Hydration backpacks are bladder-type water storage bags that are widely used by sportspersons like runners, cyclists, bikers, hikers, trekkers and other adventure sports enthusiasts, besides also infantry personnel during exercises and missions. They are considered a light-weight alternative to bottles used to carry water or other energy fluids.
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The hydration backpack market is fragmented due to a variety of players. Most of these players operate across all size segments due to compatibility of production-line requirements. Attractive branding, marketing and celebrity endorsements are commonly employed tactics employed by players to expand their market share.
Some key players in the hydration backpack market are Cascade Designs, Hydrapak, Osprey Packs, Columbia Sportswear Company, Camelbak Products, Jetflow, Vista Outdoor Operations, Deuter Sport GmbH, Wingnut, Jack Wolfskin, Samsonite International, Vaude, Mazama Designs, Brookhaven Companies and Dakine.
Though several players have adopted mergers and acquisitions as an expansion strategy, the larger market mover has been product innovation. Most manufacturers have directed innovation towards materials that are lightweight and can maintain water temperature; product resilience and making products that are easy to clean are other key area of research.
Some popular brands in the hydration backpack market include Water Buffalo, Marchway, Teton, Unigear, Mubasel, KBNI, Miracol, Utobest, KUYOU, G-Run, Platypus, CamelBak, etc.
Online platforms have been the fastest growing distribution channel for the hydration backpack market. This has led most manufacturers to increase their online footprint, including through acquisitions; for example, Samsonite International acquired eBags to accelerate its online, direct-to-consumer growth.
However, speciality sports stores remain the leading distribution channel in the hydration backpack market. Manufacturers have thus also sought to increase and diversify their vendor syndication systems.
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Drivers of the Hydration Backpack Market
The growing popularity of adventure sports activities among non-professional sportspersons has been a key driver for the market. At the same time, growing penetration of hydration backpacks in developing and underdeveloped countries has also led to professional sportspersons in these countries to adopt these products, thus further driving the market.
In the military segment, the increasing realisation of the likelihood of conflict at or below the threshold of conventional war has led to a renewed emphasis on infantry units. This has translated into a higher number of infantry exercises and missions, creating the need for continuous hydration backpack supplies.
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Impact of Covid-19
With the economic crisis caused due to the Covid-19 pandemic slated to negatively impact disposable incomes globally, spending towards adventure sports activities by non-professional sportspersons is likely to decline. This may result in a contraction in this segment of the hydration backpack market. However, the demand from professionals will not be impacted.
In the military segment, the Covid-19 crisis has led to increasing global tensions. This has already been reflected in regions like the South China Sea, South Asia and Eastern Europe. This is likely to lead to an increase in military spending and overall military activity, including more infantry operations and exercises. This is likely to have a positive impact on the market.
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North America has been the largest regional segment for the hydration backpacks market, mainly led by non-professional sportspersons, due to the variety of adventure sports opportunity the region offers. It may however face the negative impacts of Covid-19 in the coming years. Europe has been the second largest regional segment, followed by East Asia and South Asia.
However, the East Asian and South Asian markets have seen the fastest growth in recent years and may overtake the other markets in the forecast period. While this growth has been caused due to a rapidly growing middle-class in developing countries like India, China and the Southeast Asian nations, the military requirements of the region’s armies may soften the impact of Covid-19 on the other segments.
Oceania, Latin America and Middle East and Africa are the other important regional segments.
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- South Asia
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