Check Price / Buy

    Crystal Creek is definitely among the best hydration bladders and here's why:

    3 Liter Capacity

    If you are a hiking enthusiast then you will agree with me that an ideal hydration bladder should be large enough to contain a reasonable capacity of water for more tasking trips. The hydration bladder has a capacity of 3 liters or 100 oz. This makes it ideal for long treks, hikes, trail running, biking and hunting expeditions.

    Insulated Sleeve

    The bonus insulated reservoir sleeve remains one of the top reasons why the Crystal Creek Hydration Bladder is one of the best hiking equipment in its category if not the very best. Firstly, the insulation maintains your water at a cool temperature hence ideal for both cold and hot environments. Secondly, it efficiently provides an extra protective layer to the hydration bladder. This accidentally but awesomely confers extra durability to the bladder.

    Easy to Use

    The design of the Crystal Creek 3 Liter Hydration Bladder ensures a hassle free usage. It is easy to refill, clean and close. Moreover, the positive flow mouthpiece concept makes accessing your water a breeze.

    Pros
  • Handsfree hydrating aided by the positive flow.
  • Screw threads at the lid make it easy to close and keeps your water safe.
  • Clear body makes it possible to see through and determine if your bladder and water are clean.
  • Cons
  • Slightly more expensive than most hydration bladders but it is worth the price.
  • Bottom Line

    The Crystal Creek 3L Hydration Bladder and Insulated Sleeve delivers everything that it promises, and much more. You will certainly find it durable, easy to use and more versatile than most bladders. As a matter of fact, this is an item that I can confidently recommend to a friend or give them as a gift.


    7. Hydrapak Shape-Shift Reservoir: Top Pick for Lightweight Adventures

    hydrapak-shape-shift-reservoir-review

    Check Price / Buy

    Lightweight and Slim

    The HydraPak Shape-Shift Reservoir is the best option for lightweight adventures. It has a simple, lightweight design and slim profile that makes it race-ready and compatible with any running or hiking pack. The zip-lock divider prevents water from sloshing around, while the flip top opening makes for easy cleaning and fill ups. The blaster valve delivers water quickly with little sucking required, while the quantum clip keeps the tube in place.

    3 Liter Capacity

    Another plus feature for the Shape-Shift is its ample capacity that will see you hydrated over longer tracks. Now we all hate the experience of water running out of our hydration pack mid-track.

    Pros
  • It is light.
  • It has an internal zipper that reduces sloshing.
  • Features a magnetic clip.
  • It can be used in a dishwasher without any issues.
  • It has a quick release hose.
  • It is compatible with other brands.
  • It has a large flip-top closure.
  • Cons
  • You will need to maintain the O-ring.
  • The closure is not attached well.
  • Bottom Line

    This Top Pick for Lightweight Adventures is perfect race-ready bladder truly excelling where lightweight design is required.


    8. Osprey Hydraulics LT Reservoir: The "Magnetic" Hydration Bladder

    Osprey-10000485-Hydraulics-LT-Water-bladder-Reservoir

    Check Price / Buy

    The Osprey Hydraulics LT Bladder stands out for its longer flip top closure, built-in handle, and an extended quick release hose system. The hydration bladder has a magnetic bite valve that serves to keep water close at hand. Despite it being very easy to use, it is compatible with most backpacking and running hydration packs. A large plastic handle is part of the bladder’s design, and it also allows you to hold the bladder level during filling.

    The longer collar on the flip top is a buyer’s favorite since it helps one to collect and share water. It comes with a magnetic tube clip that attaches anywhere on the tube; this clip can also be removed and used for other packs that don't come with a tube clip.

    Pros
  • It is easy to clean.
  • It has a larger and longer collar for easy filling.
  • It is affordable.
  • It has an extended hose attachment.
  • Cons
  • It is hard to flip inside out.
  • It has a plastic taste.
  • Bottom Line

    This bladder is perfect for the person looking for a light, functional flip top bladder with a handle. The magnetic attachment is super handy for easy drinking access while the quick-release system is ideal for fully loaded packs. It has lots of cool features that create value for money spent.


    9. MSR DromLite Bag: Most Durable Water Bladder

    MSR-dromlite-bag-reviews

    Check Price / Buy

    A highly adaptable, exceptionally durable, and lightweight hydration bladder, the DromLite is available in three different sizes. The bladder has a few optional accessories including a mouthpiece and hose, a spigot cap, and a shower kit which make it much more than the most hydration bladders in the market.

