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Hydration Bladder vs Water Bottle

Hydration Bladder vs Water Bottle

Staying hydrated is vital for your performance in sport, and just as important for everyday living. There are various options to get that fluid intake on board; here are some pros and cons of using a hydration bladder and water bottle to carry fluids on your bike, hike or skiing adventure. You might find you switch the option you are using:

Water Bottles


Water bottles are ideal in the office- providing an excellent visual aid to help measure the volume of fluid consumed. Out on the trail, whether hiking, biking or skiing- a water bottle is easier to fill up from a stream than a hydration bladder and also a bit simpler to pour if you decide to make a cup of tea.

Water bottle Hydration Outside Sports NZ


If you don’t have a handy to reach pocket on your pack then a water bottle can be difficult to drink from on the go, meaning that you need to stop for refreshment, or ask someone to help you every time you’re thirsty. This can also discourage people from stopping and result in dehydration.

Regarding cycling, some smaller frame bikes don’t have space on the down tube to mount a bottle cage or fit a bottle. If your bottle does fit and you’re on a muddy/dusty trail the mouth piece tends to get covered in mud and dirt.

Hydration Bladders


With a hydration bladder there is no need to stop what you are doing, simply reach for the tube and start hydrating. Being able to sip water more frequently will likely result in you drinking more water. And drinking more water results in better performance, better recovery and better mood!

If you have a compatible pack for a hydration bladder, the mouth piece will be able to sit right at your chest and the bladder will sit right in your bag. For biking and skiing a Camelbak hydration pack is a handy place to store snacks, clothes, tools and spares.

CamelBak Hydration Bladder Outside Sports NZ


As your hydration bladder is tucked away in your pack you can never be certain of how much water you've drunk without stopping to check.

You will experience on a hot day that the water sat in the tube of the bladder will warm up, making those first few sips not as refreshing. The tube is difficult to clean and mould can grow.

Lastly, a bladder will leak in the end. There's no way of getting around it.

In conclusion, if you’re on the go then try a Hydration bladder, if you can stop for plenty of breaks then a water bottle will work. Carry both when tramping for the ultimate performance in rehydration on the go and re-filling.


Wide mouth pieces on water bottles are easier to clean. There are various options of materials for water bottles- consider one for your needs, i.e. stainless steel is lightweight, Purist plastic will never get taste stained.

A hydration bladder with a large opening such as a CamelBak bladder is easier to clean and dry to help eliminate mold between uses. Use the CamelBak cleaning kit.

Add Nuun to your water to deliver a fast-absorbing electrolyte blend.

Read more about Hydration Packs for Biking.

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