Drinking enough water is an important part of any training. Especially when you’re out on the water, you can quickly become dehydrated without even realizing it.
If you’re looking for a way to carry water when you’re out paddling, you have a few different options. The easiest, of course, is just bringing a water bottle along. The downside to this is you need to stop paddling to get a drink, and if you’re paddling in the ocean or bay, that first sip is often a little salty from the splash on the board.
A better option would be to use a hydration pack. A hydration pack is going to hold more water than a bottle. It will allow you to take a drink without completely stopping paddling, as you just need to pull the valve out versus kneeling down to pick a bottle up off of your board. Another added benefit is most hydration packs have additional storage for carrying small items.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 25 years, I’m sure you’ve heard of CamelBak. They are the creator of the original hydration pack. Although originally designed for cycling, CamelBak has plenty of smaller models to choose from that would be suitable for paddleboarding.
Nathan makes hydration packs specifically for runners and triathletes. These packs are designed to hug your torso, so they don’t bounce around while you’re running. They also feature mesh backs and should straps for more breathability.
VestPac features a minimalist design and is quickly becoming a favorite of stand up paddlers. The back and chest panels on VestPac hydration packs are made of a material that wicks moisture away from your body. These packs are made to be used on the water, and unlike the others, feature storage pockets that drain, if you happen to go for a splash.
With any of these packs if being used around salt water, it’s a good idea to it a fresh water rinse after you paddle, and occasionally wax the zipper, to help prevent jamming or rusting.