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Hydration Backpacks for Roadies?

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Hydration Backpacks for Roadies?

Old 08-10-20, 07:16 AM
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PoorInRichfield
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Hydration Backpacks for Roadies?

I've been thinking about ways I can increase my water-carrying capabilities so I can ride solo beyond ~50 miles w/o needing to find a place to get water. The areas I like riding in most, typically farm country in rolling hills, often have no gas stations or convenience stores I can stop at to get water which means I need to carry it with me. My road bike only has two water bottle mount locations which I'm using and I find that if it's hot, two large water bottles only last me between 40 and 50 miles.

What I'm looking for is a backpack, like a Camelbak, that seems a bit more suited for roadies. I.e., I'd like something that at least looks semi-aero and doesn't look like I'm going on a backpacking expedition in the Rocky Mountains. Other than a single pocket, I just want the pack to hold water. On Camelbak's web site, their packs all look more like hiker backpacks. I swear that at one time there were brands that made roadie-specific hydration backpacks but can't seem to find them any more. Perhaps roadies just didn't buy them so they stopped selling them?

If you're aware of a roadie-specific hydration backpack, please post 'up!
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Old 08-10-20, 07:30 AM
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I occasionally use one of these Camelback Racebak. I am not sure it is any better than my regular Camelback backpacks.

https://www.amazon.com/CamelBak-Race.../dp/B00437UXKS
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Old 08-10-20, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by jrobe View Post
I occasionally use one of these Camelback Racebak. I am not sure it is any better than my regular Camelback backpacks.

https://www.amazon.com/CamelBak-Race.../dp/B00437UXKS
That's closer to what I was looking for. Looks like CamelBak no longer makes this item, though
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Old 08-10-20, 07:40 AM
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I have the same problem and curious to see what others suggest. The heat which will be trapped between my back and the pack has given me pause. I am considering a compact frame pack with a bladder.
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Old 08-10-20, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by jrobe View Post
I occasionally use one of these Camelback Racebak. I am not sure it is any better than my regular Camelback backpacks.

https://www.amazon.com/CamelBak-Race.../dp/B00437UXKS
Instant hunchback!
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Old 08-10-20, 08:00 AM
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Waistpack?

These are targeted at MTB riders, but I think a 50 oz pack would be a great supplement two the 40-50oz you already have in bottles. They make larger ones, too.
https://www.rei.com/product/143337/o...hydration-pack
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Old 08-10-20, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by HeyPapa View Post
I have the same problem and curious to see what others suggest. The heat which will be trapped between my back and the pack has given me pause. I am considering a compact frame pack with a bladder.
I found a great deal on a 100 oz one that I bought to experiment with the cooling effects of a bladder half-filled with ice vs. the trapped heat effect, but then the lockdown happened and I've been doing almost all my riding on Zwift where multiple water bottles are sitting on a shelf next to me and I've never used it.
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Old 08-10-20, 08:34 AM
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How much further are you looking to go? I get out in to the boonies regularly enough, and I can't say that I wouldn't be able to find a gas station or convenience store someplace along a route of any significant distance (for anything under ~62 miles, I don't bother stopping). On longer rides, I'll just keep an eye out when I start getting low, but I know that I can always noodle for 5-10 miles if I need to get conservative with fluids.
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Old 08-10-20, 08:38 AM
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Alternatively, do it like the triathletes do and carry extra bottles behind the saddle.
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Old 08-10-20, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by atwl77 View Post
Alternatively, do it like the triathletes do and carry extra bottles behind the saddle.
Yeah, I'm considering the Tacx Cage Mount which is only $20 (Plus the cost of two more bottles and cages).

