If you’re new to the concept of liquid fueling, you might be wondering what hydration system you should use on a run, ride, hike, etc. 

There are a lot of options out there and knowing what to use and when to use it can be overwhelming! Lucky for you, we created this guide to help you choose a hydration system that works best for you.

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Pros:

  • Great for road cycling, mountain biking, hiking with a pack, or an indoor/stationary workout.
  • A standard 24 oz bike bottle holds an hours worth of Endurance Fuel, which makes calculations easy!
  • This is one of the most affordable options.
  • The wide mouth makes filling Endurance Fuel or Rebuild Recovery a breeze!

Cons: 

  • You need a bottle cage on your bike to use these on an outdoor ride.

Our recommendation: Our awesome Tailwind bottles of course!

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Pros:

  • Primarily for running, but could also be used for hiking as well.
  • Some options come with a hand strap for ease of carrying and small pockets for storage.
  • Soft flasks are another inexpensive option.

Cons: 

  • The smaller mouth requires more care when adding Endurance Fuel and water (but a funnel can easily solve this problem).
  • Soft flasks generally have smaller carrying capacities, so are best suited for short runs or races with frequent aid stations.

Our recommendation: Tailwind Hydrapak UltraFlask

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Pros: 

  • Perfectly suited for the concentrate method when carrying capacity is limited or you want to eliminate having to re-mix your fuel.
  • Best suited for road running/racing with frequent aid stations to supplement plain water.
  • The small size makes them easy to stow/pack!

Cons: 

  • These would not work for carrying Endurance Fuel mixed at the traditional strength.

Our recommendation: Hydrapak 150mL Softflask

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Pros: 

  • Whether you use a bladder and hose or soft flasks, this system is best suited for longer runs, mountain bike rides, or hikes.
  • Larger  carrying capacity allows you to travel long distances unsupported or race with spaced out aid stations.
  • Extra space to pack all sorts of goodies (layers, phone, clean socks, sunscreen, etc.)
  • These total pack carrying capacities can range from 1 L to upwards of 15 L. Plenty of options to choose what is best for you!

Cons: 

  • Wearing something on your back means you’ll be moving slower and sweating more.
  • These aren’t cheap; a good race vest is definitely an investment, but spend the money to get one that fits you well and doesn’t bounce or chafe.

Our recommendation: Nathan’s VaporMag 2.5 L, named after our very own Maggie Guterl!

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Pros: 

  • Specific to running, the waist belt keeps your hands free and still allows you to stash a phone and other small items.
  • Pair with a soft flask or small handheld.
  • Cheaper than a vest, but still allows you to carry some items.

Cons: 

  • More prone to bouncing and moving than a vest.
  • Again, sweating will always be a consideration if you are wearing something on your body.

Our recommendation: Naked Running Band

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Pros:

  • The classic burly bottle, unbreakable wide mouth bottles are best suited for intervals, track workouts, indoor workouts, or hiking.
  • One bottle usually holds 32oz – i.e. about an hour and a half of Endurance Fuel!
  • Cheap, durable and utilitarian; these bottles can get beat up and kicked around.
  • Half a 32oz bottle is perfect for a serving of Rebuild Recovery.

Cons: 

  • Usually too large and bulky to carry on a run or ride.

Our suggestion: Hundreds of Nalgene bottles to choose from, including customizable options!

We’re Your Support Crew

Don’t forget to wash and clean your bottles after every use. 

Do you have a question or brilliant suggestion to add to this post? Please drop a note in the comments or reach out to us at supportcrew@tailwindnutrition.com