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Best Kids Hydration Packs For Bike Riding

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When you’re looking for the best kids hydration pack there can be a few things to consider, such as the size and how easy it is for kids to use.

To give you a better idea of some of the features you might want to look out for, we’ve put together this guide. We’ve also included a few of our favorites so you can check them out for yourself.

Top Picks:

Top 9 Best Hydration Packs For Kids Reviewed

1. CamelBak Mini M.U.L.E (best overall)

CHECK PRICE AT REI

  • Material: 200-denier polyester
  • Fluid Capacity: 50 fluid ounces
  • Weight: 7.4 ounces
  • Length: 14 inches

The CamelBak Mini M.U.L.E is a lightweight, durable hydration pack designed to be easy for kids to use. It features a Crux reservoir which is designed to provide up to 20% more water per sip than standard reservoirs, making it quick and easy to hydrate on the go.

A nice feature of this one is the on/off lever that can be easier for kids to see whether it’s on or off. The tube can also be positioned on the right or left, making it more convenient.

This benefits from having a whistle on the chest strap and a breathable mesh back panel. There’s also room for a rain jacket or sweater and snacks.

Features

  • Easy to use – easy on/off lever and delivers water easily
  • Breathable mesh panel – for added ventilation
  • Right or left tube position – to let kids sip comfortably from their preferred side

2. Osprey Moki 1.5 (best for young kids)

CHECK PRICE AT JENSON USA

  • Material: 100% recycled polyester
  • Fluid Capacity: 50 fluid ounces
  • Weight: 8.6 ounces
  • Length: 11.8 inches

The Osprey Moki can be ideal for young or small kids because of its short length. It can also be a good choice if you’re environmentally conscious since it’s made from fully recycled materials.

A great feature of this one is the highly ventilated back panel to allow for increased air circulation for added comfort in warm weather.

It has a Quick Connect tube that connects magnetically to the strap on the opposite side (so the tube sits across your child’s chest), but this can help to keep it facing up to prevent dripping.

The Moki also has a whistle on the chest strap and a pocket for stashing small items.

3. Osprey Kitsuma 1.5 (best for youths)

CHECK PRICE AT REI

  • Material: polyester/packcloth/foam
  • Fluid Capacity: 50 fluid ounces
  • Weight: 7.4 ounces
  • Length: 14 inches

This Osprey Kitsuma 1.5 is designed for women but can be an ideal choice for youths because of its length and adjustability. There’s also a front pocket that can be ideal for storing a phone.

This has a good level of ventilation for warmer climates because of its breathable mesh back panel and shoulder straps. There’s an additional vented foam channel down the center of the back for increased air-flow.

The Kitsuma has a magnetic sternum strap with a clip that holds the bite valve, keeping it facing up to prevent drips. Another handy feature is the light attachment point so you can add a blinker light (not included) for safer biking in the dark.

Features

  • Ventilated back panel – increases air-flow around your child’s back
  • Small storage pocket – zippered front pouch for phone or snacks
  • Magnetic chest strap – easy to clip in place

4. Thule UpTake Youth Hydration Pack (best for mountain biking)

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CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON

  • Material: nylon
  • Fluid Capacity: 59 fluid ounces
  • Weight: 12 ounces
  • Length: 12.6 inches

The Thule UpTake Youth is built for cycling and features additional space for storing a jacket and snacks. It has a 1.75-liter Hydrapak reservoir with a slide closure to make it easier to clean. This also means it can be filled with more water than some of the other children’s packs.

The UpTake benefits from a locking bite valve to prevent drips and a Retrakt magnetic hose system that lets the valve automatically go back into place after each sip. This can stop the tube from moving around or getting in the way during bumpy bike rides.

For added safety, there’s a reflective trim that can increase visibility in low lights, as well as a light attachment (light sold separately).

Features

  • High capacity – can hold more water for longer rides
  • Retrakt magnetic hose system – keeps the tube in place during bike rides
  • Reflective trim – useful in low light conditions

5. Unigear 2L Hydration Pack (best budget hydration pack)

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CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON

  • Material: nylon
  • Fluid Capacity: 67 fluid ounces
  • Weight: 17.6 ounces
  • Length: 16.5 inches

This Unigear Hydration Pack is an affordable option if you want to stick to a lower budget. It features durable splash-resistant nylon fabric with breathable mesh padded back panels for comfort and ventilation.

It comes with a large capacity reservoir – ideal for longer cycles – with a large opening to make it easier to clean and fill. The soft bite valve is also designed to deliver water quickly for easier sipping.

While this is not designed specifically for children, it can be a good choice for older or bigger kids, with the chest strap suiting kids with a minimum of a 27-inch chest.