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Old 08-10-20, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
How much further are you looking to go? I get out in to the boonies regularly enough, and I can't say that I wouldn't be able to find a gas station or convenience store someplace along a route of any significant distance (for anything under ~62 miles, I don't bother stopping). On longer rides, I'll just keep an eye out when I start getting low, but I know that I can always noodle for 5-10 miles if I need to get conservative with fluids.
I'm planning a 75 mile ride that is on a rails-to-trails packed gravel trail. I've found that many of the rails-to-trails trails in my state offer beautiful scenery but the towns on those trails are often "dried-up" and one is lucky if there's a gas station, store, or restaurant in the town... often there is not. So rather than chance not being able to get water, I figure I ought to do the Boy Scout thing and be prepared.
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Old 08-10-20, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
I found a great deal on a 100 oz one that I bought to experiment with the cooling effects of a bladder half-filled with ice vs. the trapped heat effect, but then the lockdown happened and I've been doing almost all my riding on Zwift where multiple water bottles are sitting on a shelf next to me and I've never used it.
Great idea! I also use Zwift nearly half the year... although that's the winter half of the year where my basement is often only 60 degrees so I don't really need anything to make me colder Adding ice to the backpack is one thing I'm considering that might make riding with a backpack less of an issue. Like many, I don't really like riding with stuff on my back, but having a refrigerator on my bike might not be so bad.
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Old 08-10-20, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by PoorInRichfield View Post
Great idea! I also use Zwift nearly half the year... although that's the winter half of the year where my basement is often only 60 degrees so I don't really need anything to make me colder Adding ice to the backpack is one thing I'm considering that might make riding with a backpack less of an issue. Like many, I don't really like riding with stuff on my back, but having a refrigerator on my bike might not be so bad.
To be fair, I hated using a backpack when I commuted in summers due to the heat (though I liked having the weight there a bit better than lower), so I'm not sure I'll like this. At 20-30 bucks, I thought it was worth a try. My basement doesn't ever get that cold and I'm trying to figure out how to add a second fan to my Zwift cooling experience - finally getting around to using headbands last winter made a lot of difference.
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Old 08-10-20, 09:23 AM
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I use an older model of this. Fairly aero in design. It has never bothered me from a heat perspective. I fill it up half way and freeze it the night before a ride. It actually helps keep me cool.

https://www.amazon.com/CamelBak-Rogu...d_asin_1_title'

Last edited by eric1971; 08-10-20 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 08-10-20, 09:28 AM
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If you want to look "pro", I suggest this:
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Old 08-10-20, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by eric1971 View Post
I use an older model of this. Fairly aero in design. It has never bothered my from a heat perspective. I fill it up half way and freeze it the night before a ride. It actually helps keep me cool.
Yeah, that seems to be the most minimalist Camelbak offered right now that would do the job w/o a bunch of pockets and zippers I don't need.
Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
If you want to look "pro", I suggest this:
I kinda like it! Is that a commercially available product or some special promo/race-day thingy? Since I don't plan on doing these long rides all that often, getting something like one of these bottle bags would be "good enough", assuming they're not all that expensive.
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Old 08-10-20, 09:33 AM
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I'm close to adding a BTS dual bottle mount on the road bike to go with the two on the frame. Just tired of putting TWO bottles in my jersey for those 3-4 hour summer rides. I don't feel comfortable stopping somewhere during Covid.

Then I could freeze a pair and put ice in one and be good to go.

I've thought about the backpack but I use my jersey pockets for nutrition, phone, minipump, etc....
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Old 08-10-20, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
I'm close to adding a BTS dual bottle mount on the road bike to go with the two on the frame. Just tired of putting TWO bottles in my jersey for those 3-4 hour summer rides. I don't feel comfortable stopping somewhere during Covid.

Then I could freeze a pair and put ice in one and be good to go.

I've thought about the backpack but I use my jersey pockets for nutrition, phone, minipump, etc....
Sounds like you're looking for the same thing I am. As you mention, COVID makes things even more weird in that if I simply want to get water somewhere (even if I find a store or gas station), I'll have to put on a mask and leave my very expensive bike unattended while I shop for something to drink and eat.

