The 10 Best Hydration Packs
10. Teton Sports Trailrunner 2.0
- 9-inch mesh pocket for sundry items
- built-in orange safety whistle
- bite valve can be difficult to use
|Rating||3.6 / 5.0|
9. Camden Gear 1.5 Liter
- wide cushioned waist straps
- backed by satisfaction guarantee
- it is a bit bulky
|Rating||4.4 / 5.0|
8. Source Outdoor Dune
- 70-denier ripstop nylon construction
- bpa- and phthalate-free
- fairly expensive for so small a pack
|Rating||4.2 / 5.0|
7. Osprey Raptor 14
- removable roll-out tool pouch
- mesh hip belt helps stabilize load
- takes a long time to dry
|Rating||4.4 / 5.0|
6. Unigear Tactical
- wide-mouth opening takes ice chunks
- large organized bottom pocket
- chest strap isn't very comfortable
|Rating||4.1 / 5.0|
5. Teton Sports Oasis 1100
- large pocket for clothes and gear
- multiple adjustment points
- material isn't the highest quality
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
4. CamelBak ThermoBak 3
- comes in different camo patterns
- velcro strip for id tag
- made in the united states
|Rating||4.6 / 5.0|
3. Osprey Mira AG 26
- two-and-a-half-liter reservoir
- accommodates trek poles
- best for long hikes
|Rating||4.6 / 5.0|
2. CamelBak Classic
- ergonomic mesh shoulder straps
- small zippered pocket for keys
- easy to load with quick-release flap
|Rating||4.7 / 5.0|
1. Platypus Duthie A.M. 10
- integrated rainfly
- fleece-lined eyewear pouch
- lots of waist and shoulder support
|Rating||4.9 / 5.0|
The Benefits Of Hydration
It is common knowledge that the body needs water to survive. In fact, the body is mostly water, making up some 60 percent of human body weight. But why is it so important to include water in your diet?
Flavorless water may seem like it is simply a boring way to stay hydrated, but it is actually a vital nutrient for every one of our body's processes. The body uses water to create new cells at an astounding rate. Millions of cells are replaced every second as part of the body's normal function.
Perhaps most noticeably, water makes up the saliva of the mouth. This is why the feeling of thirst involves a dry mouth more than anything else. It is the body's way to tell the conscious mind it is time for a drink.
Water also helps to regulate the body's internal temperature through sweating and breathing. The ideal temperature for the body is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, and water is constantly used to balance the cells and stay as close to this temperature as possible. When the body is too hot, excess water is pushed out of the pores in the skin as sweat. This sweat then evaporates on the skin, which cools down the body temperature.
The brain uses water as a cushion of protection from the hard skull, while the skeletal system uses water to lubricate the joints and spinal column. The bones in well-lubricated joints do not grind against each other, and a hydrated body can also reduce arthritis symptoms. A lack of water in between the vertebrae is also a contributing factor in degenerative disc disease.
A well hydrated body also has more access to essential nutrients digested from food. Water helps carry the carbohydrates and proteins in our diets to the cells which need them. This is an especially important function after periods of hard stress on the body, such as workouts.
The Water Detox
Not only does water carry nutrients, it also helps eliminate toxins from the bloodstream. This may be one of the most important functions of water in the human body.The body is consistently exposed to toxins in different environments. This is particularly bad in heavily polluted urban areas, near farms using chemical pesticides, and in old buildings which may contain mold, lead, or asbestos.
The body can also pick up toxins from food. Over-processed foods, unnatural food additives, and pesticides on foods all contribute to the body's toxic load. Many detox programs and weight loss schemes have risen to popularity by combating this very problem, though some cleansing diets can actually put stress on the liver, causing more harm than good.
There is a continuous pattern of detoxification in a healthy body, and water plays an integral part in every one of its functions. First, the body disposes of cellular waste like lactic acid. Water carries these wastes out of the cells and into the bloodstream. Then the lymphatic system moves larger waste products to the veins to be exhaled, or to the liver to be processed and eliminated. The liver then separates these wastes into two categories. Water soluble wastes are sent to the kidney to be eliminated in the urine, while other wastes are added to bile and sent to the digestive system for elimination as fecal matter.
When these processes work together in harmony, even a heavily tolled system can be treated without much outside emphasis on detoxification in the diet. The one requirement of every one of these functions is drinking plenty of water. Adequate water intake is the number one tool to detoxifying the cells.
Choosing A Hydration Pack
Hydration packs are the peak of convenience for quenching thirst. A tube running from the packs reservoir directly to the user's mouth makes taking a drink as simple as possible. This influences how much water an athlete can drink without interrupting their flow. The more hydrated the body is, the better it performs.
Not all hydration packs are created equally.The type of hydration pack chosen will largely depend on the needs of the user. Packs provide benefits to a number of athletes from hikers and cyclists to snowboarders and skiers.
In the realm of cycling, a hydration pack can provide a relatively hands free way to keep the body hydrated. Mountain bikers normally choose to have packs with a large capacity, as the vigorous activity involved in mountain biking requires a lot of water. On the other hand, a road cyclist may choose a slim model, as their focus is more on speed. Touring cyclists fall somewhere in between these two, as they require large amounts of water, but may not enjoy carrying a heavy pack on their back all day.
For hikers, a balance must be struck. A day hiker may use a smaller model hydration pack, whereas a backpacker may simply need a small reservoir to put in their existing backpack. Trail-runners or alpine scramblers may want to reduce their weight still further, opting for minimalist packs. There are special packs designed with weight and capacity in mind, ensuring proper hydration is never out of reach.