In the 10 years that I’ve been running on the dirt I have used various hydration packs. When I was packing for the Canyons 100 Mile Endurance Run I decided to use the Drankful Hydration Pack. Some may say that you shouldn’t do anything new on race day but this pack, during the few training days I used it on, was going to be used.
In the past, I’ve used the Salomon ADV Skin 12 pack as well as the Nathan Vapor Air Lite 4 Liter hydration pack. Both of those packs are very good but they have one distance difference from the Drankful Hydration Pack. That main difference is that the bladder in the Drankful pack sits in a horizontal position at the base of the back. The other packs I’ve used have a standard vertical bladder that sits on your spine.
During training runs as well as hikes the bladder sat comfortably on my back. This allowed the pack to ‘hug’ me which gave me comfort in knowing that nothing was slipping.
I was excited to take the pack on a 100 mile jaunt that would take me anywhere from 26 hour to 32 hours. This would be the ultimate test of the Drankful Hydration Pack.
Let’s see what this pack could do.
I’m going to break this review down into four categories: style, functionality, durability, and last words.
Drankful Hydration Pack Product Review
If you have used any hydration pack then you’ve probably seen how they are all very similar in style. The Drankful hydration pack, though, is different.
Since the bladders sits horizontally there is a pocket at the bottom of the pack that allows for easy access. Above the bladder pocket is another pocket for gear. This is a difference between most packs and the Drankful pack that is not noticeable from the outside but allows for great functionality.
On the front of the vest there are two deep pockets for soft flaks. Under those pockets are smaller pockets that can carry nutrition but are also deep enough to carry a phone.
If that wasn’t enough, there are two more pockets. These pockets are zippered which allows you to keep your most important items from falling out.
Lastly, there are two more pockets along the rib area. These are able to hold more nutrition or in my case recharging battery sticks.
This seems like a lot, and it is, but the design is excellent. Just by looking at the pack you will not see anything that makes you shake your head. What you do see is a solid black hydration pack with all the necessities.
With all these pockets you may think that the Drankful hydration pack might have ‘too’ much. Fortunately, for runners the functionality is exceptional.
I was able to get my flasks in and out of the pockets with ease. When I needed to get to the nutrition packages they were right there within reach.
Most importantly was the access as well as ease of filling up the bladder. Opening the zippered pocket was easy but so was detaching the bladder from the hose.
Like other bladders, you slide the closure clasp, fill up and then close. With a full bladder you may think it would be difficult to get back into the bladder pocket. As it turns out that was very simple. Connect the hose and lay the bladder into the pocket. You’re done and ready to run.
For those of you wondering how easy/hard it is to get the Drankful hydration pack set up, let me put your mind at ease. Rather, let Drankful put your mind at ease.
The company includes a business card with a QR code. That QR code takes you to a video that shows you how to weave the hose from the back pocket to the front and then up the shoulder to start use.
My one recommendation for Drankful would be to add a magnet to the shoulder strap. By placing a magnet there, the user can take the nozzle from their shoulder, take a drink then replace it without having to look at where the hose should go.
How long will the Drankful hydration pack last? That is a very good question but after putting it through its paces for 9+ hours the pack will last a long time.
The zippers are steady and strong while the clasps to secure the pack are solid. Plus, the package comes with extra straps/clasps should anything happen.
In conclusion, I am having a hard time coming up with a reason to run with any other hydration pack. The comfort of the horizontal bladder alone is reason enough but when you add in the storage components along with excellent construction there isn’t a reason to go to another pack.
I don’t typically ‘fall in love’ with products but I can say that this one has my attention and will for a very long time.