View Full Version : ULA Water Holsters

09-19-2010, 22:29
Does anyone use the shoulder strap water holsters that come on ULA packs (2010 Circuit here)? It seems like a great way to move weight from the pack but not sure how practical they are. Do they hold water bottles reliably for a hike? Do they feel awkward when holding a full liter of water on each side? I've got a week long section coming up and it's going to be my first time not using a bladder, and instead was planning on just carrying gatorade bottles.


09-20-2010, 00:04
I have a ULA Catalyst. The holders don't hold bottles to my satisfaction. I carry my 1 liter bottle in the side pocket. I have a cheap $2 holder I bought at Walmart for a 16 oz water bottle. I put that on the strap and use the ULA holder to keep the bottle from bouncing. This has worked pretty well so far.

09-20-2010, 07:28
Have an older ULA Conduit with the dual water bottle holders on the shoulder straps (bungies w/cordlocks). Works great for 20 oz Gatoraide bottles. I don't think I'd want to put larger capacity bottles in these holders though...:)

09-20-2010, 09:33
I use the mine with the taller 24oz Gatorade bottles with the twist valve cap. Occasionally a bottle will drop when lifting the pack or putting it down, but overall it works for me.

ky chris
09-20-2010, 10:41
I tried them at first on my Conduit to free up the side pockets. I used the .5 liter gatorade bottles. While it was really handy to get to a bottle to drink while walking, they jiggle around just enough to get on my nerves.

I'd try them for a short walk and see what you think.

09-20-2010, 15:33
I'm current using 20oz Sobe Lifewater bottles. They're grooved in just the right places to fit securely. Sometimes while putting on the pack I'll knock them out, but while hiking I have no issues.

09-20-2010, 15:48
I own the ULA Catalyst and recently purchased their Circuit pack. Ive used 2 liter V8 juice bottles in both water holsters for the JMT, LT, WT and various other hikes. Normally I fill up on water for evening camp. The rest of the time I carry less than a quart unless water sources are scarce. Even with both bottles full the pack seems balanced since the holsters are relatively low. The one caveat is that I must remove the pack to get a drink of water.

09-20-2010, 23:38
20-oz Gatorade bottles work good. 32-oz Gatorade bottles seem to fall off too often.

09-21-2010, 12:31
I don't use ULA's water holsters but I carry 800 ml - 1000 ml(1 L) Oggi 2.5 oz aluminum water bottles virtually the same way on the shoulder straps by rigging up a very simple design myself. I found Oggi brand bottles with a screw cap with a ring cap/hole in the cap. From the D-Rings on the shouler straps, that I know come installed on the ULA Conduit(now the CDT), Circuit, and Catalyst packs, I hang a tiny spring loaded cheapy non-technical carabiner or Nite IZE S biner. I attache the cap to the cheapy biner or the other end of the Nite IZE S biner. That holds the water bottle up. Now to keep the water bottle from swaying uncontrollably back and forth I have slipped a 6" long piece of light wt velcro(bought at REI) between the webbing strap on the shoulder harness and the padding of the shoulder harness. The velcro strap stays in place by way of friction, even when I'm not carrying a water bottle, and wraps around the circumference of the water bottle. When I want a drink on the run or want to fill the water bottle I loosen the velcro and unscrew the bottle leaving the cap still attached to the D-Ring via the biner. I can also take the whole water bottle off w/ the cap still screwed on the bottle by loosening the velcro and working the cap off the spring loaded biner.

I like carrying water/my favorite libation this way because it's very handy/easy to get at, even while hiking, it's cheap, liitle can fail in the system, and it frees up volume for other stuff in my side pockets, where I used to store my water bottles. However, the cheapest spring loaded biners don't last forever(that's why I prefer the Night Ize) and the Velcro, after 1000's of uses, starts to wear out, but it's easily and cheaply replaced at most outfitters/hardware stores.

Sigg also makes water bottles with this type of screw cap but they are heavier and ridiculously more expensive. I bought my OGGI brand bottles w/ this type of cap for $2.99 each at a Home Decor store! If it concerns you look for the aluminum water bottles made by OGGI, Sigg, etc that are BPA Free. And, if wt is a concern, consider that between the small spring loaded biner, or Night Ize S biner, the 800 ml aluminum Oggi water bottle, and the 6" long velcro the whole thing weighs less than 3 oz. I've been using the same water bottle, albeit, it looks like it went through WW II, for the PCT, Hayduke, JMT, SHR, and CDT, blah, blah, blah! I also like that this system sometimes prompts the response, "I thought you wre carrying grenades or oxygen bottles on your shoulder harness."

English Stu
09-22-2010, 05:33
I have the ULA Circuit and use an umbrella cover tube held with a ligth carabiner and the elastic rings that I asked for on the bag.

I use a 0.5ltr Powerade bottle as it has a wide drinking top.A larger bottle bounces.