Features

  • Affordable – budget-friendly hydration pack
  • Splash resistant – ideal for light rain
  • Large capacity – 2-liter water reservoir

6. Gregory Swift 20

CHECK PRICE AT REI

  • Material: nylon
  • Fluid Capacity: 101 ounces
  • Weight: 21 ounces
  • Length: 18 inches

This Gregory Swift 20 can be a good option for teens and older kids who are heading out on longer adventures. As well as a 3-liter reservoir, it also has 20 liters of additional storage for extra gear, so it can be ideal for an all-day bike ride.


This is generally made for women, so has smaller proportions compared to men’s packs but it’s designed to fit torso lengths between 14 and 19 inches, so can be ideal for growing teens.

It features a magnetic sternum strap for convenience and this also helps to keep the bite valve securely in place and easy to access. Additionally, the pack benefits from having a ventilated back panel and mesh padded shoulder straps for comfort.

Features

  • Large storage capacity – can be used as a backpack for longer trips
  • Large capacity reservoir – can hold more water than most kids’ packs
  • Magnetic strap closure – easy to close with one hand

7. REI Co-op Tarn Hydro

CHECK PRICE AT REI

  • Material: nylon
  • Fluid Capacity: 51 fluid ounces
  • Weight: 15 ounces
  • Length: 15.3 inches

The REI Tarn Hydro features a 1.5-liter HydraPak reservoir with a flexible Hydraflex drinking tube, designed to deliver consistent water flow, for easy sipping. The bite valve is also built to self-seal to prevent it from dripping in addition to an on/off twist-lock.

A good feature of this one is that it has a decent amount of space for additional gear. With a 15-liter gear capacity, there’s room for a jacket or sweater and sufficient snacks for longer bike rides or hikes.

For added comfort and breathability, it has a padded mesh back panel with an airflow channel, as well as mesh padded shoulder straps. The sternum strap and waist strap can help with weight distribution.

Features

  • Generous capacity – ideal for hauling extra gear
  • Airflow channel – for back ventilation
  • Hydraflex tube – kink-free design for a consistent flow of water

8. CamelBak Octane Dart

CHECK PRICE AT COMPETITIVE CYCLIST

  • Material: 70-denier nylon ripstop
  • Fluid Capacity: 50 fluid ounces
  • Weight: 7 ounces
  • Length: 12.4 inches

This CamelBak Octane Dart is a small adult pack designed mostly for running but it can be an ideal size for older kids and fits torso lengths from 15 to 21 inches. This is a lightweight option with minimal additional space but has a generous reservoir capacity for its small size.

A handy feature of this one is the front mesh pouches on the shoulder straps for a granola bar, so your child can access a snack without having to take the backpack off.

It also benefits from having a Big Bite valve with an easy-to-use on/off lever. Additionally, it has a padded mesh back panel for ventilation and an adjustable sternum strap.

Features

  • Compact size – ideal for minimal gear
  • Lightweight – more comfortable to carry
  • Easy-to-use valve – lever flips between on and off positions

9. CamelBak Scout Hydration Backpack

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CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON

  • Material: polyurethane coated nylon
  • Fluid Capacity: 50 fluid ounces
  • Weight: 10 ounces
  • Length: 15.5 inches

The CamelBak Scout is generally designed for smaller kids or those aged roughly around 5 to 10 years old. It has a generous capacity to allow your child to carry extra gear, such as a sweater, snacks, and sunscreen.

A useful feature of this one is the durable Air-light bite valve which might be more suitable for kids who tend to chew on things. It also benefits from adjustable padded shoulder straps with suspension for added comfort, as well as a ventilated back panel.


The Scout has a reflective trim for increased visibility and a built-in whistle on the chest strap for added safety.

Features

  • Durable bite valve – may not break as easily after being chewed
  • Reflective trim – for added visibility low-light conditions
  • Space for extra gear – can hold a sweater or rain jacket plus other gear

When Should Kids Use A Hydration Pack?

A hydration pack can be much more convenient for your kids to carry on a bike ride than a water bottle. It can also usually let them carry a higher volume of water than standard water bottles and can mean they can take a sip without having to stop what they’re doing or slow down.

This means you can continue on your trip without having to wait for your child (and everyone else in your group) to stop, take their water bottle out of a holder and take a drink. Water bottles can also get pretty dirty while sitting in a holder, whereas the drinking valve on a hydration pack can stay a little cleaner and away from bike wheels.

A hydration pack is probably not required if your child is riding short distances. However, they can be particularly useful for longer rides or mountain biking over a few hours where your child may need more water than a single water bottle can hold. This can be especially important if you’re out cycling in the hot sun.

Video: Why Use a Hydration Pack for Cycling?

If you know your trip will last all day or several hours and you’ll be cycling or hiking in more remote areas with limited chances to refill your water bottle, then this can be a good time to use a hydration pack, as it can generally hold more water than your child’s water bottle.

