Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Nalgene Water Bottle Holders

Long before I started this particular blog I joined the Amazon associates program, just as most bloggers and website owners have, since Amazon offers such a huge selection of books and related products of interest to readers of blogs on most any subject.  Few people make big bucks off of their association with this online retail giant, but it does provide some extra dollars every month from purchases made by readers clicking through to the Amazon site to do their shopping.  I'm probably like most bloggers in the program in that my earnings go right back to Amazon to fund my own purchases of books and other items I would be buying from them anyway.

More interesting the than the monthly earnings reports, however, are the listings of the particular items purchased each month through the program.  By scanning these listings I have discovered some good books and sometimes good equipment that my readers are buying that I might not have known about otherwise.  I can also see that sometimes readers take my advice and purchase items I've reviewed here or mentioned in my books, such as a particular machete, water purification system or other important item for the bug out bag.  Sometimes these purchases give me an idea for a post, such as this one today, inspired by a reader's purchase of this Maxpedition . 12" x 5" Nalgene Bottle Holder . OD GREEN.

Seeing that someone purchased this through my site reminded me of an often overlooked, favorite piece of gear that has gone with me everywhere in my travels for at least 15 years, maybe even a bit longer.  It's a similar bottle holder designed to fit a 1 quart Nalgene bottle that I paid a whole lot less for than the $37.95 that Amazon gets for the Maxpedition holder pictured above. I picked this up one day back then when I was wandering the isles of some big adventure outfitter store and thought it might be useful:

I had already long been a fan of these nearly indestructible 1-quart Nalgene bottles as I had been using them for years and they went with me on all my big long-distance sea kayaking trips and many backpacking excursions.  The problem with the basic Nalgene bottle, however, is that it's awkward to carry unless stuffed down inside a pack somewhere that makes it hard to get to when you need it.  I still carry extras this way, inside packs and dry bags, but this simple holder transforms an ordinary Nalgene bottle into a handy canteen.  Note that mine has a quick-release shoulder strap as well as a large belt loop on the other side, shown here:

These two carrying options make it easy to bring along for practically any activity, and as a result mine has never been far out of reach since I picked it up all those years ago.  I've replaced the bottle I carry in it more than once, but this holder has gone with me on offshore sailboat passages, through the jungles of Central America and swamps all over the South, on my motorcycles and bicycles both on road and off-road and in my truck most every day I've owned it whether out on a job or on a pleasure trip.  The great thing about it is that the padded insulation built in keeps drinking water cool all day even on the hottest days if I fill it with ice in the morning.  The label on the cover says the insulation is Du Pont Thermolite.  I think I paid about 12 bucks for it.  At the time, it was the first such bottle holder I had seen made specifically to fit a 1-quart Nalgene bottle, but now there are many such holders available for these popular bottles, both insulated and non-insulated.  A quick search on Amazon turned up a whole slew of them in a wide price range, with this Maxpedition mentioned above being among the most expensive.  If you haven't tried such a holder/carrier for a standard water bottle, I suggest looking into it rather than some sort of canteen. Advantages of these bottles are that they are leak-proof, nearly indestructible, as already mentioned, and they don't impart a plastic taste to the water or other liquids kept in them.  I prefer the wide-mouth version as these are handy when you are purifying drinking water or mixing something with it such as powered milk or Gatorade.

I usually have three or four of these bottles in my pack depending on where I'm going and the temperature.  But one of them is always in this handy carrier close at hand where I can reach it for a quick drink.


  1. I love my nalgene bottle - recently, I scored a Guyot Designs (they make the Nalgene bottles!) stainless steel Backpacker model - it has the same widemouth design & threads and the caps are interchangable. I put on a CapCap for easy drinking and a paracord lanyard for the CapCap.

    What I like about the backpacker is that it has a tapered bottom (can fit a car cup holder), can be used to boil water (treat or brew tea/coffee), etc. and you can add a bale to suspend over a cook fire if needed.

    My carrier is either a Maxped Versipack Jumbo or a condor insulated bottle carrier with strap, if I'm going light. I always keep some aquamira water treatment tabs in my bottle carriers, - one could easily keep a instant coffee pack, tea bags, sports drink or cocoa mix in their carriers, too.

  2. That is way cool. Waaay back in the 90's, I picked up a 1 qt. non insulated sack at Brigade Quartermasters that has a belt slide made by CMI. It carrys a 1 qt. water bottle, as well as a nesting 20 oz. cup w/ adjustable bail below it. Non insulated though - but the pot add-on has come in really handy.

  3. I've got a ton of nalgenes with various logos on them that I've picked up from conferences. I'll consider getting a handy pouch for them like those.

    I'm searching for a good ripstop nylon tarp for my bob. Do you have any suggestions of one I can buy online? I found these but they're vynil... http://www.tarpaflex.com/acatalog/Camouflage_Tarps3.html

    If not online, if I go to a store what is a resonable price to pay and what size should I get?


  4. Dustin, thanks for the info and for the photo you sent. Looks like a great set-up.

    H-Bomb, for ripstop nylon tarps, try Campmor or some of the other online camping/backpacking outfitters. You can also buy the fabric from places like Seattle Fabrics and make your own. Ripstop nylon tarps are probably double the price of the typical poly tarps you can get anywhere, but they last longer and fold up more compact.

  5. Thanks for the suggestion, Scott! I guess I'm going to go with this guy.http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___20069 Seems a bit pricey but if it lasts forever I suppose it's worth it. The other ripstop nylons are all bright blue, and we don't want that! I'm going to get this and a hennesy hammock to replace my brith red and worn Eureka backpacker tent. I really enjoyed your book and am currently researching and scouting for my potential hide out in the central appalacian forests.

  6. H-Bomb,

    That looks like a good choice. Expensive yes, but still a lot less so than a good tent and it should last a lot of hard use. If you care to write a review of it after you test it out, I'll be glad to publish it on here.

    Good luck finding a good BOL. Sounds like you're in a good part of the world to do so.

  7. Funny you should mention, I was just writing up a post about the Maxpedition bottle holder. I've found it to be awesome. A cup nested to the bottom of the Nalgene bottle, an esbit stove and tabs in the external pouch, add a few drink mix packets and matches and youre ready to go. Its a very cool piece of kit.

  8. I hadn't committed to buying one of these, until right now... Thank you!


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