It doesn’t matter what your favorite sporting or recreation activity is. If it involves the outdoors and breaking into a sweat then hydration should be a major focus point for you. This is the case for hikers and runners, triathletes and ultra-runners alike.
The better you can keep your body hydrated the better you will perform. This will help you get closer to your goals. And even amateur and hobby athletes can make a huge difference by investing in a water backpack. Professional athletes use these all the time and it is a significant success factor.
But there are certain things you need to consider before making an investment. Firstly, there are certain sports where they are a lot more appropriate than others. And then there are so many products on the market that it is difficult to figure out what you actually need to focus on.
If you keep reading you find out exactly how to make a great decision and start making big steps towards your long-term goals.
When Do You Need A Water Backpack?
The simplest way to help you answer this is to say that anytime you work your body hard and water is not readily at hand. You might find some training situation where this is not a problem. For example, if you just go for a short run then dehydration will not be a problem.
Water backpacks become particularly important when you go running or hiking or venturing onto areas where you will not be able to quickly and easily access water. That isn’t to say that it is only important where you could actually suffer dehydration.
It’s mainly the case that you want to be able to access water at specific times and intervals without creating disruptions to your training or race.
Some examples of when you will most benefit are:
- Long distance and marathon running
- Trail hiking
In all these disciplines, and similar ones, it is vital that you have access to water on a very regular basis. You can increase your performance by ensuring that you do not get thirsty. When you show signs of thirst, i.e. dry mouth and throat, you are already starting to dehydrate.
When you have water readily available and easily accessible you be able to stay one step ahead. You’ll be able to take regular sips of water to keep your body fueled with enough water. And that constant rehydration will allow your body to perform better and harder.
Why Is It Better Than Alternatives?
There are two main alternatives to wearable hydration gear.
Firstly, you can rely on there being water available, and during larger racing events you will find regular water stops along the way. The problem with this is that you do not have access to water at regular enough intervals.
And you may start gulping large quantities which can give you some discomfort as well. It’s much better to take more small sips on regular intervals.
Secondly, you can try carrying a water bottle in your hand. If you have ever tried this out then you know it is really annoying and will even impact your focus and performance.
The great thing with a hydration backpack is that you can bring as much water as you need. And with the convenient drinking tubes you don’t have to reach or stop to take a sip.
What Features Should You Focus On?
There are a few core features that you should really focus on before you make a final decision. Getting a backpack that satisfies all these might cost you a little more, but you will be thankful in the long run.
Water Pouch Design
This might seem like a trivial feature. But the way the water pouch is designed will have a huge impact on your performance. The better products available have an internal design that will minimize water sloshing around.
The effect this would have is that as you walk or run, the weight of the water will move from side to side. You will find this not only annoying, but it will impact your strides as well. The solution is that you should spend a little more on a better design.
You cannot underestimate the importance of this. If the straps and weight distribution do not make you feel like there is nothing on your back then you have not got a good product.
Firstly, there has to be very good and soft padding. This will ensure you don’t get sore spot and uneven distribution on your shoulder.
Secondly, those parts of the backpack that are in direct contact with your body should be made of breathable material. This makes sure you do not get “stuck” to the backpack as you start to sweat.
In addition to the water compartment you will want to have the ability to store some other essentials. These can be things like phones, snack, energy gels or some dry clothes.
You don’t need something large and bulky, but with an extra storage compartment and some side pockets you will be able to have a load more essentials that will help your performance.
Is There A Leading Brand?
In our opinion the answer is yes. The brand you will find has the best products and most advanced design features is Camelback. One of their leading products is called Rogue and you will find that it satisfies all the above features.
The reason we think you will like their product is because they put thought into everything. They work with professional athletes to come up with new features and constantly improve on design.
Professional athletes around the world love these backpacks and you will probably see them used by many people on race days or hiking trails.
You are guaranteed to benefit from investing in a water backpack. Having the ability to take sips of water at specific intervals and when you need it will keep your body working better. The investment you make is small but the payoff will be very significant.