7 Best Hydration Water Bladders in 2021 – Reviewed

7 Best Hydration Water Bladders in 2021 – Reviewed

Table of Contents

    Water is the single most important thing in the world. It sustains us and gives up the strength to push through on a long hike.

    If you’ve ever been out under the sun, fighting your way to the top of your favorite hiking trail, then you know how refreshing it can be to have a little water by your side the entire time. A good water bladder is going to be the thing that can turn your trip around for the better. If you’re not sure which one would fit into your hiking lifestyle the best, then read on!

    In a hurry? Here’s the test winner after 10 hours of research:

    Overview
    Best Overall
    Gregory Mountain Products 3D Hydro Reservoir 3 Liter , Optic Blue
    Title
    Gregory Mountain Products 3D Hydro Reservoir 2 Liter
    Price
    $39.95
    Rating
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    Details
    Best Overall
    Overview
    Gregory Mountain Products 3D Hydro Reservoir 3 Liter , Optic Blue
    Title
    Gregory Mountain Products 3D Hydro Reservoir 2 Liter
    Price
    $39.95
    Rating
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    Details

    7 Best Hydration Water Bladders - Overview

    Here are the top 5 picks (keep scrolling for more details and picks 6-7).

    Overview
    Best Overall
    Gregory Mountain Products 3D Hydro Reservoir 3 Liter , Optic Blue
    Camelbak 50 oz Antidote Replacement Reservoir
    MSR Dromedary Bag Water Reservoir, 4-Liter , Black
    Lowest Price
    Deuter Streamer 3.0 BPA-Free Hydration Pack
    HydraPak Velocity Light-Weight Water Bladder/Reservoir for Running Hydration Vests, 1.5-Liter (50 oz.), Reversible for Easy Cleaning, Safe & Reliable
    Title
    Gregory Mountain Products 3D Hydro Reservoir 2 Liter
    CamelBak Antidote 50oz Reservoir
    MSR Dromedary Bag Water Reservoir
    Deuter Streamer 3.0L Reservoir
    HydraPak Velocity Light-Weight Water Bladder/Reservoir
    Price
    $39.95
    Price not available
    $39.95
    $34.00
    $32.00
    Rating
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐
    Best Overall
    Overview
    Gregory Mountain Products 3D Hydro Reservoir 3 Liter , Optic Blue
    Title
    Gregory Mountain Products 3D Hydro Reservoir 2 Liter
    Price
    $39.95
    Rating
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    Details
    Overview
    Camelbak 50 oz Antidote Replacement Reservoir
    Title
    CamelBak Antidote 50oz Reservoir
    Price
    Price not available
    Rating
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    Details
    Overview
    MSR Dromedary Bag Water Reservoir, 4-Liter , Black
    Title
    MSR Dromedary Bag Water Reservoir
    Price
    $39.95
    Rating
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    Details
    Lowest Price
    Overview
    Deuter Streamer 3.0 BPA-Free Hydration Pack
    Title
    Deuter Streamer 3.0L Reservoir
    Price
    $34.00
    Rating
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐
    Details
    Overview
    HydraPak Velocity Light-Weight Water Bladder/Reservoir for Running Hydration Vests, 1.5-Liter (50 oz.), Reversible for Easy Cleaning, Safe & Reliable
    Title
    HydraPak Velocity Light-Weight Water Bladder/Reservoir
    Price
    $32.00
    Rating
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐
    Details

    1. Gregory Mountain Products 3D Hydro Reservoir 2 Liter

    This water bladder from Gregory Mountain Productions has everything you could possibly be looking for from a hydration bladder. It’s sturdy, functional and it holds the perfect amount of water. It’s a simple 3-liter water bladder designed to make carrying your water as simple as possible, freeing up your hands and making your hiking trips a breeze.

    This water bladder includes what Gregory Mountain calls “the drylock.” This is a bite valve system that runs from the water bladder up to the straps of your bags that clip across your chest. The bite valve on this bladder includes a small but powerful magnet so you can attach it and go about the rest of your hiking or backpacking without having to worry about whether your valve is getting caught up in any of the muck that you’re trudging through. 

    Our favorite thing about this particular water bladder is going to have to be the carefully considered design of the bladder. A lot of water bladders will bulge awkwardly against your back once they’ve been filled up, but Gregory Mountain has designed this one to stay flat against your back after adding water to the equation.

