girl wearing water buffalo backpack reviews

Water Buffalo Hydration Pack Review

Do you want to know if the Water Buffalo hydration pack is right for you. If so then you have come to the right place. This Water Buffalo backpack review has taken us many hours to research so you don’t have to. We will cover the features and the benefits, as well as real customer experiences using this back pack both positive and poor. Take a look below.

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Water Buffalo Hydration Pack Reviews

This particular pack is called the road Runner because it was designed for the endurance athlete. If you are a mountain bike, hiker, runner, or you like to go to music festivals then keep reading.

These activities require lots of cool water, and this is what you will get. This backpack keeps water cool for up to 5 hours. It is able to hold 5 liters of liquid or 70 oz. The bladder is BPA free so there are no harmful chemicals in your drink.

For your comfort the shoulder straps and chest straps are ventilated so as to allow air to flow through the straps keeping you cooler and more comfortable. This will enable you to perform your activities with your pack longer.

For safety the backpack has luminescent reflective strips. These strips illuminate and help to make you more visible after the sun goes down. Other mountain bikers, hikers, and drivers will be able to see you more easily preventing any accidents.

The Water Buffalo backpack is lightweight and has a sleek profile. After you have been wearing it you won’t even notice that it is on your back. It is lightweight because it is made of rip stop nylon which is not heavy and it is splash proof.

You can get a drink very easily because the Road Runner has on the go access to your water. The Oasis hydration hose keeps water in and contaminants out. There is a quick connect port and shut-off valve to prevent leaks.

When you want a sip of water just use the push-pull mouthpiece connected to the hose. There is a shoulder clip you can fasten the hose to so it is in the perfect position whenever you need a drink. A dust cover keeps the bite valve clear and clean of any dirt, grit, and bacteria.

You can store everything you need in this pack by using the main compartment, inner sleeve, exterior pocket, and bungee. The main pocket is for the 2 liter bladder, and the inner sleeve can hold smaller items.

The exterior pocket can hold a light jacket, sun screen, energy bars, maps or whatever you want. The exterior bungee straps are good for attachments and or exterior storage. There are also gear pockets for your keys, wallet, or phone.

Mountain bikers will like that the ripstop nylon is splash proof. It will keep your gear dry and protected from rain, mud splashes, and wet terrain and trails. Also when riding the chest straps provide optimal weight distribution and control.

Water Buffalo Hydration Pack Road Runner Tips

1. To get a drink just twist the orange part of the mouthpiece counter-clockwise to open the valve. Then bite down on the blue nozzle and suck the water like a straw.

2. Be sure that the chest strap was not put on backwards. Otherwise when you tighten the chest strap it will slip and not stay in place.

3. This pack is capable of fitting children of various ages such as 8, 9, 10, 12, and 14 year olds.

4. I have found 2 ways people like to dry out the water bladder. First empty the bladder and hose and then put them in a freezer. When you take it out of the freezer and fill it up again the small bit of frozen water will thaw.

The next way is to separate the bladder from the backpack. Then open the bladder and hang it upside down until all the water has evaporated.

5. This pack is designed to carry a 2 liter bladder. There is not enough room for a 2.5 or 3 liter bladder.

6. If you have trouble getting water make sure to pull out the rubber tip to increase the flow. Bite down on the end you are drinking out of as you are drinking.

7. You can drink water from the bladder no matter how full or empty it is. The bladder does not need to be full in order to drink water from it.

8. To add water to your dog’s water bowl just twist the mouthpiece and pour the water into the dog bowl.

9. To clean the drinking tube put it in a pot of boiling water. You can also put it in the freezer after you wash it to kill more germs.

10. Most people put water in the bladder but you can also put other drinks in the bladder. Putting other drinks in the bladder may cause those drinks to be absorbed into the reservoir. Then when you put water back in it may taste like the previous drink.

11. To keep the water in the bladder cold longer put the bladder into an insulation sleeve. Putting ice cube into the bladder also helps.

12. Even though the Road Runner does not have a waist strap, if you adjust the shoulder strap and the chest strap so it is tight then the pack will not bounce when you tun.

13. When running in a Spartan race it is better to keep any electronics in a plastic bag. This pack is water resistant but it is not water proof. The backpack can handle being under water but on for a few seconds.

14. To keep the water cold longer. Freeze the bladder. But only freeze the bladder when it is half full. Make sure to lay down the bladder flat so it has room to expand as it freezes.

15. To clean the tube detach it from the reservoir and use vinegar or baking soda with water to clean it out. If this mixture does not go through the tube use a long pipe cleaner to push out any blockage.

