We tested women’s mountain bike hydration packs from major brands like Camelbak, Dakine, Deuter, EVOC, and Mazama. Hydration backpacks let you conveniently carry water to stay hydrated on the trails but also hold other important items for longer rides like tools, snacks, layers, and other essentials. These are designed to keep you going on long and short rides, and can offer back protection in the off-chance of a fall. When looking for a mountain biking hydration backpack, the price, hydration bladder, overall storage capacity, weight, fit, and any extra features are taken into consideration. The first three the hydration backpacks listed below feature a women’s specific fit, while the EVOC Stage and Mazama Tumalo are marketed as unisex packs.
Hydration Packs Tested
|Brand||Hydration Pack||Price||Hydration Capacity||Storage Capacity||Weight||Features|
|Camelbak||Women’s Rogue Light 70 oz||$75||2L||5L||215g (8 oz)||Lightweight|
|Dakine||Women’s Drafter 10L||$130||3L||10L||2 lbs (907g)||Air Suspension BackPanel & Impact Spine Protector|
|Deuter||Women’s Flyt 12L||$190||3L||12L||2.42 lbs (1100g)||Integrated Back Protector|
|EVOC||Stage 12L||$140||3L||12L||1.98 lbs (900g)||Air Flow Contact System & Brace Link Carrying System|
|Mazama||Tumalo||$40||3L||5L||1 lb (450g)||Price Value|
Camelbak Women’s Rogue Light 70oz Pack
- Water Capacity: 2L/70 oz
- Reservoir/Hydration System: Included CRUX™ Reservoir with Standard Exit Port
- Fit: Women’s Specific
- Storage: 5L/300 cu in
- Torso Fit Range: 38-53 cm/15-21 in
- Waterproof: N/A
- Colors: Castlerock/Seafoam, Dragonfly Teal/Mineral Blue (tested)
- Weight: 215g/8 oz
- MSRP: $75
The Camelback Rogue’s light weight and minimal design make this ideal for short laps on your local trails. This women’s mountain bike hydration pack can carry up to 2 liters/70 ounces of water, and a total cargo storage of 5 liters/ 300 cubic inches.
Despite its small size, the Rogue keeps riding essentials organized while making everything inside easily accessible. The bladder sits in its separate zippered compartment that comes with a bonus small, hidden zippered pocket to stash away your wallet, cards, smaller tools, or your favorite trail snacks. You can even stash extra stuff in the bladder compartment if you are so inclined. The stretchy quick-access compartment provides the perfect spot to store away extra layers, gloves, or pads when not in use. The front vertical zippered pocket offers more storage for easy access to tools and also has a key loop.
Next let’s move on to the fit. The Rogue is a women’s specific fit which Camelbak describes as “S-curved shoulder harness is contoured to fit a woman’s body for added comfort and stability.” Personally, this hydration pack sits well on my shoulders and the thin adjustment straps practically ‘disappear’ when riding my bike. I really like it when backpacks mold to your body and are out of the way when riding.
There is no waist strap, however it wouldn’t be expected for a hydration pack this compact.
For hotter days, the ventilated flexible breathable mesh straps are ideal. The slightly padded “Air Support” back padding offers more breathability and comfort where it’s needed the most. Breathable, lightweight materials are ideal to keep the rider as cool as possible. Every bit helps on a hot day.
The adjustable sternum strap is a great additional feature that allows for further adjustments to keep the pack in place when the rock gardens buck you around.
The relatively small bladder and storage capacity are ideal for shorter rides. This is my go-to for laps on my local trails. The front drop-in pocket fits an impressive amount of things despite the backpack being compact in size.
I’ve grown accustomed to CamelBak bladders over the years. They are simple and easy to clean. I really like the on/off switch on the mouthpiece, but I do wish it came with the plastic mouthpiece cover to prevent it from getting full of dust when you find yourself behind all your friends in a cloud.
Dakine Women’s Drafter 10L Bike Hydration Pack
- Water Capacity: 3L
- Reservoir/Hydration System: Included
- Storage: 10L
- Fit: Women’s Specific
- Waterproof: N/A
- Colors: Sierra Fossil, Sparrow (tested)
- Weight: 2lbs
- MSRP: $130
The Dakine Drafter 10L women’s mountain bike hydration pack is designed for durability and longer rides. It comes with a 3L bladder, and can hold up to 10L of gear.
Starting from the bottom up, the two external straps can be adjusted and secured, and they are designed for carrying body armor or extra layers.
