What are hydration packs?
Hydration packs are a great invention – they combine the storage of a rucksack with a handy method of hydration in the form of a reservoir for instant water via a hose-like straw. They are specifically designed to fit comfortably to your body while you’re riding.
Who needs a hydration pack?
Hydration packs are favoured by mountain bikers but they are also ideal if you’re out on an all-day ride and want plenty of liquid and ample storage space. There are women’s-specific hydration packs which are designed with the female form in mind and junior versions for smaller riders.
What are the choices?
The vast array of colours, designs and sizes may be overwhelming, but the simple decision to make is how much might you want to carry and how much do you need to drink. Then you can narrow the choice down. Look for heavy duty, waterproof material and a good range of adjustable, supportive straps.
What should I buy with them?
Not so much what you need to buy, but what you can put in them. Spare layers, food, maps, a changing mat if you’re mountain biking, keys, mobile phone… everything but the kitchen sink (although some of them are large enough to fit a small one in).
Don’t forget to clean and/or change the mouthpiece regularly, otherwise it will house bacteria and also make your water taste unpleasant.
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