Runner with hydration vest on

5 Ways To Carry Water While Running

In the years since I started running, it feels like I’ve tried every option there is to carry fluids on a run. To carry a bulky water bottle in your sweaty hands distracts you and makes a long run or a hard run more mentally challenging. Running without water puts you at risk of dehydration and heatstroke. Is there a solution to this conundrum?

Five ways to carry water while running:

  1. In a hand-held ergonomically designed bottle that straps to your hand
  2. In a hand-held, soft shell bottle that straps to your hand and shrinks as you drink
  3. In a hydration belt
  4. In a hydration vest
  5. In a hydration backpack

Thanks to sports gear creators and manufacturers, carrying water with you while you run no longer has to be a source of consternation for you. This article describes five excellent ways to make hydration easy for you.

1. Hand-Held Flask or Bottle


The first option for carrying water while you run still involves carrying a bottle in your hand. However, the bottle or flask is ergonomically modified, and it sits in a strap that is designed to fit over your hand. 

Here is an example of a hand-held bottle you can buy on Amazon called the Nathan Speed Draw

Benefits of Hand-Held Flasks

Drawbacks Of Hand-Held Flask

Examples Of Hand-Held Flasks For Running

Product NameStorage CapacityBonus FeaturesAmazon Link
Nathan SpeedShot Plus4.7 oz / 140 mlSmaller bottle for shorter runs or smaller handsLink
FitleticHydrapocket12 oz / 350 mlMesh pouch for ID or keysLink
NathanSpeedDraw Plus18 oz / 530 mlExpandable and zippered pocket for ID, keys, and phoneLink
NathanSpeedView18 oz / 530 mlTransparent touchscreen pouch for your phoneLink

2. Soft Hand-Held Flask 

The second option for carrying your water while you run is very similar to the first. The difference is that the water flask is soft and flexible, shrinking as you drink the water contents. 

Here is an example of a soft hand-held flask, the ExoDraw from Nathan, available on Amazon.

Benefits Of Soft Hand-Held Flasks

Drawbacks Of Soft Hand-Held Flask

Examples Of Soft Hand-Held Flasks For Running

Product NameStorage CapacityBonus FeaturesAmazon Link
Osprey PacksDyna8.5 oz / 250 mlThis bottle is specifically designed for women, and it comes with a tucked away safety whistleLink
NathanExoDraw18 oz / 530 mlSmall pouch for keys or snackLink
AonijieQuick Grip16.9 oz / 500 mlMultiple storage compartments for keys, cellphones, ID, etc.Link

3. Hydration Belts

The third option for carrying water while running is to use a hydration belt, which is designed to wrap around your waist and hold your water bottles securely to the sides of your body.

Benefits Of Hydration Belts

Drawbacks Of Hydration Belts

Examples Of Hydration Belts For Running

Product NameStorage CapacityBonus FeaturesAmazon Link
FitleticHydra 12 V26 oz / 177 mlWater-resistant pouch for your cellphoneLink
Ultraspire Speedgoat 3.060 oz / 1750 mlMade with breathable webbing to dissipate heatLink
CamelBakFlash Belt17 oz / 502 mlYou can use it with almost any water bottle, not just the one that comes with the beltLink
PYFKUpgraded Running Belt18 oz / 530 mlSilica gel inside the pack, which is supposed to help the belt grip the waist betterLink

4. Hydration Vests

Hydration vests look like water life jackets, and they are designed to carry water bottles or water bladders, or both. The water bladders in hydration vests are sealed into pockets with a flexible drinking hose attached.

The bottles are often replacable, which is good as I’ve had a few split over the years. Here is an example of a hydration vest, the Vapour Air, available on Amazon

Benefits Of Hydration Vests

Drawbacks Of Hydration Vests

Examples Of Hydration Vests For Running

Product NameStorage CapacityBonus FeaturesPriceAmazon Link
NathanVaporAir70 oz2 LPlus space for two water bottlesCropped length and crisscross straps over the chest$89.99Link
OspreyDuro50.7 oz1.5 LPlus space for one soft flaskWhistle zipper-pull and an attachment for trekking poles$109.95Link

5. Carry Your Water In A Hydration Backpack While Running

Hydration backpacks are designed to carry water only on your back, with an over-the-shoulder design resembling that of a standard backpack. 

Benefits Of Hydration Backpacks

Drawbacks Of Hydration Backpacks

Examples Of Hydration Backpacks For Running

Product NameStorage CapacityBonus FeaturesPriceAmazon Link
VibrelliHydration Pack70 oz2 LFive-year replacement warranty$23.98Link
Black DiamondDistance 15 PackBladders are sold separately, so you can buy whatever size you wantReflective material for increased visibility in low light$149.95Link
VBGVBIGER70 oz2 LRoom for one emergency water bottle$29.95Link


With the heat that summer brings, you can no longer get away with have a drink of water before and after your run. You have to carry water with you, especially on longer runs. 

Fortunately, sports gear creators and manufacturers have invested time and resources into bringing you the most convenient options possible. You can strap your water bottle to your hand, waist, chest, or back with ergonomically designed products that were designed with runners like you in mind. 

If you hate having to grip onto a bulky water bottle, then you can try a modified bottle that straps flat against your palm so that you don’t have to hold onto it while you run. 

If you prefer not to have anything in your hands while you run, then you can try a belt, vest, or backpack. Backpacks provide the largest water supply, while vests offer you options of bladder or bottles or both. Belts cover less skin, so they are the least likely to minimize evaporation cooling. 

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