Updated April 2017
The trails are drying out for summer, and our review, updated in April of 2017, has the specs you'll need to choose a hydration pack and hit the ground running. Our Editors Choice winner received a recent update (lighter and less expensive!), and we detail the changes made by Salomon in its individual review.
Best Overall Hydration Pack for Running
Salomon ADV Skin 12 Set
Great comfort and fit
Loads of accessible pockets
Hydration bladder sold separately
The ADV Skin 12 Set
is expensive but worth every penny. In 2017, it received a facelift, with a new name (Salomon dropped the "S-LAB" and "3" from the name), lower price and weight, and a few updated features. The pack's snug-fitting elastic construction was the most comfortable hydration pack tested, and an easy, innovative pocket design further sealed the deal. We loved
the kangaroo pouches, a unique feature to this pack. Testers thought the soft flask hydration system was the most versatile and comfortable system reviewed, and a heat protective sleeve (if you purchase a bladder separately) rounds out the feature set. This pack takes on long, serious ultras or more casual long runs.
Read full review: Salomon ADV Skin 12 Set
Top Pick for Bladder Hydration
Nathan Vapor Air 2L
Easily accessible Hydrapak bladder
Plethora of pockets and extra storage
Could use an extra hose strap
Most prefer one style of hydration system over another, and when it comes to chest-mounted bottles, you either love or hate them. Our Editors' Choice winner incorporated chest-mounted soft flasks and awarding the best bladder and hose style hydration pack for running seemed appropriate. Luckily, the choice was easy. The Nathan Vapor Air 2L
has an easy-to-access bladder in a designated pouch that opens from the top. A magnetic hose clip keeps the hose out of your way while allowing for quick access. Testers loved the many large, accessible pockets, as well as the large storage capacity and bungees, which make it easy to attach any clothing to the outside. Nathan is one of the original running vest manufacturers, and the Vapor Air represents the evolution of many years of quality manufacturing.
Read full review: Nathan Vapor Air 2L