Looking for a running backpack that can keep you hydrated on your long runs? Look no further than a backpack with a bladder compartment. These backpacks are designed specifically for runners and come equipped with a bladder compartment that can hold a hydration reservoir, allowing you to drink water on the go.
With a wide range of options available from well-known brands like Salomon, Nathan Sports, CamelBak, and more, choosing the right running backpack with a bladder compartment can be overwhelming. In this article, we will guide you through the process of selecting the perfect running backpack to meet your hydration needs while keeping you comfortable on your runs.
Consider the size and capacity
Determine the size you need
When choosing a running backpack with a bladder compartment, it’s important to consider the size that best suits your needs. Think about how much gear and equipment you usually carry with you on your runs. If you only need to carry a few essentials like keys, phone, and wallet, a smaller backpack with a capacity of around 5-10 liters may be sufficient. However, if you plan on going for longer runs or need to carry more gear such as extra clothing or food, you may want to opt for a larger backpack with a capacity of 15 liters or more.
Check the capacity of the backpack
The capacity of a running backpack refers to the amount of space available for you to store your belongings. It’s essential to choose a backpack with a capacity that accommodates all your running essentials comfortably. Consider the type of activities you’ll be doing with the backpack. If you frequently participate in races or shorter runs, a smaller backpack with a capacity of 5-10 liters may be sufficient. However, if you’re training for longer distances or plan on going on multi-day adventures, you’ll need a backpack with a larger capacity, usually 15 liters or more.
Consider the weight of the empty backpack
It’s also important to consider the weight of the empty backpack itself. The weight of the backpack can impact your overall comfort and performance while running. Look for backpacks made from lightweight materials that won’t add unnecessary weight to your load. Consider materials like nylon or polyester, which are known for their durability and lightweight properties. Additionally, check if the backpack has any unnecessary or bulky features that add weight without providing significant benefits. Remember, every ounce counts when you’re running, so choose a backpack that strikes a balance between weight and durability.
Evaluate the bladder compartment
Check the size and capacity of the bladder
The bladder compartment is one of the most crucial features of a running backpack for hydration purposes. When evaluating the bladder compartment, consider the size and capacity of the bladder that it can accommodate. Bladders can come in various sizes, typically ranging from 1 liter to 3 liters. Choose a bladder size that suits your hydration needs during your runs. If you require more water for longer distances, opt for a larger bladder capacity. It’s also worth checking if the bladder is compatible with different brands and systems, as this can add to its versatility.
Consider the ease of filling and cleaning the bladder
Filling and cleaning the bladder should be a straightforward and hassle-free process. Look for a running backpack that offers easy access to the bladder compartment, allowing you to fill it up without any hassle. Consider features such as wide openings or zippered openings that make it easy to add water or ice. Additionally, check if the backpack comes with a detachable hose or quick-release mechanism for easy cleaning. Proper cleaning and maintenance of the bladder are essential for keeping your hydration system hygienic and free from any unpleasant tastes or odors.
Look for a leak-proof design
A leak-proof bladder compartment is a must-have feature when choosing a running backpack. The last thing you want is for your backpack to start leaking water during your run, leaving you without hydration when you need it the most. Look for backpacks that offer a leak-proof design, which ensures that the water stays securely inside the bladder, even during rigorous movements or running. Consider backpacks from reputable brands known for their quality and durability, as they are more likely to have leak-proof designs that have been tested and proven by runners.
Look for a comfortable and adjustable fit
Consider the torso length
Having the right fit is essential for comfortable and enjoyable runs. When choosing a running backpack, pay attention to the torso length that the backpack is designed for. Torso length refers to the distance from the base of your neck to the top of your hips. It’s important to choose a backpack that matches your torso length to ensure a proper and balanced fit. A backpack with an adjustable torso length feature allows you to customize the fit and find the most comfortable setting for your body.
Check the shoulder straps and hip belt
The shoulder straps and hip belt play a significant role in distributing the weight of the backpack and providing stability and support while running. Look for backpacks with padded and adjustable shoulder straps that allow you to find the perfect fit for your body. The shoulder straps should be wide and cushioned to prevent discomfort and chafing during long runs. Similarly, the hip belt should be well-padded and adjustable to ensure a secure fit around your hips, reducing the strain on your shoulders and back.
Look for adjustable features
In addition to torso length, shoulder straps, and hip belt, adjustable features are essential for achieving a personalized and comfortable fit. Look for backpacks that offer adjustable sternum straps, side compression straps, and load-lifter straps. These features allow you to fine-tune the fit of the backpack to your body shape and running style. A secure and stable fit not only enhances your comfort but also prevents the backpack from bouncing or shifting while you’re running, ensuring a smooth and uninterrupted experience.
