Are you a mountain bike rider who is into big backcountry adventures? Or maybe all-day epics? Well, you should consider getting yourself the best mountain biking backpack.
As an MTB rider, especially one that does long hours of riding, the last thing you want is to haul a heavy bottle. Or worse still, pack a heavy, clumsy bag full of gear. Instead, you want something much lighter, streamlined, and with room for water and gear. And such is what you get in a hydration pack. It offers easy and quick access to water and gear while on the move. Also, it provides customizable comfort, making long rides more forgiving.
However, with many options on the market, choosing the best hydration pack for mountain biking is not easy. That is why I have rounded up this list of the best MTB backpacks to consider.
10 Best Mountain Biking Backpacks
1. Mubasel Gear Insulated Hydration Backpack
The focus of Mubasel Gear is to better your day. One way it achieves that is through its high-quality MTB hydration backpack. Well, the Mubasel gear insulated backpack is pretty much a daypack and a hydration pack, providing much-needed versatility.
Okay, the shell comes in soft, durable, and water-resistant polyester. So, unless you pour water directly on it, it will keep your items dry. The back panel, however, comes in mesh padding. It minimizes the strain and keeps you cool during those hot days.
The backpack, too, has good storage volume. It has a grocery pocket, two waist pockets, and an assistant front stretch mesh pocket. Even more outstanding, it has an insulated bladder compartment. And guess what, it comes complete with a 2-liter water bladder.
But how good is the hydration bladder? Indeed, it has excellent thermal insulation, keeping your water cool for up to 4 hours. I like the plug-in design. Unlike the screw-in version, it is 100% leak-proof and self-drying. Also noteworthy is the sizeable opening. It allows for easy cleaning and filling. And to wrap it all, the bladder is FDA-approved and BPA-free.
This MTB hydration backpack also has bungee cord storage. It accommodates the extra gear that cannot fit inside the backpack. And should you want quick access or dry out wet items on the move, the cord storage comes in handy.
But the bungee cords are not the only feature that provides room for extra gear. The backpack also has plug-in rings. More like D-rings, it allows you to clip on extra gear.
Well, the ergonomic design is not only in the padded mesh back panel. You also get comfortable S-shaped padded shoulder straps. It works in tandem with the chest and waist straps to provide ultimate comfort on the go.
Mubasel Gear backpack is not without a few bells and whistles. It has reflectors and a whistle for safety. Moreover, it has an integrated clip to keep the bladder hose in one place.
There is a whole lot of colors to choose from. You get 15 colors to suit every fashion and taste.
Should you want an affordable, well-organized hydration pack with excellent thermal insulation, I bet you will like the Mubasel Gear backpack. Also, it is a favorite for those that want multiple color choices.
2. TETON Sports Oasis 1100 Hydration Pack
According to TETON Sports, satisfying your thirst for adventure does not have to be that difficult. At least not when you have a high-quality oasis 1100 hydration pack.
Well, TETON Sports gives you a terrific companion, courtesy of the Oasis 1100 hydration pack. It is an affordable, lightweight, adjustable, and comfortable backpack. Indeed, it is a favorite among most hikers, both for overnight and day-long adventures.
Oasis 1100 pack has a honeycomb shell that comes in 600D ripstop fabric. It is durable, with good stability and quality. Though not waterproof, it provides a high level of water resistance. Well, the honeycomb pattern is not just for beauty. As it turns out, the pattern allows for free airflow and makes the fabric dry faster.
As the name implies, this MTB backpack has 1100 cubic inches of storage, which equals 18 liters. It has a front pocket, main pocket, and hydration compartment. Alongside that are two mesh side pockets.
Does it sound like the storage space is not enough? Well, the backpack also has bungee cord storage for extra gear. Indeed, it is a good place to attach those large, unwieldy gear.
Moreover, the backpack comes standard with a 2-liter bladder. It is a high-quality, durable hydration bladder comprising a kink-free tube and a push-lock valve. Also, it has a large opening for ice and easy cleaning.
