Hydration bladder for hiking


Comprehensive Guide to the Best Hydration Bladders for Water on Your Hike of the Kokoda Trail


Welcome to the rugged and historic Kokoda Track, where every step is a journey through wartime history and breathtaking landscapes. As you embark on this challenging trek, one essential aspect to consider is proper hydration. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the world of hydration bladders, exploring their capacity, maintenance, spare parts, covers, and the critical decision of choosing between external and internal bladders.

Selecting the Right Capacity

Trekking Kokoda demands careful planning, and choosing the right hydration bladder capacity is a crucial first step. Consider the length of your hike, the weather conditions, and your personal hydration needs. The Kokoda Track presents varying terrains, so having an adequate water supply is essential. Look for bladders with a capacity that suits your trekking style, ensuring you stay hydrated throughout your journey.

Maintenance Matters

Proper maintenance is key to the longevity and efficiency of your hydration bladder. Regularly clean and dry the bladder to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. Look for bladders with wide openings for easy cleaning and drying. Additionally, explore options with removable tubes for thorough cleaning. A well-maintained hydration bladder ensures a clean and safe water source during your Kokoda adventure.

Spare Parts and Covers

When venturing into the challenging terrains of the Kokoda Track, having spare parts for your hydration bladder is a smart move. Pack extra bite valves, tubes, and seals to address unexpected issues. Ensure that your hydration bladder comes with durable covers to protect it from abrasions, punctures, and UV rays. Preparedness is key to a successful trek, and having spare parts and covers can save the day when you’re far from civilization.

Water Purification in the Wild

The Kokoda Track offers natural water sources, but it’s crucial to prioritize water purification. Invest in a reliable water filter or purification tablets to ensure the water you consume is safe. This precaution is especially important for longer treks where you might need to refill your hydration bladder from local streams or rivers. Stay informed about the water sources along the trail and plan accordingly.

External vs Internal Bladders

The debate between external and internal bladders is ongoing among hikers and trekkers. External bladders, like the Osprey Hydraulics, allow for easy refilling without unpacking your entire backpack. Internal bladders, such as the Platypus Big Zip Evo, offer a more streamlined and integrated design. Consider your preferences and trekking style when choosing between these options.

Best Hydration Bladders of 2023

Stay updated on the latest advancements in hydration technology by exploring the best hydration bladders of 2023. Brands like MSR and Osprey continue to innovate, offering features such as insulated reservoirs, hands-free hydration systems, and inline water filters. Choose a bladder that aligns with your specific needs and the demands of the Kokoda Track.

Tips for Hiking with Hydration Bladders

Whether you’re hiking, trail running, or embarking on a day hike, these tips will enhance your hydration experience:

1. Keep Water Cold

Invest in a hydration bladder with insulating features or use an insulated reservoir to keep your water cool, especially in the warm climates of Kokoda.

2. Store Water Efficiently

Optimize your backpack space by choosing a hydration bladder that fits seamlessly into your pack. Ensure a secure and efficient storage solution for your water reservoir.

3. Hydration on the Go

For trail runners and those who prefer continuous movement, opt for bladders with hands-free hydration systems. This allows you to stay hydrated without interrupting your pace.

4. Quality Hydration Bladders

Prioritize durable and high-quality hydration bladders to withstand the rugged conditions of the Kokoda Track. Brands like Osprey, Platypus, and MSR are known for their reliable products.

5. Consider the Design

Select a hydration bladder with a design that suits your preferences. Whether it’s a wide-mouth opening for easy cleaning or a sleek profile for streamlined packing, choose a design that complements your trekking style.


As you prepare to trek the Kokoda Track, choosing the best hydration bladder is a decision that can significantly impact your overall experience. Consider factors such as capacity, maintenance, spare parts, covers, and the choice between external and internal bladders. Stay informed about the latest advancements in hydration technology and prioritize quality to ensure a successful and well-hydrated journey through the historic landscapes of Kokoda.


Q: What are the key features of a hydration bladder for hiking?

A: The key features of a hydration bladder for hiking include a reservoir or pack, hands-free hydration, and the ability to carry a significant amount of water.

Q: How do I clean a hydration bladder for hiking?

A: To clean a hydration bladder, use warm soapy water and a hydration cleaning kit to thoroughly clean the bladder, tube, and mouthpiece. Ensure all parts are fully dried before storage.

Q: What are the benefits of using a hydration bladder for hiking?

A: Using a hydration bladder for hiking offers hands-free hydration, easy access to water, and the ability to carry a large amount of water without taking up space in your backpack.

Q: What is the best way to keep water cold in a hydration bladder during hiking?

A: The best way to keep water cold in a hydration bladder is to use an insulated hydration reservoir or to add ice cubes to the bladder before filling it with water.

Q: How much water can a hydration bladder hold?

A: Hydration bladders can typically hold between 1 to 3 liters of water, providing a significant amount of water for hydration during hiking or backpacking trips.

Q: Can I use a hydration bladder for hiking with a day pack or backpack?

A: Yes, hydration bladders are designed to be used with day packs or backpacks and are equipped with a hydration sleeve or compartment for easy integration.

Q: What is the best way to drink water from a hydration bladder while hiking?

A: To drink water from a hydration bladder, simply use the sip valve or mouthpiece to take a sip of water without needing to stop or remove a water bottle from your pack.

Q: Are hydration bladders for hiking waterproof?

A: Hydration bladders are designed to be waterproof to prevent water leakage and ensure that your gear and clothing stay dry during hiking and backpacking activities.

Q: What is the best method for ensuring a steady water flow from a hydration bladder while hiking?

A: To ensure a steady water flow, make sure the bladder is properly positioned in your pack, the tube is free from kinks, and the mouthpiece valve is clean and functional.

Q: How do I choose the best hydration bladder for hiking?

A: When selecting a hydration bladder, consider factors such as size, ease of cleaning, water flow, and insulation to choose the best option for your hiking and backpacking needs.

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