    This makes more a much more comfortable experience, and we all know that every single inch of discomfort you can remove from a hiking trip is well worth the money and preparation. These water reservoirs are backed with the Gregory Lifetime Guarantee, though you might not even need it. These are so well made and they dry so quickly and cleanly that caring for and maintaining one of these water bladders is simple enough to make it last a lifetime. 

    Read more buyer reviews at Amazon.com.

    PROS

    • Easy to use and incredibly comfortable 
    • The lifetime warranty says a lot about  Gregory Mountain’s confidence in the reliability of this product

    CONS

    • If you’re looking for a huge water bladder, you might be better off looking elsewhere

    2. CamelBak Antidote 50oz Reservoir

    Camelbak 50 oz Antidote Replacement Reservoir
    • New center baffling keeps a low profile and enhances stability.

    CamelBak has been leading the water bladder charge for decades now, so if there’s ever been a brand of water bladder to pick up without a second thought it’s CamelBak. This bladder in particular is great for keeping a low profile among your things.

    If you like to pack a little heavy, then taking this water bladder along is going to make your life a heck of a lot more simple. Overall it’s a lot more sleek and compact than other water bladders on the market right now. Aside from the low-profile look and feel of this water bladder, it’s super simple to fill up so you can get back on the trail without missing a beat.

    The Quick Seal cap pops open without any fuss. It makes no difference if you’re hunkering down at a campsite with a filtration setup or making a pit stop at a reservoir with an easily accessible faucet. The low barrier between you and a full water bladder makes this one of the more perfect candidates for impulsive hikers.

    The cap isn’t the only part of this bag designed to make use easier. Their “Quick Link” system has been honed for years. Loading and unloading the actual reservoir becomes a no-brainer, so things like maintenance and customization can be that much quicker. 

    If you’re tired of water bladders that get wet and stay that way for a long time, that’s just another reason to pick up this particular bladder. This pack from CamelBak is designed with a set of “dryer arms” that fold out, increasing the exposed surface area of your water bladder and drastically reduces the amount of time you’re spending waiting for it to dry up once you’re done filling it up. 

    Read more buyer reviews at Amazon.com.

    PROS

    • The capacity of this pack is great for long hikes without becoming cumbersome

    CONS

    • Without the separate CamelBak branded pack, this bladder is really hard to manage on the trail

    3. MSR Dromedary Bag Water Reservoir

    MSR Dromedary Bag Water Reservoir, 4-Liter , Black
    • Collapsible water storage for expeditions of all kinds

    This water bladder is totally collapsible. If you’re concerned about storage and retrieval, this water bladder will meet your needs in a lot of really unique ways. The hyper-compressible nature of the Dromedary Bag is its biggest selling point. You’re going to be able to slip it into and back out of even the most narrow compartments in your pack.

    Unlike a lot of other water bladders, this one is really concerned with how your water tastes once you’ve filled it up. To this end, they’ve laminated it with a BPA-free food-grade lining. That off-putting rubber taste that other water bladders tend to give to your water is drastically reduced if it’s even noticeable at all.

    These are the sort of minor quality of life improvements that make this a water bladder worth adding to your hiking and backpacking loadout. That attention to detail makes this a great water bladder no matter what season you’ve decided to brave the elements. The bladder is built with a material that is perfectly capable of handling freezing temperatures.

    If you’re taking the time to hit the trails during the winter or late fall months, then you’re not going to be waking up to a water bladder that’s gone rigid or burst from the water in your bag expanding. These water bladders come in a pretty wide array of sizes, so if you’re into this water bladder, then you’re going to have a lot to choose from. This makes it the perfect bladder for anybody taking any trip of any size.

    Read more buyer reviews at Amazon.com.

    PROS

    • Great for travelers that need to save every possible inch of space
    • The material holds up well against winter weather

    CONS

    • The taste the material gives your water can be pretty offputting

    4. Deuter Streamer 3.0L Reservoir

    Sale
    Deuter Streamer 3.0 BPA-Free Hydration Pack
    • NO-DRIP TECHNOLOGY - Deuter’s innovative Helix Valve prevents leaks, even during high-intensity activities like running, mountain biking, or skiing; Light pressure on the drip-proof mouthpiece...