16. There is one main zippered pocket for the bladder. In the front there is one velcro pocket. Within the main compartment there is a flap pocket, this is similar to a laptop holder.

girl wearing water buffalo backpack reviews

Reviews of Positive Experiences with the Water Buffalo Backpack


The person uses the pack in Colorado to go snowboarding. He said he fell many times on his back and the water bladder stayed in position and continued to work well. He was happy with storage, it was convenient for his sunglasses, snacks, and gloves.

Mountain biking

This rider bought this pack for mountain biking in Arizona. He said his main concern was finding a backpack that was easy to use and comfortable for his 20 mile mtb ride. He found the nozzle was simple to drink from and lock while riding.

This saved him lots of time as he did not have to stop to work the bladder. He liked the performance and functionality of the Road Runner. He explained that he added ice cube to the bladder and his water stayed cool throughout the entire ride.


This runner explained that he had an issue with the pack and customer service fixed it almost immediately. He explained that they went out of their way to make things better. So he thought customer service for the product is great.

He found the pack very comfortable and the straps adjusted very well. He is able to safely store everything he needs without the pack bouncing around. He says it hold enough water for his entire run and the lock features are super. He also is happy with the design.

Multiple activities

This woman love the Water Buffalo Road Runner and uses it to go camping, marathon training, and biking. She says it is very easy to fill up the bladder. The pockets are very good for her phones, keys, and clothing.

She uses the pack 4 to 5 times per week. The pack is durable for her and can handle many different weather conditions very well. Getting a drink from it is quick and simple and the water stayed cool for a long time.

12 year old son

The Mom got this pack for her 12 year old boy. She says the bladder carries enough water for her son to drink for a couple of hours. The boy uses it to go camping and do light hiking. Along with the bladder there is room to carry snacks and a few other items.

She explains that the straps are adjustable enough to fit her husband who is 6 foot 1 inch and 200 pounds. So he can use it whenever he needs to. She also explains that this pack is a good option if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a backpack.


This guy is an outdoor educator and uses the pack for hiking and festivals. He likes the removable tube on both ends because it makes cleaning easier and more efficient. He says he especially likes to use the storage compartments. They are very handy.

He uses the space in front of the inner bladder to put his wallet and keys. Plus he can also fit a compact poncho and emergency blanket. His snack bars and first aid kit go in the velcro pocket. Lastly he uses the bungee to attach his compact microfiber towel.

Loves the hose

This guy says the pack is super looking and comfortable. But he loves the hose most. This is because he always had trouble with the hose of his Camelbak. He says make sure the hose is tight. He did not know this hose disconnects.

He likes the pockets and the straps adjust very well for him. The length and chest are what he needed to customize. He gave one tip. If you register your pack you will get a big water bottle for free from the Water Buffalo company.

Good storage

This woman says the pack is very good for the price. She bought this because it has a bigger bladder. When hiking she is able to bring her purse, mask, car keys, and fit in a shallow bowl and a skinny water bottle for her dogs.

She explains that it is comfortable to wear and easy to use. But it was a challenge to dry out the bladder. The only issue was she could not find the hole for the mouthpiece to go through the backpack. She just has it stick out of a backpack zipper opening.

Water stays cool

This guy is a cross country mountain biker. He rode for 24 miles and had to stop because he ran out of water. This is why he got the Road Runner. He says the first time he used the pack he was able to ride 30 miles.

He finds the pack lightweight and has good storage. He likes the 2 tubing clips which there is one on each side of the shoulder strap. He rode in Texas in 90+ degree heat and the water stayed cool.

He explains to get the best flow twist the mouth piece to the left. Also blow the water back into the bladder after you finish drinking otherwise the water in the tube will become warm.

Review of Poor Experiences with the Water Buffalo Hydration Pack

The first person explained that the valve that opens and closes the mouthpiece is too small and difficult to move. The valve has a small lip which swivels open and closed, this cracked. Now the valve is open so when you fill up the bladder water will spill out unless you hold the straw higher than the backpack.

The next person wanted a black pack but when it arrived he got a blue pack. He says that the side hose clip was missing so everytime he goes running the hose keeps hitting him. Next the bladder leaked water down the back of his legs. Now he just uses the pack as a water bottle holder.

The third person explained that every time she took a drink it tasted like plastic. She tried cleaning it out with soap and water but it still tastes like plastic. She wonders if this is BPA free. Everything works with the pack except the water tastes bad.

The last person says that this Road Runner Water Buffalo pack is stiff feeling when he opened it. It feels like a board on his back when he wears it. The straps are too wide and they dig into his shoulders and arms.

The water bladder does not fit properly into the compartment. If you tighten the straps so the pack does not bounce it will sit way up your back. If you loosen the straps then the pack will bounce around a lot.

Keep in mind these poor experiences do not happen very often. But even though a product has high ratings they always have some poor ratings. I think it is important to make you aware of them in the name of full disclosure. Don’t let them discourage you, this backpack is highly recommended.