November 25

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Best Hydration Packs & Bladders For Hiking in Australia

Are you wondering if investing in a hydration pack is worth it for hiking and other outdoor excursions? Or if there’s really much of a difference between hydration packs from different companies?

In this article, we’ve compiled a list of what we have found to be the hydration packs that stand out the most, and will provide the most value to you on your next hiking trip.

Let’s dive right in!

 

Caribee Quencher 2L Hydration Pack

OUTRAK Vapor Hydration Pack 3L

BlackWolf Tank Hydration Bladder 3L

Camelbak Rim Runner 22 Hydration Pack


Our pick
Caribee Quencher 2L Hydration Pack
Best Value
OUTRAK Vapor Hydration Pack 3L
Camelbak Rim Runner 22 Hydration Pack

2L

3L

3L

2.5L

430 x 200 x 100 mm

Not specified

440 x 200 x 55 mm

500 x 270 x 240 mm

BPA free, phthalate & PVC free polyester

Bladder: Thermo-welded Polyurethane

Polyester & Polyamide

BPA and PVC free materials

Partially made of post-consumer recycled materials

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??

Lifetime

Lifetime

Best Hydration Packs and Bladders Australia

Caribee Quencher 2L Hydration Pack

Caribee Quencher 2L Hydration Pack

Our Pick

Pros
  • Easy to clean
  • Durable bladder
  • Front pocket is convenient for storing small items such as phones
  • Available in different colours and designs
  • Adjustable for your height
Cons
  • Some larger phones may not fit in the front pocket
  • Some users report a plastic taste from the bladder, even after multiple washes

Caribee is one of the top outdoor equipment retailers in Australia, and their products are generally high quality. The Caribee Quencher 2L Hydration Pack is a decent choice for you if you often find yourself outdoors and are looking for a good quality hydration backpack that will last you for a long time.

Despite being about half the price of the Camelbak Rim Runner Hydration Pack, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at all the features and benefits of the Caribee Quencher 2L Hydration Pack, such as how easy it is to clean.

Whether you’re a bit taller or shorter than average height, you’ll find that it’s comfortable and balanced to wear, due to its action back extreme padded harness system and chest strap.

There’s plenty of room to store your items in various compartments, such as your phone, towels, spare batteries, clothes, and even a packed lunch. Even if it’s fully loaded, the pack remains stable for all sorts of activities, such as long runs, hikes, or mountain biking.

Additionally, it has dual shoulder ducts to pass the hydration tube through, so you can run it through whichever side feels more comfortable for you. This is by far the best hydration pack for hikers of all experience levels.

OUTRAK Vapor Hydration Pack 3L

OUTRAK Vapor Hydration Pack 3L

Best Value

Pros
  • Lightweight construction
  • Padded back panel
  • Ideal for walking and exercising
  • Large storage compartment
Cons
  • Some users report that the bladder came stuck together and could not be filled easily
  • Some users report that the bottom clip was faulty
  • The water bladder can be hard to dry out

One of the best hydration backpacks we recommend would be the OUTRAK Vapor Hydration Pack. In comparison to other hydration packs on this list, one unique feature that sticks out immediately, is the greater amount of volume it has for the same price point as the Caribee Quencher.

A major benefit that we found with the OUTRAK is how adjustable the sternum, waist, and shoulder straps are. In terms of comfort and suitability for people of all sizes, this is certainly one of the best options out there.

Let’s not forget that it has a 3L capacity, which is probably more than enough water for an average hike. More experienced hikers will probably want a hydration pack with more features, but this is great for anyone who just wants a convenient way to carry their stuff and keep their hands free, while being able to stay hydrated.

BlackWolf Tank Hydration Bladder 3L

BlackWolf Tank Hydration Bladder - 3 Litre

Best For Portability

Pros
  • Tight waterproof seal
  • BPA and PVC free
  • Capacity lines along bladder indicate how much liquid is left
  • Fits snugly in regular-sized hiking backpacks
  • Handle can be removed in order to fit in a smaller bag
Cons
  • Some users report that both locks/tabs broke with first use
  • Some users report that water still has a plastic taste despite multiple washes

While you can absolutely purchase a full-on hydration pack that includes a hydration bladder, you also have the option of buying just the bladder, and placing it in a bag you already own.

After researching various products, we came to the conclusion that the BlackWolf Tank Hydration Bladder is the best hydration bladder on the market for hiking enthusiasts.

Be warned, however - even though it is listed for a relatively low price, a number of users have written in to say that the closing tabs were fragile, and broke within a very short period of time.

On the other hand, this bladder has a full length handle to prevent it from collapsing. It's attached at the top and bottom and not attached to the body of the bladder, which should keep it upright and prevent any blockages.

Since the BlackWolf Bladder has a capacity of three litres, it often doesn’t need to be refilled, which makes it a great option when you’re on the go. What really sets it apart from the competition is the fact that it has lines along the bladder, which indicate how much liquid you have remaining.

