hydration packs – what's good?

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  • hydration packs – what's good?
  • Premier Icon kiwijohn

    I’m using a Dakine Drafter that would fit the bill.
    Others will be along shortly sprouting Osprey.

    Premier Icon mrhoppy

    And here they come! Raptor 14, big enough for Alpine days out but packs down enough for short blasts.

    Premier Icon el_boufador

    HEllo, as per title, going to treat myself to a new one, but I have no idea what’s good out on the market at present.

    It will be for general trail riding duties, summer and winter, not ultralight /tiny but not too big either.

    Would like some internal pockets for odds and ends, and some external ones for phone/compact camera would be handy

    I have a 25L osprey pack for when I need to carry a lot of kit, so looking for something smaller than this, maybe around the 8-15L mark (just guessing at this really).

    Not too concerned about cost – I will keep / use for a long time, don’t mind paying for quality *if* it is justified.

    Premier Icon jameso

    My osprey raptor was pretty good, until the bladder became porous (leaked all over, weird) and I was told there was no warranty on it, yet it was under a year old. So I bought something else to replace it. Hydrapack bladders seem to be much better, more durable ime. Lighter too, if that matters.

    tbh I think they either fit and have enough / few enough pockets to suit you, or not. Actual maker of the bag among the top brands seems less important.


    Just bought a Vaude from Evans. £35 at the moment and probably the best pack I’ve had. Hydra pack bladder too.

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge

    I have both a dakine, and an osprey. Both way better than the camelbak I had previously, ie better thought out especially.

    Premier Icon Steelsreal

    would always choose a soft bladder from experience ! the hard caps on camelbaks don’t half hurt if you land on them hard!!!

    Just my opinion, can show my x rays if required 🙂

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout

    I have a cheap Karrimor 15lt and it is ace – sits low and stable. It is sweaty and bit valve was poor.
    One of the kids has a Salomon XR 10-15 ltr one, and it is best pack I have used in a while – cool back/straps, light, well made, great bladder and valve, really stable. Odd yellow colour.


    I have an Evoc 16l and rate it. It’s better made than my Camelback Chaos that it replaced and is better thought out in terms of storage. I’ve had it a terror so and it seems to be holding up well (I am using a Camelback bladder though).

    Evoc 10L is flipping ace!

    Can’t recommend it enough.


    Well worth getting one that fits these:

    Source Hydration Bladder

    The bladder is the core of the pack. Make sure it’s good.


    Camelbak charge (2/3 hours) and mule (3+ hours)…both are extremely good and you can usually get good deals on them at Merlin.


    TIP — (i know this does not fit your needs, but could help others…)

    I purchased one of these 2 weeks ago as I needed a smaller bag when just out for a few hours for £25.00

    Giant Cascade 1 Hydration Pack

    Giant Cascade 1 Cycling Hydration Pack features a 2 litre reservoir for cross country rides when travelling light is your priority.


    It comes with a 2 litre Widepac SOURCE bladder. which retail around the £20 quid range anyway.

    So for me… a new bag for around a fiver to “tick them boxes” and a new bladder. (also.. the end cap for the teat can come off the bag too. )

    Hope this helps.



    ^^^^^^^ as above ^^^^^^^
    I’ve got the source bladder and love it
    It’s easy to clean, anti bacterial and the bite valve
    has a great lock / cap

    £25 for the giant bag / bladder seems a decent buy

    Otherwise I’d be looking at osprey

    Premier Icon el_boufador

    Thanks for the suggestions all – much appreciated

    Premier Icon Northwind

    Camelbaks are a bit variable, I suppose they make so many designs for so many jobs that some just don’t suit that well. Love my Chaos though, it’s almost perfect (the back goes a bit convex when it’s full, only beef). Bombproof, stable, big enough, outside straps for helmets and pads and that, good pockets.

    Quick bargain…. http://www.charliethebikemonger.com/ergon-bc1-backpack-3918-p.asp

    I find these excellent, they have ball joint thing so incredibly comfortable…

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