Camelbak for our hikes. I chose to go with the Camelbak Classic 70 oz. Hydration Pack because of its simplicity and ease of use. This pack is basically just for hydration with no other bells and whistles which is perfect for the boys. The pack does have a small zippered pocket that will fit a small phone/key/snack. This pack holds about 4 bottles of water which is plenty, since the boys usually only drink 2 on our hikes.
We went on a hike yesterday and the boys used their Camelbaks for the first time. I have to say it was very freeing not to have to stop every time I heard "I'm thirsty". They were in charge of their own hydration and it was great! The boys were also happy to drink whenever they wanted without having to ask. Often on hikes they would want to stop for a drink and I would make them wait a bit longer. This way they can drink whenever they are thirsty.
Now I only have to carry water for me in my backpack which makes it much lighter! The boys even mentioned that they didn't even feel the packs on their backs which tells me they are comfortable and the weight from the water is well distributed.
Drinking is easy with the Camelbak since the tube runs from the pack and clips on the front of the strap. This makes it really easy to get to.
I shopped around a bit and found these packs on Amazon for about $39 each. Well worth the money and they shipped for free. They even made it to our house in about 4 days!
These packs are also easy to wash. The opening for water is large and easy to get into. I usually leave them upside down to drain when not in use. To clean I use Shaklee Dishwash Concentrate which is non-toxic and all natural. I prefer Shaklee products because I feel safe knowing my family isn't being exposed to harsh chemicals. The best part is that they work as well if not better than the harsher products I used to use and I don't get dizzy smelling the fumes.
I guess I might even need to buy one for myself. Happy Hiking!