I have thought about simply putting a bottle in my back pocket... perhaps I should try that first. One bottle would probably get me the extra range I'm looking for, but I also put a pump, phone, and food in back and that might be a bit much to stuff in my pockets and not annoy the bajeebers out of me while riding. Maybe I just need to hire my own personal sag wagon ;-)
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Old 08-10-20, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by PoorInRichfield View Post
I'm planning a 75 mile ride that is on a rails-to-trails packed gravel trail. I've found that many of the rails-to-trails trails in my state offer beautiful scenery but the towns on those trails are often "dried-up" and one is lucky if there's a gas station, store, or restaurant in the town... often there is not. So rather than chance not being able to get water, I figure I ought to do the Boy Scout thing and be prepared.
I suppose that rail trails are a little different than roads, but I'm still having a hard time believing that you'd have to go very far out of your way, if at all, to find a refill some place in the middle-ish 20 miles of your trip. If you're really looking to buy a backpack, have at it, but that's not the only method of preparedness.

I'd go to Google maps, center on the middle-ish of your route and search for Gas Station. A number of locations will pop up, most with relatively current photos, hours of operation, etc. The other thing to consider is that, if you're not in the condition to rattle off a ride like that, a forced stop to refill and stretch the legs would probably be a good thing. This, to me, would be much preferable to spending money on something that might not see much use and might not be very comfortable while in use.
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Old 08-10-20, 10:01 AM
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If you need room for extra stuff, something like a Shimano Rokko 8. If you just want water, maybe an Unzen 2.

I have a right-in-the-middle Unzen 6 (non enduro.) It's excellent.
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Old 08-10-20, 10:02 AM
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On hot days here in TX, I carry an extra water bottle in my back jersey pocket.
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Old 08-10-20, 10:06 AM
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I sometimes go in the mountains where there are no sources for water and I have tried different methods of carrying water and to me, the easiest way is a 70 oz Camelbak. I use the 100 oz for the mountain bike and put other stuff in there but on the road a 70 works better and a 50 might be better for someone who doesn't like the feeling of a pack. It really doesn't bother me and when it gets empty it's very light.
I hate having a bottle in my jersey pocket, very uncomfortable and when it's empty you still have to carry it unless you use a disposable bottle.

I've also tried a handle bar bag with 2 bottles and that's a better option than the jersey pocket but I didn't like the weight on the bars and it takes away a bit of hand room.

The behind the seat cages are called "bottle launchers" for obvious reasons. I could never use them because they would interfere with me moving back behind the saddle.
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Old 08-10-20, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
I sometimes go in the mountains where there are no sources for water and I have tried different methods of carrying water and to me, the easiest way is a 70 oz Camelbak. I use the 100 oz for the mountain bike and put other stuff in there but on the road a 70 works better and a 50 might be better for someone who doesn't like the feeling of a pack. It really doesn't bother me and when it gets empty it's very light.
I hate having a bottle in my jersey pocket, very uncomfortable and when it's empty you still have to carry it unless you use a disposable bottle.

I've also tried a handle bar bag with 2 bottles and that's a better option than the jersey pocket but I didn't like the weight on the bars and it takes away a bit of hand room.

The behind the seat cages are called "bottle launchers" for obvious reasons. I could never use them because they would interfere with me moving back behind the saddle.
Many good points!

And now I'm wondering... Who says the bottle one sticks in one's jersey pocket has to actually be an uncomfortable bottle? Perhaps a different shaped container or even a bag might be better...

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Old 08-10-20, 10:30 AM
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I suppose a bag would be better when empty but I don't like the weight pulling the jersey down. A friend carries a disposable bottle in his pocket and when it's empty he crushes it and stuffs it under the saddle.
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Old 08-10-20, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by PoorInRichfield View Post
... and doesn't look like I'm going on a backpacking expedition in the Rocky Mountains.
If you were a backpacker in the Rockies, you'd be using a water filter or purifier, not carrying your water like a roadie. A Sawyer Mini fits in a jersey pocket and leaves room for other stuff in that pocket too. If your route goes by a creek or you can change it a little to do that, this is the right answer.
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