Bladder or Bottle? How do you carry your water on the trail?

With so many current Lowepro bags featuring hydration-ready pockets, have you considered using a reservoir instead of a water bottle when on the trail? Each has their advantages. But here’s the way it often works out for me.

Hydration Options

  • For longer hikes, I typically pack the CamelBak UnBottle Insulated Reservoir (100 fl. oz.) because it provides me with enough H2O for two days of exploring. I enjoy the convenience of having water available without having to do anything more than bite on the mouthpiece that’s looped through my shoulder strap. This is a fairly big hydration unit, so I use it with overnight packs such as the Rover Pro.
  • On overnight trips, I may carry an additional water bottle that I use for meals. By dividing my drinking water from my cooking water, I can better manage my assets on the trail.
  • If I’m sharing water with others during a day hike, a squeeze water bottle is often a simpler way to go.

For day hikes, I use the Flipside Sport 15L AW and the Photo Sport 200 AW. Longer trips require more storage, such as with the Rover Pro 45L AW. All of these are hydration ready.

So what do you prefer? Bladder, bottle, or both? And if so, what types do you use in your Lowepro bags?

Derrick Story is the Photography Evangelist for Lowepro.


About Derrick

Derrick Story is a professional photographer, writer, teacher and photography evangelist for Lowepro. He has authored several digital media books, including his latest, The Photoshop CS4 Companion for Photographers and The Digital Photography Companion (O'Reilly Media, publisher). Derrick is a Senior Contributor for Macworld magazine where he writes a digital photography column, and he's a regular presenter on the popular training site, Online, Derrick has formed a virtual camera club called The Digital Story ( that's open to all photography enthusiasts. The site features weekly podcasts, daily posts, training videos, and reader-submitted photos. You can reach Derrick at

One Comment

  • Mike says:

    I’m buying the pro trekker 400 AW. I understand that a 70 oz bladder fits, but there seem to be many shapes that 70 oz bladers are sold. Do you have recommended dimensions or even product names that you know to fit? Thanks!

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