How to bring water on a run

Michael Balle Hansen by Michael Balle Hansen

A lot of runners don’t have good plans for bringing water. We spend lots of money on good shoes and clothing yet often forget about hydration. In this short article we’ll cover a few ways to bring water so that you can pick the best option for your unique needs.


Handheld flasks/bottles

This is an easy way to just bring a little water if you don’t need much. 



  • You don’t have the extra hand to use for balance or to grip branches and whatnot.
  • They do not hold much water.
  • Your shoulders can get tired.



  • You don’t have to grip the bottle since the straps does most of the work.
  • Its pretty easy to refill compared to a camel pack.
  • Some flasks can be folded up when empty and you can then just put it in your pocket.


Waist Packs and Belts

These are packs that sit located on your waist making the weight very negligible as the weight is distributed evenly.



  • More pricey than flasks.
  • If poorly designed they can bounce around a lot.
  • It can be difficult reaching water sometimes.



  • Allows for more water.
  • Often has extra pockets for keys, cell phone, gels and such
  • You don’t have to hold the water as you would with a flask or bottle.



These are great for long runs since you can bring far more in them.



  • You can get skin rashes if it rubs your skin on long runs.
  • On a hot day it can cause you to sweat a lot more since they cover most your back.
  • The reservoirs can be tedious to clean.



  • A lot of space for everything you’ll need.
  • You can carry far more water this way. Some will have a reservoir in the back. Some will have room for bottles on the front and some will have both. Lots of options.


A few tips

I personally prefer to have a vest with 2 soft bottles in the front. If its a long run it’ll allow you to have one with water and the other with a sports drink. If its a short run water in both is perfectly fine. 

The added benefit to these bottle is that you can drink from them while running and you’ll know your water availability. You don’t want to run out of water or come back severely dehydrated and then realizing you had tons of water available. This happened to me many times with a traditional hydration pack.


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