Updated: May 5, 2022
Without water hiking is almost impossible but water bottles are almost always inefficient as they take up space and weight that could be compacted if they were designed differently, these two variables are very important during hiking and that's why adding any unnecessary weight or taking up any unnecessary space in your pack can make hiking harder than it needs to be.
So what options do you have that isn’t a water bottle, light weight water bottles are an alternative but act as more of a Band-Aid over a bigger problem which is the space inside your pack, though these light weight bottles solve the weight issue but then fail when it came to space as they are still bulky and can not be moulded to fit inside the gaps inside your pack.
So if water bottles don't work what else can you use? A water bladder is a fantastic alternative, because of the bladders soft plastic and flexible design, it can mould into any shape to better fit into your pack and take up less room, unlike your average water bottle it isn’t a solid plastic making it lighter and more efficient. They can come in many different sizes with the three standard sizes being one litre, two litres and three litres, for any overnight hike you would almost certainly would want any size above 2 litres so that you don’t end up running out of water mid way through a hike and can’t get a refill.
One more factor that should come into your decision is how accessible the bladder makes your water, the bladder has an inbuilt tube to take the water from the bladder itself inside the pack out to mouth piece where you can drink from, its convenience makes drink breaks unnecessary and will speed up your journey time while keeping you hydrated. The mouth piece can be opened and closed so your water doesn't get wasted and can be easily refilled by siding the bar at the top to the side and then separating the two sides of plastic making a hole for you to put your water in through.
Bladders can come in different designs and for this review I used the Trek 500 Trekking Water Bladder 2 Litre version, it is very affordable compared to other bladders coming in at just $20 AUD, this is unlike other bladders that can fetch as much as $100 AUD putting them out of the price range of most people especially if they are new to hiking and are not looking to invest lots of money into a product they may use once or twice.
So now the choice is up to you, will you stick with your old water bottle? Or buy a bladder?
Written by Josh Welch