Kids will generally drink more regularly during activity than adults. Mainly because adults don’t drink enough. Let’s consider how kids can carry their own water when on the bike.

Supporting you and your family to SMILE when you ride.

What are my options for kids carrying their own water?

You basically have 2 options for carrying water. You are either carrying it on the bike or the rider will carry it. Let’s looks at both of these options and understand what is the best option for your kids… or will you at times need to use a combination of the two?

The Rider Carrying the Water

Hydration Pack

The positives

  • Bladders & drinking tubes are easier to drink from – so you drink more often in little sips which suits kids really well
  • Can drink while they are riding
  • Drinking spout/sipper less likely to pick up dirt
  • Provides the ability to carry more capacity (1.5L of water), more water compared to a drink bottle
  • The hydration pack allows you to carry additional items other than just water
  • Great for longer rides, big distances between water source

The negatives

  • Harder to clean so less likely to clean as often
  • It is a much more expensive option
  • Takes a little longer to get ready, filling your reservoir and placing in your pack

Hip Pack

The positives

  • Bladder & drinking tubes in hip packs provide them with an easy to drink from option
  • Water bottle hip packs are well balanced so it’s a good place to carry water on your body
  • Good introduction to carrying water up to 1.5L &/or gear
  • Keeps weight off their backs and puts weight across their hips which will be comfortable over distance and time

The negatives

  • Designed for adults so only suits older kids/teenagers
  • More expensive option
  • Water bottle option is 550ml… will this be enough water?
Kids endurance goUnders

Carrying water on the bike using a hydration backpack with bladder.

Other things to consider…

  1. What is the reservoir made of?
  2. Can your child comfortably carry that weight on their back or hips? Especially if there are additional items in the pack.
  3. There are hydration packs specifically designed for kids. Youth should consider an adult sized hydration pack or a hip pack to meet their water needs while riding.  
  4. Providing easy continuous access to water with a bladder is a great way to keep kids riding and moving on their bikes. If they have to stop and drink you may be surprised how often they want to do this.
  5. Having a hydration backpack or hip pack can make it feel like a real adventure.

Water carried on the bike

Drink bottle & cage

The positives

  • Weight is on the bike and not on them
  • Easier to clean than a bladder so therefore it is likely that you will clean more regularly
  • A cheaper option (many of us have a drink bottle already)

The negatives

  • Smaller kids bike frames will generally not fit a drink bottle cage and drink bottle. Usually able to fit 24 inch frames and above.  Mountain bike frames sometimes have very limited space. A good way to check before you buy is pop your chosen drink bottle into the frame where the cage will be screwed and consider whether it will fit 
  • More limited in the quantity of water you will be able to carry
  • They will need to stop for a drink.  If they are drinking regularly as kids do it can feel like you are stopping a lot for water
  • The drinking nozzle can get dirty/dusty if it is exposed
  • You may need to remember to take your bottle off your bike and carry it with you if you stop and leave your bike unattended

Other things to consider…

  1. Drink bottle cages screw directly into the mount provided on most bike frames – therefore there is limited flexibility of where it can be mounted on the bike.
  2. There are many different styles and sizes of drink bottles. What do you want the drink bottle to be made of?  What size do you need to carry the water you require? Will the drink bottle fit?
  3. There are many different styles and sizes of drink cages so it is important to understand if the cage will fit and hold the bottle stable.

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