Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

These Are the Best Backpacks to Carry You During Runs

Ah, running, a sport as old as human history. What other activity harkens back to the time when we emerged from caves? That theme continues if you choose to get off of the road and into the wilderness. The beauty of reconnecting with nature is that it still only requires the right equipment: shoes, threads, and something to port your hydration and nutrition.

Buying the right backpack to carry your critical needs during long-distance runs can mean the difference between accomplishing long-term goals and quitting the sport altogether, so it’s important to do your research. Luckily, The Manual has collated all the needed info in one place for you, providing a review of the best runner’s backpacks to ease your transition into becoming a true dirt devil this running season.

CamelBak Octane 18L Hydration Pack

CamelBak Octane 18L Hydration Pack

Best for Long Distances
Jump to details
Solomon Adv Skin 5 Running Vest

Solomon Adv Skin 5 Running Vest

Best for Advanced Runners
Jump to details
Fitly Minimalist Running Pack

Fitly Minimalist Running Pack

Best for Light Loads
Jump to details
Osprey Duro 6 Running Hydration Vest

Osprey Duro 6 Running Hydration Vest

Best Build for the Environment
Jump to details
Vibrelli Hydration Pack & 2L Hydration Water Bladder - High Flow Bite Valve - Hydration Backpack with Storage - Lightweight Running Backpack, Also for Cycling, Hiking, Ski, Snow for Men, Women & Kids

Vibrelli Hydration Pack

Best for Budget Runners
Jump to details
Ultimate Direction Mountain Vest 5.0 Hydration Vest

Ultimate Direction Mountain Vest 4.0

Best for Alpine Climbs
Jump to details
Camelbak Octane 18 Hydration Pack.
Camelbak.

CamelBak Octane 18L Hydration Pack

Best for Long Distances

The newest version of CamelBak’s popular vest maxes out accessible storage and hydration with 70 ounces of available storage. This includes a 2-liter reservoir; organized compartments for snacks, gear, and other items; and the necessary hold for trekking poles, establishing this monster’s capacity for dual-use.

Sporting CamelBak’s signature mesh venting, this vest provides extra cushioning while encouraging your body to breathe, cutting down on overheating while carrying everything you need to train for extended runs like marathons. Small pockets keep your essentials safe and close by and an extra stretch overflow pocket is the perfect place to stash an extra layer in case the weather changes. There’s even allotted room for an extra bottle should you be heading out for the long haul.

CamelBak Octane 18L Hydration Pack

CamelBak Octane 18L Hydration Pack

Best for Long Distances
Salomon Adv Skin 5 Running Vest.
Salomon.

Solomon Adv Skin 5 Running Vest

Best for Advanced Runners

Need to get to your destination fast? Are you already a pro on the road? The Adv Skin running vest is the best for veterans. You’ll catch this vest on the back of many ultra-marathon pros and for a good reason.

The Adv Skin fits like a glove to avoid chafing while easily accessing essential accessories. Even the included flasks are aerodynamic. The sixth version of the vest also carries an updated closure system to combine with its Sensifit construction.

Solomon Adv Skin 5 Running Vest

Solomon Adv Skin 5 Running Vest

Best for Advanced Runners
Fitly Minimalist Running Pack.
Amazon.

Fitly Minimalist Running Pack

Best for Light Loads

The questions that new entrants to long distances are usually how to carry phone, keys, cards, and essentials on the road and how you’re going to hydrate. Well, Fitly is here with both answers for you.

The Minimalist Running Pack offers pockets, storage, and hydration with minimal movement or friction. Designed with running biomechanics in mind, the pack is designed to keep things from bouncing around on your back while giving easy access to essentials like water and gels.

The Minimalist is also manufactured using eco-friendly, water-resistant, and durable fabric to keep things green in several color options.

Fitly Minimalist Running Pack

Fitly Minimalist Running Pack

Best for Light Loads
Osprey Duro 6 Running Hydration Vest.
Osprey.

Osprey Duro 6 Running Hydration Vest

Best Build for the Environment

Duro 6 accommodates room for enough fuel and gear to get you there and back no matter how far "there" may be. The vest has ample space for long runs that require extra equipment, accessible storage for fuel or snacks, a Hydraulics LT 1.5 liter reservoir, soft flask compatibility, and claims bounce-free carry.

The best part of Osprey's Duro 6? Vest body fabrics are Bluesign approved and Global Recycle Standard-certified, the plastic's durable, water-resistant coating is PFC/PFAS-free, and added bottles and reservoirs are BPA-free.

Osprey Duro 6 Running Hydration Vest

Osprey Duro 6 Running Hydration Vest

Best Build for the Environment
Vibrelli Hydration Pack.
Amazon.

Vibrelli Hydration Pack

Best for Budget Runners

Running is a cheap sport, and there’s no need for aspiring runners to break the bank acquiring all high-end gear. If you’re on a budget (and hey, who’s not), the Vibrelli Hydration Pack is a solid option. This carry-all is a versatile pack for lower-intensity activities at an affordable price.

The hydration holder is lightweight and built to bring along all of your stuff in comfort. Multiple storage compartments sit in front of a two-liter bladder pocket to keep your hydration separate from storage. Breathable, mesh-sewn straps are made to exhale the body head while wicking sweat. The Vibrelli Hydration Pack even carries additional bungee straps to hold down bike helmets or supplemental jackets for inclement weather.

What you lose in the cost is high-quality materials and ease of access. Vibrelli’s Hydration Pack has no front pockets, so it’s not as easy to grab for your gear when needed.

Vibrelli Hydration Pack & 2L Hydration Water Bladder - High Flow Bite Valve - Hydration Backpack with Storage - Lightweight Running Backpack, Also for Cycling, Hiking, Ski, Snow for Men, Women & Kids

Vibrelli Hydration Pack

Best for Budget Runners
Ultimate Direction Mountain Vest 5.0 Hydration Vest.
Ultimate Direction.

Ultimate Direction Mountain Vest 4.0

Best for Alpine Climbs

The Ultimate Direction Mountain Vest 4.0 hydration wants to join the fun if your runs involve the mountains. This fat vest can store enough gear for summit runs and all-day adventures.

Lightweight and offering exceptional space, this vest sports 11 storage pockets — two bottle holsters, a front zippered pocket, a large zippered back storage compartment, and additional side pockets — all with easy access.

Ultimate Direction’s four-way stretch technical fabric moves with you, while the breathable mesh gives skin room to breathe to dodge chafing that can create uncomfortable adventures. You can ensure a comfortable glide and a custom fit with sliding front sternum and side compression straps. And a redesigned trekking pole holder minimizes bounce and snaps out of the way when you’re not using it to ascend great altitudes.

Ultimate Direction Mountain Vest 5.0 Hydration Vest

Ultimate Direction Mountain Vest 4.0

Best for Alpine Climbs

Remember, running doesn't have to break the bank, but you want to stay safe. This means keeping hydrated, staying salinated, and protecting your essentials. Whether you're just beginning to hit the trails or a seasoned salty dog, running vests help to check all of those boxes. Make sure to choose the best vest for you because these can help you stick to the dirt for years.

Editors' Recommendations