Water Bottles Vs Hydration Packs

If serious adventure riding, long distance and off-roading is your style, then you will agree that hydration is key. More than just a matter of convenience, having an on-board supply of water to keep you cool can be a critical safety element in summer weather. However, stopping for a quick sip from your water bottle may not be the best way to tour the open road. Hydration systems integrated into a backpack are the new way to explore and push your limits to the extreme. In this blog we will compare water bottles vs hydration packs to quench your thirst on an epic road trip. We’ll let you in on some of the coolest features of hydration packs and the benefits they offer for all riders.

Water Bottles Vs Hydration Packs – Which Is Best?

There are several reasons why a hydration pack is much better than the traditional water bottle. The most inconvenient feature of water bottles is that they are cumbersome and require you to stop to take a sip. With hydration packs, you can drink while riding and stay focussed on the road ahead. Let’s look at some other cool features of hydration packs.

Hands-Free Hydration: Looking for uninterrupted hydration on your motorcycle together with hands-free convenience? Water bottles are old school and not the way you should roll. With hydration packs you will get effortless sipping as you tear up adventure trails. They come with a simple sip pipe that’s strategically placed. The sipping pipe tucks away easily when you’re done so you can stay refreshed and focused without missing a beat.

Large Water Capacity: Thirsty for a big gulp on your adventures? Hydration packs are the product to buy considering their generous water capacities (ranging from 1 – 3 Litres). Cross-country treks and tackling rugged off-road trails become seamless when you have cool water wherever you go. These amazing hydration packs ensure you never go thirsty on the road. With water at your fingertips, there’s really no limit to where your motorcycle adventures can take you. You never have to rely on a pitstop with these water pack accessories.

Compact and Lightweight Design: Streamlined & feather-light is the key engineering element you need when travelling. And hydration packs can complement your riding experience without weighing you down like a large water bottle would. Hydration bags are crafted from food grade materials and feature minimalist designs. These packs provide maximum hydration without the extra bulk. Once you strap one on, get ready to experience freedom of movement as you ride light and easy.

Additional Storage Compartments: Water isn’t the only requirement on a long ride. You will need to carry a lot of other essentials on the road. Lucky for you, hydration packs can help you gear up for the ride of a lifetime. They come equipped with additional storage compartments and pockets too. It’s a convenient solution for stashing essentials like keys, snacks, documents and small tools. Some hydration backpacks even have space to carry emergency repair kits, smartphones, charging accessories and other items of similar size.

Adjustable Straps: Are you the kind of rider that can never get comfortable unless you custom adjust your riding gear? Well, you can get the perfect fit for every ride with adjustable straps on hydration bags. These belt buckles and Velcro straps are designed to fit a range of body types for optimal comfort. They also ensure stability when the hydration bladder is full or you are carrying other items in the backpack. It gives you a snug and secure fit that won’t shift or bounce, even on challenging off road terrain. The straps also come with soft feel material foam that conforms to your every move. You can hit the road with some major confidence knowing these hydration bladders are safely strapped on your back.

Durable Construction: Hydration backpacks are built for the toughest rides possible, just so that you can have the wildest adventures, no matter what mother nature throws your way. You can expect rugged materials like nylon & polyester to endure the rigours of off-road riding, camping, hiking, running and other outdoor sports and adventure activities with ease. Hydration packs will stand strong in the worst weather and in unexpected conditions.

Easy Maintenance: To keep your hydration backpack in peak condition, it needs to be maintained in a hassle-free manner. With features such as removable reservoirs, wide-mouth openings for refilling and cleaning, you can be sure to have a refreshing drink on every ride. Spend less time on maintaining your riding gear hydration accessories and more time exploring the great outdoors with minimal effort.

Water bottles vs Hydration packs – Choosing the Best Hydration Option for Motorcycle Packing

For the traditional folk, water bottles are seen as the go to travel item to stay hydrated.

Let’s analyse the pros and cons of carrying a water bottle for motorcycle riding and other outdoor activities:

Water bottle Pros

  • Water bottles are readily available and very easy to use. Just open and sip your drink.
  • Water bottles are budget-friendly and don’t require a second thought when buying.
  • They come in a range of sizes and designs. From small 200 ml carry bottles to large 2 litre cans. Riders get the flexibility to choose the best option.
  • Water bottles require minimal maintenance. A small rinse and refill is all that’s required, without the need for specialised cleaning procedures.
  • A reusable water bottle is an eco-friendly option (not the plastic ones which are usually thrown out after a few uses).  The ones made from durable plastic and metal making them a more environmentally friendly option for the eco-conscious rider.

Water Bottle Cons

  •  Water bottles have a limited capacity compared to hydration bags. Anything above 2 litres will make the water bottle impractical to carry. Anything smaller than 2 litres may not be sufficient for long rides, requiring frequent refills.
  • Riders may face storage limitations and challenges in storing multiple water bottles on their motorcycle. The use of saddle bags to carry water bottles could take up precious cargo space for other items.
  • Accessing water from a water bottle while riding will require a stopover, even for just a minute. As much as it is cumbersome and distracting, you may not always find the opportunity for a lay by and would have to wait for the right time to take a break.
  • Water bottles are not always spill-proof. And this could spell disaster on a ride, particularly if not securely fastened or if subjected to rough road conditions. Wet gear or losing precious water is a big no no.
  • Water bottles require an insulation feature to keep drinks cool. You may struggle to maintain the temperature of the liquid contents in extreme weather. Sipping on warm water in summer is never pleasant.

