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Wearable Water: Active Hydration

From backpacks to armbands, five of the best packs for all kinds of activities

by Katharine Erwin
on 24 March 2015

Whether you are in a boat, a board, hiking a trail or pounding the pavement, staying hydrated while on the move—especially in the heat—is critical. Lugging around clunky bottles can be cumbersome and heavy, so we've searched for some of the best wearable hydration packs. Here are some of our favorite, clever wearable products to keep you on the move for longer.

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For rugged terrain and more intensive mountain biking, Dainese's Pro Pack (which doubles as a back-protector) is ideal. Dainese's back-protectors—which were inspired by and styled after the armadillo—have been a fixture in action sports for years, not only for their function, but also their style. The Pro Pack is no exception. Its sleek, light-weight, soft-flex protector moves easily with the natural curves of the back without any extra bulk. The water system is efficiently nestled above the protector. There is plenty of space for storage in the touring mode, but this compartment can be zipped off for race mode—which has the bare essentials: a protector, bladder and essential tool storage.

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One of the trickiest activities to undertake while carrying a water bottle is jogging. But the Hydrosleeve is great answer for truly hands-free hydration. While it might look a little like a child's floaty, on closer inspection it is an incredibly clever product. Composed of a small 7.5 oz bladder incased in therma-cool insulated adjustable strap, the Hydrosleeve takes just seconds to put on. The angled valve is designed to reach the runner's mouth easily, while its entire design is meant to free the wearer's arm movement.

Anyone who has paddled—professionally or causally—knows the struggle of managing supplies. The Kokatat Poseidon PFD (personal flotation device) is the answer for any kayaking adventure. The Poseidon is a comfortable, form-fitting life vest with a back panel for reservoir storage. It already comes with a large front pocket, three-zipped compartments and a lash tap for knife storage. But it is much more since the Poseidon is a modular unit, it can be configured numerous ways with various accessories, making it one of the most versatile and custom PFDs on the market.

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CamelBak is a pioneer of wearable hydration, so it makes sense that they have incorporated their CamelBak technology into clothing. Their integrated shirt offerings—which can be used for various activities—are made of Quikwick and Qickfit fabric which manage moisture while providing a compression fit. In the women's Racebak tank, the bladder is tucked away in the Hydropouch on the back of the garment. With this product, staying hydrated is as easy as putting a shirt on.

High Sierra's Piranha Hydration pack is great for hiking and general use. Its BPA-free bladder can hold up to two liters of liquid for longer treks, and there are plenty of compartments—from the main storage to a front stretch-mesh pocket to a tuck-away sport flap that holds a helmet. Yet it is a clean, simple design that's easy to use—and comes complete with an airflow back panel to help control perspiration.

Images courtesy of respective brands

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