This backpack has an athletic cut and fully-adjustable contoured padded shoulder straps. Complete with mesh covering, it provides hours of customizable comfort. The athletic fit, in particular, accommodates all body frames. It is comfortable for all, including men, women, and youth.
But this MTB backpack is not all about comfort. It also has safety features, including a whistle, reflectors, and a shockproof chest strap.
So, what backpack color works best for you? You will be happy to know that Oasis 1100 is available in 6 colors. Most likely, there is one to suit your needs.
TETON Sports Oasis 1100 provides hours of comfort. Also, it is the best-rated hydration pack on the list and a favorite for most riders. So, you will more likely love it.
3. Sunhiker Water-Resistant Travel Backpack
Do you have other ways to keep your drink cool, or willing to buy a water bladder? Well, you will do fine with just a daypack. And guess what, Sunhiker has the right one for you.
For a daypack-only design, a Cycling hiking backpack does not have an insulated compartment for a water bladder. Still, the quality and the storage capacity of this backpack will leave you satisfied.
This daypack comes in durable ripstop fabric. It is soft, lightweight, and water-resistant. And with 13 colors to choose from, you will never miss a perfect match.
Though it is termed a small daypack, this travel backpack can hold lots of items. It has a storage volume of 20-25 liters and offers multiple compartments. Well, you get two front pockets and the main compartment. Moreover, it has two side mesh pockets ideal for water bottles and other drinks.
The back panel and the shoulder straps have padded breathable mesh. It provides cushioned comfort and improves air circulation. Hence, you can enjoy hours of comfort.
Getting the perfect fit for your size is easy. All is possible, thanks to the adjustable shoulder, waist, and sternum straps.
I like how the wraparound compression straps keep your water bottles and other gear in one place. And whereas it does not have a bungee cord system, the backpack has D-hook attachments. Thus, it can accommodate additional gear.
Sunhiker backpack is stylish and with sensible, well-organized storage. Should you be willing to spent extra on a water bladder, this daypack will suffice.
4. CamelBak 2016 Skyline 10-Liter Hydration Pack
CamelBak makes one of the best hydration packs. And the 2016 Skyline hydration pack stands out as the best for the MTB rider.
Well, CamelBak makes a little tweak to the location of the reservoir. Unlike in other backpacks, the bladder sits low and close to your waist, hence the name low-rider reservoir.
The lumber design of the 3-liter reservoir has several benefits. By riding lower, it gives you maximum stability during those aggressive downhill rides. Also, it gives your body more room to move freely.
A trap door gives easy access to the reservoir. Hence, you can drink and refill on the move. Other features include a magnetic clip that keeps the hose in one place.
There is ample space for gear and small items, thanks to the 10 liters worth of storage volume. It has a stretchy front pocket, a front main pocket, and a small fleece-lined pocket for your phone and glasses. Also, you get two waist pockets.
Well, you do not have to find another storage solution for your bike tools. As it turns out, the backpack comes with an organizer roll to keep your bike tools handy.
I like the ventilated, padded XV back panel. It provides cushioned comfort and increases the ventilated area to more than 80%. Moreover, it works in tandem with adjustable padded shoulder straps, chest straps, and waist straps to keep the backpack compact and secure.
CamelBak is not quite clear regarding the material of the water-resistant shell. However, the lifetime warranty speaks volumes of its impeccable quality and durability.
Well, it is not the only lumbar pack on the market. However, Skyline LR10 has a more evolved design. Indeed, it is the best low-riding hydration pack for improving stability.
5. TETON Sports Trail-Runner 2.0 Hydration Pack
TETON Sports specializes in different designs. Besides the typical hydration pack design, it has this slim-profile, Trail-Runner hydration pack. Indeed, the trail-runner 2.0 hydration pack is an attractive choice for the minimalist rider who does not like to bring a lot of things along.