    This water bladder is focused on the more athletic outdoorsmen. It’s a piece of equipment that’s light and made to make it as easy as possible to get your water out of the bladder and into your body. The Deuter Streamer is a 3-liter bladder with their proprietary "Helix Valve.”

    This is a water valve that’s been carefully designed to make sure you’re getting an easy and constant flow of water from the bladder. If you’ve used a water bladder like these before you know that sometimes pressure can become an issue.

    It can be hard to pull water from the bladder while you’re exerting yourself. The Helix Valve has a wide opening, enabling you to get the most water per pull with the minimum amount of effort. A constant issue we’re always on the lookout for is taste.

    A water bladder is great to have, but if it tastes like the inside of a latex glove when you’re trying to hydrate, you’re probably not going to be getting an adequate amount of water while you’re on the trail. The Deuter Streamer takes that into account, by employing the use of a special film on the inside of the bladder.

    It makes the bladder incredibly smooth (great for protecting it against itself and the contents of your bag) and it keeps the taste of the material from leaching into your water over the course of a long day outside. This extends to the tube and the valve as well. 

    The film also keeps things clean on the inside of your water bladder. It’s not always easy to clean these while you’re on the trail, so every line of defense you can set up between yourself and mildew is one you should consider when purchasing a new water bladder.

    Read more buyer reviews at Amazon.com.

    PROS

    • Very light. Great for highly active hikers
    • The valve works incredibly well, making drinking easy

    CONS

    • This water bladder is useful, but it doesn’t feel as sturdy as other water bladders out there

    5. HydraPak Velocity Light-Weight Water Bladder/Reservoir

    HydraPak Velocity Light-Weight Water Bladder/Reservoir for Running Hydration Vests, 1.5-Liter (50 oz.), Reversible for Easy Cleaning, Safe & Reliable
    • BEST RUNNING VEST REPLACEMENT: A perfect fit for most standard hydration vests with an ergonomic Slider Top to reduce chafing.

    This is one of those products that’s technically been designed for another use, but its build quality and effectiveness have put it in a position that makes it perfect for use on the trail. This is HydraPak’s Velocity Water Bladder. It’s a piece of equipment meant mostly for runners and other folks engaging in high-intensity cardio.

    It’s sturdy enough to withstand the amount of punishment you’d be putting on it if you were to be jogging around town while being light enough to stay out of your way while you’re exerting yourself. This water bladder was designed to replace hydration vests that joggers tend to wear if they’re going to be long-distance running or engaging in a series of hard sprints.

    It’s also designed to reduce the amount of chafing you’re subjecting yourself to while moving all about during your physical activity. This pack comes with a slider top that allows you to move the weights and seams of your bag around to save your back from abrasion. 

    Its focus on being a water bladder that appeals to joggers makes it the perfect choice for anybody that’s going to be outside to get their exercise. The slim profile keeps your water compressed enough to keep it from sloshing against your back while you’re active. The wide bite valve makes it easy to get your water from the bladder to your body, it’s sturdy and totally leak-proof, along with being totally reversible so you can clean it quickly and easily. 

    Read more buyer reviews at Amazon.com.

    PROS

    • Great for all kinds of exercise
    • Built with high-intensity exercise in mind

    CONS

    • Only holds a liter and a half of water

    6. Platypus Big Zip Water Reservoir for Hydration Backpacks

    Platypus Big Zip Water Reservoir for Hydration Backpacks, 3-Liter, EVO with Fast Flow Valve
    • Premium taste-free, leak-proof reservoir with fast flow rate offers hydration on the go for hikers, backpackers, travelers and mountain bikers

    The Platypus Hydration Backpack is another back focused on eliminating the acrid taste from your water bladder. It’s a premium-feeling bladder that locks up tight and seals all of its seams effectively, making it totally leak-proof and long-lasting. This pack has a high-flow valve similar to other water bladders that are meant to keep you hydrated on the go, but its biggest selling point has to be the ultra flexibility of the tube.

    You can position the point of attachment to best fit your pack, which will maximize your space and make it as easy as possible to reach your bladder and the valve when you need to adjust it on the fly. It combines a lot of the functionality of some of the best bladders.