Assess the storage compartments
Consider the number and size of pockets
The storage compartments of a running backpack provide you with the organization and accessibility you need during your runs. Consider the number and size of pockets offered by the backpack. Multiple pockets of different sizes allow you to store your essentials such as snacks, keys, phone, or even a lightweight jacket. Look for pockets that are easy to access, preferably with a zipper or Velcro closure. Internal pockets or compartments can also help keep your belongings organized and prevent them from moving around while you’re on the move.
Evaluate the accessibility of the compartments
Easy access to your belongings is essential when choosing a running backpack. Consider how accessible the compartments are while you’re wearing the backpack. Look for backpacks that offer front-loading or top-loading compartments that allow you to reach your gear without needing to take the backpack off entirely. This is especially useful during races or when you need to quickly access items on the go. Additionally, consider if the backpack has any external attachment options, such as bungee cords or gear loops, which provide quick and easy access to items like jackets or trekking poles.
Check if there are attachment options
Attachment options in a running backpack can add versatility and convenience to your runs. Look for backpacks that offer external attachment points, such as bungee cords, gear loops, or daisy chains. These attachment options allow you to secure additional gear or accessories to the outside of the backpack, such as trekking poles, a helmet, or even a small tent. The ability to attach items externally can save space inside the backpack, making it easier to access your essentials and ensuring they’re readily available whenever you need them.
Consider the durability and quality
Research the reputation of the brand
When it comes to running backpacks, durability and quality are of utmost importance. A running backpack needs to withstand the demands of rigorous activities and be able to endure various weather conditions. Research the reputation of the brand before making a purchase. Well-known brands such as Salomon, Nathan Sports, CamelBak, Osprey, and Deuter have established themselves as reliable and trusted manufacturers of high-quality running backpacks. Their backpacks are often designed with features specifically tailored to meet the needs of runners, ensuring durability and long-lasting performance.
Check the materials used
The materials used in the construction of a running backpack greatly impact its durability and functionality. Look for backpacks made from tough and water-resistant materials such as nylon or polyester. These materials are known for their durability and ability to withstand the elements. Additionally, consider if the backpack has reinforced stitching or extra layers in high-stress areas to prevent wear and tear. The materials should also be lightweight to avoid unnecessary weight during your runs. Taking the time to check the quality and construction of the materials will help ensure that your backpack can withstand frequent use and harsh conditions.
Read reviews from other runners
One of the best ways to gauge the durability and quality of a running backpack is by reading reviews from other runners who have used the product. Look for online reviews or testimonials from fellow runners to get valuable insights into their experiences. Pay attention to comments about the backpack’s durability, performance, and longevity. Look for patterns in feedback to get a better understanding of any potential issues or strengths of the backpack. Real-life experiences from other runners can provide you with a more accurate assessment of the backpack’s quality and help you make an informed decision.
Evaluate the hydration system
Check if the bladder is included
When choosing a running backpack with a bladder compartment, it’s important to check if the bladder itself is included with the backpack. Some backpacks come with a bladder included, while others require you to purchase it separately. Consider whether you already have a bladder or if you prefer the convenience of having one included with your backpack. If the backpack does not come with a bladder, ensure that it is compatible with the type and size of bladder you plan on using.
Consider the compatibility with other hydration systems
If you already have a hydration system or prefer a specific brand of bladder, make sure that the backpack is compatible with your preferred hydration system. Different backpacks may have varying designs or attachment points for the bladder and hoses. Ensure that your chosen backpack can accommodate your existing hydration bladder or connect with your preferred hose system without any compatibility issues. This ensures that you can easily switch out bladders or customize your hydration setup based on your preferences and needs.
Look for features like hose clips and bite valves
Additional features in the hydration system can greatly enhance your running experience. Look for backpacks that offer hose clips or Velcro straps to secure the drinking tube in place. This prevents the tube from bouncing around or getting in your way as you run. Bite valves are also important as they allow you to easily access water without taking your hands off the straps or adjusting the backpack. Look for backpacks that offer durable and leak-proof bite valves, as they ensure a consistent and reliable flow of hydration during your runs.
Consider the ventilation and breathability
Look for mesh panels or breathable materials
Ventilation and breathability are crucial when it comes to running backpacks, especially during hot or humid weather. Look for backpacks that feature mesh panels or breathable materials in the areas that come into contact with your back. These mesh panels allow for increased airflow, preventing excessive sweating and reducing the risk of chafing or discomfort. Breathable materials are also important to ensure that your back stays dry, comfortable, and free from irritation during long runs.
Consider the placement of the backpack’s back panel
The placement of the backpack’s back panel can impact its ventilation and breathability. Look for backpacks with back panels that are designed to promote airflow and minimize contact with your back. Some backpacks feature suspended or mesh back panels that create airflow channels, allowing heat to escape and promoting better ventilation. Consider your own preferences and needs when it comes to the placement of the back panel. Some runners may prefer a more snug and secure fit, while others may prioritize maximum breathability.
