How to Add a Hydration Bladder to Your 5.11 Backpack

February 22, 2017 2 min read

So you've purchased a 5.11 Tactical RUSH Backpack and want to add a hydration bladder to the pack. The video below outlines how to best do this. We have written the dialogue below for those who can't use sound or are in a public place!

"You've purchased one of the 5.11 RUSH Series Backpacks and have some sort of hydration system - you're looking at the two and wondering how they come together.

"First thing you need to do is get access to where you'll be threading the hose. This is the most difficult portion. Start by opening up the main compartment of the backpack - the 5.11 Tactical RUSH 72 is shown in the video however, the same method applies to the RUSH 24 and RUSH 12 -, fold the yoke shoulder straps out of the way, then open the back compartment which is the hydration compartment.

"The little tab (shown in the video 0:57) is where you'll hang the hydration bladder from. Thread it through, now you'll have to determine which side of the backpack you want the hydration hose to come through. We recommend you push your finger through and route the hose up through the top of the backpack. Now you can utilise the straps (on the yoke carrying system intended for MOLLE attachments), to feed the hose through. The reason I have chosen to go through the left hand side is that I personally like to loop mine through the elastic band on the chest strap.

"Zip the hydration compartment up when you're done and you're hydration ready!"

Yes, it is pretty simple to add the hydration bladder although, the big question is - Which bladder suits the 5.11 Tactical RUSH Backpacks? Our recommendation is the CamelBak 2L/3L Mil Spec Antidote Reservoir. I have used the 3L in my 5.11 RUSH 12 Backpack for the best part of 4 years during hunting trips and haven't had any problems arise. CamelBak items also come with a lifetime warranty This would be my go to!

This being said, the Hydrapak Shape Shifter Hydration Bladders are also a great choice for the 5.11 packs! I personally haven't used them however, I have never heard a bad word mentioned about these hydration systems.

Another option for those running day packs is to add a 5.11 H2O Carrier Pouch to your pack as opposed to a complete hydration system. This allows you to use the hydration compartment as a laptop compartment as the outer shell is hardened. This is my option while on interstate trips.

Shop our range of hydration bladders here --> Hydration Bladders


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