Hydration Packs


This fat-tire Shangri-La's got stunning scenery, challenging riding, plenty of beer and music—and you don't have to be an expert rider or endurance junkie. Here's everything you need to make the most of this weekend-long party, er, mountain-bike race.

1. Zoic‘s Black Market ($69; zoic.com) quickly became our go-to shorts. The reasons: plenty of pockets, a loose but not baggy fit, and, most important, an inner short with a super-comfy chamois. Mountain biking apparel MTB style 2. Thanks to its street-smart style and semi-fitted…

What backpacking gear do you recommend for Colorado trails?—SophiaConcord, New Hampshire

I just got back from a backpacking trip and used my CelBak bladder in the pouch included in my backpack. I liked using this system instead of reaching back for a water bottle, but the bladder is hard to refill when buried in the pack and also takes up pack space. Is there another kind of bladder out there? Maybe a square one that can sit on top my gear, near the top of the pack? This would keep it out of the way and make it easy to access. Joseph Moraga, CA

1. FELT ZW1 BIKE It looks fast, it feels fast, and it is fast—even if you’re not. The oversize carbon-fiber tubes are dialed for female riders; they were never too stiff, never too soft. Shimano’s finest Dura-Ace components, Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels, gel grips, and Felt’s women’s carbon saddle…

1. MT. BORAH CUSTOM With seven-week turnarounds and minimum orders of just six pieces, Mt. Borah makes customcycling gear easier than ever. Jerseys from $83; mtborahcustom.com 2. VITTORIA OPEN CORSA EVO CX The handmade CX can handle pressures up to 200 psi and is…

Sigg‘s aluminum 100 Year Bottle is a modern update of a design from the thirties ($30; mysigg.com). Sigg 100 Year Bottle            …

I hike with a hydration bladder, but I have a couple of issues with the system. When hiking with my friends, I quickly run out of water much faster than they do. Plus, it’s very difficult to gauge how much water remains without pulling out the bladder and then reloading it. Also, when my pack is full, it requires a lot of effort to insert the full bladder. Do bladder-style hydration systems exist with a method to gauge how much water remains? Toby Brussels, Belgium

What is your recommendation on a hydration pack that will keep fluids from freezing? Ideally it’d be small enough for resort use, but big enough to carry an extra layer, snacks, goggles, and possibly the option of straps for ski/board carry. Tony Montreal, Quebec

I’m walking the Seattle Breast Cancer 3-Day this fall and want to buy a small pack for the event. I’ll walk 20 miles a day and will need to carry a few essentials, including water. Got anything in pink? Joy Cottage Grove, Oregon

Hint: It's not the toboggan.

Strange but true: It feels good to run all day. Prep yourself with this go-far gear.

I can’t find a camera-gear pack that includes hydration system capability. Any help from within your deep “bag” of experience? Clay Wimberley, Texas

My husband is interested in a hydration pack for dayhikes and bike rides. Which size will best suit his needs? Also, can you recommend one for kids (ages five and eight)? Melody Fircrest, Washington

We never knew that the world needed another polycarbonate water bottle until we wrapped a hand around CamelBak’s 750ml splash-, spill-, and shatterproof beauty. The bottle mates ‘Bak’s bite valve with a plastic straw for no-head-tilt hydration. Just try to find an easier way to suck down agua in the…

I'm looking for a hydration pack with two bladders and a toggle switch to let me move back and forth from one to the other while cycling. Is there such a thing? Scott Corvallis, Montana

I pretty new to running and going to do a 13-mile trail run that is expected to take about four-plus hours. I looking for hydration packs as there will not be aid stations or anything like that. My concern is with the hydration backpacks or lumbar packs that offer only one place to store one kind of drink. What do I do about carrying water and my electrolyte replacement? Are backpacks out of the question? How do you feel about The North Face Dayhiker Lumbar Pack? It has plenty of room for food, and has a dual source for water and my other drink. Tia San Jose, California

What’s better while day-hiking: water or a sports drink? Charles Mt. Holly, NC

What is the best-value hydro pack for day hikes in places like Bryce and/or the Grand Canyon? Ronald Grand Ledge, Michigan

At high altitudes, how do I keep hydrated during those final 18-hour summit attempts (usually at night)? How do the "experts" keep hydrated at 15,000 feet and higher when everything's frozen? R Olathe, Kansas

When the frost bites hard, fight back with the latest winter hydration systems