Camelbak Rim Runner 22 Hydration Pack

Camelbak Rim Runner 22 Hydration Pack

Honourable Mention

Pros
  • Six pockets in addition to main compartment
  • Can be adjusted easily, even with gloves on
Cons
  • Some users have found the actual bag volume to be 17L, and not 22L as stated.
  • No way to hang your own bladder from a different brand without some modifications.
  • Back panel is not as breathable as similar products
  • Waist belt has an oddly thin and unstable attachment
  • Similar products have three times the capacity, but weigh the same

While the price of the Camelbak Rim Runner 22 Hydration Pack is definitely higher than the other hydration packs on this list, it doesn’t necessarily stand out in a lot of areas, apart from its versatility and number of compartments.

Right off the bat, one unique feature of the Camelbak Rim Runner is that it’s partly made of post-consumer recycled materials. So, if you’re looking to support a company that favors using more environmentally sustainable fabrics, this may be the one for you.

Reviewers have noted that the outer-most expanding pouch is a very useful and versatile feature. For example, you can clip your shoes to the rugged carrying loop, and they sit in the pouch, which prevents them from dangling around. The elastic side pouches have additional straps to tie down water bottles and other items you may bring with you on your hiking trips.

However, this hydration pack does fall short of expectations in a few ways. One of the most glaring issues, is that the hydration bladder cannot be switched out for one of a different brand, without some modifications.

Also, the back mesh panel has been found to not be as breathable as other hydration packs. Lastly, this hydration pack cannot be considered to be ‘ultra lightweight’, since there are identical products on the market that have the same weight, but three times the storage capacity.

Things To Consider When Purchasing a Hydration Pack

Volume

The more water you can carry, the better. After all, the main reason you’re carrying the pack in the first place is to make sure you stay hydrated throughout your journey.

You’ll just need to make sure that taking a larger hydration pack doesn’t weigh you down too much and cause you to lag behind or become fatigued early on. In this regard, the OUTRAK Vapor Hydration Pack certainly provides a lot of value, with its three litres of capacity.

Warranty

If you’re investing in a hydration pack, then you’ll want a strong guarantee that it will serve you with minimal chance of something going wrong - especially when you’re out in the wild.

When choosing a hydration pack, definitely keep this in mind, and make sure that any defects you find after purchasing it can be covered by the warranty.

Material

The best hydration pack for hiking will need to be made out of sturdy, tear-resistant material, so that it can withstand multiple hikes and all sorts of occurrences in the woods.

Additionally, if you’d like one that’s environmentally friendly, look no further than the Camelbak Rim Runner. It’s made from recycled materials, and the perfect combination of durability and sustainability.

It's perfect for those of us who like to follow the Leave No Trace ethos.

Space

Being well prepared for your next hike can be made easier if your hydration pack has all the little compartments and pockets you need to store your essential items.

It’s crucial that your belongings remain strapped up and secure as you tread through the unknown, so that you can focus on enjoying the experience, rather than worrying about if something spilled or got detached from your backpack.

Once again, the OUTRAK Vapor Hydration Pack comes out ahead as the best of the best for storing multiple items of various sizes securely in all its compartments. Even with the hydration bladder inside, there’s still plenty of room to store your stuff for your next hike.

Comfort

Perhaps one of the most important factors to take into consideration when choosing your hydration backpack is how comfortable it is, especially after bearing its weight for several hours.

We stand behind the Caribee Quencher 2L Hydration Pack, thanks to how adjustable it is, and how many users have reported that it’s comfortable to wear during their hikes.

Not only do you want a hydration pack that’s adjustable and fits you well, you’ll want to make sure that the straps and back pad keep everything stable, while feeling soft and secure.

Remember, you'll be carrying plenty of other gear, such as your backpacking tent and walking poles, so you want your hydration system to mesh in smoothly with everything else.

Final Thoughts

After going through this guide, we hope you’ve got a clearer idea of the best hydration pack to suit your needs when out on your next hike! Before you invest in one, make sure you’ve factored in how often you’ll be using it, and what aspects of it you value most.

At the end of the day, our top recommendation is the Caribee Quencher 2L Hydration Pack, due to its fair price point, how comfortable it is to wear on a long hike, and its superior comfort.

If you’re on a budget, and just need the bare minimum for your next outdoor excursion, then consider grabbing the BlackWolf Tank Hydration Bladder, which can fit snugly into most other hiking backpacks or regular bags.

On the other hand, if you’re a die-hard fan of the outdoors (and you don’t mind spending a little more cash), then pick up a Camelbak Rim Runner 22 Hydration Pack, since it’s known for superior durability. Plus, as mentioned before, it’s a more environmentally sustainable choice.

Should you have any questions about any of these hydration packs, then please let us hear your thoughts in the comment section below. Happy hiking!


This article may contain affiliate links. I will earn a commission if you choose to purchase a product or service after clicking on my link. This helps pay for the cost of running the website. You will not be disadvantaged in any way by using my links.

Note that while every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information on this page, there may sometimes be errors. Check all specifications with the manufacturer before purchasing any product.

Louis

After swearing off camping at a young age after a number of cold nights in cheap sleeping bags, Louis has ended up becoming a great lover of the natural beauty that Australia has to offer. This change of heart came after realising that, with the right equipment, camping can be as comfortable as it is fun. He is passionate about helping people reconnect with nature and explore Australia's great outdoors.

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