    It does a great job keeping the taste of your water as pure as possible, it’s a great piece of equipment if you’re planning on staying outdoors for an extended period of time, and the valve is wide enough to facilitate some pretty comfortable levels of water flow.

    It’s ergonomically designed to keep every single aspect of interaction with it as simple as possible, like including a pitcher-like handle on the top of the water bladder so handling and filling the water bladder is as simple as possible.

    Read more buyer reviews at Amazon.com.

    PROS

    • Designed to be easy to use in a variety of situations
    • The handle on top of the bladder is a huge selling point

    CONS

    • Pulls from a lot of aspects of the best water bladders, but doesn’t execute on them as well as its competitors

    7. CamelBak Crux 100 oz Hydration Pack Reservoir

    This is another water bladder offered up by CamelBak. It’s great for hiking because it’s designed to shift the weight from your upper back to your lower back. It does this to give you a little bit more stability while the bladder has been filled up with the water you’re going to be taking on your trek with you. 

    This bag prominently features a leak-proof cap that’s easy to pop off of the water bladder. The cap seals a massive opening in the bladder that will allow you to pump it full of water as quickly as possible. We all know the frustration of slowly filling a vessel with a minuscule opening.

    Any hose, faucet, or clean water basin you come across can be used to fill the bladder back up while you’re on the trail. You might not even need to fill it up at all because its 100-ounce capacity is impressive enough to carry a quick to moderate hike on its own.

    It’s also stuffed full of fail-safes. The drinking tube, for example, not only has a self-sealing bite valve that makes it easy to get your water in a hands-free manner as well as a lever that totally cuts off the flow of water to your drinking tube if you’re using the bladder more for storage than hydration in the moment.

    This CamelBak, like others similar to it, comes built with their “Hydro guard technology” which is a clever coating that keeps your water tasting clean and clear along with keeping bacteria and mold from taking up residence in some of the harder to clean areas like the far corners of the reservoir and the drinking tube.

    Read more buyer reviews at Amazon.com.

    PROS

    • This water bladder was designed after a lot of market testing. It fixes a lot of the slower drinking times and cumbersome design of previous water bladders from CamelBak
    • Great for athletes as well as hikers, making it multi-functional and adding to the overall value of the pack

    CONS

    • The lumbar weight shifting design might make it a little awkward to fit in a bag

    Our Winner

    Overview
    Best Overall
    Gregory Mountain Products 3D Hydro Reservoir 3 Liter , Optic Blue
    Title
    Gregory Mountain Products 3D Hydro Reservoir 2 Liter
    Price
    $39.95
    Rating
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    Details
    Best Overall
    Overview
    Gregory Mountain Products 3D Hydro Reservoir 3 Liter , Optic Blue
    Title
    Gregory Mountain Products 3D Hydro Reservoir 2 Liter
    Price
    $39.95
    Rating
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    Details

    This water bladder includes what Gregory Mountain calls “the drylock.” This is a bite valve system that runs from the water bladder up to the straps of your bags that clip across your chest. The bite valve on this bladder includes a small but powerful magnet so you can attach it and go about the rest of your hiking or backpacking without having to worry about whether your valve is getting caught up in any of the muck that you’re trudging through. 

    This water bladder is the poster child for a comfortable and dependable piece of backpacking gear. It’s a 3-liter bladder that will hold your water and distribute it reliably through hot and cold weather for years if you treat it well. It’s perfectly designed to be comfortable once you’ve gotten yourself geared up to go, and it’s lightweight enough to take on every single trip without becoming a limiting factor of the amount of gear you can carry. 

    The lifetime guarantee is the perfect cherry on top of an already excellent water bladder. If you’ve been on the fence about finally picking one up, then this one from Gregory Mountain is hands down, one of the best on the market right now.

    Bonus tip: If you’re bringing along a water bladder, then you’re probably the type to want to restock while you’re on the trail. This video will show you all of the best ways to get clean water while you’re out for an extended trip!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdVLBxhZFGQ 

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    Riley Draper is a writer and entrepreneur from Chattanooga, Tennessee. As a world traveler, he has been to more than fifty countries and hiked some of the most elusive trails in the world. He is the co-founder of WeCounsel Solutions and has published work in both national and global outlets, including the Times Free Press, Patch, and Healthcare Global. When he's not writing, he's probably on a hiking trip or climbing in the mountains.

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