The outer drop-in compartment opens up enough to fit a half-shell helmet and secure it with the adjustable straps on either side. A full-face helmet can also be secured through the outer straps with the helmet facing out.
Inside of the other drop-in compartment, there is a hidden zippered pocket where you can fit your phone, wallet, snacks and your keys in the key clip. For reference, my iPhone 12 easily fits sideways.
A small outer zippered pocket on top is easy to access when you need to stash away eyewear. There is no worrying about scratching your lenses, as the pocket is soft and fleece-lined.
The main zippered compartment at the top opens up about a quarter of the way and is deep enough to store away more items. Inside, there is a thin drop-in pocket for a small pump and a larger drop-in pocket that fits other tools or smaller items.
The compartment also has a spot to carry a spare battery for your e-bike, whether it’s a mountain bike or commuter e-Bike.
Dakine took a different approach by having the 3L bladder sit at the bottom of the main compartment, in its own separate velcro-enclosed pocket. The bladder can be accessed through the main compartment, but it is actually designed to be accessed through a zipper at the very bottom of the backpack. With a lower center of gravity, carrying a full bladder keeps the weight down low. I like the simplicity of the bladder. The smaller size and lower bag placement make it easy to access for a quick refill if you find those rare trail water faucets. Plus it’s easy to take apart the hose and mouthpiece to clean them.
The hydration hose comes out from the main compartment and through the designated hole, and runs through the shoulder strap. It has the option to run the tube from either side and comes with an adjustable magnet to keep it in place during your rides. The valve is a classic bite valve and it has a shutoff mechanism.
Flipping over the backpack, the chest strap is adjustable and can be moved up and down through the integrated tubing to your preferred fit. The shoulder straps are padded and the S-curved women’s specific fit sits comfortably.
If you’re like me and like to avoid a sweaty back as much as possible, the Dakine Drafter’s Air Suspension BackPanel will do the trick. This is a sturdy yet well-ventilated back panel with mesh that allows air to flow freely through by separating the backpack from your body. From all the hydration packs I tested, this one has the most back ventilation. This is such a great feature since the 10L storage capacity can make this backpack heavy, so as much ventilation as possible is greatly appreciated.
The backpack is also Spine Protector compatible (sold separately), and that protection can be added to the back panel. This is ideal for higher impact rides and it definitely gives you the confidence of protection should you have a hard fall.
Overall the material is very sturdy and tough, and it’s easy to wipe off dust and mud.
A couple of my not-so-favorite things are the weight, lack of waist support, and the narrow compartment opening. At 2lbs before filling it up, the Dakine Drafter is the heaviest of the hydration packs in this roundup. I personally would think twice before loading up this backpack for a full-day adventure, as the lack of waist support made the bottom of the bag dig a bit into my lower back and the straps started to feel heavy on my shoulders during my testing. Lightening the load seemed to help. When selecting hydration backpacks, I personally prefer that the main zippered compartment open up wide to easily access my things, as opposed to the narrow opening on this backpack. This is just a personal preference and does not hinder the overall performance of the backpack.
Deuter Women’s Flyt 12L Hydration Backpack
- Water Capacity: 3L
- Reservoir/Hydration System: Compatible with 3L bladder (not included)
- Storage: 12L
- Fit: SL Women’s Fit
- Waterproof: Integrated Rain Cover
- Colors: Dusk-Redwood (tested)
- Weight: 1100g
- MSRP: $190
The Deuter Flyt 12L is a high-quality backpack built for performance, comfort, and safety, and made for days when you need to carry all the essentials and then some. The integrated back protector provides maximum safety and inspires confidence for rougher trail days.
Starting from the bottom, the Deuter Flyt has a zippered pocket with a bright yellow fluorescent rain cover stashed neatly away, letting you be prepared for any wet and rainy weather.
Two outer clips can conveniently hold your helmet when not in use by sliding in the helmet ear loop straps into each of the clips. I really love this helmet carrying method as it is super minimal and gets the job done as well as straps in other backpacks.
The front compartment opens up nice and wide to reveal several smaller pockets to stash away tools, snacks, or other items neatly and to help you stay organized. There are two larger mesh open pockets, with an elastic loop that can secure a small hand pump. There are also two open pockets for any other small items. A horizontal zipper can hold/protect your phone, and the key clip makes it easy to keep things in place.
The main compartment zips open 3/4 of the way, making it very easy to open and access the interior. The inner flap has information about the backpack, washing symbols, CPR instructions, and also steps to follow in case of an emergency. This main compartment is very deep to stow away a lot of stuff. There is an elastic drop-in pocket that fits a hydration bladder up to 3L and keeps it separate from the main compartment.
