While a water bottle can be referred to as the most possible solution to meet your drinking needs, it is not the best solution for activities where taking a halt needs to be avoided. In these cases, you should go for the best hydration bladder as they are practical, compact, and allow you to drink while on the go. 

However, choosing the best water bladder is not an easy task as technicalities such as construction material, style, and compatibility should be considered. Further, you need to analyze factors such as size and weight and map them to your needs. 

To help you in making the right choice, we went through several hydration bladder reviews and listed down 10 Best Hydration Bladders In 2022 with a comprehensive buying guide to filter the best option for you.

How To Choose A Hydration Bladder – Buying Guide


Capacity and Size

While there are some exceptions, the majority of hydration systems have a 1L, 2L or 3L capacity. Each size has its ups and downs, and the choice depends on which one maps to your needs in the best manner. All drinking bladders are similarly shaped, but the dimensions aren’t the same. Before buying, make sure it can fit inside your backpack.


Hydration bladders are made from lightweight materials, and on their own, they weigh only a few ounces. They won’t be a problem even if you’re conscious about weight and carrying a lightweight backpack. 


When you decide to add a hydration bladder to your equipment, you should certainly get one that is made of safe and tested materials, rather than plastic which is toxic to humans. With that, the construction material should be free from BPA and phthalates. In general, the best hydration bladder is made from polyurethane, and polyethylene as they are strong and hold water well without leaking but are still flexible. 


An opening is another important feature in regards to a hydration bladder. It determines how easily you will use your new hiking water bladder. A hiking bladder can either have a slide opening or a screw top. While a slide opening has a clip that slides over the opening to secure it and keep the water inside, a screw top opening is a more secure solution with no less leaking probability but is difficult to clean.


While making a choice you need to keep in mind that the best hydration bladder comes with quick-release hoses, where you can detach it with a push of a button. If not, look for a screw-on hose that has an O-ring to prevent leaking. 


A good mouthpiece or bite valve is another important feature as it determines the comfort when using a hydration bladder. It should be simple to use and give you a good flow of water. On the other hand, it should be completely tight and leak-proof when not in use. Larger valves may feel awkward to use but will give a better flow. It’s the opposite of small ones.


Many users complain about the weird taste their water has when they start using a hydration bladder. This may come from either the bladder or the hose, because of the materials used. So, make sure they are safe and non-toxic when buying. Once you buy a hydration bag, you need to clean it thoroughly to get rid of the bad taste. 


If you want your bladder to be pleasant to use, you need to clean it properly. Some hydration bladders are much easier to clean with scrubs via opening, some can be turned inside out for better access, while some are even dishwasher friendly. Always wash and dry it before storing it as it prevents mold, mildew, and bacteria, as well as the weird smells and taste.

Pressurized vs Non-Pressurized

Out of these two, non-pressurized are more common and have a single chamber form where you need to suck on a hose to get the water to flow. On the other hand, a pressurized bladder has an air chamber too. You get a hand pump to pump the air inside, and in turn, it puts pressure on the water chamber so water flows freely. It’s a bit more complicated and somewhat more expensive, but it may be great for some people, especially when there’s a need to pour or spray the water.

Component Compatibility

There is a large degree of mutual compatibility between components, even if they come from different manufacturers. So, you need to keep an eye on its configuration and check for its components such as the hose. Further, you need to ensure that your hiking daypack is compatible with a bladder. 


The durability of a hydration bladder depends on two things – the materials used to make it and the way you take care of it. Even if it means spending a bit more money, you should get a top-rated water bladder that resists punctures. Furthermore, if you clean it regularly you will stop microorganisms from colonizing it and it will remain pleasant to use for a much longer time.



Q: What are the benefits of Hydration Bladders?


While there can be other benefits too, the most important benefit of a hydration bladder is the convenience it provides in keeping you hydrated when you are engaged in physical activities. Additionally, a hydration bladder also saves space in your backpack (compared to water bottles), and they become even smaller as you empty them. 

Q: What Size Hydration Bladder Should I Buy?


It depends. Each size has its utility and you can make a choice depending on how much water you need to consume and how much space you have. 

Q: How to Clean A Hydration Bladder?


For cleaning a hydration bladder, soak it in a solution of water and bleach or baking soda for around 30 mins. After that, use a mild detergent and a brush to scrub it. Rinse it thoroughly and leave it to dry. 

Q: Can I Drink Other Liquids Besides Water From My Hydration Bladder?


Yes, but only if it is allowed by the manufacturer. You need to be careful as liquids such as fizzy drinks can damage the bag. 

Q: Where Should I Store the Hydration Bladder When Not In Use?


The best place to store a hydration bladder is a freezer. If you don’t have enough space in your freezer (or just don’t want to keep it there), you should keep it somewhere completely dry.

Globo Surf Overview

Proper hydration is very important for our health, and it becomes even more so when we engage in physical activities outside. We must have adequate water intake, and hydration bladders solve this in the most convenient way possible – you can drink without making a stop. Selecting the best water bladder depends primarily on your taste and needs, but we hope our buying guide helped you make an easier choice. Have fun on your adventure and stay hydrated!

More Backpacking/Hiking Reviews:

Have you tried a hydration bladder that made it onto our list? Was the size good for you? Was it easy to use and clean? Please share your experience with us in the comment section below.

Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!