Today’s question is about wearing a hydration pack (i.e. Camelbak or equivalent) while road cycling rather than mountain biking…

What kind of hydrating paks do road cyclist uses? I’m trying to buy a hydrating pak that i can wear on long rides on a road bike. Because i seen backpacks for mountain bikers only; I’m not sure if it will make a difference.

Hydrating Henry

Hi Henry,

The reason you’re seeing hydration packs designed for mountain bikers is because, in most cases, mountain bikers are the only ones wearing hydration packs. Most road cyclists simply use water bottles, but some do use hydration packs, and if you look hard enough, you can find a good hydration pack for use on the road.

camelbak classic 70oz hydration pack

Road and mountain bikers actually use the same packs. They’re just marketed to mountain bikers since wearing a hydration pack while road biking can be considered “dorky.” (Don’t worry, I’ve done it, it’s alright!)

So you don’t need to find a hydration pack that proclaims “for road bike use.” You’d just want to look for the sleekest, least bulky hydration pack you can find. Typically there are some packs that just hold water and don’t have a lot of extra pockets for gear (which you don’t need when road riding as opposed to mountain biking.)

Some hydration packs that are sleek and lightweight and good for road riding include:

To go even more low-profile, there is something new called the Camelbak RaceBak. It’s a small hydration pack built into an undershirt, so you can wear it under your jersey. It’s expensive, but great for road riding since it doesn’t stand out like a full hydration pack does!

I think you’d be happy with any of those hydration packs. But don’t forget, water bottles do work great for road riding. With two 32 oz water bottles on your bike, you can carry enough water for about four hours of riding!

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  1. I agree with you, Henry. I agree that a hydration pack is a good idea. The water bottle is a good idea. but it holds just enough water, but when it runs out you would be looking for someplace to refill it. The hydration pack holds about a liter and a half of water. if that is not enough one can get afanny pack also that can hold a couple bottles of water. I have did it myself quite a few times. I never got any remarks concerning carrying so much water if I need it when it gets hot here in Florida

  2. Good choice Henry, camelbak is for me the best brand (by far)

  3. My last 50 mile ride I took a Camelbak with water and 2 bottles with electrolyte mixture to stay hydrated with.

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