How to Carry Water While Skiing?(Ski Hydration Packs Vs Ski Water Bottles)


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It’s no secret that hydrating your body to keep it optimally functional is a necessity, especially when you’re indulging in strenuous activities like skiing.

However, many skiers are wary of carrying extra weight to the top of the slopes. After all, the last thing you’d want is to keep your hands occupied with water bottles and not the ski poles!

How to carry water while skiing? Portable hydration systems like ski water bottles and ski hydration packs are there to your rescue. Now, the question is, how do you choose the best one? That’s why we are here with this extensive guide on ski water bottles vs ski hydration packs. 

Can You Eat Snow When Thirsty While Skiing?

Eating snow while skiing seems like the easiest way to achieve your hydration goals, as it saves you from the hassle of carrying water and encountering any potential leakages.

However, we’d strongly recommend against this practice. This is because the snowflakes in your natural surroundings are exposed to dirt, pollutants, and even harmful bacteria, making them toxic for consumption. 

Likewise, if you’re in a ski resort, then the snow is likely to be full of wax residues from skiing equipment, diesel from snow lifts, etc. So, it’s always advisable to keep an adequate amount of drinkable water when you go skiing, which takes us to our next section.

How to Carry Water while Skiing?

The best way to stay hydrated on the slopes is by drinking water before, during, and after taking breaks at the slopes. However, this can be difficult when you cannot access a drinking fountain or the only water available to drink is bottled in plastic.

Well, luckily for us, this is easier than you would think because most skiers these days carry water around with them either through a ski hydration pack or a collapsible water bottle.

While they are both portable and convenient, there are still some pros and cons you should consider before you move ahead.

Ski Hydration Packs Vs Ski Collapsible Water Bottles

Quick summary:

ModelProsConsBest For
Ski Hydration Packs– Carry more water
– More convenience
– Hose will freeze
– Heavier
– Hard to clean and refill
– It may leak
– Mess up your stance
– Hard to tell how much water is left
– Backcountry skiing
-No drinking fountains
Soft Water Bottles– Easier to fill
– Easier to clean
– Lighter & cheaper
– More durable
– Easy to know how much water is left
– Carry less water– Family skiing

A ski hydration pack (or ski backpack with hydration system) is a portable hydration system that’s designed like a backpack or waist pack so that users can wear it on their backs or tie it around their waist.

The main feature of a ski hydration pack is its water reservoir or “water bladder,” which is usually made of flexible plastic material or rubber. This reservoir ends in a capped-mouth-like structure that serves as the opening to fill water. And there’s a hose that enables you to drink hands-free. 

Moreover, some hoses are equipped with a valve that facilitates the flow of water when users bite on them. In such a design, you can be drinking water without stopping and opening your backpack while skiing. However, make sure you buy a quality ski hydration bladder that comes with an insulated hose to avoid hose freezes when it’s colder than 0 degrees F. 

Hydration packs typically hold more water than bottles. The capacity of the pack depends on the size of this bladder. While some bladders are small and compact to keep the overall weight low, others may have bigger reservoirs, more suitable for long skiing trips. And the average size of the reservoir generally varies between 50 and 100 oz. 

However, the combined weight of the backpack (including the material and the straps) and the water-filled reservoir can hamper mobility, especially for novice skiers. Not only that but storing the empty packs also pose a problem for some users. 

On the other hand, soft collapsible bottles are more suitable for skiers who want a more compact and portable hydration system. Since a majority of these bottles come with a capacity ranging from 20 to 40 oz., you can carry quite a lot of water without the added trouble of wearing an extensive backpack. 

Two Type Of Ski Water Bottles

Hard Water Bottles With Loops And Clips

One of the most common ways skiers use to carry water to the slopes is by using hard water bottles with loops and clips. Now, you can choose any size and material, but make sure that the bottle is sturdy, leak-proof, yet lightweight so that carrying your water supply adds minimally to the weight of the gears. 

Similarly, the loops and clips should be durable enough to carry the weight of the water without breaking off when you’re in action. Even if you don’t have a bottle with an integrated loop and clip, you can easily use an existing one by purchasing separate hook attachments that are compatible with it.

Collapsible Water Bottles 

Although collapsible bottles are a fairly new way of carrying water while skiing, they have quickly become popular due to their convenient design and ease of use. 

Users can simply fill them up to their desired level and roll them while drinking. These bottles are ideal for times when you need less water but don’t have the space to carry a full-sized bottle. And once you finish drinking, they can be squashed completely to form a flat disc-like structure. Hence, storing them in compact spaces won’t be an issue.

Some collapsible bottles also come with hooks and loops, meaning you can attach them to your gear bag, pants, or jacket, especially while skiing. If you plan to get one, we’d suggest opting for a design that’s easy to grip with your skiing gloves or mittens on.

Best Water Bottle For Skiing

Hydrapak Stow – Collapsible Water Bottle

Photo: Hydrapak Stow

Hydrapak, albeit a new brand, has already impressed its customers with its line of products. And what we liked the most about this collapsible bottle is its lightweight design, which weighs almost 80% less than traditional hard bottles. Made from BPA, PVC-free plastic, and reinforced with anti-abrasion seams, it’s compatible with most 28mm threaded water filters to provide you with clean drinking water on the go. 

Plus, it has a unique flat shape that prevents it from rolling around in your backpack. And once empty, it rolls up completely for easy storage. Moreover, its flip-top cap opens conveniently and keeps the self-sealing silicone nozzle safe from dirt and debris. While we opted for the 500ml sports cap model, you can choose between the normal style, 500ml (17oz.) twist cap, and 1-liter (32oz.) sport cap variants available in different colors.