    Despite the versatility and awesomeness of this product, a few caveats have been noted. The MSR Hydration Kit is sold separately, and it turns the bag into a complete hydration system with a hose and bite valve. The MSR hydration kit is rudimentary and not a quick release. The bladder opening is hard to fill in small streams because the outside fabric gets wet easily and retains water for a long while. A wet bladder in a backpack will most likely wet your clothing. All factors considered, it is still one of the most durable products tested and without a doubt one of the most versatile hydration bladders.

    Pros
  • It is light.
  • It is easy to store.
  • It is durable.
  • Features a 3-in-1 mouthpiece.
  • It is versatile.
  • Has many accessories.
  • Cons
  • It is heavy with a hose.
  • It has a wide profile.
  • It is not compatible with all backpack sleeves.
  • Bottom Line

    The uniqueness, durability, and versatility of this hydration bladder make it one of the best backpacking options available. If you are looking for a hydration bladder, then this might just be what you have been seeking.


    10. WACOOL 3 Liter Hydration Pack Bladder: The Pressure Bladder

    WACOOL-Hydration-Bladder-Leak-proof-Reservoir-review

    Check Price / Buy

    Falling in the lower cost range of hydration bladders, the WACOOL 3 Liter Hydration Bladder is worth a consideration especially due to its awesome and unique features.

    Sturdy and Pressure-Tolerant

    One of the salient features of this water bladder that instantly captures your attention is its thick lining material that makes it pressure-tolerant and sufficiently durable. Additionally, this bladder features a double soldering technique for side-sealing which improves its pressure-bearing capabilities. If anything, you can comfortably apply immense pressures (for instance with use in a camel back) without it giving in. For a lower budget, you get a hiking bladder that will take you on many and versatile treks.

    3 Liter Capacity

    The 3-Liter capacity of the WACOOL bladder is sufficient enough to keep you hydrated over long hikes and walks. In addition, this hydration bladder features a double opening design which has been adopted by many high-end hydration bladders. This design will enable you to refill the bladder in any condition.

    Pros
  • Large enough for long hikes.
  • Excellent durability due to its extra thickness and double soldering sealing technique.
  • Easy to refill in any condition due to its double opening design.
  • Features a sleek contemporary design.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Affordable.
  • Cons
  • Some come with a leaking problem on the cap and you may need to find alternate method of sealing this.
  • Somehow hard to pull water from it through the mouthpiece.
  • Emits putrid taste with initial use. Using it over time however solves the issue.
  • Bottom Line

    You will love the WACOOL water bladder due to its unique contemporary design and excellent durability. If you are operating on a low budget and need something cool that perfectly serves the purpose of a high-end hydration bladder, this should be your choice. We however hope that you won’t mind laboring the sipping.


    The Hydration Bladdder Buying Guide: What Should You Consider?

    Hydration bladders are not new to campers and hikers. They became widely available from the early 90s. Hydration bladders have no doubt taken the outdoor world by storm first featuring among cyclists. During their breakthrough in the market, they were marketed and purchased in hydration packs and this lead to the realization that this was a very convenient way to keep cyclists, backpackers, campers, hikers and other athletes hydrated. Thanks to this discovery, backpacks are made to be hydration bladder compatible, either as a tiny hole through which the drink tube passes or as multi compartments where the hydration tube is threaded through the shoulder straps.

    The following are what you should consider while buying hydration bladders:

    Hydration Bladder 101: Understanding the Hydration Bladders

    Hydration bladders, otherwise referred to as water bladders or hydration reservoirs, are considered one of the newest inventions among the outdoor gear products that every backpacker must carry along. In fact, they are designed from flexible material and are currently compatible with most back packs hence more handy than conventional water bottles.

    Advantages of Hydration Bladders over Traditional Water Bottles

    • As opposed to water bottles which are commonly made of aluminum, glass or plastic, hydration bladders are made of flexible materials making them more lightweight while still able to hold larger capacity of water.
    • Hydration bladders can be compacted hence more portable. Water bottles are impossible to compact and will need more space that may be hard to come by.
    • Another interesting feature of hydration bladders is the fact that they have seals between the tube and the bag. This feature makes them safer than conventional water bottles.
    • Hydration bladders are more convenient since most of them have straws or tubes making them hands-free and ideal for active outdoor sports such as trail running, trekking, biking among others.
    • Most hydration bladders use more modern technology that allows built-in water purifiers, filters and tubes or straws for easy use.
    • Larger hydration bladders (up to 6 Liters) are suitable for camping due to their expansive capacities.

    With that said, it is important to note that even though hydration bladders share most of the above advantages over water bottles, they come in different types. While all hydration bladders are essentially designed for easy and safe drinking of water when you are on the go, they can still be broadly classified into two categories.

