Water bottles are sort of the worst. They’re cumbersome, slosh around a ton on hikes, and seldom fit well into a bag’s built-in water pouches. Our modest proposal: Ditch them. Hydration packs are tons more convenient and, in most cases, include extra storage pockets for gear. Win-win. We’ve rounded up for choices, one of which is sure to suit your next off-the-grid excursion.
Easy to carry around. Amazon
The Barbarians Tactical Hydration Pack is like a lot of other hiking hydration packs—just better, in part because it’s affordable. Other reasons: The 3-liter water-hauler is made of tough 600D Polyester, meaning it won’t fall apart on you easily, and it weighs only 1.83 pounds sans water. It comes in four colors—tan, camo, black, and dark green—all of which are hunting-appropriate. And the two big outside pockets mean that, for short outings, you can stash your fly gear, cellphone, and wallet inside and leave your regular backcountry pack at home.
A snug-fitting choice. Amazon
The Osprey Duro 1.5 is a hydration vest designed for running and, as such, fits extra-snugly against the body, to maximize stability and minimize sloshing. For backcountry hunters getting in shape for elk season, the Duro would be a nice companion for uphill training jogs. Likewise, the pack will prevent anglers from having to lug cumbersome water bottles on long hikes to far-flung trout holes.
Super durable. Amazon
The Anglatech Fly Fishing Backpack Vest Combo is a modest step up from the Piscifun Fishing Vest Backpack, in terms of cost and quality. It’s widely praised for its durability, and fishermen claim that it rivals any big-name fly vests they’ve used. It comes with a 1.5-liter water bladder that fits discreetly into the rear backpack.