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What Size of Camelback is Ideal for Mountain Biking?

A bag for mountain bike rear rack and a water bottle.

When it comes to mountain biking, there are a lot of different factors that can affect how comfortable and successful you are on the trails. One of those factors is the size of your camelback.

If you’re not familiar with camelbacks, they are essentially water packs that you wear on your back, and they can come in a variety of different sizes.

So, what size of camelback is ideal for mountain biking? Let’s find out more below.

What Size Camelback Is Good For Mountain Biking?

A woman participating on a mountain biking.

As with most things in mountain biking, the answer to this question is going to be “it depends.” It depends on a number of different factors, including how long you’ll be riding, how much water you need to drink, and what type of camelback you’re using.

That being said, there are a few general guidelines that you can follow when choosing a camelback for mountain biking.

Short Rides

If you’re going on a short ride, anywhere from 1-2 hours, you’ll want a small camelback. We recommend something that has a capacity of around 50 ounces, or 1.5 liters.

This will be enough to keep you hydrated without being too cumbersome or heavy.

Medium Rides

For rides that are a bit longer, from 2-4 hours, you’ll want a medium-sized camelback. Something with a capacity of around 70-80 ounces, or 2-2.5 liters, should be sufficient.

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Long Rides

If you intend to go on a longer excursion, 4 hours or more, you’re going to want a larger camelback. We recommend something with a capacity of around 100 ounces, or 3 liters.

This will help to ensure that you stay properly hydrated throughout your ride.

Other Factors To Consider

A cyclist drinking water beside his bike.

In addition to the duration of your ride, there are a few other factors that you’ll want to consider when choosing a camelback.

Temperature Outside

Make sure you check the temperature and be aware of possible fluctuations on a longer trip. If it’s going to be a hot day, you might want to consider bringing more water than usual.

When it is hot, the body sweats more and you will need to replenish those fluids.

On the other hand, if it’s going to be a cold day, you might want to consider bringing a smaller camelback. This is because you won’t be sweating as much and, therefore, won’t need to drink as much water.

Your Own Sweat Rate

We all sweat at different rates. Some of us sweat more than others. And, unfortunately, there’s no easy way to tell how much you sweat.

Type of Camelback

There are a few different types of camelbacks on the market, and each has its own set of pros and cons.

Some camelbacks will have a built-in water reservoir, while others will require you to fill up a separate water bladder.

Camelbacks can have a lot of compartments and pockets, while others will be more simple.

You’ll need to decide what type of camelback is right for you and your needs.

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Your Bike

A cyclist stopping and looking on the ocean.

The size and style of your bike can also affect the size of camelback you’ll want to use.

If you have a small bike, you might not be able to fit a large camelback. Likewise, if you have a big bike, you might be able to fit a larger camelback.

It’s important to take your bike into consideration when choosing a camelback.

The Terrain

The terrain you’ll be riding on can also affect the size of camelback you’ll want to use.

If you’re going to be riding on smooth, easy trails, you might not need as much water as someone who’s going to be riding on rough, technical trails.

Also, if you’re going to be riding in an area with a lot of water stops, you might not need to bring as much water with you.

However, if you’re going to be riding in an area with few or no water stops, you want to make sure you have enough water to last the entire ride.

Your Own Preferences

At the end of the day, you know your own body and preferences better than anyone else.

If you tend to drink a lot of water, you might want to consider bringing a larger camelback.

How To Find Water Stops on Trails

A man sitting on the ground holding his water bottle.

If you don’t drink a lot of water, you might be able to get away with a smaller camelback. As mentioned above, you can always fill your camelback up at designated water stops.

But how do you find those water stops?

There are a few different ways.

If you’re going to be riding on a popular trail, chances are there will be plenty of water stops.

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You can also ask around at your local bike shop or online in forums or on social media.

Another option is to buy a map of the trail you’ll be riding. These maps will usually have water stops marked on them.

No matter what method you use, make sure you take the time to find out where the water stops are before you head out on your ride.

How Much Water Should You Drink?

A person on his bike celebrating and holding a water bottle.

The amount of water you should drink while riding will depend on a few different factors, such as the temperature and your own sweat rate.

As a general rule of thumb, you should drink about 1 liter of water per hour.

However, if it’s hot outside, you might want to drink more than that.

Why Is It Called a Camelback?

The name camelback comes from the fact that these packs store water – just like the hump of a camel.

Camelbacks were first used by backpackers and hikers, but have since become popular among mountain bikers, road cyclists, and even runners.

Camelbacks Are Great For Mountain Biking

A man biking on a rough terrain and rocky mountain.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, camelbacks are a great way to stay hydrated on the trails.

Just make sure you choose the right size for you and your needs. And don’t forget to fill up at the water stops!