If you're planning on doing some hiking this summer, then you'll need a good hydration pack. Here are our reviews of three of the best.
Summertime is perfect for getting outside and enjoying nature. Whether you're running, hiking, or biking, staying hydrated is essential to keeping your energy up and avoiding heat stroke. Especially with warmer weather on the way, it's a great time to get your hydration vest and be ready to run this summer.
A trail running hydration pack can make it easy to carry water with you on the go, without having to worry about stopping to take a drink.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when running is hydration. When you sweat, your body loses not only water but also electrolytes like sodium and potassium. If you don't replace these fluids, you can start to feel dehydrated, which can make running harder and lead to cramps, headaches, and other problems including heat exhaustion that we talked about in this article). That's why it's important to drink before, during, and after running.
Water is always a good choice, but if you're running for more than an hour, you may want to consider a sports drink that can help replenish your electrolytes. Staying properly hydrated will help you feel your best when running and can even improve your performance.
When choosing a running vest, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, think about how much water you'll need to carry. If you're going on a long run or hike, you'll need more than if you're just going out for a short jog. You should also consider how the vest will fit. It should be comfortable to wear and not bounce around too much as you run.
Another thing to think about is how easy it is to drink from the vest and what type of flask your backpack can carry. You should be able to reach the water bottle easily so you can take a drink without having to slow down or stop or the bottles that fit snuggly into the pockets should have long enough straws for you to drink from. You should look at whether or not you want to carry a bladder (typically a larger reservoir that holds the water) or soft flask water bottles which typically carry less water but are easy to refill and access.
Some people prefer bladders because they're usually larger and can hold more water, but they can be a little harder to drink from on the go and they can have a bit of a "sloshy" feeling when running low. Water bottles are easier to grab and drink from but you may need to stop more often to refill them if you're heading out on longer runs.
Finally, make sure the vest has enough features or pockets for any other running essentials like keys, snacks or a few layers if you're heading out on longer runs or into the colder months on your next adventure. You'll want to make sure your key pocket is definitely zipped and perhaps your phone too, if that's your emergency device to help get you home if you're a little lost!
If the trail activity takes more than 6 miles or 10 kilometers, then the hydration system is a good investment as the water is easy to access without breaking stride. If you don't mind stopping to grab some water or are only going out for a short run, then you can probably get away with just carrying a few bottles. But if you want to be able to keep running without stopping, then a hydration pack is definitely worth the investment.
There are lots of brands to choose from, but here are five trail running hydration packs to help you stay hydrated on your next hot run:
We like this vest from homegrown British brand Harrier.
It 's lightweight and has a 10-litre capacity, making it great for longer runs. The two soft flask water bottles are easy to grab and drink from on the go, and there's also space for keys, a phone, and other essentials. It has a snug fit , so it won't bounce around as you run, and the adjustable straps make it easy to get a comfortable fit. You also won't break the bank on Harrier trail running vests starting at £59.
Check out the vest here
This unisex running vest includes flasks and has space for other essentials like snacks and a phone. We love features like the soft breathable fabric and the fact that it has an adjustable fit, so you can find your perfect fit. Ideal for those on shorter runs or races , this is a great option that won't weigh you down.
Explore the product here
The VaporAir 2.0 has a 7-litre capacity and comes with two soft flask water bottles. It's lightweight and includes a front zip pocket for other essentials like your phone or keys. Fit is key to avoid chafing whilst you run and we love the fact that it has an adjustable fit, so you can make sure it doesn't bounce around as you run.
Find out more about the pack here
Osprey are renowned for their backpacks, so you know you're in good hands with their hydration vest. The Dyna 6 includes a 2.5-litre bladder and has space for other essentials like your phone and keys. We like the fact that it has an adjustable sternum strap as this helps to distribute the weight evenly and stops the pack from bouncing around. With multiple mesh and zippered pockets on the front and sides, it's easy to access your nutrition on the fly.
Have a look at the pack here.
The Circuit Vest 5l has a 1.5l reservoir and capacity for 3.5l of gear , making it perfect for long runs or walks. The front panel has two zippered compartments which are great for carrying gels, phone and snacks, while the breathable mesh back panel stops you from over-heating. We also like the fact that it comes in both men's and women's specific designs.
You can find out more about the vest here.
So there you have it, a selection of hydration packs for summer running (and walking). Be sure to stay hydrated out there when the heat turns up!