Flipping the backpack over, the back panel is padded for comfort and ventilation. The Airstripes offer ventilated and mesh-covered cushion comfort while at the same time, the raised stripes allow for a gap between your back and the pack.
The shoulder straps have several points of adjustment to really make this women’s mountain bike hydration pack fit to your preference. Toward the top of the shoulder straps, there are additional small vertical adjustable straps. Along the outer shoulder straps is a velcro loop to secure the bladder hose.
The chest strap moves up and down and also allows for adjustability. There is a waist strap that includes two zippered outer pockets, one on each side. The waist strap is wide and offers lower back support while preventing any side-to-side movement. This backpack will stay in place during your ride while still offering decent breathability with its mesh interior.
Taking a quick break on the trail and need a place to put your eyewear? There is a small loop to hold your sunglasses by sliding in the temple of your frame. Very clever!
An additional deep vertical zippered pocket is perfect to stow away your phone safely, or to stash a snack for later.
One of the main features of the Deuter Flyt is the included Back Protector. This is excellent for those long, high-altitude descents or if you want all possible protection when riding your trails. The protector is lightweight and gives the backpack sturdy back support. A great added bonus is the free crash replacement. Much like a helmet, it is recommended that the integrated back protector be replaced after a serious fall or crash. Deuter will replace the deformed protector free of charge within 2 years. The average lifespan of the backpack is around 2-4 years of regular use.
By far, this was the most comfortable of the larger hydration packs. The women’s specific straps and the bonus adjustment straps are well thought out. Despite its large cargo capacity, the wide waist straps keep the backpack in place and provide an added level of lower back support even with a heavy load. The padded shoulder straps and Airstripes are comfortable, though I will say the back panel is not as well ventilated as the other backpacks. The Flyt’s material is flexible yet robust. The company states that it is “tear and abrasion-resistant” while the “tight web structure” keeps it lightweight.
I received this backpack later than the others and have only gotten to test ride it once. However, I am thoroughly impressed with the features and all it provides. At $190, this is definitely on the high end of the pricing scale, but it is also well worth it for those who need an all-around backpack that can keep up with all types of rowdy riding.
Evoc Stage 12L Bike Hydration Pack
- Water Capacity: 3L
- Reservoir/Hydration System: Sold Separate
- Storage: 12L
- Fit: Unisex
- Waterproof: Integrated Rain Cover
- Colors: Aqua Blue/Loam (tested), Carbon Gray/Chili Red, Black/White/Orange
- Weight: 900g (1.98lbs)
- MSRP: $140
The EVOC Stage 12L is ideal for a full day out on the mountain bike. With plenty of space, storage, and organizational compartments, it will fit what you need for an all-day adventure.
Starting at the bottom of the backpack, the Evoc Stage comes with an integrated rain cover that is neatly stored away in the bottom zipper in case you get caught in a rainy adventure.
A full-face or half-shell helmet can be attached to the backpack, thanks to the designated “Helmet Carry” system. The straps are out of sight in their designated velcro pockets at the bottom and towards the top of the backpack and are labeled as such. There is a clip loop toward the bottom of the backpack to attach a rear visibility light.
The Evoc-classic double zipper makes opening up the front compartment quick and easy. You can neatly organize and see your tools, snacks, or any other items thanks to the inner zippered mesh pocket, and several smaller mesh drop-in pockets. This compartment includes an added velcro closure to further secure it shut.
Stow your sunglasses and other smaller items in the top front zippered pocket. It is fleece-lined to prevent scratching your lenses, and it also has two small mesh drop-in pockets for any smaller items you want to be able to easily grab.
The biggest and main compartment zips out and the front flap falls out to allow for easy access. A nice touch they included is an inner Emergency Plan label that includes emergency call numbers, what to say during your call, and some practical tips for distress signaling. Inside, there is a hanging medium-sized zippered mesh pocket with a key clip, which is ideal to keep your phone secured.
At 12L of cargo storage, this main compartment can fit a lot of items!
A hydration bladder up to 3L can fit in its own zippered compartment and stay stored separately.
Flipping the backpack over, the EVOC Stage back panel has a rigid foam and mesh on the back to protect the spine and keep air flowing. The foam provides cushiony, whole back comfort given the large cargo capacity.
The Brace Link carrying system is a neat feature that allows the straps to be flexible to accommodate the width of your shoulders while also actively moving as your upper body naturally flows when riding your bike.
