Hydration Pack : What is it?
Hydration packs contain water containers or bladders, with long drinking tubes extending from the pack to the user. They allow users to drink without removing the water bottle or jug from the bag. They are especially useful in hiking and cycling, where users can drink without stopping on the trail or letting go of the handlebars.
The bladder is usually made from food-grade plastic, and is covered in an insulating exterior to keep the water cool in hot weather. The drinking tube is of flexible plastic, and features a bite valve at the end that facilitates the flow of water into the mouth. Most hydration packs have bladder capacities of one to three liters, although the combined capacity of the bladder and the cargo room can add up to ten liters.
Hydration packs can be used alone or built into larger bags. Many camping and hiking bags feature built-in hydration systems, and some hydration packs come with compartments and pockets that allow them to function as bags as well.
Kinds of Hydration Packs include the following:
Water bottle hydration packs consist only of a water bladder enclosed in a tight bag.
They are lighter and have smaller reservoir capacities than other hydration pack designs.
They are ideal for activities requiring fast, uninhibited movement, such as cycling, skiing, and snowboarding.
Day pack-style hydration packs are incorporated into larger bags, which allow the user to carry other items inside the pack. They offer the largest bladder capacities, as well as varying amounts of cargo room depending on the model. They are usually slung over the shoulders with padded straps, with the drinking tube extending from a hole in the bag.
Waist-pack hydration packs are attached to belt straps that wrap around the waist. They have smaller bladder capacities to reduce the pack's weight, which may cause the pack to sag on the waist during transport. They often have a number of side pockets and comportments for storing small items such as hand towels and wallets.
Comfort: Choose a hydration pack that is light and comfortable to carry. Look for one with wide shoulder or waist straps to spread the pack's weight and reduce the pressure exerted on the body. Full-sized day packs should be supported by both shoulder straps and hip belts.
Sealing: Make sure your hydration pack is tightly sealed to prevent dust and dirt from entering and contamination your water. Check that the bag is wrapped tightly around the bladder and that the pack closes properly. Check for leaks and openings in the pack before buying.
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