The combination of durability and functionality makes this product worth considering. Besides, a small valve prevents air from going inside the bottle when the nozzle is open for drinking. But in case of any manufacturing defects, the brand repairs or replaces the bottle for free. Whether it’s full or empty, users won’t have a hard time accommodating it into their backpacks, which is why it has earned several positive reviews from skiers and hikers alike. 

HYDAWAY Collapsible Water Bottle


Hydaway is an environmentally-conscious brand that aims to reduce single-plastic use with its portable hydration products like this collapsible water bottle. Since 2015, it has prevented about 1,100 metric tons of plastic waste from going into landfills and oceans. Moreover, it uses food-grade, phthalate-free materials, thereby preventing the water from becoming toxic if stored for long inside the bottle.

Interestingly, this unit has been nicknamed the “most collapsible bottle” on the planet, as it collapses to a mere 1.5-inch disc for convenient portability. Likewise, it has 17oz.(500 ml) capacity when fully filled and fits into most cup holders. Furthermore, its hexagonal structure makes for an ergonomic grip, even if you have thick gloves on. And although there are no size variants on offer, users can choose from 6 vibrant colors. 

Finished off with a wide mouth opening for hand washing, this premium bottle is the perfect bet for people who want a versatile hydration system that’s easy to carry. Its maintenance won’t trouble you either, as you can drop it in the dishwasher when not in use for a thorough cleaning. And lastly, it’s backed by a 1-year warranty.

Platypus Soft Bottle Collapsible Water Bottle

Photo: Platypus

Before we move on to hydration packs, here’s another noteworthy collapsible water bottle from the house of Platypus, which has been manufacturing portable hydration systems for over two decades now. In fact, it owns a certified water laboratory for testing and developing new technologies that enable its products to be safe and effective.

Made from durable, lightweight, and non-toxic plastic, it’s available in three capacity variations, viz., 0.75-liter, 1-liter, and 2-liter, and comes in different colors. We also liked the wide mouth design, which facilitates easy filling. Moreover, it’s protected by a sturdy locking cap that doesn’t flip open or twist, thereby preventing leaks.

We’d say go for this option if you’re on the hunt for a rollable design that can also be frozen. Besides, it has a carry handle with a built-in gate clip so that you can attach it to your gear bag or clothes- a feature that has been much appreciated by users. 

Best Hydration Packs For Skiing And Snowboarding

CamelBak Zoid Ski Hydration Pack

Photo: CamelBak

Designed for being more than just a hydration pack, the CamelBak Zoid has a low-profile structure that’s convenient to wear during those long cross country skiing trips. At its heart lies the brand’s famous crux reservoir, which delivers up to 20% more water with each slip. Besides, it has an ergonomic handle for effortless refilling and a leak-preventing lever.

Not only that, but it’s also protected by a dedicated “therminator” harness that keeps the water from freezing in low temperatures. Similarly, the lint-free straps have insulated sleeves that shield the drinking tube from cold or other elements, thereby allowing free water flow. There’s also an essential pocket with a secure clip that helps you store your phones, wallet, keys, and other belongings. 

So, if versatility is on your mind and you don’t want to break the bank, then this product is worth investing in. 

InnerFit Insulated Hydration Backpack

Photo: InnerFit

This InnerFit insulated hydration backpack is a stand apart from most of its peers due to its durable water reservoir that stays leak-free even after prolonged use. It’s made from taste and BPA-free plastic that prevents condensation, meaning wearing it won’t leave your back feeling wet. Plus, it has a soft mouth-piece that facilitates smooth water flow to quench your thirst without any delay.

Coming to its wearability, the mesh pad design effectively alleviates the pressure off your back. And thanks to the trio of adjustable straps, it’s possible to customize the fit according to your convenience. On top of that, there are six zip-equipped pockets and two side mesh pockets to make room for all your accessories. 

Overall, this product is an excellent gift for both pro and novice skiers, which is evident from the rave reviews. 

Osprey Kamber Ski Backpack

Photo: Osprey

Operational since the mid-1970s, Osprey has manufactured products that have been strictly scrutinized for quality and functionality. And this hydration backpack is no exception. With a 16-liter capacity, it stores everything from your water, lunch to clothes and more. Long story short, it’s a great fit for people who want something spacious but with a low-profile design.

While the insulated internal sleeve keeps the water reservoir safe, the extra-large front access panel makes for the hassle-free organization of larger items. Furthermore, all the strap adjustment buckles and zips have a glove-friendly design for smooth opening and closing. The wear points are also reinforced with durable stitching to protect the backpack from metal abrasion.

It’s backed by a lot of positive reviews, making it a go-to for skiers who don’t have a budget constraint per se. Many users have highly appreciated the brand’s attention to detail in the form of a dedicated scratch-resistant goggles pocket and the ski and snowboard attachments that remain hidden when not required. 

Final Thoughts

That concludes our guide for today.

If you ask us, the decision of choosing between a water bottle and hydration pack depends on your personal preference. While collapsible bottles are arguably the best form of portable hydration, hydration packs can help you carry a lot more close to your body.

But no matter what you pick, always make sure that it’s made from high-quality materials to remain leak-proof and stand the test of varying temperatures. Similarly, it should have the right capacity so you don’t have to take frequent refilling breaks.

And if you’re confused about how much water to carry, then here’s a pro tip: consider 67% of your weight and drink that number (in ounces). If you consume caffeine or alcohol, then try to maintain a 1:1 ratio between such drinks to water.

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Matt Scofield
Matt Scofield

Hi! I’m Matt, an adventure freak who lives and breathes the great outdoors. Spending time under the open sky always appealed to me, even as a kid. Perhaps that’s why I liked camping with my dad so much. The days spent hiking and the nights around the campfire are times I’ll cherish forever.

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