Check for features that promote air circulation
In addition to mesh panels and breathable materials, there are other features that can further enhance air circulation and breathability in a running backpack. Look for backpacks with adjustable suspension systems that allow you to create space between your back and the backpack. This gap allows air to circulate more freely, keeping your back cool and reducing the build-up of sweat. Backpacks with breathable shoulder straps and hip belts also contribute to better air circulation and comfort, ensuring that you stay cool and dry throughout your runs.
Assess the stability and bounce control
Check if the backpack has a compression system
Stability is crucial when it comes to running backpacks with a bladder compartment. Look for backpacks that feature a compression system, which allows you to secure and stabilize the contents of the backpack. A compression system typically involves adjustable straps or cords that compress the backpack’s contents, preventing them from shifting or bouncing while you’re on the move. This feature is particularly important when carrying lightweight gear or a partially filled bladder, as it reduces movement and ensures a stable and comfortable fit while running.
Evaluate the bounce control features
Running with a backpack that bounces excessively can be both uncomfortable and distracting. Evaluate the bounce control features of the backpack to ensure a stable and secure fit. Look for backpacks with snug-fitting shoulder straps and a hip belt that can be adjusted to your body shape and size. These features help distribute the weight evenly and minimize movement during your runs. Additionally, check if the backpack has load-lifter straps or stabilizer straps that further enhance stability and reduce bounce. A stable backpack allows you to maintain your stride and focus on your run without any unnecessary distractions.
Consider a backpack with a sternum strap or chest cinch
To achieve maximum stability, consider a running backpack with a sternum strap or chest cinch. This feature further secures the backpack to your body, minimizing vertical bounce and preventing the straps from sliding off your shoulders. The sternum strap or chest cinch can be adjusted to your desired fit and tightness, ensuring that the backpack stays securely in place while you’re running. This added stability not only increases your comfort but also allows you to maintain proper running form and prevent any potential injuries or strain caused by an unstable backpack.
Consider the weight and bulkiness
Evaluate the weight of the backpack
The weight of the backpack itself can impact your performance and overall comfort while running. Choose a backpack that is lightweight and doesn’t add unnecessary strain to your body. Look for backpacks made from lightweight materials such as nylon or polyester, as these materials offer a good balance between weight and durability. Consider any additional features or components that may add to the overall weight of the backpack, such as extra padding or attachment options. Remember that reducing the weight of your backpack can improve your running efficiency and prevent unnecessary fatigue.
Consider if the backpack can be compressed or folded
If you plan on using your running backpack for travel or need to store it when not in use, consider its compressibility or foldability. Some backpacks are designed to be easily compacted or folded into a smaller size, making them more convenient for storage or transportation. Look for backpacks that have compression straps or a collapsible design that allows you to minimize the bulkiness when needed. This feature can be especially useful if you often travel to races or want to keep your backpack neatly stored in a small space.
Check if it can be packed inside another bag
Having the option to pack your running backpack inside another bag can be valuable, especially if you frequently travel or need to carry additional gear with you. Look for backpacks that can be packed into a smaller size or feature a compactable design, allowing you to easily store it inside a larger duffel bag or suitcase. This saves you from having to carry multiple bags or worrying about the bulkiness and size of your backpack when not in use. Backpacks that offer this versatility provide added convenience and flexibility for your running adventures.
Set your budget
Determine how much you are willing to spend
Before making any purchase, it’s important to determine your budget for a running backpack with a bladder compartment. Consider your needs and preferences, as well as the quality and features you require. Higher-quality backpacks from well-known brands may be more expensive but often come with added durability and performance benefits. Set a realistic budget that aligns with your requirements and financial capabilities. Being clear about your budget from the start will help narrow down your options and make the decision-making process easier.
Compare prices and features
Once you have determined your budget, it’s time to compare prices and features of different running backpacks within your price range. Look for backpacks from reputable brands that offer the features and specifications you desire. Take note of any differences in price between similar products and consider if the additional features or quality justify the higher price. It’s important to strike a balance between your budget and the functionality and durability of the backpack. Comparing prices and features will help you make an informed decision and ensure that you get the best value for your money.
Consider the long-term investment
When setting your budget for a running backpack, it’s important to consider it as a long-term investment. A high-quality backpack that meets your needs can last for several years, making it a worthwhile investment. While it may be tempting to choose a cheaper option, keep in mind that a lower-quality backpack may not provide the durability and functionality required for long-term use. Think about your running goals and how often you plan on using the backpack. Investing in a higher-quality backpack that offers the features and durability you need can save you money in the long run by avoiding frequent replacements or repairs.