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What is a hydration backpack?
Hydration backpacks are beloved by serious hikers and bikers because they allow you to quench your thirst without stopping to reach for a water bottle. They include a bladder for storing water — typically 2 liters — and a long straw with a mouthpiece or “whistle” that you use to drink on the go. They also commonly include additional pockets so that you can stash your wallet, keys, snacks, or more water bottles, too, without needing an additional bag.
Aldi recently offered the Adventuridge Hydration Backpack for $14.99, which is considerably less than the low range of hydration backpacks sold on Amazon. It carries a limited 2-year warranty and features non-BPA plastic for the bladder. It’s an Aldi Find, which means that it’s only available in stores for a limited time, and Aldi doesn’t offer online shipping after it sells out at your local store.
My family enjoys hiking, and I used to have a more expensive hydration backpack years ago but lost it in a move. I was excited to buy a new one for a low price and check it out.
The bag does not come with instructions, but setup is simple. To use the bag, you remove the water bladder, fill it, and place it in the back pouch of the backpack. I rinsed mine out before filling it for the first time. You can’t completely fill the bladder due to the placement of the opening, but you can fill it enough to reach nearly 2 liters of water. It was easy to fill and replace the cover over the opening, so I placed it in the pouch and tried the backpack on.
However, I didn’t check the hose attachment and the bag immediately started leaking, dousing my back and legs with water. My husband investigated and discovered that the hose wasn’t fully screwed into the bladder. He easily tightened it down, and the bag stopped leaking, so we refilled it. Meanwhile, I ran my hiking clothes through the dryer so I wouldn’t have to travel to the park already soaked.
On a hot summer morning, I took the hydration backpack on a 3.5-mile, moderately difficult, 90-minute hike. I added apples, trail mix, and my wallet and car keys to the bag, but it could have held more food and supplies, which would be great for a longer hike. It even has two water bottle holders on the sides, allowing you to carry even more water.
The bag is very lightweight on its own and has chest and waist straps attached, which keep your shoulders from carrying all of the weight. I used the chest strap but not the waist strap, as it seemed unnecessary. The shoulder straps are nicely padded, and they are adjustable, so you can shorten or lengthen them depending on your height.
To access the water, you pull out the “whistle” attached to the end of the hose and bite down to take a drink. Our hike was hot and challenging, so I drank from the whistle frequently. I enjoyed not having to stop to take a drink of water or risk stumbling over rocks and tree roots while trying to drink and walk at the same time.
However, I had to bite down harder than expected for the whistle to open wide enough to take a drink. My husband and kids tried it later on and agreed that it was harder to use than expected. This leads me to think that the bag might not last 2 years with frequent use, as the whistle could become too chewed-up to stay sealed when not in use.
After I got home, I checked the bladder and discovered I’d used less than half of the water that I’d put in the bag. Thus, the full 2 liters would be enough for a longer, more strenuous hike.
The Adventuridge Hydration Backpack is a good bargain for summer hikes and bike rides. However, it may not last as long as more expensive models if the whistle wears out too quickly. It’s a good, affordable option for casual hikers and bikers looking for an easier way to hydrate.