Of all the equipment you need for enduro or motocross, the hydration pack is possibly the simplest. However, even though it’s basic, that doesn’t mean it’s unimportant. On the contrary, it’s a must-have addition to your MX gear collection. As much as you’d love to ride without carrying a thing, that’s not a safe or healthy option.
And because hydration packs are so important, there are now so many to choose from – which makes it confusing and tedious to pick just one. Luckily, we’ve narrowed down the options for you to the five we think are worthy of consideration.
Why is Hydration Important in Enduro and Motocross?
One of the biggest stresses you can put on your body is exercising (and sweating) without staying hydrated. Add a warm environment, and you have a recipe for dehydration disaster. When you’re dehydrated, you’ll get tired quickly and a headache will set in, and you’ll feel lightheaded, dizzy and nauseous. In extreme cases, dehydration can even lead to death.
When you stay hydrated, not only do you avoid uncomfortable and dangerous physical side effects, but you’ll also function at a higher level than your not-hydrated-enough competitors. You can’t train, compete or recover unless you’re adequately hydrated – your enduro or motocross performance depends on it.
Considerations When Buying a Hydration Pack
In addition to being BPA-free and made of durable materials, consider the following when choosing a hydration pack:
Bag volume refers to how much the bag can carry aside from water in the bladder. Some hydration backpacks will have only a few pockets, while others will have 20 litres of space for all of your must-have items. A good rule of thumb is to have between 10 and 12 litres of storage space to stash food, a jacket, a first aid kit and tools.
Most hydration packs are between 1 to 3 litres. For enduro and motocross, consider a 2-litre or 2.5-litre pack. That’s generally enough water for a day out while still being light to carry. If you’ll be out for a short period of time, fill it up halfway – you’ll save some weight while staying adequately hydrated.
Bite Valve and Hose
You want a hydration pack with a bite valve that you can close when you’re not using it. This will prevent drips and leaks. Also, valves usually come in one of three angles: 90-degree bend, 45-degree bend or straight. The one you choose is completely up to personal preference.
When it comes to the hose, if you’re going to be out in hot weather a lot, look for one with insulation so that the water in the hose stays cool – and your first sip is refreshing. A tube clip is also helpful because it’ll keep the hose in place.
More Hydration Pack Features
Here are a few more things to look for when buying a hydration pack:
- Bladder compartment that’s insulated to keep water cold during warm weather.
- Large opening of the bladder for easy cleaning and drying.
- Mesh back panel to increase airflow and prevent sweating (too much).
- Padded back panel, waist strap and shoulder strap.
- Profile you’re most comfortable with, whether that’s large and roomy, low-profile, or barely-there hip pack.
Now, let’s get into the five hydration packs we suggest for your enduro or motocross outings.
5 Hydration Pack Recommendations
This 3-litre bag carries a 2-litre hydration bag with a large cap, making it easy to clean. The drinking straw has a valve that you can open and close to prevent leaks, and there’s a removable storage pocket. The back of the bag is designed with breathable fabric to keep you cool.
The hydration bladder of this backpack is a light 1.5 litres, but the capacity is 6 litres, meaning there’s plenty of room for your items. The foam shoulder straps and height-adjusting chest strap make the bag comfortable to wear, too. There are also elastic bands on each strap of the backpack so that you can keep the hydration tube on either shoulder.
This pack has a slim profile, making it comfortable to wear, and the removable tool pocket means you can take it off to lower the weight of the bag when racing. The pack’s cargo capacity is 3 litres, and it can carry 2 litres of water, perfect for a few hours at the track. There’s also a water-resistant pocket for your smartphone.
The 2.5-litre hydration system of this pack stays snug against your back so it doesn’t distract you as you ride, and the patented harness tech also ensures it won’t bounce while you’re on your bike. The extra-wide opening at the top of the hydration bladder makes it easy to add ice cubes on hot days and to clean and dry it thoroughly between uses. There’s also a water-resistant smartphone pocket.
This minimalist hydration belt can hold 1 litre of water and has an additional litre of space for whatever you want to carry with you. Possibly the most comfortable and ergonomic of the bunch, this hydration belt has a multi-organizer pocket plus two quick-stash side pockets for easy access. There’s also a magnetic clip to keep your drink tube in place.
Remember, these hydration packs will serve you well no matter what strenuous activity you engage in. On top of using them for enduro or motocross, you can also use them when hiking, cycling, climbing, camping, etc. If you need to stay hydrated (and you should always be hydrated, even on your non-workout or activity days), a dedicated pack is going to be your best bud.