However, some kids may decide to drink their water too quickly, which could be a downside, especially if you’re a distance away from being able to refill it.

Features To Help You Choose A Biking Hydration Pack For Kids

Ventilation/Breathability

Ventilation can be important if you want the backpack to be comfortable for your child to wear. It can be even more important in hot climates.

The more comfortable it is, the more likely they are to want to use it. Having a breathable fabric, such as mesh panels, on the pack can increase ventilation around your child’s back and shoulders, which can help to minimize moisture from building up due to sweating.

Reservoir Size

The capacity of the reservoir determines how much water you’ll be able to hold in the pack. Just like many backpacks, the capacity is often stated in liters on product information. To find the fluid ounces, you can multiple the liter amount by 33.814 to find the capacity in fluid ounces.

The size of reservoir your child will need will usually depend on the duration of their bike ride or other activity. But you may also want to take into account the level of physical activity and how hot the weather is.

liquid reservoir fits inside hydration packPin

Most kids’ hydration packs usually have a reservoir capacity of around 1.5 to 2 liters. It can be important to note that not all hydration packs will include a reservoir or bladder, but most kids’ ones will generally include one.

If you choose to purchase a reservoir separately, it can be important to check whether it’s compatible with the intended pack. Some closures and clips may not be suitable for all types of reservoirs, even if the capacity is suitable.

Remember that the larger the capacity of the reservoir, the heavier it will be to carry when full, so smaller kids may struggle with larger capacity reservoirs.

Extra Storage Capacity

Additional space can be a useful feature to allow your child to carry extra gear, such as a jacket or snacks. The extra space your child will need in their pack will again depend on the length of time they plan to be using it.

Packs with up to 10 liters of additional space can be roomy enough for a couple of extra layers and some snacks. However, remember that the more your child carries in their pack, the heavier it will be, which may make them less likely to want to carry it.

Length

The length of the pack can be important as this can give you an idea of whether it should fit your child or not. Before you choose, it can be a good idea to measure the length of your child’s torso, from the bottom of their neck to their lower back.

Ideally, the pack should sit no lower than your child’s lower back as this might affect their ability to move properly while doing activities.

Additional Features

There are some additional features that you might want to look out for, such as reflective trims or attachment points for a light. A whistle can also be a handy safety feature and can be found on the chest strap on some kids’ packs. But this can sometimes be a little too attractive for kids and they might want to use the whistle more often than you’d like.

Be Careful Of Valve Chewing

As you’ll probably know, some kids (and adults) like to chew on things. This can be a problem with some hydration packs because the valve can get damaged, which can affect the water flow or cause it to leak.

You can try to show your child to bite down using their back teeth rather than their front teeth. Or you can show your child how to turn the valve on and off so that they can switch the valve off after they’ve taken a sip, which can prevent it from leaking, even if it’s already suffered some damage.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Downsides To Hydration Packs?

They can be heavy for some kids to carry, especially when full. They may also be more difficult to clean than a water bottle and can sometimes leak. It can also be difficult to tell how much water is left without opening it up.

Do Kids Drink More Water If They Wear A Hydration Pack?

They might drink more water since it’s easily accessible to them, meaning they can drink easily when thirsty. However, some kids might forget and could end up not drinking enough. Depending on the age of your child you may have to check their pack to make sure they’re drinking enough (and not drinking all of it at once).

Do I Need More Than One Bite Valve For My Hydration Pack?

Not necessarily but if your child tends to chew on the bite valve you might find it’s useful to have more than one so you can replace it if it gets broken.

At What Age Or Height Should Kids Move To An Adult Hydration Pack?

Some kids from 10 years old may find an adult pack more suitable. Women’s packs tend to be shorter to accommodate women’s shorter torsos so these can be ideal for kids around 5 feet tall or over.

Can Regular Backpacks Work With Hydration Bladders?

Some daypacks might be able to work with hydration bladders but not all of them, as you will need to make sure there are clips and tube portals to keep the tubes in place for convenience.

Drink Up! – Conclusion

We think the best hydration pack for kids is the Camelbak Mini M.U.L.E because of its durability and ease of use. It’s also lightweight, breathable, and includes a safety whistle.

A great runner-up is the Osprey Moki because it has a high level of ventilation on the back panel for comfort in warm weather and has an easy-to-use magnetic clip for the bite valve to keep it upright during bike rides.

Remember to measure the length of your child’s torso and check the length of any pack before you settle on one. If your child needs to carry a jacket with them you might want to opt for a hydration pack that has a little extra space inside.

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Mark W
Mark W
I’m a cycling enthusiast, and the founder and chief editor of Bike Push. If I’m not working on this website, then I’m out on the bike clocking up the miles. I want to help others get the most out of cycling.

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