Trail-Runner hydration pack has only one mesh storage pocket. It is, however, larger. At 9-inch deep, you can stuff in your phone, wallet, snacks, and more. Also, you get a bungee storage system to accommodate extra gear.
The backpack includes a 2-liter water bladder. Hence, you can quench your thirst on the move. Noteworthy features of the bladder include a kink-free sip tube and a large 2-inch opening.
Well, this hydration pack has a low-profile design. It hugs your body, providing a closer fit for any activity. Also, the backpack has a mesh padded shoulder strap that contours to your body. Alongside the adjustable chest straps and waist straps, it provides ultimate, all-day comfort.
The entire back panel is covered in mesh fabric to keep your back sweat-free. Also, it is padded to provide cushioned comfort.
Well, the Trail-Runner hydration pack comes in 600D fabric. Hence, it is water-resistant and just as durable. Also, the fabric is available in 5 colors, giving you more options.
Should you want an ultra-minimalist option with a slim-fit provide, TETON Sports Trail-Runner is for you. Indeed, it is one hydration pack that keeps your ride flow going.
6. TETON Sports Oasis 1200 Hydration Pack
It now dawns on me why TETO Sports is regarded as one of the best brands in mountain biking backpacks. Because, yet again, it makes it to the list, thanks to the Oasis 1200 hydration pack.
Well, this backpack comes larger than the Oasis 1100, providing 1200 cubic inches of storage. The difference is not much, but commendable all the same.
Whereas Oasis 1100 boasts a honeycomb polyester shell, Oasis 1200 backpack has a 600D dobby polyester shell. It creates a water-resistant barrier. Still, it is breathable, keeping you cool in warm weather. And just like the honeycomb pattern, dobby polyester lends a stylish look.
Oasis 1200 provides a perfect fit for both men and women, thanks to the athletic cut design. Even more, it provides customizable comfort, courtesy of the adjustable shoulder and waist strap.
Let us dwell a bit on the storage options in this hydration pack. Well, it has a stretchy overflow mesh pocket at the front, a reservoir pocket, and a full-length main pocket. Also, it boasts four mesh side pockets, more than Oasis 1100. But it does not end there. This hydration pack also has two waist pockets.
The hydration bladder is upgraded to hold 3 liters of water. It comes standard with a kink-free sip tube, slide-on opening, and push-lock bite valve.
Moreover, this hydration pack has the bells and whistles of high-end backpacks. Among them are the shockproof chest strap, reflective trim, and a built-in whistle.
Oasis 1200 backpack does not limit you to one color. It comes in 5 different colors to coordinate with your style.
TETON Sports Oasis 1200 is an excellent choice for your big days out. It has a sizeable water bladder as well as gear capacity.
7. Live Infinitely Hydration Backpack
Live infinitely is pretty much a newbie in the world of hydration packs. But it is commendable to see such a young company making it big in the industry. Indeed, it has notable awards to its name, including the company of the year and best customer service.
Well, this hydration pack is among the products that make Live Infinitely soar high. It is portable and lightweight but with the functionality of an everyday bag. Hence, it is pretty much a backpack ready for any adventure.
There are two versions of this hydration backpack. Well, the larger one has 30 liters of storage and a 3-liter water bladder. The smaller one, on the other hand, has a 10-liter capacity and a 2-liter water bladder. But except for the above differences, all the other features come standard.
Comfort is key in any backpack, no doubt. Well, this backpack offers such comfort via a unique airflow design and ample padding. You get it on the back panel, shoulder straps, and waist belt.
Live infinitely throws as many pockets as possible for better organization. It has the main compartment, hydration compartment, accessories pocket, a front pocket, and two mesh pockets for water bottles.
Also, this backpack has multiple options to attach extra gear. You can use D-rings, loops, or the bungee cord system.
The water bladder comes thicker than standard. It has a leak-proof spout, quick-release hose clip, wide mouth opening, and universal clip-in system.
Well, the fabric is 600D polyester. It is extremely durable, water-resistant, and comes in multiple color choices.
