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How to Buy Running Hydration

Bottles, Vests and Packs, and Belts—It's All Here

Water is an essential ingredient to running inside or out. A variety of hydration options exist but three in particular stand out: water bottles, hydration belts, and hydration packs. Water bottles are the smallest and only hand-held option while packs allow you to go hands-free, carry the largest amount of water and food, and even allow you to carry clothing and spare layers when you run. Belts are a favored option among runners who prefer to go hands-free but running with weight on their back. Although hydration is often a matter of personal preference, it never fails that the further you run the more food and water you need.

Packs vs. Vests:

Running packs are lightweight, run-specific backpacks designed to carry water and food in a main compartment. Vests are designed to carry water, food, and gear on your back and on your chest. Aim for a vest if you prefer easy access to small essentials while running and a pack if you just need something to carry your gear and your hydration bladder.

Belts:

Belts move the weight of your gear and water to your hips instead of your back. Usually a belt uses multiple, small bottles to store water or gel nutrition and allow fast, easy access to all of your gear.

Bottles:

Bottles are easy to refill, lightweight, and preferable for those who like to run with minimal gear but prefer not to go without water. Most run-specific bottles feature a built-in sleeve that slips around your hand to help reduce grip fatigue.