Hydration Pack Pros:  We have already seen that hydration backpacks offer hands free sipping of water, with large capacities for all riding adventures. Plus they are compact and lightweight accessories that feature adjustable straps for added comfort and convenience. Together with extra space for personal items and essentials, they are really your trusted riding companion. And let’s not forget they keep you cool with insulated reservoirs and food grade anti-bacterial water bladders.

However, there could be some limitations you should consider before buying a hydration pack.

Hydration pack Cons

  • Maintenance Requirements: Hydration packs require regular cleaning. Since the water bladder remains completely sealed, there is a chance of mould, bacteria growth, and odours developing. Riders may have to disassemble components and use specialised brushes and solutions to maintain hygiene and functionality.
  • Initial Cost: Hydration packs tend to have a higher upfront cost. The additional features such as reservoirs, tubing and sipping valves have to be researched and developed by big brands, making them a more significant investment for riders looking for a budget travel experience.
  • The hydration pack is not foolproof. Accessing water from the bite valve may require some coordination & it is not always recommended to sip and ride at the same time. High-speed or technical riding situations may still require a pit stop.
  • You may be faced with potential leakage if you don’t maintain the hydration pack. Usually this happens when they are not properly sealed or if the reservoir is punctured. Riders will have to carry out regular inspection and maintenance to prevent damage due to wear and tear, etc.
  • Although not as heavy as a water bottle, a hydration pack can be a handful when fully filled. This may affect the rider’s aerodynamics and comfort, requiring riders to adjust their posture accordingly.


Water bottles and hydration packs each offer distinct benefits & drawbacks for two-wheeler riders. While the mantra of water bottles is simplicity & affordability, you can’t deny that hydration packs offer more convenience like hands-free hydration, larger capacities & additional storage options (of course at a cost).

Ultimately, the choice between hydration packs vs water bottles relies on the specific needs of the rider. No matter how you want to stay refreshed, always remember to stay hydrated on the road and enjoy it during every ride.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.      Is a bottle of water better than a hydration pack?

Ans. While a bottle of water is convenient for travelling, a hydration pack offers hands-free hydration, perfect for outdoor activities like riding a motorcycle, camping, hiking, etc. The biggest advantage is that a hydration pack offers larger capacities than water bottles while still remaining compact and lightweight. You can hold up to 3 litres of water in a hydration pack that fits in your backpack.

2.      Is a hydration pack worth it?

Ans. Yes, a hydration pack is worth it when you need to carry water in a convenient and practical way. It provides continuous hydration without interrupting your activities. Your outdoor experience is further enhanced with adjustable straps for a comfortable fit and additional storage compartment for essentials.

3.      Are water bladders safe to drink from?

Ans. Yes, water bladders with hydration packs are safe to drink from as they are made from food grade materials. You just need to properly clean and maintain them. Regular cleaning with water and detergent soap helps prevent bacterial growth and keeps the water drinkable.

4.      What are the cons of the water bladder?

Ans. Water bladders are sometimes difficult to clean and need regular maintenance to prevent mould & bacterial growth. However, with proper care and storage, hydration bladders are a convenient option for two-wheeler riders and adventure enthusiasts. They also require care to prevent potential leaks.

5.      How to Clean a Hydration Bladder?

Ans. Mix water and dish washing liquid and rinse the hydration bladder thoroughly. Then flush with plain water a few times to get rid of all the soap.  Let it dry completely before storing to prevent mould. Don’t leave unused water in the hydration pack when not in use. Regular cleaning helps maintain the integrity of the bladder, prevents leaks and ensures safe drinking water during outdoor activities.

6.      How long can you keep water in a water bladder?

Ans. Water can be stored in the hydration bladder for a few days if properly cleaned and stored in a cool, dry place. However, you should refill the bladder with fresh water before each use for optimal hydration, to prevent bacterial growth and for the water to remain fresh.

7.      When to use a hydration pack?

Ans. Hydration packs are best used during outdoor activities. You can wear a hydration pack on your motorcycle, while hiking, running, or any convenient situation such as travelling long distance. The main feature of these hydration packs is hands-free use. It’s a good alternative to carrying a water bottle.

8.      What are the benefits of hydration packs?

Ans. The real-world benefits of hydration packs include convenient hands-free hydration, large water capacity (up to 3 litres), and additional storage space for keys or snacks. Together with adjustable straps, compact dimensions, comfortable breathable materials and extended wear, they are essentially indispensable for outdoor adventures.

9.      Which brand of hydration pack is the best?

Ans. At Carorbis, you will find hydration packs from the top brand Carbonado. Carbonado brands offer durable products that are well-known for their high quality and convenient features for an active lifestyle.

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