    Types of Hydration Bladders

    Broadly, there are two types of hydration bladders - pressurized and non-pressurized types. However, taking other factors into account, it is possible to have a plethora of classification for the hydration bladders. For instance, we can use size, shape and material to classify the hydration reservoirs. For the sake of this article though, we shall use the most obvious technology to have two broad categories of the hydration bladders:

    1. Non-Pressurized Hydration Bladders
    2. Initially, all hydration bladders were classified as non-pressurized as their reservoirs had only one chamber that is meant for holding water. Using mechanism of non-pressurized hydration bladders is simple but still requires total involvement of the user. Most of these systems will require biting the valve and gently sucking to bring up water as you quench your thirst. While they are not the most luxurious to use, these hydration bladders are more affordable. Another downside of this type of hydration bladders is that they require frequent cleanups as they are more susceptible to clogging and back flow.

    3. Pressurized Hydration Reservoirs
    4. This is a more modern type of hydration bladders. These systems have two chambers separately reserved for air and water. Use an air pump to inflate the air chamber until fully inflated. In order to use, bite or squeeze the valve and water will efficiently come out of the bite valve without sucking. It is important to note that even the non-pressurized systems are easy to suck water from. However, these pressurized systems are more versatile hence come with many other advantages.

      During camping, you can use pressurized hydration systems to enjoy a shower, give water to your dog or even wash your dishes. The versatility of these systems is not limited to camping and outdoor expeditions alone but can also be used to water tree or vegetable nurseries.

      Since there is no possibility of backwash going up the tube, these hydration bladders are cleaner, not easily susceptible to bacteria and mold build up and may not require frequent cleaning. It is however recommended that you flush them with a lot of water every time you use them with sugary or sports drinks. As expected, these systems cost slightly more than non-pressurized hydration bladders but the additional cost is worth the benefits that come with them.

    How to Care For Your Hydration Bladder

    Drinking water should always be kept clean and safe. However, most people find it difficult to effectively clean and maintain hydration bladders. For the record, bladders are prone to providing conducive environment for growth and development of molds and bacteria if not properly taken care of. This, as you may know, makes your water taste more flunky and may also become a health hazard.

    While hydration bladders should always be properly drained, washed, rinsed and dried in open air after use, you may not find that time after your weekend trip or vacation. Instead, you will often leave it in the backseat or toss it somewhere in the closet and rush to the house to get yourself a bottle of beer or a refreshing bath just to think of it when you begin to plan a new trip.

    When the time comes for retrieval, your bladder will have accumulated chunks, flunky flavors, mildew and molds. This is the reason why it is recommended that you clean your hydration bladder after every outing but this, like many other activities, is easier said than done. Strange enough, even those who would want to obey this basic rule find it difficult to do so as they do not know how to properly clean a hydration bladder.

    So, how do you clean your hydration bladder? This should not be a big issue as there are four easy ways of effectively cleaning your hydration bladder.

    1. Using Baking Soda or Bleach
    2. Step 1: Drain the contents of your hydration bladder flush the hose by holding the reservoir above your head and pinching the hose.

      Step 2: Fill the reservoir halfway full with warm water, swish and flush the hose again as you drain.

      Step 3: Scrub as much as possible the interior of the reservoir. Rinse properly.

      Step 4: In a different container, add two teaspoons of bleach or baking soda for every liter of hot water and stir properly until the mixture is fully diluted. The reason of mixing this in a separate container is to help minimize the taste of chlorine remaining in your reservoir.

      Step 5: Add the mixture into your bladder until the reservoir is full. Push some of the mixture through the bite valve and the hose. Let it soak for about one hour.

      Step 6: Drain the contents of the reservoir ensuring that you flush the bite valve and the hose. Rinse with Castile soap or mild dish soap. Remove the gasket to find ample space for scrubbing the threads.

      Step 7: Rinse with clean water and air dry.

    3. Using Denture Cleaner or Efferdent Tabs
    4. Step 1: Empty the contents of your hydration bladder.

      Step 2: Pour hot water inside the reservoir and ensure to pass hot water through the tube and bite valve.

      Step 3: Add one tablet of denture cleaner and soak until the tablet stops working. This should take between 30 minutes to 1 hour.

      Step 4: Scrub properly using dishwasher brushes or any appropriate brush. Remove the gasket and scrub the threads well.

      Step 5: Drain the washing solution and rinse with mild dish soap as you scrub again.

      Step 6: Rinse with clean water and air dry to ensure that no moisture is left in the interior of the bag.

    5. Using Lemon Water or White Vinegar
    6. Step 1: Just like in the initial stages of the other methods, drain the contents of the bladder.

