Hydration Packs for Walking Women

For longer walks, you will need to carry more water and more gear. I find I drink more often if I use a hydration pack with a sipper tube. I am in mourning that Camelbak has discontinued my favorite one, the Pixie. It was the perfect size for a walk of two hours and fit a women's shorter frame. While mine has a lifetime guarantee, what will you buy once they are all gone? I feel like Goldilocks when shopping for a new hydration pack: this one is too big, this one is too small, this one is too complicated. Sigh...the Pixie was just right! The following are designed for women or children.

Camelbak Scout

Camelbak Scout on Camino de Santiago
Camelbak Scout on Camino de Santiago. Wendy Bumgardner ©

The pack I found that is most similar to the Pixie is the Camelbak Scout 50 ounce version. While it is designed for children, it works well for women who have a short torso. Like the Pixie, it has a larger main compartment and a smaller outer organizer compartment. It also has two outer mesh pockets, which you can use for items you want to get to quickly, including water bottles if you prefer them to using the hydration bladder. The 1.5 liter/50 ounce hydration bladder is a little larger than Pixie's. It has a sternum strap that includes a safety whistle. I wore this as my day pack walking the Camino de Santiago (with bag transport).

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Camelbak Marathoner Vest

Camelbak Marathoner Race Vest. © Camelbak

I normally wouldn't pick this race vest design, preferring a backpack. But I tried it and was extremely pleased. The length was perfect for my short torso. Even though it has a large 70-ounce water bladder, all of the weight is carried above my hips. Plus, the water bladder is designed to be low-profile, so I can wear this under a rain jacket (necessary in my neck of the woods!) It has five pockets for carrying capacity and bungee cords for attaching your jacket after you warm up or the rain stops. The drawback is style -- I am less likely to wear this around town when I'm not on a dedicated training walk.

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High Sierra Women's Propel 70

High Sierra Women's Propel 70
High Sierra Women's Propel 70. Courtesy of Pricegrabber

This lightweight hydration pack has a women-specific design. It has a 2-liter hydration bladder and the water tube is insulated. It has a larger zip storage compartment and a mesh sport flap where you can tuck a bike helmet or stash other items. It also has a waist belt for better stability.

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Camelbak Arete

Camelbak Arete 18
Camelbak Arete 18. Courtesy of Pricegrabber

This minimalist pack is very lightweight and packable, weighing only 10 ounces. In fact, it reverses to become a hydration sleeve you can use inside a larger backpack. It has a 70-ounce (2 liter) Antidote hydration system. The total capacity is 14L (854 cu in). I like the zippered storage in the top sleeve. Then it has a drawstring opening into the large storage compartment. You also get two side mesh pockets. The torso length is 13 inches, which is just right for it to fit my short torso. The straps are wide and soft and it has a sternum strap but no hip strap. I bought this as a pack to use for my "Camino the Easy Way," but I ultimately decided to use the Scout instead. It has plenty of space to shed layers. I use it on my errand walks as it has plenty of room to bring home groceries from the store.

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Camelbak Magic

Camelbak Magic Hydration Pack
Camelbak Magic Hydration Pack. Courtesy of Amazon

The Camelbak Magic has a bigger hydration bladder than I generally need -- 70 ounces. That makes it good for a long walk, where you won't be able to refill your hydration bladder. Camelbak is now making its reservoirs external-fill, so you don't have to remove the hydration bladder to fill it and then try to stuff it back into its pocket. But you can also get your whole pack wet when refilling from a water fountain. The Magic has a top organizer pocket with a cord port, perfect for you iPod, cell phone, keys, and money. It also has a two-compartment zippered outer pocket, but these zip and unzip vertically; this makes me worry I'll be spilling stuff onto the ground. A large stash pocket is useful for hat, gloves. and so on.

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Camelbak Cloud Walker

Camelbak Cloud Walker

The only thing wrong with this pack is that it is huge. It's great if you are going for a long day hike and need to remove or add layers of clothing or carry your lunch, but it's overkill for a 1- to 2-hour fitness walk. I bought one a couple of years ago, and it sits unused in my closet. The Cloud Walker holds 2 liters of water in its hydration bladder. The waist strap and sternum strap are removable. Large- and- small-zippered cargo compartments let you carry most anything you want along or latch items to the pack with the built-in bungee cord.

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Camelbak FlashFlo Waist Pack

Camelbak Flash Flo
Photo Courtesy of PriceGrabber

The Flashflo is a waistpack rather than a backpack. It carries 45 ounces of water -- as much as in two large water bottles. You sip the water through a tube that hooks to the waistbelt. The small cargo pocket holds your keys, ID, and an energy bar -- but not much else. It has reflective stripes. Like the Cloud Walker, I bought one a few years ago, and it sits unused. The advantage of a sucker tube is for it to be right there on your shoulder, and I never could figure out how to position it from a waistpack.

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