As an added bonus there are two water bottle holders on each side of the backpack, in case you don’t want to bring a full hydration bladder.
The EVOC Stage fits a lot of stuff with a cargo capacity of 12L. The wide waist straps have an interior grip that keeps the backpack in place and does a decent job at keeping the backpack from bouncing around. After trying out the other women’s specific shoulder straps, the Brace link helped to adjust to my shoulders. As a personal preference, a wide opening for the main compartment is a must, as I like to be able to easily open, access, and find what I need without the fuss of digging around.
A couple not-so-favorite things are the waist straps and the color of the hydration bladder. The waist straps sit higher in comparison to the other women-specific backpacks I tested, providing less lateral side to side support than those with bigger waist “wing” straps. I just wish they were a bit wider with pockets on them.
The bladder is small and simple. I’m on the fence about the color of the bladder and hose. On one end, I love the stealthiness, but on the other, I want to be able to see if mold ever starts to grow inside. Just remember to wash and dry accordingly.
Overall the EVOC Stage 12L offers great features so you can comfortably carry what you need for an all-day adventure.
Mazama Tumalo Hydration Pack
- Water Capacity: 3L
- Reservoir/Hydration System: Included
- Storage: 3L
- Fit: One Size
- Torso Fit Range: 20 – 48 inches
- Waterproof: N/A
- Colors: Glacier Blue, Obsidian Black (tested)
- Weight: 1.25 lb (567 grams)
- MSRP: $40
The Mazama Tumalo is a lightweight hydration pack that offers great features for a price that won’t break the bank. With 5L of storage and a 3L bladder, it is made for all kinds of adventures and ideal for local trails.
Starting from the bottom of the backpack, the Tumalo has a convenient small zippered pocket contoured to fit your tools.
You can attach your helmet to the bottom side loops, and the criss-crossed cargo net along the front of the backpack can stash extra layers or protection pads and can be secured with the bungee system.
The compartment for the hydration bladder can be unzipped and accessed from the top of the backpack and a drop-in pocket holds the hydration bladder.
Manzana takes a different approach by giving access to the main cargo compartment through a right, vertical zippered pocket. The space inside runs pretty much the entire length of the backpack, allowing you to store whatever you can fit in there.
The bladder hose can be fed through either the left or right shoulder straps and is secured with a bungee snap-on cord and an integrated loop.
The shoulder straps are ventilated with mesh material. Along the shoulder straps, there are four stretchy loops where you can attach or clip on any other accessories. A neat feature is that the magnet for the bladder hose can actually be detached and placed in the stretchy loophole of your choice for the best fit. The adjustable chest strap goes up and down and lets you dial in the fit.
The Tumalo also comes with what they call “stabilizer wings” that come with pockets. The left is a drop-in pocket and the right is a vertical zippered pocket. These pockets are super helpful to stash a gel or snack. And who doesn’t want to easily grab a snack without having to take off the entire backpack?
The back panel has 6 padded sections that provide some cushion and are slightly raised to provide just a bit of space between the backpack and your back.
This bladder also impressed me for its price. It includes a sturdy plastic bar running the width of the top to keep the bladder in place when full or empty. Cleaning is easy thanks to a detachable hose and mouthpiece. The mouthpiece has a cool shut-off mechanism to prevent leakage.
Although the back panel is slightly raised away from the backpack, after a couple of hours of riding with it on, it does not feel as well-ventilated in comparison to the other backpacks I tested. It would be nice to have some mesh on the back panel. However, for the price point, this is not a major issue. On the bright side, this backpack can be worn in colder months for some added warmth. The hose comes with an integrated magnet but it is not adjustable along the tube. The hydration bladder hose kept popping out of place during my test rides, despite my best efforts to adjust the shoulder strap magnet to the lowest possible loop.
For $40 MSRP, the Mazama Tumalo is a great value and affordable hydration backpack to bring the essentials along with you on your mountain bike adventures. I think this is an excellent bag for riders on a budget. You get plenty of features that most riders need.
Overall, no matter which hydration pack you choose, it is nice to be able to comfortably carry your water and other essential gear all in one place, ready to grab and go enjoy the trails. Plus, having taken several falls in the past, landing on a water bladder has cushioned my fall and helped me avoid any major injuries. Hydration backpacks with integrated spine protectors like the Deuter inspire peace of mind and confidence to hit more rowdy lines. Most of these hydration backpacks also have cross-over use so you can bring them with you to other outdoor adventures.