      Step 2: Pour hot water in the reservoir and add two cups of lemon water or white vinegar for every liter of water.

      Step 3: Pinch the valve to ensure that this detergent mixture passes and rotates in the valve and tube.

      Step 4: Let the mixture soak for about 30 minutes before you drain. Scrub the interior of the bag well.

      Step 5: Rinse with Castile soap and scrub again. Drain the mixture making sure that you push some through the valve and hose.

      Step 6: Rinse with clean water and air dry.

    7. Using a Dishwasher Machine
    8. This is the simplest way of cleaning your hydration bladder. However, it only applies to bladders that are dishwasher safe. In this case, these bladders often come with cleaning instructions. Most bladders will need to be disassembled before being put in a dishwasher for cleaning.

    How to Air Dry a Hydration Bladder

    Drying a hydration bladder is one of the greatest challenges for outdoor enthusiasts. This is basically due to the fact that the interior of the reservoir often collapse allowing no airflow to and from the reservoir. Another reason is because the bite valve is never left open hence susceptible to the development of molds and bacteria.

    It is important to always air dry your hydration bladder because if you don't, the moisture trapped inside will definitely provide a habitat and breeding environment for bacteria and molds. The best way to dry your bladder is to use a special hanger that will keep the interior of the bladder apart. For the bite valve and the hose, leave a toothpick or a small piece of stick in the hose to ensure that there is enough airflow through the valve. This will ensure that the tube and valve are completely dry before storage.

    Additional Care Tips for a Hydration Bladder

    • If the weather is so humid that the bladder may not be able to dry, keep it in a refrigerator to prevent the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew.
    • Soak the hydration gear overnight with your preferred detergent (I prefer lemon water or vinegar) if your bladder is very dirty and the bad taste cannot go away even after initial clean up.
    • Rinse the bladder with clean water every time you use the bladder for a sports or energy drink.
    • Some alcohol brands such as tequila have a strong taste that will not easily get out of the bladder. It is therefore advisable you buy a separate bladder for such drinks.

    Microorganisms Commonly Found in Hydration Bladders

    Without proper cleaning and care, hydration bladders will host several microorganisms which in essence will contaminate your water. These microorganisms also affect the quality and taste of your water, making it less interesting. Factors that contribute to growth of microbes in hydration bladders include:

    • Continuous contact with hands and mouth.
    • Cracks, edges and hidden areas of bladders.
    • Humidity that often trapped in the bladders provide a conducive atmosphere for the growth of microbes.

    The most common microbes likely to be found in the hydration bladders include:

    • Bacteria: Streptococcus and Staphylococcus species are the most common types of bacteria in hydration bladders. The other common type is the Bacillus cereus.
    • Norovirus.
    • Fungi which are majorly harmless.
    • Yeast too are present but these pose no danger when present in low quantities.
    • Molds especially Tramets, Cladosporium, Penicillium and Bjerkandera species.

    Frequently Asked Questions about Hydration Bladders

    1. Q: Why should I purchase a hydration bladder?
    2. If you are enthusiastic about outdoor sports and activities, then you most definitely need a hydration bladder. In fact, hydration bladders are no longer a luxury for backpacking enthusiasts but a necessity. Dehydration during enduring activities is not only uncomfortable but also a health concern. Dehydration, when severe and extended for a considerable period of time, will cause severe injury to your kidneys and as a result to your other internal organs. Therefore, hydration bladders are indispensable and a good way to access clean and safe water throughout your outdoor activities.

    3. Q: How do I use my hydration bladder?
    4. Depending on the type of bladder you opt to buy, simply bite the valve and suck to enjoy your water or drink. However, with pressurized hydration bladders, you do not need to suck. Simply bite the valve and water will freely flow.

    5. Q: Can I use a hydration bladder to carry other drinks during my outdoor activities?
    6. Depending on the type of a hydration bladder, you can use your hydration bladder to carry any drink that gives the needed motivation for your favorite outdoor activity. These could be energy drinks or sports drinks. What you ought to do is check what kind of advice the manufacturer gives about their hydration bladder. However, these drinks provide a conducive environment for bacteria and other micro-organisms to grow by providing them with the source of food. It is therefore important to thoroughly clean the bladder after each use with these kinds of drinks.

    Final Verdict

    While it's not an easy task searching for and finding the best hydration bladder for hiking, camping or any other outdoor activity, it really doesn't have to be so hard. Our hydration bladders reviews have been carefully curated with outdoor enthusiasts in mind. We subjected the different water bladders to a number of tests and finally came up with the list of only the best. If you really have to buy the best water bladder, pick one from our list.

    editor's-pick-crystal-creek-hydration-reservoir
    scroll-to-top