Gear Institute Expert Test Menu

Running Hydration Packs

Salomon Agile2 20L

81

2016

Salomon Agile2 20L

The Salomon Agile2 20L is designed as a foul weather generalist and the only pack in this test that has a completely waterproof compartment. The overall fit and design is on point with nice elastic straps for a body conforming fit the and stability is good enough to be a versatile adventure pack.

Nathan VaporCloud 11

83

2016

Nathan VaporCloud 11

The Nathan VaporCloud 11 sets the bar for ultra-distance racing packs in this class by combining stability, variety of nutrition and gear stow options, and simple closures.

Nathan Elevation 16

80

2016

Nathan Elevation 16

The Nathan elevation 16 is a good value for the traditional Nathan pack fit, as it’s an echo of the original design from 2001, with new components to modernize it. This is a good option for trail runs into two to three hours, while carrying a light jacket and other layering options to be stowed away. 

Camelbak Ultra 10

80

2016

Camelbak Ultra 10

The Camelbak Ultra 10 is a UTMB-inspired ultra distance running pack.

Osprey Rev 18

86

2016

Osprey Rev 18

The Osprey Rev 18 is a top-of-the-line peak bagging/long distance ultra running pack. 

Salomon Agile2 7

78

2015

Salomon Agile2 7

The Salomon Agile2 7 is the best pack of the bunch if you want to use it for more than running. The backpack style design crosses over easily to just about any activity and an insulated hydration sleeve adds four season potential.

Osprey Rev 6

86

2015

Osprey Rev 6

Don't let the tubby look of Osprey’s Rev 6 fool you. This hydration pack is a slick, minimalist running pack with a lot going for it. Osprey's proprietary bladder is one of the best in the industry.

Orange Mud HydraQuiver Double Barrel

73

2015

Orange Mud HydraQuiver Double Barrel

By holstering water bottles in a small pack Orange Mud shakes up the hydration pack mold with the HydraQuiver Double Barrel pack.


Nathan Vapor Air

87

2015


Nathan Vapor Air

Nathan ditched a ton of weight—Nathan says 50 percent—over the Vapor Air's brother the VaporCloud, without hacking away on features or durability. It is the most expensive pack in the review. The pack boasts an impressive amount of storage, well thought out features, and it carries really comfortably thanks to being exceptionally light.

Gregory Tempo 5

88

2015

Gregory Tempo 5

Besides a few minor beefs with the hydration bladder we have trouble coming up with any negatives when it comes to the Gregory Tempo 5 hydration pack. The design is simple and streamlined, but feature rich and carries on par with the best in this test. It's a solid running pack that can do far more than just go for a jog.

Ultimate Direction PB Adventure Vest 2.0

94

2015

Ultimate Direction PB Adventure Vest 2.0

Named for ultrarunner and mountain multi-sport adventurer Peter Bakwin, the Ultimate Direction PB Adventure Vest 2.0 earns our 2015 Best in Class Award for its comfortable fit, lightweight materials, unbelievable storage capacity and overall versatility in hydration-system options, as well as overall end use.

Patagonia Fore Runner Vest 10L

83

2015

Patagonia Fore Runner Vest 10L

The simple Patagonia Fore Runner Vest 10L keeps loads streamlined, with a cavernous, top-loading storage compartment, 2-liter reservoir, and a few small, front-access pockets for essentials.

Osprey Rev 12

93

2015

Osprey Rev 12

The Osprey Rev 12 is an excellently designed pack—one of a series from Ospery, ranging in size from 1.5L to 24L—and is also one of the most comfortable we’ve ever tested.

Nathan VaporAiress

81

2015

Nathan VaporAiress

The Nathan VaporAiress is about as light as they come—a slimmed down version of Nathan’s popular Vapor series of ultrarunning packs.

CamelBak Ultra 10

79

2015

CamelBak Ultra 10

The Camelback Ultra 10 is a touch bulkier than the other packs in this test, but it rides comfortably and features tons of organizational pockets for keeping your gear dialed.

Salomon Skin Pro 10+3

85

2013

Salomon Skin Pro 10+3

A 13-liter form-fitting hydration pack (vest) built for moderate distance trail running, or supported long distance events.  

Ultimate Direction Highline

83

2012

Ultimate Direction Highline

The Highline is a versatile pack with a host of features that will appeal to both trail runners and hikers alike. It's a bit heavier than competing packs but the integrated ventilation system and plenty of storage options boost its multisport versatility.

Salomon Skin Pro 14+3

88

2012

Salomon Skin Pro 14+3

Quite possibly the perfect pack for ultra-distance runners or fast-packers looking to carry plenty of water and gear with them on the trail, but a high price tag makes it hard to recommend to casual or shorter distance runners.

The North Face Enduro

81

2012

The North Face Enduro

The Enduro is a very good, runner-specific pack. Its limited capacity could be an issue for some, but the pack’s minimalist design and ability to easily adjust fit while on the go will make it a popular option with trail runners.

CamelBak Marathoner Vest

80

2012

CamelBak Marathoner Vest

Wait, a hydration vest? The AdventureBlog's Kraig Becker comes down with a verdict on Camelbak's new solution for runners seeking a divorce from backpanels and shoulder straps.