It is hard not to love a hydration pack from an award-winning company. Even better is that you get it in two sizes. Indeed, it is one of the best MTB backpacks ready for any adventure.
8. KUYOU Hydration Pack
KUYOU is another hydration pack that appeals to the minimalist rider. Well, it does not have the reputation of TETON Sports Trail-Runner. However, the quality and affordable price tag appeals make hiking climbing pouch is a favorite among most customers.
This backpack is lighter, so much that you cannot feel it on your back. And to further improve the experience, it comes with padded mesh for cushioned comfort and breathable performance.
KUYOU hydration pack has only one zippered opening for the water bladder compartment and the accessories pocket. Such a thoughtful design provides quick access. Also, it has an adjustable bungee strap and D-ring attachments for extra gear.
The 2-liter water bladder is entirely tested for care-free riding. It is guaranteed to provide 24 hours of leak-proof and pressure-tolerant performance.
The wide-webbed shoulder straps make this hydration pack less of a burden on your back. Also, it is adjustable to provide a perfect, secure fit.
By having reflective trims, this backpack guarantees your safety. And with multiple color choices, choosing the best one for your needs is pretty easy.
It is hard not to love a hydration pack that is cheaper yet has the quality of high-end ultra-minimalist backpacks. Should you want an ultra-minimalist hydration pack for the budget, KUYOU will suffice.
9. CamelBak Rogue Hydration Pack
CamelBak is pretty much a step ahead in terms of ingenious designs. We have seen the unique, low-rider water reservoir of its 2016 Skyline hydration pack. And as it turns out, we are in for even more captivating designs.
Do not take the slim-fit design of CamelBak Rogue for your average minimalist hydration pack. This backpack is pretty much a far cry, both in technology and design.
Whereas most slim-fit hydration packs offer only one storage pocket, CamelBak Rogue has two. You get an integrated tool organization pocket and a stretch overflow pocket. Still, it has external hooks to accommodate extra gear.
The high-tech design is more evident in the 2.5-liter water bladder. It delivers 20% more water per sip than your average water bladder. Also, the water bladder has a more intuitive, leak-proof on/off lever.
The back panel and shoulder straps have breathable padded mesh. They take the pressure off your back and keep you cooler.
CamelBak Rogue is a well-thought-out pack. Though it fits slimmer, it provides ample storage. And should you want the most advanced water bladder system, this is the backpack to consider.
10. MARCHWAY Tactical Hydration Pack
Are you looking for a hydration pack that gives you that badass look? Well, you are in for a treat, thanks to MARCHWAY tactical backpack.
For a tactical backpack, this hydration pack is designed to take a beating. It comes in heavy-duty 1000D nylon for water repellent and superior wear resistance performance.
Also, this backpack uses long-lasting SBS zippers and military webbing. Hence, pretty much everything is tactical grade and of rugged durability.
The mesh padding does not cover the entire back. Still, it is strategically positioned on pressure points and where you are more likely to sweat. Even more, it uses thicker foam, particularly on the lumbar region.
Well, this hydration pack has one main pocket and two front pockets. Also, it has a comprehensive MOLLE system for extra gear.
You get a 3-liter water bladder larger than that in your average hydration pack. It does not leak, even with the tube removed. Moreover, it has a 360-degree mouthpiece for easy drinking.
MARCHWAY tactical hydration pack comes in four colors, and each exudes a military look.
The military-grade construction makes this hydration pack the toughest on the list. If you are riding hard, taking risks, this tactical pack is for you. Also, it beats other competitors for the most comprehensive external gear attachment system.
Best Mountain Biking Backpacks: Complete Guide
How much water does the hydration pack carry? Even more, how is the water delivered?
Well, not all hydration packs come with a water bladder. Hence, ensure you check before buying. Brands such as CamelBak often produce their own reservoirs. A vast majority, on the other hand, use third-party designs. Regardless, ensure the water bladder is leak-proof and of high quality.
