How We Rank Our Favorite Offroad Hydration Packs

How We Rank Our Favorite Offroad Hydration Packs

Mar 4th 2024

“It’s just a fancy backpack with a bladder and a tube, isn’t it?” While we understand the tendency to oversimplify the idea of a hydration pack, high-quality offroad-grade hydration packs are a whole lot more sophisticated (and useful) than that. Thanks to innovative options pouring into the market over the past several years from the best brands, we can offer you much more than a glorified water bottle. But before you jump into MXGear’s best offroad hydration packs, it’s important to understand what to look for. Here’s an overview of what we look for and how we gauge quality in the area of hydration packs.

Added Utility and Storage

We know that both space and storage capacity are treasured commodities in the offroad world, which is why we rarely consider allowing any hydration packs into our collection that don’t have some form of additional storage capacity, including attachment points for clips and gear, internal pockets, and more. It’s also important that the harness does not create restriction around the arms - this Thor hydration pack angles the harness away from the arms to provide complete freedom of movement. These are just two of many ways in which hydration packs can do much more than hold water.

Off-Road-Worthy Durability

Just like everything else that goes on you and/or on your vehicle while you’re offroading, no matter how cool it may be, it’s not going to last if it isn’t made to handle the elements and take a serious hit. This requires fully weather-proofed, tough, yet breathable materials, including air mesh, thermal-lined compartments, 1200D ballistic polyester, and more.

Material Quality (Bladder and Tube)

If the offroad hydration pack you’re considering doesn’t have a multi-liter, BPA-free bladder, it’s probably time to look elsewhere. Another very important consideration that doesn’t necessarily stand out if you’ve never owned one of these before is the top of the bladder. If it isn’t wide enough, you’re going to have a not-so-fun time cleaning it out. Stick with a BPA-free, wide-mouth bladder, make sure the hydration tube is well-insulated also to keep your water cool, and also make sure that the bite valve has a secure (magnetic is great) holder. All of these will help you with regulating the temperature and quality of your water and not having a hassle on the trail.

And Much More

These are just a few of the major criteria we use when checking out hydration packs, and as always, some may stand out (or blend in) more for you depending on your specific needs and preferences. We encourage you to always stick to the best hydration pack brands and don’t click until your entire checklist is satisfied.