Hydrapak Hydration Bladders – Durable and Easy to Use Solutions for SUP

Hydrapak Shape-Shift

Hydrapak offers an extensive range of hydration systems regularly relied upon my major brands throughout the outdoor industry. Their hydration bladders come in a selection of sizes and configurations depending on the needs of consumers, ranging from 1L – 3L models. Each bladder is 100% BPA and PVC free, fully reversible for easy cleaning and drying, features a wide mouth top for quick filling, Plug-N-Play™ tube for easy removal and comes with a lifetime, No-Leak™ guarantee. Several of the models feature a center baffle which aids in maintaining a slim profile and prohibits liquids from sloshing, which contributes to an even weight distribution and enhanced stability.

In addition to their innovative hydration bladders, Hydrapak produces a unique range of flexible bottles suitable for any activity. Some bottles incorporate sport specific attachment points, while others, such as the STASH™, are fully collapsible and 50% lighter than a similar sized hard bottle. The light weight makes them an ideal travel bottle, while the soft, flexible exterior makes them better suited for attaching to a stand up paddleboard than a traditional hard bottle.

SUP Examiner’s Take

Hydration is an important component to any outdoor activity and Hydrapak’s range of hydration systems from collapsible bottles to their rugged hydration bladders are a fantastic fit for the stand up paddling community. Their hydration bladders are sold as ala carte items and easily fit into the backpack of your choice. I recently tested a 2L Shape-Shift™ model, so named for the incorporation of a center baffle. The wide mouth, top opening with the slider clamp is infinitely easier to fill than the screw capHydrapack Shape-Shifter Bladder variety produced by other brands, so much so I recommend never using a screw cap hydration bladder again – ever. The wide mouth also makes each Hydrapak hydration bladder fully reversible for cleaning and drying. No longer do you need to creatively rig homemade solutions to dry the inside of your hydration bladder – a problem too often encountered with other brands. Simply turn the bladder inside out like a sock and hang it up to dry.

Between backpacking and stand up paddling, I’ve gone through a lot of gear and have developed a good sense for recognizing when something is built to last compared to a product not designed to withstand the rigors of extensive use. Throughout my testing, the Hydrapak hydration bladder exceeded my expectations for durability and easy of use. The Plug-N-Play™ connection tube fits securely and does not leak when rotating to different angles or when compressed inside a pack. The length of the tube is just right and the Blaster™ Valve bite-valve is angled to make it easier to drink than models with a straight bite-valve. The drink tube features a magnetic attach point and accompanying magnetic clip which can be secured wherever is convenient depending on personal preference. I’ve used some drink tubes in the past with a magnet near the bite valve and they never seem to work well due to the weight distribution of the magnet and bite valve. The Hydrapak system mitigates this issue by placing the magnet on the tube itself in a manner that allows users to slide the magnet along the length of the tube for optimal positioning.

Unique to Hydrapak is the center baffle, which is available in the 2L and 3L models. The center baffle displaces liquid into two channels which in turn prevent sloshing and give the bladder a significantly slimmer profile than would be possible without the baffle. The center baffle is held together by a rugged ziplock that easily snaps together. When turning the bladder inside out for cleaning or drying, the center baffle quickly pulls apart allowing you to fully reverse the bladder. Reassembly is simple, just press the two sides together until they snap in place and voila, you are ready to go.

Hydrapak Stash BottleAlong with the 2L Shape-Shift™hydration bladder, I had the opportunity to test out one of Hydrapak’s 750ml STASH™ collapsible bottles. The STASH™ bottle is fully collapsible and can be filled with hot water up to 170℉ (77℃) or frozen. It has a flexible handle for carrying or attaching to your board or backpack and when it is empty, just give it a twist to collapse it down until you are ready to refill it. The STASH™ bottles are available in five different colors and two sizes, 1L and 750ml. The 1L versions come with a wide 63mm mouth (this fits most backcountry water filters) while the 750ml version I tested has a 42mm mouth. The STASH™ bottle is a perfect accessory to bring to stand up paddling events – particularly as many organizers are now banning single use plastic bottles from the event site.

Shape-Shift™ Reservoir 2L – MSRP $32.99

Stash™ 750ml – MSRP $17.99

About Hydrapak

In my opinion, making the statement “industry leader” is not merely a tagline at Hydrapak, they are truly accomplishing this goal. The company continues to innovate and seek out new solutions for how people drink, store and carry water making them the QuickBlade Paddles of the hydration industry. For additional details on the company’s range of hydration solutions, visit: hydrapak.com.




Matt Chebatoris
Matt is a former national security professional and lifelong adventurer. He has published material on a variety of topics in the foreign policy arena and created PaddleXaminer™ as a platform to share his enjoyment of paddling with others. When not on the water, Matt can be found hiking along rugged mountain trails in the California wilderness. Matt resides in Los Angeles and is a member of the Lanakila Outrigger Canoe Club in Redondo Beach, California.


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