A hydration pack is a specially designed backpack or waist bag that can carry a bladder full of fluid. This bladder has a hose connected to it that is fed over your shoulder and held in place, usually on the chest strap of the bag. This makes it really easy to take sips of water at regular intervals as you ride. This means no opening your backpack up to take out a bottle, it also leaves your hands free to concentrate on the task at hand when on the bike.
Why use a hydration pack?
Hydration packs are especially handy for mountain bikers who are less likely to be able to fit kit to the bike like most roadies. With your water reservoir on your back, you can say goodbye to reaching down to grab your bottle from the cage, and even more frustrating…the task of trying to pop it back in!
You have the ability to carry more fluid than you usually would in a bottle or two and because it’s conveniently stashed on your back with a hose on your shoulder, you’re more inclined to take more small sips over the course of your ride, avoiding dehydration.
More often than not hydration packs have the capacity to carry other pieces of kit. You can store easy to access snacks in the waist strap pockets, while extra layers and bike tools can be stashed in the main part of the pack.