Now, how much water do you need? Well, most hydration packs have a 2 to 3-liter reservoir. Well, that is more than enough for most riding adventures. Even more, it does not add much weight to the backpack.
Still, you have to look at the bigger picture. Health experts recommend 0.65 liters of water per hour of ride time. Well, that is the equivalent of one standard water bottle. However, the amount can be more or less depending on how hot it is. Also, the ideal reservoir capacity will depend on how long you plan to ride.
Moreover, consider the design of the reservoir. I recommend a calibrated reservoir that has fill lines. It will eliminate the need to take along a measuring cup when refilling. Even more, settle for a water bladder with good hose retention. It will allow you to unclip the hose easily and also keep it from flapping when belting downhill.
There are some essential tools and gear you are most likely to bring along. Also, you might need room for snacks to sustain your energy. Hence, it is good to know the gear capacity of a hydration pack. Most packs are typically in the 5 to 20-liter range.
Of course, the ideal capacity depends on how much gear you are going to carry, which is pretty much a personal decision. Generally, 7-liter cargo space is ideal for most riders. You will, however, require more for backpacking and deep backcountry rides. Still, the more the cargo capacity, the more the weight you are going to lug around.
You should also look beyond cargo capacity and consider how space is organized. After all, you need everything in their right place for quick and easy access. Hence, you need organizational pockets or maybe a dedicated sleeve for your tools.
Also, consider external attachment points for extra gear, such as a helmet, extra paddle, saddle and bike light. They can be in the form of a bungee cord system, D-rings, or MOLLE system. Essential, it makes it easier to haul unwieldy gear that might not fit inside the backpack.
Mountain biking can be quite rough, and the ride is most likely going to get bumpy. Hence, you need a good harness system to secure the pack to your body, keeping it from bouncing.
Go for a pack that has a padded shoulder strap, chest strap, and hip belt. Also, the harness system should provide room for adjustments. It allows you to dial in the fit to accommodate multiple torso sizes.
Still, on the harness system, consider a pack that has compression straps. It is an essential feature, especially when hauling large loads. It draws in the excess volume and holds the load closer to your body to keep it from rattling about.
You are more likely to get hot during the ride. Hence, you want a backpack that will help you lose body heat and keep you cool.
Well, to achieve that, aim for a pack that has good ventilation features. Most important is a mesh back panel. Other ventilation features to look for include an air-permeable material and air channels.
You want a pack that provides cushioned comfort to the most critical areas. It will help lessen the pressure off your back and shoulders, making the bag less cumbersome. Essentially, you want a hydration pack that has a padded back panel and padded shoulder straps. Also, consider a padded hip belt for large capacity packs.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Question: What should I pack in a hydration pack?
Answer: It pretty much depends on the cargo capacity and organizational options. Besides the water bladder, you can fit in bike tools and repair kits, a helmet, personal items, and even snacks.
Question: Is a hydration pack better than water bottles?
Answer: Well, a hydration pack is more versatile and space-saving. It can hold your drink as well as other gear. Also, it provides easy access to water and your other belongings.
Question: How big a water bladder do I need?
Answer: It depends on the ride’s length, refilling points along the way, and how hot the weather is. However, the rule of the thumb calls for 0.65 liters per hour of riding. So, in most cases, you will do fine with a hydration pack that holds 2-3 liters.
Question: How do I keep the water in my hydration pack chilled?
Answer: Adding ice cubes is the best way. Fill the reservoir almost half-way with ice before filling it with water. However, do not put too much ice as it might cause the hydration bladder to freeze.
Quenching your thirst while hauling extra gear on the MTB trail is the kind of luxury you get from the best mountain biking backpacks. It provides the level of versatility you do not get in standard backpacks. And all the while, it offers ultimate comfort and endless customization for a perfect fit. Indeed, it revolutionizes MTB rides. Pick the best hydration pack on the list to better your MTB biking experience.
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